Film Independent Fri 5.29.2015

Don’t-miss Indies: What to Watch in June

Heaven Knows What

Heaven Knows What
When:  Now
Where:  Theaters
Directors:  Ben & Joshua Safdie
Starring:  Arielle Holmes, Caleb Landry Jones
Why We’re Excited: Brothers Ben and Joshua Safdie have been making a splash in the indie film world, building a name for themselves with their innovative, low-budget films and documentaries. The Los Angeles Film Festival alums have had their shorts and features win awards at Sundance, Venice International and SXSW fests, and in 2011 the duo took home the John Cassavetes Award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards for Go Get Some Rosemary. Their latest film is even further proof these guys have a knack for audacious storytelling, with this intense and graphic portrait of a young woman’s addiction to heroin. Watch out Coen Brothers, looks like you’ve got some sibling rivalry!
what to watch - spiritaward


Before You Know It
When: Now
Where: Netflix (available on DVD June 29)
Director: PJ Raval
Why We’re Excited: Documentary filmmaker and Film Independent Fellow PJ Raval caught the attention of many when his film Trinidad premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2008. His latest award-winning doc, which  premiered at SXSW, introduces audiences to three senior citizens who open up about their life experiences and struggles growing older as gay men. Given so much progress has been made in LGBT culture since they came out, it’s a fascinating perspective and moving portrait.
what to watch - findmemberwhat to watch - lgbtwhat to watch - filmmakerofcolor


Shield and Spear
When: Now
Where: ITunes, Amazon, GooglePlay
Director: Petter Ringbom
Why We’re Excited: The latest documentary from Film Independent Fellow Petter Ringbom premiered at Hot Docs International Film Festival, exposing audiences to a revolution that is taking place in South Africa. The fight for artistic expression has been going on for decades in the country, as artists, musicians and designers face lawsuits and even death threats because of their work. This bold portrait of the past and present political culture introduces us to a diverse blend of passionate activists fighting for change and taking risks within their art. It also delves into the LGBT culture, as one of the subjects is a photographer raising his voice through his passion and challenging the system against his community.
what to watch - findmember what to watch - lgbt


The Yes Men Are Revolting
When: June 12
Where: Theaters
Directors: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonnano, Laura Nix
Starring: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonnano
Why We’re Excited: The Yes Men are back! The comedic duo is at it again with their social activist pranks and genius media tactics. In their latest, the hilarious Andy and Mike decide to take on topics such as environmental dangers and corporate greed. As usual, they’re up to no good to do good, raising awareness through sarcasm and of course by pulling the rug out from under their targets. Film Independent Fellow Laura Nix co-directed and produced the film, and it’s also the first time in the director chair for Yes Man himself, Mike Bonnano.
what to watch - findmember what to watch - firsttime what to watch - female


The Tribe
When: June 17
Where: Theaters
Director: Miroslav Slaboshpitsky
Starring:  Grigoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova, Rosa Babiy
Why We’re Excited: Miroslav Slaboshpitsky’s feature film debut is already being buzzed about as one of the year’s best films. This provocative and controversial drama follows a deaf teenager as he struggles to fit into boarding school, thus getting involved in a very wild secret society. The film is certainly daring for a first time filmmaker; working with a cast of young, deaf actors and shooting some really graphic material. Racy as it may be, the film had a huge festival run, winning countless awards including three of the top honors at Cannes, where it premiered.
what to watch - firsttime


Infinitely Polar Bear
When: June 19
Where: Theaters
Director: Maya Forbes
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana
Why We’re Excited: We love having a new female filmmaker to be excited about, and this month audiences get to experience this heartwarming and bittersweet debut from Maya Forbes. Mark Ruffalo is getting some early Oscar-buzz for his performance as a man struggling with bipolar disorder, as he tries to care for his two daughters while his wife attends grad school. Based on her own childhood, Forbes infuses comedy with the realities of having a loved one with a mental illness. Word on the street is you’ll fall in love with the little girls that star in the film. It also doesn’t hurt to have Zoe Saldana on-screen. You can catch the film in theaters, or when it screens at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 14.
what to watch - LAFF what to watch - firsttime what to watch - female


When: June 19
Where: Theaters
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Starring: Forest Whitaker, Zoe Kravitz, Shameik Moore
Why We’re Excited: For writer/director Michael James Johnson, the buzz is just getting started with his latest film. We love a good outcast story, with a central character worth rooting for, and Johnson’s dramedy features a breakthrough performance from Shameik Moore, as the hip-hop loving underdog who is trying to survive in a harsh Los Angeles neighborhood. Narrated/co-produced by Spirit Award Winner Forest Whitaker, the film premiered at Sundance, and was in competition for the Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival. Don’t worry if you’re not one of the lucky attendees to catch the special screening June 8 at the Los Angeles Film Festival–it opens later in the month and will likely expand to a wide release.
what to watch - LAFF what to watch - lgbt what to watch - filmmakerofcolor what to watch - spiritaward


The Overnight
When: June 19
Where: Theaters
Director: Patrick Brice
Starring: Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman, Taylor Schilling
Why We’re Excited: It may only be his second feature, but it’s already pretty clear that Patrick Brice has affection toward all things weird. We think that’s a good thing, as indie films tend to introduce unconventional characters, telling unfamiliar stories. In this dark comedy, debauchery ensues when two married couples have a “play date” and all sorts of wild shenanigans ensue once the kids are in bed. Adam Scott and Jason Schwartzman get their bromance on in this official selection of the Los Angeles Film Festival that was shot in less than two weeks, for less than a million dollars.
what to watch - LAFF what to watch - microbudget


When: June 23
Where: DVD
Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Starring: Ibrahim Ahmed
Why We’re Excited: Can you imagine living in a country where music, laughter, cigarettes and sports are banned? In the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu, a cattle herder fights for his family’s well-being and strives to prevent them from succumbing to the suffering around them. If you didn’t get a chance to catch one of 2014’s most acclaimed films, you can when it hits DVD this month. Award-winning director Abderrahmane Sissako’s powerful, life-affirming drama was an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film, won two awards at the Cannes Film Festival and swept the César Awards in France, winning a handful of honors–including Best Picture.
what to watch - filmmakerofcolor


When: June 26
Where: Theaters
Director: Kimberly Levin
Starring: Joanne Kelly
Why We’re Excited: Here’s another great film featured in this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival, where it is in competition for Best Dramatic Feature. It’s the story of how far one woman will go to save her family when they are threatened with being forced off the land they live. A strong female character is brought to life by a strong female filmmaker, as Kimberly Levin makes her directorial debut. The film makes its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival with screenings on June 12 and 15–or you can catch it when it hits theaters later in the month.
what to watch - LAFF what to watch - firsttime what to watch - female


Chris Lombardi / Film Independent Blogger


Film Independent Fellow or Member findmember
Los Angeles Film Festival Alum  LAFF
Spirit Award Winner  spiritaward
First-time Filmmaker firsttime
Microbudget microbudget
Female Filmmaker female
Filmmaker of Color filmmakerofcolor
LGBT Filmmaker LGBT