Films Programs

Best of the Fest

Full list announced on Sunday, January 18 & screened on Monday, January 19.


American Primitive   

American Primitive
USA, 2009, 93 min.
Alternately funny and heartbreaking, American Primitive tells the story of the havoc that surrounds a teenaged girl's life when she discovers her widowed father is gay. Inspired by true events, the film is set against the backdrop of the changing sexual identity of the '70s.... more



The Baader Meinhof Complex   

The Baader Meinhof Complex
Germany, 2008, 150 min.
This frantically paced epic traces the rise and fall of Germany's notorious Red Army Faction, a group of radicals who wrought mayhem on postwar Germany over the course of nearly three decades.... more



Baby Love   

Baby Love
France, 2008, 93 min.
A lively and frothy portrait of one gay man's quest to become a father against all odds. This romantic dramedy explores the ironic twist of French law in which gay adoptions remain illegal while same-sex unions are readily sanctioned.... more



The Black Balloon   

The Black Balloon
Australia, 2008, 97 min.
Thomas' father puts him in charge of his autistic brother Charlie. With the help of his new girlfriend he thinks he can handle it, but Charlie's unusual antics take them all on a wild emotional journey. The Black Balloon is a story about fitting in, discovering love and accepting your family.... more



Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh   

Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
USA, 2008, 86 min.
Joan Allen narrates this powerful film about the remarkable life of Hannah Senesh — a 23-year-old Hungarian writer living in Palestine in 1944, who volunteered for a doomed mission to try to rescue Jews in Budapest. Revelatory archival footage and moving interviews combine to great effect.... more



Captain Abu Raed   

Captain Abu Raed
Jordan, 2007, 105 min.
An inspiring tale of friendship and heroism, a lonely janitor at Amman's International Airport in Jordan dreams of traveling the world. When a group of neighborhood children see him wearing a discarded captain's hat, they begin regular visits to listen to his enchanting stories.... more



Creative Nature   

Creative Nature
USA, 2008, 83 min.
William Morris' fantastical glass creations have secured him a reputation in the field second only to his mentor Dale Chihuly. This engaging portrait of the man and his work shows Morris' love of craftsmanship and history, and his extraordinary engagement with the natural world.... more



Departures   

Departures
Japan, 2008, 131 min.
A failed cellist connects with his inner undertaker, his rural hometown and his newly deceased father in this tonally eccentric, lushly scored, movingly funny drama. Crushed at the breakup of his Tokyo orchestra, Daigo retreats to his picturesque northern Japan hometown, with adoring wife in tow.... more



The English Surgeon   

The English Surgeon
United Kingdom, 2007, 93 min.
A life-affirming, unforgettable portrait of London brain surgeon Henry Marsh and his humanitarian work in the Ukraine, this extraordinary documentary delivers hugely emotive subject matter with nimble delicacy and steely reserve.... more



Everlasting Moments   

Everlasting Moments
Sweden, 2008, 125 min.
Veteran Swedish director Jan Troell (best known for The Emigrants, his classic from 1971) returns with this elegant, perfectly realized period family drama starring the luminous Maria Heiskanen as Maria Larsson, a pioneer of Swedish photography at the turn of the 20th century.... more



Herb and Dorothy   

Herb and Dorothy
USA, 2008, 91 min.
Herb and Dorothy Vogel, he a postal clerk and she a librarian, through tenacity and a love for beauty, went on to collect more than 4,000 pieces of minimalist and conceptual art. Their stories make Megumi Sasaki's film endlessly fascinating.... more



Hooked   

Hooked
Romania, 2008, 84 min.
A day in the country becomes a crisis of conscience for two lovers after they hit a prostitute with their car. Presumed dead, she suddenly wakes up, and the couple lies to her about the accident. .... more



Like Dandelion Dust   

Like Dandelion Dust
USA, 2009, 100 min.
Wendy Porter gave up her newborn for adoption six years ago when her husband Rip went away to prison. Now Rip's free, and he's using a legal loophole to pluck his son from his upper-crust adoptive parents.... more



The Little Traitor   

The Little Traitor
Israel, 2007, 88 min.
After precocious 11-year-old Israeli Proffy Liebowitz (Ido Port) is captured while violating curfew, he forms an improbable friendship with British officer Sergeant Dunlop (Alfred Molina), setting the stage for this touching tale of trust and betrayal.... more



Marcello Marcello   

Marcello Marcello
Switzerland, 2008, 97 min.
Denis Rabaglia's heartwarming romantic comedy, set on the Italian island of Amatrello in 1956, follows the fortunes of young Marcello, who, in order to win the heart of the lovely Elena (the mayor's daughter, no less) must follow a gift-giving tradition.... more



Moscow, Belgium   

Moscow, Belgium
Belgium, 2008, 102 min.
The story of an unlikely romance that develops between Matty, a mother of three, and Johnny, a younger truck driver. In a variation of "meeting cute," Matty's car hits Johnny's truck in a suburban supermarket parking lot and the cops have to break up their ensuing fight.... more



The Necessities of Life   

The Necessities of Life
Canada, 2008, 103 min.
In the 1950s, Tivii, an Inuit hunter and family man from Baffin Island, is yanked from his isolated home terrain and installed in a Quebec City tuberculosis sanitarium. There he takes a fatherly interest in an afflicted native orphan.... more



Patrik, Age 1.5   

Patrik, Age 1.5
Sweden, 2008, 100 min.
A bureaucratic blunder — in this case a misplaced punctuation mark — means that gay couple Göran and Sven's newly adopted 15-month-old cherub turns out to be a homophobic 15-year-old boy with a dubious past.... more



Pray the Devil Back to Hell   

Pray the Devil Back to Hell
USA, 2008, 86 min.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the moving account of the women of Liberia who, after decades of watching their families slaughtered by bloodthirsty warlords, banded together for peace. Gini Reticker's stunning film serves as a testament to humanity's best in the face of humanity's worst.... more



Prodigal Sons   

Prodigal Sons
USA, 2008, 86 min.
Kimberly Reed returns home to a small town in Montana for her high school reunion, hoping for reconciliation with her long-estranged adopted brother. But along the way Prodigal Sons uncovers stunning revelations.... more



Rain   

Rain
Bahamas, The, 2008, 93 min.
Teenager Rain (Renel Naomi Brown) embarks on a quest to find her mother, whom she has never met, and is devastated by what she finds. Director Maria Govan's powerful debut feature exposes viewers to a side of life in the Bahamas rarely seen by outsiders.... more



Revanche   

Revanche
Austria, 2008, 121 min.
Two couples — one from the city, the other from the countryside — are bound together by fate in this taut thriller. Elegantly spinning primal elements of guilt, revenge, faith, and redemption, Revanche asks the question, "Whose fault is it if life doesn't go your way?"... more



Stone of Destiny   

Stone of Destiny
Canada, 2008, 96 min.
Charles Martin Smith brings a fine wit and charm to spare to this tale, based in truth. The Coronation Stone—the “stone of destiny”—was used in Scotland for centuries to crown the heads of the land. Then the English stole it. In 1950, four Scottish students hatch a plan to steal it back.... more



Tear This Heart Out   

Tear This Heart Out
Mexico, 2008, 110 min.
Mexico, 1932. Andrés — a dashing, ruthlessly domineering general with designs on Mexico's presidency — takes beautiful, naive 15-year-old Catalina, as his bride. This sensual, sweeping epic traces Catalina's growth as a woman through 15 tumultuous years.... more



Three Monkeys   

Three Monkeys
Turkey, 2008, 109 min.
Bad faith, simmering resentment, adultery and murder all figure into Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan's darkly burnished fifth feature, in which his distinct visual style melds with a thriller plot. Best Director, Cannes Film Festival.... more



Trip to Asia: The Quest for Harmony   

Trip to Asia: The Quest for Harmony
Germany, 2008, 108 min.
A must for any classical music fan, this gripping documentary features the world famous Berlin Philharmonic and its charismatic conductor Sir Simon Rattle. Shot during a tour to Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo, it offers intimate access to the private world of the 126 skilled musicians.... more



Valentino: The Last Emperor   

Valentino: The Last Emperor
USA, 2008, 96 min.
Valentino has built his career making women look beautiful while forging a global brand out of the refined art of haute couture. This cheeky and affectionate documentary also charts the mutual dependency and tensions in Valentino's 45-year association with Giancarlo Giammetti.... more



Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman   

Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman
USA, 2008, 84 min.
IIn his eight-decade career, California-based Julius Shulman became the world's preeminent architecture photographer and the man who defined the way we view modernism. This visually inventive documentary revisits some of the landmark houses.... more



We Can Do That   

We Can Do That
Italy, 2008, 111 min.
A group of mentally disabled people become specialists in "mosaic parquet," thanks to Nello, a stubborn and passionate guy who believes they need help and understanding, not only pills and isolation. A soulful, funny and moving modern fairy tale.... more



The Young Romantic: A Portrait of Yundi Li   

The Young Romantic: A Portrait of Yundi Li
Canada, 2008, 88 min.
At age 25, classical piano virtuoso Yundi Li has already accomplished what most musicians can only dream of. Sweete's poetic documentary trails the intense, charismatic artist as he prepares for a monumental concert with the Berlin Philharmonic.... more





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