Your Guide to FEST Films Screening on Wednesday, November 20 – American Film Institute

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Your Guide to FEST Films Screening on Wednesday, November 20

Films are listed in chronological order so you can find the ones that best fit your schedule!

 

12:00 p.m. BALLOON

Seasoned filmmaker Pema Tseden crafts a delicate and beautiful story of free will and duty. Premiering at Venice and Toronto, BALLOON explores the complexities between reality and soul with a loving and mystical touch. Buy tickets here.

 

12:15 p.m. MATERNAL

Known for her nonfiction filmmaking, director Maura Delpero brings her stylistic approach to the drama, creating a contemplative, striking and complex portrait of womanhood and love. Buy tickets here.

 

12:30 p.m. READY FOR WAR

In present day America, thousands of immigrants who have proudly served in the military, find themselves not only without citizenship, but face being apprehended by ICE and deportation. Offering a fresh and deeply troubling take on immigration and deportation, Andrew Renzi profiles three veterans trapped in this vicious bind. Buy tickets here

12.45 p.m. THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN

Cco-writers and co-directors Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Maija Tailfeathers have crafted a deeply human film, a maternal film, a film about neighbors and shared spaces and car rides and softly singing to your belly in the bathroom. Buy tickets here.

 

1:00 p.m. – I WAS AT HOME, BUT… (ICH WAR ZUHAUSE, ABER…)

Angela Schanelec’s cryptic, disjointed and enigmatic winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director award at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival takes place two years following the death of Astrid’s (Maren Eggert) husband. As Astrid attempts to maintain a sense of stability, the disappearance of her 13-year-old son Phillip and his sudden return plunge the household into quiet crisis. Buy tickets here.

 

2:00 p.m. KLUTE

The inaugural film in Alan J. Pakula’s “paranoia trilogy,” KLUTE follows small-town private investigator John Klute (Donald Sutherland) who is led to Manhattan sex worker Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda in an Academy Award®– winning performance) while searching for a missing person. As Bree becomes embroiled in the investigation, they realize that she is being followed. Buy tickets here.

 

2:45 p.m. AND THEN WE DANCED

Elegantly and sensitively helmed by Swedish director Levan Akin, this complex interpretation of homophobia seen through the inherent sexuality of dance is a twirling, rhythmic romance where the profundity of first love is heightened by the risk that exposure could threaten career and both familial and community support. Buy tickets here

 

3:00 p.m. SELAH AND THE SPADES

SELAH AND THE SPADES fiercely captures the societal pressures of modern youth and the internal struggle for independence and identity. With her sharp, fresh and unapologetic debut feature film, filmmaker Tayarisha Poe proves to be an exciting talent to watch. Buy tickets here.

 

3:30 p.m. PRESENT.PERFECT.

Winner of the Tiger Award at the 2019 Rotterdam Film Festival, PRESENT.PERFECT. is a poetic demonstration of the need to seek out or create global communities and the shrouded threat that doing so poses to state control. Buy tickets here.

 

3:45 p.m. SON-MOTHER

First-time feature director Mahnaz Muhammadi brilliantly navigates this unsentimental critique of Iranian traditions and the impossible choices that they can impose. Buy tickets here.

 


5:30 p.m. WELCOME TO THE USA

WELCOME TO THE USA is a quiet, yet powerful, film exploring concepts of family, migration, gender inequity, sexual identity and the things we lose and gain when deciding to leave our homeland for the unknown. Director Assel Aushakimova’s film shares a slice of Kazakhstani city life and the semi-hidden existence of the LGBTQ community in Almaty. Buy tickets here

 

5:45 p.m. PROXIMA

Sarah (the excellent Eva Green), a French astronaut, earns her dream job: a spot on a year-long mission to Mars. But this dream job sets her relationship with her seven-year-old daughter, Stella, spinning. In the midst of the difficult training, Sarah wrestles with the stress of separation from Stella while also trying to earn respect from her male colleagues. Buy tickets here.

 

6:30 p.m. OLIVER SACKS: HIS OWN LIFE

Granted intimate access to Sacks and his close circle during his final months, master filmmaker Ric Burns has crafted a deeply moving documentary that captures Sacks’ remarkable life and reveals the enormity of his spirit. Buy tickets here

 

6:45 p.m. CORPUS CHRISTI (BOŻE CIAŁO)

A fascinating exploration of faith and forgiveness, CORPUS CHRISTI is a modern Polish parable with an unforgettable lead performance from newcomer Bartosz Bielenia. Buy tickets here.

 

7:00 p.m. – HALA

Breathing new life into the classic American high school coming of age movie, writer/director Minhal Baig, making her feature debut, masterfully navigates the usual tropes of the genre to craft this thoroughly authentic and heartfelt story. Hala, a first-generation Pakistani-American teenager, is caught between the loving but suffocating embrace of her religiously conservative parents and her own burgeoning sexuality and independence. Buy tickets here.

 

9:15 p.m. THE SLEEPWALKERS

Elegant and contained, Argentine filmmaker Paula Hernández’s bold depiction of the inescapably gendered mother/daughter dynamic brings a remarkable depth to, what is for women, an all-too relatable low hum of despair. Buy tickets here.

 

9:30 p.m. SEARCHING EVA

For 25-year-old Eva living in Berlin, complex emotions surrounding adolescence, family, body, art and sex work are processed publicly through unflinchingly personal photos and writings posted on the internet and Instagram.  In an attempt to capture the essence of this elusive personality, Pia Hellenthal’s extraordinary feature debut is a modern cinematic portrait that cleverly dismantles identity construction and performativity via social media. Buy tickets here

 

9:45 p.m. BLACKBIRD

Based on the Danish film SILENT HEART, BLACKBIRD gracefully explores the complex heartbreak, humor and humanity of death. A stellar ensemble cast and delicate direction from Roger Michell create a thoughtful, elegant portrait of the preciousness of life and family. Buy tickets here.

 

10:00 p.m. – CHEZ JOLIE COIFFURE

Inviting filmmaker Rosine Mbakam inside her Brussels hair salon, Sabine offers an insider’s perspective of a community united in cultural roots that lie elsewhere.  A lovely observational chamber piece and affectionate tribute, CHEZ JOLIE COIFFURE heralds an important new voice in documentary filmmaking. Buy tickets here.

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