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Best First Feature
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER Alexandre Moors
PRODUCERS Isen Robbins & Aimee Schoof / Ron Simons / Stephen Tedeschi / Brian O'Carroll / Kim Jackson / Will Rowbotham
Blue Caprice is a harrowing, yet restrained psychological thriller about an abandoned boy lured to America into the shadows of a dangerous father figure. Inspired by true events, Blue Caprice investigates the notorious and horrific Beltway sniper attacks from the point of view of the two perpetrators, whose distorted father-son relationship facilitated their long and bloody journey across America. Blue Caprice paints a riveting portrait of 21st-century America and a haunting depiction of two cold-blooded killers that will endure long after the lights come up.
WRITER/DIRECTOR Stacie Passon
PRODUCER Rose Troche
Concussion is a poignant sexual examination of Abby Abelman (Robin Weigert), a married and wealthy forty-something lesbian housewife who suffers a blow to the head, only to find herself re-examining every corner of her suburban New Jersey life in an effort to confront a mounting desire for something more. After purchasing a pied-à-terre in Manhattan, which she sets about renovating, Abby roams the city streets, remembering anew what it feels like to be sexy and desirable. Her pent-up libido begins to shake off its inhibitions, but her reawakened desire is not a take-home item, with her divorce-lawyer partner mired in a frenzied work life. Soon Abby sets in motion a double life as a high-end escort. Palpably sensual and deliciously contained, Concussion is a keen observation of the complicated contours in one woman’s epic mid-life crisis.
WRITER/DIRECTOR Ryan Coogler
PRODUCERS Nina Yang Bongiovi / Forest Whitaker
Fruitvale Station follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother (Octavia Spencer), whose birthday falls on New Year’s Eve; being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), who he hasn’t been completely honest with as of late; and being a better father to Tatiana (Ariana Neal), their beautiful four year-old daughter. Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, Oscar starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day. Oscar’s life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area – and the entire nation – to its very core.
WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER Lucy Mulloy
PRODUCERS Sandy Pérez Aguila / Maite Artieda / Daniel Mulloy / Yunior Santiago
Trapped in the nervous desperation of Havana, Raul dreams of escaping to Miami. When accused of assault, his only option is to flee. He begs his best friend, Elio, to abandon everything and help him reach the forbidden land 90 miles across the ocean. Elio’s commitment is tested when he is torn between helping Raul escape and protecting his twin sister, Lila. Brimming with the nervous energy of Havana’s restless youth in the crumbling sun-bleached capital, Una Noche follows one sweltering day, full of hope and fraught with tension that burns to a shocking climax.
WRITER/DIRECTOR Haifaa Al Mansour
PRODUCERS Gerhard Meixner / Roman Paul
Wadjda is a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Although she lives in a conservative world, Wadjda is fun loving, entrepreneurial and always pushing the boundaries of what she can get away with. After a fight with her friend Abdullah, a neighborhood boy she shouldn’t be playing with, Wadjda sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale. She wants the bicycle desperately so that she can beat Abdullah in a race. But Wadjda’s mother won’t allow it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl’s virtue. So Wadjda decides to try and raise the money herself.
At first, Wadjda’s mother is too preoccupied with convincing her husband not to take a second wife to realize what’s going on. And soon enough Wadjda’s plans are thwarted when she is caught running various schemes at school. Just as she is losing hope of raising enough money, she hears of a cash prize for Koran recitation competition at her school. She devotes herself to the memorization and recitation of Koranic verses, and her teachers begin to see Wadjda as a model pious girl. The competition isn‘t going to be easy, especially for a troublemaker like Wadjda, but she refuses to give in. She is determined to continue fighting for her dreams...
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