2017 MV International Film Festival Lineup
The MV International Film Festival promises to excite and entertain with stories that celebrate films and cultures of the world with subjects that will touch hearts and souls. This year’s line-up of films relay stories about the resilience and strength of the human spirit, of transformative love, and the importance of roots, family, and community.
Our official OPENING NIGHT GALA, September 7th begins on the picturesque shores of Ferry Boat Pond adjacent to the Tisbury Market Place, with the ocean across the way – painting a dazzling tableau under a glittering tented party; a peaceful gathering with unique tapas, libations, live music and a spectacular sunset…
GLOBAL CITIZEN AWARD RECIPIENTS:
The MV Film Society honors actor and humanitarian Danny Glover and producer and humanitarian Joslyn Barnes with the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society’s Global Citizen Award for their charitable work and philanthropy across the globe. The award will be presented to Glover and Barnes on Friday, September 8 at 7:00pm in the MV Film Center prior to the screening of their produced film, WHITE SUN – click here for more information and to purchase tickets to both the award ceremony and film)
Three Short Film Programs this year!
Among the ten finalists of the Short Films Juried Competition on Saturday, September 9, are films from six countries. The winner of Best Overall Short will be announced at the conclusion of the program.
LIVE MUSIC CHILDREN’S EVENT on Sunday, September 10th.
A Latin GRAMMY Award winner for Best Children’s Album, Mister G (Ben Gundersheimer) has been called “a bilingual rockstar” by The Washington Post and “irresistible”by People Magazine. His 2017 release, Mundo Verde/Green World, is a collection of environmental-themed songs which were debuted at his concert during the National Climate Rally in Washington, DC. Spanning genres from bluegrass to bossa nova, funk to folk, his dynamic, original music has won praise from The Boston Globe, Chicago SunTimes, People, New York Post, and Parents magazine.
PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE OR NAME OF AN INDIVIDUAL FILM TO SEE MORE DETAILS AND TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR AN INDIVIDUAL SHOW. THANK YOU!
AFTER THE STORM—Japan, directed by Hirokazu Koreeda
Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother (Kirin Kiki) and beautiful ex-wife (Yoko Make) seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrusting family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son (Taiyo Yoshizawa) – until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again.
“No modern filmmaker has as sure a grasp on family dynamics as Hirokazu Kore-eda.”–Tom Huddleston, Time Out
AQUARIUS— Brazil/France, directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho
Clara, a 65-year-old widow and retired music critic, is the last resident of the Aquarius, one of the few buildings of its age and character that remains in a rapidly changing seaside Recife neighborhood. Now that the other apartments have been swept up by a company with ambitious plans for redevelopment, pressures to move on surround Clara from all sides. But she has pledged to leave only upon death, and will engage in a cold war with the developers to keep a home that has been a silent witness to her entire life. The resulting confrontation is mysterious, frightening and nerve-wracking, tingeing even Clara’s most familiar routines with the tension of a thriller.
“Aquarius” makes a compelling case for looking up from our ubiquitous distractions to take in the world around us – the one that we live in and, whether we’re aware of it or not, lives in us.”-Anne Hornaday, Washington Post
THE DEPARTURE—USA/JAPAN, directed by Lana Wilson
A remarkable Japanese Buddhist priest uses a range of methods to help desperate people discover the will to live. But when a health crisis puts him at serious risk, can he live by the same advice he gives out?
“Often lyrical and deeply meditative, Wilson’s film doesn’t employ talking heads to add in extra information or bulk up on anything as impersonal as stats, instead opting for a more immersive experience into Nemoto’s daily life as it progresses in unexpected ways.”–Kate Erbland, IndieWire
THE DIVINE ORDER—Switzerland, directed by Petra Volpe
Switzerland, 1971: Nora is a young housewife and mother who lives with her husband and their two sons in a peaceful little village. Here, in the Swiss countryside, little or nothing is felt of the huge social upheavals that the movement of May 1968 has caused. Nora’s life, too, has been unaffected; she is a retiring, quiet person, well liked by everyone – until she begins to campaign publicly and pugnaciously for women’s right to vote, an issue that will be put before the male voters on February 7th, 1971.
THE FENCER—Finland/Estonia/Germany, directed by Klaus Härö
A young man, Endel Nelis, arrives in Haapsalu, Estonia, in the early 1950s. Having left Leningrad to escape the secret police, he finds work as a teacher and founds a sports club for his students. Endel becomes a father figure to his students and starts teaching them his great passion – fencing, which causes a conflict with the school’s principal. Envious, the principal starts investigating Endel’s background… Endel learns to love the children and looks after them; most are orphans as a result of the Russian occupation. Fencing becomes a form of self-expression for the children and Endel becomes a role model. The children want to participate in a national fencing tournament in Leningrad, and Endel must make a choice: risk everything to take the children to Leningrad or put his safety first and disappoint them.
“This well-acted, smoothly crafted drama tells a story of cross-generational bonding in the face of historical oppression, in touching if unsurprising fashion.”-Justin Chang, Variety
HOLY AIR—Israel, directed by Shady Srour
Adam is a Christian Arab living in Nazareth – member of a vanishing minority within a minority in the Holy Land and the Middle East. His wife Lamia is a strong, beautiful and progressive Arab woman, who runs a foundation for women’s rights. When Adam hears that Lamia is pregnant and his father falls very ill, he evaluates his life and realizes that he has not achieved much. Despite all his business ideas failing so far, he gives one last try to make it big. And what’s better to sell in the Holy Land other than the very air that Virgin Mary breathed during her annunciation? But in order to, as one priest tells Adam during confession, bring such product into the market he needs to find allies from the three cultures ruling over Nazareth – the Jewish politicians, the Muslim mafia boss and the Catholic church officials. In a politically unstable world where religion is just another merchandise, can the Holy Air be Adam’s salvation of is it just an illusion?
“The humor in Holy Air is inseparable from its poignancy, and every element of the film expresses that interconnection, from the performances to the spirited, melancholy-laced score by Habib Shehadeh Hanna.”–Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
THE LEARS—USA, directed by Carl Bessai
With Actress Ivy Matheson and Producer Irwin Olian in Attendance
The script focuses on world-renowned cutting-edge architect Davenport Lear (Bruce Dern). Nearing retirement, he summons his four dysfunctional children Glenn, twins Regan and Rory, Kent, and Regan’s husband Tom Cornwall to a weekend family retreat in one of his signature architectural creations. When they hear the bombshell that he has decided to marry his personal assistant Diana that Sunday, it sets off an explosive and humorous round of devious behavior and conflict as each of them jockeys for position, borne by self-interest, greed and jealousy. Rounding out the cast is Davenport’s driver and valet Tyler, Diana’s daughter Delia (Ivy Matheson), and Kent’s hot date Natalie.
LIKE CRAZY—Italy, directed by Paolo Virzi and Francesca Archibugi
*CLOSING NIGHT FILM*
Includes After Party at La Soffitta restaurant
Beatrice is a motor-mouthed fantasist, a self-styled billionaire countess who likes to believe she’s on intimate terms with world leaders. Donatella is a tattooed introvert, a fragile young woman locked in her own mystery. They are both patients at the Villa Biondi, a progressive but secure psychiatric clinic. Paolo Virzì’s new film tells the story of the unpredictable and moving friendship that develops between the two women as they flee the mental institution in search of love and happiness in the open-air nuthouse – the world of sane people
“A vibrant and compelling look at friendship, freedom and the fine line between sanity and madness.”–Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
LOST IN PARIS—France/Belgium, directed by Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon
Filmed in Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon’s signature whimsical style, LOST IN PARIS stars the filmmakers as a small-town Canadian librarian and a strangely seductive, oddly egotistical vagabond. When Fiona’s (Gordon) orderly life is disrupted by a letter of distress from her 88-year-old Aunt Martha (delightfully portrayed by Academy Award (R)-nominee Emmanuelle Riva) who is living in Paris, Fiona hops on the first plane she can and arrives only to discover that Martha has disappeared. In an avalanche of spectacular disasters, she encounters Dom (Abel), the affable, but annoying tramp who just won’t leave her alone. Replete with the amazing antics and intricately choreographed slapstick that has come to define Abel and Gordon’s work, LOST IN PARIS is a wondrously fun and hectic tale of peculiar people finding love while lost in the City of Lights.
“A deliriously funny, continuously inventive, slapstick extravaganza that Buster Keaton fans will devour with relish”–Brandon Judell, Huffington Post
MAINELAND—China/USA, directed by Miao Wang
With Director Miao Wang and Producer Damon Smith In Attendance.
Filmed over three years in China and the U.S., “Maineland” is a multi-layered coming-of-age tale that follows two teenagers of China’s wealthy elite as they settle into a boarding school in blue-collar rural Maine. Part of the enormous wave of “parachute students” enrolling in U.S. private schools, bubbly, fun-loving Stella and introspective Harry come seeking a Western-style education, escape from the dreaded Chinese college entrance exam, and the promise of a Hollywood-style U.S. high school experience. But as their fuzzy visions of the American dream slowly gain more clarity, worlds collide as their relationship to home and country takes on a surprisingly poignant new aspect.
“Maineland serves to remind audiences of the power, and beauty, in differences.”–Jessi Cape, Austin Chronicle
THE MIDWIFE—France, directed by Martin Provost
Two of French cinema’s biggest stars shine in this bittersweet drama about the unlikely friendship that develops between Claire (Catherine Frot), a talented but tightly wound midwife, and Béatrice (Catherine Deneuve), the estranged, free-spirited mistress of Claire’s late father. Though polar opposites in almost every way, the two come to rely on each other as they cope with the unusual circumstance that brought them together in this sharp character study from the César-award winning director Martin Provost (Séraphine).
“”The Midwife” is one of those movies that could be about anything and you’d watch, so enjoyable are its lead actors.”–Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
THE ORNITHOLOGIST—Portugal/France/Brazil, directed by João Pedro Rodrigues
Fernando, a solitary ornithologist, is looking for endangered black storks along a remote river in northern Portugal when he is swept away by the rapids. Rescued by a couple of Chinese pilgrim girls on their way to Santiago de Compostela, he plunges into a dark, eerie forest, trying to get back on track. But as he encounters unexpected and uncanny obstacles and people who put him to the test, Fernando is driven to extreme, transformative actions. Gradually he becomes a different man: inspired, multifaceted, and finally enlightened.
“If nothing else, the film reminds one of how strange and beautiful existence can be.”–Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
POP AYE—Thailand/Singapore, directed by Kristen Tan
On a chance encounter, a disenchanted architect bumps into his long-lost elephant on the streets of Bangkok. Excited, he takes his elephant on a journey across Thailand, in search of the farm where they grew up together–only to discover the truth about himself.
“The sharply observed screenplay adeptly balances gentle humor and poignancy in a contemplative examination of loneliness, aging, mortality and regret.”–Todd Jorgenson,Cinemalogue.com
THE TRIP TO SPAIN—UK, directed by Michael Winterbottom
*OPENING NIGHT FILM*
Includes Gala Beneath The Tent at Tisbury Marketplace
After jaunts through northern England and Italy, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on another deliciously deadpan culinary road trip. This time around, the guys head to Spain to sample the best of the country’s gastronomic offerings in between rounds of their hilariously off-the-cuff banter. Over plates of pintxos and paella, the pair exchange barbs and their patented celebrity impressions, as well as more serious reflections on what it means to settle into middle age. As always, the locales are breathtaking, the cuisine to die for, and the humor delightfully devilish.
“Along with the components of The Trip to Spain that we most crave, there’s an increase in harshness, an acerbic edge that’s hard to ignore.”–Andy Crump, Paste Magazine
THE WEDDING PLAN-Israel, directed by Rama Burshtein
At 32, Michal (Noa Kooler), an Orthodox Jewish woman, is finally looking forward to the comfort and security of marriage, when she is blindsided by her fiancé’s decision to call off the wedding with only a month’s notice. Unwilling to return to lonely single life, Michal decides to put her trust in fate and continue with her wedding plans, believing Mr. Right will appear by her chosen date. Confident she will find a match made in heaven, she books a venue, sends out invitations and buys a wedding dress, as her skeptical mother and sister look on with trepidation. During Michal’s month-long search for a spouse, she enlists the help of two different matchmakers, goes on a series of disastrous blind dates and finds an unexpected connection with a charming but utterly unsuitable pop star (Oz Zehavi) – all while dismissing pleas by concerned friends and family members that she reconsider her risky plan. As the day of the ceremony grows closer and no suitor appears, Michal puts everything on the line to find happiness.
“An engaging (and surprisingly entertaining) examination, not of belief, but of a believer, a struggling soul who more often than not blocks her own path to paradise.”–Matthew Lickona, San Diego Reader
WHITE SUN—Nepal/USA/Qatar/Netherlands, directed by Deepak Rauniyar
*GLOBAL CITIZENS AWARD PRESENTATION*
With Danny Glover and Joslyn Barnes prior to movie.
An anti-regime partisan (Dayahang Rai) confronts physical, social and political obstacles after returning to his remote mountain village in Nepal for his father’s funeral.
“Skilfully manipulating romantic and social frictions which in lesser hands might have come across as soapily melodramatic, Rauniyar and Barker construct a parable-like tale whose allegorical aspects are there for those who wish to find them. But their priority is the creation of believable characters in a pungently atmospheric setting, which then takes shape into a satisfyingly organic narrative pattern as White Sun — stark title a reference to an emblem on Nepal’s uniquely non-quadrilateral flag — unfurls.”–Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter
The Festival includes an exhibition of the enchanting artwork of Michael Johnson (until September 5) and Joyce Farmer (until September 25), curated by Featherstone Center for the Arts, which at the Film Center’s Marilyn Meyerhoff lobby. The paintings will be on display throughout the festival.
Featured image: Joyce Farmer
The Short Films Competition is a festival favorite! A Jury has vetted hundreds of short films for the annual short film contest. A short list of 10 films will be shown during the festival with a $1,000 grand prize going to the jury’s top pick.
The MV International Film Festival will continue its display of animated shorts with a showcase, the Animated Shorts Showcase, curated by Bill Plympton, an Academy Award nominee for his animated films. His cartoons have appeared in a variety of well-known publications, including the New York Times, The New Yorker, and Vogue.
DURING THE FESTIVAL, VISIT OUR DOWNTOWN MAIN STREET “CAFES” and “LOUNGES”- BERNIE’S HOMEMADE ICE-CREAM, BOBBY B’S PIZZA AND SEAFOOD, AND TISBERRY FROZEN YOGURT! ALL-ACCESS PASS HOLDERS AND FILMMAKERS MAY REST IN ANY OF THOSE THREE LOCATIONS, PLUS ALL FESTIVAL PATRONS MAY ENJOY A 10% DISCOUNT ON ALL FOOD, ICE-CREAM AND FROYO WITH PROOF OF FESTIVAL PURCHASE!
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