The organisers said: "The new Encounters section offers a compelling range of titles by both emerging and established talents, films which are likely to provoke some of the liveliest comments at the festival. Included in this exciting line-up are the World Premieres and the directorial debuts of films by Mary Stuart Masterson, Diego Luna and Jon Poll." Here's what the organisers say about the films.
Suburban Girl and Charlie Bartlett
The Air I Breathe
(Country: Mexico; Year: 2007; Director: Jieho Lee; Writer: Jieho Lee, Bob DeRosa; Stars: Forest Whitaker, Brendan Fraser, Andy Garcia, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kevin Bacon, Julie Delpy, Emile Hirsch), Official Site
Multi-stranded film sees four lives collide.
The Animated World Of John Canemaker
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: John Canemaker)
Canemaker, a pre-eminent animation teacher, filmmaker, author and historian, who won an Oscar for his animated short The Moon and the Son in 2006.
Anita O'Day: The Life Of A Jazz Singer
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Robbie Cavolina, Ian McCrudden; Writer: Robbie Cavolina, Ian McCrudden; Stars: Anita O'Day, Louis Armstrong, Will Friedwald, Johnny Mandel, Annie Ross, George Wein, Margaret Whiting, Gerald Wilson)
An intimate and deeply moving tribute to jazz diva extraordinaire Anita O'Day, completed just weeks before her death in November 2006. Packed with terrific clips and anecdotes from friends and fellow musicians, this enjoyable documentary zips along at the speed of her renowned up-tempo interpretation of Sweet Georgia Brown.
Black White + Gray: A Portrait Of Sam Wagstaff And Robert Mapplethorpe
(Country: US, Germany; Year: 2007; Director: James Crump; Writer: James Crump; Stars: Joan Juliet Buck, Truman Capote, Dominick Dunne, Henry Geldzahler, Ralph Gibson, Robert Mapplethorpe, Eugenia Parry, Patti Smith, Richard Tuttle, Sam Wagstaff, )
In the Seventies and Eighties, the relationship between legendary curator Sam Wagstaff, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and musician/poet Patti Smith was at the epicenter of New York's revolutionary art scene. This engrossing documentary features interviews with Smith and a bevy of art world luminaries including Joan Juliet Buck, Dominick Dunne, Richard Tuttle, Eugenia Parry and Ralph Gibson.
(Country: Israel; Year: 2006; Director: Eytan Fox; Writer: Eytan Fox; Stars: Ohad Knoller, Yousef (Joe) Sweid, Daniella Wircer, Alon Friedmann, Zohar Liba,
The Orchestra Of Piazza Vittorio and I Have Never Forgotten You - The Life And Legacy Of Simon Wiesenthal
The Cake Eaters
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Mary Stuart Masterson; Writer: Jayce Bartok; Stars: Kristin Stewart, Aaron Stanford, Bruce Dern, Jayce Bartok, Elizabeth Ashley and Miriam Shor)
A prodigal son's return conjures up old ghosts for three generations of two different families in a small, quiet town. Masterson's debut feature unfolds the intimate secrets and tensions that compel these families to move forward.
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Jon Poll; Writer: Gustin Nash; Stars: Anton Yelchin, Kat Dennings, Robert Downey Jr, Hope Davis, Tyler Hilton)
A bright but troubled rich kid unexpectedly finds himself in the American ‘public school’ system – and finds a novel way of beating the bullies.
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Talia Lugacy; Writer: Brian Priest, Talia Lugacy)
A tale of innocence shattered, dreams destroyed and vengeance fulfilled, Descent begins with an idealistic vision of college sweethearts and wild house parties, but quickly falls apart. A rape sends Maya (Rosario Dawson) into a spiral of drugs, rage and despair - until she is reunited with her attacker and offered a chance to settle the score.
The Final Season
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: David M. Evans; Writer: Art D'Alessandro, James Grayford; Stars: Sean Astin, Powers Boothe, Rachael Leigh Cook, Michael Angarano, Matthew W. Allen, Tom Arnold, Mackenzie Astin, Marshall Bell, Holly Bonelli, Parisse Boothe, Jill Brockhohn)
Baseball is everything in Norway, Iowa, but when government authorities decide the small town's population no longer warrants its own high school, a longstanding baseball tradition is in peril. Sean Astin stars as the new and untested coach who must provide Norway with one exciting final season in this heartwarming story based on true events.
The Golden Door (Nuovomondo)
(Country: Italy, Germany, France; Year: 2006; Director: Emanuele Crialese; Writer: Emanuele Crialese; Stars: Vincenzo Amato, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Aurora Quattrocchi, Francesco Casisa, Filippo Pucillo)
Early in the 20th century, hard-working peasant Salvatore takes his family to the New World in search of a better life.
New York Premiere
The Air I Breathe and Shotgun Stories
Good Time Max
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: James Franco; Writer: Merriwether Williams, James Franco; Stars: James Franco, Vince Jolivette, Wilmer Calderon, Trip Hope, Richard Portnow, Jarrod Bunch, Peter Mackenzie, Brian Lally, Charity Shea, Molly Cheek, Mary Payne)
Actor James Franco (Spider-Man) cowrites, stars in and directs this stunning drama about two intellectually gifted brothers who take drastically different courses in life. One evolves into a successful doctor while the other leads a roller coaster, drug-fueled existence. But even after growing up and growing apart, they remain inextricably connected to each other.
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld; Writer: Kevin Hench, Adam Carolla; Stars: Adam Carolla, Oswaldo Castillo, Harold House Moore, Christopher Darga, Jonathan Hernandez, Heather Juergensen, Paul Alayo, Rian Bishop, Antonio Caballero, Derrick Deane, Lorenzo Eduardo)
In an underdog comedy that never pulls a punch, an aging boxer now working as a construction worker (Adam Carolla) is convinced by a wily coach to step back into the ring after a 20-year hiatus. Though the former rising champion is well past his prime, he embarks on a rollicking quest for what he missed the first time around: a spot on the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team.
In The Beginning Was The Image: Conversations With Peter Whitehead
(Country: UK; Year: 2006; Director: Paul Cronin; Stars: Peter Whitehead)
Peter Whitehead's work as a key independent British filmmaker of the 1960s has been the subject of recent worldwide retrospectives. This documentary on the artist, by a returning TFF filmmaker, is important not only as a portrait, but also as a meditation on the construction of identity.
(Country: Mexico; Year: 2007; Director: Diego Luna; Stars: Julio César Chávez Jr.)
Actor Diego Luna (Y Tu Mam Tambin) steps behind the camera for this heartfelt documentary about the life and career of his countryman, Mexican boxer Julio Csar Chvez, considered one of the sport's - and Mexico's all-time greats. Luna follows Chvez through the final bouts of his career, even as he proudly passes the torch of boxing to his son.
The Golden Door and Vitus
(Country: Puerto Rico; Year: 2007; Director: Carlos Ruíz Ruíz, Mariem Pérez Riera; Writer: Jorge Gonzales, Carlos Ruíz Ruíz; Stars: Luis Guzmán, Miguel Ángel Álvarez, Silvia Brito, Yaraní del Valle, Ednali Figueroa, Luis Gonzaga, Teresa Hernández, Chavito Marrero, Dolores Pedro, Norman Santiago, Fernando Tarrazo)
Tales of maddening infatuationa surprising love triangle, an unfaithful marriage and a hostage situationweave together artfully in the backyards of Puerto Rico. Passion defeats reason again and again in this melancholy comedy about the selfish search for love and connection.
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Ben Barenholtz)
A cinema veteran makes his debut as a filmmaker, aided by a veritable who's who of distinguished musicians, to tell the legendary story of how enthusiasts and hip scholars were drawn to Lenox, Massachusetts each summer starting in 1951. There their dedication to jazz and folk supported the founding of the world¹s first permanent school of jazz.
North American Premiere
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Randall Miller; Writer: Jody Savin, Randall Miller; Stars: Alan Rickman, Bryan Greenberg, Shawn Hatosy, Mary Steenburgen, Bill Pullman, Eliza Dushku, Danny DeVito, Ted Danson, Ernie Hudson, Tracey Walter, Lindy Booth)
In this taut thriller spiked with droll humor, Ph.D. candidate Barkley (Bryan Greenberg) is kidnapped the night before his father Eli (Alan Rickman) will receive the Nobel Prize. When Eli refuses to pay a ransom equal to the $2 million prize, secrets, betrayal and revenge collide.
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Jeff Nichols; Writer: Jeff Nichols; Stars: Michael Shannon, Douglas Ligon, Barlow Jacobs, Natalie Canerday, Glenda Pannell, Lynnsee Provence, G Alan Wilkins, Michael Abbott, Jr, Travis Smith)
Blood ties and vengeance in rural Arkansas.
North American Premiere
Lovesickness and The Bubble
(Country: USA; Year: 2007; Director: Marc Klein; Writer: Marc Klein, based on short stories from The Girl's Guide To Hunting And Fishing by Melissa Bank; Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alec Baldwin, Dennis Albanese, Audra Blaser, Vanessa Branch, Geoffrey Cantor, Chris Carmack, Nathan Corddry, Vincent De Paul, Richard Dreyfuss, Maggie Grace)
A May to December romance blossoms between an up-and-coming New York editor and a famous publishing lothario.
The True Legend Of Tony Vilar (La Vera Leggenda Di Tony Vilar)
(Country: Italy; Year: 2006; Director: Giuseppe Gagliardi; Writer: Giuseppe Gagliardi, Peppe Voltarelli), Official Site
Using a tongue-in-cheek mockumentary style, this half-true, half-imagined tale is based on the story of real-life singer Tony Vilar. Born in Italy, he later moved to Argentina and became one of the most popular crooners in 1960's Latin America, then mysteriously disappeared, leaving a faint trail apparently leading to New York City.
(Country: Switzerland; Year: 2006; Director: Fredi M. Murer; Writer: Peter Luisi, Fredi M. Murer, Lukas B. Suter; Stars: Fabrizio Borsani, Teo Gheorghiu, Julika Jenkins, Urs Jucker, Bruno Ganz, Eleni Haupt, Kristina Lykowa, Tamara Scarpellini, Daniel Rohr, Norbert Schwientek, Heidy Forster)
A child prodigy yearns for a "normal" life with his parents and eccentric grandfather in this charming family drama, starring the great German actor Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire; Downfall). While his parents plan a future of piano competitions, Vitus would rather learn to fly. He just needs to find an adult who'll let him.
New York Premiere