Tag Archives: Sarah Adina Smith

The AFI FEST Interview: BUSTER’S MAL HEART Director Sarah Adina Smith

Sarah Adina Smith’s sophomore feature is the story of Jonah, a man who has been split in two by grief — one who lives in the woods and another who is trapped at sea — with each incarnation looking for a reckoning with God. Actor Rami Malek delivers an exceptional performance, playing fractured parts of the same man and imbuing each persona with a wholly different performance. Kate Lyn Sheil and DJ Qualls round out the cast, as Jonah’s sensitive wife and a drifter who contributes to Jonah’s downward spiral, respectively. Director/writer Smith expertly crafts a darkly humorous and touching film that explores the nuances of the human condition with elements of conspiracy theory and quantum entanglement. BUSTER’S MAL HEART is a visceral, mind-bending mystery that will keep you pondering long after it turns your world upside down.

AFI spoke with Smith about the film.

AFI: This film deals with some pretty complex ideas — identity fracturing, parallel realities. Talk about how the premise of this screenplay came to you.

Sarah Adina Smith: The idea for BUSTER’S MAL HEART grew pretty naturally out of [my 2014 film] THE MIDNIGHT SWIM. Both movies propose a cosmology, seen through the eyes of a so-called “insane” character.

Suppose that your soul is a traveler along the path of everything that ever was and everything that ever will be. THE MIDNIGHT SWIM shows us a character becoming conscious of that path.  BUSTER’S MAL HEART takes it one step farther, showing us a character who rebels against that path.

THE MIDNIGHT SWIM was about a woman who was never fully at peace with being born, who chooses a conscious death. She’s the psychological equivalent of an astronaut — boldly launching herself into the darkness, surrendering herself to fate with eyes open. She successfully achieves conscious reincarnation. Her journey is an illumination of the path of eternal recurrence — the ceaseless unfolding of space-time that churns out the magnificent picture show we call “reality.”

BUSTER’S MAL HEART is about a character who feels in his bones that there’s something essentially messed up about the great machine of the universe. The protagonist, Jonah, rebels against God, or lack thereof. He refuses to be a player in a game where he didn’t create or consent to the rules. He was born with a bad heart; that was his Fate. But he found love — tangible love — through his wife and daughter…and refused to let go. BUSTER’S MAL HEART puts forth the idea that love can defy the laws of the universe. That love has the power to rip space-time a new one.

We are all in pursuit of peace. We want release from a cycle that has no end. Because Hell is real, kinda. Hell is the dark factory that processes energy and creates all the beautiful events in the world. I am grateful for Hell because here I am, enjoying these momentary glimpses of “Heaven.” (The beautiful picture show of passing cataclysms.)

For the vast majority of eternity other than the tiny blip of our existence, we are the fuel that runs that factory. Our bodies are no different than the fire of every sun that was ever born…all energy that ever materialized longs to escape.  We know for certain that we will die. That our bodies will become fuel for the great machine. The good news is that history repeats itself. The better news is that it’s never fully the same. We’ll rise again from the muck and live another blip.

Jonah is a man who wants release from the whole comedy show. He wants to be truly free. But freedom doesn’t mean anything if you’re enclosed by a cage with no walls. It isn’t possible.  Buster’s heart cries out for a reckoning with God or gods or even just nature. He demands it. And he succeeds in calling that trial to session through the sheer power of his heart.

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AFI: Why did you choose the film’s very specific setting — both in Montana and in the years leading up to the millennium?

SAS: One half of Jonah charges up the mountain seeking a reckoning with his maker, but encounters only the void. The other half tries to escape a reckoning with his maker down south, and is washed to sea, forced into a conversation he doesn’t want to have.

I chose Montana because it’s the place where Americans go to find themselves in solitude and seek a conversation with the divine. We also shot in the ocean off the coast of Mexico. I specifically wanted to shoot in Mexico because it’s the place where (archetypically) Americans go to run away from their sins and avoid fate.

AFI: How did Rami Malek come on board the project?

SAS: Casting the lead role was the biggest challenge because I was set on casting a Latino actor for the role, which I had written to be bilingual in Spanish and English. My producers and financiers felt equally strongly that we should cast a native Spanish speaker. We spent about six months trying to find the right fit and kept striking out on availability. It finally became clear that if we were going to make the film in 2015, we needed to broaden our search.

But it was really important to me that we cast an actor of color in the role because the character Jonah feels like an outsider in an otherwise very white community. We made a new list and pretty quickly we all realized that Rami Malek was at the very top. This is before MR. ROBOT came out, so I had only seen his work in SHORT TERM 12 and THE PACIFIC, but I thought he was incredibly compelling.

Plus, I did a tarot card reading and the cards don’t lie. I can’t imagine anyone else playing the part. Rami’s a disciplined craftsman and his own toughest critic. He’s one of the hardest working, most inventive and gracious actors I’ve ever met.

AFI: You have a knack for casting great character actors in your films, like Beth Grant in THE MIDNIGHT SWIM and Toby Huss and Lin Shaye in BUSTER’S MAL HEART. How does that casting process work for you?

SAS: Oh man, thank you for saying that. I really love casting. I had the great pleasure of working with the casting director Samy Burch on this movie and she brought so many beautiful ideas to the table.

Toby Huss had been on my radar from HALT AND CATCH FIRE. He has this natural charisma that I find very compelling — he’s playful and serious at the same time. Kind of a jester in the very best and most honorable sense of the word.

I believe it was my producer Travis Stevens who brought Lin Shaye to my attention. Lin’s such a terrific fit for the role. She’s an extremely dedicated actress, fiercely intelligent and a truly wonderful person. In the moment of a scene, Lin is all heart, which is a joy to watch.

AFI: We’ve had the chance to watch you grow as a filmmaker. What lessons did you learn on [AFI FEST 2014 Breakthrough Award winner] THE MIDNIGHT SWIM that you carried over to BUSTER’S MAL HEART?

SAS: THE MIDNIGHT SWIM taught me to trust my instincts, to stay open to surprises and to carry the heavy weight of a feature on my shoulders from start to finish.

I had a really hard moment in the middle of editing THE MIDNIGHT SWIM — kind of a heart of darkness. Because I had lived through it once, I knew it would likely come again on BUSTER. It did come, I was just more prepared to deal with it this time around. I learned to have more faith in the process and to release myself just a bit to fate, over which I have very little control.

BUSTER’S MAL HEART screens at AFI FEST 2016 on Wednesday, November 16, as part of New Auteurs.

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AFI FEST 2016 Unveils New Auteurs, Shorts, American Independents and Midnight Sections

AFI has announced the films that will be featured in the New Auteurs, Shorts, American Independents and Midnight sections at AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi. Films in the New Auteurs and Shorts sections are eligible for Grand Jury Awards. The full program information is below.

AFI FEST takes place November 10–17, 2016, in the heart of Hollywood. Screenings, Galas and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled in October. Go to AFI.com now to purchase Patron Packages, which can include access to Galas and other high-demand films and events.  Individual tickets will be available on AFI.com beginning November 1.

NEW AUTEURS 

Highlighting first- and second-time feature film directors, New Auteurs is the festival’s platform for upcoming filmmakers from all over the world to showcase their new films. This year, the section is comprised of 10 films, seven of which come from female directors.

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ALWAYS SHINE – When two actress friends get together for a weekend in Big Sur, their hopes for reconnection spiral into jealousy, tension and fragmented identities. DIR Sophia Takal. SCR Lawerence Michael Levine. CAST Mackenzie Davis, Caitlin FitzGerald, Lawrence Michael Levine, Alexander Koch, Jane Adams. USA

BUSTER’S MAL HEART – Rami Malek plays a man split in two by grief in AFI FEST alum Sarah Adina Smith’s visceral, mind-bending mystery. DIR Sarah Adina Smith. SCR Sarah Adina Smith. CAST Rami Malek, Kate Lyn Sheil, DJ Qualls, Mark Kelly, Sukha Belle Potter, Lin Shaye, Toby Huss. USA

DIVINES – A fearless and ferocious teenager and her charismatic best friend strive for money, power and respect by following in the footsteps of a ruthless female drug dealer. DIR Houda Benyamina. SCRS Romain Compingt, Houda Benyamina, Malik Rumeau. CAST Oulaya Amamra, Jisca Kalvanda, Kévin Mischel, Déborah Lukumuena, Yasin Houicha, Majdouline Idrissi. France | Qatar

THE FUTURE PERFECT (EL FUTURO PERFECTO) – In this whimsical debut, a young Chinese immigrant is determined to assimilate into her new home of Buenos Aires, but her traditional Chinese family and Indian beau complicate things. DIR Nele Wohlatz. SCR Nele Wohlatz. CAST Xiaobin Zhang, Saroj Kumar Malik, Mian Jiang, Dong Xi Wang, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart. Argentina

GODLESS – A nurse running scams on her elderly patients calls her hardened life into question when she strikes up a friendship with a retired choirmaster. DIR Ralitza Petrova. SCR Ralitza Petrova. CAST Irena Ivanova, Ivan Nalbantov, Ventzislav Konstantinov, Alexandr Triffonov, Dimitar Petkov. Bulgaria

KATI KATI – In this beautiful, dreamlike depiction of the afterlife, an African woman finds herself in a resort where every soul has their wishes granted — except escape. DIR Mbithi Masya. SCRS Mbithi Masya, Mugambi Nthiga. CAST Nyokabi Gethaiga, Elsaphan Njora, Paul Ogola, Peter King Mwania. Kenya | Germany

KILL ME PLEASE – In this giallo-tinged meditation on puberty, a 15-year-old girl living in Rio de Janeiro must navigate a wave of murders in her neighborhood. DIR Anita Rocha da Silveira. SCR Anita Rocha da Silveira. CAST Valentina Herszage, Dora Freind, Julia Roliz, Mari Oliveira, Bernardo Marinho. Brazil

ONE WEEK AND A DAY (SHAVUA VE YOM) – A man, grieving the death of his son, befriends his stoner neighbor in this wry and moving dramedy. DIR Asaph Polonsky. SCR Asaph Polonsky. CAST Shai Avivi, Evgenia Dodina, Tomer Kapon, Sharon Alexander, Uri Gvariel, Carmit Mesilati-Kaplan, Alona Shauloff. Israel

OSCURO ANIMAL – This gorgeously shot debut follows three Colombian women who are all brutally affected by the country’s armed conflict. DIR Felipe Guerrero. SCR Felipe Guerrero. CAST Marleyda Soto, Jocelyn Meneses, Luisa Vides, Verónica Carvajal, Josué Quiñones, Pedro Suárez, Lorena Vides. Colombia 

STILL LIFE – This simultaneously beautiful and disturbing portrait follows a young nameless worker earning a temporary living in a livestock slaughterhouse. DIR Maud Alpi. SCRS Maud Alpi, Baptiste Boulba. CAST Virgile Hanrot, Dimitri Buchenet, Boston. France

SHORTS

The Shorts selections represent distinct, often far-flung international viewpoints, with 39 films including nine animated films. Shorts filmmakers come from 17 countries, with 12 films from directors who are returning to AFI FEST this year.

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ALL THESE VOICES – A Nazi soldier in disguise encounters a survivors’ avant-garde theater troupe celebrating the end of the war. DIR David Henry Gerson. SCRS David Henry Gerson, Martin Horvat, Brennan Elizabeth Peters. CAST Harrison Thomas, Beata Poźniak, Kristof Konrad, Kinga Philipps, Kasia Kowalczyk, Anthony Nikolchev. USA

BLOODY BARBARA – Barbara roams the streets covered in blood, reenacting the scenes from some of her favorite films. DIR Shawn Bannon. SCR Shawn Bannon. CAST Atheena Frizzell. USA

THE BLOOP – In 1997 an unusual sound was recorded. It lasted one minute and was never heard again. DIR Cara Cusumano. USA

A BRIEF HISTORY OF PRINCESS X – A supercharged history of sculptor Constantin Brancusi’s infamous “Princess X.” DIR Gabriel Abrantes. SCR Gabriel Abrantes. CAST Filipe Vargas, Francisco Cipriano, Joana Barrios. Portugal | France | UK 

A COAT MADE DARK – Two burglars strike it rich after stealing a mysterious coat. DIR Jack O’Shea. SCR Jack O’Shea. CAST Hugh O’Conor, Declan Conlon, Antonia Campbell Hughes. Ireland

CRYSTAL LAKE – A group of girls takes over the half pipe. There on the ramp, with no boys around, they are thriving and visible. DIR Jennifer Reeder. SCR Jennifer Reeder. CAST Marcela Okeke, Shea Glover, Sebastian Summers, Kristyn Zoe Wilkerson, Ron Stevens. USA

DEER FLOWER – A family visit to a deer farm results in a peculiar experience. DIR Kangmin Kim. SCR Kangmin Kim. CAST Kangmin Kim. USA

DIRT – Some things must die to live. DIR Darius Clark Monroe. SCR Darius Clark Monroe. CAST Segun Akande. USA

THE DISAPPOINTMENT TOUR – Three generations of women, crammed into a car along with their emotional baggage, experience an unexpected moment of connection on the side of the road.. DIR Erica Liu. SCR Erica Liu. CAST Michelle Farrah Huang, Grace Shen, Cindera Che, Gaby Santinelli. USA

DRAMATIC RELATIONSHIPS – The male gaze inspected through the relationship between a director and his female actors. DIR Dustin Guy Defa. SCR Dustin Guy Defa. CAST Lindsay Burdge, Elisa Lasowski, Hannah Gross, Keith Poulson, Stephen Gurewitz, Agostina Galvez. USA

DREAMING OF BALTIMORE – Freedom means only one thing: riding your dirt bike in the street, front wheel aimed at the sky. DIR Lola Quivoron. SCRS Lola Quivoron, Pauline Rambeau de Baralon. CAST Clark Gernet, Owen Kanga, Jean-Marie Narainen, Sébastien Lecouvreur, Benjamin Fortin. France

E.W.A – Ewa can’t stop bleeding. DIR Gigi Ben Artzi. SCRS Gigi Ben Artzi, Roy Ben Artzi, Adam Horowitz. CAST Alihah Galyautdinova, Gil Abramov. Ukraine

EARS, NOSE AND THROAT – A woman’s testimonial faculties are confirmed through medical examinations before she recites a tragic story, whose horrors we don’t see, hear or smell, but can imagine far too easily. DIR Kevin Jerome Everson. CAST Shadeena Brooks, Dr. Eric Mansfield, Dr. Heather Honeycutt. USA

FATA MORGANA – A grieving couple is forced to examine their marriage when they journey from China to the United States for the funeral for their only child. DIR Amelie Wen. SCRS Amelie Wen, Jon Keng. CAST Mardy Ma, Liu Peiqi, Anita Liao, Anna Pan, Laurie Faso, Dave Bean, Briana McLean, April Moreau. USA

GLOVE – The true story of a glove that’s been floating in space forever since 1968. DIRS Alexa Lim Haas, Bernardo Britto. CAST Henry Parker. USA

HAM HEADS – Larry and Barry are the world’s oldest living conjoined twins. They live in their brother’s basement. DIR Efren Hernandez. SCR Efren Hernandez. CAST Olan Montgomery, Thomas Montgomery, Mike Montgomery, Madeleine Russell, Robert “Lil’ Bob” McCall, Todd Lewis, Corey Pelizzi. USA

HIDDEN – Possessed by sibling rivalry, Parham must face his role in a series of events that have incapacitated his half-brother. DIR Farzad Ostovarzadeh. SCR Farzad Ostovarzadeh. CAST Daniel Zolghadri, Shary Nassimi, Bardia Seiri, Niousha Jafarian. Iran | USA

HOUNDS – On the day of a would-be promotion, a museum worker must deal with an accident involving a prized sculpture. DIR Omer Tobi. SCR Omer Tobi. CAST Orna Banai, Ilanit Ben Yaacov, Eti Levi, Hila Shalev, Dalia Beger, Anat Vaksman. Israel

ICEBOX – A young boy from Honduras finds himself in a difficult situation when he is arrested at the U.S. border. DIR Daniel Sawka. SCR Daniel Sawka. CAST Anthony Gonzales, Lane Garrison, José Alvarez, Jonathan Castellanos, Jeff Houkal, Sisa Grey, Steven Stapenhorst, Tonja Kahlens. USA

THE ITCHING – In this parable, a shy wolf tries to connect with a group of hip, party-loving bunnies, but finds her body is in revolt. DIR Dianne Bellino. SCR Dianne Bellino. USA

JÁAJI APPROX. – The distance between a father and son is narrowed when locations and language meet. DIR Sky Hopinka. SCR Sky Hopinka. CAST Sky Hopinka, Michael Hopinka. USA

KITTY – A young girl finds herself transformed. DIR Chloë Sevigny. SCR Chloë Sevigny. CAST Edie Yvonne, Ione Skye, Lee Meriwether, Jesse Pearson, Luke Adler, M Blash, Andrew Mixon. USA

LIMBO – The leopard shall lie down with the goat. The wolves shall live with the lambs. And the young boy will lead them. Thirteen kids and the carcass of a whale washed ashore. DIR Konstantina Kotzamani. SCR Konstantina Kotzamani. CAST Felix Margenfeld, Aggelos Ntanos, Lucjano Cani, Haris Fountas, Hristos Psihramis, David Szymczak. Greece

LOVE – Affection is described in three different chapters, through an impact on a distant solar system. DIR Réka Bucsi. SCR Réka Bucsi. France | Hungary

MADE. NOT BORN! – A home movie from 1981 turns out far more hypnotic than originally planned. DIR Mike Plante. USA

MOTHER (MADRE) – Sixteen-year-old Andrea travels downtown from her poor neighborhood to audition for a porno film. DIR Simón Mesa Soto. SCR Simón Mesa Soto. CAST Yurani Anduquia Cortés, María Camila Maldonado, Paulo de Jesús Barros Sousa. Sweden | Colombia

A NIGHT IN TOKORIKI (O NOAPTE ÎN TOKORIKI) – On Geanina’s 18th birthday, her boyfriend and Alin will give her a most surprising gift. DIR Roxana Stroe. SCRS Ana-Maria Gheorghe, Roxana Stroe. CAST Cristian Priboi, Cristian Bota, Iulia Ciochină, Sorin Cociş, Daniela Elena Preda, Cristian Toma, Costi Apostol, Andrei Ciopec, Tudor Morar, Adrian Loghin. Romania

PEDRO – Pedro gets home at dawn. Before he falls asleep, his lonely mother drags him to the beach. DIRS André Santos, Marco Leão. SCRS André Santos, Marco Leão. CAST Filipe Abreu, Rita Durão, João Villas-Boas, Marcello Urgeghe. Portugal

PUSSY (CIPKA) – A young girl decides to have a pleasurable evening at home, but not everything goes according to plan. DIR Renata Gasiorowska. SCR Renata Gasiorowska. Poland

SCENERY (DECORADO) – The world is a wonderful stage, but its characters are disgraceful. DIR Alberto Vázquez. SCR Alberto Vázquez. CAST Josep Ramos, Mireia Fuara, Angel Gómez, Kepa Cueto. France | Spain

THE SEND-OFF – Emboldened by a giant block party on the evening of their high school prom, a group of students enter the night with the hope of transcending their rural town and the industrial landscape that surround them. DIRS Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan. CAST Tiana Crawford, Chris Burgess, Jr., Jamila Smith-Boyce, Ta’Questa Browning. USA

SPEAKING IS DIFFICULT – Beginning in the present day, a scene of tragedy unfolds, telling a cumulative history that is both unbearable and inevitable. DIR AJ Schnack. USA

A STROLL DOWN SUNFLOWER LANE (ذاكرة عبّاد الشمس) – An old grandfather, a little granddaughter, an old house and some glimpses of memory. She was growing up building hers. He was getting old losing his. DIR Mayye Zayed. SCR Mayye Zayed. CAST Ahmed Khalil, Jana Abdel Aziz. Egypt

SUMMER CAMP ISLAND – Oscar has to accept that his totally normal sleepover with Hedgehog isn’t going to be totally normal. DIR Julia Pott. SCR Julia Pott. CAST Ashley Boettcher, Thomas Vaethroeder, Anna Strupinsky, Kathleen Wilhoite, Judd Hirsch. USA

SUPERBIA – In the land of Superbia, strict rules divide the societies of women and men. DIR Luca Tóth. SCR Luca Tóth. Hungary | Czech Republic | Slovakia

TARGETING THE WORLD – In Fayetteville, NC, surveillance technologies are tested. DIR Jesse Moss. USA

A THOUSAND MIDNIGHTS – A lyrical documentary following the social histories of black Americans. DIR Carlos Javier Ortiz. SCR Carlos Javier Ortiz. USA

THUNDER ROAD – Officer Arnaud loved his mom. DIR Jim Cummings. SCR Jim Cummings. CAST Jim Cummings, Melissa Papel, Kitty Barshay, Francesca Biasiolo. USA

UNIVITELLIN – A classic story in a far-from-classic reworking. DIR Terence Nance. SCR Terence Nance. CAST Aminata M’Bathie, Naky Sy Savané, Badara N’Gom, Maman Faso, Igor Tranchot, Raoul Tranchot, Tony Cortes, Florent Toudard, Jonathan Ynsa, Moustapha Sarr, Yanice Haboussa, Anderson Da Cruz Lima. USA

AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS

The American Independents section represents the best of independent filmmaking this year. Pushing boundaries of form and content across narrative and documentary cinema, this section includes eight films from both new voices and filmmakers coming back to AFI FEST.  

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ACTOR MARTINEZ – AFI FEST alums Mike Ott and Nathan Silver play themselves in this enjoyable experiment that blurs the lines between documentary and narrative. DIRS Nathan Silver, Mike Ott. SCRS Mike Ott, Nathan Silver. CAST Arthur Martinez, Lindsay Burdge, Mike Ott, Nathan Silver, Kenneth Berba, Rae Radke. USA

DARK NIGHT – A quiet meditation on the planning and impact of a Cineplex massacre in a suburban town, taking place over one day, from sunrise to midnight. DIR Tim Sutton. SCR Tim Sutton. CAST Robert Jumper, Anna Rose Hopkins, Rosie Rodriguez, Karina Macias, Aaron Purvis, Marilyn Purvis, Ciara Hampton, Andres Vega, Bryce Hampton, Eddie Cacciola. USA

DONALD CRIED – This darkly funny character study centers on former childhood best friends who reconnect decades later in their working-class Rhode Island neighborhood. DIR Kris Avedisian. SCR Kris Avedisian. CAST Kristopher Avedisian, Jesse Wakeman, Louisa Krause, Ted Arcidi, Robby Morse Levy, Kate Fitzgerald, William Billington, Sr. USA

THE EYES OF MY MOTHER – In this enthralling horror debut, a young woman perpetuates the chilling cycle of violence that began with a traumatic event in her childhood. DIR Nicolas Pesce. SCR Nicolas Pesce. CAST Kika Magalhaes, Will Brill, Flora Diaz, Paul Nazak, Clara Wong, Diana Agostini, Olivia Bond. USA

FRAUD – One of the most fascinating debuts of the year focuses on one family — via home video footage on YouTube — who get swept up in American consumerism, recklessly spending money that may not be their own. DIR Dean Fleischer-Camp. SCR Dean Fleischer-Camp. USA

HUNTER GATHERER – Two men living in South L.A. – one recently out of prison and the other trying to save the life of his bedridden grandfather – form an unlikely friendship in this feature debut. DIR Josh Locy. SCR Josh Locy. CAST Andre Royo, George Sample III, Kellee Stewart, Ashley Wilkerson, Kevin Jackson, Antonio D. Charity, Celestial, Alexis DeLaRosa, Jeanetta Arnette. USA

LIVE CARGO – A young couple grieving after a terrible loss escape to the Bahamas, where they are confronted with simmering tensions and dark secrets. DIR Logan Sandler. SCRS Logan Sandler, Thymaya Payne. CAST Dree Hemingway, Keith Stanfield, Sam Dillon, Leonard Earl Howze, Robert Wisdom, Ayumi Iizuka, Frantz Lecoeur. USA

MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA – This painterly mixed-media animated film is a surreal cross between teen comedies and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. DIR Dash Shaw. SCR Dash Shaw. CAST Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Reggie Watts, Maya Rudolph, Susan Sarandon, John Cameron Mitchell, Alex Karpovsky, Thomas Jay Ryan, Louisa Krause. USA

MIDNIGHT

The festival’s Midnight section will captivate and terrify audiences with three genre-bending films from around the globe.

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FEAR ITSELF – Film essayist Charlie Lyne uses horror film footage to explore why the world’s most popular film genre burrows so deeply into our psyches. DIR Charlie Lyne. SCR Charlie Lyne. UK

THE LURE – Two man-eating mermaid sisters travel through 1980s Warsaw in human form. But time away from the water intensifies their craving for human flesh. DIR Agnieszka Smoczyńska. SCR Robert Bolesto. CAST Kinga Preis, Michalina Olszańska, Marta Mazurek, Jakub Gierszał, Andrzej Konopka, Zygmunt Malanowicz, Marcin Kowalczyk, Magdelena Cielecka, Katarzyna Herman. Poland

PREVENGE – In this pitch-black comedy, a pregnant woman receives murderous instructions from her misanthropic fetus to kill as many people as she can. DIR Alice Lowe. SCR Alice Lowe. CAST Alice Lowe, Gemma Whelan, Kate Dickie, Jo Hartley, Dan Renton Skinner, Kayvan Novak, Mike Wozniak, Tom Davis, Tom Meeten. UK

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