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.
Lisbeth and Angelique Raeven are twin sisters who comprise the somewhat notorious video and performance duo L.A. Raeven. Their complex and strained relationship unfolds in front of Lisa Boerstra’s intimate camera while they work and live through the creation of two new performance pieces. Inter-cutting scenes from earlier work and home videos from their childhood, viewers are privy to the daily routines and conversations at the home and studio they share.
Dutch with subtitles, 74 min
France / Germany
To the citizens of Prypiat, April 26, 1986 began just like any other day. Anya (Olga Kurylenko, Quantum of Solace) and Piotr celebrate their marriage while young Valery spends time with his physicist father, oblivious to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that is irrevocably changing their lives. What follows is a lyrical, pathos-filled portrait of the next ten years of those powerless to separate themselves from the town and its defining tragedy.
French, Russian, Ukranian with subtitles, 107 min
The Chicago International Film Festival is honored to celebrate the latest creation from two giant Chicago institutions: Dennis Farina and the Steppenwolf Theater Company. Farina (Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Law and Order) gives the finest performance of his career as an aging hustler whose way of life is at a crossroads in this film shot in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. Written and directed by Festival veteran Joe Maggio and featuring members of the Steppenwolf ensemble, The Last Rites of Joe May is a prime example of the vitality of Chicago filmmaking.
Humanity and dead-pan wit triumph in Aki Kauriskmäki’s magical tale of an aging Bohemian shoeshine and a young African refugee. When fate lands Idrissa at Marcel Marx’s doorstep in the French port city of Le Havre, Marcel knows what has to be done. Enlisting the help of the whole neighbourhood of eccentrics and in defiance of all authority, he embarks on a risky plan to reconnect the boy with his mother.
French with subtitles, 93 min
Léa, a young student from the provinces, dreams of attending the prestigious Paris Institute of Political Sciences and being fully independent. The sole caretaker of her resentful, Alzheimer’s-suffering grandmother, Léa becomes a stripper in order to afford her university studies and her grandmother’s nursing home. When things start to spiral out of control, Léa discovers that easy answers can come at a hefty price.
Sheldon Larry's delightfully cheeky musical about the glamourous world of voguing follows the journey of one young gay African American as he finds his place in the world. After being thrown out of the house by his homophobic mother, Brad stumbles into L.A.'s competitive underground drag ball scene where he discovers a brave new world of friendship, love, and acceptance. Featuring original songs by Beyonce's creative director Kim Burse and dynamic choreography by Frank Gatson, Jr.
A love story is both a physical and emotional tale - one that can be deeply personal and heartbreaking for an audience to experience. When a British college student (Felicity Jones) falls for her American classmate, (Anton Yelchin), they embark on a passionate and life-changing journey to be separated when she violates the terms of her visa. Like Crazy explores how a couple faces the real challenges of being together and of being apart.
A group of friends get much more than they bargained for when a weekend of extreme mountain climbing turns into a terrifying ordeal. This tension-filled thriller makes the most of its setting in the stunning but treacherous landscape of the Scottish Highlands with immersive camerawork, an atmospheric Celtic soundtrack, and imagery straight out of The Wicker Man. Featuring a chilling standout performance from Sean Harris (24 Hour Party People, The Red Riding Trilogy).
Hong Kong cult filmmaker Scud pushes as many buttons as possible with these six tales about love, sex and decadence. Opening with a scandalously shocking wedding, Love Actually…Sucks! continues its exploration of the dark side of romance with tales about an incestuous relationship, a painter who falls for his male model, a fitness trainer in search of young flesh, a lesbian couple with issues, a deadly love triangle and a love story between a dance teacher and his older student. Mature audiences only.
Cantonese with subtitles, 82 min
Malin Korkeasalo and Maria Ramström
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.
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
In a small Romanian town, a group of 20-something guys known as “loverboys” woo young women into loving them before selling them into prostitution. One of the men, Luca, has never had any qualms with his profession until he meets Veli, a young farm girl. As their relationship deepens, Luca begins to question the path he is making and the path he has chosen for the future.
Romanian with subtitles, 94 min