A behind the scenes film about Vermont filmmaker David Giancola’s doomed attempt at making a science fiction film starring Anna Nicole Smith. Anna Nicole died of an over-dose midst filming. With Vermont locations and non-professional actors, you will enjoy playing spot the person or place. Filmmakers Giancola and producer John James will attend the screening.
A romantic comedy that starts with a vasectomy and climaxes with rock’n‘roll rabbis. A professional gambler, divorced father, and a ladies’ man declares himself through with love then runs into an old college flame. Needless to say, she will call his bluff.
Comedy about five long-time friends (Jane Fonda, Geraldine Chaplin, Claude Rich, Pierre Richard, Guy Bedos), decide to move in together. Under the watch of their younger caretaker, an anthropology student, they confront hidden issues from their shared past while struggling to cope with ageing. U.S. Premiere!
Credited as being the first Black punk band, Death was formed in the early 1970’s in Detroit. Through a combination of personal interviews, archival audio, family photos and footage, Vermont filmmakers Covino and Howlett reveal the Hackney Brothers’ story. “Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family chronicle…” Indiewire. Filmmakers will be present at the Essex cinemas screening and the Band will perform.
Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y, The Young Victoria) has produced a deeply personal film with two parallel stories that run through the film. With a Pink Floyd on the soundtrack and a major plot twist late in the film, Vallée proves his remarkable talent for “breathtaking visuals, music-fuelled magic and inspired editing”, to quote one critic.
Actor Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty) turns in one of the best performances of his career as a former Britpop star working on an American farm, who is forced to confront his own past while facing deportation. Writer/Director Marshall Lewy creates a thoroughly engaging story supported by simple, beautiful filmmaking.-K.M.
National Geographic photographer Balog goes to the mental, physical and technical extreme to deliver images of glacial events rarely seen by humans in one of the most important films about climate change since An Inconvenient Truth. From the producer of Academy-Award winner The Cove. Screening followed by a reception to launch our Films on the Environment Series.
A fascinating film about army cooks and how the everyday needs of thousands of armed stomachs affect the victories and defeats of statesmen. It reveals the field kitchen as a model of a world where food preparation becomes a military strategy. “A hungry soldier doesn’t feel safe,” explains a sausage-wielding Army cook.
Frederick Wiseman, masterful film director of American social institutions, provides a dazzling and meticulous look inside Paris’s legendary cabaret. Wiseman brings to life “the place where naked ladies dance.” Closing Night Film followed by reception and announcement of Audience Award. Closing Night Film
With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, Detropia sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution. Seen through the eyes of well-chosen and stubborn residents, their grit and pluck embody the spirit of the Motor City as it struggles to survive postindustrial America.
Azarbayjani is a filmmaker from Iran who should be closely watched. This is her narrative debut featuring the first Iranian transgender character (played by Shayesteh Irani – leading actress in Panahi’s Offside). It is the story of how an unlikely friendship develops between two women from opposite backgrounds. This is an uplifting drama enthusiastically received by critics and audiences at numerous festivals.-M.N.
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mark Kitchell offers the first big-picture exploration of environmental activism. The film is not merely a history lesson, but an illustration about how individuals have made, and will continue to make, a difference to our planet’s survival. Film introduced by Kathryn Blume, Creative Climate Activist. -S.G.
Shown at VTIFF 2012’s Church Street open air screening, this powerful and award-winning film deserves to be seen as widely as possible for its beauty and for the cinematic way it communicates its message. With no narration – only masterful editing of images and sounds – it chronicles the last days of a wild orangutan named Green in the once lush forests of Borneo.
Warning: Not recommended for under 12s or the faint of heart.
Shown with new shorts produced by the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
“Peaceful, almost biblical and completely absorbing, this film is a masterpiece. The daily reality of Guerrero village life is realized with lyricism and lack of sentimentality. Columbia University Cinema grad Mendez Esparaza’s cast of non-actors give reticent performances. In a time when cinematic images are often frantic and hysterical, the film stands out […]” – Indiewire
w/producer Ori Gratch
I Am Eleven focuses on eleven year olds from 15 countries, each speaking directly to the camera about their thoughts on issues such as love, war, global warming, music, terrorism, culture, family, happiness, religion and the future. It captures the essence of the worlds children at a pivotal moment in their lives and in the future of the world.
South Korean master Hong Sang-soo teams with French superstar Isabelle Huppert for this formally inventive and wonderfully witty three-part film in which she plays 3 different characters who each interact with the same group of characters in a seaside town. Hong is considered one of Korea’s new cinema auteurs.
w/intro and Q&A by Hyon Joo Yoo, Assist. Prof Film & Television Studies, University of Vermont
Today, more than half of all Americans eat some type of organic food. Yet most people don’t have a clue what it means. When “organic” became a brand, everything changed – the movement and the label grew apart. This eye-opening film takes a first-hand look at the organic food industry and reveals its shortcomings.
Academy and Emmy award winning director Kirby Dick partnered with producer Amy Ziering to dig into the U.S. military’s most closely guarded secret: the epidemic of rape inside the one of the most powerful institutions in the world. Since it’s Sundance premiere, the film has been circulating through the highest levels of the Pentagon and the administration.
Introduced by Adrienne Kinney, ex-army reservist, current activist.
Filmmaker Mohammad Shirvani steps into the no-man‘s land of Iranian households – the kitchen. Seven housewives talk to him as they prepare the delicious foods of Ramadan. Shirvani notes, “The kitchen is a place my mother spent over 30 years in and I never really noticed its details.” A subtle and humorous take on a women’s realm.
From the director of The Summer of Walter Hacks: An old farmer finds a lost reel of Farm Security Administration footage shot when he was a child that chronicles his search for the perfect Christmas tree for his Granny.
Shot on location in Havana, this zom-com is stylish and truly funny. But its political message elevates it to another level. A cult film in Cuba, it has now emerged from underground venues. Director’s statement: “Cuba is a country that has been preparing itself for a confrontation with the United States during the last 50 years. So, what if instead of that, we have to confront zombies?” Halloween Special
An engaging, whimsical documentary about British direct action climate activists called Just Do It — A Tale of Modern-Day Outlaws. The film’s award-winning director spent over a year embedded in activist groups such as Climate Camp and Plane Stupid to document their clandestine activities. This is a story of people standing up for what they believe in and making themselves heard.
Men trying, time and again, to drive their all-terrain cars up the steep sand buttes. Bartana assumes the position of an anthropologist, and the viewer is given a focused glimpse of the forces and myths underlying Israeli Sisyphean mores.
Knuckleball! is an inspiring and accessible film for both die-hard baseball fans and casual observers alike: An unprecedented documentary which focuses on one of baseball’s most obscure aspects, the knuckleball. It chronicles the careers of the two most popular modern knuckleball pitchers, Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey, as they deal with the unpredictability of the pitch upon which their careers rely.-K.M.
Shot in Burlington in July, 2011, the film documents the last day Doughboy’s Bakery & Coffee Shop was open for business, as the patrons and staff reluctantly let go of the good old days of this landmark greasy-spoon diner and donut shop.
Embark on a global journey in 3D to discover the parallels between life under the sea and on land in this visually stunning and rhythmically explosive giant-screen film. The Last Reef, the first film ever shot at the macro level in 3D, will take you to destinations near and far to explore the world’s coral reef habitat, a territory that is quickly vanishing.
This humorous trip through the world of backyard chickendom should leave audiences with the urge to go out and get their own coop ASAP! Mixing archival footage, animation and interviews, we get a look at how one area of the slow food/localvore movement is progressing.
Considered one of the seminal artists of our time, Abramovic had her first major retrospective in the U.S. in 2010 at the Museum of Modern Art in NY. The mounting of this retrospective and its three-month-long run is the fascinating narrative spine of this film with scenes of the artist at home, in the studio and even in the bathtub, basking in her formidable aura.
Lucien and Regina are foragers – they gather wild mushrooms and sell them to New York restaurants. Their lifestyle is simple, their income unstable. As Regina seeks more stability and Lucien wants to devote himself to full-time nomadic foraging, their individual desires put the marriage to a test. A food lovers’ film.
A true detective story that relies on recently declassified U.S. government documents, heartbreaking survivor testimony and previously unseen archival footage. The film tells the story of nuclear tests conducted by the USA in the Marshall Islands during the Cold War and their effect on the local population. Q&A w/ director Adam Horowitz.
This may well be one of the best films in VTIFF this year, balancing themes of loneliness and disconnection with an absurd comic tone reminiscent of the films of Aki Kaurismaki or Jim Jarmusch. In the center is a lonely pawnbroker whose life changes radically when someone abandons a baby on his bed. He turns to his neighbor, a devotee of October’s feast of our Lord of the Miracles, for help. Avoiding all melodramatic traps, the Vada Brothers craft an emotionally rich and stylish fresh look at contemporary Lima.-M.N.
Writer/Director Andrea Blaugrund Nevins provides a thoughtful take on modern parenthood, showcasing the experiences of some of the most influential figures of the punk rock movement of the 1980s and ‘90s. Often funny and emotionally gripping throughout, this film is a treat for music lovers and a stunning presentation of what “family” means in the 21st century.-K.M.
Acclaimed filmmaker Léa Pool produced this brilliant film about the commercialization of the pink ribbon. Recommended viewing for the healthy and the sick alike, this is one of the more thought-provoking films in our line-up and a wake-up call for all who are affected in some way by breast cancer.
In 1970s American suburbia, Maggie and her three younger siblings spend the night weaving a fantastic story upstairs, while downstairs their parents create an alcohol-soaked intrigue of their own. With John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone) and Molly Parker (Deadwood).
w/filmmaker Julia Dyer.
A gorgeously photographed ethnographic whirlwind tour of the Taiwan’s coastal regions. The cooking segments are so lush we can smell the spices and almost feel the heat on our faces from a tantalizing stir-fry. This film will also be of interest to many Vermonters through our concerns with a locally produced sustainable food system.
An uplifting film about a women’s basketball team in the American University of Iraq made up of all ethnicities: Arab, Kurd, Christian, Sunni and Shiite. They came from all over Iraq, but can’t tell their families. The story is told through the filmmaker’s camera and by the personal video diaries made by the young women themselves.
Canadian director Émile Gaudreault (Surviving My Mother, Mambo Italiano) delivers yet another killer comedy with a very original plot about two stand-up comedians who tour across Québec playing to small town crowds. Part of their shtick every night is to pick a victim and make fun of him. Until they choose Roger, who turns out to be a serial killer. He takes them hostage and wants to be trained how to be funny…-M.N.
A 24-hour filmmaking competition, wherein teams of students from four area schools (UVM, St. Michael’s College, Burlington College, and Middlebury College) confront the challenge of conceiving, casting, shooting, and editing a film incorporating required elements (dialogue, locations, themes, local celebrities) under the pressure of a 24 hour production deadline.
The story of veterans who have opposed war and includes interviews and footage spanning over four decades and three separate wars.. Intended as a counter narrative to traditional media coverage, the film charts the formation of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and explores their evolution into passionate critics against war.
The story of an unlikely cross-generational friendship between a porn star, 21 year-old Jane played by Dree Hemingway, (Ernest Hemingway’s great-granddaughter and Mariel’s daughter), and an 85 year-old widow, Sadie played by Basedka Johnson in her startling screen debut.
Three-Michelin-stars French chef Michel Bras decides to hand his restaurant over to his son, who has been working with him for 15 years. This is the story of extraordinary dishes prepared by a father and a son, in the hilly landscape of Aubrac region. We follow this gastronomic transmission, and enter intimately in their family ties.
This animated public service short combines clear information about simple measures people can take to prevent the spread of cholera, one of the most dreaded and contagious diseases on earth, with terrific filmmaking. Winner: VT Filmmakers’ Showcase Audience Award 2012
Sushi, formerly found only in Japan, has become an international industry. You can get sushi at football games in Texas. The film shows sushi masters at work through some fabulous footage – the sequence on knife sharpening alone is worth a trip to the cinema. But its popularity has led to the depletion of tuna, potentially upsetting the ecological balance of oceans.
This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (Offside), one of Iran’s leading filmmakers who was banned from making films and confined to his apartment. Panahi turns this restriction on its head with a highly charged historical narrative and a twist at the end.
Taking as its starting point the story of Friedrich Nietzsche’s 1889 encounter with a peasant beating his horse that marked the beginning of his 10-year descent into madness and silence, Béla Tarr’s The Turin Horse is a film of unparalleled cinematic power. A rare opportunity to experience on a big screen a film that has already been hailed as a contemporary masterwork.
Shot in the aquatic community of Dal Lake, considered the crown jewel of Kashmir, this award-winning film blends fiction and documentary to tell a story of love, war and the devastating effects of pollution on the lake. Lush cinematography heightens the region’s visual splendor. Followed by guest speaker: Buzz Hoerr, CEO ElectroCell Technologies.
The extraordinary story of the iconic poet, musician and folksinger Violeta Parra, whose songs have become hymns for Chileans and Latin Americans alike. Director Andrés Wood (Machuca) traces the intensity and explosive vitality of her life, from humble origins to international fame, her defense of indigenous cultures and devotion to her art. Chile’s official entry to the Oscars.
Shot by two Israeli filmmakers during Operation Cast Lead, a three-week bombing and invasion of the Gaza Strip in 2009 by Israel, this powerful film explores the absurd relationship between war and tourism by juxtaposing bombing footage with blunt commentary by the “gawkers” – people cheering on the spectacle as if in a corrida.
In 2009 Vermont became the sixth hungriest state in the nation. We Have to Talk About Hunger looks behind the statistitics (one in five children here lives with food insecurity) to investigate who “the hungry” actually are and ask the disturbing question: Why, in Vermont, the healthiest state in the nation, can we not feed our own?
The one that almost got away! VTIFF is proud to present Where Do We Go Now? the hilarious and moving film from one of Lebanon’s leading writer/actor/director’s Nadine Labaki.
When tensions flare in Beirut between Christians and Muslims, the women of a remote village go to great lengths to keep their men from plunging their fragile community into violence. Labaki’s film is a one of a kind, Middle Eastern musical antiwar comedy. VTIFF fans are in for a huge treat.
This film tells the story of the case of the Cuban Five, Cuban intelligence agents sent to penetrate exile terrorist groups in Miami and now serving long prison sentences in the U.S. It highlights decades of assassinations and sabotage at first backed by Washington and then ignored by the very government that launched a “war against terrorism.” With Danny Glover. Director Saul Landau will attend the screening.
Sure to be one of VTIFF’s most talked-about films The World Before Her dramatizes the tension between traditional and modern views of Indian women as they clash in two very different realms: the Miss India pageant and Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of the fundamentalist Hindu movement.
Five Cuban intellectuals who live on the island, a filmmaker, a musician, two writers and a university professor, discuss censorship as a historical, political and social phenomenon. Their discussion is about the limits that this scourge has provoked in artistic creation throughout time and throughout the world.
w/filmmaker Karel Ducasse