- Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014
Today Aspen Film announced the Opening and Closing Night feature presentations for the 35th edition of Aspen Filmfest. THE GOOD LIE (Alcon Entertainment, Imagine Entertainment, Black Label Media, Warner Bros. Pictures) launches the festival on September 26 at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen. This moving drama about the Lost Boys of Sudan, directed by Philippe Falardeau, stars Reese Witherspoon, Sudanese actors Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal and Kuoth Wiel and Corey Stoll. The festival will close on October 1 with Jason Reitman's ensemble drama MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN (Paramount Pictures), starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Rosemary DeWitt and Ansel Elgort. Director and co-writer Jason Reitman is expected. Following a special community preview on September 22, Aspen Filmfest officially kicks off September 26 and runs through October 1 at the Wheeler Opera House and Isis Theatre in Aspen, as well as the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale. The complete schedule is available starting Labor Day, September 1 at www.aspenfilm.org. Tickets go on sale September 9 through the Wheeler Opera House Box Office www.aspenshowtix.com.
Once again Aspen Filmfest will also cast a spotlight on documentary filmmaking. As previously announced, Alan Hicks' award-winning KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON (Radius/TWC), an inspiring portrait of friendship and music produced by Quincy Jones and Boulder-based Paula DuPre' Pesman, will screen earlier on September 26. Jesse Roseler's festival favorite, THE STARFISH THROWERS, an affecting look at the fight against hunger, will lead into Closing Night on October 1.
"We are thrilled to present these wonderful films, the caliber of which our film-loving community looks forward to every fall," said Aspen Film's Co-Director, Laura Thielen. "Eclectic in tone and storytelling, they each celebrate filmmaking at its finest: entertainment that will engage audiences in character, craft and conversation long after the lights come up."
Set early in the fall awards season, Aspen Filmfest will preview a selection of high-profile fall releases, as well as acclaimed documentaries, independent productions and award-winning features from the international and US festival circuit. The festival will welcome filmmaker guests to participate in screenings and other events.
About THE FILMS
THE GOOD LIE - They were known simply as "The Lost Boys." Orphaned by the brutal civil war in Sudan that began in 1983, these young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety. Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3,600 lost boys and girls to America. In THE GOOD LIE Philippe Falardeau, writer and director of the Oscar®-nominated Foreign Language film Monsieur Lazhar, brings the story of their survival and triumph to life. Sudanese actors Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, and newcomer Kuoth Wiel star alongside Academy Award®-winner Reese Witherspoon in a film written by Margaret Nagle, writer of the award-winning HBO projects "Boardwalk Empire" and "Warm Springs." Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Karen Kehela Sherwood, Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill produce. (Warner Bros. release.)
MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN - Jason Reitman's (Up in the Air, Labor Day) brand new feature follows a group of teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the Internet is changing their relationships, their communication, their self-image and their love lives. Narrated by Emma Thompson, it stars a sterling ensemble cast including Judy Greer, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ansel Elgort and J.K. Simmons. Director and co-writer Reitman delves into the impact of video game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame hunting and the proliferation of pornography on the Internet. As each character and relationship is tested, it becomes clear that no one is immune to the enormous social changes coming through our phones, tablets and computers. Relevant, unflinching, humorous and thoughtful, MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN examines the myriad ways technology helps us communicate -- and what might be getting lost in transmission. (Paramount Pictures release.)
KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON - Even among the living legends of jazz, Clark Terry's star shines extraordinarily bright. At 89, he's played trumpet alongside Duke Ellington and Count Basie, counted Miles Davis and Quincy Jones among his students, and left a legacy of mentoring talented young players with generous encouragement. KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON intimately depicts the four years he spent mentoring one of his most recent students, a 23-year-old blind piano prodigy. As Justin Kauflin, blind since sixth grade, prepares for a competition that could jumpstart his budding career, Terry's failing health threatens his own. Their story ranges from late night jam sessions to a hospital bedside, telling a beautiful and moving story of an unlikely pair drawn together by a love of music and a reverence for the importance of finding your own sound. A festival favorite and award-winning film, this inspiring documentary by first-time director Alan Hicks simultaneously celebrates an iconic musician while introducing one of equal vibrancy. (Radius/TWC release.)
THE STARFISH THROWERS - Worlds apart, a five-star chef, a twelve year-old girl, and a retired schoolteacher discover how their individual efforts to feed the poor ignite a movement in the fight against hunger. Award-winning chef Narayanan Krishnan, fighting against the caste system in India, quits his job to begin a life of cooking and hand-delivering fresh meals to hundreds of people in his hometown. Katie Stagliano's planting of a single cabbage seedling when she was nine years old blossoms into Katie's Krops, a non-profit with 73 gardens dedicated to ending hunger. Retired middle school teacher Mr. Law battles personal health issues as he hand delivers more than a thousand sandwiches nightly to the hungry in Minneapolis. Jesse Roseler's THE STARFISH THROWERS, a favorite on the festival circuit, tells the tale of these remarkable individuals and the unexpected challenges they face. Despite being constantly reminded that hunger is far too big for one person to solve, they persevere and see their impact ripple further than their individual actions.
Aspen Filmfest is made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsor
The Aspen Times, as well as the City of Aspen and the Embrey Family Foundation. Additional support comes from Aspen Public Radio, Aspen Peak Magazine, Theory, Aspen Out, the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media, American National Bank, and Realtor Melissa Temple. Les Dames d'Aspen and the Towns of Basalt and Carbondale provide additional funding for Aspen Filmfest's education programs.
For more information, please visit www.aspenfilm.org.
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 ourselves through the diverse spectrum of ideas presented by filmmakers worldwide. To learn more, visit www.aspenfilm.org.