This eclectic encyclopedia of terror and bloodshed features 26 alphabetized segments, each helmed by a different prominent horror movie director. Spanning 15 countries, the offerings range from chilling and gruesome to irreverent and hilarious, as the directors explore the theme of death in many guises. Essential viewing for horror aficionados, The ABCs of Death is an original, provocative work from a who’s who of modern horror filmmakers.
English and various languages with subtitles, 123 min
Cole is home for the holidays … and now they’re over. A humorous look at a young man’s relationship with his parents and the trials and tribulations of returning to the family home.Part of: Shorts 1: City & State
English, 11 min
France / Mexico
Teenager Alé (short for “Alejandra”) is mourning her mother and lonely in a new school. When a video emerges of her drunkenly having sex in a bathroom, she immediately becomes a target for the popular kids. Their torments grow in intensity and cruelty, wearing down the weary Alé’s resistance. After Lucia’s intense, shocking exploration of the violent effects of bullying earned it the prestigious Un Certain Regard prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Spanish with subtitles, 102 min
Voice-over and radio legend Ken Nordine (Word Jazz) has recorded hundreds of radio and TV spots and movie trailers over the past seven decades and has been the voice of our Festival for 47 years. From his far-out mind comes Agenbite of Inwit, which he describes simply: “The title comes from a phrase purported to be from a Benedictine monk who lived in the 14th century, and dealt with the inner workings of the bite on conscience. Take a look, hope you like it.”
English, 57 min
Albania / France / Greece / Romania
A powerful drama about cultural conflict and the strength of familial bonds, Agon explores the relationship between Albanian brothers who must deal with prejudice treatment and bigotry in a new country. Saimir is well-established and thriving with a stable job and a fiancé in Greece, while Vini, newly emigrated, is involved with dangerous criminals. Family is incredibly important to both brothers, but their differences open a rift between them that they must confront.
Albanian, Greek with subtitles, 110 min
alaskaLand tells the story of Chukwuma, an Alaska-raised Nigerian struggling to balance his cultural heritage with the pressures of the larger world around him. After a family tragedy forces a two-year estrangement from his younger sister Chidinma, the siblings reconnect in their hometown. Although their time apart has created new frictions, they find their reconciliation bringing them closer to each other and to their roots in this gorgeous, knowing debut film.
English, 75 min
A founding member of Chicago’s celebrated Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Joan Allen has been dazzling audiences on both stage and screen throughout her remarkable career. She has shone equally in art house dramas such as Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm and Gary Ross’s Pleasantville as well as in blockbusters like the Bourne series and John Woo’s Face/Off. Her accolades include a Tony for her performance in Burn This and an Obie for her role in The Marriage of Bette & Boo as well as three Oscar® nominations for her unforgettable portrayal of Pat Nixon in Oliver Stone’s Nixon, her role as Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, and her stunning performance of wily vice presidential candidate Laine Hansen in The Contender. Join us for a discussion of her craft, her career and her Illinois roots.6:00 pm Red carpet arrival6:30 pm Tribute and presentation of the Career Achievement Award8:30 pm Reception PUBLIC Chicago (1301 N. State Pkwy)
A wolf in sheep’s clothing thinks he is a sheep … True character is revealed in this truthful portrait of the fading echoes of a relationship.Part of: Shorts 7: Chaos Theory
English, 13 min
Canada / USA
An audacious sci-fi thriller, Antiviral tells the gripping story of Syd March, an employee at a clinic catering to celebrity fetishists by selling them diseases extracted from their heroes’ bodies. Syd, who smuggles them onto the black market through his own body, infects himself with the mysterious virus that killed superstar Hannah Geist. Chased on all sides by those who want the disease, Syd realizes he must uncover an antidote before he succumbs.
English, 110 min
In the late 1970s, when a mentally handicapped teenager is abandoned, a gay couple - a drag performer (Alan Cumming) and a closeted attorney (Garret Dillahunt) - takes him in and becomes the family he’s never had. But, once the unconventional living arrangement is discovered by authorities, the men must fight a biased legal system to adopt the child they have come to care for as their own in this gripping testament to love and family.
English, 97 min
Northern Ireland / USA
Out of the heart of a violently divided region rose a unique form of expression that has given voice to two groups of people on opposing sides of a centuries-old conflict. Narrated by Vince Vaughn, this eye-opening documentary examines how the street art of murals tells the story of Northern Ireland’s history and the violent Troubles through interviews with muralists, political figures, art historians, and people who live and work in the region.
English, 73 min
The aftermath of the American financial crisis is perfectly distilled in Janesville, WI, where the shutdown of a GM plant suddenly leaves thousands of workers without jobs. Following both laid-off employees struggling to make ends meet and local business owners trying to lure investment back to town in alliance with Governor Scott Walker, As Goes Janesville gives refreshing insight into the very real effects of the recession that are so often diluted as rhetorical abstractions.
English, 88 min
Feisty 11 year old Astrid rebels against her mother and spends the afternoon in town with her friends. But when evening comes she has a little problem she needs to deal with.Part of: Shorts 7: Chaos Theory
Swedish with subtitles, 15 min