The organisers said: "The Discovery section includes 39 feature films both narrative and documentary, which are the work of up-and-coming directors from 12 countries. Films in this section include such talent as Eva Mendes, Matthew Perry, Lucy Liu, Elijah Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Anna Paquin and the directorial debut of Fred Durst. Discovery titles cover a diverse spectrum of stories ranging from the fascination of facing childhood fears to the journey of a transgender and from the scenario of a reinstated military draft to six horses’ path to the Kentucky Derby."
Where God Left His Shoes and Take
Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother
(Country: UK; Year: 2007; Director: Matthew Barbato; Stars: Alexis Arquette)
An intriguing look at sex and celebrity, this richly textured documentary, filled with drag queens and Hollywood glitterati, is actually a serious movie about transgendered life. In this unique and candid work, Alexis reveals a more private side as she grapples with the process of sex reassignment surgery.
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Matthew Bonifacio; Writer: Carmine Famiglietti; Stars: Hugo Aleman, Michael Aronov, Raul Castillo, Carmine Famiglietti, Susanna Hari, Lou Martini Jr., Jennifer Peña, Burton Perez, Manny Perez, Pablo Tufino, )
A low-key, charming depiction of working-class American life, this rare gem explores the surprising bond between a hard-working illegal immigrant and a blue-collar Italian American from Queens. Wrestling language barriers and racial prejudices, the two grow closer as their worlds expand, while the permanent threat of deportation looms large.
(Country: Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany; Year: 2007; Director: Ognjen Svilicic; Writer: Ognjen Svilicic; Stars: Emir Hadzihafizbegovic, Armin Omerovic, Jens Münchow, Marie Bäumer, Barbara Prpic, Orhan Güner, Borko Peric, Boris Svrtan, Daria Lorenci, Ivana Bolanca, Sasa Anocic)
Ibro takes his 13-year-old son Armin from their small Bosnian village to Croatia to audition for a German film about the Balkan conflict. A skeptical take on the promises of the "New Europe," Armin is also the story of a growing relationship between a father and a son.
North American Premiere
Autism: The Musical
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Tricia Regan; Stars: Adam, Elaine Hall, Henry, Rosanne Katon, Lexi, Neal, Kristen Stills, Stephen Stills, Wyatt, Simon Hamlin, Olanna Taskey)
Although the statistic is alarming - one in 150 children in the US is now diagnosed with autism—this documentary is steeped in a sense of optimism. Filmed over the course of one year, it follows five autistic children in Los Angeles as they write and rehearse their own full-length musical, tossing aside all stereotypes in the process.
The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Kieran Fitzgerald; Stars: Tommy Lee Jones)
Nearly ten years after the death of an 18-year-old American at the hands of a US Marine team fighting the War on Drugs in Texas, the border continues to see increased militarization. Juxtaposing the victim's family’s grief with the Marines' frustration and guilt in their first on-screen interviews, this probing documentary, narrated by Tommy Lee Jones, asks, “is history doomed to repeat itself?”.
North American Premiere
In Search Of A Midnight Kiss and The Premonition
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Jerry Lamothe ; Stars: Melvin Van Peebles, Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Saldana)
In summer 2003, America experienced the largest blackout in its history—widely reported as peaceful. But in Brooklyn's forgotten East Flatbush neighborhood, mayhem unfolded when the power shut down. This is the untold story of the blackout—a place where, as night fell, looters emerged, violence surfaced and residents feared for their lives.
(Country: Canada, US; Year: 2007; Director: Marshall Lewy; Writer: Marshall Lewy; Stars: Breckin Meyer, Anna Paquin, Joyce Krenz, Richard Blackburn, Adriana O'Neil, Seun Olagunju, Bryan Clark, Nick Ouellette, Tim Henry, James Juce, Elicia Cronin)
After Bush's re-election in 2004, John (Breckin Meyer), a distraught Democrat, decides to move to Canada after receiving a call from "Marry-a-Canadian," established to help disgruntled liberals "escape" from the U.S. When Chloe (Anna Paquin) answers his ad for the road trip, he soon finds that the misadventures of the open highway bring them closer in this lighthearted road trip tale.
The Business Of Being Born
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Abby Epstein; Stars: Ricki Lake)
In this candid and eye-opening documentary, director Epstein and producer Ricki Lake tackle the controversial debate between at-home and hospital births in the US. Shocking facts (to men and women alike) regarding the historical and current practices of the child birthing industry interweave with footage of married couples opting for home childbirth.
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Bryan Gunnar Cole; Writer: Robert Malkani; Stars: Elijah Wood, Jon Bernthal, Chris Klein, Ginnifer Goodwin, Elisabeth Moss, Ally Sheedy, Sofia Vassilieva, John Rothman, Daniel Oreskes, Tinashe Kajese, Robert Hogan)
The draft has been reinstated. Our conflicting attitudes toward war are examined through the eyes of Aaron (Elijah Wood), George (Chris Klein) and Dixon (Jon Bernthal), as each prepares to report for duty and learns, individually, what it means to "serve with honor".
The Education Of Charlie Banks
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Fred Durst; Writer: Peter Elkoff; Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter, Eva Amurri, Chris Marquette, Sebastian Stan, Gloria Votsis, Danny A. Abeckaser, Dennis Boutsikaris, Miles Chandler, Sam Daly, William DeCoff)
Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst makes his directorial debut with this potent coming-of-age drama about confronting one's fears. Pensive, honorable college student Charlie Banks (Jesse Eisenberg) must reconcile with his past when he gets an unexpected visit from a hometown thug—who may or may not know that Charlie once ratted him out to the police.
Numb and Day Zero
(Country: France, Lebanon; Year: 2006; Director: Michel Kammoun; Writer: Michel Kammoun; Stars: Elie Mitri, Issam Bou Khaled, Michel Hourani, Hiam Abou Chedid, Rafic Ali Ahmad, Roger Assaf, Gabrielle Bou Rached, Michel El Hourany, , , )
Everything bad that can happen on the way to a party happens to easygoing young Tou in this chronicle of a nighttime trip though Beirut, permeated by the smell of falafel frying at neon-lit stands. Flipping between the playful youth and scenes of unexpected danger, Kammoun creates a kind of Lebanese After Hours.
North American Premiere
(Country: Chile, Peru; Year: 2007; Director: Luis R Vera)
As two families celebrate the engagement of their children, one of the betrothed discovers the family's dark secret. A provocative metaphor on the social and moral state of Chile, from the start of the Pinochet dictatorship to today, Fiestapatria tells its tale through a gallery of characters representative of Chilean society.
The First Saturday In May
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Brad Hennegan, John Hennegan; Writer: Brad Hennegan, The Hennegan Brothers, John Hennegan, Mark Krewatch; Stars: Frank Amonte, Barbaro, Peter Brette, Chuck Chambers, Dan Hendricks, Bob Holthus, Bonnie Holthus, Michael Matz, John McKee, Kiaran McLaughlin, Paul Parrish)
Heartbreak and hope abound in this engrossing documentary about the holy grail of horse racing—the Kentucky Derby. Two brothers travel from Arkansas to Dubai and on to Churchill Downs to trace the paths of six rising equine stars, including the heroic Barbaro, and the people, passion and dreams at the core of this breakneck competition.
A Guest Of Life
(Country: Hungary; Year: 2006; Director: Tibor Szemzö; Stars: Narrated by Susannah York)
In 1819, a Transylvanian traveler set out on foot for Asia, convinced that there he would discover "the original Hungarians." What he found, at the foot of the Himalayas, introduced Tibet's rich culture and the practice of Buddhism to the world at large. A first film by one of Hungary's leading film composers, narrated in English by Susannah York.
North American Premiere
Hard As Nails
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: David Holbrooke; Stars: Justin Fatica)
This fascinating documentary follows unordained evangelical minister Justin Fatica on his quest to save America's soul. Fatica uses his Hard As Nails Ministry to promote the gospel to all Christian faiths and reach out to the MTV generation. His gruff style and unusual methods bring salvation to some, but seem horrifyingly troublesome to others.
Fiestapatria and Hard As Nails
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Jon Frankel; Writer: Siobhan Dunne, Jon Frankel)
The Hellfighters, Harlem's only high school football team, are a long way from Friday Night Lights. The bleachers are empty, practice space scarce and the Board of Education ruthless, but under the perseverance of coach Duke Ferguson, the Hellfighters are playing their way out of the ghetto, one touchdown at a time.
In Search Of A Midnight Kiss
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Alex Holdridge; Writer: Alex Holdridge; Stars: Scoot McNairy, Twink Caplan, Ann Chatterton, Cindy Drummond, Nic Harcourt, Justin Huen), Official Site
Lonely in the run-up to New Year, a young man decides to post a personal ad to find someone with whom to spend that special midnight moment.
The Last Jews Of Libya
(Country: Libya; Year: 2007; Director: Vivienne Roumani-Denn; Stars: Isabella Rossellini)
This family memoir recounts the history of an uprooted North African community. After WWII, Libya still had a small, but strong, Sephardic Jewish population with its own traditions and dialect. Sixty years later, no one remains. Roumani-Denn tells her family's history—Libyans for centuries, now scattered throughout the Diaspora. Narrated by Isabella Rossellini.
North American Premiere
Lillie & Leander: A Legacy of Violence
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Jeffrey Morgan; Stars: Nancy Guzmán, Jerry Jackson)
Investigating the turn-of-the-century murder of her great-great aunt, a woman stumbles upon an explosive secret that hints at her own family's involvement in decades of racially charged murders. More than a crime investigation, this documentary takes an uncensored look at a community trying desperately to bury its racist past.
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Bill Guttentag; Writer: Bill Guttentag; Stars: Eva Mendes, David Krumholtz, Eric Lively, Katie Cassidy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Rob Brown, Jay Hernandez, Monet Mazur, Andre Braugher, Josue Aguirre, Frank Alvarez)
What if everyday people played a game of Russian Roulette with a loaded gun on live television? Would you watch? A network executive (Eva Mendes) certainly hopes so as she puts her career on the line, producing such a reality show. In this dark satire, a documentary crew follows the behind-the-scenes struggle to air this controversial show.
Man Of Two Havanas
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Vivien Lesnik Weisman; Writer: Tirsa Hackshaw, Sarah Grace Monson, Vivien Lesnik Weisman; Stars: Peter Kornbluh, Max Lesnick, Miriam Lesnik, Vivien Lesnik Weisman)
Growing up in Miami, the director witnessed drive-by shootings and death threats directed toward her father, a former friend of Fidel Castro and opponent of the embargo. Using never-before-heard CIA audiotapes and fascinating interviews with her father, Weisman links his past and present in an eye-opening film that's sure to be about.
Normal Adolescent Behavior
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Beth Schacter; Writer: Beth Schacter; Stars: Amber Tamblyn, Ashton Holmes, Kelli Garner, Daryl Sabara, Julia Garro, Kelly Lynch, Edward Tournier, Stephen Colletti, Ricky Ullman, Hilarie Burton, Sean Haberle)
A darkly comic look at precocious teens grappling with sex, excess and alienation. Avoiding the high school party scene and random hookups, Wendy (Amber Tamblyn) and her friends form a clique that claims a more fluid sexuality. Schacter's directorial debut delivers a provocative take on teen romance in this modern promiscuous age.
(Country: Canada, US; Year: 2007; Director: Harris Goldberg; Writer: Harris Goldberg; Stars: Matthew Perry, Barry W. Levy, Mark Acheson, Julia Anderson, Ben Ayres, Angela Besharah, Beverley Breuer, Lynn Collins, Noah Danby, William B. Davis, Holly Eglington)
A love-struck screnwriter tries to come to terms with depersonalisation disorder.
On The Downlow
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Abigail Child)
A revealing portrait of four African-American men living in Cleveland, who all confront the struggles of everyday existence and the process of coming out. Experimental filmmaker Abigail Child uncovers their secrets as she explores the sexual, racial, and familial dichotomies of their lives.
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Brad Leong; Writer: Brad Leong, Tony Vallone, Tony Vallone; Stars: Tom Arnold, Aaron Ashmore, Eve Brent, Hailey Bright, Shoshana Bush, Christina DeRosa, Ryan Hansen, Robin Hines, Jay Joshua Hoffman, Johnny Lewis, Jason McMahon)
It's a bittersweet homecoming when four college freshmen return to their quiet northern California town for Thanksgiving. In the tradition of American Graffiti, this first feature film by college students Brad Leong and Tony Vallone follows the adventures of four friends on one eventful night that changes everything.
The Polymath, Or The Life And Opinions Of Samuel R Delany, Gentleman
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Fred Barney Taylor; Stars: Samuel R Delany)
A fascinating portrait of science fiction writer and renaissance African-American artist and teacher Samuel R. Delany includes vivid tales of his sexual escapades in this experimental documentary.
Postcards From Tora Bora
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Kelly Dolak, Wazhmah Osman; Stars: Wazhmah Osman)
After the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, co-director Osmans family fled to America with only a handful of photos and movies as reminders of the lives they had led. Now she returns home to search for her past and her father, who never left. Her quest reveals the history of this war-torn country in this personal film that's full of personality.
The Premonition (Le Pressentiment)
(Country: France; Year: 2006; Director: Jean-Pierre Darroussin; Writer: Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Valérie Stroh, based on the book by Emmanuel Bove.; Stars: Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Valérie Stroh, Amandine Jannin, Anne Canovas, Nathalie Richard, Hippolyte Girardot, Laurence Roy, M'bembo), Trailer
A lawyer rejects his bourgeois past and moves to the inner city in an attempt to engage with ordinary life.
North American Premiere
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Aimee Jennings)
Inspired by Chris Marker's Sans Soleil, this experimental road movie celebrates being single with one woman's trip through Australia. Still photographs, pixilated moving images and voiceover narration comprise an intimate self-portrait that becomes a personal journey to overcome fear, search for contentedness and accept life's experience as the accumulation of fragments of memory.
Sons Of Sakhnin United
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Chris Browne, Alexander H Browne)
Jews and Arabs striving for a common goal can seem unlikely in today's world, and yet—as depicted in this insightful documentary—the small Arab town of Sakhnin has been united by sport. Beating the odds in a quixotic quest for Israel's State Cup, the multi-ethnic soccer team B'Nei Sakhnin battles to maintain their premiere league status.
(Country: USA; Year: 2007; Director: Charles Oliver; Writer: Charles Oliver; Stars: Minnie Driver, Jeremy Renner,
Bobby Coleman, David Denman,
Adam Rodriguez, Bill McKinney,
Emily Harrison, Griff Furst, Patrick
Brennan, Tom Schmid, Jessica
Tragedy ensues after two lives
Takva (Takva A Man's Fear Of God)
(Country: Germany, Turkey; Year: 2006; Director: Özer Kiziltan; Writer: Onder Cakar; Stars: Erkan Can, Güven Kiraç, Meray Ülgen, Öznur Kula, Erman Saban, Murat Cemcir, Settar Tanriogen, Müfit Aytekin, Salaetin Bilal, Engin Günaydin, Feridun Koc)
In contemporary Istanbul, the basic goodness and simplicity of Muharrem, a 45-year old single man living in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, earn him new duties with the leader of the religious sect he serves so selflessly. But soon he falls victim to the group's hidden agenda, as faith and materialism collide.
The Third Wave
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Alison Thompson)
After the 2004 Tsunami ravaged coastlines across the Pacific Ocean, four independent volunteers from around the globe arrive in the Sri Lankan town of Peraliya to help in any way they can. What begins as two-week journey spirals into a year of unrelenting heartbreak, but eventually emerges as a triumphant story about the rebirth of an impoverished town.
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Rob Klug; Stars: Andre Agassi, Nick Bollettieri, John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Pete Sampras)
Much as Spellbound did for spelling bees, Unstrung exposes the surprising dramas of the amateur tennis world, hitting the road with a handful of high school competitors as they head for the national championship. This inspiring documentary records the tremendous pressure and the sweat, blood and tears that can separate contenders from champions.
Watching The Detectives
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Paul Soter ; Writer: Paul Soter ; Stars: Cillian Murphy, Jason Sudeikis, Michael Panes, Callie Thorne, Michael Yurchak)
Neil (Cillian Murphy) is a quirky cinephile who wishes his life were more like his favorite film noirs. Enter Violet (Lucy Liu), a real-life femme fatale who really does turn life into the movies. Sometimes love is stranger than fiction, and Neil is about to discover just how strange it can be.
Where God Left His Shoes
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Salvatore Stabile
; Writer: Salvatore Stabile
; Stars: John Leguizamo, Leonor Valera, David Castro, Samantha Rose, Jerry Ferrara, Manny Perez)
Bittersweet tale of life on the breadline in New York.
Will Eisner: Portrait Of A Sequential Artist
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Andrew D Cooke; Stars: Michael Chabon, Max Allan Collins, Will Eisner, Jules Feiffer, Neil Gaiman, Denis Kitchen, Stan Lee, Frank Miller, Jerry Robinson, Art Spiegelman, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.)
Others may be more renowned for their superhero creations, but Eisner was the godfather of the American comic book. From utilizing pictures and words to stretch the boundaries of storytelling, to innovating methods of production and publishing including the graphic novel form, Cooke's documentary presents how Eisner inspired other artists working in the field today.
Zolykha's Secret (Rahze Zolykha)
(Country: Afghanistan; Year: 2006; Director: Horace Shansab; Writer: Horace Shansab; Stars: Dad'ullah Ahmadzai, Gholam Farouq Baraki, Zbiullah Furutan, Marina Golbahari, Nasrine Habibi, Abdul Wahed Hasanzada, Mahmur Pashtun, Hamida Refah, Zubaida Sahar, Samira, )
A deeply moving account of a rural Afghan family struggling to eke out an existence during the brutal final years of Taliban rule and the beginning of the new war that still rages. This is the first Afghan-produced feature to make it to the West since Osama won the 2004 Golden Globe for Best Foreign film.