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The Hamptons International Film Festival full program

THE 13TH ANNUAL HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
OCTOBER 19-23, 2005

Hiam Abbass ~ Danny Aiello ~ Kevin Bacon ~ Jon Robin Baitz ~ Alec Baldwin ~ Ned Beatty ~ Bob Berney ~ Dyan Cannon ~ Alan Cumming ~ Hope Davis ~ David Dinerstein ~ David Marshall Grant ~ Ted Hope ~ Eugene Jarecki ~ Cherry Jones ~ Marc Levin ~ Claude LeLouch ~ Bill Nighy ~ Martin McDonagh ~ Liza Minnelli ~ Sarah Paulson ~ Zac Posen ~ Paul Reiser Miranda Richardson ~ Charlie Rose ~ Kyra Sedgwick ~ Vivienne Tam ~ Christine Vachon ~ Kerry Washington ~ Mike White ~ Debra Winger Among those expected to attend…

The 2005 Hamptons International Film Festival is celebrating its 13th annual presentation of films, programs and events, and will bring to the East End an array of exciting and interesting filmmakers and personalities. The Hamptons International Film Festival is always an outstanding opportunity for audiences to catch something new and out of the ordinary. This year’s festival runs October 19th through 23rd, 2005, in East Hampton, New York with additional venues in Southampton, Sag Harbor and Montauk. This year also finds the Festival significantly expanding its presence and services to Southampton and its nearby communities. The Southampton expansion will extend the Festival’s reach in presenting exciting, entertaining and intriguing films and programs.

The Hamptons International Film Festival was founded to celebrate the American Independent film and to introduce a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to its audiences. This year’s event features 27 World Premieres, 23 US Premieres, 4 North American Premieres, 18 East Coast Premieres and 7 New York Premieres.

“This year with the encouragement of our Board of Directors and our newly formed Southampton Committee we have been able to implement an expansion we have wanted to do for many years”, says Executive Director Denise Kasell. “This will enable a greater constituency and offer even more tastemakers for our distributors & producers. With the growth of the festival there are even more filmmakers in attendance.”

“Observers from both the public and the film industry will notice a dramatic maturation of the festival and its programs this year,” states programmer Rajendra Roy. “Over the past four years we have worked very hard at listening; to our filmmakers, to our partners in promotion and distribution and to our audiences. It is extremely gratifying to be able to provide an essential venue for both established and emerging filmmakers from across the international spectrum.”

This year, the Golden Starfish Narrative and Documentary Competitions have continued to expand - For the first time American and International films are competing together on an even playing field. Other returning programs will include the acclaimed Films of Conflict and Resolution, the Spotlight Films, Films For Families, View From Long Island, World Cinema, NYWIFT (New York Women in Film & Television), A Conversation With…, Special Presentations and Panels with actors and filmmakers, and the Rising Stars program including the Golden Starfish Award for Career Achievement in Acting to this year’s Rising Stars mentors. New programs and additions for this year include: A tribute to the Berlinale Kinderfilmfest, a program from the Berlin International Film Festival presenting here as an exciting new compilation of films for young audiences, tailored specifically for the Hamptons Film Festival; and The Panasonic 48Hour Film Challenge, for selected film makers during the festival to write, shoot and finally present their work to festival audiences.

From Wednesday, October 19th when the Festival Opens with a screening of BEE SEASON (USA, East Coast Premiere, a Fox Searchlight release) directed by Scott McGehee & David Siegel (THE DEEP END), based on the nationally best-selling Myla Goldberg, and starring Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche; through to our Closing Night film, THE WEATHER MAN (USA, East Coast Premiere, a Paramount release), directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine and Hope Davis (who will be attending), the Hamptons will be a very special and exciting place to be.

The Golden Starfish Feature Competition films, worth over $170,000 in goods and in-kind services to be used towards the next feature, include Director/Screenwriter/Producer, Bernadine Santistevan’s THE CRY (USA, World Premiere) The legend of a crying, vengeful mother who abducts children and rips open the throats of unfaithful men, haunts this atmospheric thriller. Breathing life into a myth well known in the Latino community, the film takes place over the course of one ominous day in New York City; SWEET LAND (USA, World Premiere), by writer/director Ali Selim, tells an intimate yet powerful tale of immigrants struggling to establish homesteads and new lives at the end of World War I in the exquisite landscape of Minnesota farm country. Spare, painterly, and with a wonderfully strong cast that includes Lois Smith, Elizabeth Reaser, Patrick Heusinger, Alan Cumming, Ned Beatty, and John Heard, SWEET LAND is a gorgeous portrait of the triumph of will and longing and the emergence of our better selves; THE CAVE OF THE YELLOW DOG (Mongolia/Germany, US Premiere) was exquisitely filmed on the Mongolian steppes by Oscar-nominated director Byambasuren Davaa (THE STORY OF THE WEEPING CAMEL) who artfully incorporates the real day-to-day existence of the Batchuluuns—an actual Mongolian family, not actors—into the warm-hearted story of Nansal, the young daughter who finds a puppy sheltered in a cave; WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA (USA, World Premiere), Written and Directed by Susan Traylor, is as much a metaphor for California as it is the story of Ondine (Ms. Traylor), an actress in that class of beauties who can still attract a man but can’t get him to return her phone calls. Ondine emerges as a strong woman with a unique plan to save herself and also save the spiritually deaf men around her; In Writer/Director Stefan C. Schaefer’s CONFESS (USA, World Premiere), a dreadlocked hacker with an axe to grind, Terell Lessor (Eugene Byrd) returns to New York to enact his revenge. After his mother (21 GRAMS' Melissa Leo) is downsized, Lessor begins his cyber-activist crusade by slipping a hidden camera into her boss's office and posting images of his sexual harassment online; Hannes Stöhr’s ONE DAY IN EUROPE (Germany/Spain, North American Premiere), Swirls together four purported robberies in four countries, a smorgasbord of mangled languages and an entire continent overcome by soccer mania in this lighthearted jab at the new European melting pot.

Jurors for the Golden Starfish Narrative Competition include: Acclaimed Actress Kerry Washington, Playwright/ScreenwriterJon Robin Baitz and Wieland Speck, Director, Panorama Section, Berlin International Film Festival.

Five films compete in the Golden Starfish Documentary category, with an award worth $10,000 in cash and in-kind services. If you thought the drill instructors from THE BOYS IN COMPANY C and FULL METAL JACKET were pure fiction…, EARS, OPEN. EYEBALLS, CLICK (USA, East Coast Premiere) by Canaan Brumely, a vivid documentary chronicling 12 weeks of basic training shows how true-to-life those loud-mouthed portrayals can be - presenting an unfiltered, fly-on-the-wall glimpse into the chaos and pain of boot camp; BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY (Israel, US Premiere), by Shosh Shalam, is a story of women's oppression in an Ultra-Orthodox patriarchal society that enslaves women socially and ideologically, leaving them unable to develop inner freedom and negating their right to critical thought; TINA BARNEY: SOCIAL STUDIES (France, World Premiere), by Director/Writer/Producer Jaci Judelson, explores the life and work of the artist in the context of a European series she undertook when inspiration from her native northeastern U.S. dimmed; Once a year an event takes place in Dorchester County, Maryland that is unlike any other, anywhere: the close-knit community’s annual National Outdoor Show culminates in one big night that includes both the Miss Outdoors Beauty Pageant and the World Championship Muskrat Skinning Competition. Amy Nicholson’s MUSKRAT LOVELY (USA, World Premiere) tells the story of the lead-up to the 50th anniversary pageant and skinning contest; What began with a few lone voices in the 60s changed the course of history. Military men and women on the frontlines of dissent come forward to recall their participation in the anti-war movement in David Zeiger’s SIR! NO SIR! (USA, New York Premiere), a penetrating look back at an oft forgotten chapter in the Vietnam chronicle.

Jurors for the Golden Starfish Documentary Competition include: Alex Halpern, Founder & CEO, Post Factory NY; Actor/Playwright David Marshall Grant, Producer/Director Peggy Rajski

Five films compete in the Golden Starfish Shorts category with a $5000 cash prize. AT THE QUINTE HOTEL (Canada, East Coast Premiere), Written by Al Purdy and Directed by Bruce Alcock is a magically crafted pastiche of stop-motion and traditional line-animation using oil paintings, acrylics, graphite, charcoal, wire, cut paper, a beer mug, linoleum, and even bottlecaps, this short piece both interprets and recounts Canadian poet Al Purdy's live reading of his original work, Director/Producer/Cinematographer Daniel Vernon’s FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH (UK, North American Premiere), beautifully filmed documentary is set in the desolate Mojave Desert, where the Fountain Of Youth retirement home exists - a deteriorating place where the elderly wait patiently for time to pass by. This fantastic documentary compassionately acknowledges the loss of youth and beauty and the stillness of old age; Brendan Gleeson (28 DAYS LATER, BRAVEHEART) stars in SIX SHOOTER (Ireland, North American Premiere), by Martin McDonagh, a dark and uncomfortably funny comedy about the pains and sorrows of death; After being falsely accused, a young Middle Eastern couple becomes the target of profiling and is followed by the FBI in THE SEVENTH DOG (USA, US Premiere) by Writer/Director Zeina Durra; Scott Flockhart’s X MAS (UK, World Premiere) follows an angst-filled teenage boy who conjures his uncle back from the dead on Christmas Eve night, wreaking havoc on his abusive father and passive mother.

Each evening, the HIFF presents Spotlight Films, high-profile films that are shown in advance of their theatrical release. What happens if a mother loves her child too much? This is the question that actor/director Kevin Bacon addresses with sensitivity, compassion, and insight with his provocative and beautifully visualized second feature, LOVERBOY (USA, a THINKFilm Release), starring Kyra Sedgwick, based on the novel by Victoria Redel; If Pierce Brosnan wearing a black Speedo, cowboy boots, sunglasses and smoking a cigar wasn't in itself worth the price of admission, the glorious excesses that writer/director Richard Shepard offers are just part of the considerable range of payoffs that make THE MATADOR (USA, New York Premiere, a Weinstein Company release), also featuring Greg Kinnear and Hope Davis, a delightful mix of genres that simultaneously spoofs the buddy film, killers, and ordinary American life; In WHY WE FIGHT (USA, East Coast Premiere, a Sony Pictures Classics release), Eugene Jarecki launches a full-frontal autopsy of how the will of a people has become an accessory to the Pentagon. Surveying the scorched landscape of a half-century's military misadventures and misguided missions, Jarecki asks how—and tells why—a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a system whose survival depends on a state of constant war; “Things are never really simple, are they?” is the rhetorical question put to Gideon Warner, a wealthy, world-weary public relations executive deeply disconcerted by his strained relationship with his daughter. The sentiment could equally apply to GIDEON’S DAUGHTER (UK, World Premiere, a BBC release), Starring Miranda Richardson, Bill Nighly and Emily Blunt, a richly textured drama from recent Emmy Winner, Stephen Poliakoff; Set mainly during the spring and summer of Princess Diana’s death and the rise to power of Britain’s Labour Party, the film casts a withering eye at the nexus between the fawningly ambitious worlds of politics, media, and celebrity; Marc Levin, the award-winning filmmaker, whose SLAM won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 1998, gives us an explosive exploration of resurgent anti-Semitism in the wake of September 11th with PROTOCOLS OF ZION (USA, New York Premiere, a THINKFilm release), referring to "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a notorious forgery created 100 years ago this year, purporting to be the Jews' master plan to rule the world; BOYNTON BEACH BEREAVEMENT CLUB (USA, World Premiere), written by Shelly Gitlow and Susan Seidelman, who also directs this romantic comedy about our amazing capacity to rebound and fall in love…. at any age. LOIS (Dyan Cannon), HARRY (Joseph Bologna), MARILYN (Brenda Vaccaro), SANDY (Sally Kellerman) and JACK (Len Cariou) live in an “Active Adult” community in Boynton Beach, Florida. Their lives intersect when they meet at a local Bereavement Club, where they’ve gone to find emotional support after the loss of a loved one. But soon they each find themselves on a journey they could never have predicted, when they reenter the "dating scene" after many decades, only to find that it's a whole new world out there; Morgan J. Freeman directs PIGGY BANKS (USA, World Premiere) about two brothers who live at the edges, roaming the country, leading a life devoid of intimacy, responsibility, direction or day jobs. They are charming. They are brilliant. They are murderers. And for John, the transient life of the parasitic serial killer lost all its novelty a long time ago; Mona's wedding day might just be the saddest day of her life. She knows that once she crosses the border between Israel and Syria to marry Taller, she will never be able to go back to her family in Majdal Shams, a Druze village in the Golan Heights, in SYRIAN BRIDE (HACALA HASURIT) (France/Israel/Germany, USA Premiere, a Koch Lorber release) Directed by Eran Riklas; Unearthing a treasure trove of archival footage, filmmakers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine have fashioned a dazzlingly entrancing ode to the revolutionary twentieth-century dance troupe known as the BALLETS RUSSES (USA, East Coast Premiere, a Zeitgeist release); LIZA WITH A "Z" (USA, USA Premiere, A Showtime Networks Inc. presentation) is a beautifully restored version of the landmark Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning concert, originally recorded May 31, 1972 at New York's Lyceum Theatre, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, and featuring original music by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The iconic traits are all there—the laugh, the vocal catch, the Halston costumes, the eyelashes—and so is a thrilling Minnelli at the top of her game; Imagine the coolest rock band in the world: Awesome songs, screaming fans, pestering paparazzi, and the documentary crew following their every move... now shrink the band members down to 4 feet tall. No it's not the Oompa Loompas, it's the hottest kid's band in history, in Polly Draper’s THE NAKED BROTHERS BAND (USA, World Premiere). Join us for this star-studded Spotlight film for kids and families, featuring appearances by Uma Thurman, Cyndi Lauper, Arsenio Hall and more!; Ben Younger’s PRIME (US, a Universal Pictures release) is a sophisticated character comedy about Rafi (Uma Thurman), a recently divorced 37-year-old career woman from Manhattan, and what happens when Dave (Bryan Greenberg), a talented 23-year-old painter from Brooklyn, falls in love with her - Also featuring performances by Meryl Streep and Jon Abrams; Penetrating, lively, and invigorating, MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS (UK, a Miramax release) is a love note to a famous London theatre, an homage to Britain's wartime experiences, and an evocation of the great musicals that lit up the screen during the thirties and forties. Directed by Stephen Frears, who has offered up so many delights over the years, it features the incomparable Dame Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins, as well as the introduction of a fresh face, Britain's 2001 Pop Idol, Will Young; Writer-director Shane Black takes THE BIG SLEEP, mixes it with CHINATOWN and tosses in some LETHAL WEAPON (for which he wrote the screenplay that rocketed him to fame), gives the whole thing a good shake and pours it into the sleazy bars, stylish hotels, glam Hollywood parties, and dark alleyways of contemporary Los Angeles. The result is KISS KISS, BANG BANG (USA, a Warner Brothers release), featuring Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer and Corbin Bernsen, a clever comedy-thriller that sends up the American noir while retaining its twisting suspense; Set in the 1930s on the beautiful shores of the Italian Riviera, Lions Gate Films’ A GOOD WOMAN (Spain/Italy/UK/Luxembourg/USA, a Lions Gate release), Directed by Mike Barker and starring Helen Hunt, Scarlett Johansson, and Tom Wilkinson in an elegant and witty romantic comedy based on Oscar Wilde’s classic play, “Lady Windermere’s Fan”; The ever-ubiquitous Michael Winterbottom has turned his attention to the canon of English literature in TRISTRAM SHANDY: A COCK AND BULL STORY (UK, a Picturehouse release), this breezy and witty love poem to the cinema. After two relatively classical adaptations of Thomas Hardy standouts, Jude from "Jude the Obscure" and The Claim from "The Mayor of Casterbridge," Winterbottom approaches Laurence Sterne's unruly "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman" in a very different manner.

This year’s World Cinema Features include: Steven Silver & Andrew Quigley’s unflinching documentary DIAMETER OF A BOMB (Canada/UK, US Premiere, a THINKFilm release), an unsparing examination of a 2002 suicide bombing aboard a Jerusalem bus; In 1943 Germany, there were some who had the courage to stand up to the Nazi authorities. In director Marc Rothemund’s moving story of a real-life heroine, SOPHIE SCHOLL: THE LAST DAYS (Germany, East Coast Premiere, a Zeitgeist release), follows the 21-year-old member of the resistance group The White Rose; The consensus in Director/Producer Peter Rosen’s WHO GETS TO CALL IT ART? (USA, World Premiere) a kaleidoscopic ride through the ragged, jagged art scene of post-war America is that the late Metropolitan Museum of Art curator and historian Henry Geldzahler fills the bill; On July 3rd, 2002, Doug Bruce lost his mind. A successful British stockbroker with a posh loft in New York City, Bruce woke up one night on a subway train bound for Coney Island with no memory of who he was or how he got there. In UNKNOWN WHITE MALE (UK, a Wellspring/Court TV release), this riveting portrait, filmmaker Rupert Murray retraces the terror, confusion, and exhilaration of his friend's sudden bout with starting-over; Mystelle Brabbée’s HIGHWAY COURTESANS (India, New York Premiere, a Women Making Movies release) follows one young Bachara woman, Guddi Chauhan, over a ten-year period starting in 1995. Through incisive interviews with Guddi, her family and her friends, it becomes clear that these girls grow up with the same dreams as most: love, marriage and family; but end up instead in “the business,” somehow enduring as the years pass and their dreams fade; In cinéma-vérité style, and within a classic whodunit, Åke Sandgren’s FLIES ON THE WALL (Denmark, US Premiere) explores a documentarian’s relationship to an inevitable disconnect from her subject, and exposes the power, perhaps corrosive, of media to inform – or misinform; FROZEN LAND (Finland, East Coast Premiere) written and directed by Aku Louhimies, opens with a eulogy that asks the question, “What is the point of living, if life is hell?” Set in Helsinki and its environs, this circular, episodic film connects the troubled lives of numerous deeply uneasy characters through a butterfly effect of misfortune, distress, and despair; Nanouk Leopold’s GUERNSEY (Netherlands, East Coast Premiere) is the story of a woman who begins to look at her own life, questioning how she became estranged from the people who mean the most to her; Powerfully acted and intimately felt, Doug Sadler’s SWIMMERS (USA, New York Premiere) sensitively captures the throes of familial conflict and the vulnerable places where young girls, as well as adults, often dwell; Per Fly’s MANSLAUGHTER (Denmark, USA Premiere) is beautifully filmed, and replete with deeply resonant portrayals of characters only tenuously staying aloft in a flawed world where things sometimes turn out all wrong; In Maria Essén and Stefan Ahnhem’s DOUBLE SHIFT (Sweden, US Premiere), Jonas (Eric Ericson) tries to juggle his commitment to his girlfriend Emma (Lisa Werlinder), to be a stay-at-home dad, and keep the promise to his garage mates that he’ll continue driving a taxi; As Amanda Gusack’s IN MEMORIUM (USA, World Premiere) begins, Dennis (Erik McDowell) is dying, suddenly. He’s been diagnosed inexplicably with late-stage cancer, the same that killed his mother. Resigned but not defeated, he sets up house with his lover Lily (Johanna Watts) in a short-term rental he has wired throughout for sound and video to record his last days; With extraordinarily graphic scenes of genital piercing and subcutaneous implants, tongue and penile bisection, skin cutting and branding, cosmetic and sexual reassignment surgery, as well as various other forms of body alteration, MODIFY (USA) by Greg Jacobson and Jason Gary, shows and tells the stories of men and women who go to incredible lengths to express on the outside who they are on the inside; Written and directed by brothers Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu, PEINDRE OU FAIRE L'AMOUR (TO PAINT OR MAKE LOVE) (France, North American Premiere) shifts from conventional French pastoral to something far more intriguing: a sly, unsettling portrait of a middle-aged couple whose humdrum lives are momentarily interrupted by the thrills of sexual adventure; Jaeckie happily left everything Jewish behind him decades ago, but when word comes that his mother has died and left him a sizeable inheritance, it's a stroke of luck. There is one catch: Jaeckie must first reconcile with his long-estranged brother Samuel, who has become an Orthodox Jew and is arriving, family in tow, for a traditional funeral and shiva at Jaeckie's house in Dani Levy’s madcap adventure GO FOR ZUCKER! (Germany, New York Premiere, a First Run Features release); The life of a truly desperate housewife begins to unravel in Jason Ruscio’s LAURA SMILES (RKO) (USA), an intricately layered exploration of the vulnerabilities of the human heart; Writer-director Alan Hruska offers a modern spin on the familiar tale of the brave knight rescuing a damsel in distress in THE WARRIOR CLASS (USA, World Premiere), starring Anson Mount and Erica Leerhsen, a legal thriller with romantic overtones; Israeli filmmaker Menora Hazan tells a first-person story of her decision with new husband Ariel to settle in the secluded hilltop Jewish settlement of Homesh. in THE SKIES ARE CLOSER IN HOMESH (Israel, USA Premiere), an exploration of faith, in a situation of unfathomable complexity; Interlocking affairs of the heart bleed into one another in the third iteration of the same raw material from Oscar winner Claude Lelouch (A MAN AND A WOMAN). The refashioned romantic fable, LE COURAGE D'AIMER (THE COURAGE TO LOVE) (French, East Coast Premiere) weaves together the stories of a talented street singer, the shoplifter and chanteuse who first captures his heart, sensitive twin sisters, an actress and a wealthy food magnate; Filmmaker Elle Flanders’ ZERO DEGREES OF SEPARATION (Canada, US Premiere) tells the stories of two gay couples struggling to live together in modern Israel.

For the 6th consecutive year, the $25,000 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Film Prize in Science and Technology for a feature-length film that explores science and technology themes in fresh, innovative ways and depicts scientists and engineers in a realistic and compelling fashion will be presented at the Hamptons International Film Festival. This year’s recipient of the Sloan Feature Film Prize is KARDIA (Canada) the feature film debut by Su Rynard, produced by Paul Barkin. KARDIA weaves fable, fiction, science and metaphor to tell the story of Hope, a pathologist who embarks on an unusual journey of reconciliation. Hope discovers that the experimental heart operation she underwent as a child has mysteriously linked her life with another. To unlock the secret of her past, Hope revisits the curious tale of her childhood and explores the landscape of love, loss ands the human heart. KARDIA was produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada in association with CHUM Television, TMN-The Movie Network an Astral Communications Network, Movie Central a Corus Entertainment Company, Rogers Telefund and with the support of The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and Chalmer's Arts Fellowship.

The Hamptons/Sloan feature Film Prize comes from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program in public understanding of science and forms part of a broader effort to stimulate leading artists in film, television, and theater to create more credible works about science and technology. The program aims to enhance people’s lives by providing a better understanding of the increasingly scientific and technological environment in which we live. It also strives to convey some of the challenges and rewards of the scientific and technological enterprise, and of the lives of the men and women who undertake it.

Films of Conflict and Resolution We are proud to present the seventh annual Films of Conflict & Resolution program, consisting of films that are unique in their multi-faceted portrayals of conflict around the world. This year’s Films of Conflict & Resolution section is a showcase for works that use the medium of film to promote transformation. Every film in this program was made against industry odds, but with the belief that these stories, once viewed by audiences, would resonate with a potent message. Our mission is to utilize the power of cinema to increase awareness and understanding of the human realities of war and conflict. We present current and archival work made by filmmakers from around the globe, who in the face of intense conflict, strive to illuminate the realities of the world around them -- and thus foster the process of peace and conflict resolution through their vision and their art. Films of Conflict and Resolution is sponsored in part by Dan and Ewa Abraham and Tammy Abraham, and the Brizzolara Family Foundation.

Films of Conflict and Resolution in Competition: Sometimes the truth is too hard to handle, and that is what beautiful young Kaju’s mother must have thought in Shonali Bose’s AMU (USA/India, US Premiere), as she misleads her daughter about who she really is. But when Kaju (Konkona Sen Sharma) returns to India after being raised in Los Angeles her curiosity consumes her, and she begins a search for her real identity; Looking beyond abstract political policies, ASYLUM (UK, East Coast Premiere), directed by Nigel Roffee-Barker, personalizes the experiences of three Kurdish refugees seeking asylum in Britain. Leaving loved ones behind and risking their lives on the way, they register for political asylum in London. But once their papers are lost in the system the police seek their arrest and possible deportation. Knowing they will face death if they are forced to return to their homeland, they hide in a church and are offered sanctuary by Father Michael (Dai Bradley). The confrontation between police, church, refugees and press that follows brings to the foreground the truly desperate situations these men face. From a tortured and oppressed past and facing bleak futures, they have nothing to lose and risk even their lives in pursuit of the happiness and freedom so many take for granted; Produced prior to the Israeli pullout from Gaza, AT THE GREEN LINE (USA, US Premiere)is a soul-searching documentary, by Jesse Atlas, about the Israeli occupation of lands seized after the 1967 war – examining the crisis of conscience faced by soldiers in the Israeli military on the frontlines of the conflict; Jay Jonroy’s DAVID & LAYLA (USA, World Premiere) is a film about an impossible romance that gets at the heart of the hypocritical stereotypes and illusions we all have about differing cultures and religions. David (David Moscow), a young Jewish man finds Layla (Shiva Rose McDermott), a beautiful Muslim immigrant, and can’t get her off of his mind. But her Kurdish culture doesn’t mix with his Upper East Side origins, and both lovers can’t help but mislead their families about one another as they try to begin their affair. A true comedy of errors ensues from temple to mosque, from perversion to conversion, and all the while their passions increase regardless of their unlikely attraction; Roberta Grossman’s HOMELAND: FOUR PORTRAITS OF NATIVE ACTION (USA, East Coast Premiere) tells the stories of five brave Native American activists who are fighting a war of survival for their culture and lives. This is not simply a tale of environmentalists, but of communities of people driven almost to extinction after hundreds of years of aggression by non-native people, who are courageously standing up against those who seek to exploit the remaining resources on their land; An inspirational documentary on the frontlines in a war for justice, SISTERS IN LAW (UK/Cameroon, US Premiere, a Women Making Movies release) by Kim Longinotto, is the story of women lawyers and judges in rural Cameroon, Africa. In a male dominated society where women are frequently seen as property and children can be used for cheap labor, these women are standing firm on feminist ideals of equality and respect for all.

Jurors for the Films of Conflict and Resolution in Competition include: Academy Award-Nominated Actor Debra Winger; Co-President, Paramount Classics, David Dinerstein; Managing Director of Ruth Diskin Films Ltd., Ruth Diskin,

Films Of Conflict And Resolution Out Of Competition: With remarkable access to both Fujimori and his family, filmmaker Ellen Perry presents both archival footage and first hand accounts in order to build a more honest and probing picture of the unbelievable situation surrounding Fujimori’s presidency, in FALL OF FUJIMORI (USA/Japan/Peru, East Coast Premiere); Set in the shantytowns that rise helter-skelter above Rio de Janeiro, Directors/Producers Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary’s FAVELA RISING (USA) moves to a decidedly Brazilian beat in telling the story of Anderson Sá and the growth of AfroReggae, the pulsing music and dance that became the springboard for social change; In MY LAND ZION (Israel, US Premiere, a Women Making Movies release), Sixth-generation Israeli, Yulie Cohen Gerstel, poses difficult questions without simple answers in this highly personal odyssey to understand the burden of her country’s history; Helen Klodawsky’s NO MORE TEARS SISTER (Canada) is a beautiful documentary about the civil conflicts in Sri Lanka and one family’s profound experiences of loss and inspiration in the fight for freedom; In OFF TO WAR (USA) Filmmakers Brent and Craig Renaud follow fifty-seven National Guard soldiers from Arkansas throughout their experiences in Iraq; Teresa De Pelegrí & Dominic Harari’s ONLY HUMAN (Argentina), a charming and sexy romantic comedy, set in Spain, about a Jewish woman and a Palestinian man working out their love for each other.

Films of Conflict and Resolution Shorts Program: In AZADI (Australia, North American Premiere), by Writer/Director Anthony Maras, An Afghani father and son, searching for safety after persecution under Taliban rule, have made it to an Australian refugee camp, but security proves more difficult to find than they hoped; WEST BANK STORY (USA), a 22-minute musical by Ari Sandel and Kim Ray, brings Romeo and Juliet to the West Bank via West Side Story, with grand musical numbers, and plenty of laughs.

Films For Families is a selection of films devoted to delighting the child in all of us. Kinderfilmfest - A section of the Berlin International Film Festival for twenty eight years, has been presenting a rich and exciting selection of new films from around the world to young Berlin audiences and to international film experts. This year, the director of Kinderfilmf

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