A young Arab Israeli finds his political voice in this genial comedy about Israel-Palestine tensions. Jawat loves to endlessly call girls on his cell phone, even though his heart belongs to another. His father, Saleh, is causing a ruckus over a newly constructed cell phone tower near his olive grove, going so far as to attempt its destruction. When Jawat’s calls to the West Bank draw the attention of Israeli authorities, the young slacker finally takes a stand.
Arabic with subtitles 83 min
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that social media can be a valuable tool for filmmakers, whether it’s used as a marketing device or a fundraising platform. Join a number of filmmakers who have used social media effectively in promoting their work as well as other experts in the field to share wisdom and discuss ideas. Then tweet about it! With moderator Stephen Gossett, Flavorpill Chicago,Method director Rider Strong, Andrew Bird: Fever Year director Xan Aranda, Kristen Kaza, Marketing Director, The Chicago Reader/Independent Producer, Ky Dickens, Independent Filmmaker, and Here director Braden King.
Winner of the Best Director prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival, Hagar Ben-Asher’s alternative, almost anti-cautionary tale presents Tamar, a beautiful, young single mother with a seemingly insatiable sexual appetite. While running a chicken farm with her two daughters, she finds servicing the village’s lackluster men gets her through the inconveniences of everyday life. That is until a hunky veterinarian comes to town.
Hebrew with subtitles 88 min
Inspiring, heartwarming, hilarious and full of life, this portrait of the Tony® and Golden Globe® award-winning actress, singer and comedienne weaves Broadway history with an unbelievable love story to capture the unique persona behind the iconic performances in Hello Dolly and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Stay for the end credits: the film's outtakes just cannot be missed.
One morning, Alex receives a devastating phone call: his mother has just been hospitalized after suffering a stroke. Desperate to control the situation but overwhelmed by conflicting advice from friends, family and medical staff, he attempts to take matters into his own hands. Unfortunately things do not go as planned. This daring addition to the Romanian New Wave, based on the director’s real life experience, brims with emotional impact and authenticity.
Romanian with subtitles 105 min
Amidst the Afro-Cuban rhythms of Havana in the 1940s, Chico and Rita fall immediately in love. But infidelity and their respective pursuit of fame both unite and pull them apart for the next six decades. Spanish filmmaker and music producer Fernando Trueba (La Belle Epoque, Calle 54), graphic artist Javier Mariscal, and animator Tono Errando pay tribute to the great Afro-Cuban and Be-bop musicians of the 40s and 50s in this delightfully sensuous animated film.
English, Spanish with subtitles 94 min
A six-year-old in Germany confronts and questions the nature of self-identity after learning of his Turkish grandfather’s journey as a guest worker in the 1960s.The discussion leads the whole family to travel to their original home in Turkey, a trip that will prove surprising in more ways than one. This delightful comedy shows that your identity is not determined by where you live or where your parents come from, but rather what you feel inside.
German with subtitles 101 min
Marcela’s pregnancy couldn’t have come at a worse time. A Latin American immigrant living in the outskirts of Madrid, Marcela is stuck in a stagnant relationship with a man who works a dead-end job selling flowers. Things begin to improve when she’s hired to care for a friend’s ailing father, Amador. When Amador suddenly dies, leaving her jobless, Marcela is faced with an unusual moral dilemma in this heartfelt drama about life and death.
Spanish with subtitles 112 min
A stunning panorama of new animated shorts from around the world.An accident changes Dinki's life in the gorgeous BIRDBOY (Spain). A striking blend of animation styles are used in FLOWERS FOR JUPITER (USA). A seductive alternative cityscape is presented in the stylish HELLVILLE (France). A poodle puppy terrorizes the henpecked Carlos in EL MACHO (UK). One man's obsession with the passing of time is explored in black and white stop-motion in THE EAGLEMAN STAG (UK). Animator Bill Plympton invited multiple animators to remake his Oscar® award-winning short Guard Dog, and GUARD DOG GLOBAL JAM (USA) is the eye-popping result! THE GALLERY (Poland) is a satirical parable on modern consumer habits. A young boy learns some life lessons in THE RENTER (USA). TRAUMDEUTUNG (UK) explores our fascination with dreams. HEAVY HEADS (Denmark) is a minimalist black comedy. BRIDE CAN (Iran) uses cutouts in a witty commentary on the role of women in Iranian society. Oscar has to leave something behind in the melancholy, beautifully hand drawn BELLY (UK).
Oscar is coming of age, against his better judgment. In doing so he must experience the necessary evil of leaving something behind, but he can still feel it in the pit of his stomach. Belly features a beautiful hand-drawn animation style, a distinctive color palette and an unsettling, offbeat mood.
A terrible industrial accident changes Little Dinki's life forever. Now Dinki's fate may ride on the wings of her eccentric friend Birdboy, a misfit who hides in the Dead Forest, lost in his fantasies... a beautiful, haunting tale told with stark, stylized animation based on a graphic novel.
Spanish, with subtitles 13 min
A witty deconstruction of women’s life in traditional Iranian society, emphasizing gender oppression and lack of control over their already determined fate. Bride Can uses surprising juxtapositions of imagery to criticize objectification of women in Iran.
Henpecked Carlos yearns for order and calm amidst the chaos of his loud family of women. The arrival of adorable Alfonso, an energetic poodle puppy, shatters any dreams he had of peace and quiet. El Macho uses traditional 2D pen on paper animation, with individual screenprints for backgrounds.
English, Spanish, with subtitles 7 min
A spellbinding mix of 2- and 3-D animation, live action and prosthetic effects are employed to tell a tale of hope and negligence in which a young, fanciful girl mines her past for answers regarding the accident which, years earlier, took her middle finger. Flowers for Jupiter explores the world that exists between imagination and memory.
Animation impresario Bill Plympton’s short film Guard Dog won the Oscar in 2004. In 2010 he decided to remake the film via the internet, with 70 artists from around the world, with different levels of expertise, recreating each shot of the film in their own style. Guard Dog Global Jam is the eye-popping result, featuring pretty much every animation style you can think of, and some you probably haven’t!
In a gray kitchen Monika lives a solitary life, to the sounds of a dripping water tap and a buzzing housefly. Monika is seducing the housefly, when a sad stranger suddenly surprises her by entering the wrong door. Heavy Heads is a melancholy minimalistic black comedy about loneliness and solitude.
Danish, with subtitles 8 min
Hellville seems to have found its bizarre balance through a traffic system exclusively made of pedal vehicles...Until the day the roaring engine of a motorbike resonates through its streets. Hellville’s futuristic urban landscape is like an animated love letter to Jacques Tati’s Playtime.
If you repeat the word "fly" for long enough it sounds like you're saying "life". This is of no help to Peter. His answers lie in the brain of the beetle. This funny, philosophical stop-motion animation has been garnering awards at festivals around the world.
A black and white line, with only a few accents provided by a bright red stain, form a satirical parable of the consumer habits of modern society in a surreal shopping mall. The Gallery features an innovative, amorphous style which fuses elements of painting, animation and graffiti.
With ambition and charm matched equally by a complete lack of remorse, best-selling author Mathieu will do anything for a good story. To write the unauthorized biography of celebrity news anchor Lena Weber (Catherine Deneuve in a career-topping performance), not only does he secure a job as her assistant but also seduces Lena, her estranged daughter who is searching for her own son, and anyone who gets in his way, regardless of gender.
French, Spanish with subtitles 105 min
Muse, mother, wife, and lover, Carolyn Cassady was the great woman behind two of the Beat Generation's greatest men: Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac. As the model for Kerouac's Dean Moriarty in On The Road, Neal was a living legend who often left Carolyn and the kids behind for grand adventures in the beatnik universe. This endearing portrait celebrates the wit, beauty, grace, and normalcy of an overlooked figure from one of American literature's most popular moments.
Invoking the elliptical whimsy of comedic legend Jacques Tati, this playful, wordless romp sends up the French pleasure in summer holidays. Wandering in and out of a series of scenarios, each tinged with a touch of the absurd, the film follows a motley crew of vacationers enjoying a spell at the beach. The more than half dozen stories are cleverly propelled by the cast’s brilliant physical performances, witty comic-book inspired cinematography, and swift pacing.
French with subtitles 77 min
Based on real cases of bullying in Sweden, Play incisively delves into a children’s world ruled by intimidation and manipulation while delivering a nuanced commentary on race relations. When three boys are falsely accused of stealing a cell phone by older boys from immigrant African families, the latter assert their dominance through elaborate role play and gang rhetoric. What follows is an alarmingly tense game that no adult could dare to win.
Swedish with subtitles 118 min
Linda's devoutly religious husband Abe hasn't slept with her since he found out she was barren. That was 20 years ago. But when Abe suffers a stroke she finds out that his sexual needs were long being taken care of at the local sperm bank. And that he has a mullet-headed ex-con son named Raymond. Linda goes to Florida to meet Raymond and the pair embark on a journey of self-discovery in this offbeat, darkly funny road movie that was a big winner at this year's SXSW Film Festival.
Money: the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems. Well, not exactly. But when the circus comes to a small Indian village, Ghumroo and his sister Panni learn adult sized lessons about greed and corruption. Wanting nothing more than a ticket to the big show, the youngsters take a special interest in a cash payment Dad has received from the local politicians to secure his vote. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones interested in their father’s sudden small windfall.
Hindi with subtitles 103 min
In this Indonesian-styled Priscilla Queen of the Desert, our transsexual superhero goes up against Mr. Storm, The National Morality Front, and his deadly burqa-clad wives. A dark wit pervades this daring, camp-filled first feature from director Lucky Kuswandi.
Indonesian with subtitles 100 min
Deception and irony fuel this World War II-set comedy. Victor Kauffman, the son of a wealthy Jewish gallery owner, and Rudi are lifelong friends. When Rudi returns to Vienna from Germany as an S.S. officer in the Third Reich, the Kaufmanns don't just have their own safety to worry about. A rare, long lost Michelangelo drawing the family has secretly held for centuries has become the most desired object of Adolf Hitler, and a comedy of errors ensues as the two old friends find themselves trying to outwit the other in a race to track down the work of art.
German with subtitles 106 min
In this dark thriller that skewers modern medical practice and its morals, first-year resident Dr. Martin Blake (Orlando Bloom) strives to be a “good doctor”. Willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, he has the perfect opportunity to further his ambition when a young beautiful patient is assigned to his care. When the determined doctor unexpectedly falls prey to the seductive charms of his ward, he must choose between hypocrisy and the Hypocratic Oath.
They are known as Porthos, Athos, and Aramis - three elite warriors who serve the King of France as his best Musketeers. After discovering an evil conspiracy to overthrow the King, the Musketeers come across a young, aspiring hero - D'Artagnan - and take him under their wing. Together, the four embark on a dangerous mission to foil the plot that not only threatens the Crown, but the future of Europe itself in this big-screen action adventure update of the Alexandre Dumas' novel shot in state-of-the-art 3D.
Daniel loves Lina, but Lina wants rock star Niklas Ravn. Terese wants to give up her virginity to Stefan but Stefan wants to come out and declare his intentions to Daniel who, by now, is into Terese. Unable to express their dreams and passion with mere words, these four young souls break into song and dance over the course of one incredible night, in this color saturated, delightfully romantic musical.
Danish with subtitles 93 min
Burdened by guilt over his mother's death, 23-year-old Payel moves into an old stable turned into an apartment. Through the thin walls and a high window he can hear his neighbors' lovemaking and arguments, inspiring sexual fantasies that lead him into an emotional encounter with death and redemption. Structured like a jigsaw puzzle, Karma invites audiences to piece together these characters' lives while immersing them in a truly sensorial experience.
Sinhalese with subtitles 88 min
Pawel and his father Zygmunt make a living importing second hand clothing from France to Poland. When Zygmunt is suddenly and publicly accused of being a past Communist informant, he flees the country leaving the stubbornly apolitical Pawel to pick up the pieces and face the pervading legacy of Poland's troubled past. With strong performances and sympathetic characters, The Mole candidly explores how the weight of history affects a son's love for his family and his motherland.
Polish, French with subtitles 108 min
Nearly a decade after being deported, Ghanaian Police inspector Boniface Koomsin is still trying to get back to the U.S. But when his counterfeit passport is stolen, he mounts a false investigation that takes him on a dangerous journey through contemporary Ghana. As the “investigation” continues, he will have to choose between dreams of escape and the realities of life in his homeland.
Fante, English, Twi, Pidgin, Ga with subtitles 89 min
A young boy is dropped off at an elderly woman’s home for the day. Her house sits amongst fields of weeds and rotting pears, and a lone tenant adds to the unsettling atmosphere. The savage slaughter of a chicken makes this daycare a harsh and confusing world for the boy, who learns caring can be shown in unexpected ways. A multi-award winning short with a unique, visceral look and feel.
Dreams, squirrels and videotapes. A man dreams of a squirrel and then - backed up by battery of machines - mounts an inquiry into the apparition of squirrels in other people’s dreams. Traumdeutung is a funny and thought-provoking journey into the global reserve of dreams which blurs the borders between documentary and the surreal.
Fifteen-year-old Alma feels trapped in her small Norwegian town. To curb her restlessness and active imagination and to satiate her sexual appetite, Alma regularly calls a phone sex hotline. After an awkward encounter with a crush turns her into a social pariah, Alma decides to run away to Oslo. Funny, quirky and endearing, Turn Me On, Dammit! charmingly captures the ups and downs of teenage sexuality.
Norwegian with subtitles 76 min
PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, can be a whole new kind of war for our young men and women returning from Iraq and Afhghanistan. The opposite of fighting alongside your brothers and sisters in arms, this battle is often fought alone, against demons the soldier hides from others. The power of the documentary form is strongly felt as On the Bridge not only gives voice to the personal trauma our warriors endure but also as a means to help them honor their service and move forward as Americans.
Lukas, a female-to-male transgendered youth undergoing hormone replacement therapy, travels to Cologne for his compulsory civil service. There he meets the attractive Fabio, who embodies all Lukas wants to be. But can he open up to Fabio? And what will happen to their relationship if he does? The charisma, sensitivity, and chemistry between the leads makes this unique love story a treasure to watch.
German with subtitles 94 min
Braden King is a New York-based filmmaker, photographer and visual artist with Chicago roots. His most recent feature film, a road movie called Here, premiered at the 2011 Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals (p. 21). A live installation derived from the project premiered at The Museum of Modern Art. King’s previous work includes the feature film Dutch Harbor: Where The Sea Breaks Its Back (co-directed with photographer Laura Moya), the short film Home Movie and music videos for Sparklehorse, Sonic Youth, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (Will Oldham) and Dirty Three. Join us for a presentation and discussion with the artist followed by a Q&A.
Best-selling novelist Kosaku Igami has made a career out of using his family as fodder for his novels, much to their dismay. When his mother, the spirited family matriarch, is diagnosed with dementia, Igami must come to terms with the toll his own behavior has taken on his increasingly distant family and resolve his own long-simmering resentments. Evocative of classic Ozu, this gorgeously wrought epic family portrait explores the tenderness and trappings of familial bonds.
Japanese with subtitles 119 min
The fast-paced game of the world's most popular sport is contrasted against the slow turning gears of democracy in this controversial documentary. With help from a committed South American coach and his charming wife, 18-year-old Kashmiri soccer player Basharat is good enough to go play in Brazil but can't obtain a visa due to his father's militant past. More than a coming-of-age story about a teen who dreams of living as a free citizen, it is also a coming-of-age story for democracy in India.
Urdu, Kashmiri with subtitles 83 min
Neighborhood screening at Doc Films at University of Chicago
Forget everything you thought you knew about Sleeping Beauty. In Julia Leigh’s unsettling take on the classic tale, the beauty is Lucy (Emily Browning), a young woman who begins working at a niche job in the sex industry in order to pay for her education. Drugged and placed in a “sleeping beauty chamber”, Lucy becomes the play thing of paying customers, where almost anything is permissible. With so much beyond her control, will Lucy ever wake up to the world around her?
To read Flaubert and Proust with your girlfriend after a passionate bout of lovemaking…what more could a young intellectual want? How about, years later, being asked by a veteran novelist to type out the handwritten notes for his next novel? Julio is in literary heaven. But life, like literature, can be surprising, and very soon Julio is forced to live up to the lies he has been spinning. Bonsai presents a charming Chilean spin on Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past.
Spanish with subtitles 95 min
An unemployed mother of two with a convict for a husband and a meddlesome father-in-law, Elsa’s life could not get any harder. When a new law coerces her into joyless conjugal visits, she unexpectedly finds a kindred spirit in Septim, whose monthly visits to his wife coincide with Elsa’s. Their newfound joy, however, has an expiration date. This unconventional, pathos-filled love story probes the possibility for solace in companionship in the face of adversity and poverty.
Albanian with subtitles 83 min
Classically trained yet utterly unconventional, musician Andrew Bird has been defying classification for 20 albums and countless live shows. And though Fever Year covers the culminating months of the artist’s last tour, it’s as much about the creative process as it is about performance. The film’s sensuous visual style is a match for the musician whose combination of voice, violin, and whistle could charm Hades himself.
Equal parts revenge tale and family drama, Sleep examines the lengths people will go to exact retribution. Raped 17 years ago as a teenager, Kotono now makes a living as a masseuse, leading a nomadic life with her daughter Natsume (born out of the rape) and her aging father. Living out of the back of a van, the clan share a tender bond, each looking out for the needs of the others, belying the perversity of their lifestyle and the true motivation for their life on the road.
Japanese with subtitles 96 min
The 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident is seen through the eyes of Valery, a young Communist party officer who has knowledge of the disaster yet, through a series of circumstances, is unable to flee the city. Instead of dealing with the impending doom, Valery and his girlfriend partake in frivolous activities, making you wonder, 25 years later, what would you have done in their shoes?
Russian with subtitles 99 min
A Frankenstein love story centering on a doctor who must save his ailing wife. This gorgeous 3D animated film is a testament to love, the cinema of yesterday and the grand music of The Steampunk Quartet.
A sheltered teenage girl’s life is turned on its head when a mysterious greaser gang swarms into her sleepy suburb and she falls in love with their tough, handsome leader. The Ghosts authentically and lovingly recreates the look and feel of 50’s small town America.
L Train is the story of Sunny, a teenaged African American girl. Her commute through an inner city Chicago winter reinforces a negativity in her, until one day an encounter with a young woman who is differently abled forces her to consider replacing her anger with compassion. L Train is a brief, humble reminder of what we all might miss every day.
After a succession of late work nights, unexplained whereabouts and suspicious behavior, Carter, suspecting that his wife Betty has been unfaithful and demanding to know the truth, receives news that devastates their marriage and forever changes their lives - while imparting an important life lesson.
Kyle is a 5th grade boy from Michigan who stands up for what he believes in - his love for the vacuum cleaner. What started out as an obsession has now made him into a source of pride and curiosity. But it's not always easy being a town celebrity. Kyle understands something many people never will - love is worth the risk. A wonderful documentary character study- respectful, touching, and very funny.
A heavy pickaxe and chains aren't the only things weighing down a daydreaming chain-gang member. Mocking guards, cold weather, and meaningless work are all trying to break his spirit. However, with the help of a fresh snowfall the prisoner is able to make an escape. Winter’s unique look was achieved by shooting on 8mm and edited digitally.
Adopting from the animal shelter can be both joyful and heartwarming, unless of course, you try to adopt them from two volunteers by the names of Brad and Emily. Then your experience might go from slightly uncomfortable to simply terrifying. Perfectly pitched mockumentary magic.
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