Join us at Tribeca Flashpoint College to view the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominated films for Best Feature and Best Documentary (a total of 11 films!) These screenings are FREE to all current IFP Chicago members PLUS one guest!
JOIN or RENEW TODAY to attend all eleven screenings and to take advantage of the other great benefits to being an IFP Chicago member.
All screenings will take place at Tribeca Flashpoint College, located at 28 N. Clark St, Ste 500, Chicago, IL 60602. Doors open 15 minutes prior to the start of each film.
"Hello, little bonehead. I'll love you forever." So begins Heart of a Dog, creative pioneer Laurie Anderson's wry, wondrous and unforgettable cinematic journey through love, death and language.
Centering on Anderson's beloved rat terrier Lolabelle, who died in 2011, Heart of a Dog is a personal essay that weaves together childhood memories, video diaries, philosophical musings on data collection, surveillance culture and the Buddhist conception of the afterlife, and heartfelt tributes to the artists, writers, musicians and thinkers who inspire her.
Fusing her own witty, inquisitive narration with original violin compositions, hand-drawn animation, 8mm home movies and artwork culled from exhibitions past and present, Anderson creates a hypnotic, collage-like visual language out of the raw materials of her life and art, examining how stories are constructed and told — and how we use them to make sense of our lives.
Michael Stone (David Thewlis), husband, father and respected author of "How May I Help You Help Them?" is a man crippled by the mundanity of his life. On a business trip to Cincinnati, where he's scheduled to speak at a convention of customer service professionals, Michael checks into the Fregoli Hotal and meets Lisa Hesselman (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a socially awkward sales rep from Akron who may or may not be the love of his life. Written by Charlie Kaufman and co-directed by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, Anomalisa is a darkly comedic and surreal stop-motion journey into the mind of a man whose dark night of the soul becomes a Kafkaesque-make that Kaufmanesque-nightmare.
The Look of Silence is Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to the Oscar-nominated The Act of Killing. Through Oppenheimer’s footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of the killers. The documentary focuses on the youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, who decides to break the spell of submission and terror by doing something unimaginable in a society where the murderers remain in power: he confronts the men who killed his brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions.
Fedor Alexandrovich is a young Ukrainian theater artist obsessed with a Soviet-era antenna six kilometers from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. He was four years old when the reactor exploded and he has radioactive isotopes in his bones to this day. As he studies this enormous secret weapon, he uncovers what he believes to be a massive cover-up and crime by committed by the Soviet Union. In the midst of his work, his countrymen rise up against their Moscow-backed president and he is swept up into the revolution. At the height of the violence, Fedor is confronted by men who want him to keep his theories to himself and he must decide whether to stand up to them or succumb to the very fears and lies he has dedicated his life to eradicating.
From director Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation, set in West Africa, tells the story of Agu (Abraham Attah), a young villager, whom we meet playing with his older brother, making mischief with his friends at a nearby refugee camp and enjoying dinner with his family. But the happy routines of childhood are shattered when army troops from the capital city arrive to squelch a rebellion against the country’s corrupt regime. His mother and sister escape to a nearby city, but Agu is left behind with his father and brother and shortly thereafter, he is suddenly on his own. Terrified and alone, Agu escapes to the forest where he’s discovered by a company of young rebels led by the charismatic Commandant (Idris Elba). There he undergoes a gauntlet of harsh treatment, initiation rituals and fiery speeches from the Commandant, but also finds a kindred spirit in Strika (Emmanuel “King Kong” Nii Adom), a mute fellow recruit. As the ragtag army sets off on a series of battles, Agu is eventually promoted from ammo carrier to rifle-toting soldier. Beasts of No Nation follows Agu's journey and the loss of innocence, as he attempts to find the remains of a childhood that seems so out of reach.
In the summer of 1968, television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley, Jr. was a leader of the new conservative movement. Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist. Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America. Their explosive exchanges devolved into vitriolic name-calling. It was unlike anything TV had ever broadcast, and all the more shocking because it was live and unscripted. Viewers were riveted. ABC News' ratings skyrocketed. And a new era in public discourse was born.
In the high-stakes pursuit of big-wall climbing, the Shark's Fin on Mount Meru may be the ultimate prize. Sitting 21,000 feet above the sacred Ganges River in Northern India, the mountain's perversely stacked obstacles make it both a nightmare and an irresistible calling for some of the world's toughest climbers. In October 2008, renowned alpinists Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk arrived in India to tackle Meru. Their planned seven-day trip quickly devolved into a 20-day odyssey in sub-zero temperatures with depleting food rations. Within 100 meters of the elusive summit, their journey - like all previous attempts - fell short of the goal.
Heartbroken and defeated, the trio returned to their everyday lives, where the siren song of Meru continued to beckon. By September 2011, Anker had convinced his team to reunite and undertake the Shark's Fin once more, under even more extraordinary circumstances. Meru is the story of that journey, an expedition through nature's harshest elements and one's complicated inner demons, and ultimately on to impossible new heights.
It's Christmas Eve in Tinseltown and Sin-Dee (newcomer Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) is back on the block. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend (James Ransone, Starlet, Generation Kill) hasn't been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, the sex worker and her best friend, Alexandra (newcomer Mya Taylor), embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumor. Their rip-roaring odyssey leads them through various subcultures of Los Angeles, including an Armenian family dealing with their own repercussions of infidelity. Director Sean Baker’s prior films (Starlet, Prince of Broadway) brought rich texture and intimate detail to worlds seldom seen on film. Tangerine follows suit, bursting off the screen with energy and style. A decidedly modern Christmas tale told on the streets of L.A.,Tangerine defies expectation at every turn.
Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James and Stanley Tucci, Spotlight tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious Spotlight team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. Directed by Academy Award-nominee Tom McCarthy, Spotlight is a tense investigative dramatic-thriller, tracing the steps to one of the biggest cover-ups in modern times.
(T)ERROR is the story of Saeed "Shariff" Torres, a 63-year-old former Black Panther-turned-counterterrorism informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The film is the first documentary to place filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation. (T)ERROR interweaves Shariff’s fascinating journey with a penetrating look at the government’s broader counterterrorism campaign, bringing viewers face-to-face with issues of domestic surveillance, racial profiling, entrapment, freedom of speech, and freedom of religious expression. Taut, stark and controversial, (T)ERROR illuminates the fragile relationships between individuals and the surveillance state in modern America and asks, “who is watching the watchers?”
An adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt, Carol follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) begins to question her competence as a mother as her involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) come to light. Carolis directed by Todd Haynes and written by Phyllis Nagy with moving performances from Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy and Cory Michael Smith.
Special Thanks to Tribeca Flashpoint College for hosting these events!