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IN THEATERS: Black Mass, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Captive, Everest, Grandma

The weekend begins tonight and there are some great films opening. First and foremost is Black Mass, the new film from Cross Creek Pictures. Sure, there’s football. But there’s also Johnny Depp’s comeback movie afterwards.

The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

The second installment in the Maze Runner series, the film follows Thomas, played by Dylan O’Brian, and the other gladers as they try to solve the mysteries of WCKD, the organization who place them inside of the Glades. Along the way, the group, along with other members of the resistence, must travel through the dangerous Scorch, a dangerous and desolate area. TBA min. Rated PG-13.

Black Mass

Johnny Depp stars in the true story of Whitey Bulger, one of the most violent gangsters turned FBI informant to take down an enemy mafia group. Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Peter Skarsgard, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons, and Corey Stoll also star. 122 min. Rated R.

Everest

Jake Gyllenhaal joins an ambitious climbing team with Josh Brolin, Sam Worthington, and Jason Clarke that faces a severe snow storm as they climb Mount Everest. 121 min. Rated PG-13.

Captive

A single mother struggling with drug addiction is taken hostage in her own apartment by a man on the run after breaking out of jail and murdering the judge assigned to his case. 97 min. Rated PG-13.

Grandma

Lily Tomlin stars as Elle who has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when Elle’s granddaughter Sage unexpectedly shows up needing $600 bucks before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets. 79 min. Rated R.

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‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ Will Screen at the Saenger Accompanied by a Live Orchestra on Oct. 10

The Best Picture-nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild features a fantastic score. And soon, you’ll be able to hear it performed live during a special screening of the film at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans. Here’s the press release with all of the details.

NEW ORLEANS, LA (September 16, 2015) – WORDLESS MUSIC is pleased to announce a rare screening of Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild accompanied by a live film score performed by co-composers Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, and Wordless Music Orchestra, conducted by Ryan McAdams. Together, the group performs the original score to a new, music-less print of the film that has been created for the occasion. This very special performance takes place Saturday, October 10 at the historicSaenger Theater in downtown New Orleans.

A magical realist fable, set outside of New Orleans, Beasts of the Southern Wild was the most celebrated independent film of 2012, winning over 75 awards internationally (including top prizes at Cannes and Sundance), along with four Oscar nominations for Best Picture, a Best Director nomination for Benh Zeitlin, and a Best Actress nomination for Quvenzhané Wallis (Hushpuppy). The New York Times has called the film “a passionate and unruly explosion of Americana.” Roger Ebert said: “Sometimes miraculous films come into being, made by people you’ve never heard of, starring unknown faces, blindsiding you with creative genius.”

Beasts of the Southern Wild tells the story of survival, heartbreak, humanity, and community told through the eyes of six-year-old ingénue, Hushpuppy. Residing with her father in the Bathtub, a small isolated community on an island off the coast of Louisiana, Hushpuppy is constantly forced to confront the harsh realities of poverty, environmental collapse, and her father’s failing health. Together, she and her father face many challenges, including the impending storm that threatens to drown the Bathtub. Through it all, Hushpuppy’s fierce bravery and vivid imagination help carry her through these seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Listings Information

Who: Beasts of the Southern Wild screening + live film score with orchestra by Benh Zeitlin, Dan Romer, Lost Bayou Ramblers, & Wordless Music Orchestra (Ryan McAdams, conductor)

Where: Saenger Theatre (1111 Canal Street, New Orleans)

When: Saturday, October 10, 8:00 P.M. (doors open at 7:00 P.M.)

Tickets: $24 / $34 / $44 / $54 / $64  (no ticket fees at Saenger Theater box office)

More information: www.wordlessmusic.org

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Robert Vosbein Elected President of the Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association

LFEA has elected Robert Vosbein as its new president. Here’s the press release in full.

NEW ORLEANS— Robert A. Vosbein, founder and CEO of Silver Screen Group, was elected President and will preside over the newly formed Executive Committee of the Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association (LFEA). A former attorney with Adams & Reese LLP for over 40 years, Robert has extensive experience in commercial litigation and has focused his practice over the past 10 years in the area of the Louisiana film incentive program.

This change in leadership has come about as LFEA reorganizes in order to strengthen its reach and effectiveness.

Under the new reorganization plan, President Vosbein and the newly elected Executive Committee will handle the day-to-day operations of LFEA. LFEA is heavily involved in legislative efforts to ensure the long-term success of the industry in Louisiana as well as efforts to attract more productions to the State.  It is committed to building and protecting jobs in the film industry.

“LFEA’s mission is to grow the film and entertainment industry in the state of Louisiana, to protect the jobs that have been created over the past 12 years, and to ensure the state makes a long-term commitment to the industry. We will be working diligently with the next Governor, the newly elected Legislature, and regulatory officials to ensure that our program is strong and that it continues to create quality jobs for the people of Louisiana” said Vosbein. “It is critical that our policymakers in Baton Rouge work to maintain a stable environment for film production in the state.”

LFEA is a statewide trade and professional association representing the thousands of its members depending on the film and entertainment industry in the State of Louisiana. Its purpose is to build a long-term, stable environment for film, television, and digital media production in the state.

For more information on the Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association, contact David Tatman, Executive Director.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 14, 2015

Contact: David Tatman, LFEA Executive Director

(225)767-7640 • email: david@tatmangroup.com

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The New Yearwood

The cliché is that country’s down to earth. Although that label easily applies to Trisha Yearwood personally, her country soars, reaching for the sky with each breath. The Southern girl, born in Monticello, Georgia, worked hard to get her career to the stratosphere in the early ‘90s with her self-titled debut album, featuring the smash single “She’s in Love with the Boy.” Since then, she’s released ten studio albums that spawned eight number one singles. Not bad for a daughter from Jasper County.

A decade after marrying fellow country powerhouse Garth Brooks, Trisha’s on the road with him as the two make a comeback together. During that decade, Yearwood also released several cookbooks, memorializing her family’s favorite recipes for all of her fans to enjoy. Those books led to a popular show on the Food Network called Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. On the laid back show, Trisha invites her friends and family — including Garth — to help her craft great food of all kinds, including healthy updates of old Southern favorites.

On the weekend of July 10, Trisha and her husband Garth did multiple memorable shows at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. I connected with Trisha after to discuss her music, her cooking and why she loves New Orleans so much.

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You have performed in New Orleans so many times. What makes it special for you? What makes the House of Blues special to you?

The New Orleans House of Blues in particular is just…special. Every time I play there, it just feels good. There really are just good vibes in the room, and the energy of the crowd is contagious. It’s hands down one of my favorite places I’ve ever played music!

When you return to New Orleans, what are the places you look forward to returning to?

I met Emeril in New York City years ago and had the pleasure of eating a meal he had prepared. From then on, I was hooked. I know there is a lot to taste in New Orleans, and I’ve had my share of visits to Café Du Monde, but I try to have at least one meal when I’m in town at one of Emeril’s places. I particularly love NOLA because it’s in the middle of everything, and I love its casual atmosphere.

You’ve mentioned before that you don’t consider yourself a writer. When you are approaching a new piece from another writer, what guides your interpretation of the piece?

A great song is like a really good conversation. I try to phrase songs in such a way that it just feels right to me. It’s not really even something I think about. It’s just intuitive. I look for songs that move me, and feel like mine when I’m done with them. I was raised on some of the greatest interpreters of song I’ve ever heard, namely Patsy Cline and Linda Ronstadt. They breathe in every word and make me believe every word they say. That’s the kind of singer I always wanted to be.

The environment that an artist lives in often has a big impact on what they are creating. How has living outside of Nashville changed the music you make?

I think that where you are in life has more to do with what you’re creating than where you live. Growing up in the South in Georgia, I would definitely say I was influenced by the country music of my parents – George Jones, Merle Haggard – and also by the Georgia artists I listened to, including the Allman Brothers and the Atlanta Rhythm Section, but my music is mostly molded by who I am at the time. My twenty-six-year-old self sang her heart out about what she knew. My now fifty-year-old-self has made a lot of mistakes since then, and learned a lot. Hopefully, that comes through in the music. I wonder what I’ll know at seventy!

Your recording career has been split, the first part happening during the 1990s and the second part happening after the digital music revolution in the early 2000s, which drastically changed the music industry. This has of course greatly impacted the business of making music. But it’s also impacted audiences, their listening habits and how they are discovering music. What is your greatest lament for music fans today? What are they missing out on that fans in the 70s, 80s and 90s might have taken for granted?
I think the biggest things fans miss out on now is the “album experience.” Most newer listeners don’t know what it’s like to sit down and listen to an entire body of work. It makes me sound old to say that, I know. And, truthfully, however you get your music is your choice. But when I think about the way I listened to music as a kid, that song on the radio might be the song that drove me to the store to buy the album. Nine times out of ten, through listening to the whole album, I discovered songs that were never released as singles, and those became my favorite songs. In today’s single-oriented music, where we don’t have to buy the album to get the song, we lose that experience. And we’re missing out on getting to hear some of the most well written, moving songs we’ll never hear.

Everyone who grows up in the South hopefully has great memories of cooking with family as a child. Both of my parents cooked many different things, but they also had their own “signature” dish: my mother’s was the most amazing chicken and dumplings and my father’s was excellent barbequed chicken. What were your parent’s signature dishes?

My mama made everything well, and I’m not sure she had a signature dish. I loved her fried chicken because she soaked it in a salt brine overnight, which gave the chicken such great flavor. My dad cooked barbecue chicken and Brunswick stew for school functions and men’s club fundraisers in my hometown of Monticello, Georgia.

Do you make them now?

I do make all of those foods. It’s one thing that keeps me connected to my parents even though they’re both gone now.

Sometimes taking your hobby and making it a professional endeavor can sour the fun a little bit! How do you keep Trisha’s Southern Kitchen fun for you?

The show is fun because we keep it real. I usually have my sister, or one of my best friends, on the show so it keeps it fun for me. It comes out of something I naturally love to do. So far, it hasn’t felt like work at all.

Where do you prospect for new recipes to reinvigorate with your own ideas?

I get new recipe ideas all of the time. It’s hard to find something new that nobody has ever done before. Most of my recipes evolve out of older recipes. I just try to put a new twist on them and still keep them authentic to me and my family.

You have so much charisma in television interviews! You also do such a great job of making room for guests on your own show. And, coincidentally, nightly talk shows are sorely lacking female talent. Would you ever consider giving Jimmy Fallon a run for his money?

Ha! That’s funny! I agree that nightly talk shows could use some females! I like to talk and I think I’m funny. Though, admittedly, sometimes I’m the only one who does! But I can’t imagine carrying a show like that and interviewing people all the time. I’d love to see Amy Schumer be a talk show host! I like her bawdy sense of humor and I think she’d be a great talk show host.

Touring is always grueling! And it makes many things difficult, especially eating on the road. Are you able to cook at all? Or is that something you have to set aside completely?

I don’t really cook on the road, which is why I do cook whenever I’m home. Luckily, on a tour this big, we travel with an amazing catering crew. They make every kind of option of food, and they even cook from my books sometimes, so I get a little bit of home cooking without having to do the work. I like that!

You’re on tour with your husband Garth Brooks right now. What was memorable about the many shows you played over one weekend in New Orleans in July?

This was the first city on our almost yearlong tour so far that I had played before and Garth hadn’t. It was fun telling him how awesome the crowds were gonna be! And they didn’t disappoint. What a weekend! I loved every single show, every single night. It was really amazing. We’re both already talking about wanting to go back and play there again!

BACKSTAGE WITH GARTH AND TRISHA

photos by Kelli Binnings

Garth on playing New Orleans with his band:

As far as I know, I don’t think we’ve ever got to play New Orleans, so we’re excited about being here. The guys are ready. We’ve been on tour since September, so you kind of get your feet underneath you and start to feel good. We will take a break right after this for what we call our yearly “fix and repair.” We’ll bring the ship into the hangar and make all the repairs on it and make our adjustments. If we’re timed right, we should have everything down and good for this show, and then we’ll change everything right after we leave out of here. It’s great. We feel very lucky, especially at this point in our career, at this age, to be touring at this level. We feel good to be here! Along with a list with cities that we’ve been to before, we get to come to one that we don’t have a history with. Ms. Yearwood has a huge history with this city. House of Blues is one of the places that she says is one of the best places, so she couldn’t wait to be here.

Garth’s reaction to the massive response to his comeback tour:

I’m stunned. When I walked away from this business, the greatest gift that I’ve ever been given in my life – from God and the people – was the chance to raise my babies. That’s it. Second greatest gift that I’ve ever been given is the chance to get to do this again. At some point, we’re down to one child in the house and the house was a morgue. It’s quiet. And Ms. Yearwood goes, “What are we going to do?” and I said, “I don’t know.” She goes, “Would you ever think about touring again?” And I couldn’t believe she said it. I said, “Well, hell yeah, I would, but what if no one shows up?” And at some point you have to put your hat in the ring, and you have to risk being embarrassed. Chicago was the opening city. They answered the call very, very sweetly and every city has continued that tradition. We feel very lucky.

Garth on touring as an older man:

I’m fifty-three. I’m probably weighing in at about 250 now, which is not my touring weight. They take it out on you. But the truth is, it’s just fun. They let me be me. That’s what I love about it. I’m hoping that these people tonight will come to have fun and know that they’re going to see all the mistakes and all. And, hopefully, at the end of the night, that will make us closer, if possible. It’s funny how sometimes that happens. When you go out there with a confidence that people are coming out just to have a good time, then you get to go out and relax. We’ll all be nervous as hell, because it’s like a boxing match. You’ll spend the first fifteen minutes trying to get to know each other, seeing what kind of crowd you’re going to do, and if you’re going to have to work at all. And I have a feeling here that I’m not going to have to work at all. This is going to be fun! I’m hoping my job is to catch up. That’s what I’m hoping. I hope they come totally way ahead of me, I hope they kick my ass all over the place tonight, because that would be a fun way to start this run.

Trisha talks more about the House of Blues New Orleans:

It’s a slanted stage and you’re thinking that you’re going to go right into the crowd and it’s awesome. I’ve played a lot of clubs, a lot of small theaters, but there’s something about this particular House of Blues that is so memorable, so I love it. I love New Orleans.

Garth on the probability he’ll play his crowd favorite “Callin’ Baton Rouge” in Tiger Stadium:

Rumor has it that it’s played every home game [at LSU]. I’d hate to screw it up, because we worked hard on that recording to get it right. I love it…I get to see it on Youtube. I get to see the whole place erupt. It’s pretty cool. I just hope I get the words right this week! It’s my favorite song to perform, hands down. It’s just fun. The problem is, like all great things in life, is that it’s over before you want it to be. It’s just one of those songs. I could do it three or four times a night. I’ll be honest in telling people this: I use a guitar to hide my gut. That’s the whole reason I have it. You pay other people to play it. But on “Baton Rouge,” they actually let me play it on electric. And it’s never on, but I played the s*** out of it!

Trisha on compiling the set list for their joint show:

My set’s in the middle. It’s a Garth sandwich on each side. So there’s a list, but it can change. Garth’s can vary a little more than mine, but I can’t imagine doing a show and not doing “She’s in Love with the Boy” or “How Do I Live?” But sometimes I’ll just see a sign out in the crowd for something that’s not on the list and we’ll do it. The great thing about combining our bands is that I’ve got two of my guys out there with us who’ve been playing with me for nineteen or twenty years. They know all of the songs. And they’ll look at me like, “Really? You want to pull that one out?” But if someone holds up a sign, we’ll at least do a piece of it.

Garth on his set list:

That’s what it’s all about. Mattingly’s their fiddle player. He’s the guy that’s been with us the shortest and he’s been there twenty-one years. So if we’re going to do an audible, we can. The only thing on that list that I promised my band and crew that I’ll do is the first one. After that, we’ll see. I’ll start talking and if you’re doing an audible, you’ll introduce this song where they’ll all pick it up and go, “Oh, I know what song he’s talking about.” That’s the fun thing about live. You go out there and you just let it go. People know that they’re coming to see live, so anything can happen. So just come and have fun.

Garth and Trisha on critiquing each other’s live performances:

Garth: I critique her all the time, but I never say a word.

Trisha: I just talk behind his back a lot. Actually, we talk about how the crowd felt to both of us, whether we felt, “Oh, yeah, that was a cool moment.” I beat myself up probably every night for the little things that I know, but that maybe no one else will notice.

Garth: We talk about the philosophy of set lists, the philosophy of up-down…do you play ballads even slower in life for a dramatic feel or do you play the tempo even quicker in life for more of a dramatic rush? All those things, we go over. And the truth is, it’s all up to the crowd. Always. Like a sports team, you can have your game plan, but once that whistle blows, you’re adjusting to everything as it comes. And that’s the fun challenge of it.

Garth on including covers in the live show:

One of the questions that you get a lot is, “What are you listening to today?” And I’m kind of old school so I pull out some old school stuff. What kills me is seeing some seventeen-year-old girl singing something that I was listening to when I was seventeen, and she’s singing every word of it. That tells you the power of music. The power of those artists. Guys that I grew up on like Strait, Whitley, Skaggs and Randy Travis. I’ll also mention guys that I grew up on like Seger and Billy Joel. Stuff like that. You just let the people see who you are. Because that’s the thing, especially coming out now. Fifteen years coming back in, the worst thing I could do is try and chase something. You’ve just got to be yourself, and if they allow that to happen, and if the good Lord allows it, so be it. If not, all the money in the world ain’t going to buy another day. So just be thankful for what you’ve got, and find what’s next in your life. If you wake up breathing, then you’ve got something to do that day. Figure out what that is.

Trisha on balancing touring with filming her TV show:

A season of the show is about twenty-six episodes, and we film them in blocks of about three-to-four week windows, which I don’t have anymore. So the Food Network has been very kind to say, “We’ll take them when we can get them.” And so, on this tour for the past year, there have been a few ten-day blocks. We’ll take seven of those days and make seven shows. We’re just picking it up on the fly, and they’re being very kind about it. Very patient. It’s a challenge, but it’s good. I thought I was going to do it on the road, thinking “I’ll just figure out a way to do this show on the road!” But it takes about twelve hours to shoot an episode, so I can’t be like, “Well, Trisha can’t come out and sing her duet because she’s filming her show backstage.” I haven’t had a chance to figure that out yet.

I’m going to tell on myself because I figure that Garth is about to tell on me. Last night I was making sweet potato burgers out of the new book, and I had it all together. I’m looking at it, and I’m putting it together, and I’m like, “Something’s not right,” I make them all the time. And something’s missing out of the sweet potato burgers, and he goes, “Is it sweet potatoes?” like a joke. And I’m like, “Oh my god, it is! I left the sweet potatoes out!” They were still in the fridge. So he got them out, and I’m sure that will come back to haunt me forever.

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TRAILER: Georgia-Shot YA Thriller ‘The 5th Wave’

The Hunger Games proved that Twilight‘s success was more about its young adult audience that vampires and werewolves. Now every YA high-concept series out there has a shot at the silver screen. The next up is The 5th Wave, a new film adapted from the novel of the same name by Rick Yancey.

Shot in Georgia, the film stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, Alex Roe Nick Robinson, Ray Donovan star Liev Schrieber, Maika Monroe and Maria Bello. Here’s the trailer.

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IN THEATERS: We Are Your Friends, War Room, Z for Zachariah

It’s been hotter than hell, and although the temperature has finally started to drop, going to the theater this weekend should still be at the top of your to-do list. If the films below don’t float your fancy, there’s still holdovers like Jurassic World and Straight Outta Compton, both of which are excellent.

We Are Your Friends

Caught between a forbidden romance and the expectations of his friends, aspiring DJ Cole Carter attempts to find the path in life that leads to fame and fortune. 96 min. Rated R.

Z for Zachariah

In the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization, two men and a young woman find themselves in an emotionally charged love triangle as the last known survivors. 95 min. Rated PG-13.

War Room

A seemingly perfect family look to fix their problems with the help of Miss Clara, an older, wiser woman. 120 min. Rated PG.

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REWIND: Scene’s New Years Fashion Shoot with Katherine Haik

A little over a year ago, we cast Katherine Haik in a New Year’s fashion shoot for Scene Magazine. Now the Louisiana native has a full year of responsibilities ahead of her as the newly crowned Miss Teen USA. Congrats, Katherine!

CREDITS:
Photos: Hunter Holder
Photo Asst: Kelli Binnings
Stylist: Andi Eaton
Style Asst: Amanda Clark
Hair: Micah Nickens
Hair Asst: Michelle Bordelon
Makeup: Tiffany Brown

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IN THEATERS: American Ultra, Hitman: Agent 47, Sinister 2

The Louisiana-shot stoner flick American Ultra opens this weekend. The Social Network‘s Jesse Eisenberg stars opposite Twilight‘s Kristen Stewart. The script was written by Max Landis. Check it out.

The last major action movie of the summer, Hitman: Agent 47, promises to bring the epic explosions and one liners that moviegoers want. In 2007, the first screen adaptation of the video game, Hitman, grossed about $100 million worldwide. Fans of the video game series may be disappointed to see the game’s focus on stealth translated to loud action on the screen, but the reboot looks to be ninety-six minutes of the kind of mayhem gamers love to play. Hopefully, they’ll love to see that play out on the big screen.

In addition to the video game adaption, the Louisiana-filmed American Ultra and sequel Sinister 2 open in theaters this Friday.

Hitman: Agent 47

An assassin helps a woman find her husband and unearth countless tales of her ancestry. The action film stars Zachary Quinto and Rupert Friend. 96 min. Rated R.

American Ultra

The Adventureland romantic duo have teamed up again for the Louisiana-shot film American Ultra. Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart star as two slackers in love. He’s about to propose and then wham, he’s a secret spy, and the government is trying to eliminate him. Prepare to see Eisenberg and Stewart go full Jason Bourne in this film. 96 min. Rated R.

Sinister 2

The sequel to the 2012 hit horror movie follows a young mother and her twin sons moving into a rural house haunted by an evil spirit. 96 min. Rated R.

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LINEUP: 2015 New Orleans Film Festival

The New Orleans Film Society has announced its features and documentaries in competition. The festival will open at the newly renovated Orpheum theater.

Here’s the press release:

New Orleans Film Society Announces 26th Annual New Orleans Film Festival

24 feature films selected for juried competition

New Orleans, La. (August 18, 2015)—The New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) announces the 26th annual New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF), taking place October 14–22 at venues across the city. The festival kicks off Wednesday, October 14, at the newly-restored Orpheum Theater and features 173 selections from NOFF’s open call for submissions from independent filmmakers, in addition to more than one dozen additional films that have acquired distribution.

“The sustained growth of the festival demonstrates that Louisiana is an established hub of the entertainment industry,” says New Orleans Film Society Executive Director Jolene Pinder, “and the New Orleans Film Festival serves as a barometer for what’s happening in the state.”

The 2015 festival lineup was chosen from a total pool of more than 3,400 submissions, a record number for the festival, and a 58 percent increase over the previous year. Submissions poured in from 100 countries—the largest and farthest submissions pool in the history of the festival. This year marks NOFF’s first as an Oscar®-qualifying festival, in the category of documentary shorts. The winner of the short documentary jury award will qualify to be nominated for an Academy Award®.

“I’m really proud of our selections and the quality of storytelling we’re bringing to our audiences,” said New Orleans Film Society Program Director Clint Bowie. “Each year new themes emerge that are clearly resonating in the independent film community. From stories of life in Cuba to fictional worlds far from our own, these films challenge our viewers to look at life from a different perspective.”

The 2015 Festival showcases 24 feature films selected for competition: eight films in the Narrative Films in Competition category, seven films in the Documentary Films in Competition category and nine films in the Louisiana Features category (by Louisiana filmmakers). Of the 24 films, seven will have their World Premieres at this year’s fest.

Opening, centerpiece and closing-night feature films will be announced in the coming weeks.

NARRATIVE FILMS IN COMPETITION

“Cover Me”

dir. Garrett Bradley | USA | 2015 | 60 min. | Louisiana Premiere

Returning to New Orleans, a young musician grapples with isolation in a changing landscape as it permeates her romantic relationships and artistic career. This film is the result of a remarkable artistic collaboration between director Bradley and avant-garde artist Tameka Norris, who plays the leading role in the picture. (Also in competition as a Louisiana Feature.)

“Cowards Do It Slow”

dir. Sean Loftus & Michael Padraic Scahill | USA | 2015 | 99 min. | World Premiere

A love letter to American films of the 1970s and late-night bar culture, “Cowards Do It Slow” looks into the funny, dark heart of an aspiring country singer, a Kentucky boy trying to take his career to the next level as he drunkenly stumbles through the Chicago nightlife and holds on to the spoils that come with it.

“Driving While Black”

dir. Paul Sapiano | USA | 2015 | 94 min. | Louisiana Premiere

A dark comedy about racial profiling, “Driving While Black” follows Dimitri (played by Dominique Purdy, who also co-wrote the script), who delivers pizzas for a living in Los Angeles. But as a young black man, he is faced with more than his fair share of unnecessary attention from the cops.

“Embers”

dir. Claire Carré | USA, Poland | 2015 | 86 min. | Southern Premiere

After a global neurological epidemic, those who remain search for meaning and connection in a world without memory. Five interwoven stories explore how we might learn, love and communicate in a future that has no past.

“fRENCH DIRTy”

dir. Wade Allain-Marcus & Jesse Allain-Marcus | USA | 2015 | 72 min. | Southern Premiere 

Against the skyline of Los Angeles, Vincent ruminates on his parents’ failed marriage, his own arrested development and the choice he must make to become a better man.

“It Had To Be You”

dir. Sasha Gordon | USA, Italy | 2015 | 83 min. | Louisiana premiere

Surprised by a sudden proposal and subsequent ultimatum from her boyfriend, Sonia has three days to decide which path her life will take. A whimsical romantic comedy that’s raunchy and yet gentle, “It Had To Be You” explores the choices women face today, while satirizing cultural expectations of gender and romance.

“Jackie Boy”

dir. Cody Campanale | Canada | 2015 | 87 min. | World Premiere

This gritty character drama centers on Jack, a self-destructive womanizer who substitutes his emotional insecurities with drinks, drugs and one-night stands. It’s only when he meets fiery, spirited Jasmine that he decides to change his ways. Little does he know she has something different in mind.

“Jason and Shirley”

dir. Stephen Winter | USA | 2015 | 79 min. | Louisiana Premiere

“Jason and Shirley” imagines what went on behind the scenes during the filming of the landmark 1967 documentary “Portrait of Jason,” as Jason Holliday regales filmmaker Shirley Clarke with stories of racism, homophobia, abuse and prostitution in pre-Stonewall New York City.

DOCUMENTARY FILMS IN COMPETITION: 

“Deal With It”

dir. Shamira Raphaëla | The Netherlands | 2014 | 58 min. | Southern Premiere

In this intimate family portrait, we enter the chaotic and colorful world of director Shamira Raphaëla’s loved ones: her drug-addicted father, Pempy, and her brother, Andy, who is following in his father’s footsteps. “Deal With It” is a raw and personal film about destructive family patterns and unconditional love.

“Hotel Nueva Isla”

dir. Irene Gutierrez | Spain, Cuba | 2014 | 71 min. | Louisiana Premiere 

Despite the building’s imminent collapse, the last inhabitant of a once luxurious hotel in Old Havana refuses to leave: he remains convinced that treasures—hidden by the hotel’s original owners—lie waiting within its walls. The film is a meditation on a country that exists in a state of permanent resistance.

“Missing People”

dir. David Shapiro | USA | 2015 | 81 min. | Louisiana Premiere

This tense, nonfiction mystery unfurls around Martina Batan, the director of a prominent New York City gallery who investigates her brother’s long unsolved murder, while obsessively collecting and researching the violent work and life of Roy Ferdinand, a self-taught artist from New Orleans.

“Portrait of a Lone Farmer”

dir. Jide Tom Akinleminu | Germany, Nigeria, Denmark | 2013 | 76 min. | Louisiana Premiere

When filmmaker Jide Tom Akinleminu returns to his father’s chicken farm in Nigeria, his initial intention is to create a film about his parents’ marriage. But life, as is often the case, has other plans.

“Scrum”

dir. Poppy Stockell | Australia | 2015 | 54 min. | Southern Premiere

In the lead up to the 2014 Bingham Cup, the lives of a self-assured Canadian jock, a chubby Irish backpacker and a stoic Japanese outsider change when they vie for a position on the Sydney Convicts, the world’s premiere, gay rugby team.

“The Seventh Fire”

dir. Jack Pettibone Riccobono | USA | 2015 | 78 min. | Louisiana Premiere

Terrence Malick presents this haunting and visually arresting nonfiction film about the gang crisis on Indian reservations, through the stories of a Native American gang leader recently sentenced to prison for a fifth time, and his 17-year-old protege.

“Touch the Light (Tocando La Luz)”

dir. Jennifer Redfearn | Cuba, USA | 2015 | 72 min. | Southern Premiere

In this intimate, character-driven film from Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Jennifer Redfearn, three blind women from Havana, confront their heartbreaks and hopes, and navigate their profound desire for independence.

LOUISIANA FEATURES 

“Consequence”

dir. Jonathan Nguyen & Ashley George | USA | 2015 | 81 min. | World Premiere

The lives of three college coeds are shaken after a weekend camping trip results in the accidental death of a fellow student. Instead of reporting the accident, they decide to conceal the student’s death, a decision that seems logical at first, but slowly begins to eat away at their friendship—and their sanity.

“Delta Justice: The Islenos Trappers War”

dir. David DuBos | USA | 2015 | 48 min. | World Premiere

“Delta Justice” gives a true account of St. Bernard Parish’s violent fight over land rights in the mid-1920s. The film sheds new light on an important, yet little-known part of Louisiana’s history.

“Dog Man”

dir. Richie Adams | USA | 2015 | 57 min. | World Premiere

“Dog Man” recounts the life story of world-renowned trainer Dick Russell, who worked with an estimated 30,000 dogs through his basic obedience class in South Louisiana and introduced the pivotal training technique of Large Field Socialization to North America.

“Forgive and Forget”

dir. Aaron Abdin | USA | 2015 | 101 min. | World Premiere

Brian believes that he has a loving wife, brothers and grandmother but, after a tragic accident claims the life of one of his brothers, the entire family collapses into a mass of secrets, lies and emotional turmoil. Brian is led down a road of discovery, which forces him to choose between holding onto the past or striding towards the future.

“The King of New Orleans”

dir. Allen Frederic | USA | 2015 | 83 min. | Louisiana Premiere

In pre-Katrina New Orleans, Larry Shirt is an aging taxi driver whose fares include the city’s hustlers, tourists, socialites, musicians, housekeepers, weirdos and reporters, as well as an aimless student, with whom he shares a special bond.

“Love Me True”

dir. Kirby Voss | USA | 2015 | 85 min. | World Premiere

A debilitating fetish for blond-haired women constantly thwarts any chance that Eric has for happiness, until a hairless man named Stanley enters his apartment and claims to be the reincarnation of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky.

“The Mourning Hills”

dir. R. Todd Campbell | USA | 2014 | 81 min. | New Orleans Premiere

Mattie and Kate are sisters. They’re also orphans. Their mother died in a tragic accident, while their father took his own life in the beautiful and terrifying wilderness known as “The Mourning Hills.” When Mattie convinces Kate to run away with her, they decide to head for the very place where their father made them orphans.

“The Phantasmagorical Clarence John Laughlin”

dir. Gene Fredericks | USA | 2015 | 88 min. | North American Premiere

This documentary explores the enigmatic life of New Orleans native Clarence John Laughlin, considered the father of American Surrealist photography and often described as “Edgar Allan Poe with a camera.” The film includes the only known video footage of this unique individual, taken in 1977.

“Yazoo Revisited: Integration and Segregation in a Deep Southern Town”

dir. David Rae Morris | USA | 2015 | 84 min. | Louisiana Premiere

This film examines the history of race relations and the 1970 integration of the public schools in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Featuring interviews with local citizens of many ages and backgrounds, “Yazoo Revisited” paints a fascinating picture of the triumphs and failures of the Civil Rights Era.

NOFF PASSES & TICKETING SCHEDULE: 

Sep. 1: All-Access Passes available for purchase.

Oct. 1: Tickets available for All-Access Pass holders and New Orleans Film Society Producers Circle and Quarter Century Club members.

Oct. 7: Tickets available for purchase for New Orleans Film Society members Oct. 12: Main box office opens, tickets on sale to the public.

ABOUT THE NEW ORLEANS FILM SOCIETY 

Since 1989, the New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) has engaged, educated and inspired through the art of film. This year marks the 26th anniversary of the New Orleans Film Festival. NOFS hosts special events throughout the year: the French Film Festival, the New Orleans International Children’s Film Festival and other events designed to benefit local film audiences, artists and professionals. NOFS partners with local organizations to present monthly film series. NOFS reaches 32,000 people year-round through its programming. NOFS is a 501(c)(3) organization.

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IN THEATERS: The Man from UNCLE, Straight Outta Compton, Final Girl

With remakes and sequels flooding the summer box office, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. follows suit as a reboot of the classic 1960s television show. The movie portrays the first case shared by the rival agents, acting as a prequel to the series. Other movies opening this Friday include the hip-hop biopic Straight Outta Compton and Final Girl.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

A CIA agent and a KGB operative take part in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization. Written and directed by Guy Ritchie, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. stars Alicia Vikander, Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. 116 min. Rated PG-13.

Straight Outta Compton

NWA emerges from the streets of Compton and hits the screens of Hollywood. The most controversial hip-hip pioneers cause havoc in pop culture in the mid-80s. Paul Giamatti, Keith Stanfield, Aldis Hodge, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jason Mitchell and Corey Hawkins star in the story about the group and their life in the hood. 157 min. Rated R.

Final Girl

A sadistic group of teenage boys lure the shy new girl into the woods, only to discover she’s an assassin-in-training whose final test to hunt and kill them. 90 min. Rated R.

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Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams in ‘I Saw the Light’

Although we’ve seen Tom Hiddleston tease his Hank Williams already, there hasn’t been any official photos released of the Thor actor as the country legend. Until now. Here’s your first look at Hank, whose the focus of the new narrative feature I Saw the Light, which shot in Shreveport, Louisiana last year.

The biopic is currently set to see the light of day on November 27, smack dab in the middle of awards season.

Source: Deadline

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TRAILER: New Orleans-Shot Drama ‘Trumbo’

The trailer for Trumbo has been released. The New Orleans-shot drama stars Bryan Cranston as Dalton Trumbo, the famous screenwriter who took on Washington by refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Famously, he wouldn’t “name names” of those who might be Communists working in the motion picture industry. For it, he was blacklisted from work.

He still managed to work under pseudonyms and even won two Academy Awards while blacklisted, for writing The Brave One and Roman Holiday. Directed by Jay Roach, Trumbo stars Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, Elle Fanning, John Goodman, Louis C.K. and James DuMont. The film is set for an awards season release on November 5.

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TEASER: Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’

It’s been more than a year since director Quentin Tarantino first started sharing his Hateful Eight script around Hollywood, only to have someone leak it online. The writer/director, who won an Oscar for his New Orleans-shot effort Django Unchained, has since reworked the script for Eight. Here’s the trailer.

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POSTER: New Orleans-Shot ‘Trumbo’

The post for the New Orleans-shot film Trumbo has been released. Directed by Jay Roach, the film stars Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston as screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

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‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 3 Recap

Season two of Orange Is the New Black ended with a critical character lying on the side of the highway like road kill and another character driving happily towards her death. But season three begins with Red rising from the dead and returning to Litchfield after being in the hospital. With Mother’s Day opening season three, viewers start to experience a reoccurring theme: motherhood. Every major inmate’s backstory is dissected, explaining their relationships with their mothers and how they were raised.

When Alex returns to Litchfield after violating her parole, she is beat up, tired, and paranoid that her drug lord is out to kill her. She has a panic attack about being back in prison and completely breaks down in front of Piper, who enjoys having power over Alex, even if it means being manipulative. Viewers might recognize a power shift between the two women: Piper becomes more dominant as Alex becomes more afraid of her surroundings. In this season, the theme of power is prominent.

Viewers will see Crazy Eyes still brainwashed by Vee, her prison mother, a scenario of power and motherhood. In season three, the women of Litchfield hugely accept Crazy Eyes, which is something that viewers did a long time ago. She becomes popular, unable to figure out how to handle it, and even attracts a new crush in the process. Even though her story isn’t explored in depth, viewers still get their Crazy Eyes fix.

Red fixes something from her past and gets back into the kitchen, only to find out she has to cook food that isn’t her own. We see bed bugs infect the entire prison and the burning of some of the library’s books. Viewers also see strange business partnerships between inmates and even officers, conducting business with the outside world, taking the idea of a for-profit prison to the max.

You’ll enjoy an entirely new world of character history that feels enormous compared to the small compound in which the women are confined. Most of the stories are heartbreaking, sober, but ultimately enlightening. We see Nicky unable to stay away from her drug-stained past, Pennsatucky realize the horrible things that have happened to her and how to cope with them, Daya and her mother try to reconnect as the baby is fast approaching, and Morello has her dreams come true.

And, you get to watch Piper become a hardcore prison panty mobster who “trusts no bitch.” Season three of Orange is the New Black is now streaming in its entirety on Netflix.

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‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot Bombs

This weekend, Fox’s attempt to reboot its Marvel comics franchise Fantastic Four bombed at the box office, earning only $26.2 million in its first three days, despite playing in nearly four thousand theaters nationwide. Even after adding the superhero actioner’s international earnings, the film’s current box office total climbs to only $60.3 million.

While the actual budget numbers are hard to come by, some reports place the production budget at circa $120 million dollars. That almost certainly excludes the cash spent when the production returned to Baton Rouge for lengthy reshoots that went on for months. It also does not include the typical marketing spend for a major tentpole release, which I’d estimate is at least $100 million.

In addition, films split box office receipts with the theaters. That means Fox has only covered circa $30 million of at least a $220 million dollar investment in Fantastic Four. Ouch.

With a very poor first weekend and an even weaker critical response, the reasons behind the film’s disappointing reception aren’t mysterious. Outside of the film’s stellar cast – which includes Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Jamie Bell as Benn Grimm, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes alum Toby Kebbell as Dr. Doom – not much went right.

Second time director Josh Trank, who was hired in the wake of his excellent film Chronicle, had a bumpy road and was essentially removed from the project. Another director was brought in to do substantial reshoots. Just days before Fantastic Four‘s release, Trank bashed his own movie on Twitter, blaming the film’s apparently poor quality on studio meddling. At the time of its release, Fantastic Four only had a 9% positive rating on the movie review aggregator site Rottentomatoes.com. Even the little loved 2005 film has 27% positive reviews.

Early fan reaction to the film was also not very promising. From the first images, the rebooted film seemed to be the embodiment of that soulless studio executive promise that they are going “grittier, darker.” All while retelling a boilerplate origin story already well known to audiences. There was also much made of casting a black actor as Johnny Storm, brother of Sue Storm. Both characters have been historically portrayed as white. For most people, including me, this is a ridiculous reason to criticize the film before its release. As long as there’s a plausible explanation in the story, who cares? However, this strikes me as one of those “issues” with the film that wouldn’t have mattered to fanatical Fantastic Four purists at all if the final product was a great movie. Since it wasn’t great, the move away from tradition is just one item in a long list of items that seems to indicate studio meddling that may have harmed the project.

Fox will be fine, though, thanks to 2015 hits like the animated feature Home, which has earned the studio $386 million, Kingsman: The Secret Service, which earned $406 million, and Spy, which is currently at $233 million.

Fantastic Four is now playing in theaters everywhere. Go see it for yourself and make up your own mind.

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Now Streaming: ‘Nightcrawler’

2014’s Nightcrawler, written and directed by Dan Gilroy, stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom, a grifter trying to go legit as a freelance news gatherer in the streets of Los Angeles.

After seeing a gruesome wreck on the interstate one night, he sees his future in a freelance cameraman named Loder, played by Bill Paxton. Loder is a veteran nightcrawler, a newsman crawling the streets for footage to sell to a broadcast news channel. Bloom steals a bike and pawns it for a police scanner, a camcorder and a new career.

Bloom sells the footage to Nina played by Rene Russo, a down-on-her-luck producer working nights at the lowest-rated local news station. Bloom’s work keeps getting bloodier and better, Nina keeps buying it, and soon Bloom takes on an assistant in an attempt to rival Loder’s freelance empire.

Get your creepy Jake Gyllenhaal fix by watching Nightcrawler, now streaming on Netflix.

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IN THEATERS: Fantastic Four, Ricki and The Flash, The Gift, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Dark Places

Crashing into theaters this Friday, Baton Rouge-shot Fantastic Four tries to find success as a reboot of the Marvel comic. Following months of hype, the reboot may be overshadowed by another new movie from Marvel Studios, Ant-Man. That film has continued to be a box office force in the past few weeks. Also coming to theaters this weekend is Meryl Streep in Ricki and The Flash, as well as The Gift, The Diary of a Teenage Girl and Dark Places.

Fantastic Four

The origins of the four are illustrated as they team up and teleport to a dangerous alternate dimension. They discover powers and abilities and must band together to save Earth from Dr. Doom. Shot in Baton Rouge, the superhero flick stars Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Toby Kebbell, Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan and Tim Blake Nelson. 106 min. Rated PG-13.

Ricki and The Flash

An aging musician returns to her family, hoping to reconcile for abandoning them in order to follow her dreams of rock’n’roll fame. 102 min. Rated PG-13.

The Gift

Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall play a young couple whose lives are shaken by the unexpected arrival of a high school acquaintance. Dark secrets come to light through the haunting presence of this “friend” and the mysterious gifts he brings. 108 min. Rated R.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

In 1970s San Francisco, a 15 year old artistic girl begins to have an affair with her mother’s boyfriend, a man more than twice her age. 102 min. Rated R.

Dark Places

A woman haunted by her family’s murder recalls the traumatic memories in order to discover the truth about that night. 113 min. Rated R.

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The Vampire Diaries Returns This Fall for Season 7 Without One of Its Stars


Spoilers ahead. No one wants to see their favorite character face death. Fans of one of the most popular shows on television experienced just that. With Elena in a deep sleep – one she may never return from – viewers of The Vampire Diaries are anxious, scared and desperate for answers.

It was a major shock to the fans of the show when Nina Dobrev announced she would be leaving and not returning for season seven. The last episode of season six would supposedly be Dobrev’s final episode. But Elena fans are waiting in the wings: she may return at any moment from her sleeping-beauty slumber, even for the series finale. Or if her career prospects elsewhere don’t look as great.

Shot in Georgia, this hit show returns to The CW in the fall, focusing more on Damon and Stefan’s time before the world of Mystic Falls, opening up more of their brotherhood. After saying their goodbyes to Elena, Damon and Stefan vow to never open her coffin and seal her off with a spell.

The theme of season six was sacrifice. Elena saved her best friend Bonnie’s life so she could live. As long as Bonnie is alive, Elena stays asleep. Damon also sacrifices getting Elena back for keeping Bonnie alive. For now.

The storyline of the new season is also expected to follow Caroline and Alaric, who must cope with the enormous losses they faced in season six. With Elena gone, Damon will struggle to make decisions and live a normal life. Season seven will focus on Damon spending some time with himself, figuring out how to cope with Elena’s absence and confide in Bonnie for moral support.

To catch up on all things involving blood, vampires, love triangles and the supernatural, watch the first five seasons, streaming now on Netflix. The Vampire Diaries season seven returns this fall to the CW.

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The Originals Returns to The CW on October 8

Fans rejoiced when the third season of The Originals was announced. Set in the historical city of New Orleans but shot mostly in Georgia, The Originals, a spinoff of The Vampire Diaries, explores the storylines of multiple supernatural creatures and characters. Home to werewolves, witches, vampire clans, vampire rivals and even vampire werewolf hybrids, The Big Easy in The Originals is anything but laid back.

The father of the Original family, Mikael, played by Sebastian Roche, might return in flashbacks this season. Expect a lot of flashbacks. Also appearing on the newest season will be a sultry vampire, Aurora, played by Rebecca Breeds, and Lucien, played by Andrew Lees, a suave vampire who has some unfinished business with Klaus. Lucien apparently has it out for the Mikaelson clan of New Orleans.

Another one of the new faces being introduced this season to the show is Jason Dohring, who will be playing Will Kinney, a good-natured New Orleans detective who tries to keep the voodoo vampires in line. Little does Kinney know that not all bloody crime can come from fangs in the night.

Similar to The Vampire Diaries, the center of The Originals will always be family. Season three primary focuses on threats close to home, with outsider vampires infringing on the original clan in the crescent city.

New viewers and fans who’ve fallen behind can brush up on everything that happened in season one easily. It’s now streaming on Netflix. Sink your fangs into The Originals season three, returning on Thursday, October 8, at 9pm on The CW.

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POSTER: Michael Shannon and Andrew Garfield in Louisiana’s ’99 Homes’

Here’s a poster for 99 Homes. The indie drama, which stars Michael Shannon, Andrew Garfield and Laura Dern, is slated for a September 25 theatrical release.

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Sage Summit 2015 is Rolling In New Orleans Now

This week New Orleans is playing host to the Sage Summit Conference in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The conference, occurring annually for over forty years, fuels aspiring entrepreneurs and organizations across the country. Each day, the event provides open-floor interactions and group sessions that allow aspiring businesses to connect with different sponsors and leaders.

On July 28th, Sage CEO Stephen Kelly, General Colin L. Powell and Deepak Chopra will provide the keynote address concerning operating in our changing world. Stephen Kelly acts as Chief Executive Officer for Sage as well as a leader for many other tech companies, providing assistance to smaller and medium-sized businesses. General Powell’s leadership credentials are almost unparalleled, holding multiple roles in service and leadership, including acting as Secretary of State, army general and Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as accumulating many awards for his military service. Deepak Chopra, founder of the Chopra foundation and champion for human enlightenment, has written over eighty books, many focusing on innovative perceptions on the world and in spiritual leadership.

On July 29th, the convention presents two conversations, entitled “The Youtube Generation” and “Down but Not Out,” focusing on topics such as how implementing technology and content can build brands and how three women, through perseverance and education, could carve their way into the business world. For “The Youtube Generation,” Youtube co-founder Chad Hurley provides insight into how to manage content and technology as well as oversee a company in an ever-changing world. For “Down but Not Out,” Jane Seymour, Baroness Karren Brady and Brandi Temple provide their personal stories of growth and success as women in business. Jane Seymour, an award-winning actress, has experience in multiple fields, including founding and running many art galleries and supporting philanthropic foundations, including the The Open Hearts Foundation. Baroness Karren Brady, leader, CEO, and ambassador, is notable in becoming the first woman to manage a football team in the top flight of English football as well as the youngest managing director of a UK plc. Brandi Temple, founder and CEO of Lolly Wolly Doodle, notably uses innovative social platforms to promote sales in children’s clothing.

On July 30th, the convention presents two more special guest conversations, entitled, “Stay Hungry. Stay foolish,” and “Finding Your Fan Base,” focusing on innovation and leveraging a customer base respectively. “Stay Hungry. Stay foolish.” includes William A. McDonough, Bre Pettis, and Dolly Singh sharing their different experiences in innovation from their respective industries. William A. McDonough, leader of McDonough Innovation, provides notable sustainability and innovation advice to businesses and organizations, including his own foundations the Make It Right Foundation and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. Bre Pettis, Chief innovation officer of Bold Machines and cofounder of MakerBot, works in providing DIY advice and innovative solutions to future problems for individuals and organizations, winning several awards and notoriety (including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal) for his DIY movement. Dolly Singh, Founder and CEO of Thesis Couture, has experience in bringing together experts for innovative projects, including creating the world’s first high‐performance + high fashion, high heels.

“Finding Your Fan Base” involves Matthew Weiner, Trevor Noah, and Tony Hawk discussing their paths of leveraging their fan bases in the entertainment business world. Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men, successfully created and sustained a critically-acclaimed series that notably won four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, while continuously working on his own writing and directing career. Trevor Noah, comedian and new host of The Daily Show, successfully used his background and experiences to grow his audience around Africa and, eventually, the entire world. Tony Hawk, entrepreneur and professional skateboarder, used his professional talents and connections to support the skateboarding industry, including starting new skateboarding companies, video games, and donation foundations.

Through its notable speakers and excellent opportunities, the Sage Summit 2015 seeks to help business owners and organizations succeed in the coming future. Using flourishing and sustaining examples, the conference provides individuals and organizations with the answers that they need to future business or sustainability problems. With the advice from the Sage Summit 2015, attendees can use the lessons on leadership, innovation, and maintenance to survive the ever-changing business world of tomorrow.

Find out more at sagesummit.com.

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LINEUP: Toronto International Film Festival 2015

The lineup for TIFF 2015 has been announced! Opening the fest will be Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée’s film Demolition. Toronto will also feature the world premiere of Jay Roach’s Trumbo, the New Orleans-shot film that stars Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston as the titular writer, who was famously blacklisted for refusing to out communists in Hollywood in 1947. Trumbo was himself a member of the Communist Party.

OPENING NIGHT
Demolition, Jean-Marc Vallée, USA (World Premiere)

In Demolition, a successful investment banker, Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal), struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. Despite pressure from his father-in-law (Chris Cooper) to pull it together, Davis continues to unravel. What starts as a complaint letter to a vending machine company turns into a series of letters revealing startling personal admissions. Davis’ letters catch the attention of customer service rep Karen (Naomi Watts) and, amidst emotional and financial burdens of her own, the two strangers form an unlikely connection. With the help of Karen and her son (Judah Lewis), Davis starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.

GALAS
Beeba Boys, Deepa Mehta, Canada (World Premiere)

An adrenaline-charged violent Indo-Canadian gang war mixes guns, bhangra beats, bespoke suits, cocaine, and betrayal. Gang boss Jeet Johar and his loyal, young crew are audaciously taking over the Vancouver drug and arms scene from an old-style crime syndicate. Hearts are broken and family bonds shattered when the Beeba Boys (known as the “nice boys”) do anything “to be seen and to be feared” — in a white world.

The Dressmaker, Jocelyn Moorhouse, Australia (World Premiere)

Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, The Dressmaker is a bittersweet, comedy-drama set in early 1950s Australia. After many years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, Tilly Dunnage, a beautiful and talented misfit, returns home to the tiny middle-of-nowhere town of Dungatar to right the wrongs of the past. Not only does she reconcile with her ailing, eccentric mother Molly, and unexpectedly falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy, but armed with her sewing machine and incredible sense of style, Tilly sets out to right the wrongs of the past and transforms the women of the town but encounters unexpected romance along the way. Starring Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Judy Davis and Hugo Weaving.

Eye in the Sky, Gavin Hood, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

London-based military intelligence officer Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) is remotely commanding a top secret drone operation to capture a group of dangerous terrorists at their safe-house in Nairobi, Kenya. The mission suddenly escalates from a capture to a kill operation, when Powell realizes that the terrorists are about to embark on a deadly suicide mission. American drone pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) is poised to destroy the safe-house when a nine-year-old-girl enters the kill zone just outside the walls of the house. With unforeseen collateral damage now entering the equation, the impossible decision of when to strike gets passed up the kill chain of politicians and lawyers as the seconds tick down. Also stars Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi and Iain Glen.

Forsaken, Jon Cassar, Canada (World Premiere)

Tormented by a dark secret, an aging gunfighter abandons a life of killing and returns home, only to discover his mother has died. He’s forced to confront his estranged father and the life he left behind. Starring Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland and Demi Moore.

Freeheld, Peter Sollett, USA (World Premiere)

Based on the Oscar-winning documentary and adapted by the writer of Philadelphia, Freeheld is the true love story of Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree and their fight for justice. A decorated New Jersey police detective, Laurel is diagnosed with cancer and wants to leave her hard-earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie. However the county officials — the Freeholders — conspire to prevent Laurel from doing so. Hard-nosed detective Dane Wells and activist Steven Goldstein come together in Laurel and Stacie’s defense, rallying police officers and ordinary citizens to support their struggle for equality. Starring Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon and Steve Carell.

Hyena Road (Hyena Road: Le Chemin du Combat), Paul Gross, Canada (World Premiere)

A sniper who has never allowed himself to think of his targets as humans becomes implicated in the life of one such target. An intelligence officer who has never contemplated killing becomes the engine of a plot to kill. And a legendary Mujahideen warrior who had put war behind him is now the centre of the battle zone. Three men, three worlds, three conflicts — all stand at the intersection of modern warfare, a murky world of fluid morality in which all is not as it seems.

Legend, Brian Helgeland, United Kingdom (International Premiere)

The true story of the rise and fall of London’s most notorious gangsters, brothers Reggie and Ron Kray, both portrayed by Tom Hardy in an amazing double performance. LEGEND is a classic crime thriller that takes audiences into the secret history of the 1960s and the extraordinary events that secured the infamy of the Kray twins.

Lolo, Julie Delpy, France (North American Premiere)

While on holiday in the south of France, Parisian sophisticate Violette falls in love with carefree geek Jean-René. As their relationship blossoms, Jean-René heads to Paris to spend more time with Violette but finds himself up against her possessive teenage son Lolo who is determined to sabotage their relationship by any means necessary. A razor-sharp comedy from Julie Delpy.

The Man Who Knew Infinity, Matthew Brown, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

A true story of friendship that forever changed mathematics. In 1913, Ramanujan, a self-taught mathematics genius from India, travelled to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he forged a bond with his mentor, the eccentric professor GH Hardy, and fought to show the world the magic of his mind. Starring Dev Patel and Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons.

The Martian, Ridley Scott, USA (World Premiere)

During a manned mission to Mars, astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, The Martian features a star-studded cast that includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.

The Program, Stephen Frears, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

From Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Frears (The Queen, Philomena) and producers Working Title (The Theory of Everything), comes the true story of the meteoric rise and fall of one of the most celebrated and controversial men in recent history, Lance Armstrong. Starring Ben Foster, Dustin Hoffman, Chris O’Dowd and Guillaume Canet.

Remember, Atom Egoyan, Canada (North American Premiere)

Remember is the contemporary story of Zev, who discovers that the Nazi guard who murdered his family some 70 years ago is living in America under an assumed identity. Despite the obvious challenges, Zev sets out on a mission to deliver long-delayed justice with his own trembling hand. What follows is a remarkable cross-continent road-trip with surprising consequences. Starring Academy Award winners Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau.

Septembers of Shiraz, Wayne Blair, USA (World Premiere)

A thriller based on the New York Times bestseller, this is the true story of a secular Jewish family caught in the 1979 Iranian revolution and their heroic journey to overcome and ultimately escape from the deadly tyranny that swept their country and threatened to extinguish their lives at every turn. Starring Salma Hayek and Adrien Brody.

Stonewall, Roland Emmerich, USA (World Premiere)

This fictional drama inspired by true events follows a young man caught up during the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine) finds himself alone in Greenwich Village, homeless and destitute, until he befriends a group of street kids who introduce him to the local watering hole, The Stonewall Inn — however, this shady, mafia-run club is far from a safe haven. As Danny and his friends experience discrimination, endure atrocities and are repeatedly harassed by the police, the entire community of young gays, lesbians and drag queens who populate Stonewall erupts in a storm of anger. With the toss of a single brick, a riot ensues and a crusade for equality is born. Starring Jeremy Irvine, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman and Joey King.

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Anomalisa, Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, USA (Canadian Premiere)

A man struggles with his inability to connect with other people. Starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis.

Beasts of No Nation, Cary Fukunaga, USA/Ghana (Canadian Premiere)

Based on the highly acclaimed novel, director Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation brings to life the gripping tale of Agu (newcomer Abraham Attah), a child soldier torn from his family to fight in the civil war of an African country. Idris Elba dominates the screen in the role of Commandant, a warlord who takes in Agu and instructs him in the ways of war.

Black Mass, Scott Cooper, USA (Canadian Premiere)

In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly persuades Irish-American gangster Jimmy Bulger to act as an informant for the FBI in order to eliminate their common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement while becoming one of the most ruthless and dangerous gangsters in Boston history. Starring Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, Kevin Bacon, Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, Corey Stoll and Peter Sarsgaard.

Brooklyn, John Crowley, United Kingdom/Ireland/Canada (Canadian Premiere)

Set on opposite sides of the Atlantic, this drama tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters.

The Club, Pablo Larraín, Chile (North American Premiere)

Four men live in a secluded house in a seaside town. Sent to purge sins of the past, they live under a strict regime and the watchful eye of a caretaker. Their fragile stability is disrupted by the arrival of a fifth man who brings with him their darkest secrets.

Colonia, Florian Gallenberger, Germany/Luxembourg/France (World Premiere)

Colonia tells the story of Lena and Daniel, a young couple who become entangled in the Chilean military coup of 1973. Daniel is abducted by Pinochet’s secret police and Lena tracks him to a sealed off area in the south of the country called Colonia Dignidad. The Colonia presents itself as a charitable mission run by lay preacher Paul Schäfer but, in fact, is a place nobody ever escapes from. Lena decides to join the cult in order to find Daniel. Starring Emma Watson, Daniel Brühl and Michael Nyqvist.

The Danish Girl, Tom Hooper, United Kingdom (North American Premiere)

The Danish Girl is the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener (portrayed by Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander), directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables). Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

The Daughter, Simon Stone, Australia (North American Premiere)

A man returns to his hometown and unearths a long-buried family secret. As he tries to right the wrongs of the past, his actions threaten to shatter the lives of those he left behind years before. Starring Geoffrey Rush, Paul Schneider, Miranda Otto and Sam Neill.

Desierto, Jonás Cuarón, Mexico (World Premiere)

World Premiere Moises is traveling by foot with a group of undocumented workers across a desolate strip of the border between Mexico and the United States, seeking a new life in the north. They are discovered by a lone American vigilante, Sam, and a frantic chase begins. Set against the stunningly brutal landscape, Moises and Sam engage in a lethal match of wits, each desperate to survive and escape the desert that threatens to consume them. Starring Gael García Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Dheepan, Jacques Audiard, France (North American Premiere)

To escape the civil war in Sri Lanka, a former Tamil Tiger soldier, a young woman and a little girl pose as a family. These strangers try to build a life together in a Parisian suburb.

Families (Belles Familles), Jean-Paul Rappeneau, France (World Premiere)

When Shanghai-based businessman Jérome Varenne learns that his childhood home in the village of Ambray is at the centre of a local conflict, he heads there to straighten things out and finds himself at the centre of familial and romantic complications. Starring Mathieu Amalric.

The Family Fang, Jason Bateman, USA (World Premiere)

Annie and Baxter Fang have spent most of their adult lives trying to distance themselves from their famous artist parents. But when both siblings find themselves stalled in life, they return home for the first time in a decade where they become entangled in a dark mystery surrounding their parents’ disappearance. Jason Bateman directs and stars, along with co-stars Nicole Kidman and Christopher Walken, in this film based on the New York Times bestseller.

Guilty (Talvar), Meghna Gulzar, India (World Premiere)

Based on true events that set off a media frenzy all over the world, Guilty follows the 2008 Noida Double Murder Case of an investigation into the deaths of 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar and 45-year-old Hemraj Banjade, a domestic employed by Aarushi’s family, in Noida, India. The controversial case lives on in the mind of the public, despite a guilty verdict that sentenced the parents of the murdered girl to life in prison. Starring Irrfan Khan.

I Smile Back, Adam Salky, USA (Canadian Premiere)

Adapted from the acclaimed novel by Amy Koppelman, I Smile Back explores the life of Laney (Sarah Silverman), a devoted wife and mother who seems to have it all — a perfect husband, pristine house and shiny SUV. However, beneath the façade lies depression and disillusionment that catapult her into a secret world of reckless compulsion. Only very real danger will force her to face the painful root of her destructiveness and its effect on those she loves.

The Idol (Ya Tayr El Tayer), Hany Abu-Assad, United Kingdom/Palestine/Qatar (World Premiere)

A young boy in Gaza, Mohammad Assaf, dreams of one day singing in the Cairo Opera House with his sister and best friend, Nour. One day, Nour collapses and is rushed to the hospital where it is discovered that she needs a kidney transplant. Nour leaves Mohammad with a dying wish that someday, he will become a famous singer in Cairo. Escaping from Gaza to Egypt against unbelievable odds, Mohammad makes the journey of a lifetime. From two-time Academy Award nominee Hany Abu-Assad comes this inspirational drama inspired by the incredibly true story of Mohammed Assaf, winner of Arab Idol 2013.

The Lady in the Van, Nicholas Hytner, USA/United Kingdom (World Premiere)

Based on the true story of Miss Shepherd, a woman of uncertain origins who “temporarily” parked her van in writer Alan Bennett’s London driveway and proceeded to live there for 15 years. What begins as a begrudged favour becomes a relationship that will change both their lives. Filmed on the street and in the house where Bennett and Miss Shepherd lived all those years, acclaimed director Nicholas Hytner reunites with iconic writer Alan Bennett (The Madness of King George, The History Boys) to bring this rare and touching portrait to the screen. Starring Maggie Smith, Dominic Cooper and James Corden.

Len and Company, Tim Godsall, USA (North American Premiere)

A successful music producer (Rhys Ifans) quits the industry and exiles himself in upstate New York, but the solitude he seeks is shattered when both his estranged son (Jack Kilmer) and the pop-star (Juno Temple) he’s created come looking for answers.

The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos, Ireland/United Kingdom/Greece/France/Netherlands (North American Premiere)

In a dystopian near future, single people are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days or are transformed into animals and released into the woods. Starring Colin Farrell, Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux and Ben Whishaw.

Louder Than Bombs, Joachim Trier, Norway/France/Denmark (North American Premiere)

An upcoming exhibition celebrating photographer Isabelle Reed three years after her untimely death brings her eldest son Jonah back to the family house, forcing him to spend more time with his father Gene and withdrawn younger brother Conrad than he has in years. With the three men under the same roof, Gene tries desperately to connect with his two sons, but they struggle to reconcile their feelings about the woman they remember so differently. Starring Isabelle Huppert, Gabriel Byrne and Jesse Eisenberg.

Maggie’s Plan, Rebecca Miller, USA (World Premiere)

Maggie’s plan to have a baby on her own is derailed when she falls in love with John, a married man, destroying his volatile marriage to the brilliant Georgette. But one daughter and three years later, Maggie is out of love and in a quandary: what do you do when you suspect your man and his ex-wife are actually perfect for each other? Starring Julianne Moore, Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph.

Mountains May Depart (Shan He Gu Ren), Jia Zhang-ke, China/France/Japan (North American Premiere)

The new film from master filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke (A Touch of Sin) jumps from the recent past to the speculative near-future as it examines how China’s economic boom has affected the bonds of family, tradition, and love.

Office, Johnnie To, China/Hong Kong (International Premiere)

Billion-dollar company Jones & Sunn is going public. Chairman Ho Chung-ping has promised CEO Chang, who has been his mistress for more than 20 years, to become a major shareholder of the company. As the IPO team enters the company to audit its accounts, a series of inside stories start to be revealed. Starring Chow Yun Fat, Sylvia Chang, Tang Wei and Wang Ziyi.

Parched, Leena Yadav, India/USA (World Premiere)

Three ordinary women dare to break free from the century old patriarchal ways of their village in the desert heartland of rural India. Starring Tannishtha Chaterjee, Radhika Apte and Surveen Chawla, this unforgettable tale of friendship and triumph is called Parched.

Room, Lenny Abrahamson, Ireland/Canada (Canadian Premiere)

Told through the eyes of five-year-old-Jack, Room is a thrilling and emotional tale that celebrates the resilience and power of the human spirit. To Jack, the Room is the world… it’s where he was born, where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. But while it’s home to Jack, to Ma it’s a prison. Through her fierce love for her son, Ma has managed to create a childhood for him in their 10-by-10-foot space. But as Jack’s curiosity is building alongside Ma’s own desperation — she knows that Room cannot contain either indefinitely. Starring Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers and William H. Macy.

Sicario, Denis Villeneuve, USA (North American Premiere)

In the lawless border area stretching between the U.S. and Mexico, an idealistic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) is enlisted by an elite government task force official (Josh Brolin) to aid in the escalating war against drugs. Led by an enigmatic consultant with a questionable past (Benicio Del Toro), the team sets out on a clandestine journey that forces Kate to question everything that she believes.

Son of Saul (Saul Fia), László Nemes, Hungary (Canadian Premiere)

October 1944, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Saul Ausländer is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from the camp and forced to assist the Nazis in the machinery of large-scale extermination. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the body of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkommando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child’s body from the flames, find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish and offer the boy a proper burial.

Spotlight, Tom McCarthy, USA (International Premiere)

Spotlight tells the true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. Starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, Brian d’Arcy James and Billy Crudup.

Summertime (La Belle Saison), Catherine Corsini, France (North American Premiere)

Delphine, the daughter of farmers, moves to Paris in 1971 to break free from the shackles of her family and to gain her financial independence. Carole is a Parisian, living with Manuel, actively involved in the stirrings of the feminist movement. The meeting of the two women changes their lives forever. Starring Cécile De France, Izia Higelin, Noémie Lvovsky and Kévin Azaïs.

Sunset Song, Terence Davies, United Kingdom/Luxembourg (World Premiere)

Terence Davies’ epic of hope, tragedy and love at the dawning of the Great War follows a young woman’s tale of endurance against the hardships of rural Scottish life. Based on the novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon and told with gritty poetic realism by Britain’s greatest living auteur, Sunset Song stars Peter Mullan and Agyness Deyn.

Trumbo, Jay Roach, USA (World Premiere)

The successful career of 1940s screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) comes to a crushing end when he and other Hollywood figures are blacklisted for their political beliefs. Trumbo tells the story of his fight against the U.S. government and studio bosses in a war over words and freedom, which entangled everyone in Hollywood from Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) and John Wayne to Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.

Un plus une, Claude Lelouch, France (World Premiere)

Charming, successful, Antoine (Jean Dujardin) could be the hero of one of those films he composes the music for. When he leaves for a job in India, he meets Anna (Elsa Zylberstein), a woman who isn’t like him at all, but who attracts him more than anything. Together, they are going to experience an incredible journey.

Victoria, Sebastian Schipper, Germany (Canadian Premiere)

On a night out in Berlin, Victoria meets four young local guys. After joining their group, she becomes their driver when they rob a bank. Finally, as dawn breaks, everyone meets their destiny.

Where to Invade Next, Michael Moore, USA (World Premiere)

Oscar-winning director Michael Moore returns with what may be his most provocative and hilarious movie yet. Moore tells the Pentagon to “stand down”— he will do the invading for America from now on. Discretely shot in several countries and under the radar of the global media, Moore has made a searing cinematic work that is both up-to-the-minute and timeless.

Youth, Paolo Sorrentino, Italy/France/United Kingdom/Switzerland (North American Premiere)

Youth explores the lifelong bond between two friends vacationing in a luxury Swiss Alps lodge as they ponder retirement. While Fred (Michael Caine) has no plans to resume his musical career despite the urging of his daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz), Mick (Harvey Keitel) is intent on finishing the screenplay for what may be his last film for his muse Brenda (Jane Fonda). And where will inspiration lead their younger friend Jimmy (Paul Dano), an actor grasping to make sense of his next performance? From Italy’s Oscar-winning foreign language film writer and director Paolo Sorrentino, Youth asks if our most important and life-changing experiences can come at any time — even late — in life.

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Theater Shooting And Gun Laws: Bernie Sanders Vs. Rick Perry

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called for making existing gun laws “stronger” and “more enforceable” in the wake of last week’s bloody shooting at a Lafayette, LA, multiplex screening of Trainwreck. Speaking from New Orleans on NBC’s Meet The Press, Sanders told moderator Chuck Todd that “guns used to kill people exclusively, not for hunting, should not be sold in the United States of America.”
Rick Perry, meanwhile, took the opposite tack, suggesting on CNN that…

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TRAILER: New Orleans-Shot ‘Mississippi Grind’

Months after Mississippi Grind’s premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, the first official trailer for the road trip drama by the writer-director duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson, It’s Kind of A Funny Story) has been released.

Emmy-nominated Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline) stars as Gerry, a desperate gambler looking for any place to put his hope. He latches on to the young, charming and slightly sketchy poker player Curtis, played by Ryan Reynolds, who has a cool indifference about winning.

In order to pay Gerry’s debts, and perhaps curb his self-destructive habits, the two go on a road trip from Iowa to New Orleans, making several stops along the way to confront their past. While road trip movies are well worn territory, Mississippi Grind focuses mostly on the characters. The hot streak of an enigmatic Reynolds stands in contrast to the habitual failures of Mendelsohn, who never turns in a bad performance. As Gerry says, “Some guys are born to lose.”

For Reynolds, this film will be his fourth major New Orleans area production, following after Self/less, which premiered earlier this month, Green Lantern in 2011, and Waiting… in 2005.

Mississippi Grind also features a great cast that includes Sienna Miller, Analeigh Tipton, Alfre Woodard and Robin Weigert.

From A24, this dramatic road trip will debut on DirectTV August 13 and will open in theaters on September 25.

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