Closing Night

Mapplethorpe

Matt Smith (The Crown, Doctor Who) plays Robert Mapplethorpe in this compelling biopic about arguably one of the most controversial photographers in American history. From the artist’s early days as best friend to Patti Smith to his relationship with curator Sam Wagstaff, MAPPLETHORPE looks at the time as he was embracing his sexuality in the gay scene of 1970s New York and as he was “Mapplethorpe”

2018, USA, 95 minutes, Directed by Ondi Timoner
Cast: Matt Smith, Marianne Rendón, John Benjamin Hickey

Documentary

A Fine Line

A FINE LINE skillfully explores the many obstacles and challenges that women chefs face in the male-dominated culinary world including why only 6% of head chefs and restaurant owners are women. Centering on the director’s mother, Valerie James, a successful restaurateur just outside of Boston, Joanna James gets to the heart of what is needed today to empower women while incorporating the experiences of world-renowned “A Fine Line”

Capturing The Flag

A tight-knit group of friends travel to Cumberland County, North Carolina—the 2016 “poster child” for voter suppression—intent on proving that the big idea of American democracy can be defended by small acts of individual citizens.  They station themselves at the polls answering questions and providing a reassuring presence so that our basic right is upheld. CAPTURING THE FLAG provides an intimate, often unexpected, portrait of voter protection volunteers working “Capturing The Flag”

Chef Flynn

Young Flynn McGarry spent his childhood creating remarkable gastronomic delights far beyond his years at his home in Studio City, California. He loved to prepare elaborate dinners for friends and family and soon became known as the “Teen Chef,” establishing his own supper club at age 12 and was featured in a New York Times Magazine cover story at age 15. With archival and new vérité footage, “Chef Flynn”

Dawnland

For most of the 20th century, government agents systematically forced Native American children from their homes and placed them with white families. Now, in Maine, the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) in the United States gathers testimony and bears witness to the dramatic impact of the state’s child welfare practices on the Wabanaki people of Turtle Island. With unprecedented access to this groundbreaking “Dawnland”

Every Act of Life

EVERY ACT OF LIFE profiles world-renowned, four-time Tony winning playwright Terrence McNally’s pioneering five-decade career in the theater, focusing on the struggle for LGBT rights, triumph over addiction, the poet of the arts to shape society, and his pursuit of love and inspiration at every age. Featuring interviews and performances with Angela Lansbury, F. Murray Abraham, Larry Kramer, Nathan Lane, Tyne Daly, Edie Falco, Chita “Every Act of Life”

Generation Wealth

For 25 years, Lauren Greenfield’s documentary photography and film projects have explored youth culture, gender, body image, and affluence. In this fascinating meld of career retrospective and film essay, Greenfield offers a meditation on her own work, structuring it through the lens of materialism and its increasing sway on culture and society in America and throughout the world.  An unflinching examination of Greenfield’s own life “Generation Wealth”

John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection

John McEnroe is at the center of an unconventional cinematic work–a project as unorthodox and fascinating as the tennis legend himself. Mesmerizing and witty, this visual essay ruminates on film theory while it deconstructs the tennis champion at the height of his career, documenting his strive for perfection and the hardest loss of his career at the 1984 Roland-Garros French Open. Narrated by actor Mathieu “John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection”

Life in the Doghouse

LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE chronicles the inspiring story of Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta, partners in life and work, who operate Danny & Ron’s Rescue, which has saved more than 10,000 dogs since 2005. What started as a targeted and contained rescue mission in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina soon grew to be Danny and Ron’s life’s work, taking over their spotless house, which they share with “Life in the Doghouse”

McQueen

A personal look at the extraordinary life, career and artistry of fashion icon Alexander McQueen. Through exclusive interviews with his closest friends and family, extensive recovered archives, exquisite visuals and fitting music, McQUEEN is an authentic and thrilling portrait of an inspired yet tortured fashion visionary. From his early life in England apprenticing with designers to his breakthrough as a singular talent, the film plays “McQueen”

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind

This intimate, riveting portrait examines one of the world’s most beloved and inventive comedians. Told largely through Williams’ own voice and using a wealth of never-before-seen footage, director Marina Zenovich takes us through his extraordinary life and career and reveals the spark of madness that drove him. Included are testimonials from his colleagues, Billy Crystal and David Letterman, describing Williams’ genius and his ability to “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind”

Science Fair

Winner of the inaugural festival favorite award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, selected by audience votes from the 123 feature films screened, SCIENCE FAIR follows students from around the world in the annual International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), a highly competitive showcase of the world’s top young scientific minds. Though all are participating for the love of science, we also learn that there “Science Fair”

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood

In 1946, handsome ex-Marine Scotty Bowers came to Los Angeles and immediately caught the eye of many of the town’s queer customers at the gas station he worked at on Hollywood Boulevard.  An extension of Full Service, Bowers’ 2012 tell-all memoir about his pimping services to the stars, SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD dishes about stars of yesterday like Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood”

Studio 54

Studio 54 was the giddy epicenter of 70s hedonism – a disco hothouse of beautiful people, endless cocaine, and every kind of sex–a place that not only redefined the Manhattan nightclub, but also came to symbolize an entire era. With exclusive access and rare footage, this film remembers the greatest club of all time told through the journey of two best friends from Brooklyn, Ian “Studio 54”

The Gospel of Eureka

“Everyone loves a good story now and then,” says narrator Mx Justin Vivian Bond—and what a story Eureka, Arkansas has to tell. Love, faith and civil rights collide in a southern town as evangelical Christians and drag queens step into the spotlight to dismantle stereotypes. Taking a personal, and often comical look at negotiating differences between religion and belief through performance, political action, and partnership, “The Gospel of Eureka”

The Price of Everything

Basquiat paintings regularly fetch tens of millions of dollars, and the recent sale of a little-known Da Vinci topped $450 million—but what forces are driving the white-hot art market? THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING leads us into a rarefied labyrinth of galleries, studios, and auction houses to explore what society loses and gains when art becomes a rich person’s commodity. With unprecedented access to in-demand artists “The Price of Everything”

The Sentence

Rudy Valdez shows the aftermath of his sister Cindy’s 15-year incarceration for conspiracy charges related to crimes committed by her deceased ex-boyfriend–known, in legal terms, as “the girlfriend problem.” Valdez copes with this tragedy by filming his sister’s family for her, both the everyday details and the milestones. In the midst of this nightmare, Valdez finds his voice as both a filmmaker and activist, and “The Sentence”

Three Identical Strangers

Three strangers are reunited by an astonishing coincidence after being born identical triplets, separated at birth, and adopted by three different families. Their jaw-dropping, feel-good story instantly becomes a global sensation complete with fame and celebrity, however, the fairy-tale reunion sets in motion a series of events that unearth an unimaginable secret – a secret with radical repercussions for us all.

Time for Ilhan

On November 8, 2016, a young, hijab-wearing mother-of-three named Ilhan Omar made history, becoming the first Somali Muslim woman to be elected to state office in America and was hailed by the New York Times as, “one of the bright lights in the post-election darkness.” TIME FOR ILHAN intimately chronicles her hard-fought campaign and offers an inspiring, stereotype-busting portrait of a rising political star as she “Time for Ilhan”

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist

The undisputed queen of fashion Dame Vivienne Westwood is known for her subversive and original take on British fashion. A sharp-witted look into Westwood’s creative process and her life’s journey from 1970s punk protests to fierce independent global figure, Lorna Tucker crafts a candid portrait including interviews from Westwood’s inner circle of family and collaborators. At age 76, Westwood is still a controversial figure; in “Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist”

Wyeth

WYETH tells the story of one of America’s most popular, but least understood, artists. While his exhibitions routinely broke attendance records, art world critics continually assaulted his work. Through it all, Andrew Wyeth confidently continued to paint the people and places he knew. Through unprecedented access to Wyeth family members, archival materials, and his work, layer by layer, much in the way Andrew Wyeth created “Wyeth”

Narrative

1985

Inspired by the award-winning short film of the same name, 1985 follows Adrian (“Gotham” star Cory Michael Smith), a closeted young man returning to his Texas hometown for Christmas during the first wave of the AIDS crisis. Burdened with an unspeakable tragedy in New York, Adrian reconnects with his brother and estranged childhood friend as he struggles to divulge his dire circumstances to his religious “1985”

2018, USA, 85 minutes, Directed by Yen Tan
Cast: Cory Michael Smith, Virginia Madsen, Michael Chiklis, Aidan Langford, Jamie Chung

A Kid Like Jake

Loving parents Alex and Greg are faced with the daunting task of applying to private kindergartens in NYC for their 4-year-old, Jake. Competing in this cutthroat environment means focusing on what is most unique about a child, forcing Alex and Greg to consider Jake’s love of dresses, fairy tales, and princesses. As parents, Alex and Greg must find a way to support Jake’s identity without “A Kid Like Jake”

2018, USA, 92 minutes, Directed by Silas Howard
Cast: Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, Octavia Spencer, Priyanka Chopra, Ann Dowd, Amy Landecker

And Breathe Normally

In Iceland, Lara trains as an airport border patrol officer. Despite struggling financially and fighting personal demons, she’s a devoted mother to her young son. One day on the job, Lara spots a suspicious passport, resulting in Adja, a female refugee from Guinea-Bissau, being detained. Despite cultural differences, the two women find a bond that rests on a moment when Lara is faced with a “And Breathe Normally”

Blindspotting

Collin must make it through his final days of probation for a chance at a new beginning. His childhood best friend, Miles, is always by his side, but when Collin witnesses a police shooting, their friendship is tested as they grapple with identity and their changed realities in the rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood they grew up in. Lead actors Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal co-wrote and star “Blindspotting”

2018, USA, 95 minutes, Directed by Carlos López Estrada
Cast: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot

John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix) has a lust for life, a talent for off-color jokes, and a drinking problem. When an all-night bender ends in a catastrophic car accident, the last thing he intends to do is give up drinking. But when he reluctantly enters treatment —with encouragement from his girlfriend (Rooney Mara) and a charismatic sponsor (Jonah Hill) —Callahan discovers a gift for drawing edgy, “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot”

2018, USA, 113 minutes, Directed by Gus Van Sant
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black

Eighth Grade

Eighth-grader Kayla always has her phone in hand, hoping to find connections online that might make up for those she’s unable to forge in everyday life. In the final week of a thus-far-disastrous school year, Kayla struggles to bridge the gap between how she perceives herself and who she believes she should be.  Writer-director Boston-native comedian Bo Burnham, making his feature film debut, delivers a “Eighth Grade”

2017, USA, 94 minutes, Directed by Bo Burnham
Cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton

Hearts Beat Loud

Single dad (and aging hipster) Frank prepares to send his hardworking daughter Sam to college. Hoping to stay connected through their shared love of music, he urges her to turn their weekly “jam sesh” into an actual band.  They soon find that their collaboration’s unexpected success complicates each’s plans for their future. Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons provide genuine warmth and chemistry as father and “Hearts Beat Loud”

2018, USA, 97 minutes, Directed by Brett Haley
Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Toni Collette, Ted Danson, Blythe Danner

Lemonade

While working in the US on a temporary visa as a caretaker, Mara, a 30 year-old single mother from Romania, marries Daniel, an American. After the arrival of her son Dragos, everything seems to have fallen perfectly into place. When the process of getting a green card veers unexpectedly off course, however, Mara is faced with abuses of power on every level and forced to “Lemonade”

Loveling

Devoted mom Irene raises four rambunctious sons in a physically-crumbling but warm and happy home. As she supports her husband through a financial crisis and plans her own long-awaited high school graduation, eldest son Fernando suddenly announces he has been recruited to play handball in Germany and will be leaving in just three weeks. Consummate caretaker Irene prickles at the idea of emancipating the boy “Loveling”

Madeline’s Madeline

MADELINE’S MADELINE reveals an invigorating and bold voice in cinema that is not easily categorized. A coming of age story of sorts, featuring mesmerizing performances by Miranda July and by outstanding newcomer Helena Howard, as a mother and daughter caught in a psychological, mystifying dance. The two are forced to confront their relationship as Madeline’s theater director (Molly Parker) pushes their limits to the outer “Madeline’s Madeline”

Mario

Offering a fascinating insight into the lives and choices of closeted professional athletes, MARIO tells the story of two teammates, Mario and Leon, who find themselves in an unexpected love affair as they both look to advance their careers as professional soccer players. As their relationship grows, and rumors begin to spread in the locker room and beyond, Mario is faced with the choice: does “Mario”

Night Comes On

Eighteen-year-old Angel (the stellar Dominique Fishback, The Deuce) leaves her stint in juvenile detention with nothing but a few bucks and a dead cellphone. After serving time for unlawful possession of a weapon, she’s thrown back onto the streets and into a world riddled with the demons of her past. Filmmaker Jordana Spiro and co-writer Angelica Nwandu paint a tough but intimate portrait of sisterhood “Night Comes On”

2018, USA, 86 minutes, Directed by Jordana Spiro
Cast: Dominique Fishback, Tatum Hall, John Earl Jelks, Max Casella

Puzzle

After years of concerning herself with the needs and wants of her husband and sons, Agnes (Kelly Macdonald) has found something that she enjoys and is very good at doing. Stepping out of her domestic bubble to pursue her new hobby, Agnes meets Robert (Irrfan Kahn), a wealthy, reclusive inventor who immediately recognizes her talent and recruits her as his partner for an upcoming world “Puzzle”

2018, USA, 102 minutes, Directed by Marc Turtletaub
Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Kahn, David Denman

The Cakemaker

A closeted baker distraught by the death of his married lover travels to his late boyfriend’s hometown of Jerusalem, where he takes a job at a bakery run by the boyfriend’s widow. As they slowly grow to know each other, each finds a refuge in each other’s company—their secretly shared grief binding them in ways neither fully understands. THE CAKEMAKER is a compelling meditation on “The Cakemaker”

The Children Act

As her marriage to Jack (Stanley Tucci) flounders, High Court judge Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) has a life-changing decision to make: should she force a teenage boy to have the blood transfusion that will save his life? Her unorthodox visit to his hospital bedside has a profound impact on them both, stirring strong new emotions in the boy and long-buried feelings in her. Featuring flawless “The Children Act”

2017, United Kingdom, 105 minutes, Directed by Richard Eyre
Cast: Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci

The Guilty

When police officer Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren) is demoted to deskwork, he expects a sleepy beat as an emergency dispatcher. That all changes when he answers a panicked phone call from a kidnapped woman. Asger is forced to use others as his eyes and ears as the severity of the crime slowly becomes clear. The search to find the missing woman and her assailant will “The Guilty”

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Cameron Post looks the part of a perfect high school girl. After she’s caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night, Cameron is shipped off to a conversion therapy center that treats teens “struggling with same-sex attraction.” Balancing out inherent drama with understated humor, writer/director Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behavior) and co-writer Cecilia Frugiuele sensitively adapt Emily Danforth’s acclaimed eponymous “The Miseducation of Cameron Post”

2017, USA, 90 minutes, Directed by Desiree Akhavan
Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle

We The Animals

Manny, Joel and Jonah tear their way through childhood and push against the volatile love of their parents. As Manny and Joel grow into versions of their father (Raul Castillo of Looking) while Ma dreams of escape, Jonah, the youngest, embraces an imagined world all his own. Finding himself curious about boys, he delicately explores his place in the world. Jeremiah Zagar glides into directing “We The Animals”

2018, USA, 94 minutes, Directed by Jeremiah Zagar
Cast: Raul Castillo, Sheila Vand, Josiah Gabriel, Isaiah Kristian, Evan Rosado

Opening Night

Wild Nights With Emily

WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY is the story of the secret life of Emily Dickinson (Molly Shannon) and explores the vivacious, irreverent side of her that was covered up for many years and recently revealed–most notably Emily’s lifelong romance with another woman, Susan Dickinson, the wife of Emily’s brother. A fierce rivalry between Emily’s beloved and her brother’s mistress in making known the work of this “Wild Nights With Emily”

2018, USA, 84 minutes, Directed by Madeleine Olnek
Cast: Molly Shannon, Amy Seimetz, Susan Ziegler, Brett Gelman, Jackie Monahan

Shorts

Paid for by – Episode 2 – Diane Busch’s Women’s Issue Ad

Idealistic producer Margot, environmentalist zealot and proud feminist, is faced with the fact that ideals must be compromised when money and politics are part of the political commercial equation while shooting a women’s issue ad. Precedes: A FINE LINE 2018, USE/Spain/Italy, 72 minutes Directed by Joanna James

Shorts Four: Queer Shorts: Women

Shorts One

Lonesome Willcox

Willcox, Arizona, is a country music town that isn’t what it used to be. The town’s only radio station has but one employee – a local pariah who lives in the studio, and who has a complicated and difficult relationship with the music he plays every day.

Maude

Teeny thought it was just another routine babysitting job—until she met the client. As the day goes on, Teeny decides to become the woman she had no idea she always wanted to be … until she gets caught.

Mother Mother

Her kids and her husband piled in bed around her in the middle of the night, a mother squeezes out from between them all, leaves the house, and checks into a hotel.

Shorts Three: Queer Shorts: Men

Shorts Two: New England Shorts

Keeper

The openings and closings of a drawbridge in a Cape Cod village interrupt time and offer an invitation to slow down and appreciate found moments.

2018, USA, 12 minutes, Directed by Marnie Crawford Samuelson, Shane Hofeldt

Special Screenings

Female Trouble

A new 4K digital restoration! Glamour has never been more grotesque than in FEMALE TROUBLE. John Waters’ larger-than-life muse Divine engulfs the screen with charisma as Dawn Davenport, who progresses from teenage nightmare hell-bent on getting cha-cha heels for Christmas to a fame monster whose egomaniacal impulses land her in the electric chair. And endlessly quotable favorite, FEMALE TROUBLE offers up perverse pleasures that never “Female Trouble”

1974, USA, 97 minutes, Directed by John Waters
Cast: Divine, Mink Stole, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Edith Massey, Cookie Mueller

John Waters Presents I, Olga

In 1973, Olga Hepnarová, a young woman in Prague, drove a truck into a group of people, killing 8 of them, and became the last woman to be executed in Czechoslovakia. I, OLGA follows her before the attack–a lonely lesbian who found it difficult to connect with others. Shot in black and white with an eye for detail, the film compellingly captures a specific time “John Waters Presents I, Olga”

Midnight Cowboy

The world premiere of the new 4K digital restoration! The John Schlesinger masterpiece that launched Jon Voigt’s career and solidified Dustin Hoffman standing as an A-list actor, MIDNIGHT COWBOY was a critical and commercial success despite controversy over what the MPAA termed its “homosexual frame of reference,” MIDNIGHT COWBOY became the first X-rated film to receive the Best Picture Oscar, and decades on, its influence “Midnight Cowboy”

1969, USA, 113 minutes, Directed by John Schlesinger
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, John Voight, Barnard Hughes, Sylvia Miles, Bob Balaban

Tangerine

It’s Christmas Eve in Los Angeles and Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) is back on the block. Upon hearing that her boyfriend/pimp (James Ransone) hasn’t been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, the sex worker and her best friend, Alexandra (Mya Taylor), set out to find him and teach him and his new lover a lesson. Directed by 2018 PIFF Filmmaker on the “Tangerine”

2015, USA, 88 minutes, Directed by Sean Baker
Cast: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, James Ransone, Karren Karagulian

Spotlight

And Breathe Normally

In Iceland, Lara trains as an airport border patrol officer. Despite struggling financially and fighting personal demons, she’s a devoted mother to her young son. One day on the job, Lara spots a suspicious passport, resulting in Adja, a female refugee from Guinea-Bissau, being detained. Despite cultural differences, the two women find a bond that rests on a moment when Lara is faced with a “And Breathe Normally”

Leave No Trace

Will (Ben Foster) is a veteran living blissfully off the grid with his teen daughter Tom (Thomasin McKensie) in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon. They enjoy a paradisiacal existence before a small mistake sets in motion a series of events that changes their lives forever. Co-written and directed by Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone) with an acute eye for discovering breakout actresses, LEAVE NO “Leave No Trace”

Mapplethorpe

Matt Smith (The Crown, Doctor Who) plays Robert Mapplethorpe in this compelling biopic about arguably one of the most controversial photographers in American history. From the artist’s early days as best friend to Patti Smith to his relationship with curator Sam Wagstaff, MAPPLETHORPE looks at the time as he was embracing his sexuality in the gay scene of 1970s New York and as he was “Mapplethorpe”

2018, USA, 95 minutes, Directed by Ondi Timoner
Cast: Matt Smith, Marianne Rendón, John Benjamin Hickey

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Cameron Post looks the part of a perfect high school girl. After she’s caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night, Cameron is shipped off to a conversion therapy center that treats teens “struggling with same-sex attraction.” Balancing out inherent drama with understated humor, writer/director Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behavior) and co-writer Cecilia Frugiuele sensitively adapt Emily Danforth’s acclaimed eponymous “The Miseducation of Cameron Post”

2017, USA, 90 minutes, Directed by Desiree Akhavan
Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle

Wild Nights With Emily

WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY is the story of the secret life of Emily Dickinson (Molly Shannon) and explores the vivacious, irreverent side of her that was covered up for many years and recently revealed–most notably Emily’s lifelong romance with another woman, Susan Dickinson, the wife of Emily’s brother. A fierce rivalry between Emily’s beloved and her brother’s mistress in making known the work of this “Wild Nights With Emily”

2018, USA, 84 minutes, Directed by Madeleine Olnek
Cast: Molly Shannon, Amy Seimetz, Susan Ziegler, Brett Gelman, Jackie Monahan

Woman Director

Capturing The Flag

A tight-knit group of friends travel to Cumberland County, North Carolina—the 2016 “poster child” for voter suppression—intent on proving that the big idea of American democracy can be defended by small acts of individual citizens.  They station themselves at the polls answering questions and providing a reassuring presence so that our basic right is upheld. CAPTURING THE FLAG provides an intimate, often unexpected, portrait of voter protection volunteers working “Capturing The Flag”

Generation Wealth

For 25 years, Lauren Greenfield’s documentary photography and film projects have explored youth culture, gender, body image, and affluence. In this fascinating meld of career retrospective and film essay, Greenfield offers a meditation on her own work, structuring it through the lens of materialism and its increasing sway on culture and society in America and throughout the world.  An unflinching examination of Greenfield’s own life “Generation Wealth”

Time for Ilhan

On November 8, 2016, a young, hijab-wearing mother-of-three named Ilhan Omar made history, becoming the first Somali Muslim woman to be elected to state office in America and was hailed by the New York Times as, “one of the bright lights in the post-election darkness.” TIME FOR ILHAN intimately chronicles her hard-fought campaign and offers an inspiring, stereotype-busting portrait of a rising political star as she “Time for Ilhan”