England: 1648 AD. A small group of deserters flee from a raging battle through an overgrown field. They are captured by two men: O'Neil and Cutler. O'Neil (Michael Smiley), an alchemist, forces the group to aid him in his search to find a hidden treasure that he believes is buried in the field. Crossing a vast mushroom circle, which provides their first meal, the group quickly descend into a chaos of arguments, fighting and paranoia, and, as it becomes clear that the treasure might be something other than gold, they slowly become victim to the terrifying energies trapped inside the field. A Field In England is a psychedelic trip into magic and madness from Ben Wheatley – award-winning director of Down Terrace, Kill List and Sightseers.
During a late-night broadcast an indie rock DJ makes a mean-spirited remark about a second-tier pop star, accidentally sparking an unlikely relationship when she happens to be listening to the show. With his career in jeopardy and her dispassion with her work, their romance is quickly challenged and an idyllic New York romance is put to the test as the two struggle to be in each other's life.
Elise and Didier's relationship is wild and passionate. She owns a tattoo shop in a little Belgian town and uses her body as a canvas, each tattoo covering up a little memento of a past lover. He plays the banjo in a bluegrass band and idealizes America. They meet, fall in love and have a daughter. But when little Maybelle becomes seriously sick, their relationship starts unraveling. In this perfectly constructed drama, flashbacks and flash-forwards are intertwined with an impressive fluidity, juxtaposing the ups and downs of Elise (the marvelous Veerle Baetens) and Didier's (Johan Heldenberg) love story. But the most remarkable asset of the film is the fantastic bluegrass soundtrack, composed by Bjorn Eriksson, which turns this poignant love story into a truly haunting film.
-Seattle International Film Festival
Closing Night Film
Money has long played a starring role in politics. But the Supreme Court’s 2010 landmark ruling in Citizens United v. FEC marked seismic shift in how America’s elections are fought and financed. The ruling was engineered in part by corporate and far-right interest groups that had long sought to undermine the influence of unions and small donors. Their state-by-state campaign to reshape elections found its test market in Wisconsin – birthplace of progressivism, the Republican Party, and government unions.
From Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, the Oscar-nominated filmmakers who made Trouble the Water, winner of the 2008 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for best documentary, comes Citizen Koch, a story about money, citizenship, and democracy.
Two best friends make the best of going to high school by dreaming up fashion magazine photo shoots, and bribing their siblings to model for them. René indulges his fantasies and loves designing clothes. Frankie lives for her camera and punk rock. They both fall for Sasha, the shy soccer player with a soft spot for poems by Pushkin. When the three of them are caught between competing invitations to prom, their high-fashion drama could destroy their friendships along with the entire prom.
Matthew Stenerson won the 2012 McKnight Screenwriting Grant for the Death To Prom screenplay.
Always one step ahead of the Feds, Paul Boxer is the most inventive and principled smuggler in the trade, and has never needed to carry a gun. When violent mid-level traffickers coerce him into designing a foolproof plan to bring several kilos of cocaine across the México border, he maneuvers to rid himself of their hold over him once and for all. But when a sharp-witted woman from his past enlists his help to escape this rival outfit, Paul must confront the man that is hunting him down, and choose between his livelihood as a smuggler and his integrity as a man.
Kip Desmond has gotten everything he's ever wanted: a thriving career, beautiful wife and an affluent lifestyle, all of which is put in jeopardy when Abby, the waitress with whom he's having a casual fling, is accidentally killed.
Desperate, he ends up on the doorstep of childhood friend Marvin Croat and asks him for a huge favor: help get rid of the body.
This gruesome circumstance begins a series of events which unravels Kip and Marvin’s lifelong friendship, leading both men to murderous acts neither had ever suspected themselves capable of.
In 2011, Chicago filmmaker George Desort spent eighty nights on Isle
Royale, a wilderness island on Lake Superior. Traveling alone with
his camera equipment and as much food as he could fit into his kayak,
Desort explored the rugged terrain of the island, filming himself each
difficult step of the way. Desort’s breathtaking footage paired with
his personal, unvarnished story-telling result in a film that will
spur viewers to visit the outdoors as soon as possible.
"Forward" (Wisconsin's state motto) is an activist-level view of the uprising that swept state senators out of office, triggered the third governor recall election in American history, and inspired the Occupy movement that swept the country. This film uses the reflections of people involved in the protests of winter 2011 to show what galvanized non-radicals into a movement that quickly drew international attention to Madison, Wisconsin for political action unlike anything seen in America since the Vietnam War.
GIRL MEETS BIKE is a story of love at first sight, but not how you think. Kat showers her first bike with all the confused passion we give that certain person (or bike) who first steals our heart. As her new friends vie for her affection, one emerges as Kat's first love, further revealing the complexity and ambiguity of her desire.
What Kat really sees in the bike is her own chance for freedom. And who doesn't love to be free?
Shot in part on location in Stockholm, Wisconsin and on nearby county roads.
Anna, a young Japanese girl, is a pulled by her families desire to see her become a US Citizen, her desire to return to her dying grandmother, and a world hell bent on self destruction. Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll and the American dream all pull her in different directions.
When Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast it was a wake up call to a new reality. Shored Up takes us to the heart of this climate change controversy, following communities in New Jersey and North Carolina where politics, economics and science collide. Beginning 3 years before Sandy hit and following the debates over beach replenishment and other attempts to hold back the sea, Shored Up is a convincing call for action along our coasts. As the oceans rise and storms flood our towns and cities we have a choice to make: do we continue to develop as we have in the past, ignoring clear risks and danger? Or, do we allow science to guide our policies for the future...before it's too late.
North American Premiere
Inspired by Carmilla, the seminal 19th Century vampire tale by Sheridan LeFanu,
STYRIA plunges the viewer into a haunted world of fantasy and obsession.
In 1989, Lara Hill (Eleanor Tomlinson), accompanies her art historian father
(Stephen Rea) to an abandoned castle across the Iron Curtain. From a car crash
outside of the castle, emerges the beautiful and mysterious Carmilla. Lara
secrets Carmilla into the castle and the two are drawn into an intoxicating
relationship. But when Carmilla mysteriously disappears, and women of the town
begin committing suicide, Lara’s psychic wounds erupt into a living nightmare
that consumes the entire town of Styria.
The year is 1912. This is the story of an intrepid young reporter Adèle Blanc-Sec and her quest for the power of life over death. Her journey would take her to distant lands to face many dangers beneath the sands. She will go to any lengths to achieve her aims, including sailing to Egypt to tackle mummies of all shapes and sizes. Meanwhile in Paris, a 136 million-year old pterodactyl egg on display in the natural history museum has mysteriously hatched, and the creature subjects the city to a reign of terror from the skies. But nothing fazes Adele Blanc-Sec, whose adventures include many more extraordinary surprises…
"To those dark horses with the spirit to look up and see... a recondite family awaits." Welcome to the Jejune Institute, a mind-bending San Francisco phenomenon where 10,000 people became "inducted" without ever quite realizing what they'd signed up for. Was it a cult? Was it an elaborate game? Told from the participants’ perspectives, the film looks over the precipice at an emergent new art form where real world and fictional narratives collide, creating unforeseen and often unsettling consequences. Fusing elements of counter-culture, new religious movements and street art, THE INSTITUTE invites viewers down the rabbit hole into a secret underground world teeming just beneath the surface of everyday life.
Opening Night Film
Laos: A boy (Ahlo, 10), who is believed to bring bad luck, is blamed for a string of disasters. When his
family loses their home and are forced to move, Ahlo meets the spirited orphan Kia (9) and her
eccentric uncle Purple: an ex-soldier with a purple suit, a rice-wine habit and a fetish for James Brown.
Struggling to hang on to his father's trust, Ahlo leads his family, Purple, and Kia through a land scarred by war in search of a new home.
In a last plea to prove he's not cursed, Ahlo builds a giant explosive rocket to enter the most lucrative but dangerous competition of the year: the Rocket Festival. As the most bombed country in the world shoots back at the sky, a boy will reach to the heavens for forgiveness.
Gripping yet heart-warming, The Rocket is a deeply personal story about the determination of a boy who has the odds stacked against him, set against the epic backdrop of a war-ravaged country on the brink of huge change.
With remarkable access to real rituals and festivities in the mountains of Laos, the film is a unique view into a world never seen on film before. Featuring an extraordinary leading performance from gutsy former street kid Sitthiphon Disamoe as Ahlo, the film also stars veteran actor and comedian Thep Phongam as a damaged but humorous ex-soldier who becomes a mentor to our young protagonist.
Christmastime is looking swell for pretty, unassuming real-estate-agent Suzanne Barrington: she just sold a house to a nice swinger couple; her weatherman husband Jeff scored a sweet new job; and her favorite holiday is quickly approaching. After a sudden tragedy takes Jeff away, Suzanne is left lost and lonely. Even worse, a friend of his confesses a secret: there’s another woman. Her name's Fantasia and she works at the "girl club." In their grief, the two women form an awkward but meaningful friendship. Pushing away the ghosts of Christmas present, Suzanne falls into Fantasia’s world of dance parties, shoplifting and substances! But maybe that’s not what Suzanne’s looking for either…
Young Malawian William Kamkwamba teaches himself to build a power-generating windmill from junk parts, successfully rescuing his family from poverty and famine. He becomes an energy icon for the developing world and meets American entrepreneur and mentor Tom Rielly, who helps him imagine a new future. Fame, opportunity, stress, and isolation follow his invention, and his life is transformed. As William struggles with the potential of his promising future, he privately yearns to distance himself from his windmill, that which made him famous. This is a story about a complex young man straddling two cultures, carrying the burdens of his past achievements while boldly pursuing a bright future.
Ever wanted to be a hero? In this age of Dungeons and Dragons, it’s never been easier. Zero Charisma follows Scott Weidemeyer (Sam Eidson), an obsessed, overweight nerd, who happily spends his days as grand master of his “friends” in his fantasy role-playing board game. However, when Miles (Garrett Graham), a gregarious newcomer, joins the group, Scott’s supremacy is threatened and he must go to extremes to keep the hierarchy of his beloved game intact.