2016 Narrative Features
In a commanding performance, Taryn Manning (Orange Is The New Black) plays Gloria, an Evanston mother wrestling with bipolar disorder and an imminent empty nest. Her dedicated daughter Beth (Madison Davenport) has a bright future ahead, but must decide if she will stay near home to care for her unpredictable mom or follow her own path.
Director: Valerie Weiss
Writer: Moira McMahon Leeper
Producer(s): Jeffrey Loeb & Robert Johnson
Cast: Taryn Manning, Madison Davenport, Maddie Hasson, Kurt Fuller, Carter Jenkins, Kali Hawk, Nora Dunn
Closing Night Film, presented by Kaye Ferry
An attraction forms when a Chinese American girl visiting Hong Kong for the first time meets an American expat who shows her the way, but timing may not quite be on their side. A walk and talk romance set in the beautiful city of Hong Kong, the film asks the question - what happens when you meet the right person at the wrong time?
Director: Emily Ting
Writer: Emily Ting
Cast: Jamie Chung, Bryan Greenberg, Richard Ng
Writer and Adderall enthusiast Stephen Elliott reaches a low point when his estranged father resurfaces, claiming that Stephen has fabricated much of the dark childhood that that fuels his writing. Adrift in the precarious gray area of memory, Stephen is led by three sources of inspiration: a new romance, the best friend who shares his history, and a murder trial that reminds him more than a little of his own story. Nominated for Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Director: Pamela Romanowsky
Writer: Pamela Romanowsky
Cast: Amber Heard, James Franco, Wilmer Valderrama
Part psychological sexual thriller and part classic mystery, Backgammon is about a young man, Lucian, who gets drawn into the web of two slightly older bohemians, with disastrous results.
Director: Francisco Orvañanos
Writers: Francisco Orvañanos, R.B. Russel, Todd Niemi
Producer(s): Francisco Orvañanos, Colin Stanfield, Miguel Boccaloni, Chris Moore
Starring: Brittany Allen, Noah Silver, Alex Beh, Olivia Crocicchia, Christian Alexander
A baby cries. Food is scarce. The hours drag on, painfully. Hope disappears. And the seatbelt light remains on. For 5 hour and 45 minutes, BLAH AIRLINES FLIGHT 101 is hauntingly familiar, shockingly unique, and — somehow — compulsively watchable. The filmmakers boldly put us on the front lines of airborne banality, creating a unforgettable experience that's sure to resonate. Described as "brilliant" and "Warholian" by AdWeek and "genius" by Travel + Leisure magazine, BLAH AIRLINES FLIGHT 101 is a five hour and forty-five minute film that exposes the weird reality of commercial air travel at its worst by documenting an entire San Francisco to Newark flight on “BLAH Airlines.”
Since its launch in 2007, Virgin America has been the antidote to the typical, uninspiring experience of air travel, offering sleek new aircrafts and tech-forward features. So the airline and its agency Eleven teamed up to remind everyone they don't need to fly "blah." After all, if you wouldn’t voluntarily watch an almost six-hour-long film of an upholstered seatback, why would you subject yourself to the same experience on a cross-country flight?
Runtime: 5hr 45m
When a team of hacktivists break into an office building server room, they unknowingly uncover an artificial super intelligence. With the reluctant help of the systems administrators they've taken hostage, they must work together to escape as the AI quickly takes over the building and spreads across the Internet.
Director: James B. Cox
Writer: James B. Cox
Producer(s): Baruch Kaufman, James B. Cox, Blake Robbins
Cast: Adam Shapiro, Blake Robbins, Molly Burnett, Brian Patrick Wade, Andy Allo, Josh Banday, and Amy Aquino
Max (Blayne Weaver) has always been on the wrong side of the law but his sister Isobel (Erin Cahill) always bails him out... Until the day she disappears. Now, with the help of a mysterious stranger (Lyndie Greenwood), Max searches for his sister through the underbelly of a Louisiana town while being pursued by the notorious crime boss known only as "The Man" (Lance Henricksen).
Director: Blayne Weaver
Writer: Blayne Weaver
Producer(s): Mindy Bledsoe, Chris Lyon, Mike Elliott
Cast: Blayne Weaver, Lyndie Greenwood, Erin Cahill, Patrick Day and Lance Henricksen
Christian Baker a well known New York City journalist from The Chronicle gets assigned to a social story about a 12 years old missing African-American girl from Brooklyn. Trying to get the assignment behind him, he quickly and poorly researches the story and goes with the first lead. This brings down a series of deaths and pains. Christian with guilt decides to finally do his work properly and help the family find their little girl revealing the huge gaps of the criminal justice system.
Director: Vlad Feier
Writers: Vlad Feier, Peter Gutter
Producer(s): Vlad Feier, Ana Paula Rivera, Regina Bang
Cast: Johnny Whitworth, Maurice McRae, Afton Williamson, Jeremy Holm, Danny Johnson, Larry Pine, Jared Kemp, Justiin A. Davis, Tibor Feldman, Rupert Simonian
A young African American man, reeling from the tragic loss of his wife, travels to rural Maine to seek answers from his estranged mother-in-law, who is herself confronting guilt and grief over her daughter's death. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Director: Maris Curran
Writer: Maris Curran
Cast: Teyonah Parris, Dianne Wiest, David Oyelowo
Two strangers brush hands on a crowded Chicago El train and move in together a week later without having exchanged a word. Together, they fabricate the history of their romance as they go along. When reality intrudes, they must decide if their love is true, or just a fantasy.
Director: Benjamin Meyer
Writer: Benjamin Meyer
Producer(s): Dana Scott, Beth Schacter
Cast: Mary Cross, Michael Szeles
A traditional Turkish woman tries to find love and is forced by her family members to get married.
Director: Kivanc Baruonu
Writers: Kivanc Baruonu, Sebnem Burcuoglu
Producer(s): Necati Akpinar
Based on an inspiring true story, Little Big Master chronicles the struggles of the lowest-paid headmistress in Hong Kong history who put her life plans on hold to save a kindergarten from closing. Nominated for 6 Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress.
Director: Adrian Kwan
Writer(s): Hannah Cheung, Adrian Kwan
Cast: Miriam Chin Wah Yeung, Louis Koo
In an alternate present, Paolo's job is to anonymously counsel the employees of his company. He's the best in what he does, but an employee's suicide attempt might call into question his life as he knows it.
Director: Alessio Lauria
Writers: Alessio Lauria, Manuela Pinetti
Producer(s): Marcantonio Borghese, Taku Komaya, Kasumi Usui
Cast: Michele Alhaique, Valeria Bilello, Riccardo De Filippis, Claudio Gioè, Caterina E. Capodilista, Ettore Nicoletti
In an ancient world where monsters rule the land while humans keep to their own kingdom, a baby monster, Wuba, is born to a human father and monster queen. When mortals and creatures alike set out to capture the newborn, Wuba's adventure begins.
Director: Raman Hui
Writer: Alan Yuen
Cast: Baihe Bai, Boran Jing, Wu Jian
MORRIS FROM AMERICA centers around 13-year-old Morris, an African American boy who has just relocated with his single father to Heidelberg, Germany. Winner of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for individual performance for Craig Robinson, and winner of Sundance's Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award.
Director: Chad Hartigan
Writer: Chad Hartigan
Cast: Markees Christmas, Craig Robinson, Carla Juri
Opening Night Film, presented by Samuel H. & LuLeta Maslak
A musical set mainly in a corporate high-rise. Two assistants, Lee Xiang and Kat, start new jobs at the financial firm Jones & Sunn. Lee Xiang is an earnest young man who naively enters the world of high finance with noble intentions. Kat on the other hand has a secret.
Director: Johnnie To
Writer: Sylvia Chang
Cast: Yun-Fat Chow, Sylvia Chang, Eason Chan
Eugene, a young man with Down syndrome, embarks on a life-altering journey to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Director: Kire Paputts
Writer: Kire Paputts
Producer(s): Kire Paputts
Cast: Dylan Harman, Krystal Nausbaum, Julian Richings, Nicholas Campbell
Small moments can change our entire path in life. Travel in and out of the lives of a number of vastly different people as each one connects to the next during their most pivotal moments.
Director: Michael Howard
Writer: Michael Howard
Producer(s): Pamela Smith, Ashley Patino, Michael Howard
Cast: Blayne Weaver, Tate Hanyok, Sarah Bousquet, Tracey Coppedge, and Tim Ross
Hoping to reclaim who she was before marriage and children, an empty nester retreats to Cape Cod where she embarks upon a quest to set herself free.
Director: Alexander Janko
Writer: Alexander Janko
Producer(s): Laura Goodenow, Bill Latka, Dale Armin Johnson & Alexander Janko
Cast: Karen Allen, Yannick Bisson, S. Epatha Merkerson, Michael Cristofer & Celia Imrie with Alvin Epstein