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Some heavy hitters from the Sundance, Berlinale and Cannes Film Festivals are set to highlight the 39th Mill Valley Film Festival as early announcements were made confirming Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, Mia Hansen Løve‘s Silver Bear winner Things to Come and Ken Loach’s Palme D’Or winner I, Daniel Blake all hitting the Northern California film fest.
As with the Toronto International Film Festival, we’ll be seeing double of Isabelle Huppert with her highly praised Cannes film Elle, from director Paul Verhoeven, alongside the aforementioned Things to Come.
The 39th Mill Valley Film Festival runs OCTOBER 6 – 16, 2016.
SAN RAFAEL, CA (August 16, 2016) – The Mill Valley Film Festival (October 6 – 16, 2016), presented by the California Film Institute, is pleased to announce the first set of films in the official selection for the 39th edition of the Festival. MVFF will host the Bay Area premieres of many films from internationally acclaimed film festivals including Berlinale 2016, Cannes 2016, and Sundance 2016. The Festival will also host the premieres of many acclaimed local Bay Area filmmakers as part of the Festival’s effort to showcase burgeoning and established filmmaker talent in the Bay Area.
Early Confirmed films from the 2016 Cannes Film Festival at MVFF39 include:
Palme D’Or winner I, DANIEL BLAKE, the latest film from acclaimed British filmmaker Ken Loach; LOVING Jeff Nichols moving portrait of Richard and Mildred Loving; a Jim Jarmusch’s double dose of PATERSON starring Adam Driver and the acclaimed Iggy Pop doc GIMME DANGER; the Critics Week GAN Foundation Award for Distribution winner ONE WEEK AND A DAY; Pablo Larrain’s NERUDA, starring Gael Garcia Bernal; Maren Ade’s FIPRESCI Award winner TONI ERDMANN; Asghar Farhadi’s THE SALESMAN, winner of Best Screenplay and Best Actor; Park Chan-wook’s highly anticipated film THE HANDMAIDEN; Paul Verhoeven’s new film ELLE starring Isabelle Huppert; and Paolo Virzi’s acclaimed comedy-drama LIKE CRAZY.
Early Confirmed films from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival at MVFF39 include:
Kenneth Lonergan’s acclaimed drama MANCHESTER BY THE SEA starring Casey Affleck, Kyle Chandler, and Michelle Williams; Antonio Campos’ CHRISTINE starring Rebecca Hall; and MAYA ANGELOU AND STILL I RISE, the first documentary about cultural icon Maya Angelou.
Early Confirmed films from the 2016 Berlinale at MVFF39 include:
Golden Bear winner FIRE AT SEA from Italian director Gianfranco Rosi; Mia Hansen Løve‘s Silver Bear Award winner for Best Director THINGS TO COME; Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize winner DEATH IN SARAJEVO; Terence Davies’ Emily Dickinson biopic A QUIET PASSION starring Cynthia Nixon; A SERIOUS GAME, written by Lone Scherfig and directed by Pernilla August.
Early Confirmed Local Bay Area Films and Filmmakers at MVFF39 include:
THE BALLAD OF FRED HERSCH (Documentary – dirs. Carrie Lozano and Charlotte Lagarde) MVFF alumna filmmakers Charlotte Lagarde and Carrie Lozano present an intimate, music-rich portrait of an incomparable artist, jazz pianist Fred Hersch: his career, his journey as a gay man living with AIDS, and his process of staging a multimedia performance inspired by his miraculous survival of a two-month, AIDS-related coma. This California premiere will be accompanied by a live performance by Hersch as part of MVFF Music at the Sweetwater Music Hall.
BANG! THE BERT BERNS STORY (Documentary – dirs. Bob Sarles and Brett Berns) This exhilarating documentary beats a peripatetic pace through the history of 60’s R&B-fueled rock as driven by the man behind indelible hits Twist & Shout, Cry to Me, Tell Him, Piece of My Heart, Brown-Eyed Girl, and many more, featuring interviews with Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Soloman Burke, Van Morrison, among others. This California premiere will be accompanied by a live performance by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musicians as part of MVFF Music at the Sweetwater Music Hall.
BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS (Documentary – dir. Garrett Zevgetis, producer Ariana Garfinkel) Enter Michelle’s world and discover the rich interior life of this indomitable young woman, legally blind and high-functioning on the autism spectrum. Refusing to be held back by her presumed “limitations,” Michelle fearlessly pushes beyond the boundaries society and her family history would impose upon her, emerging as the unique heroine of her own story.
CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER (Documentary – dir, Doug Nichol) Weaving three stories—of a repair business, a collector, and an artist—and including interviews with famous typewriter devotees like Tom Hanks, Sam Shepard, and David McCullough, this documentary celebrates the creative virtues and tactile joys of the typewriter. With a click-clack and ping, it’s a love letter to this humble tool.
CIRCUS KID (Documentary – dir. Lorenzo Pisoni) Growing up isn’t easy when your father’s a clown. That’s one lesson of Lorenzo Pisoni’s moving documentary, which offers an intimate portrait of San Francisco’s famed Pickle Family Circus—a direct precursor of Cirque du Soleil—and of its driven, mercurial founder, Larry Pisoni. Don’t miss this unique glimpse of clown life.
COMPANY TOWN (Documentary – dirs. Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow) Local filmmakers Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow take to the streets of San Francisco to track last year’s supervisor race between incumbent Julie Christensen and former supervisor and lefty firebrand Aaron Peskin. The film’s real focus, however, is the way in which every resident is affected by Airbnb and the influx of tech workers.
GREEN/IS/GOLD (Narrative – dir. Ryon Baxter) Set against the complex, captivating world of cannabis, this riveting coming-of-age-story focuses on two young brothers forced to fend for themselves in the gorgeous green hills of Northern California. Heartwarming and heartbreaking at once, this shining festival gem reeks of poetic filmmaking, tense drama, and emotional truth.
THE GROOVE IS NOT TRIVIAL (Documentary – dir. Tommie Dell Smith) A film about Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser, the artists around him, and the power of traditional music to change people’s lives. This World premiere will be accompanied by a live performance by Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas as part of MVFF Music at the Sweetwater Music Hall.
IN DUBIOUS BATTLE (Narrative – dir. James Franco) Based on the John Steinbeck novel, an activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. All –star ensemble cast includes James Franco, Selena Gomez, Bryan Cranston, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ashley Greene, Josh Hutcherson, Robert Duvall, and Ed Harris.
KEPLER’S DREAM (Narrative – dir. Amy Glazer) In this artful family drama, based on an acclaimed novel, 11-year-old Ella is sent to stay with her intimidating grandmother (Holland Taylor) while her mother battles leukemia. The theft of a precious book sets events in motion that reveal secrets, betrayals, and sorrows that have shaped the family for generations.
LOVE TWICE (Narrative – dir. Rob Nilsson) In Love Twice, Luz and Ken are star-crossed lovers in screenwriter Sal’s script, until their desire takes shape, inscribing itself into a movie of their own design.
MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE BRAIN (Documentary – dirs. Catherine Ryan and Gary Weimberg) Meet Dr. Marian Diamond, one of the founders of modern neuroscience. This energetic documentary profiles an amazing woman and brilliant scientist whose work revealed unimagined brain capabilities that forever changed our understanding of human potential. If her name isn’t yet as familiar as that of Marie Curie, it will be.
THE RENDEZVOUS (Narrative – dir. Amin Matalqa, producer Tricia Hellman Gibbs) Director Amin Matalqa, best known for the award-winning Captain Abu Raed, sprinkles romance and humor into this high-energy caper. Stana Katic (Castle) stars as an American doctor who travels to Jordan and teams with a State Department agent (Raza Jaffrey, Homeland) to uncover the truth behind her brother’s suspicious death.
SHE STARTED IT (Documentary – dirs. Norah Poggi and Insiyah Saeed) What does it take to be a female founder in a notoriously male-dominated world? This invigorating documentary profiles five young women entrepreneurs making their marks in the technology industry and examines the challenges they face in the ruthlessly competitive world of start-ups, where females account for less than 10% of all founders.
VISITOR’S DAY (Documentary – dir. Nicole Opper) Oakland filmmaker Nicole Opper directs this quietly observant documentary about a group home for at-risk boys in Mexico, where they attend school and counseling sessions, as well as tend goats—producers of award-winning cheese. The journey is not without conflict or tears, but it gives each child a much-needed boost toward a brighter future.
CRESCITE (Documentary – dir. Will Agee)
FINDING JUSTICE: ENDING THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE (Documentary – dir. Vincent Cortez)
GREEN THUMB (Narrative – dirs. Kiel Murray & Phil Lorin)
I DON’T CARE (Experimental – dir. John Sanborn)
KILLING THE COAT (Narrative – dir. Aaron Stoller)
A LOVE POEM TO MY FRIEND ETHEL (Documentary – dir. Wendy Slick)
NASCENT (Documentary – dirs. Lindsay Branham and Jon Kasbe)
THE NEW ENVIRONMENTALISTS – FROM PERU TO TANZANIA (Documentary – dirs. Will Parrinello, John Antonelli, Tom Dusenbery)
NEW MO’ CUT: DAVID PEOPLES’ LOST FILM OF MOE’S BOOKS (Documentary – dir. Siciliana Trevino)
ODDBALL (Documentary – dir. Joshua Moore)
POLKA DOTT (Narrative, Family – dir. Cynthia Pepper)
THE SECRET STORY: HOW MEDICAL CANNABIS WAS RE-LEGALIZED IN THE US (Documentary – dir. Brian Applegarth)
SOAR (Narrative, Family – dir. Alyce Tzue)
SPLOTCH (Narrative, Animation – dir. Dan McHale)
STARDUST SERENADE (Narrative, Animation – dir. Kathleen Quillian)
STOLEN YOUTH: POLITICAL PRISONER OF THE DICTATORSHIP (Documentary – dir. Joshua Dylan Mellars)
STRINGS ATTACHED (Narrative, Family – dir. George Rosenfeld)
TWINSBURG (Narrative – dir. Joe Garrity)
WASHED AWAY ((Documentary – dir. Dana Nachman)
WHAT HAPPENED TO HER (Experimental – dir. Kristy Guevera – Flanagan)
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About the Mill Valley Film Festival
For nearly four decades, the world-renowned Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) has maintained its position as a vital showcase of the global film community, attracting iconic red-carpet talent, burgeoning filmmakers, passionate audiences, and astutely curated. An in-demand destination for film lovers, drawn by unmatched locale and a diverse program of mainstream studio features and new visions from independent voices from around the world, MVFF also hosts an exciting array of filmmaker and industry conversations, panels, parties, and live music performances, featuring the most acclaimed emerging and veteran actors, filmmakers, and musicians of our time. A destination event for cinephiles everywhere, and known for launching new films and creating awards season buzz, MVFF has earned a deserved reputation as a “filmmaker’s festival” by celebrating the best in American, independent, and world cinema alongside high profile and prestigious award contenders. Presented by the California Film Institute, this year’s Festival runs October 6 – 16, 2016. Opening Night Gala will be held at Marin Country Mart and Closing Night Party will be held at Cavallo Point.
Screening locations include: CinéArts@Sequoia and The Sweetwater Music Hall (Mill Valley), Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center (San Rafael), Cinemark Century Larkspur Landing and Lark Theatre (Larkspur), and Cinemark Century Cinema Corte Madera (Corte Madera).
About the California Film Institute
The non-profit California Film Institute celebrates and promotes film as art and education through year-round programming at the non-profit independent theatre, Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, presentation of the acclaimed Mill Valley Film Festival and cultivation of the next generation of filmmakers and audiences through CFI Education programs. For more information, visit http://www.cafilm.org or call (415) 383-5256.
As a nonprofit arts organization, CFI relies on the generosity of its community to sustain not only the Festival, but also the year-round programs of the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center and CFI Education. The invaluable support of our sponsors, foundations, and individual donors ensures our continued success as we celebrate our 39th year.
CFI is once again proud to acknowledge the leadership support of Christopher B. and Jeannie Meg Smith and Jennifer Coslett MacCready, and the continued major support of Ken and Jackie Broad Family Fund, Drusie and Jim Davis – Drusie Davis Family Fund, The Bernard Osher Foundation, The Gruber Family Foundation, Michael and Susan Schwartz Fund, The Christine Zecca Foundation and The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. We are also fortunate to have the contributions of the following Signature and Major Sponsors of the Mill Valley Film Festival: Wells Fargo, Jackson Square Partners, Lucasfilm, Ltd., Maroevich, O’Shea & Coghlan Insurance Services, Zaentz Media Center/A Wareham and Development, Bellam Self Storage and Boxes, Delta Airlines and San Francisco Chronicle and Government Support from the National Endowment for the Arts.