The organisers say: Sure to spark conversation during the festival and beyond, this assortment of 11 narrative and ten documentary films offers high-profile talent and notable subject matters, featuring performances by veteran actors Frank Langella, William H. Macy, Sissy Spacek, and Danny Glover; new work from venerable New York filmmakers Melvin Van Peebles and Bill Plympton; profiles of political and spiritual figures John F. Kennedy, the Dalai Lama, and Che Guevara; and portraits of artists Celia Cruz and Diego Rivera. Here's what the organisers say about the films.
Battle For Terra and Idiots And Angels
Bart Got A Room
(Country: US; Year: 2008; Director: Brian Hecker; Writer: Brian Hecker; Stars: William H Macy, Steven Kaplan, Cheryl Hines, Alia Shawkat, Chad Jamian Williams, Mike Benitez, Ashley Benson, Carrie Drazek, Brandon Hardesty, Kate Karpinski, Dinah Manoff), Official Site
It's tick-tock, tick-tock for Danny as the prom approaches, and he still doesn't have a date...
Battle For Terra (Terra)
(Country: US; Year: 2007; Director: Aristomenis Tsirbas; Writer: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Aristomenis Tsirbas; Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Brian Cox, Luke Wilson, David Cross, Justin Long, Amanda Peet, Dennis Quaid, Chris Evans, James Garner, Chad Allen, Rosanna Arquette), Official Site
An alien girl on an idyllic planet must save her homeland from human invaders.
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Richard Ledes; Writer: Richard Ledes, Alain-Didier Weill; Stars: Frank Langella, Robert Bagnell, Edoardo Ballerini, David Ballog, Jean Brassard, Julia Carothers Hughes, Grégory Ellis, Kyle Emelander, Axel Feldmann, Elliott Gould, Laura Harring, Laura Holloway)
Frank Langella gives a tour-de-force performance as an energy executive who tries to expose his corporation's corrupt practices in this quiet yet chilling neo-noir thriller. He hires a private investigator (Elliott Gould) to forward his efforts, but who is investigating whom?
Celia: The Queen
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Joe Cardona, Mario de Varona; Writer: Joe Cardona; Stars: David Byrne, Cachao, Christina Christian, Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan, Emilio Estefan Jr., Andy Garcia, Wyclef Jean, Quincy Jones, Víctor Manuelle, Marlene Marcos), Official Site
The voice of Celia Cruz, arguably the most influential woman in Cuban music, symbolised the soul of a nation and forced down barriers of racism and sexism. She radiates on screen as her legacy is revisited in this intimate and inspiring documentary. Featuring interviews with Quincy Jones, Andy Garcia, and Wyclef Jean.
(Year: 2008; Director: Luis Lopez, Trisha Ziff; Stars: Gerry Adams, Antonio Banderas, Gael García Bernal, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, Tom Morello)
How did the iconic image of Che Guevara end up on beer bottles and bikinis? This documentary inquiry into the ethics and aesthetics of appropriation investigates how the enduring symbol of Cuba’s Communist Revolution skyrocketed to fame and was ultimately devoured by its own worst enemy: capitalism.
Bart Got A Room and Chevolution
The Chicken, The Fish and The King Crab (El Pollo, el pez y el cangrejo real)
(Country: Spain; Year: 2008; Director: José Luis López-Linares; Writer: José Luis López-Linares, Antonio Saura; Stars: Jesus Almagro, Alberto Chicote, Felix Guerrero, Pedro Larumbe, Serge Vieira), Official Site
Famed Spanish chef Jesús Almagro permits cameras to follow his preparations for the “Bocuse d’Or” cooking contest, pitting him against 23 international contenders for the title of “World’s Best Chef.” Thrilling, captivating. . . and mouthwatering. North American Premiere.
Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Melvin Van Peebles; Writer: Melvin Van Peebles; Stars: Melvin Van Peebles, Alexander Sovronsky)
Melvin Van Peebles, still our most playfully inventive filmmaker after nearly 50 years, returns with a boisterous adventure that ranges from Harlem to the high seas, following the exploits of an unforgettable character (MVP, natch) who’s always on the move - but keeps ending up back in New York.
The Dalai Lama: Peace and Prosperity
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Mark Bauman; Stars: Dalai Lama), Official Site
An amazing experience for those unable to attend the 2008 live event, this film is a visual record of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit and presentation to a sold-out Radio City Music Hall. Photographic montages by Richard Gere and music by Tom Waits and Philip Glass weave their way throughout the film.
Days In Sintra (Diário de Sintra)
(Country: Brazil; Year: 2008; Director: Paula Gaitán; Writer: Paula Gaitán; Stars: Paula Gaitán, Glauber Rocha), Official Site
Deftly interspersing home movies with contemporary images, director Paula Gaitán creates a compelling voyage of discovery in her return to Sintra, Portugal, on a search for memories of her late husband (the Brazilian filmmaker Glauber Rocha). North American Premiere.
Everywhere at Once
(Country: France; Year: 2008; Director: Holly Fisher, Peter Lindbergh; Writer: Kimiko Hahn; Stars: Jeanne Moreau), Official Site
Renowned photographer Peter Lindbergh and experimental filmmaker Holly Fisher, with actress Jeanne Moreau, weave a tapestry of images shaping one woman's deepest sense of selfhood.
The Dalai Lama: Peace and Prosperity and The Caller
Hotel Gramercy Park
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Douglas Keeve; Stars: Lee Black Childers, Nat Finkelstein, Deborah Harry, Jakob Hawkins, Karl Lagerfeld, Ian Schrager)
Keeve explores the family drama of the longtime owners of this infamous hotel - once a haven for the likes of Bowie and Blondie - as they prepare to turn it over to high-end hotelier Ian Schrager. Is the transformation a redefinition of cool or the demise of a New York icon?
Idiots And Angels
(Country: US; Year: 2008; Director: Bill Plympton; Writer: Bill Plympton), Official Site
The story of a reluctant angel turns into a flight of the imagination.
I Am Because We Are
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Nathan Rissman; Writer: Madonna; Stars: Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu, Jeffrey Sachs, Paul Farmer), Official Site
Madonna uses the power of documentary film to expose the tragic stories of the millions of Malawi children orphaned by AIDS, offering both a call to action and a revelatory personal journey. Featuring interviews with Bill Clinton and Desmond Tutu, the film is a testament to survival, change, and hope.
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Hunter Hill, Perry Moore; Writer: Hunter Hill, Perry Moore; Stars: Sissy Spacek, Troy Garity, Rebecca Romijn, Dave Matthews, Drea de Matteo, Colin Ford, Keith Carradine, Barry Corbin, Allison Sarofim, Sydney ter Avest, Heather Bailey)
When her family is threatened by violent criminals, a mother and son must reconcile the past in order to save their home. Powerful performances by Sissy Spacek and Troy Garity highlight this potent drama, also featuring Dave Matthews and Rebecca Romijn.
Life In Flight
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Tracey Hecht; Writer: Tracey Hecht; Stars: Scott Abbondanzo, Conor Carroll, Lynn Collins, Memory Contento, James Cronin, Monique Curnen, Kyle Fischbach, Julia Frisoli, Joanna Herrington, Ben Hersey, Cassidy Hinkle)
Patrick Wilson (Little Children) and Amy Smart (Just Friends) star in first-timer Hecht's drama of a New York architect who begins to question the perfect life he has built for his family.
The Objective and Lake City
(Country: Morocco; Year: 2008; Director: Daniel Myrick; Writer: Daniel Myrick, Mark A. Patton, Wesley Clark; Stars: Jon Huertas, Matthew R. Anderson, Jonas Ball, Jacqueline Harris, Sam Hunter, Vanessa Johansson, P. David Miller, Jeff Prewett, Kenny Taylor, Michael C. Williams, Chems-Eddine Zinoune), Official Site
The director of The Blair Witch Project brings his singular brand of suspense to an exhilarating integration of war and mystery, revolving around a precarious CIA mission in Afghanistan.
A Portrait Of Diego: The Revolutionary Gaze (Un Retrato De Diego)
(Country: Mexico; Year: 2007; Director: Gabriel Figueroa Flores, Diego López Rivera; Writer: Diego López Rivera, Margarita Mansilla; Stars: Dolores del Rio, Gabriel Figueroa, Carlos Monsivais, Diego Rivera, Guadalupe Rivera Marín), Official Site
Fifty years ago, a trio of Mexico's greatest artists - Diego Rivera, Gabriel Figueroa and Manuel Alvarez Bravo - collaborated on a documentary film about the painter, but it was never finished until now, after Figueroa's son and Rivera's grandson decided to show how these three great artists shared a vision.
A President To Remember: In The Company of John F Kennedy
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Robert Drew; Writer: Robert Drew; Stars: Jacqueline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy), Official Site
Tales of maddening infatuationa surprising love triangle, an Culled from "direct cinema" pioneer Robert Drew's unparalleled behind-the-scenes footage of JFK at work in the Oval Office, and the events that brought him there, this remarkable film proves a timely update of the Kennedy mythos and an eerily intimate portrait of the now-legendary man himself.
Three Kingdoms: Resurrection Of The Dragon (Saam gwok dzi gin lung se gap)
(Country: China, South Korea, Hong Kong; Year: 2008; Director: Daniel Lee; Writer: Ho Leung Lau, Daniel Lee, Guanzhong Luo; Stars: Andy Lau, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, Maggie Q, Vanness Wu, Andy On, Rongguang Yu, Quanxin Pu, Lung Ti, Hua Yueh, Chen Zhi Hui, Damian Lau)
A conscript into the faceless war among China's ancient kingdoms, Zhao (Andy Lau, House Of Flying Daggers) earns his stripes in this epic's thrillingly stylish battle sequences. Decades later, he meets his match in Cao (Maggie Q, Mission: Impossible III).
Whatever Lola Wants
(Country: Canada, France, Morocco; Year: 2007; Director: Nabil Ayouch; Writer: Nabil Ayouch, Jane Hawksley, Nathalie Saugeon; Stars: Achmed Akkabi, Milia Ayache, Assaad Bouab, Ahmed Boulane, Jennica Carmona, Myriam Fakhr Eddine, Abdellatif Khamouli, Carmen Lebbos, Abdelkader Lofti, David Meanti, Laura Ramsey)
Perky blonde Lola is an aspiring dancer in New York, and she's so smitten by a hunky Egyptian that when he unexpectedly heads home, she follows him. In Cairo, she discovers an even bigger passion for belly dancing - and vows to master the art.
The Zen of Bobby V
(Country: USA; Year: 2008; Director: Andrew Jenks, Jonah Quickmire Pettigrew; Stars: Bobby Valentine)
Former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine took his baseball expertise to Japan in 2004. This film follows a season in the life of an American who has become an admired icon and a primary reason that baseball remains Japan's most popular sport.