2018 Best of the Fest Archive



Thirteen-year-old Ava’s summer vacation gains a new urgency when she learns she is rapidly going blind. In the face of creeping darkness, she squeezes in all the life she can, rebelling against her mother, stealing a dog, and becoming romantically entangled with a mysterious beach rat, sending her on an unpredictable journey of... Read More

Running Time: 105

Ayla - The Daughter of War

This polished exploration of family, sacrifice, and love tells the heartwarming true story of a young Turkish soldier who takes in a stranded five-year-old discovered on the battlefields of the Korean War. Read More

Running Time: 124

Borg vs. McEnroe

Authoritatively claiming a place in the sports film canon, Borg vs. McEnroe grippingly explores the characters of the two legendary athletes on opposite sides of the net—and the personality spectrum—for one of the greatest tennis matches of all time. Read More

Running Time: 100

Brimstone & Glory

Equal parts awe-inspiring and anxiety inducing, Brimstone & Glory’s chronicle of an annual fireworks extravaganza in Tultepec, Mexico, is a visual, jaw-dropping spectacle like no other documentary before it. Read More

Running Time: 67

The Charmer

A searing and topical exploration of the immigrant experience shot through with elements of psychological thriller and erotic drama, Milad Alami’s striking feature debut follows an Iranian man’s increasingly desperate attempts to secure citizenship by seducing a string of Danish women. Read More

Running Time: 100

The China Hustle

This riveting documentary, as scary in its implications as any horror movie, elucidates how “reverse mergers” turn defunct American businesses into proxies for Chinese firms. The investors are chasing big returns, but this augury of another financial meltdown reveals neither the companies nor their pie-in-the-sky promises are... Read More

Running Time: 84


Eleven-year-old Tomo, abandoned once again by her negligent mother, seeks refuge at the home of her adored uncle. But Uncle has a new and very tall girlfriend. The first Japanese movie to deal with transgender issues, this astutely observed crowd-pleaser explores a complex situation with humor and poignancy. Read More

Running Time: 127


A powerful, musically-driven historical drama following legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt’s escape from German-occupied France, and the inspiration this unlikely resistance hero gave to those without a voice. Read More

Running Time: 115

The Divine Order

In this feel-good drama set in 1971, housewife and mother Nora campaigns for women’s suffrage in her Alpine village. Although patriarchal constraints try to stifle the siren call of sexual liberation, Nora won’t give up on emancipation. Winner: Best Feature, Best Actress, Tribeca Read More

Running Time: 96


Congolese singer Véro Tshanda Beya is unforgettable as the eponymous single-mother and nightclub-singer at the heart of Alain Gomis’s vibrant portrait of Kinshasa’s mean streets. An immersion in the city’s sights and sounds, this indelible journey is bursting at the seams with energy.Winner: Grand Prize (Silver Bear), Berlin. Read More

Running Time: 123

Finding Your Feet

When snooty "Lady" Sandra Abbott discovers that her husband of 40 years has been having an affair, she packs her designer bags and flees to the shabby council flat of her estranged older sister. A sterling British cast give their all in this heartwarming romantic comedy. Read More

Running Time: 111

First They Killed My Father

As visually rich as it is emotionally and intellectually satisfying, Angelina Jolie’s dramatic film adaptation of Loung Ung’s memoir gives us the murderous Khmer Rouge regime in 1970s Cambodia as seen through the eyes of a five-year-old girl (the riveting Sreymoch Sareum). Read More

Running Time: 136

Her Love Boils Bathwater

In this gentle, emotionally charged film, a strict but caring mother with terminal cancer executes a plan to help her loved ones carry on after she is gone. With riveting performances and a buoyant sense of humor this Oscar® submission from Japan reminds us of the power of family. Read More

Running Time: 125

The Insult

What should have been a trivial altercation, quickly settled and forgotten, instead propels two men (one a local Christian, the other a Palestinian refugee) to the center of a very public scandal in Lebanon, reopening historical and political wounds on both sides. Read More

Running Time: 113


From Shubert to Strauss, Bach to… Billy Joel, Itzhak Perlman’s transcendent violin playing evokes the depth of the human experience. This enchanting documentary details the virtuoso’s own struggles as a polio survivor and Jewish émigré, and reminds us why art is vital to life. Read More

Running Time: 80


A fascinating portrait of groundbreaking conservationist Jane Goodall, Jane grew from the discovery of over 100 hours of film in the National Geographic archives, shot by Goodall’s first husband more than 50 years ago. Set to a moving score by Philip Glass, this firsthand account of life with chimpanzees is narrated by Goodall... Read More

Running Time: 90

Just to Be Sure

Middle-aged Erwin’s search for his biological father brings much more than he bargained for in Just to Be Sure. A delightful blend of coincidence and destiny, this comedy explores the virtues and vagaries of DNA in warm, funny and unpredictable ways that leave you rooting for nurture over nature. Read More

Running Time: 100

Killing Jesús

When university student Paula witnesses her social activist father’s assassination, the inept, uncaring police force drives her to seek justice on her own. But when she finds herself immersed in the killer’s poverty-stricken world she discovers that they might both be victims of the same broken system. Read More

Running Time: 100


An unforgettable testament to the power of storytelling, Liyana is a collaborative tale told by a group of Swazi orphan children, guided by anti-apartheid activist and renowned storyteller Gcina Mhlophe, and brought to life through beautiful animation. A heartwarming tale of perseverance and inner strength from the imaginations... Read More

Running Time: 77

Love, Cecil

Cecil Beaton was one of the most influential photographers and designers of the 20th century, a man with an insatiable appetite for beauty. A world-class dandy who was also a great war photographer, Beaton’s remarkable, star-studded life is captured in all its glamour and complexity in this engaging documentary. Read More

Running Time: 98

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2018 Film Festival