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Sonoma International Film Festival

2013 SONOMA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PRESS RELEASES


2013 Sonoma International Film Festival Press Releases   
Modified - 03/22/2013 01:04pm SONOMA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL COMES OF AGE AS THEY CELEBRATE THEIR 16TH EDITION
Summary: Sonoma, CA (March 22, 2013) - The Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) is proud to announce the line-up for the upcoming 16th edition, which runs Wednesday, April 10, through Sunday, April 14.Considered one of the nation’s top destination film festivals, SIFF presents over 100 films, including 7 Premiere films, shown at 8 venues, all within walking distance of Sonoma’s historic plaza, in the heart of California Wine Country.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           

Press Contacts:
Claudia Mendoza-Carruth
claudia@sonomafilmfest.org

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SONOMA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL COMES OF AGE AS THEY CELEBRATE THEIR 16TH EDITION
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2013 PROGRAM UNVEILED
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FEST HONORS MARY-LOUISE PARKER, JOINING DEMIÁN BICHIR FOR SPOTLIGHT AWARD TRIBUTE



Sonoma, CA (March 22, 2013) - The Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) is proud to announce the line-up for the upcoming 16th edition, which runs Wednesday, April 10, through Sunday, April 14.  Considered one of the nation’s top destination film festivals, SIFF presents over 100 films, including 7 Premiere films, shown at 8 venues, all within walking distance of Sonoma’s historic plaza,  in the heart of California Wine Country.

“This year’s program marks a great achievement for the Festival.  Our sensational selection of films will challenge and inspire our audiences.  Now add delicious food, wine and music and attendees will thoroughly enjoy our unique film festival,” says Kevin W. McNeely, SIFF’s Executive Director. “This year’s program –listed below – features films that will transport audiences all over the world from Russia to Italy, Venezuela to Nepal, Iran to Iceland, and more, with such themes as Music & Arts, Environmental, LGBT, Sports & Action, Spanish-language Vamos al Cine and, of course, Food & Wine.”


Spotlight Awards

SIFF is proud to honor Golden Globe-winning actress Mary-Louise Parker with the SONOMA SPOTLIGHT AWARD, joining previously announced honoree Demián Bichir at a Tribute event taking place on Saturday, April 13. 

Mary-Louise Parker has enjoyed a diverse career in film, television and on stage.   She was most recently seen in the hit action-comedy Red opposite Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren.   Her upcoming feature films include Red 2,  R.I.P.D. the action-comedy starring Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Bacon; Jamesy Boy and Behaving Badly.  Parker is widely known for her starring roles in such films as Fried Green Tomatoes, Boys on the Side, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Reckless, The Client, Naked in New York, Bullets Over Broadway and Longtime Companion.  For the small screen, Parker won a Golden Globe and received four SAG Award nominations for her portrayal as Nancy Botwin in the hit Showtime series Weeds and also received a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for her role in the TV mini-series Angels in America. She also boasts a highly acclaimed and extensive stage career, having appeared in such plays as Prelude To A Kiss, Reckless and Proof, all of which she received Tony Award nominations and winning the Tony for Proof, and most recently seen in Dead Man’s Cell Phone and the Broadway revival of Hedda Gabler.   

“Both Parker and Bichir exemplify such amazing traits as actors,” says McNeely, “We are thrilled to celebrate their contribution to independent film…and even more excited to be able to reunite this Weeds duo.”


Film Highlights

A range of epicurean films includes Lo Zucco: The Wine of the Son of the King of the French, a U.S. Premiere from Italy about the Duke of Aumale who, exiled from France, settled in Sicily where he applied the agricultural precepts of Virgil; A Year in Burgundy, a look at a full wine-making year in the Burgundy region of France in 2011; and Spinning Plates, recent Audience Choice Award winner at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Two environmental films that happen to both be narrated by Robert Redford are Watershed:  Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West, about the urgent threat facing the Colorado River, a vital waterway that faces distinction, produced by James Redford and directed by Mark Decena; and A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet, directed by Mark Kitchell about the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement’s evolution of grassroots and global activism, and narrated also by Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep.

International fare includes the North American Premiere of You Will Be My Son (Tu Seras Mon Fils) from France set in the beautiful Saint-Émilion region, a modern retelling of the parable of the prodigal son; Iranian film The Sinners, directed by Faramarz Gharibian and written by his son Sam, shrewdly channels Hitchcock in this film noir with an Iranian twist; and Caught in the Web, a multi-layered black comedy set in modern-day China and was China’s official submission to the 2013 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

Terms and Conditions May Apply is a documentary directed by Cullen Hoback that exposes the outrageous and downright scary things that happen to your personal info when you click “Yes” without reading the fine print, featuring interviews with musician Moby, futurist Ray Kurzweil and science-fiction author Orson Scott Card, as well as a privacy-invading ambush of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Project Censored: The Movie has its World Premiere at SIFF, determined to break the grip that ‘junk food news’ has on the American people by exposing important stories that are rarely, if ever, reported by the corporate media.

Village Music:  Last of the Great Record Stores features the Mill Valley cultural institution, Village Music, and Cover Story – Album Art features some of the most iconic images of the vinyl era, with the stories behind album covers from such musicians as Grateful Dead, Yes, Nirvana and more. The Cover artists are expected to support the film.

Chuck Jones’ daughter Linda will introduce a screening of Best of Looney Tunes Cartoons, featuring classic cartoons from the legendary animation director’s personal collection, followed by a Q&A.

On Friday, April 12 at 1:00 pm at the Woman’s Club SIFF will present a Special Sneak Preview of a feature film debut from a returning filmmaker whose short film premiered at SIFF several years ago.


Festival Highlights & Local Offerings

Complementing its diverse and truly international program of independent cinema, SIFF offers a unique blend of world-class cuisine from local artisans and exceptional wine from Sonoma vintners, making for an epicurean experience few film festivals in the world can match.  Renowned filmmakers, industry leaders and celebrities have enjoyed its intimate ambiance, while many filmmakers who have premiered at SIFF return with future projects.   Following are just a few special highlights the festival has to offer:


•    Opening Night After-party – Following the Opening night screening of The Iceman, director Ariel Vroman and actor Ray Liotta and festival guests will party the night away at the historic General’s Daughter which will be transformed into a rock & roll club.
•    Latin Fiesta, Friday, April 12, 6-8 pm – Celebrating the Valley’s diversity with Mexican flavors, beer, wine, Margaritas and dancing to the Latin beat of the Carlos Herrera Band at the Backlot Tent.
•    Vamos al Cine:  Following the Fiesta will be opening of the Vamos al Cine program featuring the best of cinema en español, with the U.S. Premiere screening of Mía, directed by Argentinian Javier van de Couter, who will participate in a Q&A after the screening at the Sebastiani Theatre.
•    Student Films:  A highlight of the festival, where students of the Sonoma Valley High School Media Arts Program – founded a decade ago in partnership with the Sonoma Film Society and funded by SIFF – present their short films on the big screen at the Sebastiani Theatre on Thursday, April 11.
•    ILM Tour:  Filmmakers are treated to a tour Friday morning, April 12, of the legendary Visual Effects house, ILM.
•    Lunafest:  Created by the makers of the Whole Nutrition Bar for women, this ‘traveling festival’ is a selection of nine shorts by women, for women and about women with intelligent, funny and thought-provoking themes.  Friday, April 12
•    “The Secret Disco” LGBT Saturday Night Fever Party with a DJ spinning disco songs on Saturday, April 13, 7-10pm
•    Unforgettable Fire, the subject of the documentary Unforgettable Fire: The Story of a U2 Tribute Band, will perform Saturday night following the Festival Tribute Gala at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall.  
•    New Belgium Clips Program, Sunday, April 14:  An intoxicating collection of short films created by fans of Fat Tire Amber Ale, proudly presented by New Belgium Brewing. These handcrafted films embrace many genres — including live-action comedy, animation and environmental documentaries — including: Classie Parker, a tale about deep kitchen conversations; DamNATION, highlighting water rights controversies in the West; and Foxy Shazam – Unstoppable, created entirely with old school theater trickery, puppets and black light. The New Belgium Clips Beer & Film Tour has raised over $100,000 for local philanthropic organizations across the US, while treating audiences to the brewery's handcrafted beers. Come in and get a taste!
•    New Belgium Brewing will be hosting a happy hour with a twist. Swing by the New Belgium Lounge Saturday & Sunday for some one on one time with the Beer Evangelists from New Belgium as they take you through their own craft beer journey. While sampling some of their most artisanal beers, you will cover subjects ranging from beer history and process to New Belgium's sustainable business role model. Guaranteed good time.
•    Known for its charm and unpretentious hospitality, what may well be the world's friendliest and most accessible film    festival will include the return of such signature elements at the popular Backlot Tent in the center of the Sonoma Plaza, where film-goers mingle with filmmakers while enjoying food and wine from local chefs and winemakers, featuring SIFF’s official wine from Buena Vista Winery.


Film Categories & Sidebars

SIFF will continue its commitment to feature exciting, culturally enlightening, and entertaining programming and sidebars.  105 films from around the world will be brought together to form an incredibly unique and diverse festival experience.

Films from the following categories will be shown:

•    American Indies               
•    Documentaries
•    World Cinema
•    Environmental
•    Food & Wine
•    LGBT
•    Sports & Action
•    Music & Arts
•    Cinema en Español
•    Family

JURIED AWARDS:

•    Best American Independent Feature
•    Best World Feature
•    Best Documentary Feature
•    Best Narrative Short
•    Best Documentary Short

AUDIENCE AWARDS:

•    The A3 Audience Award of $1,500 for Best Documentary
(named in honor of Amar A. Archbold, a longtime supporter and extraordinary Board member)
•    The Stolman Audience Award of $1,500 for the Best American Independent Feature
(named in memory of Caroline and Ed Stolman, founders of the Sonoma International Film Festival)
•    Audience Award Best World Feature


The full list of films is below or at www.sonomafilmfest.org. 

Ticket Information:

With several pass options, SIFF can be enjoyed at different levels ranging from “One Day Movies Only” passes to VIP Star Passes for the full festival experience.  More information at http://www.sonomafilmfest.org/film-festival-passes-html


About the Sonoma International Film Festival:

Now in its 16th year, the Sonoma International Film Festival (April 10-14, 2013) takes place in the heart of Northern California’s Wine Country and features more than 100 hand-selected films including independent features, documentaries, world cinema, shorts and a showcase of Spanish language films. All films are shown at intimate venues within walking distance on Sonoma’s historic plaza. The Festival is dedicated to promoting independent film, supporting filmmakers around the world, and inspiring film lovers.  This unique 5-day event offers world-class cuisine from local artisans and exceptional wine from Sonoma vintners. Renowned filmmakers, industry leaders and celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams and Danny Glover have walked the festival red carpet and enjoyed its intimate ambiance.

For more information, please visit www.sonomafilmfest.org.   Please apply for press credentials at http://www.sonomafilmfest.org/media-accreditation-application.html.

16th Sonoma Film Fest Lineup

OPENING NIGHT FILM

The Iceman, USA
Directed by Ariel Vromen
Notoriously unrepentant Mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski was arrested in 1986 for murdering over 100 men in the course of three decades (although he may have killed twice that number). Appearing to be living the American dream with their devoted husband and father, Kuklinski's wife and daughters were apparently oblivious to his real profession. Directed by Israeli-born Ariel Vromen and starring Oscar-nominated Michael Shannon (from Take Shelter) as Kuklinski and Oscar-nominee Winona Ryder as his trusting wife. Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, Benicio Del Toro and James Franco round out the all-star cast of this riveting thriller.  


CLOSING NIGHT FILM

A Monkey on My Shoulder (A Coeur Ouvert) France- NORTH AMERICA PREMIERE
Directed by Marion Laine
Mila and Javier are a passionate husband-and-wife team of heart surgeons. When Mila unexpectedly becomes pregnant, the prospect of a baby undermines the balance of their relationship. Frustration and jealousy set in when Mila’s insistence on having the child forces them to cancel a planned relocation to South America, and Javier’s penchant for alcohol becomes a genuine problem. An engaging story of marital collapse from award-winning director Marion Lane (A Simple Heart), starring Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) and Venezuelan superstar Édgar Ramírez (Carlos). 


AMERICAN INDIES

As High as the Sky, USA
Directed by Nikki Braendlin
Margaret has always been a little...particular. But since being jilted by her fiancé, her obsessive-compulsive behaviors are in overdrive. The last thing she needs is company showing up on her doorstep unannounced, Margaret's nomadic older sister Josephine, with ten-year-old daughter Hannah in tow, is initially an unwanted jolt to her carefully regulated life. But their playfulness eventually wins Margaret over and she begins to loosen her neurotic control on life. When Margaret discovers the real reason for her sister's visit, however, she's forced to confront the betrayal...and the long-suppressed grief at the root of her fastidious behaviors.

The Brass Teapot, USA
Directed by Ramaa Mosley
Twenty-something Alice and her neurotic husband John are very much in love, but broke. Once voted “most likely to succeed”, Alice struggles to make ends meet while her friends enjoy the good life. When an accident leads them to a roadside antique shop, Alice is spontaneously drawn to a mysterious brass teapot which gives them money every time they hurt themselves or others. Upon realizing the teapot's magical powers, John and Alice must decide how far they will go to fulfill their dreams of wealth. A dark comedy that reminds us to be careful of what we wish for.

Caroline and Jackie, USA
Directed by Adam Christian Clark
On a celebratory birthday trip, Caroline plans a surprise party for her sister, Jackie. A fun evening with close friends quickly goes askew, as the effects of the sisters’ obscure past takes its toll. Caroline and the group attempt to support Jackie for an apparent illness — although it’s unclear who really needs the most help. This delicious dinner party meltdown is part character study, part physiological thriller, and guaranteed to keep you guessing until the last moment. Starring Bitsie Tulloch and David Giuntoli (from TV's hit show "Grimm") and Marguerite Moreau. Named Best Feature at Film Fest Twain Harte.

Faces in the Mirror, USA
Directed by Aaron Farrington
A young man returns home to bury his estranged father in this dream-like odyssey. Angry at his workaholic father’s neglect, Ben has refused to see him for years. On the day of the funeral, Ben is led, portal by portal, to fantastical places with mystifying people who all seem to be guiding him somewhere. He's looking for a way to be free of his pain and guilt; he's looking for forgiveness. An experience of music, visuals and emotion, this is a film that dances with the music and takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride that never lets you go.

Favor, USA
Directed by Paul Osborne
A friend helps you move, but a good friend helps you move a body. Kip has everything he's ever wanted — a thriving career, a beautiful wife, and an affluent lifestyle — all of which is put in jeopardy when the waitress with whom he's having an affair is accidentally killed in their motel room. Desperate, he asks his childhood friend Marvin for a huge favor: help him get rid of the body. This gruesome circumstance begins a series of events which unravel Kip and Marvin's lifelong friendship, leading both men to murderous acts neither had ever suspected themselves capable of.

A Teacher, USA
Directed by Hannah Fidell
Part psychological thriller and part provocative character study, A Teacher explores the unraveling of a young high school teacher, Diana, after she begins an affair with one of her teenage students, Eric.  What starts as a seemingly innocent fling becomes increasingly complex — and dangerous — as the beautiful and confident Diana gets fully consumed by her emotions, crossing boundaries and acting out in progressively startling ways. Lindsay Burdge delivers a deeply compelling and seamlessly naturalistic lead performance that brings us into the mind of an adult driven to taboo against her better judgment.


DOCUMENTARIES

Cafeteria Man, USA
Directed by Richard Chisolm                                                                                                                                  
The true story of one man's crusade to revolutionize the nourishment children receive at Baltimore's public schools. Leading the charge to replace processed foods with locally-grown, freshly-prepared meals is Tony Geraci, food-service director for the city’s public schools. A charismatic chef from New Orleans, Geraci's bold vision includes school vegetable gardens, student-designed meals, meatless Mondays, and nutrition education in the classroom. Among the protagonists in this story are parents, teachers, administrators, farmers, chefs, and dozens of creative and motivated students. More than just changing eating habits, Geraci's efforts prove that feeding the soul is the goodness we all seek.

The List, USA                                                                                                                                                                                      Directed by Beth Murphy                                                                                                                                     
From the award-winning director of Beyond Belief, which was named Best Documentary here in Sonoma in 2008, comes the story of Kirk Johnson, a modern-day Oskar Schindler. After leading reconstruction teams in Baghdad and Fallujah, Kirk discovers that many of his Iraqi friends and colleagues are being kidnapped, forced into exile or even killed for having worked for the US to help rebuild Iraq. Frustrated by stagnating government bureaucracy, Kirk begins compiling a list of their names and working with a team of lawyers to help them find refuge in America.

Living on One Dollar, USA                                                                                                                                                   Directed by Zach Ingrasci, Sean Leonard, Chris Temple                                                                                                            How do over a billion people around the world live on less than $1 a day? Four college students spend a summer researching and living the reality of extreme poverty. Armed with only a video camera and a desire to understand, they spend just $56 each for 56 days in rural Guatemala. They return home transformed and embark on a mission to share their newfound understanding, inspiring and challenging their generation to confront global poverty.

Project Censored: The Movie, USA- WORLD PREMIERE                                                                                 
Directed by Doug Hecker, Christopher Oscar                                                                                                                                   Media watchdog group Project Censored exposes important stories that are rarely — if ever — reported by the corporate media. Determined to break the grip that "junk food news" has on the American people, two California fathers uncover the corporate media's true agenda. Using Project Censored as their road map, they take the veil off corporate media and prove to the people of America that media watchdog groups like Project Censored are the antidote to a broken media system.

Terms and Conditions May Apply, USA                                                                                              
Directed by Cullen Hoback                                                                                                                                                                Ever wonder what you're ignoring when you scroll past a headache-inducing list of terms and conditions?  People may think they know what they give up when they click "Agree" on Facebook, Twitter and Google; they're wrong. Is the disappearance of online privacy the true cost of so-called "free" services? Featuring interviews with musician Moby, futurist Ray Kurzweil and science-fiction author Orson Scott Card — and a privacy-invading ambush of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg — this documentary exposes the outrageous and downright scary things that happen to your personal info when you click "Yes" without reading the fine print.                      

We're Not Broke, USA                                                                                                                                                                                         Directed by Victoria Bruce, Karin Hayes                                                                                                                                              Corporate greed is alive and well, and you're paying for it! In the grip of societal economic panic, lawmakers cry “We’re broke!” as they slash budgets and lay off public sector workers, crumbling our country’s social fabric and leaving many Americans scrambling. Meanwhile, multibillion-dollar corporations are making record profits. While the deficit climbs and the cuts go deeper, these corporations are concealing colossal profits overseas to avoid paying income tax. An infuriating exposé on how the government has allowed corporations to avoid paying taxes and how fed-up Americans across the country are vowing to make them pay their fair share.

Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington, USA                               Directed by Sebastian Junger                                                                                                                                            
Shortly after the release of his Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo, photojournalist Tim Hetherington was killed by mortar fire in Libya, where he’d been covering the civil war. He bled out in the back of a pick-up truck, ending a brilliant career in which he covered dramatic frontline stories and transcended the conventional boundaries of image-making to become a luminary in his profession. Hetherington’s Restrepo co-director, Sebastian Junger (bestselling author of “The Perfect Storm” & "War"), traces his close fr1iend’s work across the world's battlefields to reveal what made him such a singular talent — and such a remarkable human being.

Who Cares?, Brazil
Directed by Mara Mourão
Just who is changing the world? This eye-opening documentary answers that question by traveling the globe in search of the most innovative social entrepreneurs currently imagining a better planet. Meet the people with simple solutions to the hard questions that affect us all — Bill Drayton, Muhammad Yunus, Mary Gordon and Rodrigo Baggio, among others — brilliant oddballs who are making changes, bringing solutions to the problems we face, generating huge social impact and — most of all — inspiring people to do the same.


WORLD CINEMA FILMS

Becoming Redwood, Canada
Directed by Jesse James Miller
In this delightful coming-of-age comedy, an eleven-year-old boy named Redwood dreams of reuniting his parents by beating Jack Nicklaus at the 1975 Masters Golf tournament. When his draft-dodging, dope-dealing father is arrested, Redwood is sent to Northern California to live with his estranged mother, and his 'new' dysfunctional family. Redwood's dream seems crushed forever...until agoraphobic, basement-dwelling Grampa reveals a secret golf tip that could help him beat the world's greatest golfer. Named Best Canadian Feature at the Edmonton International Film Festival and Most Popular Canadian Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Blackbird, Canada
Directed by Jason Buxton
Rising star Connor Jessup portrays an alienated teen accused of planning a Columbine-style massacre. When his online posturing ignites a firestorm of fear, he endures one of the toughest youth prisons in the country. Faced with escalating abuse, he pleads guilty in exchange for his freedom, but soon discovers the lengths a small town will go to exclude him. Exploring the power and danger of social media, Blackbird received the Claude Jutra Award for Best Canadian First Feature and was named Best Canadian First Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival and Best Canadian Feature at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Caught in the Web (Sou Suo 搜索), China
Directed by Kaige Chen
A multi-layered black comedy set in modern-day China. When white-collar worker Ye refuses to give up her seat on the bus to a senior citizen, her defiance is caught on video and posted online by an ambitious journalism intern. The video goes viral, sparking intense debate both on and off the internet about generational disrespect and the destructive power of modern media. When hackers search for and post Ye's personal information, the aftermath affects her personal and professional life, ultimately bringing her face-to-face with the video's poster. China's official submission to the 2013 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

The Deep (Djúpið), Iceland
Directed by Baltasar Kormákur
Based on an astonishing true incident that took place in 1984, a fisherman tries to survive in the freezing ocean after his boat capsizes in the frigid seas off the south coast of Iceland. Director Baltasar Kormákur — whose intermittently grisly thriller Jar City (Mýrin) screened here in 2008 — fashions a modern-day everyman myth about this sole survivor, whose superhuman will to survive made him both an inexplicable scientific phenomenon and a genuine national hero. This was Iceland's official submission to the 2013 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

Flicker (Flimmer), Sweden
Directed by Patrik Eklund
Something strange is going on in the small town of Backberga. The town's former pride, the telecommunications company, is now on the brink of ruin. Its put-upon employees are about to make one last attempt to modernize the firm when they discover that something is lurking on the outskirts of town. A power failure sets off a chain of events that will change everything for the town's residents. Director Patrik Eklund – Oscar-nominated for his short film Instead of Abracadabra – brings you this warm and twisted comedy about quirky people trying to find their place within the modern world.

The Hunt (Jagten), Denmark
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
From the director of The Celebration, this riveting drama is a powerful and disturbing depiction of how quickly a lie can become the truth. Newly divorced Lucas (international superstar Mads Mikkelsen) is pulling his life back together in a small town. One passing remark threatens his newfound stability. It doesn't take long before this small community is in a collective state of hysteria, igniting a witch-hunt that threatens to destroy an innocent man's life. Named Best Actor at Cannes and Audience Favorite at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Denmark's official submission to the 2013 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

Inch'Allah, Canada
Directed by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette                                                                                                                        
Working in a West Bank refugee camp, Canadian obstetrician Chloe is confronted with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the people it affects: a patient for whom she develops a deep affection, a fervent resister, a child shattered by war who dreams of flying across borders, and a young soldier who lives next door. Facing daily checkpoints and stray bullets, Chloe is torn between the two sides of the conflict, forcing her to lose her bearings and spiral into freefall. There are journeys that shake us, transform us and shatter all our certainties. For Chloe, Inch’Allah is such a journey.

Jackie, The Netherlands                                                                                                                                   
Directed by Antoinette Beumer                                                                                                                                 
A stirring, cross-cultural take on the classic American road movie starring Oscar-winner Holly Hunter. Raised in Amsterdam by a gay couple, twin sisters Sofie and Daan could not be more different. Sofie is an uncompromising workaholic with few close relationships, while Daan is a free spirit married to a man who doesn't share her outlook on life. Despite their pronounced dissimilarities, the sisters have been able to maintain a close bond over the years — but when they receive an out-of-the-blue phone call from Jackie, the American biological mother they have never met, personalities clash, values are tested, and cultures collide.         
                               
Lost for Words, Hong Kong
Directed by Stanley J. Orzel
Do we find love or does love find us?
Amidst the sweeping cityscape of cosmopolitan Hong Kong, fate brings two lost souls together in this multilingual cross-cultural romance. Arriving on the same day, Michael, an American ex-Marine, and Anna, a ballerina from Beijing, are both dealing with the aftermath of failed relationships. As their two worlds intertwine, romance blossoms. Against mounting cultural and religious pressure, the two star-crossed lovers risk it all in pursuit of true love. But can love survive?

The Sinners (گناهکاران), Iran
Directed by Faramarz Gharibian
A beautiful, independent woman returns home to Tehran after living in the US for seven years, and meets a violent end on the street in this tightly-plotted Iranian film noir. A quirky old police detective and a cunning young officer — who are themselves sinners — use less-than-legal tactics to interview the suspects. First-time screenwriter Sam Gharibian (son of veteran Iranian actor-director Faramarz Gharibian) shrewdly channels Hitchcock here, whose philosophy that there’s little difference between thinking about and committing a crime gets an Iranian twist.

Sister (L'enfant d'en haut), Switzerland
Directed by Ursula Meier
Throughout the winter months, twelve-year-old Simon takes the small gondola to the opulent ski resort that overlooks the industrial plain where he lives with his older sister. Stealing skis and ski equipment from wealthy guests, he then fences the stolen goods to make a small but regular income to support himself and his sister Louise, who has just lost her job. Louise reluctantly finds herself becoming increasingly financially dependent on her enterprising but dishonest younger brother. Featuring Gillian Anderson (best-known as Agent Scully from The X-Files), this compelling drama was Switzerland's official submission to the 2013 Academy Awards.

Soufflé au Chocolat, Canada- WORLD PREMIERE
Directed by Michel Duran, Fred Goldstein
Reunited after six weeks apart, Marc and Noémie take a much-needed one-week vacation on beautiful Galiano Island off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia. Through Marc's distant cousin Laure and her partner Cyril from France, they meet Lyse from Québéc. Lyse helps them discover the island, which she knows like the back of her hand. But the group dynamic changes when Lyse attempts to seduce Marc. A previously committed, trusting and tightly-knit couple, Marc and Noémie suddenly find themselves confronted by the temptation to explore the unchartered territories of love, forever altering the delicate balance of their relationship.

Wasteland, UK
Directed by Rowan Athale
This unexpected treat is an original take on a much-loved genre. Upon his release from prison, Harvey Miller recruits his three best friends to rob the local drug kingpin who is responsible for his incarceration. Can he get revenge and win back his fed-up girlfriend? Detective Inspector West has the proof but wants to hear it from the horse's mouth. Caught red-handed in the botched robbery and charged with attempted murder, Harvey agrees to tell his version of events. What unfolds is an exhilarating, moving and hilarious story of loyalty, jealousy, revenge and the pursuit of happiness.

You Will Be My Son (Tu Seras Mon Fils), France- NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Directed by Gilles Legrand
Set in the beautiful Saint-Émilion region, this modern retelling of the parable of the prodigal son is a reminder to be careful what you wish for. The passionately ruthless owner of a prestigious family winery, Paul de Marseul is consumed with the failings of his uninspired son, whom he doesn't see as the ideal candidate to succeed him. Paul dreams of a worthy successor more talented, more charismatic…more like Philip, the well-traveled son of his terminally ill estate manager. So begins a four-handed game of chess: two parents, two sons. And only one of them has nothing to lose…


ENVIRONMENTAL

A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet, USA
Directed by Mark Kitchell
The first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement's evolution captures the energy, expansiveness and extremes of half a century of grassroots and global activism, from conservation to climate change. From eco-warriors sinking whaling ships to housewives taking hostages, the stories of people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future -– and succeeding against all odds — are surprising, tragic and inspiring. Based on the book by Philip Shabecoff and narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep. Directed by Oscar-nominated Mark Kitchell, whose Berkley in the Sixties won the Audience Award at Sundance.

Battle for the Elephants, USA
Directed by John Heminway
Director John Heminway and producer Katie Carpenter (last year's Bones of Turkana) return with this groundbreaking National Geographic special, which exposes the international criminal network behind the brutal slaughter of African elephants for their tusks. In telling the ultimate wildlife story — how the Earth’s most charismatic and majestic land animal faces market forces that skyrocket the value of ivory to levels once reserved for precious metals — this vivid documentary demonstrates how the elephant, with its highly evolved society, keen intelligence, ability to communicate across vast distances and to love, remember and mourn, is far more complex than previously understood.

Bitter Seeds, USA
Directed by Micha X. Peled
US-based Monsanto claims that genetically modified seeds offer an effective solution to feeding the world’s growing population, but as a result many small-scale farmers are losing their land. Nowhere is the situation more desperate than in India, where over a quarter million farmers have committed suicide. The conclusion to Micha Peled’s powerful globalization trilogy — following Store Wars: When Walmart Comes to Town and China Blue — this award-winning documentary features compelling characters to tell a deeply moving story, raising questions about the human cost of genetically-modified agriculture and the future of how we grow things.

Design & Thinking, USA
Directed by Mu-Ming Tsai
Amalgamating the collective creativity of business people, professional designers, social activists and the general public, this mind-expanding documentary explores the idea of "design thinking" and its impact on society. What is design thinking? How is it applied in business models? How are people changing the world with their own creativity? How do we engage organizations to think about the changing landscape of business, culture and society? This call for conventional minds to change and collaborate challenges what we think we know about how design affects our world, offering a radical new view of the way we think about design.

Rebels with a Cause, USA
Directed by Nancy Kelly
Celebrating the people and passion that saved the coastal wonders of the Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, this stunningly beautiful film narrated by Frances McDormand spotlights the rebels — citizens from many walks of life — who fought to establish public parks next to a densely populated urban center. Their efforts pioneered a conservation ethos that today is more the norm than the exception. The efforts of these rebels changed the fate of the land and shaped the environmental movement as we know it today. Winner of an Audience Favorite Award at the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West, USA
Directed by Mark Decena
Robert Redford narrates this eye-opening documentary on the urgent threat facing the Colorado River and the extraordinary story of the Colorado River Pact. A vital waterway supporting 30 million people in seven US and two Mexican states, the river is currently being damned and diverted nearly to extinction. Can we meet the needs of a growing population in the face of rising temperatures and lower rainfall? Action is needed to establish a new water ethic.


FOOD & WINE

A Year in Burgundy, USA / France
Directed by David Kennard
The 2011 vintage was a year of joy, fear, anxiety, triumph and laughter for seven wine-making families in the Burgundy region of France. Filmed entirely on location, this exquisitely beautiful documentary takes us through the course of a full wine-making year, from the first bud on the vine to the final pressing, barrel-aging and bottling. Each vintage is a time capsule, a bottled piece of history of a very specific year, with its particular weather pattern, its crises and its triumphs. The grapes grow; the grapes die away. What is left always in the frame is a way of life.

Lo Zucco: The wine of the Son of the King of the French (Lo Zucco: Il vino del figlio del re dei francesi), Italy- US PREMIERE
What brought the richest Frenchman of the late 18th Century to die in southern Italy? The Duke of Aumale was the son of Louis Philippe, known as the King of the French. Exiled from his beloved France, he found in Sicily a land where he could apply the agricultural precepts of Virgil. Who would have imagined that the great chef Vatel's closely-guarded secret of Chantilly cream would lead to the discovery of the long-lost secret of le vin de Zucco? Unfortunately the Duke's famously pure wines are no longer produced, but the Zucco farm still exudes the charm of its incredible, romantic history.
Directed by Lidia Rizzo

Spinning Plates, USA
Directed by Joseph Levy
Visit three extraordinary restaurants and meet the incredible people who make them what they are: a cutting-edge restaurant named the seventh-best in the world whose chef battles a life-threatening obstacle to pursue his passion; a 150-year-old family restaurant still standing because of the unbreakable bond with its community; a fledgling Mexican restaurant whose owners risk everything to survive and provide for their young daughter. Their unforgettable stories of passion and survival come together to reveal how meaningful food can be, and its power to connect us all. Winner of the Audience Choice Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.


LGBT

I Do, USA
Directed by Glenn Gaylord
A romantic drama highlighting the impact of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA). British fashion photographer Jack's work visa is denied after a decade of living legally in New York. Faced with deportation, he persuades his lesbian friend to marry him. Things get messy when Jack falls for a sexy Spanish-American architect. His commitment to his brother's widow and her daughter ultimately forces Jack to make the most painful decision of his life: move to Europe with the man he loves, or stay in America with the only family he knows. Ultimately Jack has to decide whose life he’s living.

Laurence Anyways, Canada
Directed by Xavier Dolan
When Laurence tells his girlfriend that he wants to become a woman, they embark on an epic journey. Despite all the odds and in spite of each other, they confront the prejudices of their friends, ignore the advice of their families and brave societal phobias. For 10 years they try to live through this transition. But will it cost them their love? Canada's enfant terrible Xavier Dolan wrote and directed his first film, I Killed My Mother, at the age of 19, and the now-23-year-old kicks any doubters to the curb with his third feature — his most mature tale yet.

Mía, Argentina- US PREMIERE
Directed by Javier van de Couter
In a marginalized Buenos Aires neighborhood, Ale is a transgender woman who works as a cartonera — eeking out a living by collecting cardboard to sell for recycling. Mía is a young woman who has recently died, leaving only her husband and young daughter. One evening while collecting cardboard, Ale finds Mía's diary, hastily discarded by her grieving husband. Reading about her life, Ale is transported to another world and decides she must return the diary to Mía's motherless daughter. Thus begins a moving drama exploring the marginalization of the transgendered and the universal desire to love and be loved.

Secret Disco Revolution, USA - US PREMIERE
Directed by Jamie Kastner
The disco era — long dismissed as a time of hedonistic excess — has been gravely misunderstood and was actually an important time of protest. This cheeky documentary juxtaposes disco revisionists against revealing new interviews with the era's biggest stars: The Village People, Gloria Gaynor, Kool & The Gang and Thelma Houston. A goldmine of rarely-seen glitter-era footage, this quietly hilarious doc-satire features an unreliable Nabokovian narrator, "reenactments" that are speculative to the point of fantasy, and a tone of sustained irony that presents a fresh look at a well-known era while compelling audiences to question what’s real and what's satire.


SPORTS AND ACTION

Snow Guardians, USA                                                                                                                                                                Directed by Carson Garner                                                                                                                                                                 An impressively visual documentary capturing the tireless efforts of ski patrols at several Rocky Mountain ski resorts to rescue rogue backcountry adventurers. For search and rescue teams responding to winter emergencies, the imperfect science of avalanche prediction may be the only thing standing between life and death.               

Where The Trail Ends, USA                                                                                                                                                                       Directed by Jeremy Grant                                                                                                                                                    
Follow the world's top free-ride mountain bikers as they search for unridden terrain around the globe, ultimately shaping the future of big mountain free-riding. This unparalleled story documents man's challenge of Mother Nature and himself, showcased through a cast of colorful characters. This is the most progressive and ambitious mountain biking ever attempted, resulting in an entertainment adventure unlike anything experienced before.    


VAMOS AL CINE

Acorazado, Mexico- US PREMIERE                                                                                                                  
Directed by "Álvaro Curiel de Icaza (a.k.a. Álvaro Curiel)"                                                                             
This utterly charming film imbued with political satire and warm humor features failed trade unionist Silverio, seen by his friends as a figure of fun whose earnest yet ultimately senseless public speeches have made him a local laughingstock. Disheartened by his life and egged on by his drinking buddies, Silverio sets sail for Florida on a home-made raft in search of the American Dream. His plan to claim asylum in the US, under the guise of a Cuban national fleeing Castro’s regime, backfires when a storm blows our hapless hero off course.

Fat, Bald, Short Man (Gordo, Calvo y Bajito), Colombia                    
Directed by Carlos Osuna
Lonesome, middle-aged virgin Antonio Farfán is picked on and ridiculed by coworkers and his bullying mooch of a brother. An employee of a notary’s office, he believes that his dull personal and professional life is the result of his looks: being fat, bald and short. One day his new boss arrives: a fatter, balder and shorter man who – unlike Antonio – is both successful in his career and happily married. When Antonio joins a self-improvement group, he can’t help but see that it's time for a change. The question is: How is he going to do it?

In Offside (En Fuera de Juego), Spain / Argentina
Directed by David Marqués
Diego is an Argentinean gynecologist traumatized since childhood by a bad soccer experience. Thirsty for success, Javi is a Spanish sports agent who dreams of the winning kick that will turn his luck around. When destiny in the form of a young Argentinian soccer star knocks on their door, circumstances unite Javi and Diego on an obstacle course in pursuit of a much-coveted soccer contract, forcing Diego to pose as an agent of the sport he so despises. Full of unexpected twists and turns, lies and trickery, pranks and surprises, don't miss this uproarious comedy from Spain.

Made in China (Hecho en China) Mexico
Directed by Gabriel Guzmán
A single Mexican with no family, Marcos receives nothing for his 50th birthday except an invitation to the wedding of the only woman he has ever loved and an extortion from the Chinese mafia to take over his restaurant. Marcos decides to throw caution to the wind and attend the wedding. Fernando, the restaurant’s irresponsible teenage delivery guy, joins Marcos in this cross-country road trip that will test the limits of Marcos’ tolerance for adventure. Will they make it to the wedding on time?

Miss Inc., Canada- US PREMIERE                              
Directed by Orlando Arriagada                                          
With a dozen Miss Universe and Miss World titles, Venezuela is the undisputed global beauty pageant champion. After oil, pageants are the country’s second most important industry. Although 80% of the population lives below the poverty line, many women spend a fortune on their appearance, and the pursuit of the Miss Venezuela crown is followed with near-religious fervor. Exploring the backstage world of the Venezuelan beauty industry, Orlando Arriagada's documentary asks: Is beauty manufactured at any cost? Sonoma audiences will remember Arriagada's Beyond the Miracle (Detrás del milagro), on the rescue of the trapped Chilean miners, which screened last year.

Rock, Paper, Scissors (Piedra, Papel, Tijeras), Venezuela- NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE                                                                            Directed by Hernán Jabes
A betrayal is uncovered when the paths of two feuding families cross, endangering what they love most in a city that does not allow them even a moment's peace. Ten-year-old Luis is the unwitting catalyst to a dizzying downward spiral of violence in the overpopulated neighborhoods of Caracas, with its chaotic streets and congested subways. In this adrenaline-fueled crime drama from Hernán Jabes (award-winning director of Macuro), extortion, murder and drug trafficking combine with the unpredictable outcome of the title's two-handed game of chance. This was Venezuela's official submission to the 2013 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.
              
The Zebra (La Cebra), Mexico- US PREMIERE
Directed by Fernando Javier, León Rodríguez                                             In order to join Álvaro Obregón’s revolutionary forces, Leandro and Odón travel to the north of the country on a zebra they find in a broken-down circus, believing it to be a "gringo horse." During their adventurous journey they escape from women who enslave them, meet General Quesada who wants to found a New Republic, and get lost in the desert. When they reach Obregón’s army, a colonel thinks they are Villa’s spies and puts them to a hard test of loyalty. Named Best First Work at the Lima Latin American Film Festival.


MUSIC & ARTS

Boogie Stomp! The Movie, USA
Directed by Bob Baldori
The origins and development of Boogie Woogie music are documented in this rousing and compelling profile of its two greatest living players: Bob Seeley and Bob Baldori. Celebrating the extraordinary talent of these legendary piano players, their passion and mission to revitalize Boogie Woogie, through riveting performances, fascinating interviews, foot-stompin' dance clips and tour footage from around the world. Seeley is known to insiders as the world's best boogie and stride player and director Bob Baldori has a rich rock'n'roll history, having played piano and harmonica with Chuck Berry since 1966. Together they hit the road to revive America's forgotten music.

The Cover Story – Album Art, USA – WORLD PREMIERE
Directed by Eric Christensen
When vinyl was golden, album covers informed our vision of the times and even of the music they contained. As we risk losing this vital cultural artifact with the advent digital download, this film uncovers compelling stories behind some of the most iconic images of the vinyl era: Yoko Ono talks about the Two Virgins cover; Roger Dean describes his other-worldly Yes cover; Mouse & Kelley tell Grateful Dead tales; Victor Moscoso brings his album covers to life; the Blind Faith cover model speaks on camera for the first time; and the swimming Nirvana baby finally comes up for air.

My Father and the Man in Black, Canada
Directed by Jonathan Holiff
The inside story of 'bad-boy' Johnny Cash, his talented but troubled manager, Saul Holiff, and a son searching for his father in the shadow of a legend. Putting to rest the notion that proximity to fame is always glamorous, this personal documentary exposes how an all-consuming pursuit of success can lead to heartbreak. First-time filmmaker Jonathan Holiff longs for a father lost to the vagaries of Johnny Cash's career, via exclusive film clips and seamless re-creations of a past that — however cool it seemed on the outside — left a little boy without a father to depend upon. Winner of multiple festival awards!

Unforgettable Fire: The Story of a U2 Tribute Band, USA- WORLD PREMIERE
Directed by Michelle Regina
Who hasn't dreamed of being a rock star? This rollicking documentary explores the personal lives and challenges of Unforgettable Fire, and their 18 year legacy. The musicians morph from mundane average Joes to rock god doppelgängers, as we get a glimpse of the band members at home, at their day jobs, and on stage mimicking one of the most established and popular bands in the world. Filmmaker Michelle Regina challenges the myth that cover bands are any less original than their inspirations.

Village Music:  Last of the Great Record Stores, USA
Directed by Gillian Grisman
A Mill Valley cultural institution, Village Music was considered “the greatest record store in the world” until it closed in 2007. What made it unique was proprietor John Goddard, a one-of-a-kind music historian and collector. Featuring candid interviews and over 18 rare performances by Elvis Costelllo, Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder, Sammy Hagar, Jerry Garcia, John Lee Hooker and Carlos Santana, this vibrant documentary interweaves Village Music's legendary past with the final months of its existence — telling the larger story of the evolution of American music and the many changes the music industry has undergone through the download era.


FAMILY

Best of Looney Tunes Cartoons, USA
Directed by Chuck Jones
The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is proud to screen this curated collection of 35 mm prints taken from the legendary animation director's personal collection. This showcase of diverse and eclectic classics includes Oscar-winning Dot & The Line, Ali Baba Bunny and What’s Opera, Doc? (voted the greatest animated short film in history). Adults and children alike will be entertained by Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Pepé le Pew, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Gossamer and many more! Chuck Jones’ daughter, Linda, will introduce the collection and be available for discussion after the screening.

Flatland: The Movie & Flatland II: Sphereland, USA
Directed by Dano Johnson
For first time ever in California these two movies will play together in an exciting animated double-feature! Flatland: The Movie and Flatland II: Sphereland are both inspired by Edwin A. Abbott's classic novel "Flatland". Set in a world of only two dimensions, the triangles, squares, and circles that inhabit this world set-off on a fantastic journey that takes them to the 4th dimension and beyond. Featuring an all-star cast — including Martin Sheen, Kristen Bell, Michael York, Danny Pudi, Danica McKellar, Tony Hale and Kate Mulgrew — both films are sure to delight, educate and inspire audiences of all ages!


SHORTS PROGRAM


Shorts - Narrative

The Aerial Girl, USA
Directed by Anna Simone Scott                                       Taylor, an urban-cool teen whose life is uprooted when her father dies, moves with her mother to her grandfather’s ranch in Wyoming. There she meets a ranch-hand who turns her life upside down when the family secret is revealed. What lies behind the truth? Find out!

Borrando la frontera, Mexico / USA
Directed by Ana Teresa Fernández
Scaling a 30-foot ladder on a Tijuana beach, a woman in black symbolically erases the US/Mexico border by painting the dividing fence sky blue. Her formal attire reflects American prosperity and invokes the Mexican mourning tradition; mourning those who have died in attempting to cross this barrier to prosperity.

Broken, USA
Directed by Alexa-Sascha Lewin
What do you do when you have nowhere to go? The fissures in a couple's relationship crack wide open after their truck breaks down on an isolated stretch of desert road, finally forcing them to engage one another and acknowledge the emotional strains tearing at their relationship.

Chance of Rain, USA
Directed by Philipp C. Wolter
When Jason ducks into a psychic parlor to escape the pouring rain, little does he know that he will have to make a choice which determines the rest of his life. Based on the play by Chisa Hutchinson, starring Philipp C. Wolter, award-winning director of The Bridge, which we screened in 2011.

The Charon Incident, Canada
Directed by Allan Wylie
A private "fixer" in England about to complete his final assignment is misled by an international pharmaceutical consortium planning to corner the market on saving lives. This short thriller of pandemic proportions trains a retro '70s lens on the fragility of society — especially when science mixes with greed.

Chocolates, USA                                                          
Directed by Sean Laughton                                                        Devastated by a sudden break up, a distraught Emily turns to her best friend for solace.  Emily’s surprise visit puts Jessica in a tender spot, with only a box of chocolates between them.

Cold Ground, Iran
Directed by Ali Pour Issa
Indifferent to their circumstances and unable to communicate with one another, a trapped family endures the claustrophobic last days of their existence. Reminiscent of Tarkovsky's classic Stalker, a cryptic sense of apocalyptic dread permeates this hard-hitting Iranian short, in which the devastation of nuclear winter casts an unspoken shadow.

Coming Home, USA
Directed by Christopher Olness
An astronaut struggles to re-adapt to domestic life after returning from outer space a changed man, but manages to rediscover love, friendship and beauty through surfing.  One of only six of 1000 pitches selected for production in Levi's "Go Forth — Show Us The Way" competition, in partnership with the American Film Institute.

A Conversation About Cheating with My Time Traveling Future Self, USA
Directed by Pornsak Pichetshote
Not even the ability to time-travel can make Stan happy with his life. When a future version of himself tells him life will get better if he cheats on his girlfriend, a heated argument with himself ensues about fate, fidelity and love in this off-beat amalgam of sci-fi, drama and comedy.

Drag (Arrastre), Mexico / USA
Directed by Ana Teresa Fernández
An underwater dance between a woman and a white horse, re-envisioning the myth of Alexander the Great & Bucephalus or Alex & the Black Stallion. Filmed where sacrificial virgins were once drowned, this woman is not waiting for her prince charming on the white horse; she is determined to ride it herself.

Frame of Mind, USA
Directed by Bett Cramer
In the future, a special police team has the technology to explore a witness's repressed childhood memories. When a serial killer returns after hiding for 15 years, the team must decide how far to push the witness’s mind in order to catch the killer.

Metermaid, USA – WORLD PREMIERE
Directed by Matthew Riggieri, Nick Kovacic
A risky gamble by a secret agent leaves his fate hanging in the air. With the clock ticking, our hero must overcome insurmountable odds. Life or death, his time is ticking in this action-adventure short, where time doesn't stop for anyone — even you will be checking your watch.

Pearl, USA
Directed by Mary Lambert
A California surfer dude has to choose between his beautiful but conventional girlfriend and a strange, sexy young woman he meets named Pearl. Pearl claims to be a recording artist but seems to be homeless — or she might be a mermaid. Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic The Little Mermaid.

The Secret Keeper, USA
Directed by Bears Fonté
A secret is a precious commodity. If a person can seal their secrets away, and live guilt free, they can truly be anyone, do anything. In an alternate reality vaguely resembling the late '40s, the Secret Keeper provides clients with that very opportunity. But who keeps the Secret Keeper's secrets?

Shelved, UK
Directed by James Cunningham
Two loser robots in dead-end jobs stumble upon the sinister intentions of their human bosses in this dark comedy, which was shot in a single day, with actors replaced by fully animated robots designed by Greg Broadmore, senior concept artist for New Zealand's Weta Workshop, whose credits include Avatar and District 9.

Thank You Very Much Bradley Cooper (Merci Beaucoup Bradley Cooper), France- US PREMIERE
Directed by Anne-Christine Caro
Fame is the name of the game in this satire on the cult of celebrity as an enterprising actress enlists an English teacher — who happens to be a Bradley Cooper doppelgänger — to impress industry insiders and make a name for herself in the attention-seeking chaos of Cannes Film Week.

To Die For, USA
Directed by Bill Bradley
Struggling to cope with his wife's death, a successful restaurant owner decides to give up, and starts working up the courage to commit suicide. Meeting a quirky woman on the beach who helps him realize the value of his own life, he begins his journey back from the pit of despair.

Young(ish), USA
Directed by Renée Felice Smith
In the golden years, the passage of time plays tricks with the mind. During an afternoon at the beach, an elderly couple transports back to their childhood through the help of a playground pirate ship. When their adult children come to collect them, the cyclical nature of life is exposed.


Shorts - Documentary

A Changing Delta, USA
Directed by Andrew Quinn
Left for dead after decades of neglect, the terminus of the Colorado River in Northern Mexico was at one time a vibrant wetland ecosystem the size of Rhode Island. Now it rarely even connects to the sea. This beautiful film captures the effort of quite a number of concerned citizens determined to save one of the most iconic American rivers.

Approximately Nels Cline, USA                                                                                                                                  
Directed by Steven Okazaki
Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki has joined with the legendary Fantasy Studios to create an extraordinary new film on the endlessly inventive musician Nels Cline, best known as lead guitarist of the Chicago-based Wilco. Dubbed a "Guitar God" by Rolling Stone magazine, Cline plays everything from punk to blues, rock to traditional, jazz to unbridled mad experimentation. Showcasing Cline's astonishing range, fearless improvisational spirit and deep love of music, this is an enthralling exploration of creativity, musicianship and the collaborative hard work of making music.

Cafeteria Man: Memphis Schools Makeover, USA                                                                                                            Directed by Richard Chisolm                                                                                                                                      
After chef Tony Geraci left Baltimore, he was recruited to be the Executive Director of Memphis City Schools Nutrition Services, which serves over 200,000 meals a day to 110,000 students. Since his arrival in Fall 2011, he has increased participation in the Breakfast in the Classroom program, initiated an At Risk Supper Meal Program, expanded the farm to school program to $10 million a year, and established a 100-acre farm. Tony also was recently named one of the top 20 most influential Food Service people in the country by Food Service Director magazine.

Call Me Ehsaan, USA
Directed by Micah Garen                                                                    
A haunting look at the Afghanistan war through the eyes of Lt. Col. JD Loftis, one of only three Pashto-speaking US Airforce officers. With an increase in "green-on-blue" attacks, where Afghan security forces turn their weapons on international military personnel, his ability to communicate with the locals may be his undoing.

Cannubi: A Vineyard Kissed by Gods, USA
Directed by James Orr
Spanning just 37 acres in Piedmont, northern Italy, Cannubi is considered one of the world's greatest vineyards. The highly sought-after plot of land grows Nebbiolo grapes, producing Barolo — one of the best Italian reds. Conflict over Cannubi’s boundaries is complicated and emotionally-charged, as wineries seek to have the coveted “Cannubi” wording on their labels. To see why this 250-year-old vineyard is so special, wine critic James Suckling and Hollywood director James Orr (from last year's Cigars: The Heart & Soul of Cuba) visit Cannubi to chronicle the winemakers' thoughts and passion toward their craft — and the vineyard that fuels it all.

Creativity: The Artist & Creativity: Furnace, USA- WORLD PREMIERE
Directed by Tim Wetzel
In these two shorts, local filmmaker Tim Wetzel explores the nature of creativity — what it is, where it comes from, and how it fits into our lives. THE ARTIST features painter Elizabeth Dekker; FURNACE features glass artisan Alex Leader. One of Tim's earlier films, Struck By Luck, was in our 2004 festival.

Dream, USA
Directed by Rich Van Every
What is your dream? Illuminating the culture of Burning Man as a catalyst for community, innovation and the actualization of dreams. This annual pilgrimage to Nevada's Black Rock Desert offers a glimpse into the art and culture of this dynamic community with the hope to spark a dream within you.

The DreamMaker, USA
Directed by Harry Blum
Everyone who has the privilege of being in its presence feels the power and energy of the DreamMaker, a 19-foot, 1600 pound totem. Revealing the hidden spirits of the redwood tree, it speaks to us of peace and acceptance through the symbols and spirits which represent all cultures of our world.

Dreamscapes, France
Directed by Wolfram Hissen
The director of Christo & Jeanne-Claude: The Running Fence Revisited, which we screened in 2011, follows contemporary painter Stephen Hannock from the opening of Northern City Renaissance — commissioned by Sting — to Venice and New York, for an intimate look into the mind and magic of one of the world's most renowned modern artists.

Eyes in the Forest: The Portraiture of Jim Lawrence, USA
Directed by Miriam Needoba
Interweaving the startling imagery of wildlife photographer Jim Lawrence and the sublime cinematography of experimental filmmaker Miriam Needoba with engaging soundscapes from the environment, this rare view of British Columbia's remote Selkirk Mountains transports the audience deep into this wild and beautiful world.

The Flosgta Roar (Flogstavrålet), Sweden
Directed by Johan Palmgren
When Sartre said "Hell is other people" he might have been describing the shabby student ghetto in Uppsala. The imposing, densely-populate student dorms also house a number of aging loners. In a nightly ritual, they open their windows and shout their anguish to an uncaring world. Who can blame them?

How the Kids Saved the Parks, USA
Directed by Andy Miller, Robin Moore
When budget cuts doom two state parks, the South Yuba River Citizens League mentors students from nearby Grass Valley Charter School to become activists, obtaining over 1,000 signatures and making the trek to the state capitol to let politicians know that nature is their teacher and parks are their classrooms. Inspirational!

Inocente, USA
Directed by Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine
An intensely personal and vibrant coming-of-age documentary about a young artist’s fierce determination never to surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings. Fifteen-year-old Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by life as a homeless, undocumented immigrant. A timely snapshot of the new face of homelessness in America – children – and a timeless story of the transformative power of art. Winner of the 2013 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject.

Past Their Prime, USA
Directed by Becca Friedman
Animals and people share many common ailments of aging, including arthritis, heart disease and dental decay. TV's Jack Hanna is featured in this look at geriatric zoo animal care, although the real star is Colo — the oldest living gorilla in captivity — on her 55th birthday at the Columbus Zoo.

Right There, USA
Directed by Florence Buchanan, Arthur Bijur
Teenagers who were little kids on 9/11 return to their old elementary school, just three blocks north of Ground Zero. Ten years later, what do they remember? What are their attitudes? Not a 9/11 documentary, but a glimpse of urban teens — thoughtful, tolerant, hopeful and wise — with a lot to teach us.

Sikh Formaggio, USA – U.S. PREMIERE
Directed by Katie Wise, Devyn Bisson, Dan Duran
Sikh immigrants from India seeking jobs familiar to their agricultural roots find work in Italy's struggling Parmesan cheese industry. Struggling to keep their culture and traditions strong in their new home, the Sikhs are also helping to preserve a piece of Italian culture — the art of making Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Storm, USA                                                                                                                                                                
Directed by Daniel Addelson                                                                                                                        
Featuring vast landscapes and melancholic soundscapes, this glimpse into the life of winemaker Ernst Storm digs beyond the winemaking process to an exploration of universal artistic passion. Speaking candidly and poetically, Ernst shares his fears, successes and motivation for making a wine that truly reflects the land that it comes from.

Unicorn Sashimi, USA                                                                                                                                                                Directed by Ben Knight, Travis Rummel, Nick Waggoner                                                                                                               Traditional Japanese taiko drummers provide the score to accompany breathtaking cinematography of skiing and snowboarding through the snow-encrusted silver birch groves of Japan's majestic northernmost island mountain ranges, in a hunt for the mythical Hokkaido unicorn. True poetry in motion, even if the creature proved difficult to capture on film.

VOENA: Voices of Eve 'N Angels, USA                                                                                                                                            Directed by Derek Diaz                                                                                                                                                             Director Derek Diaz and choir director Annabelle Marie return to Sonoma with their follow-up to The Journey Makes Us One, which we screened in 2008. Join their California-based children's choir as they journey to South Africa to spread their message of peace and hope through a cultural explosion of voice and movement. At the International Soweto Festival, the VOENA kids sing their way into the people's hearts. Their youthful energy shines during unforgettable performances with Mara Louw and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, along with moments of quiet grace in a Soweto shantytown. You'll never look at South Africa the same way again!

Where Is God?, USA- US PREMIERE
Directed by Trent Anderson
 After years of thinking, wondering and contemplating the answer to an interesting and perplexing question, local filmmaker Trent Anderson (director of last year's Buskers and The Making of a River of Skulls from 2010) interviewed people in various communities in the Bay Area and asked them, "Where is God?" What he found might surprise you.


Shorts - Animated

Fresh Guacamole, USA
Directed by PES
Stop-motion maestro PES will blow your mind again, this time with avocados, in this Oscar-nominated follow-up to his stop-motion hit Western Spaghetti. An unseen cook uses a series of rather unusual ingredients to prepare a bowl of fresh guacamole.

The Improbable Journey of Berta Benz, USA
Directed by Deborah Hutchinson, Keith English
When Karl Benz's three-wheeled "Motorwagen" is hindered by fears of new technology, his wife Berta boldly drives over 50 miles to see her mother. The first person ever to drive a motorized vehicle any distance, this amazing woman's journey paved the way to the future. Winner of the Myra P. Sadker Award.

Light Me Up, USA
Directed by Derek Dolechek, Ryan Walton
The Wattsons are light bulbs who manage an antique shop. Their son dreams of becoming a spotlight in the local theater. This collaborative effort of Chapman University students combines 2D and 3D animation with live-action backgrounds for an imaginative and heartfelt story about finding the energy to pursue your dreams.

Paperman, USA
Directed by John Kahrs
The story of a young man in NYC relying on his heart, imagination, a stack of papers — and a little luck — to win the girl of his dreams. 2013 Oscar-winner for Best Animated Short.


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