Ten days of outstanding new independent films are in store at Staller Center, from Thursday, July 18 through Saturday, July 27. The 18th Stony Brook Film Festival celebrates the best in independent film, all shown on one of the largest screens in the region in Staller Center’s Main Stage Theatre.
Whether you enjoy foreign language films, American independent films or shorts from around the globe, you’re in for an unforgettable experience when you attend the Festival. The films chosen feature powerful and growing voices in cinema and will have directors, actors and crew members at the festival to represent them.
Along with films from the U.S., our international slate of features, documentaries and shorts will take you to many countries including Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Pakistan, Serbia-Croatia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.
Zaytoun – East Coast Premiere—Israel/U.K./France—110 minutes
Directed by Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree).
Written by Nader Rizq.
With Stephen Dorff (Somewhere), Abdallah El Akal, Alice Taglioni, Loai Nofi.
Sometimes the only friend you have…is your enemy. Zaytoun (Arabic for “olive”) is a moving portrait of the tentative bond forged between an Israeli pilot and a young Palestinian refugee during the 1982 Lebanese War. Israeli pilot Yoni (Stephen Dorff) is shot down over Beirut and taken prisoner by inhabitants of a Palestinian refugee camp. Among the captors is ten-year-old Fahed. Zaytoun is a story of survival, reconciliation and friendship.
The Blitz – U.S. Premiere—Netherlands—104 minutes
Directed by Ate de Jong.
Screenplay by Ate de Jong, Paul Ruven.
With Jan Smit, Roos van Erkel, Monic Hendrickx, Mike Weerts.
Set in Rotterdam, May 1940, just days before the Germans bombed the Netherlands, The Blitz tells the story of Vincent, a poor, young amateur boxer, and Eve, a young woman from Germany who has agreed to marry a wealthy middle-aged industrialist she does not love in order to save her family. Vincent and Eve begin to fall in love as the threat of war casts a shadow over their future.
A New York Heartbeat – World Premiere—U.S.A.—99 minutes
Directed and written by Tjardus Greidanus.
With Escher Holloway, Rachel Brosnahan, Eric Roberts, Todd Julian, Rane Jameson, Barret Hackney, Amadeo Fusca, Jack Donner, Eliza Roberts.
Spider is a 17-year-old gang leader trying to make a reputation for himself on the streets of Brooklyn in 1959. But he finds he’s in way over his head when he steals a suitcase of money from a notorious gangster who wouldn’t think twice about blowing away a punk hood if it means getting his cash back.
TWA Flight 800 – Festival Premiere—U.S.A.—86 minutes
Directed by Kristina Borjesson.
With Tom Stalcup, Ph.D., Henry F. Hughes, Robert Young, James Speer.
Premium network EPIX presents a stunning American documentary having its Festival Premiere screening followed by a Q & A panel discussion with the filmmakers, Kristina Borjesson and Tom Stalcup. TWA Flight 800 presents the saga of the catastrophic crash off the south shore of Long Island on July 17, 1996. At the time, it was called “the largest aviation investigation in U.S. and world history.” But it was also the most controversial. Now, a team of insiders from that investigation comes forward in this feature documentary to uncover what really happened to TWA Flight 800. It is also the story of one extraordinary scientist, Tom Stalcup, who spent years fighting for access to documents and evidence. Thirteen years into his quest, several retired members of the official crash investigation joined him. In TWA Flight 800, these former government insiders blow the whistle on their own investigation and spend two years helping the scientist uncover the truth. What follows is a story of intense personal journeys and a grand-scale exposé with breathtaking implications.
My Beautiful Country
Written and directed by Michaela Kezele.
With Zrinka Cvitešić, Mišel Matičević, Andrija, Nikčević, Miloš Mesarović, Danica Ristovski, Slavko Štimac.
During the civil war in Kosovo, the young Serbian widow Danica takes care of Ramiz, a Kosovo-Albanian soldier on the run from the Serbian militia who, after being wounded in battle, has sought refuge in her home on the Serbian side of the River Ibar. As love slowly blossoms between them, Ramiz begins to make friends with Danica’s two sons, each who has been deeply affected by the recent loss of their father at the hands of Albanians.
One Small Hitch – U.S.A.—105 minutes
Directed by John Burgess.
Written by Dode B. Levenson.
With Shane McRae, Aubrey Dollar, Daniel J. Travanti, Ron Dean, Robert Belushi, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Mary Jo Faraci, Rebecca Spence, Heidi Johanningmeier.
Molly is flying home to Chicago for her mother’s wedding bringing a “Mystery Man” with her. When she discovers this mystery man has a mystery wife, she dumps him at the curbside check-in. Her childhood friend Josh is headed to the family wedding as well, and they innocently agree to fake a wedding engagement to make Josh’s dying father’s last wish come true. Things quickly get out of hand with their two boisterous families as they pretend to be a couple and start planning a phony wedding.
These Birds Walk – East Coast Premiere—Pakistan—71 minutes
Directed by Omar Mullick, Bassam Tariq.
Filmed over nearly three years in Pakistan, this documentary follows a high-spirited young boy who lives in a house for runaways. Many of the boys have fled from a rural home life for the dangerous streets of Karachi. Attempting to help is a young ambulance driver who works for the dispatch center next to the runaways’ home, risking his life to reunite these runaways with their families. Hanging over both is the founder of the orphanage, Abdul Sattar Edhi, the most deeply revered philanthropist in Pakistan. Simultaneously heart-wrenching and life-affirming, These Birds Walk documents the struggles of these wayward street children and the Samaritans looking out for them in this ethereal and inspirational story of resilience.
Inheritance – East Coast Premiere—Israel/Pakistan/France— 88 minutes
Directed by Hiam Abbass.
Written by Hiam Abbass, G.A. Wasi, Ala Hlehel, Nadine Naous.
With Hafsia Herzi, Hiam Abbass, Yussuf Abu-Warda, Ali Suliman, Ashraf Barhom, Ruba Blal, Clara Khoury, Makram Khoury, Khalifa Natour, Tom Payne, G.A. Wasi.
A Palestinian family living in the north of Galilee gathers to celebrate the wedding of one of their daughters as war rages between Israel and Lebanon. Internal conflicts explode within the family as secrets are revealed and lies are unmasked. Inheritance is Hiam Abbass’ directing debut following her acclaimed performances in Lemon Tree and The Visitor.
Everything Went Down – New York Premiere—U.S.A.—86 minutes
Directed and written by Dustin Morrow.
With Noah Drew and Kate Tucker.
Everything Went Down tells the story of a grieving young college professor and the budding friendship he develops with a singer-songwriter struggling to make a name for herself as a musician. Filmed in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and set to the songs of singer/songwriter Kate Tucker in her first starring role, this contemporary musical examines the nature of friendship, healing, and the power of art.
llez, Eddy! – East Coast Premiere—Belgium—100 minutes
Directed and written by Gert Embrechts.
With Jelte Blommaert, Peter van den Begin, BarbaraSarafian, Els Dottermans, Stefaan Degand, Bruno Georis, Mathias Vergels, Frieda Pittoors.
Allez, Eddy! is a heart-warming comedy about an 11-year old cycling enthusiast named Freddy, son of a butcher in an idyllic village in nowhere-land. Freddy’s isolated life is totally disrupted when the first supermarket in the village opens its doors in 1975 and a cycling race is announced as an opening event. The winner of the race will meet world famous cyclist Eddy Merckx. But since the supermarket is the enemy of the local shopkeepers and, in particular, of his own father, Freddy is obliged to enter the race in secret.
Manhunt (Oblawa) – East Coast Premiere—Poland—96 minutes
Written and directed by Marcin Krzysztalowicz.
With Marcin Dorocinski, Weronika Rosati, Maciej Stuhr, Sonia Bohosiewicz.
A Polish forest, autumn 1943. A small sabotage team of the Resistance, ridden with disease and hunger, awaits a call to action. Their task is to capture and kill Nazis and their sympathizers. They are partisans devoted to special ops, only they are in need of some special operations themselves. An intense wartime drama told in a uniquely retrospective manner through the stories of the main characters, all with links to each other, links that are strong and intricate in a harrowing tale of betrayal, revenge, morality, guilt, punishment, honor and loyalty.
Watchtower – East Coast Premiere—Turkey—100 minutes
Written and directed by Pelin Esmer.
With Olgun Simsek and Nilay Erdonmez.
Haunted by a tragic incident, Nihat has isolated himself by becoming a fire warden in a remote observation tower far out in the wilderness. Seher lives in a makeshift room at a rural bus station, and she has taken a job as a bus hostess to escape her own traumatic past. Destined to come to a crossroads, they go about their solitary lives until their fates collide.
The Weekend – New York Premiere—Germany—98 minutes
Directed by Nina Grosse.
Written by Nina Gross
With Katja Riemann, Sebastian Koch, Tobias Moretti, Barbara Auer, Sylvester Groth, Robert Gwisdek, Elisa Schlott.
After being released from prison, former RAF terrorist Jens Kessler spends his first weekend in freedom with friends from the past; among them are his former lover Inga and her husband. As the tension mounts, it takes only one spark to trigger an eruption of hostility.
Soft Gun – U.S. Premiere—Canada/United States—78 minutes
Written and directed by Alexandra Bégin, Guillaume Collin and Jesse Kray.
With Alexandra Bégin and Jesse Kray.
Alex decides to hit the road and drives straight to Atlanta to her cousin Jesse’s house. They haven’t seen each other for eight years but were once inseparable. It is the memory of that bond that gets Jesse to agree to a road trip. They have no plan, no itinerary, no destination, just a desire to explore. Soft Gun was created by University students looking for a summer project. Securing a modest budget, the crew of seven young filmmakers created a highly original story.
The Tower – U.S. Premiere—Germany—115 minutes
Directed by Christian Schwochow.
Written by Thomas Kirchner, based on the novel written by Uwe Tellkamp.
With Jan Josef Liefers (Simon and the Oaks), Sebastian Urzendowsky (Berlin ’36), Claudia Michelsen, Nadja Uhl.
As communist East Germany begins its final decade, the cracks in the facade of its police state can no longer be ignored. The shy son of a physician wants to become a doctor but struggles to meet his father’s rigorous demands. Meanwhile his father has been having an affair with a colleague for several years. The family struggle deepens after the Secret Police try to force the father to be an informant, the son runs afoul of the authorities and enlists in the Army, and his mother becomes a political activist.
Blackfish – New York Premiere—U.S.A.—90 minutes
Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite.
Written by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and Eli Despres.
Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, an orca that performed at Sea World, and the trainers who worked with him. With shocking footage and emotional interviews, this documentary explores the creature’s extraordinary nature, the cruel treatment of the species in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers. A riveting exposé about the pressures brought to bear by the multibillion dollar sea-park industry.
Muscle Shoals – New York Premiere—U.S.A.—111 minutes
Directed and written by Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier.
With Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Alicia Keys, Bono, John Paul White, Gregg Allman, Keith Richards, Steve Winwood, Jimmy Cliff, Rick Hall.
Muscle Shoals is a small Alabama town on the Tennessee River—an unlikely breeding ground for some of America’s most creative music. At its heart is Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios, who put together a recording studio and a house band (The Swampers). Overcoming poverty and personal tragedy, he brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations while giving birth to the Muscle Shoals sound.
Deep Powder – U.S.A.—91 minutes
Directed by Mo Ogrodnik. Written by Mo Ogrodnik and Matt Barden.
With Shiloh Fernandez, Haley Bennett, John Magaro, Colby Minifie, Josh Salatin, Logan Miller, Dana Eskelson, Amanda Mason Warren.
Privileged and reckless boarding school senior Natasha Tabor (Haley Bennet) is a member of her school’s exclusive ski club—a front for a secret society. When she is tapped to make the annual drug run to Ecuador, she chooses a working-class local boy and aspiring hockey player (Shiloh Fernandez) as her partner in crime. Inspired by true events from the early ’80s. Deep Powder is a riveting story of tenderness and suspense.
The Stony Brook Film Festival honors legendary producer and indie film powerhouse Christine Vachon of Killer Films prior to the screening of her film, Deep Powder.Th
The Wait – East Coast Premiere—U.S.A.—96 minutes
Written and directed by M Blash (Lying).
With Jena Malone (Pride and Prejudice, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Chloë Sevigny (American Psycho, Boys Don’t Cry), Luke Grimes (Taken 2), Devon Gearhart, Michael O’Keefe, Josh Hamilton.
While local residents in Oregon are focused on a slowly spreading forest fire, two sisters decide to keep their deceased mother in their home after being informed that she will come back to life. A discordant struggle between the sisters plays out in a world where the virtual and real converge.
Two Lives – East Coast Premiere—Norway/Germany—97 minutes
Directed by Georg Maas. Written by Georg Maas, Christoph Tölle, Ståle Stein Berg & Judith Kaufmann.
With Liv Ullmann, Dennis Storhøi, Ken Duken, Juliane Köhler, Rainer Bock.
Katrine is a war child; the result of a relationship between a Norwegian woman and a German soldier during World War II. Though raised in East Germany, she has been living in Norway for the last 20 years with her family. When a lawyer asks her to be a witness in a trial on behalf of war children, she resists, and a web of secrets is gradually unveiled.
Purchase Passes for the 2013 Stony Brook Film Festival – HERE
Thursday, July 18 – Saturday, July 27, 2013
HBO, Suffolk County, Village Voice, Teachers Federal Credit Union & Walk 97.5fm present
The 2013 Stony Brook Film Festival
@ Staller Center for the Arts