Films Screening during AFF 2001:

2001 Film Schedule | Shorts Programs

U.K. Premiere Series | Documentary Showcase | Competition Films
Austin Filmmaker's Showcase | Midnight Madness | Retrospective Films


g 30 Years to Life
(USA, 110 min.) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Vanessa Middleton
Cast: Erika Alexander, Melissa De Sousa, Kadeem Hardison, Tracy Morgan, Paula Jai Parker, Allen Payne, T.E. Russell

With a mixture of humor and insight, debut director Vanessa Middleton has created a lively and intelligent comedy tracing twelve months in the lives of a group of friends, the year in which they all reach their 30th birthdays. 30 Years to Life follows six successful, urban, African Americans as they navigate through their adult responsibilities, resulting in a sharp, funny meditation on our hopes and dreams: a beautiful, successful woman finds few prospects for a relationship; a couple must decide to marry or split up; and a stand-up comedian watches all his chances for fame snatched out from under him – all as they approach the “big three-oh.”

g Big Bad Love
(USA, 111 min.) Regional Premiere
Writer: James Howard and Arliss Howard (based on stories by Larry Brown)
Director: Arliss Howard
Cast: Arliss Howard, Debra Winger, Paul Le Mat, Rosanna Arquette, Angie Dickinson

Leon Barlow (also director, Arliss Howard) is a Vietnam vet and a writer whose marriage has fallen apart. Living a solitary life, and sending manuscripts to publishers in vain, Leon struggles to reconcile his all-consuming, self-centered need to write with the life he created for himself. His life includes a son entering adolescence, a daughter with an incurable disease, and an ex-wife, played with dignity by Debra Winger, who deftly suggests both the irreconcilable frustration with Leon’s lack of maturity and obvious love for him. All the while, Big Bad Love portrays the elusive experiences of imagination that every writer fights to set down on paper.

g Brotherhood of the Wolf
(France, 142 min.) Regional Premiere
Writer: Stéphane Cabel, Christophe Gans
Director: Christophe Gans
Cast: Samuel Le Bihan, Mark Dacascos, Emilie Dequenne

Parts horror, fantasy, action film and costume drama, Brotherhood of the Wolf is based on actual events that took place in France during the reign of King Louis XV. It’s the mid-18th Century and a mysterious beast is slaughtering women and children in the Gévaudan region. The residents think it’s a demon from Hell, and the local militia are inclined to agree. The Chevalier de Fronsac, a botanist and libertine, is dispatched to capture the creature, and in doing so he finds much more than he could have imagined, uncovering a mysterious cult and treacherous political duplicity.

g The Business of Strangers
(USA, 84 min.) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Patrick Stettner
Cast: Stockard Channing, Julia Stiles, Frederick Weller

The Business of Strangers jumps quickly out of the gate, following Julie (Stockard Channing) on her brisk, calculated walk through an anonymous airport landscape. This predatory executive is having a bad day. When she finds out she may be downsized, Julie exercises her wrath on Paula, a darkly enigmatic new assistant, sacking her at their first meeting. When the two are stranded and meet a second time at the hotel bar that night, a dangerous and seductive tête-à-tête begins. Perfectly cast and employing a fluid visual style and murkily luscious soundtrack, The Business of Strangers is a gripping battle of wills between a pair of unlikely adversaries.

g Cahoots
(USA, 114 min.) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Dirk Benedict
Cast: Keith Carradine, David Keith, Wendie Malick, Janet Gunn

Cahoots is a fiercely dark comedy that takes male bonding to the extremes. It is the story of two men who grew up together as best friends and reconnect after years apart. In this deliberately crude and politically incorrect buddy film, Keith Carradine plays Matt, a hellraiser who comes to Los Angeles to shake up the life of his old friend Harley, who now has a stable life (complete with trophy wife and a struggling architecture business). Matt’s arrival will turn Harley’s life upside down in a blistering, unsentimental journey into the shadowy recesses of the male psyche.

g Century Hotel
(Canada, 96 min.) U.S. Premiere
Writer: David Weaver and Bridget Newson
Director: David Weaver
Cast: Joel Bissonnette, Lindy Booth, Colm Feore, David Hewlett, Sandrine Holt, Janet Kidder, Mia Kirshner, Chantal Kreviazuk, Eugene Lipinski, Raine Maida, Tom McCamus, Earl Pastko, Jeremy Ratchford

David Weaver’s feature film debut is a sumptuous tale that tracks the inhabitants of Room 720, a seemingly anonymous hotel room, over the course of a century. Witnessing every kind of human drama – an illicit love affair, an unsolved murder, a young woman’s first sexual encounter, and the creeping onset of madness – Century Hotel is a journey through the twentieth century. Beginning with its luxurious origins in the twenties, it sees the Great Depression in the thirties, the sexually liberated sixties, the decadent eighties, until on the eve of the new millennium, a young girl begins to unlock its secrets.

g The Devil’s Backbone
(Mexico/Spain, 106 min.) Regional Premiere
Writers: Guillermo Del Toro, Antonio Trashorras, & David Muñoz
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Cast: Eduardo Noriega, Marisa Paredes, Federico Luppi, Irene Visedo, Iñigo Garcés, Fernando Tielve

From director Guillermo Del Toro (Cronos, Mimic) comes The Devil’s Backbone, a strange and unpredictable ghost story. Set in Santa Lucia School, a Catholic orphanage in the middle of the Spanish Civil War, the film orbits around the teachers and their charges, the orphans of the Republican militia, as they hide from a war raging outside the school walls. But inside the orphanage something far more sinister is about to be revealed. Ten year-old Carlos (Fernando Tielve) has run-ins with the steely headmistress (Marisa Paredes), the aggressive caretaker (Eduardo Noriega, Open Your Eyes), and an unseen force, determined to make the school’s inhabitants pay.

g Donnie Darko
(USA, 120 min.) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Richard Kelly
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle, Mary McDonnell

A look at a troubled suburban boy’s fantasy life turns into an intricate and imaginative cinematic puzzle in Richard Kelly’s directorial debut, Donnie Darko. Donnie (a brooding Jake Gyllenhaal) is a disturbed teen, prone to visions of a grotesque, monstrous rabbit. Under the apparition’s ominous supervision Donnie begins to act in dangerous and antisocial ways. Though they are sinister, the visions are not entirely evil; they teach Donnie to bend the very fabric of his universe. Part thriller, part science fiction, and all mystery, Donnie Darko is as memorable and accessible as it is totally unexpected.

g Green Dragon
(USA, 115 min.) Regional Premiere
Writer: Tony Bui & Timothy Linh Bui
Director: Timothy Linh Bui
Cast: Patrick Swayze, Don Duong, Forest Whitaker, Hiep Thi Le, Billinjer Tran, Long Nguyen

It was at the end of the Vietnam War, in 1975, when tens of thousands of Vietnamese refugees were brought into camps throughout the southwestern United States. In resonant and long-lasting images, Green Dragon imagines one camp from the perspective of those who had lost their families, fortunes, and their country, as a result of the war. Timothy Bui (in his directorial debut) and brother Tony Bui (co-writer of Green Dragon and director of the award-winning Three Seasons) collect a visually arresting and poignant amalgamation of tales of both Americans and Vietnamese whose human spirit persevered in spite of their miserable surroundings.

g Gypsy 83
(USA, 92 min.) Regional Premiere
Writers: Tim Kaltenecker & Todd Stephens
Director: Todd Stephens
Cast: Sara Rue, Kett Turton, Karen Black, Paulo Costanzo, Anson Scoville, John Doe

The remarkable velvet corsets, dark eye make-up and crow-feather boas on Todd Stephen’s title character Gypsy Vale (Sara Rue) makes old ladies cower and nuclear families step aside. Gypsy is a latter-day Stevie Nicks wannabe, and with her Goth, barely-out-of-the closet friend Clive (Kett Turton), they feel like freaks in button-downed Sandusky, Ohio. Hearing of “The Night of a 1000 Stevies” look-alike contest in Manhattan, Gypsy and Clive leave town with dreams of a new life. Fueled by a fantastic soundtrack including Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Cure, and Bauhaus, and backed by talent like Karen Black as a washed-up lounge singer, Gypsy 83 is an unflinching and raucous road trip to remember.
l Sponsored by aGLIFF, which brings to the Southwest the best new films and videos by, about, or of interest to gay men and lesbians. aGLIFF members can purchase $5 discount tickets to this screening by showing their membership card at the box office.

g Lakeboat
(USA, 98 min.) Advance Screening
Writer: David Mamet
Director: Joe Mantegna
Cast: Charles Durnign, Peter Falk, Robert Forster, J.J. Johnston, Denis Leary, Tony Mamet, Jack Wallace, George Wendt

David Mamet’s first play and Joe Mantegna’s directorial debut converge in Lakeboat, the film that follows Dale (Tony Mamet), a grad student trying to earn a few bucks, as he boards a steel freighter to work for the summer. This loose narrative tracks the profane, sexist, and homophobic outbursts, but also humorous and poignant exchanges between a mostly middle-aged and all-male crew. When the night cook fails to show up for the ship’s departure, the crew churns up outrageous rumors, but all in true bachelor style: it must been booze, cards or women to blame.

g Liam
(U.K., 90 min.)
Writer: Jimmy McGovern
Director: Stephen Frears
Cast: Ian Hart, Claire Hackett,
Anthony Burrows

Liam, by Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity) is an emotionally charged portrait of a Catholic family in Liverpool, caught in the grips of almost total social and political upheaval. Liam (Anthony Burrows) is the seven year-old boy who watches as his father (Ian Hart) loses his job at the shipyard. Liam’s sister must take a job as a maid for the wealthy Jewish family who laid their father off, fueling their father’s anger and driving him to join the local Fascist party. Frears’ channels all Liam’s experiences through his looming first Communion, in all its requisite hellfire and brimstone imagery.

g Lisa Picard Is Famous
(USA, 90 min.)
Writer: Laura Kirk & Nat DeWolf
Director: Griffin Dunne
Cast: Laura Kirk, Nat DeWolf, Griffin Dunne

Lisa Picard (Laura Kirk) and Tate Kelly (Nat DeWolf) are actors and best friends, desperately and hilariously trying to catch their big break. The film’s director, Griffin Dunne (Quiz Show), plays a documentarian bent on capturing the very moment when the unknown Lisa becomes famous. He believes she’s perpetually on the verge of stardom, or she would be if she could just manage to keep off the cutting room floor. Every painfully funny moment in her so-called career is captured in this mockumentary, including the humiliation of seeing Tate’s one-man show about homophobia get optioned by Spike Lee. Look for cameos by Lee, Charlie Sheen, Carrie Fisher, Sandra Bullock and Mira Sorvino (co-producer), who cannily observe the flip side to the Hollywood insider’s story.
l Sponsored by aGLIFF, which brings to the Southwest the best new films and videos by, about, or of interest to gay men and lesbians. aGLIFF members can purchase $5 discount tickets to this screening by showing their membership card at the box office.

g Lonesome
(USA, 93 min.)
Writers: Sidney Brammer & Elke Rosthal
Director: Elke Rosthal
Cast: Aleska Palladino, John Pyper-Ferguson, Marisa Berenson, Brian Delate

Lily Randolph is a headstrong teenager who is constantly at odds with her parents. Just days before her 18th birthday, Lily is thrown out of her family’s car after a heated argument with her political-candidate father. She then hitches a ride with Tom, a down-on-his-luck country-singing cowboy. In dire need of publicity for his campaign, Lily’s father goes public with her “disappearance,” triggering the FBI to begin an investigation. Pursued by her parents and the authorities, Lily flees with Tom to his deserted family home. Lily is then forced to make a decision that will affect her, and everyone around her, forever.
l Sponsored by Reel Women, a non-profit organization that provides support for women at all levels of experience in the film and video industries. Reel Women members may purchase $5 discount tickets for this program by showing their membership card at the door.

g Novocaine
(USA, 100 min.) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: David Atkins
Cast: Steve Martin, Helena Bonham Carter, Laura Dern, Elias Koteas, Scott Caan

Dr. Frank Sangster (Steve Martin) seems to have a picture-perfect life: he has a beautiful fiancée (Laura Dern) and a thriving dental practice. That is, at least, until the provocative Susan Ivy (Helena Bonham Carter) comes into the office, needing a root canal and lots of painkillers. No sooner does he write the prescription than he is drawn into a world of sex, drugs and murder, running from the authorities and also from his angry fiancée. Boasting expertly timed gags and macabre moments, Novocaine, by first-timer David Atkins, is a highly original genre-bender, merging film noir thriller with riotous comedy.

g Pendulum
(USA, 95 min.) Advance Screening
Writer: Jason Kabolati
Director: James D. Deck
Cast: Rachel Hunter, James Russo, Matt Bataglia

When an esteemed professor at Welland Law School is murdered, the deep-rooted Dallas power structure must scramble to find his killer without revealing dark secrets hidden within the prestigious institution, secrets that could destroy the rich tradition of the university. Police detective Amanda Reeve (Rachel Hunter) quickly finds herself drawn into an investigation where the truth would cost powerful men their positions and reputations. In Amanda’s search for the truth, she investigates two enigmatic but beautiful lesbian law students, until her investigation leads to clues that link the District Attorney and her boyfriend (Matt Battaglia) to the mysterious old boy network.

g Seven and a Match
(USA, 111 min.) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Derek Simonds
Cast: Eion Bailey, Heather Donahue, Devon Gummersall, Tina Holmes, Adam Scott, Daniel Serafini-Sauli, Petra Wright

A reunion weekend takes an unexpected turn when seven Yale classmates meet at an isolated summer house in Maine, for possibly the last time. Ellie (Tina Holmes) owns the house, but broke and facing foreclosure, she gathers her friends and proposes that they set fire to the house and provide her with an alibi, so that she may collect the insurance money she needs to stave off bankruptcy. While carefully avoiding the romantic nostalgia that can accompany reunion films, Simonds provides a smart and engaging arena for this gifted ensemble of young actors to play out a conflagration of a different kind, as each character assesses the bonds that tie friends and lovers.

g The Salton Sea
Director: D.J. Caruso
Cast: Val Kilmer, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Goldberg, Deborah Kara Unger, Pater Sarsgaard, Meat Loaf Aday, Luiz Guzman

If you're looking for truth, you've come to the wrong place. The Salton Sea is a character-driven thriller about an unlikely hero's search for redemption following his wife's murder.

g Twelve
(USA, 82 min.) World Premiere
Writer/Director: Daniel Noah
Cast: Lauren Fox, Maurice Carr, Randall Jaynes, Daniel Vespa, Bob Harbaum, Ean Sheehy, James Sobol

Zach Taylor wakes up in a strange apartment. He doesn’t know where he is, he can’t remember what he did last night, and he doesn’t even know his name. It might have been that he just partied a bit too hard last night, except that when he looks in a mirror, he can’t even see his face. But he’s determined to investigate the secrets of his identity, his baffling physical ailments, and the group of thugs who are after him. Shot entirely from Zach’s point of view, Twelve is a baffling sci-fi thriller about much more than a case of simple amnesia.

g Waking Life
(USA, 97 min.) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Wiley Wiggins and an ensemble of 74 other actors

Experimental both in terms of format and content, Waking Life, by Texas native Richard Linklater (SubUrbia, Before Sunrise) resists any easy description. This head trip of a film was conventionally shot with live actors on handheld digital cameras, edited, and then “painted” over by a team of animators, giving the film a dreamy, fluid texture. But the technique is also carried over into the narrative as well, as Linklater’s hero, played by Wiley Wiggins, drifts though a seemingly dream-like narrative, interacting in dialogues on life, existence, consciousness, and dreams. Waking Life seems more dreamy than awake with its saturated hues and surreal images.


The Austin Film Festival is proud to launch this premiere series of films from the U.K. and Ireland. Through these four very different films, programmed in conjunction with the ukfilmla, we have endeavored to bring you some exciting new ideas from established and emerging filmmaking talent.

g Like Father
(U.K., 96 min.) U.S. PREMIERE
Writer/Directors: The Amber Collective: Richard Grassick, Ellin Hare, Murray Martin, Pat McCarthy, Lorna Powell, Peter Roberts, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen
Cast: Joe Armstrong, Ned Kelly, Jonathan Dent, Anna Gascoigne

This is the latest offering from the Amber Collective, a filmmaking group that has been making socially aware films since 1969 using non-professional actors in similar situations similar to their characters. Joe Elliot (Joe Armstrong), a club musician and composer in northern England, is torn between three people. His father (Ned Kelly) is being forced out of his home by the developers; his troubled son (Jonathan Dent) is being bullied by cruel schoolmates; and his wife (Anna Gascoigne) has left him over his financial irresponsibility and his fondness for the “club.” At the heart of their conflict lies an unspoken family tragedy that may lead the way to reconciliation.

g My Brother Tom
(U.K. 110 min.) Regional Premiere
Writers: Alison Beeton-Hilder & Dom Rotheroe
Director: Dom Rotheroe
Cast: Jenna Harrison, Ben Whishaw, Honeysuckle Weeks, Michael Erskine, Adrian Rawlings

Two teenagers, Tom and Jessica, meet and enter into a compelling and intimate relationship, one in which no compromise seems possible. When they meet, Jessica is fascinated by Tom’s sinister side and the forests to which he retreats from trouble and misery at home. Theirs is a powerful bond, but one doomed to fail because one person can change, but the other cannot. Using digital hand cameras, director Dom Rotheroe and cinematographer Robby Müller (Dancer in the Dark) record the raw, intense relationship, allowing for improvisation and complete freedom of movement.

g Peaches
(Ireland, 84 min.) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Nick Grosso
Cast: Matthew Rhys, Kelly Reilly, Sophie Okenedo

Determined not to be upset by failing his final year exams, Frank (Matthew Rhys, Titus) consoles himself by facing an indolent summer, living rent-free, avoiding work, and ogling all the “peaches,” or women, London has to offer. But Frank starts to botch things up when a play for a college friend (Kelly Reilly) on a weekend in the country ends in humiliation, his free rent seems to be coming to an end, and his slacker friends start looking for, gasp, work! Writer/director Nick Grosso’s film, adapted from his play by the same name, set in London but filmed in Dublin, is a wry, charming view of lad culture.

g Understanding Jane
(U.K., 99 min.) U.S. PREMIERE
Writer: Jim Mummery
Director: Caleb Lindsay
Cast: Kevin McKidd, John Simm, Amelia Curtis, Louisa Milwood Haigh

Elliot (Kevin McKidd, Trainspotting) and Oz (John Simm, Wonderland) unwittingly get involved in a scam when they respond to a personals ad to meet two women. Dallas (Amelia Curtis) and Popeye (Louisa Milwood Haigh) are two streetwise girls who use the ads to scam men out of cash, gifts, and food. One man immediately sees through the ruse, but is he infatuated anyway? The two pairs are complete opposites, never meant to meet or get along, but a drunken night and a blind date could change all that.


g Grateful Dawg
(USA, 81 min.) Regional Premiere
Director: Gillian Grisman

David Grisman met Jerry Garcia in 1964 in pre-Grateful Dead days when Garcia was an unknown banjo player from San Francisco. Directed by Grisman’s daughter Gillian, Grateful Dawg records the affectionate and intimate musical friendship between the two, tracking both the musical collaborations that produced a best-selling bluegrass album, and a decade-long rift that separated them after business squabbles broke up their band. This enjoyable audio-visual scrapbook is a mix of formerly unreleased performances, home movies, and rare and unique personal moments from the studio, backstage and home-style jam sessions, sure to offer up insights to both new and longtime fans.

g The Mancha Blanca
(USA, 68 min.) WORLD Premiere
Director: S.R. Bindler

From a letter to S.R. Bindler from Matthew McConaughey (executive producer) regarding the Mancha Blanca (the White Spot): "...I finish and ask myself is this about the 'White Spot' virus? Is it about 'AYAHUASCA'? Is it about 'Shaman John'? Is it about 'Inca Cola' (a.k.a. Ayahuasca)? STOP!!! It's more lateral... I realize... it's larger than any of those specifically... is it about the preservation of the environment? And man's cohabitation with mother nature? 'Yes' is the answer, but there's more. I relaxed and let the messages come to me... quit seeking an end to the means and found myself noting down lessons that it offered... as they came... about life..." The Mancha Blanca is an experimental documentary that follows a Peruvian medicine-man's attempt to solve a devastating shrimp virus using a psychotropic Amazonian-brew called Ayahuasca


g After The Flood
(81 min., color, 35mm) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Robert Saitzyk
Cast: Shawn Andrews, Ola Metwally, Joseph Chase

After The Flood follows a young man’s desperate search for spiritual redemption on the streets. Simon is a street kid turned to dealing guns to survive. When one of the junkies who owes Simon money pays his debt with a young El Salvadorian girl, the relationship between Simon and the girl becomes a provocative character study. The film spirals through a gritty urban neo-realism, then into haunting, surreal images that evoke the loss of innocence and a fractured, vulnerable sexuality. After the Flood paints an impressionistic portrait of a soul hopelessly struggling to escape the prison of the modern city.
4 Plus: Golden Gate
(15 min., color, 35mm)
Portuguese with English subtitles
Writer: Braulio Mantovani
Director: Fernando Meirelles & Katia Lund

Two young boys living in a dangerous favela in Rio de Janeiro come up with a plan to raise money.

g America So Beautiful
(91 min., color, 35mm) Regional Premiere
Writers: Babak Shokrian & Brian Horiuchi
Director: Babak Shokrian
Cast: Mansour, Fariborz David Diaan, Alain DeSatti

America So Beautiful follows the odyssey of a group of Iranian immigrants in Los Angeles, trying to find their place in the U.S. amidst the unfolding of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Houshang believes that his ticket out of his uncle’s Persian market and into American society is to buy into one night’s ownership of a glittery disco – if he can just come up with the money. Houshang tries to pull his family into the deal by taking them out for an evening at the disco. They encounter a night of surprise and transformation, filled with disappointment, hilarity, pain, confusion and revelation.
4 Plus: Frank’s Book
(15 min., color, 35mm)
Writer: R.A. White (based on a book by Simon Black)
Director: R. A. White

John C. Reilly stars as Frank, a lowly office worker who fantasizes about the greatness of his notebook.

g Christmas in the Clouds
(94 min., color, 35mm) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Kate Montgomery
Cast: Tim Vahle, Sam Vlahos, MariAnaTosca, M. Emmet Walsh, Graham Greene, Sheila Tousey

Premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Christmas in the Clouds is a unique portrayal of contemporary Native people that recalls the screwball comedies of Howard Hawks and Frank Capra. The film is a heartwarming tale of tribal enterprise, romance, and mistaken identity that takes place at Sky Mountain, a ski resort owned and operated by a Native American tribe. When Ray Clouds on Fire returns from the big city to manage the resort, he gets more than he bargained for when he finds out that a representative from the prestigious Worthington Travel Guide is coming to evaluate them.
4 Plus: Gregor’s Greatest Invention
(11 min., color, 35mm)
German with English subtitles
Writer/Director: Johannes Kiefer

When Granny’s friends try to stick her in a nursing home, Gregor comes up with a brilliant idea.

g Come Together
(80 min., color, video) U.S. PREMIERE
Writer/Director: Jeff Macpherson
Cast: Tygh Runyan, Eryn Collins, Laura Harris

Come Together is a hilarious comedy revolving around Ewan McKinnis, a 27 year-old greeting card writer who is still wallowing after his breakup with Charlotte, his first true love. Not only that, but Charlotte has just invited Ewan to her wedding... to another man. (A man with great facial structure and lots of money.) In an attempt to gain some closure, Ewan comes to town for the ceremony and unceremoniously meets Amy Collins, a disarming teenager who quickly falls for him. In the days leading to Charlotte’s wedding, Ewan and Amy fumble through a comical and questionable relationship.
4 Plus: Breaths
(22 min., color, video)
Writers: Amy S. Ellison & Stacy Horn, Director: Amy S. Ellison
Ellen is determined to fit in at her new school, despite her severe asthma.

g Cow Monkey
(88 min., color, video) Regional Premiere
Writers: James Reichmuth, John Reichmuth, & Gabe Weisert
Director: Gabe Weisert
Cast: John Reichmuth, James Reichmuth, Bridget Schwartz, Dan Klein

Real life twins John and James Reichmuth star in this hilariously deadpan comedy about two dimwitted brothers in search of Bigfoot in the backwoods of a wilderness preserve. They’ve got good reasons for wanting to kill the big guy: “We’ve got a score to settle. It peeled our dog like a banana.” It won’t be easy for the two brothers, especially since there are other folks who are also hot on the trail of the elusive Bigfoot, including Cindy, an anthropology student researching her Bigfoot thesis paper, and Grover, the preserve’s custodian, who claims to have had a recent ‘sighting’.
4 Plus: Get Outta Here
(20 min., color, 16mm)
Writer/Director: Tony Shaff

Max’s one shot to escape his everyday life is to appear on his favorite game show, “Get Outta Here”.

g Living in Missouri
(90 min., color, video) WORLD PREMIERE
Writer: Connor Ratliff
Director: Shaun Peterson
Cast: Connor Ratliff, Ian McConnel, Christina Puzzo

A challenging and darkly comic film, Living in Missouri is the story of Ryan, Todd and Amy, whose humdrum Midwestern lives are starting to come apart at the seams. Ryan and Todd have been best friends since the 7th grade. Ryan, now married to Amy, has two young children and a 9-to-5 job he hates. The sexually-frustrated Todd still lives in the basement of his parents’ house, works at a video store, and secretly envies Ryan’s married life. When Ryan’s selfish behavior begins to strain the marriage, Amy turns to Todd for support, and long repressed desires come to the surface.
4 Plus: Earth Day
(17 min., color, video)
Writer/Directors: Meredith Casey & Michiko Byers

Saving the environment has never been so deadly for the kids of Harmony High. (With Mark Hamill as Dr. Bob!)

g The Medicine Show
(100 min., color, 35mm) WORLD PREMIERE
Writer/Director: Wendell Morris
Cast: Jonathan Silverman, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Greg Grunberg

Inspired by the writer/director’s own experience, The Medicine Show reflects all the strange horror, emotion, and humor of dealing with cancer. When Taylor Darcy, a cynical young man in the prime of life, is diagnosed with colon cancer, he wants only to be ignored so that he might drink and mock his way through his carcinoma nightmare in peace. While in the hospital, Taylor meets Lynn, a leukemia patient who matches wits with him and forces him to confront the seriousness of his ailment. Together they will laugh, fight, throw food at nurses, and struggle to stay physically and spiritually alive.
4 Plus: The Pickle Jar
(7 min., color, 35mm)
Writer/Director: Benjamin Goldman

A young man getting ready for a date has a strange encounter with a black bug.

g Miserable Comforters
(67 min., color, video) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Johnathon Schaech
Cast: John Asuncion, Steve Longway,
Rob Naples, Alice Barrington, Elise Ballard, Jeff Lorch

In this smart satire, a group of young fanatical Christian film students set out on a mission to film a documentary. Their goal is to find a “less fortunate” soul to save – and film it. The group’s leader, Barbara Kendoll says “I want to find someone who’s down on their luck, and help them turn their lives around, someone who has a story to tell.” They stumble upon a young couple who are homeless and in need of some prayers. After many heartfelt adventures, however, they find the “less fortunate” are not the ones who need to be saved.
4 Plus: 2 Days, 1 Dream
(30 min., color, video)
Director: Marshall Adair

17 year-old Marshall Adair’s documentary on participating in an experiment on sleep deprivation.

g A Passage to Ottawa
(90 min., color, 35mm) U.S. PREMIERE
Writer: Jameel Khaja
Director: Gaurav Seth
Cast: Nabil Mehta, Amy Sobol, Jim Codrington, Ivan Smith, Franceen Brodkin

The touching, funny, feature film debut from writer Jameel Khaja and director Gaurav Seth, A Passage to Ottawa is the story of Omi, a young Indian boy who, due to his mother’s illness, has just been sent to live with his uncle and family in Ottawa, Canada. Unaware that his mother is likely to die, Omi believes that he is on a secret mission to find a superhero he can take back to India to save her. When Omi meets Roland, the captain of a local tour boat, he believes he has found his hero.
4 Plus: Because of Mama
(18 min., color, 35mm)
Russian with English subtitles
Writer: Karen Gocsik & Serguei Bassine
Director: Serguei Bassine

On the eve of his cello recital, 12 year-old Slava struggles to practice as his father embarks on a drinking spree.

g Riders
(95 min., color, video) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Doug Sadler
Cast: Don Harvey, Bodine Alexander,
Sarah Stusek, Jane Beard

A beautiful and compelling exploration of human frailty and courage, Riders tells the story of Alex Stone, a teenage girl who comes into violent confrontation with Ned, her mother’s new boyfriend. When Ned moves into their home, Alex is immediately suspicious of his attention to her younger sister, Sara. In an attempt to protect Sara, Alex takes her on a trek to New Orleans in search of their estranged father. In a subtle revision of the American Western, Alex’s increasingly surreal journey takes her through the wilds of Nashville and New Orleans in a search of salvation.
4 Plus: f8
(12 min., animation, video)
Writers: Howard Wen & Jason Wen, Director: Jason Wen

In the future, an unstoppable alien power has taken over the planet. One individual manages to break free.

g Way Off Broadway
(84 min., color, 35mm) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Dan Kay
Cast: Brad Beyer, Morena Baccarin, Michael Parducci, Jordan Gelber, Forbes March

Way Off Broadway is a smart, charming comedy about the changing relationships between five friends who are struggling to be artists in New York City. Darren, a playwright suffering from writer’s block, feels pressured by the support of his father. Jay, a talented musician, has given up playing guitar and hides behind his one-night stands. Mickey and Ethan, both in graduate school, struggle with their own relationship problems. And Rebecca, an aspiring actress who continually battles with anonymous cattle calls and misogynist directors, is the center of the group and the force that holds them all together.
4 Plus: The Cutting Room
(15 min., color, 35mm)
Writer/Director: Daniel Bernstein

In a trailer park on the outskirts of nowhere, all the characters edited out of every movie, book, play and TV show live together in close quarters.


g The Duo
(88 min., color, video) Regional Premiere
Writer: Ryan Wickerham
Director: Tony Hewett
Cast: Bill Wise, Ryan Wickerham, Marie Black, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Jr.

Real superheroes. Fighting crime. Battling evil. Living among us in the suburbs... sounds more like a comic book than a serious documentary. Unless, that is, failed TV reporter Crystal Parsons is on the case. So get ready to meet America’s newest dynamic duo – Best Man and Buddy Boy, better known in shopping malls and police bulletins as The Terrific Two. Crystal’s journey into their world is anything but predictable and it quickly becomes an inescapable collision between reality and fantasy. And when Crystal’s camera captures the crash in vivid color, the truth is no longer black and white.
4 Plus: The Scab
(8 min., color, video)
Writer/Director: Shane Scott

When the film industry goes on strike, one man must fill all the crew positions himself.

g The Last Hope
(91 min., color, video)
Directors: Chris Hrasky & Kurt Volk

The Last Hope is a documentary chronicling the rise and near collapse of a makeshift society of people who, for six weeks, lived on the sidewalk in front of Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood to await the release of Star Wars: Episode I. The documentary follows the fans who wait in the line, a struggling actor who works at the Mann Theater, and the three founders of (a website that organized the line as a means to promote their 24-hour-a-day coverage of it). The film documents the increasing hostility of the fans as they begin to feel used by the website promoters.
4 Plus: $5200 MSTA
(2 min., color, video)
Writer/Directors: W. Joe Hoppe & Charles Burmeister

A love poem to the beauty and wonder that is Denis Johnson’s lipstick red ‘73 Cadillac Eldorado convertible.

g Wrong Numbers
(75 min., color, video) WORLD PREMIERE
Writers: Alex Holdridge & Sam Merrick
Director: Alex Holdridge
Cast: Matt Bearden, Scoot McNairy, Matt Pulliam, Kjerstin Cunnington

Take a ride through the bizarre Friday night world of the underage American. Wrong Numbers is a hilarious comedy that follows two 19 year-old kids, James and Russell, as they travel through the streets of Austin, Texas, trying to buy beer. Living in the Bible Belt makes that difficult, however. The seemingly simple task spins out of control and takes the two on an all-night adventure. Cops, parties, sex, drugs, jealousy and exhilaration await as oddball characters crash into the two and either set them in motion or latch on to join the ride.
4 Plus: Dents Are Us
(15 min., color, video)
Director: James Matthews

A short documentary portraying the true relationships in a real-life Texas dent removal shop.


g Ding-a-ling-LESS
(81 min., color, 35mm) WORLD PREMIERE
Writer/Director: Onur Tukel
Cast: Kirk Wilson, Robert Longstreet, Mark Robinson, Lydia Toon Fleury

With more penis jokes per minute than any film we’ve ever seen, Ding-a-ling-LESS is a hilarious and touching (seriously!) comedy about Jack Peterson, who was tragically disfigured at birth. Yes, he has no penis, but he has always managed to be content by erecting birdhouses and living vicariously through his womanizing friend Alan. When a pretty girl moves in next door, however, Jack realizes that maybe he’s not so happy after all. And when he learns of a medical procedure that can reverse his condition, he’s soon planning for the life he always wanted.

g Lethal Force
(75 min., color, video) Regional Premiere
Writer/Director: Alvin Ecarma
Cast: Frank Prather, Andrew Hewitt, Cash Flagg, Jr.

Both a tribute to and a satire of those old fashioned, über-violent B-movies, Lethal Force is the story of Jack Carter, a gangster whose son has been kidnapped by the evil, wheelchair-bound villain, Mal Locke. In order to get his son back, Carter must sell out his best friend Savitch. Mal wants revenge on Savitch, but it won’t be easy because Savitch himself is a ruthless and fearless assassin. Don’t worry about how the story unfolds, just sit back and enjoy the hilarious over-the-top dialogue, the kick-ass, adrenaline-packed action sequences, and of course the brutal, brutal, blood-soaked finale.
4 Plus: Jackie Pepper
(9 min., color, video)
Writer/Director: Bryant Jackson

Jackie Pepper offers a rare and intimate look into one of popular music’s last great enigmas.


g Body Heat
(113 min., 1981)
Writer/Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Cast: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna, Ted Danson, Mickey Rourke

Florida lawyer Ned Racine (Hurt) begins a passionate affair with married socialite Matty Walker (Turner), who seduces him and hatches a plot to kill her rich husband, Edmund (Crenna). Will their plan work? This is Turner’s first film and Kasdan’s directorial debut.

g Body Parts
(88 min., 1991)
screenplay: Eric Red & Norman Snyder
Director: Eric Red
Cast: Jeff Fahey, Brad Dourif, Sarah Campbell

Crime psychologist Bill Crushank loses his arm in a car crash. A beautiful but mad doctor replaces the limb with one from a deranged, executed serial killer. Soon, Bill starts having bad dreams and mood swings, and the arm itself often acts strangely. Is his mind causing these changes in his personality, or does the limb have an evil will of its own – capable of murder?

g Places in the Heart
(112 min, 1984)
Writer/Director: Robert Benton
Cast: Sally Field, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, John Malkovich, Danny Glover

Edna Spalding (Field) must keep her farm and family together during the Great Depression. She receives help planting cotton from Moze (Glover) and takes on a border, Mr. Will (Malkovich) in order to make her mortgage payment on time. Field won an Oscar for her performance, as Benton did for his original screenplay.

g Silverado
(132 min., 1985)
Writers: Lawrence Kasdan & Mark Kasdan
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Cast: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, John Cleese

Four unlikely friends journey together to the town of Silverado to take on the bad guys in this sprawling return to the tradition of classic Hollywood Westerns. Will they win in the end and succeed in restoring peace to the city?

g The Sting
(129 min., 1973)
Writer: David S. Ward
Director: George Roy Hill
Cast: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning, Ray Walston, Eileen Brennan.

In 1930s Chicago, a young, small-time con man (Redford) teams with a master of the big con (Newman) to put ‘the sting’ on a New York City boss (Shaw) after he has one of their friends bumped off. The film won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Director and Screenplay.

All panelists are confirmed, schedule permitting. | Home Page | 2001 Panel Schedule