Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Announces “Shakespeare 400 Chicago,” The Largest Global Celebration Of Playwright’s 400-Year Legacy In 2016

Celebration Will Engage Top Chicago Cultural Institutions in Yearlong International Festivalslide4

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was joined by Chicago Shakespeare Theater Artistic Director Barbara Gaines, Executive Director Criss Henderson, and leaders of the City’s cultural institutions today to announce Shakespeare 400 Chicago, a yearlong international arts festival in 2016 celebrating the vibrancy, relevance and reach of Shakespeare. As the world commemorates the four hundred years since Shakespeare’s death in 1616, Shakespeare 400 Chicago brings together the city’s resident world-class institutions across disciplines, and welcomes leading artists from around the globe to make Chicago their stage. Anticipated to be the world’s largest and most comprehensive celebration of Shakespeare’s enduring legacy, Shakespeare 400 Chicago is making “no small plans.”Shakespeare 400 Chicago logo

Chicago will take center stage in 2016, as more than 1,000 local and international artists will create a global celebration of Shakespeare like no other in the world,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “During this landmark year, Shakespeare will be alive on our stages, in our schools and across our neighborhoods. The power of our world-class cultural institutions uniting behind one theme serves to amplify Chicago’s role as a global destination for cultural tourism.”

Spearheaded by the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, this yearlong Quadricentennial festival will engage more than 500,000 Chicagoans and visitors to the City through 850 events exploring how Shakespeare’s words continue to live in Chicago and throughout the world’s great theater, dance, literature, music, cuisine and spectacle.

 Shanghai Peking Opera’s The Revenge of Prince Zi Dan based on Hamlet, featured at the Harris Theater of Music and Dance as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago in 2016. Photo by EFE/Leopoldo Smith Murillo.

Shanghai Peking Opera’s The Revenge of Prince Zi Dan based on Hamlet, featured at the Harris Theater of Music and Dance as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago in 2016. Photo by EFE/Leopoldo Smith Murillo.

With leading support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, a diverse array of work across artistic disciplines will highlight Shakespeare’s timeless inspiration of playwrights, painters and poets, composers and choreographers. Among the more than 60 Chicago institutions joining Chicago Shakespeare in offering performances, events and exhibitions are: the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago Mariachi Project, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Libraries, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Illinois Humanities, Joffrey Ballet, Logan Center for the Arts, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Negaunee Music Institute, Newberry Library and WTTW.

Jonathan Pryce as Shylock in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s production of The Merchant of Venice, featured at Chicago Shakespeare Theater as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago in 2016. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

Jonathan Pryce as Shylock in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s production of The Merchant of Venice, featured at Chicago Shakespeare Theater as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago in 2016. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

Highlights from Chicago partners include: Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Charles Gounod‘s soaring Romeo and Juliet; Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Maestro Riccardo Muti culminates his cycle of Verdi‘s Shakespeare operas with Falstaff; Art Institute of Chicago highlights Shakespeare-inspired visual art in a special exhibition; Chicago chefs and restaurateurs, including Rick Bayless, Alpana Singh and Ryan McCaskey, will create a culinary “Complete Works” in restaurants across the city; and Newberry Library’s “Creating Shakespeare” exhibition will bring together treasures from the British Library and the Folger Shakespeare Library alongside the Newberry’s own renowned Shakespeare collection.

 Back from L to R: Jackson Doran (Cassio), GQ (Iago), JQ (Loco Vito) and Postell Pringle (Othello) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Othello: The Remix, featured as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago in 2016. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Back from L to R: Jackson Doran (Cassio), GQ (Iago), JQ (Loco Vito) and Postell Pringle (Othello) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Othello: The Remix, featured as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago in 2016. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Chicago Shakespeare‘s centerpiece of the celebration is Barbara Gaines’ electrifying six-play history cycle, Tug of War, including Edward III, Henry V, Henry VI, Parts 1, 2 and 3, and Richard III. Two action-packed dramas in the spring and fall of 2016 trace the rise and fall of kings—and the uncommon courage of common men.

Belarus Free Theatre’s King Lear, featured at Chicago Shakespeare Theater as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago. Photo by Nicolai Khalezin.

Belarus Free Theatre’s King Lear, featured at Chicago Shakespeare Theater as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago. Photo by Nicolai Khalezin.

 The company of the Company Theatre of Mumbai’s Piya Behrupiya, a Hindi version of Twelfth Night, featured at Chicago Shakespeare Theater as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago. Photo courtesy of Company Theatre.

The company of the Company Theatre of Mumbai’s Piya Behrupiya, a Hindi version of Twelfth Night, featured at Chicago Shakespeare Theater as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago. Photo courtesy of Company Theatre.

Chicago Shakespeare has been honored to serve as a cultural ambassador for our city—importing astonishing work from around the world and exporting our work to leading international festivals,” reflected CST Executive Director Criss Henderson. “Shakespeare 400 Chicago deepens our role as a global theater reflective of our global city—and demonstrates how Shakespeare’s timeless words continue to inspire artists across disciplines and across cultures.”

Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Maestro Riccardo Muti culminates his cycle of Verdi's Shakespeare operas with Falstaff.  featured at Chicago Shakespeare Theater as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Maestro Riccardo Muti culminates his cycle of Verdi’s Shakespeare operas with Falstaff. featured at Chicago Shakespeare Theater as part of Shakespeare 400 Chicago.

International artists participating in Shakespeare 400 Chicago will hail from Australia, Belarus, Belgium, China, Germany, India, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and beyond. International highlights include: Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre‘s The Merchant of Venice, starring Jonathan Pryce at Chicago Shakespeare; Shanghai Peking Opera‘s The Revenge of Prince Zi Dan (based on Hamlet) and the Hamburg Ballet‘s Othello at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance; (In)Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare from Forced Entertainment at the Museum of Contemporary Art; Also, the Cheek by Jowl/Pushkin Theatre of Moscow production of Declan Donnellan‘s Measure for Measure; Belarus Free Theatre‘s King Lear; National Theatre Studio‘s Sancho: An Act of Remembrance, written by and starring Paterson Joseph; The Company Theatre of Mumbai‘s Hindi translation of Twelfth NightPiya Behrupiya; Songs of Lear from Poland’s Song of the Goat; and Filter and the Royal Shakespeare Company‘s music-infused Twelfth Night—all at Chicago Shakespeare. Continue reading

Emerging Filmmaker Alex Ross Perry Celebrated With Museum of Moving Image Early Career Retrospective

Museum of the Moving Image to screen the director’s four features, including his newest, Queen of Earth, with Perry and star Elisabeth Moss in person, August 22–25, 2015

Director, screenwriter and actor Alex Ross Perry has become one of the most accomplished and provocative American independent filmmakers in a very short period of time, with four disparate feature films that reinvent genres, are emotionally transgressive, feature scabrous dark humor, and evoke great cinema of the past while pushing ahead towards new forms. From August 22 through 25, 2015, The Museum of the Moving Image will present all of his features, including a special preview screening of the new film Queen of Earth, with Perry and Moss in person, on August 25. (IFC FILMS WILL RELEASE QUEEN OF EARTH ON AUGUST 26th IN NEW YORK WITH A NATIONAL ROLLOUT TO FOLLOW)unnamed (1)

Perry was raised in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, where he worked on a local television news program during high school. After graduating, he moved to New York City to attend New York University and graduated from its highly-rated film program. in 2006. From 2005 to 2007, Perry worked at the East Village-based video store Kim’s Video, where he met many of the cast and crew members who would later work on his films, including director of photography Sean Price Williams. Perry’s first feature, Impolex, premiered in 2009. Made on a budget of $15,000 and shot on 16mm film stock, the film is an absurdist comedy inspired by Thomas Pynchon‘s novel Gravity’s Rainbow and was released theatrically in 2011.

Perry’s second feature, The Color Wheel, premiered at film festivals in 2011. The film, a dark screwball comedy influenced by the work of Philip Roth, was co-written by Perry with Carlen Altman; the two also played the lead roles in the film. The film was named the best undistributed film of 2011 by the Indiewire and Village Voice polls, and placed 12th in a similar poll conducted by Film Comment. It was released theatrically on May 18, 2012.

Perry’s next film, a comedy titled Listen Up Philip, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Perry recently acted in Bob Byington‘s film 7 Chinese Brothers, which was released in early 2015. In April 2015, Disney Studios hired Perry to write a live-action adaptation of the Winnie the Pooh franchise, while he also optioned Don DeLillo‘s The Names for a feature adaptation.

Alex Ross Perry’s two most recent films feature unforgettable and vivid performances—most notably Elisabeth Moss’s daring portrayal of emotional despair in the astonishing Queen of Earth,” said Chief Curator David Schwartz. The Museum is pleased to offer New Yorkers an opportunity to catch up on an impressive body of work by this unique emerging talent who has incorporated his love of cinema into his own original vision.”

SCHEDULE FOR ‘THE FILMS OF ALEX ROSS PERRY,’ AUGUST 22–25, 2015
Screenings take place in either the Sumner M. Redstone Theater or the Celeste and Armand Bartos Screening Room at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria, New York. Unless otherwise noted, tickets for MOMI screenings are $12 adults ($9 seniors and students / $6 children 3–12) and free for Museum members at the Film Lover level and above. Advance tickets are available online at http://movingimage.us. Ticket purchase includes same-day admission to the Museum’s galleries.


Impolex
SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, 4:30 PM.
Dir. Alex Ross Perry. 2009, 73 mins. 35mm. With
Riley O’Bryan, Kate Lyn Sheil, Bruno Meyrick Jones. In his feature debut, Perry was loosely inspired by Thomas Pynchon’Gravity’s Rainbow. Taking place just after World War II, the film follows the shambling young soldier Tyrone S. as he wanders through the forest looking for German V2 rockets and encounters a number of inexplicably figures, including an eyepatch-wearing Englishman, a garrulous octopus, and the girlfriend he left behind to join the army.

The Color Wheel
SUNDAY, AUGUST 23, 3:00 PM.
Dir. Alex Ross Perry. 2011, 83 mins. 35mm. With
Carlen Altman, Alex Ross Perry. Having recently broken up with her boyfriend and former professor, aspiring TV weathergirl JR calls on her estranged younger brother Colin to help retrieve her possessions at her ex’s apartment. What follows is one of the most uncomfortable road movies ever, as the two equally despicable characters incessantly pick on, undercut, and attack one another. “Perry gives a harsh, sarcastic twist to the intimate rivalry of siblings…. [He] directs these uproarious rapid-fire flareups with exquisite comic timing and incisive comic framing,” wrote Richard Brody in The New Yorker.

Listen Up Philip
SUNDAY, AUGUST 23, 5:30 PM.
Dir. Alex Ross Perry. 2014, 109 mins. With
Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss, Jonathan Pryce. Feeling alienated by the pressures of the New York literary world and the girlfriend who financially supports him, the narcissistic and self-involved author Philip Lewis Friedman seeks refuge in the country home of his equally self-obsessed idol, the older, more established writer Ike Zimmerman. “Words do more than hurt, they also slash and burn in this sharp, dyspeptic, sometimes gaspingly funny exploration of art and life […],” noted Manohla Dargis, Film Critic for The New York Times.


SPECIAL PREVIEW SCREENING
Queen of Earth

TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 7:30 PM.

With Elisabeth Moss and Alex Ross Perry in person
Dir. Alex Ross Perry. 90 mins. With
Elisabeth Moss, Patrick Fugit, Katherine Waterson. Catherine (played in what Variety calls “an utterly fearless central performance by Elisabeth Moss”) has entered a particularly dark period in her life: her father, a famous artist whose affairs she managed, has recently died, and on the heels of his death she’s dumped by her boyfriend James (Kentucker Audley). Looking to recuperate, Catherine heads out to her best friend Virginia’s (Katherine Waterston) lake house for some much needed relaxation. However, fissures between the two women begin to appear, sending Catherine into a downward spiral of delusion and madness. She is overcome with memories of time spent at the same house with James the year before. As Catherine reaches out to Virginia with attempts at connection, Virginia begins spending increasing amounts of time with a local love interest, Rich (Patrick Fugit), and fissures in the relationship between the two women begin to appear, sending Catherine into a downward spiral of delusion and madness. A bracing, eerie look at the deep bonds of friendship and the horrific effects of such bonds being frayed, Queen of Earth is a thrilling examination of a deeply complex relationship between two miserable women. As Scott Foundas points out in his Variety review, ”Perry is working in a style that seems equally influenced by doppelganger narratives like Bergman’s Persona and Brian De Palma’s Sisters. “
Tickets: $25 public/$15 Museum members at the Film Lover level or above/Free for Silver Screen members and above. 

The Museum of the Moving Image‘s (movingimage.us) mission is to advance the understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media. The Museum also host screenings of significant cinematic works; discussion programs featuring actors, directors, craftspeople, and business leaders; and education programs which serve more than 50,000 students each year. The Museum facilities—acclaimed for both its accessibility and bold design—is housed in a building owned by the City of New York and located on the campus of Kaufman Astoria Studios. Its operations are made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Natural Heritage Trust (administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation). The Museum also receives generous support from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals.

HoursWednesdayThursday,10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, 10:30 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Film Screenings: Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays, and as scheduled. Unless otherwise noted, tickets for screenings are $12 ($9 students and seniors / free for Museum members at the Film Lover level and above) will be available for advance purchase online at movingimage.us. Screening tickets include same-day admission to the Museum’s galleries.
Museum Admission: $12.00 for adults; $9.00 for persons over 65 and for students with ID; $6.00 for children ages 3–12. Children under 3 and Museum members are admitted free. Admission to the galleries is free on Fridays, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Location: 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street) in Astoria.
Subway: M (weekdays only) or R to Steinway Street. Q (weekdays only) or N to 36 Avenue.
Program Information: Telephone: 718 777 6888; Website: movingimage.us
Membership
http://movingimage.us/support/membership or 718 777 6877

ERIC BOGOSIAN TO NARRATE ALEX ROSS PERRY’S “LISTEN UP PHILIP” AT 2014 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

ERIC BOGOSIAN has signed on to narrate ALEX ROSS PERRY’SLISTEN UP PHILIP” (” STARRING JASON SCHWARTZMAN, ELISABETH MOSS, JONATHAN PRYCE and KRYSTEN RITTER), which will have its world premiere at the upcoming 2014 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL.

ERIC BOGOSIAN

ERIC BOGOSIAN

Following up his critically acclaimed “THE COLOR WHEEL“, Ross Perry has scripted a complex, intimate and highly idiosyncratic comedy filled with New Yorkers living their lives somewhere between individuality and isolation. Jason Schwartzman leads an impressive cast including Elisabeth Moss, Jonathan Pryce and Krysten Ritter, balancing Perry’s quick-witted dialogue and their characters’ painful, personal truths.  The film switches perspectives as seasons and attitudes change, offering a literary look into the lives of these individuals and the triumph of reality over the human spirit.

“LISTEN UP PHILIP” AT 2014 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

“LISTEN UP PHILIP” AT 2014 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

LISTEN UP PHILIP” was produced by KATIE STERN & JOSHUA Blum from WASHINGTON SQUARE FILMS (the company’s follow-up film to the acclaimed “ALL IS LOST”) and TOBY HALBROOKS, JAMES M. JOHNSTON & DAVID LOWERY from SAILOR BEAR (the team behind last year’s Sundance hit “AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS”).  JOHN SLOSS’ CINETIC MEDIA will be handling the domestic sale of the film.

Ever since I first saw “The Magnificent Ambersons”, I have dreamt of directing a film with a narrator. Throughout the process of making “Listen Up Philip”, probably the question I got asked the most was ‘who is going to narrate it?’ I knew what kind of diction I needed: a New York voice for my New York movie.  Intelligent, cynical, nonjudgmental. Eric Bogosian is that voice and hearing him read the words finally made the film click for me in the way I always imagined it”, said director Alex Ross Perry.

Alex’s movie is bitter, honest and very funny.  I felt right at home in the world he created”, said Eric Bogosian.

Bogosian is best known as a playwright, novelist and actor. He is currently completing a non-fiction book documenting “NEMESIS”, a conspiracy that targeted and assassinated Turkish leaders responsible for the story-sundance-2014-logo-web-2-220492 (1)Armenian genocide. (To be published by Little, Brown in 2015)

He wrote and starred in the play, “TALK RADIO” (NYSF – 1987; Broadway with Liev Schreiber- 2007). For this work he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and the Tony award. For his film adaptation of the play, Bogosian received the BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL “SILVER BEAR.” His six solo performances Off-Broadway between 1980 and 2000, (including “DRINKING IN AMERICA”, “SEX, DRUGS, ROCK & ROLL” and “WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE”) received three Obie awards. In addition to “Talk Radio”, Bogosian has written a number of full-length plays including “subUrbia” (LCT, Second Stage, also adapted to film), “Griller” (Goodman), “Red Angel” (Williamstown Theater Festival), “Humpty Dumpty” (The McCarter), 1+1 (New York Stage and Film).  He is also the author of three novels, “MALL”, “WASTED BEAUTY” and “PERFORATED HEART” and a novella, “NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND.”

As an actor, Bogosian has appeared in numerous films and television programs, starring in Robert Altman’s “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial”, Oliver Stone’s “Talk Radio”, as Travis Dane in “UNDER SIEGE II”, as Eddie Nash in “WONDERLAND” and as Captain Danny Ross in sixty episodes of “LAW & ORDER: CI.” In 2010, he starred on Broadway in “TIME STANDS STILL” with Laura Linney.

In January 2013, Theater Communications Group published the full collection of Bogosian’s monologues, titled “100 (MONOLOGUES).” Bogosian lives in New York with his wife, director Jo Bonney.

Sundance Institute Announces Films in Contention in the U.S. and World Competitions, NEXT Section for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival

30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL WILL FEATURE 118 FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS The Sundance Institute has announced the films selected for the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions and the out-of-competition NEXT <=> (Wave) Section of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, January 16-26 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. pdc_sundance2014logo Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014, the Sundance Film Festival (www.sundance.org/festival) has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Little Miss Sunshine, An Education, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, The Cove, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious, and Napoleon Dynamite, and through its New Frontier initiative, has showcased the cinematic works of media artists including Isaac Julien, Doug Aitken, Pierre Huyghe, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Matthew Barney.

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, the Sundance Institute (www.sundance.org) is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as the ones previously mention and including Sin Nombre, Spring Awakening, Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “We are energized by the rich diversity of voices, characters and places represented in the films selected for our 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Independent filmmakers continue to engage us with stories from worlds both intimately familiar and unknown.”story-sundance-2014-logo-web-2-220492 For the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, 118 feature-length films were selected, representing 37 countries and 54 first-time filmmakers, including 34 in competition. These films were selected from 12,218 submissions (72 more than for 2013), including 4,057 feature-length films and 8,161 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,014 were from the U.S. and 2,043 were international. 97 feature films at the Festival will be world premieres. In addition to those announced, the Festival presents feature-length films in the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, New Frontier, Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections. Those announcements, as well as selections for the Short Film section and new Sundance Kids section of films for younger audiences, are forthcoming.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The films selected for our 2014 Festival show that filmmakers are empowered and emboldened by the 30-year legacy of the independent film movement. The confidence to play with the medium and to surprise audiences indicates the vital role independent film has come to serve in the cultural landscape.”

On Day One, January 16, 2014, the Festival will screen one film from each of the four Competition sections, as well as one shorts program. A selection of films from the 2014 Festival will be among those presented at other Sundance Institute programs throughout the year, including the Sundance London film and music festival, April 25-27 at The O2, and the NEXT WEEKEND summer film festival in Los Angeles.

Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute said, “That the Festival has evolved and grown as it has over the past 30 years is a credit to both our audiences and our artists, who continue to find ways to take risks and open our minds to the power of story. This year’s films and artists promise to do the same.”

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Presenting the world premieres of 16 narrative feature films, the Dramatic Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film.

Camp X-Ray, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Camp X-Ray, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Camp X-Ray / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Peter Sattler) — A young woman is stationed as a guard in Guantanamo Bay, where she forms an unlikely friendship with one of the detainees. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Payman Maadi, Lane Garrison, J.J. Soria, John Carroll Lynch.

Cold in July, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Cold in July, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Cold in July / U.S.A. (Director: Jim Mickle, Screenwriters: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici) — After killing a home intruder, a small town Texas man’s life unravels into a dark underworld of corruption and violence. Cast: Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, Wyatt Russell. Dear White People/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Simien) — Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in postracial America while weaving a story about forging one’s unique path in the world. Cast: Tyler Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon Bell.

Dear White People/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Simien) — Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in postracial America while weaving a story about forging one’s unique path in the world. Cast: Tyler Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon Bell.

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets / U.S.A., Somalia, Kenya (Director: Cutter Hodierne, Screenwriters: Cutter Hodierne, John Hibey, David Burkman) — A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of a struggling, young Somali fisherman. Cast: Abdikani Muktar, Abdi Siad, Abduwhali Faarah, Abdikhadir Hassan, Reda Kateb, Idil Ibrahim.

God's Pocket - Philip Seymour Hoffman and Eddie Marsan (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God’s Pocket – Philip Seymour Hoffman and Eddie Marsan (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God's Pocket - Christina Hendricks (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God’s Pocket – Christina Hendricks (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God's Pocket - Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God’s Pocket – Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God’s Pocket/ U.S.A. (Director: John Slattery, Screenwriters: John Slattery, Alex Metcalf) — When Mickey’s stepson Leon is killed in a construction “accident,” Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body. But when the boy’s mother demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck between a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please, and a debt he can’t pay. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro. Continue reading