Edited by Gregg Morris, May 12, 2016
The Greenwich International Film Festival today announced its Opening Night Films and Closing Night Films in addition to its full film slate, and special programs for its second edition, June 9-12.
The festival previously announced its Centerpiece Film Program, including THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING, MY BLIND BROTHER, and NEWTOWN as well as this year’s Changemaker Honorees, Trudie Styler and Abigail Breslin.
GIFF will kick off on June 9th with Opening Night screenings of LITTLE BOXES and the Connecticut Premiere of THE ANTHROPOLOGIST. LITTLE BOXES follows Clark, the new-in-town biracial kid in a sea of white. Discovering that to be cool he needs to act ‘more black,’ he fumbles to meet expectations, while his urban intellectual parents Mack and Gina also strive to adjust to small-town living. The Opening Night Documentary Feature, THE ANTHROPOLOGIST explores indigenous communities that are hit hardest by climate change.
On Sunday, June 12th the festival will close with screenings of CLAIRE IN MOTION and SINCE: THE BOMBING OF PAN AM FLIGHT 103. CLAIRE IN MOTION follows Claire, whose husband has mysteriously disappeared. On her journey to find him, she meets an alluring and manipulative graduate student and uncovers a world of secrets that threaten to shatter her family. In 1988 the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killed over 200 innocent people; the Documentary Feature SINCE: THE BOMBING OF PAN AM FLIGHT 103 explores the victims’ relatives and their fight for justice.
“We are truly delighted by how quickly GIFF has grown over the last year,” said Colleen deVeer, Founder and Director of Programming. “We wanted our festival to reflect the diverse interests of our community, and we are impressed by the team’s success in exceeding our expectations to achieve this goal.”
The Festival’s Narrative Features include the Connecticut Premieres of LONELY BOYS and MY KING (MON ROI). Additional Narrative Features include COMPLETE UNKNOWN, THE DUEL, EQUALS, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, THE INNOCENTS, INTO THE FOREST, THE JUNGLE BOOK, LITTLE MEN, SPA NIGHT and TEENAGE COCKTAIL.
Documentary Features include the Connecticut Premieres of AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY and LEARNING TO SEE, as well as the East Coast Premieres of HIT IT HARD and TONY ROBBINS: I AM NOT YOUR GURU. Additional Documentary Features include AFTER SPRING, THE BAD KIDS, GERMANS AND JEWS, HARRY BENSON: SHOOT FIRST, HOOLIGAN SPARROW, LIFE, ANIMATED, THE NATURE OF THE BEAST, ROBERT KLEIN STILL CAN’T STOP HIS LEG, SONITA, TICKLED, UNCLE HOWARD, and UNSEEN.
The Shorts program will include Narrative Shorts BEFORE THE BOMB, DON’T WATCH ME DANCING, HUX, THE MULBERRY BUSH, MUSCLE, PONY, SOLITARY, SUPER SEX, and WIFEY REDUX. The program will also include Documentary Shorts ANOTHER KIND OF GIRL, FERGUSON 365, THE LAST MILE, OSPREY: MARINE SENTINEL, PUPS and the Connecticut Premiere of BACON AND GOD’S WRATH.
The Festival is proud to present a retrospective on documentary filmmaker, Ondi Timoner on Friday, June 10th at the Cole Auditorium at Greenwich Library. Ondi has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival twice, her latest work includes BRAND: A SECOND COMING which follows Russell Brand’s transformation from addict, self-proclaimed narcissist and hollywood star living in the fast-lane to his ‘second coming’ as a political disruptor & newfound hero to the underserved.
The Retrospective will include a screening of Ondi’s 1994 film, THE NATURE OF THE BEAST, about Bonnie Foreshaw, the woman who served the longest prison sentence in Connecticut. The film will be preceded by THE LAST MILE, Ondi’s short film about an incubator inside San Quentin prison that works to turn hard criminals into entrepreneurs. The retrospective will be followed by a conversation with Ondi about the justice and prison systems, with a focus on Connecticut.
GIFF is expanding into Stamford, Connecticut, by partnering with the Avon Theatre Film Center for a Special Screening of ROBERT KLEIN STILL CAN’T STOP HIS LEG. The screening, being held June 10th, will be followed by a Q&A with Director, Marshall Fine and Actor/Comedian Robert Klein. Additionally, GIFF will host a Jewish Film Series on Thursday, June 9th, featuring The World Premiere of GERMANS & JEWS, the East Coast Premiere of MOON IN THE 12TH HOUSE, the Connecticut Premiere of NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU, and THE TENTH MAN (EL REY DEL ONCE).
This year’s Opening Night Party, following screenings of CLAIRE IN MOTION and THE ANTHROPOLOGIST, will take place Thursday, June 9th at the Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, CT. The star-studded party will include live musical entertainment by John Popper (Blues Travelers) who will perform a concert to help celebrate the festival’s human rights focus. Dar Williams, whose music is featured in GIFF’s Opening Night Documentary Feature THE ANTHROPOLOGIST, will also perform. GIFF’S Opening Night Party is sponsored by Betteridge.
The Opening Night Party will also feature the festival awards presentation. As part of the ceremony, Kristin Davis will present the award for Best Social Impact Film. Other awards will include Best Narrative & Documentary Features and Shorts.
FULL LIST OF AWARDS AND PRIZES:
– Best Social Impact Film – $10,000 Bresnan Award, Artist In Residence Prize from Jacob Burns Film Center
– Best Narrative Feature – $10,000
– Best Narrative Short – $2,500
– Best Documentary Feature – $10,000
– Best Documentary Short – $2,500
Tickets went on sale May 12th at 9:00AM and will be available for purchase at greenwichfilm.org or at our Box Office, designed by Lillian August, located at 19 West Elm Avenue, Greenwich CT.
The Greenwich international Film Festival would like to thank its 2016 Festival sponsors including: Barton & Gray Mariners Club, Betteridge, The Camuto Group, Coldwell Banker Preview International, Connecticut Department Of Economic and Community Development, Douglas Elliman, Empire City Casino, First Republic Bank, Getty Images, Greenwich Magazine, Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Hollywood Pop Gallery, Hospital For Special Surgery, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Pure Insurance, Stella Artois, Uber, WABC-TV.
The full line-up of the 2nd Greenwich International Film Festival follows.
OPENING NIGHT FILMS
LITTLE BOXES (Narrative Feature)
Director: Rob Meyer
It’s the summer before 6th grade, and Clark is the new-in-town biracial kid in a sea of white. Discovering that to be cool he needs to act ‘more black,’ he fumbles to meet expectations, while his urban intellectual parents Mack and Gina also strive to adjust to small-town living. Equipped for the many inherent challenges of New York, the tight-knit family are ill prepared for the drastically different set of obstacles that their new community presents, and soon find themselves struggling to understand themselves and each other in this new small-town context.
A poignant comedy about understanding identity, LITTLE BOXES features a robust cast including Melanie Lynskey, Nelsan Ellis, Armani Jackson, Oona Laurence, Janeane Garofalo and Christine Taylor.
THE ANTHROPOLOGIST (Documentary Feature)
Directors: Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, Jeremy Newberger
The Anthropologist opens a window into the indigenous communities hardest hit by climate change told through the eyes of a cultural anthropologist and her teenage daughter.
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING
Director: Rob Burnett
Having suffered a tragedy, Ben (Paul Rudd) becomes a caregiver to earn money. His first client, Trevor (Craig Roberts), is a hilarious 18-year-old with muscular dystrophy. One paralyzed emotionally, one paralyzed physically, Ben and Trevor form one full person. They hit the road on a trip beginning in the pristine Pacific Northwest, across the Idaho panhandle, through Montana and eventually down to Utah. The folks they collect along the way will help them test their skills for surviving outside their sheltered existence. Together, they come to understand the importance of hope and the necessity of true friendship.
MY BLIND BROTHER
Director: Sophie Goodhart
A relationship comedy, written and directed by Sophie Goodhart, My Blind Brother recently premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. Bill (Nick Kroll) has always lived in the shadow of his brother Robbie (Adam Scott), a handsome athlete and local hero who happens to be blind. Their sibling rivalry reaches a fever pitch when both men fall for the same woman (Jenny Slate).
Director: Kim Snyder
Filmed over the course of nearly three years, the filmmakers use unique access and never before heard testimonies to tell a story of the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting of school children in American history on 12/14/12. Newtown documents a traumatized community fractured by grief and driven toward a sense of purpose. Joining the ranks of a growing club to which no one wants to belong, a cast of characters interconnect to weave an intimate story of community resilience.
CLOSING NIGHT FILMS
CLAIRE IN MOTION (Narrative Feature)
Directors: Annie J. Howell, Lisa Robinson
When Claire’s search for her missing husband leads her to an alluring and manipulative graduate student, she uncovers a world of secrets that threaten to shatter their family.
SINCE: THE BOMBING OF PAN AM FLIGHT 103 (Documentary Feature)
Director: Phil Furey
The 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killed 270 innocent people and ushered the frightful new age of terrorism. Bound together in tragedy, the victims’ relatives fought tooth and nail for justice, only to watch it unravel for Libyan oil.
NARRATIVE FEATURE FILMS
Director: Joshua Marston
When Tom (Michael Shannon) and his wife host a dinner party to celebrate his birthday, one of their guests brings an intriguing date named Alice (Rachel Weisz). Tom is convinced he knows her, but she refuses to acknowledge their past history. When Alice makes a hasty exit, Tom follows her down the rabbit hole and into the night, where they explore the freedom to shed one’s skin in the anonymity of the big city. What ensues is an all-night odyssey with two characters, one needing to make a change in his life, the other questioning how to stop changing.
Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith
THE DUEL stars Liam Hemsworth as a Texas Ranger who investigates a series of murders in a small town led by a charismatic preacher played by Woody Harrelson. However, the routine undercover investigation soon turns personal for the ranger who must solve the case before he loses everything to the mysterious town.
Director: Drake Doremus
In this gripping and emotional sci-fi romance from acclaimed director Drake Doremus (Like Crazy), Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult play Nia and Silas, two people who work together in a futuristic society known as “The Collective.” A seemingly utopian world, “The Collective” has ended crime and violence by genetically eliminating all human emotions. Despite this, Nia and Silas can’t help noticing a growing attraction between them, leading them to a forbidden relationship—at first tentative, but then exploding into a passionate romance. As suspicion begins to mount among their superiors, the couple will be forced to choose between going back to the safety of the lives they have always known, or risk it all to try and pull off a daring escape.
HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE
Director: Taika Waititi
Raised on hip-hop and foster care, defiant city kid Ricky gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving Aunt Bella, the cantankerous Uncle Hec, and dog Tupac. When a tragedy strikes that threatens to ship Ricky to another home, both he and Hec go on the run in the bush. As a national manhunt ensues, the newly branded outlaws must face their options: go out in a blaze of glory or overcome their differences and survive as a family. Equal parts road comedy and rousing adventure story, director Taika Waititi (WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, upcoming THOR: RAGNORAK) masterfully weaves lively humor with emotionally honest performances by Sam Neill and Julian Dennison. A hilarious, touching crowd-pleaser, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE reminds us about the journey that growing up is (at any age) and those who help us along the way.
Director: Anne Fontaine
Poland, 1945. Mathilde, a young French doctor with the Red Cross, is on a mission to help World War II survivors. When a nun seeks for her help, she is brought to a convent where several pregnant sisters are concealed from past barbaries of the Soviet soldiers. Unable to reconcile their faith with their pregnancy, the nuns turn to Mathilde who becomes their only hope.
INTO THE FOREST
Director: Patricia Rozema
Set in the near future, this riveting and suspenseful apocalyptic drama follows two sisters, Nell (Ellen Page) and Eva (Evan Rachel Wood) who live in the Pacific Northwest with their kindly father, Robert. Nell is focused on her studies and Eva is training to be a dancer, but their peaceful lives are disrupted one day by what turns out to be a continent-wide blackout. Whereas at first the family bond together and try to make the most of their difficult circumstances, as time goes on, the challenges become more serious. In the wake of a shocking and violent confrontation that Robert has with a menacing passerby, the sisters must work together in order to survive in their increasingly treacherous new world.
THE JUNGLE BOOK
Director: Jon Favreau
Raised by a family of wolves since birth, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) must leave the only home he’s ever known when the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) unleashes his mighty roar. Guided by a no-nonsense panther (Ben Kingsley) and a free-spirited bear (Bill Murray), the young boy meets an array of jungle animals, including a slithery python and a smooth-talking ape. Along the way, Mowgli learns valuable life lessons as his epic journey of self-discovery leads to fun and adventure.
Director: Ira Sachs
When a couple (Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Ehle) inherit a building in Brooklyn, their child and the son of the Chilean single mom/shopkeeper who leases the first floor of the building, form an unbreakable bond. Trouble is, the shopkeeper is leasing the space for 1/5 its value and the new owners want her out. Little Men is a story about the gentrification of a NYC neighborhood, juxtaposing the new and old inhabitants and highlighting the complicated nature of this transition.
East Coast Premiere
Director: Dan Simon
Following a recent breakup, struggling writer Jules (Dan Simon) crashes with his recently separated best friend, Saul (Gregory Lay), at his apartment in Brooklyn. While Saul wants to drink heavily and lament over his impending divorce, Jules just wants to escape into his latest script. After Saul is fired from his job as a restaurant manager and Jules loses an off-Broadway production of his play, the two embark on a weekend bender through New York City and Connecticut in search of solace and sometimes more pain. When the sun finally rises, neither expects to see the light.
MY KING (MON ROI)
Following a ski accident, Tony (Emmanuelle Bercot, Best Actress, Cannes Film Festival) enters a facility where she lives for several months to rehabilitate her knee. Throughout her stay, the film intercuts between Tony and her husband, Georgio’s (Vincent Cassel, actor,Black Swan), passionate and tempestuous relationship and the upward trajectory of her progress at rehab. Once she gets over the worst of the pain and self-pity, she starts to improve steadily both emotionally and physically. MON ROI is a dramatic story of love and friendship and the healing of a broken marriage.
Director: Andrew Ahn
A closeted Korean-American teenager takes a job at a Korean spa in Los Angeles to help his struggling family, only to discover an underground world that both scares and excites him. Spa Night explores this young man’s desire and disillusionment in the face of the pressure he feels from his family as a first generation immigrant in the U.S.
Director: John Charchietta
Feeling confined by their small town and overbearing parents, ANNIE (Nichole Bloom) and JULES (Fabianne Therese) hatch a scheme to run away to New York City. The only issue is, they need the money to get there. Jules, the riskier of the two, suggests they try webcam modeling. Although she’s nervous at first, Annie can’t argue when the money starts rolling in.
When their secret lives are exposed by Jules’ ex-boyfriend, their intimate photos are shared with the entire school. With only a weekend to go before their parents are informed by the principal, Annie and Jules find themselves with limited options. With a lack of foresight about the consequences for their actions, the girls move forward with a dangerous plan that puts their young lives at risk.
Directors: Steph Ching, Ellen Martinez
As the Syrian conflict enters its sixth year, millions of people continue to be displaced. After Spring is the story of what happens next. By following two refugee families in transition and aid workers fighting to keep the camp running, viewers will experience what it is like to live in Zaatari, the largest camp for Syrian refugees. With no end in sight for the conflict or this refugee crisis, everyone must decide whether or not they can rebuild their lives in a place that was never meant to be permanent.
AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY
Director: Jeff Feuerzeing
New York magazine’s October 2005 issue sent shockwaves through the literary world when it unmasked “it boy” wunderkind JT LeRoy, whose tough prose about his sordid childhood had captivated icons and luminaries internationally. It turned out LeRoy didn’t actually exist. He was dreamed up by 40-year-old San Francisco punk rocker and phone sex operator, Laura Albert. Author: The JT LeRoy Story takes us down the infinitely fascinating rabbit hole of how Laura Albert—like a Cyrano de Bergerac on steroids—breathed not only words, but life, into her avatar for a decade.
THE BAD KIDS
Directors: Keith Fulton, Lou Pepe
On a remote patch of the Mojave Desert sits an anomaly: a high school where educators believe empathy, life skills, and the constancy of a caring adult are the differences that will give at-risk students command of their fates.
HARRY BENSON: SHOOT FIRST
Directors: Justin Bare, Matthew Miele
What we know today about many famous musicians, politicians, and actresses is due to the famous work of photographer Harry Benson. He captured vibrant and intimate photos of the most famous band in history;The Beatles. His extensive portfolio grew to include iconic photos of Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson, and Dr. Martin Luther King. His wide-ranging work has appeared in publications including Life, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Benson, now 86, is still taking photos and has no intentions of stopping.
HIT IT HARD
East Coast Premiere
Directors: David Fine, Gabe Spitzer
With his blonde mullet and moustache, John Daly burst onto the sports scene in the early 90’s and immediately became one of the most polarizing figures in sports. He was an immense talent who saw improbable highs of winning of two major tournaments despite the longest of odds, and lows of suspensions from golf and multiple trips to rehab for alcohol and gambling addictions. Still, he remains one of the most beloved athletes in America, an “everyman” who is followed wherever he goes by a loyal throng of fans. HIT IT HARD is a journey through the early parts of Daly’s tumultuous career, while also following him today to observe how much he has changed 25 years after his glory days.
Director: Nanfu Wang
The danger is palpable as intrepid young filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows maverick activist Ye Haiyan (a.k.a Hooligan Sparrow) and her band of colleagues to Hainan Province in southern China, to protest the case of six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. Marked as enemies of the state, the activists are under constant government surveillance and face interrogation, harassment, and imprisonment.
Sparrow, who gained notoriety with her advocacy work for sex workers’ rights, continues to champion girls’ and women’s rights and arms herself with the power and reach of social media. Filmmaker Wang becomes a target along with Sparrow, as she faces destroyed cameras and intimidation. Yet she bravely and tenaciously keeps shooting, guerrilla-style, with secret recording devices and hidden-camera glasses, and in the process, she exposes a startling number of undercover security agents on the streets. Eventually, through smuggling footage out of the country, Wang is able tell the story of her journey with the extraordinary revolutionary Sparrow, her fellow activists, and their seemingly impossible battle for human rights.
LEARNING TO SEE
Director: Jake Oelman
This film tells the story of photographer Robert Oelman who leaves his psychology career in the early 1990s to pursue photography. He moves from the United States to Colombia and purchases a small farm in the hills. On his journeys through the rain forests of the Amazon Basin he begins to take striking photographic images of undiscovered insects. After more than twenty years of traveling, searching and photographing, his quest culminates with a New York City gallery show. He also learns that these tiny life forms must continue to survive. They are at the bottom of the mammalian food chain and are critically important to all animal species including mankind.
Director: Roger Ross Williams
From Academy Award® winning director Roger Ross Williams, LIFE, ANIMATED is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. This emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence. LIFE, ANIMATED evocatively interweaves classic Disney sequences with verite scenes from Owen’s life in order to explore how his identification and empathy for characters like Simba, Jafar, and Ariel gave him a means to understand his feelings and allowed him to interpret reality.
Beautiful, original animations offer rich insights into Owen’s fruitful dialogue with the Disney oeuvre as he imagines himself heroically facing adversity as a member in a tribe of sidekicks. Owen’s story is a moving testament to the many ways in which stories can serve as a means of persevering through the dark times, leading us all toward the light.
THE NATURE OF THE BEAST
Director: Ondi Timoner
The Nature of the Beast explores the life of Bonnie Jean Foreshaw who, at the age of 38, was found guilty of first degree murder. She had begun carrying a handgun for self-protection after her third husband, whom she had recently divorced, continued stalking and threatening her in the early months of 1986.
This same handgun was the weapon Ms Forshaw used when, in a moment of panic, she accidentally shot and killed a pregnant woman in an attempt to protect herself from a man who was physically assaulting her at a gas station in Hartford, Connecticut. Ms Foreshaw is now serving the longest prison sentence of any woman in Connecticut—45 years—without the possibility of parole.
ROBERT KLEIN STILL CAN’T STOP HIS LEG
Director: Marshall Fine
At the end of the 1960s, three comedians changed stand-up comedy — Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Robert Klein. If you ask Jerry Seinfeld or Jay Leno or Billy Crystal or Jon Stewart which one was the most influential on their comedy, they’ll say it was Klein. Now 74 and still performing, Klein offers a humorous look at his daily life, even as the film draws upon a large archive of past and current performances to examine his varied career, his influences and the way he influenced others.
Director: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Sonita is an 18-year-old female, an undocumented Afghan illegal immigrant living in the poor suburbs of Tehran. She is a feisty, spirited, young woman who fights to live the way she wants, as an artist, singer, and musician in spite of all her obstacles she confronts in Iran and her conservative patriarchal family. In harsh contrast to her goal is the plan of her family –strongly advanced by her mother –to make her a bride and sell her to a new family. The price right now is about US$ 9.000.
Directors: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve
Journalist David Farrier stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn’t stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.
TONY ROBBINS: I AM NOT YOUR GURU
East Coast Premiere
Director: Joe Berlinger
Joe Berlinger’s twelfth feature documentary, captures internationally renowned life and business strategist and best-selling author, Tony Robbins, in a revelatory cinéma vérité film that goes behind the scenes of his mega annual seminar “Date With Destiny,” attended by over 2,500 people, to give an insider look at how one man can affect millions. Granted never before seen access, this film is an emotional tour de force, pulling back the curtain on Tony Robbins and unveiling the inner-workings of this life-altering and controversial event, the zealous participants and the man himself.
Director: Aaron Brookner
Director Howard Brookner died of AIDS in NYC in 1989 while in post-production on his breakthrough Hollywood movie. His body of work has been buried for 30 years in William S. Burroughs’ bunker until his nephew Aaron Brookner unearths his story and the memory of everything he was.
Director: Laura Paglin
In 2009, Cleveland police discovered the dead and decomposing bodies of eleven women inside and around the home of known sex offender Anthony Sowell. Community members and police turned a blind eye to the horrors that were being committed there, attributing the stench that permeated the neighborhood to an old sausage factory. With the help of the surviving victims of this serial killer, this powerful and chilling documentary drama brings to light how little we value the lives of women on the margins of society and why they went “unseen” for so long.
NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS
BEFORE THE BOMB
Director: Tannaz Hazemi
10 year old Elsa takes matters into her own hands when Child Services plans a visit that could separate her from her 5 year old brother.
DON’T WATCH ME DANCING
Director: Evan Michael Deitzler
An Amish girl struggles to hide a secret relationship with a reclusive ex-abortion doctor from her overbearing father.
Director: Charlie Lieberman, Mageina Tovah
Hux, longing to connect, rebels against the lonely isolation of her autism. Braving the confusing, chaotic world of others, her attempts at interaction are repeatedly thwarted – by her powerful aversion to stimuli, and by an epidemic that decimates the population. But when all seems lost, Hux finds one final chance to connect.
THE MULBERRY BUSH
Director: Neil LaBute
On a beautiful fall day in Central Park, two strangers share a bench and strike up a conversation. As the conversation of pleasantries turns personal, it becomes evident that this was no chance encounter. Director and writer, Neil LaBute, exposes one man’s fury over a relationship that will undoubtedly cross a line and turn tragic.
Director: Heidi Marshall
A woman must make the agonizing decision to live for her terminally ill husband or live for herself.
Director: Candice Carella
CLAUDIA, a hardworking single mom, has to go out of town on an important last minute business trip, forcing her to leave her 5 year old daughter MIKO with uncle JEFF, a rock musician in his 50’s who is still running on fumes of his glory days. Spending the weekend looking after a spirited 5 year old, Jeff must suspend his delusions of grandeur and face reality. Miko is the catalyst for him to re-evaluate his life and re-connect with the inspiration that originally led him to music and he is able to gently guide her to a nascent understanding of life’s vicissitudes.
Director: Derek J. Pastuszek
An inmate endures long-term isolation within a prison’s solitary confinement unit.
Director: Matthew Modine
Super Sex tells the story of a pair of siblings (Kevin Nealon and Elizabeth Perkins) trying to figure out what to get their father (Ed Asner) for his 86th birthday. After going through a list of options, the pair opt for a gift their father will never forget…Super Sex! The brother and sister awkwardly negotiate with a street prostitute (Ruby Modine) who agrees to give their 86 year old father a night he’ll never forget.
Director: Robert McKeon
A man becomes maniacally obsessed with chasing off his teenage daughter’s new boyfriend in this dark comedy based on the story by acclaimed Irish author Kevin Barry.
ANOTHER KIND OF GIRL
Director: Khaldiya Jibawi
17-year-old Khaldiya meditates on how the refugee camp she lives in has opened up new horizons and has given her a sense of courage that she lacked in war-torn Syria.
BACON AND GOD’S WRATH
Director: Sol Friedman
A ninety year-old Jewish woman reflects on her life’s experiences as she prepares to try bacon for the first time.
Director: Chris Phillips
Ferguson 365 follows the story of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014 by white police officer, Darren Wilson. Director and Ferguson resident, Chris Phillips, provides an intimate portrait of events that make up this case and critical insight into the policing policies of this city.
THE LAST MILE
Director: Ondi Timoner
The Last Mile tells the story of an incubator at San Quinton prison that teaches inmates the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs upon release.
OSPREY: MARINE SENTINEL
Director: Jacob Steinberg
The first film in over thirty years starring what is arguably the world’s most iconic and significant raptor. Exclusive access, cutting-edge technology, and innovative cinematographic techniques provide a unique perspective and unprecedented intimacy into the dramatic story of a life-long pair, and the intrepid scientists who have spent a lifetime discovering what may be one of the most significant success stories of environmental conservation.
Director: Nuria Aguando Roig
PUPS is the story about the well known Spanish boxer Javier García Roche and his struggles to help three young men to become better persons in life through boxing. It is not a story about epic wins or victories but the story of people who have to overcome some serious difficulties in their lives because of the families they were born into, the poverty and the marginalization.
Directors: Tal Recanati, Janna Quint
Today, Europe’s fastest growing Jewish population is in Berlin. Germany is considered one of the most democratic societies in the world, assuming the position of moral leader of Europe as they embrace hundreds of thousands of refugees. This development couldn’t have been imagined in 1945. Through personal stories Germans & Jews explores Germany’s transformation as a society, from silence about the Holocaust to facing it head on. Unexpectedly, a nuanced story of reconciliation emerges. What began as a private conversation between the two filmmakers and friends, Tal Recanati(Jewish) and Janina Quint(non-Jewish German), grew into a cultural exchange among many and we realize that the two people are inextricably linked through the memory of the Holocaust. Germans and Jews is at once uncomfortable and provocative, unexpected and enlightening.
MOON IN THE 12TH HOUSE
East Coast Premiere
Director: Dorit Hakim
Moon In The 12th House is a film that is built as a puzzle, depicting the innermost realities lived by two sisters, Mira and Lenny. Separated as children due to tragic circumstances, they are young women when they meet again. This renewed encounter leads them on a long-needed journey, in which they will finally mature and overcome their sense of guilt. The strong, hypnotic performances of the actors combined with meticulous .aesthetic images create an intense experience.
NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU
Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
How did a poor Jewish kid from Connecticut bring us Archie Bunker and become one of the most successful television producers ever? Norman Lear brought provocative subjects like war, poverty, and prejudice into 120 million homes every week. He proved that social change was possible through an unlikely prism: laughter.
THE TENTH MAN (EL REY DEL ONCE)
Director: Daniel Burman
Ari, who has built a successful career in New York, thinks he has left his past behind. But his distant father Usher, who runs a Jewish aid foundation in El Once, the close-knit old Jewish neighborhood of Buenos Aires summons him back to his native city. What ensues is a comedy of errors, of missed and found people and connections, and a rumination on the extent to which we can ever really leave our past behind.
ABOUT THE GREENWICH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Greenwich International Film Festival (GIFF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that hosts a world-class film festival in Greenwich, CT. The goal of the festival is to bridge the worlds of film, finance and philanthropy. The second annual festival will take place June 9th to 12th, 2016, and will support important human rights initiatives, as part of its social impact focus. The four-day event will feature a star-studded Opening Night Party, film premieres, educational panels, a Children’s Acting Workshop, an honoree gala, and more. For additional information, please visit www.greenwichfilm.org.
Gregg Morris can be reached at email@example.com