Proceedings will open with a not-to-be-missed screening of David Lowery’s highly acclaimed “Ain't them Bodies Saints,” starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, which will have the cast and director in attendance (we rated it A- at Sundance). Other highlights include the New York premieres of Sebastián Silva’s “Crystal Fairy” starring Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffmann (we thought it was hilarious,) and James Pondsoldt’s Sundance smash “The Spectacular Now” (which we called "wise and mature") both of which will have the filmmakers and cast in attendance. The closing night will feature the NY premiere of “Short Term 12” from Destin Crettin (another film we rated an A when we saw it at SXSW.)
“We're celebrating the fifth anniversary of BAMcinemaFest with a very strong and very eclectic lineup this year,” says BAMcinématek program director Florence Almozini. “For our fifth year, we have a few festival veterans returning: Andrew Bujalski will celebrate with us with his hilarious film ‘Computer Chess,' Matthew Porterfield [whose “Putty Hill” we loved, btw] returns with ‘I Used to be Darker,' and Andrew Dosunmu, whose debut feature premiered at BAMcinématek, is back with ‘Mother of George.' We’re thrilled that BAMcinemaFest has remained a hometown festival, with nearly half of our main slate by Brooklyn filmmakers from Dosunmu to Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman, Lana Wilson and Martha Shane, Shaka King, Eliza Hittman, Zach Clark, Nick Bentgen and Lisa Kjerulff and more."
BAMcinemaFest runs from June 19-28. Check out the full lineup below.
Hellaware / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter Michael M. Bilandic) *World Premiere — A dark comedy about an NYC hipster photographer who exploits a group of suburban horrorcore rappers and the fallout that ensues. Cast: Keith Poulson, Sophia Takal, Brent Butler, Gilles DeCamps, Kate Lyn Sheil
C.O.G. / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kyle Patrick Alvarez) — In the first ever film adaptation of David Sedaris' work, a cocky young man travels to Oregon to work on an apple farm. Out of his element, he finds his lifestyle and notions being picked apart by everyone who crosses his path. Cast: Jonathan Groff, Denis O'Hare, Corey Stoll, Dean Stockwell, Casey Wilson, Troian Bellisario. (Sundance review.)
Computer Chess / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski) — An existential comedy about the brilliant men who taught machines to play chess – back when the machines seemed clumsy and we seemed smart. Cast: Patrick Riester, Myles Paige, James Curry, Robin Schwartz, Gerald Peary, Wiley Wiggins.
I Used to Be Darker / U.S.A. (Director: Matthew Porterfield, Screenwriters: Amy Belk, Matthew Porterfield) — A runaway seeks refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore, only to find their marriage ending and her cousin in crisis. In the days that follow, the family struggles to let go while searching for things to sustain them. Cast: Deragh Campbell, Hannah Gross, Kim Taylor, Ned Oldham, Geoff Grace, Nick Petr. (Berlin review.)
It Felt Like Love / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Eliza Hittman) — On the outskirts of Brooklyn, a 14-year-old girl’s sexual quest takes a dangerous turn when she pursues an older guy and tests the boundaries between obsession and love. Cast: Gina Piersanti, Giovanna Salimeni, Ronen Rubinstein, Jesse Cordasco, Nick Rosen, Case Prime. (Sundance review.)
Mother of George / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Dosunmu, Screenwriter: Darci Picoult) — A story about a woman willing to do anything and risk everything for her marriage. Cast: Isaach De Bankolé, Danai Gurira, Anthony Okungbowa, Yaya Alafia, Bukky Ajayi.
Newlyweeds / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Shaka King) — A Brooklyn repo man and his globetrotting girlfriend forge an unlikely romance. But what should be a match made in stoner heaven turns into a love triangle gone awry in this dark coming-of-age comedy about dependency. Cast: Amari Cheatom, Trae Harris, Tone Tank, Colman Domingo, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Adrian Martinez.
This is Martin Bonner / U.S.A.(Director and screenwriter: Chad Hartigan) — Martin Bonner has just moved to Reno for a new job in prison rehabilitation. Starting over at age 58, he struggles to adapt until an unlikely friendship with an ex-con blossoms, helping him confront the problems he left behind. Cast: Paul Eenhoorn, Richmond Arquette, Sam Buchanan, Robert Longstreet, Demetrius Grosse.
White Reindeer / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Zach Clark) — After an unexpected tragedy, Suzanne searches for the true meaning of Christmas during one sad, strange December in suburban Virginia. Cast: Anna Margaret Hollyman, Laura Lemar-Goldsborough, Lydia Johnson, Joe Swanberg, Christopher Doubek.
Drinking Buddies / U.S.A. (Director Joe Swanberg) *Outdoor screening with Rooftop Films — a low-key relationship comedy between an unkempt office manager at a Chicago brewery and a quick-witted brewer, who complicate things with each other and their existing partners when the couples take a weekend trip to a country cabin. Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston, Anna Kendrick. (Our SXSW Review.)
The Cold Lands / U.S.A. (Director Tom Gilroy) — A new film from Tom Gilroy and Cinereach: After his mother’s sudden death, a young boy disappears into the deep woods of upstate New York and takes up with an unpredictable and mysterious drifter. Cast: Silas Yelich, Lili Taylor, Peter Scanavino.
Museum Hours / Austria (Director and Screenwriter Jem Cohen) — When a Vienna museum guard befriends an adrift visitor from abroad, the grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum becomes a mysterious crossroads which sparks explorations of their lives, the city, and the ways artworks reflect and shape the world. Cast: Mary Margaret O’Hara, Bobby Sommer, Ela Piplits.
After Tiller / U.S.A. (Directors: Martha Shane, Lana Wilson) — Since the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009, only four doctors in the country provide late-term abortions. With unprecedented access, After Tillergoes inside the lives of these physicians working at the center of the storm.
God Loves Uganda / U.S.A. (Director: Roger Ross Williams) — A powerful exploration of the evangelical campaign to infuse African culture with values imported from America’s Christian Right. The film follows American and Ugandan religious leaders fighting “sexual immorality” and missionaries trying to convince Ugandans to follow biblical law.
Northern Light / U.S.A. (Director Nick Bentgen) — Set against the backdrop of a town’s annual snowmobile race, Northern Light interweaves captivating stories of recession-era America. The lives of three families change profoundly in the north woods of Michigan, where winters are unforgiving, jobs are hard to come by, and the line between living life and merely surviving is razor-thin.
Remote Area Medical /U.S.A. (Directors Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman) — Covering the events over three days in April 2012 as ‘Remote Area Medical’, the pioneers of “no-cost” health care clinics, treated nearly 2000 patients on the infield of Bristol, Tennessee’s massive NASCAR speedway
These Birds Walk / Pakistan (Directors Omar Mullick & Bassam Tariq) — In Karachi, a runaway boy’s life hangs on one critical question: where is home? The streets, an orphanage, or with the family he fled in the first place? These BVirds Walk documents the struggles of these wayward street children and the samaritans looking out for them. (Clip)The Crash Reel / U.S.A. (Director Lucy Walker) The story of U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who suffered massive head injuries in a snowboarding accident in 2009. As his family and friends come together to rehabilitate him, and work tirelessly to get him back on is feet, Kevin, who considers himself an elite athlete, declares that he wants to compete again.