It's here! The full Feature Film Program of our 20th Anniversary festival has been announced. Scroll on for our Opening, Closing, Centerpiece, Spotlight selections and so much more, and remember that passes and ticket packages are still on sale!
OPENING NIGHT FILM
THE END OF THE TOUR
Writer: Donald Margulies
Director: James Ponsoldt
Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) has hopes of getting inside the life and mind of David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) over the course of an intimate five-day interview at the end of Wallace’s book tour in 1996.
OPENING DAY FILM
Story: Pete Docter
Writers: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley
Director: Pete Docter
Co-Director: Ronnie del Carmen
Do you ever look at people and wonder what’s going on in their heads? Disney•Pixar’s INSIDE OUT ventures into the mind of 11-year-old Riley. Five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (Amy Poehler), alongside Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). An inventive new animated family comedy from the director of the Academy Award®-winning UP.
WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?
Director: Liz Garbus
Nina Simone was a singular talent, a captivating musician whose widespread recognition as the “high priestess of soul” underscored her near-evangelical presence on stage. Liz Garbus’ film is an intimate tribute to this complex performer and her enduring legacy.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
BEST OF ENEMIES
Directors: Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville
In 1968, ABC News hired William F. Buckley, Jr. and Gore Vidal, two ideologues with diametrically opposed political views to engage in a series of live, televised debates during the Democratic and Republican national conventions during a particularly contentious presidential election. Neville directed NFF’s 2013 Opening Night Film and Academy Award® winner, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM.
SPOTLIGHT FILMS- presented by Delta Air Lines
ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL
Writer: Jesse Andrews
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
After his mother forces Greg (Thomas Mann) to befriend Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a classmate diagnosed with leukemia, the detached high school senior unexpectedly finds himself letting down his guard. ME AND EARL balances clever humor, poignant drama, and delightfully bad spoofs of classic films in this multiple prize-winner from this year’s Sundance.
Director: Louie Psihoyos
Academy Award®-winning director Louie Psihoyos (THE COVE, NFF 2009) bears witness to a global problem—mankind’s role in precipitating mass extinction, potentially resulting in the loss of half of the world’s species.
SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE
Writer/Director: Leslye Headland
Despite mutual attraction, sex addicts Lainey (Alison Brie) and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) vow to keep things platonic as they work through their issues, sleeping with other people while denying the possibility that they might just be perfect for one another. Also starring Natasha Lyonne, Adam Scott, Amanda Peet, and Jason Mantzoukas.
THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT
Writer: Tim Talbott
Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
In 1971, Stanford professor Philip Zimbardo (Billy Crudup) embarks on a study of imprisonment and power dynamics, randomly assigning the role of either guard or prisoner to undergraduate experiment subjects in a mock jail. Also starring Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, and Tye Sheridan, and winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
STEVE JOBS: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE
Director: Alex Gibney
Academy Award®-winning director Alex Gibney (GOING CLEAR, TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE) sets out to understand the world-shaping genius of Steve Jobs and why he continues to engender such reverence.
FEATURE FILM PROGRAM
Director: Dan Rybicky, Aaron Wickenden
When the filmmakers meet an octogenarian outsider artist and help him mount an exhibition of his elaborate autobiographical collage diaries, their act leads to unanticipated revelations and complex questions about the limits of altruism.
Director: Robert Cohen
Like many who have made it in Hollywood, comedy writer Robert Cohen (THE SIMPSONS, THE BIG BANG THEORY) has long harbored a dark secret: He’s Canadian. Featuring interviews with other funny Canucks such as Mike Myers, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, and Dave Foley.
Director: Matthew Heineman
Unwilling to become a victim, Jose Mireles, a small-town physician in Mexico, organizes Autodefensas, a grassroots civilian defense force, to combat the most notorious drug cartel in the region, the Knights Templar. Winner of two awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
CHUCK NORRIS VS. COMMUNISM
Director: Ilinca Calugareanu
At the height of 1980s Cold War tensions, the forces of democracy found a most unlikely weapon behind the Iron Curtain: VHS tapes, specifically bootleg tapes of American action movies starring the likes of Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL
Writer/Director: Marielle Heller
Like most 15-year-old girls, Minnie is experimenting with her sexuality - only the object of her affection happens to be Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard), the much older boyfriend of her mother (Kristen Wiig). DIARY heralds a remarkable new voice in writer/director Marielle Heller and a bold star turn from lead actress Bel Powley.
DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON
Director: Douglas Tirola
In 1970, the National Lampoon brought a distinctive blend of satire and dark humor to America’s newsstands at the pivotal moment when the counterculture invaded the mainstream. Featuring rare audio and video footage of collaborating talents, such as future SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE stars Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and Bill Murray.
Writer/Director: Michael Almereyda
A sparse inversion of the standard biopic formula, Michael Almereyda’s EXPERIMENTER casts Peter Sarsgaard as the famed social psychologist Stanley Milgram, best known for his electric shock experiments on obedience at Yale. Also starring Winona Ryder.
Writer/Director: Andrew Renzi
Franny (Richard Gere) is in the clutches of a morphine addiction when he finds something worth living for in his renewed friendship with his best friends’ now adult daughter, Olivia (Dakota Fanning), and her husband, Luke (DIVERGENT’s Theo James).
Writer/Director: Gerard Barrett
A South Dublin cabbie barely making ends meet, John (Jack Reynor, acting award winner at Sundance) has little to look forward to when he returns to the decrepit home he shares with his alcoholic mother, Jean (Toni Collette).
HARRY & SNOWMAN
Director: Ron Davis
When Dutch immigrant Harry deLeyer saved a horse from the glue factory, he had no way of knowing he had found a show-jumping champion in the making. Director Ron Davis reveals the special bond between a man and his beloved horse in this unforgettable underdog story.
HOT TYPE: 150 YEARS OF THE NATION
Director: Barbara Kopple
A fascinating inside look at the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States, THE NATION. Directed by Barbara Kopple, two-time Academy Award® winner and recipient of the Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling Award at NFF 2013.
HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD
Director: Jerry Rothwell
Winner of a special jury award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Jerry Rothwell’s lively film reveals the history of Greenpeace, the world’s largest activist organization.
HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO
Director: Alexandra Shiva
Alexandra Shiva’s charming film focuses on three young women on the autism spectrum confronting a rite of passage that can prove daunting under even the best of circumstances: the spring formal.
IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE
Directors: Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg
Looking to set down roots and start a family, Grammy-winning hip hop musician Rhymefest buys the childhood home of his estranged father, opening up the door to a tentative reconciliation. From NFF alumni filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg (THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK).
Writers: Paul Laverty, Donal O’Kelly
Director: Ken Loach
Upon returning to Ireland from America in 1932, Jimmy decides to reopen a local community hall where his fellow villagers can meet, organize, learn, and dance—but that same hall led to his exile from home a decade prior and cost him his love. From acclaimed director Ken Loach.
THE KEEPING ROOM
Writer: Julia Hart
Director: Daniel Barber
At the tail end of the Civil War in rural South Carolina, Augusta (Brit Marling), her sister Louise (Hailee Steinfeld), and their slave Mad (Muna Otaru) tend to their barren farm when one day Augusta is followed home by two murderous Yankee deserters (Sam Worthington and Kyle Soller).
Writer/Director: Trey Edward Shults
The eponymous Krisha Fairchild (the director’s aunt) arrives at the suburban Texas home of her estranged sister (Robyn Fairchild, the director’s mother) for a Thanksgiving meal that no family member will soon forget. Winner of the narrative feature Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at SXSW.
LISTEN TO ME MARLON
Director: Stevan Riley
Like few actors of his generation, Marlon Brando continues to exert a fascination even a decade after his death. Previously unreleased recordings allow the performer to guide the audience through his memoirs in this unconventional biography.
Director: Jessica Edwards
A warm, revealing portrait and a well-deserved tribute to the Grammy Award-winning Mavis Staples (The Staple Singers), an ebullient performer still touring at the age of 75.
MEN GO TO BATTLE
Writer/Director: Zachary Treitz
Writer: Kate Lyn Sheil
Winner of the Best New Narrative Director award at the Tribeca Film Festival, MEN GO TO BATTLE is an intimate tale of fraternal dysfunction set against the grand scale of the Civil War.
Directors: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin
Winner of the U.S. Documentary Audience Award at this year’s Sundance, MERU tracks multiple attempts to scale a dangerous peak—the “Shark’s Fin” of India’s Mount Meru—by three determined mountain climbers.
Writer/Director: Patrick Brice
Eager to make friends in their new city, Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) happily accept a dinner invitation from Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) that turns into an unexpected evening in this entertaining second feature from Patrick Brice (CREEP, NFF 2014).
PEGGY GUGGENHEIM – ART ADDICT
Director: Lisa Immordino Vreeland
Born into a noted family but intent on making her own mark, Peggy Guggenheim acquired a reputation as a bohemian by eschewing the proscriptive roles of her social status to explore her sexuality and to follow her passion: modern art.
PETER AND JOHN
Writer/Director: Jay Craven
Shot on Nantucket by New England filmmaker Jay Craven, PETER AND JOHN turns back the clock to the island in the wake of the Civil War, when the whaling industry collapsed and tourism had yet to take hold. Adapted from the 1887 novel of the same name by Guy de Maupassant and starring Golden Globe winner Jacqueline Bisset.
QUEEN OF EARTH
Writer/Director: Alex Ross Perry
Recently dumped and mourning the loss of her father, Catherine (MAD MEN’s Elisabeth Moss) arrives at the lake house of her best friend, Virginia (INHERENT VICE’s Katherine Waterston), and spirals further into a self-centered bout of depression in this Bergmanesque drama from writer/director Alex Ross Perry (LISTEN UP PHILIP).
THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER
Director: Chad Gracia
Ukrainian artist Fedor Alexandrovich has been haunted by the Chernobyl accident since childhood, convinced that there’s more to the disaster than meets the eye. Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
SHAUN THE SHEEP: THE MOVIE
Writers/Directors: Richard Starzak, Mark Burton
From Aardman Studios, the creators of WALLACE & GROMIT, SHAUN THE SHEEP follows the madcap adventures of the wooly hero as he leads his barnyard friends to the big city on a rescue mission.
SOME KIND OF SPARK
Director: Ben Niles
Illustrating the transformative power not only of music, but of mentorship, Ben Niles’ film is an uplifting look at Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program for inner-city youth.
Directors: Lyric Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe
Saeed "Shariff" Torres, a counterterrorism informant for more than two decades, takes on what he swears is his last job for the FBI and invites the filmmakers to follow his covert efforts to befriend a suspected jihadist.
TIME OUT OF MIND
Writer/Director: Oren Moverman
Filmmaker Oren Moverman (THE MESSENGER, NFF 2009) and star Richard Gere wring heartbreaking truths from the deeply affecting, experiential glimpse into one man’s day-to-day struggle to survive homeless on the streets of New York City.
WELCOME TO LEITH
Directors: Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker
When rural Leith, North Dakota (population: 24) draws the attention of Craig Cobb, a notorious white supremacist, the small town becomes the unlikely front line of a culture war.
Directors: Bill Ross, Turner Ross
The generations-long, cross-cultural harmony between the sister cities of Eagle Pass, TX, and Piedras Negras, Mexico, is upended as cartel violence threatens to besiege them both.
Director: Crystal Moselle
Prohibited from leaving their home their entire lives, the Angulo brothers have lived in a universe consisting of a Lower East Side New York City apartment—and the movies. Winner of the US Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.
A WOMAN LIKE ME
Directors: Alex Sichel, Elizabeth Giamatti
Faced with terminal breast cancer, filmmaker Alex Sichel finds solace in Buddhism, alternative medicine, and making a film about her fictional doppelganger confronting the same diagnosis, played by actress Lili Taylor.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925)
Co-presented With Nantucket Dreamland Film & Performing Arts Center
Accompanied by Berklee College of Music Silent Film Orchestra
For the second year in a row, NFF and the Dreamland are proud to present a spectacular pre-festival launch event. This year, thrills and chills abound with a screening of Rupert Julian’s 1925 classic, The Phantom of the Opera, with live musical accompaniment by the Berklee College of Music Silent Film Orchestra. Conducted by three-time Emmy® nominee Sheldon Mirowitz (Outside Providence, Missing America), this year’s performance features a rich new score that will enthrall the audience.
After its 1925 premiere, The Phantom of the Opera took the country by storm, solidifying a place in the industry for suspenseful storytelling. The film, starring genre legend Lon Chaney, tells the story of an up-and-coming young actress and the deformed and obsessive fan who will stop at nothing to make her a star.
WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS – Work-in-progress screening
Director: Beth Murphy
This year's screening in collaboration with Facing History & Ourselves chronicles a year at the Zabuli Education Center, the first all-girls school in a small, conservative Afghan village. From director Beth Murphy (THE LIST, NFF 2012).