Aspen Film announced today its full schedule for the 37th Aspen Filmfest, which runs Sept. 25-30 at Paepcke Auditorium and the Isis Theater in Aspen and the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale.
Timed to the spectacular fall color in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen Film presents a six-day celebration of independent and big-screen cinema for locals and visitors to the Roaring Fork Valley's inspiring alpine locale alike. Showcases of award-winning features and documentaries from around the world along with previews of starry studio releases are punctuated by filmmaker guests, in-depth discussions and classroom education programming. The complete lineup of films is available at www.aspenfilm.org
CITY OF GOLD (Sundance Selects) launches the festival on Sept. 25 at Paepcke Auditorium - programmed by Aspen Film's new Artistic Director Maggie Mackay. Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times food writer and restaurant critic Jonathan Gold is the delightfully fascinating subject of filmmaker Laura Gabbert's thought-provoking, convention-challenging, and of course mouthwatering documentary. She will join Mackay on stage following the film for an in-depth Q&A.
The film is preceded by an Opening Night Reception (4:00pm-5:00pm) at Harris Hall on the Aspen Institute campus - free to the public and sponsored by The Aspen Times, Aspen Sojourner, Carne Humana Wine and Aspen Brewing Company.
As previously announced, the Colorado premiere of ROOM (A24) will conclude festivities as the Opening Night Feature.
Closing Night, Wednesday, Sept. 30, will kick off with Closing Documentary ROMEO IS BLEEDING. Donté Clark is on a mission to combat his hometown's gang violence with poetry. As Clark and his high-school students delve into an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, real-life and fictional tragedies begin to overlap. This portrait of a young man struggling to give voice as well as hope to a hurting community is as inspiring as it is absorbing. A Q&A with director Jason Zeldes will immediately follow.
Filmfest will conclude with the always-anticipated "SURPRISE FILM." Last year, Filmfest audiences were delighted to see Whiplash revealed in its opening credits.
Once again Filmfest will cast a spotlight on documentary filmmaking in its True Stories section. In addition to CITY OF GOLD, Mitch Dickman's ROLLING PAPERS (Alchemy), produced by a team of Colorado filmmakers including frequent Aspen Film guest and Academy Award® winner Daniel Junge, screens on Saturday, Sept. 26. The impending death of old media and the legalization of recreational marijuana sound like two different stories. This offbeat yet revealing documentary, revolving around Ricardo Baca, the first-ever marijuana editor for a major American newspaper, indicates otherwise, asking whether the development of a whole new beat is enough to save traditional journalism. This screening will be followed by a lively panel discussion with filmmakers and special guests.
Films in New Voices showcase emerging talent and innovative filmmaking while Global Visions explores international cinema at its finest. Both sections highlight prize winners from the international festival circuit this year including SON OF SAUL (Grand Prix prize, Cannes 2015), EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT (Art Cinema Award, Director's Fortnight, Cannes 2015), SWORN VIRGIN (Nora Ephron prize, Tribeca 2015), THE SECOND MOTHER (Special Jury Award: Acting, Sundance 2015).
"Aspen Film is honored to present Laura Thielen and George Eldred's final Aspen Film program and we are thrilled to introduce audiences to our new Artistic Director Maggie Mackay," says Executive Director John Thew. "Maggie and I look forward to continuing the growth of Aspen Film."
Aspen Film REEL PEOPLE member ticket pre-sales begin Friday, Sept. 4. Tickets to the general public go on sale Friday, Sept. 11. Tickets for all Aspen and Carbondale shows are available through the Wheeler Opera House Box Office (320 E. Hyman Ave., 970.920.5770, www.aspenshowtix.com
); tickets for Carbondale shows are also available through Bonfire Coffee (433 Main St., 970.510.5327, www.bonfirecoffee.com
Aspen Filmfest is presented by The Aspen Times and generously supported by grants from the City of Aspen, Embrey Family Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries, Les Dames d'Aspen, Thrift Shop of Aspen and AspenOUT. Aspen Filmfest is sponsored by The Aspen Club & Spa, The Gant, Aspen Public Radio, Aspen Sojourner, Alpine Bank, Meat & Cheese Restaurant and Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media.
About THE FILMS:
CITY OF GOLD (dir. Laura Gabbert, USA, 2014, 96 min.)
Opening Night Documentary, Friday, Sept. 25, 5:30 p.m., Paepcke Auditorium
Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times food writer and restaurant critic Jonathan Gold is the delightfully fascinating subject of filmmaker Laura Gabbert's thought-provoking, convention-challenging, and of course mouthwatering documentary. Q+A with filmmaker Laura Gabbert.
ROOM (dir. Lenny Abrahamson, Ireland/Canada, 2015, 113 min.)
Opening Night Feature, Friday, Sept. 25, 8:15 p.m., Paepcke Auditorium
Both highly suspenseful and deeply emotional, Room starring ever-talented indie darling Brie Larson, is an unexpectedly tender exploration of the boundless love between a mother and child under the most harrowing of circumstances.
ROLLING PAPERS (dir. Mitch Dickman, USA, 2015, 79 min.)
Documentary Spotlight, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2:30 p.m., Paepcke Auditorium
The impending death of old media and the legalization of recreational marijuana sound like two different stories. This offbeat yet revealing documentary, revolving around Ricardo Baca, the first-ever marijuana editor for a major American newspaper, indicates otherwise, asking whether the development of a whole new beat is enough to save traditional journalism. Screening will be followed by a lively panel discussion with filmmakers and special guests. Screening will be followed by a lively panel discussion with filmmakers and special guests.
EXPERIMENTER (dir. Michael Almereyd, USA, 2015, 108 min.)
Special Presentation, Sunday, Sept. 27, 8:15 p.m., Paepcke Auditorium
In 1961, Stanley Milgram, an American social psychologist, conducted a controversial experiment that became household news, impacting his life and career in unexpected ways. Filmmaker Michael Almereyda's latest, starring Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder and peppered with surprise cameos, investigates profound questions about the dynamics of social behavior while highlighting the filmmaker's trademark irrepressible style.
ROMEO IS BLEEDING (dir. Jason Zeldes, USA, 2015, 93 min.)
Closing Night Documentary, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 5:30 p.m., Isis Theater
Donté Clark is on a mission to combat his hometown's gang violence with poetry. As Clark and his high-school students delve into an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, real-life and fictional tragedies begin to overlap. This portrait of a young man struggling to give voice as well as hope to a hurting community is as inspiring as it is absorbing. Q+A with filmmaker Jason Zeldes and special guests.
THE PASSION OF AUGUSTINE (dir. Léa Pool, Canada, 2015, 103 min.)
Saturday, Sept. 26, 12:00 p.m, Paepcke Auditorium.; Sunday, Sept. 27, 5:00 p.m., Crystal Theatre
At her convent in rural Québec, Mother Augustine has long enjoyed a reputation for nurturing young classical musicians. Now she finds that not just her music but her way of life is at odds with the sociopolitical upheaval of the 1960s. Léa Pool's light-hearted drama explores the inevitability of change and the courage required to confront it.
THE NEW GIRLFRIEND (dir. François Ozon, France, 2014, 107 min.)
Saturday, Sept. 26, 8:30 p.m., Paepcke Auditorium
French master François Ozon's bold and provocative adaptation of a story by mystery writer Ruth Rendell about the bourgeoning friendship between newly widowed David and Claire, his deceased wife's best friend, raises questions about the nature of identity, desire, and sexuality in the modern world.
EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT (dir. Ciro Guerra, Colombia, 2015, 123 min.)
Sunday, Sept. 27, 2:30 p.m.,Paepcke Auditorium
Winner of the Directors' Fortnight prize at Cannes, this mesmerizing Colombian epic journeys into the heart of the South American rainforest to tell the story of Karamakate, a shaman who, four decades apart, serves as a river guide to two scientists. Part fever dream, part ethnographic exploration, the film evocatively interweaves these two journeys.
EL CINCO (dir. Adrián Biniez, Argentina/Uruguay, 2014, 100 min.)
Saturday, Sept. 26, 8:00 p.m., Crystal Theatre; Monday, Sept. 28, 2:30 p.m., Isis Theater
Argentinian writer/director Adrián Biniez's unconventional coming-of-age romance about a self-defeating pro soccer player in midlife crisis takes a wry, engaging look at love's redemptive power.
DOUGH (dir. John Goldschmidt, U.K., 2015, 94 min.)
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2:30 p.m., Isis Theater
An exploration of the unlikeliest of friendships, this heart-warming dramatic comedy revolves around Nat Dayan (played by the venerable Jonathan Pryce), an aging Jewish baker who has fallen on hard times. When Dayan hires charming young Ayyash, a Muslim refugee from Dafar, business begins to boom. But is it all too good to be true?
THE DARK HORSE (dir. James Napier Robertson, New Zealand, 2014, 124 min.)
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 8:15 p.m., Isis Theater
Kiwi megastar Cliff Curtis (Whale Rider, Once Were Warriors) gives a towering yet tender performance in writer/director James Napier Robertson's spirited drama based on the life of Maori chess master Genesis Potini.
THE SECOND MOTHER (dir. Anna Muylaert,Brazil, 2015, 110 min.)
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2:30 p.m., Isis Theater
Val, the longtime housemaid and nanny to a family of means in São Paulo, accepts without question her station in life. Enter Jéssica, the smart and strong-willed daughter Val hasn't seen in years. Examining the boundaries between old ways and new, filmmaker Anna Muylaert's family drama is both social study and sharp-edged comedy.
TUMBLEDOWN (dir. Sean Mewshaw,USA/Canada, 2015, 105 min.)
Friday, Sept. 25, 5:30 p.m., Crystal Theatre; Saturday, Sept. 26, 5:30 p.m., Paepacke Auditorium
Bringing vibrant indie sensibilities to bear on a classic genre, this updated romantic comedy stars Rebecca Hall as the widow of a brilliant-but-troubled singer-songwriter and Jason Sudeikis as the academic determined to write a biography about her husband. Griffin Dunne, Blythe Danner, Richard Masur, and Joe Manganiello bring joie de vivre to supporting roles.
SON OF SAUL (dir. László Nemes, Hungary, 2015, 107 min.)
Monday, Sept. 28, 8:15 p.m., Isis Theater
Writer/director László Nemes' Cannes-winning epic tells the story of Saul Ausländer, a Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau forced to assist the Nazis in their large-scale exterminations. When Saul discovers the body of a boy he believes to be his own, he embarks on an impossible mission made all the more terrifying by his fellow inmates' planned uprising.
SWORN VIRGIN (dir. Laura Bispuri, Italy/Germany/Switzerland/Kosovo/Albania, 2015, 90 min.)
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 12:00 p.m., Isis Theater
In rural Albania, women may avoid a life of domestic servitude by agreeing to the terms of an unusual social contract: adopt the identities of men and remain celibate. Thus, Hana becomes Mark, one such "sworn virgin." But 14 years on, as the limitations of Hana's situation grow ever-more confining, she makes a decision to leave behind everything she has ever known.
THE GREAT MAN (dir. Sarah Leonor, France, 2015, 107 min.)
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 12:00 p.m., Isis Theater
Markov and fellow French Legionnaire Hamilton, dedicated to one another during their final days behind enemy lines in Afghanistan, reunite in Paris as civilians under very different circumstances. An affecting treatment of identity, trauma, and fraternal responsibility, this finely wrought tale is so suffused with generous humanity that we're never sure to whom the title actually refers.
SHERPA (dir. Jennifer Peedom, Australia/U.K., 2015, 96 min.)
Friday, Sept. 25, 8:15 p.m., Crystal Theatre; Sunday, Sept. 27, 12:00 p.m., Paepcke Auditorium
Award-winning filmmaker and veteran climber Jennifer Peedom's at once breathtaking and heartbreaking documentary about Nepalese Sherpas explores the impact that our dream of conquering nature has on the people bound by economic circumstance to help make it come true.
PEGGY GUGGENHEIM: ART ADDICT (dir. Lisa Immordino Vreeland USA, 2015, 96 min.)
Sunday, Sept. 27, 5:30 p.m., Paepcke Auditorium
A combination of archival footage, recently re-discovered audio recordings, stills, and commentary from myriad present-day tastemakers serves as the judiciously straightforward frame for Lisa Immordino Vreeland's portrait of Peggy Guggenheim, which derives all its luster from the colorful-and indeed lusty-subject herself. Q+A with filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland.
FRAME BY FRAME (dirs. Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli,USA, 2015, 85 min.)
Saturday, Sept. 26, 5:30 p.m., Crystal Theatre; Monday, Sept. 28, 12:00 p.m., Isis Theater
After the 2001 fall of the Taliban regime, a fledgling free press emerged in Afghanistan and a media revolution was born. Interweaving revealing interviews and never-before-seen archival footage, this award-winning documentary is an inspiring portrait of four Afghan photojournalists determined to reclaim their country's humanity. Q+A with filmmakers.
ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD (dir. Suzanne Crocker, Canada, 2014, 88 min.)
Monday, Sept. 28, 5:30 p.m., Isis Theater
A multi-award-winning hit on the festival circuit, Canadian filmmaker Suzanne Crocker's portrait of a family-her own-living off the grid in the Yukon wilderness reveals that connecting with nature and one another is a sometimes funny, sometimes moving, and always fascinating experience.
A BALLERINA'S TALE (dir. Nelson George, USA, 2015, 85 min.)
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 5:30 p.m., Isis Theater
Veteran documentarian Nelson George's stirring behind-the-scenes documentary about American Ballet Theatre star Misty Copeland, who personifies the drive to realize one's dreams against all odds, bears the hallmarks of the greatest sports dramas. That it happens to be true is all the more astonishing.
About ASPEN FILM:
Established in 1979, Aspen Film is one of Colorado's most active film arts organizations, presenting dynamic programs and featured guest artists throughout the year. Internationally recognized, Aspen Film organizes a major film event in every season, along with an extensive education program: Aspen Filmfest, Academy Screenings, Aspen Shortsfest and Film Educates. With a mission to enlighten, enrich, educate and entertain through film, Aspen Film stimulates thought, encourages dialogue and broadens understanding of our world and selves through the diverse spectrum of ideas presented by filmmakers worldwide. To learn more, visit www.aspenfilm.org.