Wednesday, October 17th

TICKET TO PARADISE (Boleto al Paraíso)

Ticket to Paradise (Boleto al Paraíso)

As part of our exchange program with the Havana Film Festival, we are presenting two features. In Ticket to Paradise, Cuban director Gerardo Chijona shows us a slice of Cuba that we rarely see. Part Los Olvidados, part Amores Perros, this powerful and disturbing picture tells the story of Eunice, a small town girl on the run from her sexually abusive father who finds herself down and out in Havana in the company of a bunch of wayward homeless kids ‚ slumdogs, but not millionaires. Their lives are so bleak that an AIDS hospice seems preferable to life on the streets. 88 min.  Not Rated. Subtitled.

TOGETHER FOREVER (Juntos Para Siempre)

Together Forever (Juntos Para Siempre)

This assured, sharp, and charming first feature, a comedy from writer-director Pablo Solarz, focuses on a self- absorbed screenwriter for whom the people in his life — his girlfriends, his mother — are less real than the characters in his scripts. A little broader and less cerebral, Solarz is an Argentinian Charlie Kaufman, and here he includes a Kaufmanesque film-within-a-film that is so gripping it competes with the framing film, another illustration of his conceit — fiction is stranger than life. Stars Peto Menahem who appeared in the brilliant Argentine serial-killer series, Epitafios, that aired on HBO several years ago. 101 min. Not Rated. Subtitled.



It’s always an occasion when Dustin Hoffman, one of our greatest actors, directs a movie. It doesn’t happen very often — this is only his second directorial outing, after Straight Time in 1978 for which he was uncredited. Quartet is based on a play by Ronald Harwood, perhaps best known for The Dresser, but also the writer of a string of distinguished films such as The Pianist, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, and Love in the Time of Cholera. Quartet focuses on Reggie and his friends, who are in a home for retired opera singers. Every year on October 10, they take part in a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday. Jean, who used to be married to Reggie, arrives at the home and stirs the pot of old grudges and rivalries. She still acts like a diva, but she refuses to sing. But the show must go on…and it does. We would hate to characterize Quartet as Marigold Hotel goes to the opera, but both films are anchored by the incomparable Maggie Smith, who is joined here by Michael Gambon and Tom Courtenay. Played the Toronto Film Festival. 98 min. PG-13.

Thursday, October 18th


The Flat

When filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger emptied out his grandmother’s Tel Aviv apartment after her death, he discovered a trove of memorabilia from her life in Nazi Germany, including a coin with a swastika on one side and a Star of David on the other, that in turn led him on a tangled quest that revealed shocking truths about his own family and their friends. Played the Tribeca Film Festival. 97 min. Not Rated. Subtitled.


Romeo Eleven

This first film, set in Montreal’s Lebanese community, revolves around a young man with a physical defect, who creates a charming cyber-identity (Romeo11) to compensate for his awkwardness and insecurity. His coming-of-age issues are not helped by the family drama that engulfs him: a father who keeps him on a short leash and two sisters, each with her own issues. When his avatar persuades a girl to meet him in a hotel room, his virtual and real selves collide. Played the Toronto film festival with unexpected and very moving results. 100 min. Not Rated. Subtitled.


In Another Country

This seems to be the year of Isabelle Huppert. Drop her into a semi-deserted South Korean seaside resort, and you get this graceful comedy, directed by critics’ darling Sang-soo Hong. Who is she and what is she doing there? The answers emerge from a Rashomon-like triad of parallel stories. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Played the Toronto film festival as well. 89 min. Not Rated. Subtitled.

MEA MAXIMA CULPA: Silence in the House of God

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God

Alex Gibney is no stranger to FilmColumbia. We showed his Oscar-winning documentary on U.S. torture in Iraq and Afghanistan, Taxi to the Dark Side in 2007, and Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer in 2010. Now he’s back with this hard-hitting investigation into the Roman Catholic Church’s strange tolerance for pederasty in its ranks, focusing on the case of Rev. Lawrence Murphy, who allegedly sexually abused as many as 200 deaf boys at a school in Wisconsin from 1950 to 1974. The film points a finger at the current Pope, Benedict XVI, for knowingly covering up the crimes of his priests. John Slattery, Ethan Hawke, and others voice the deaf survivors. Silence in the House of God premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Alex Gibney will be on hand for a panel discussion. 106 min. Not Rated.

Friday, October 19th


Any Day Now

Set in 1970s Los Angeles and based on a true story, the film recounts the travails of a gay couple (a drag queen and his closeted partner, a district attorney) who adopt a teenage boy with Down syndrome after he was abandoned by his parents, providing him with the first family environment he has ever known. But the new, same-sex family predictably provokes the authorities, who try to remove the boy from the clutches of his gay parents, igniting a fierce battle between them and the legal system. Stars Alan Cumming of The Good Wife and many fine pictures. Won the Audience Award, Tribeca Film Festival. 97 min. Not Rated.


My Worst Nightmare

Anne Fontaine is one of France’s most celebrated writer-directors of domestic comedies. After a well-received change of gears–her documentary Coco Before Chanel — Fontaine returns to what she does best. In My Worst Nightmare, Isabelle Huppert plays an haute bourgeois career woman and mother. The father of her son’s best friend is a layabout slacker who cares more for wine and women than he does for upward mobility. When she hires him to redo her apartment, he redoes her life. Played last year’s Toronto Film Festival. 103 min. Not Rated.


17 Girls

This very promising first film, also based on a true story, is a coming-of-age tale with vengeance. When one girl gets pregnant in a small French town (in reality, Gloucester, Massachusetts), she’s initially distraught, but beguiled by the fantasy that she will be unconditionally loved forever by her child — she changes her mind. (Why not get a dog?) Sixteen other girls join her in an act of bizarre solidarity and rebellion against the little that their lives seem to offer them. 17 Girls is haunted by the sobering knowledge that the reality the girls face is not the one they imagine in their dreamy absorption with their changing bodies. Played the Toronto Film Festival. 86 min. Not Rated. Subtitled.



Australian director Cate Shortland‘s Somersault not only launched her own career, but that of Abbie Cornish, and it looks like Lore will do the same for Saskia Rosendahl, who plays the teenage daughter of dedicated Nazis: an SS officer and his wife. The picture departs from other Holocaust dramas by telling its story from the teenager’s point of view. It’s the end of World War II and the allied forces are sweeping through Germany. When her father is arrested, and her mother gives herself up to the American army after hearing the news of Hitler’s suicide, Rosendahl, a (very) good German raised in the Hitlerjugend, embarks with her four younger siblings in tow on a dangerous journey through the forest to their grandmother’s house in Hamburg. (Lore resembles a cross between Little Red Riding Hood and The White Ribbon.) They are first stalked, and then helped, surprisingly, by a young man who carries a yellow star in his papers, forcing Rosendahl to come to terms with her fierce anti-Semitism and the crimes her parents committed in the service of the Third Reich. 108 min. Not Rated. Subtitled.


Hyde Park on the Hudson

Nick the Lounge Singer as Franklin D. Roosevelt? Yes, however improbable, and it works. Directed by Roger Michel (Notting Hill), Bill Murray gives his most inspired performance yet. He even looks like FDR, with his chin thrust out and a cigarette holder jauntily clenched between his teeth. Written by Richard Nelson (Ethan Frome), this film transpires on a weekend in which Roosevelt cements a relationship with the young king of England (yes, George VI again) and his queen, while deftly managing an affair with a neighbor and distant cousin, Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, winningly played by Laura Linney. James Schamus, whose Focus Features is distributing the picture, along with writer Richard Nelson will appear to field questions. Played the New York Film Festival. 95 min. Rated R.



WHEN A TREE.. [Vaghh Derakht…]
Dir: Sara Khalili — Iranian animation of people running from the chaos of their world. 6 min. Subtitled.


Vividenne Again

Dir: Kim Garland — A funeral home employee saves a dead woman from the killer closing in to complete the job. 11 min.

UNDRESS ME [Devisteme]

Undress me [Devisteme]

Dir: Javier Sanz — Two people whose partners are unfaithful, find comfort in each other. 12 min. Subtitled.

Dir: Dan Masucci — A family comes to terms with their son’s Type 1 diabetes. 18 min.

Dir: Kevin & Sergio Rico — A young man struggles to understand the breakup with his first love.

Dir: Chad Matthew Hursa — A young man is forced to come to terms with the death of his sister in a drunk driving accident. 15 min.



Set in the suburbs of New Jersey, three teenage girls doll themselves up to the max for a night out on the town. As the evening unfolds, things go terribly wrong. Steven Strauss, the young director who showed A.C.U. at FilmColumbia last year, here reveals a genuine skill with actors as he orchestrates their adventures in a naturalistic style, making for a troubling and compelling story. 52 min. Not Rated.

A world premiere from Iranian director Tina Pakravan, of a city of people living their lives when catastrophe strikes. 8 min.

AS WE PASS BY [Va Migozarium]
Dir: Parisa Gorgin — Woman is abducted while others go on their daily errands. 2-1/2 min. Subtitled.

SENZA TRUCCO [Natural Women – Italian Ladies of Organic Wine]

Senza Trucco

For all those who love wine, this documentary transports us to the Italian countryside to watch four different women toiling in their vineyards from early spring to the grape harvest in the fall. Working in harmony with nature throughout the year, picking the grapes at their peak, and culminating with the tasting in ancient wine cellars, the film conveys the dedication and art that goes into making fine wine. 78 min. Not Rated. Subtitled.



Cinematic Sips

One of our coolest events at FilmColumbia, featuring film scenes from Hollywood and the cocktails that help make those film scenes unforgettable. Sip on delicious drinks while watching great film clips and learn how to mix a perfect batch of cocktails. Limited Seating. Peint O’Gwrw Pub, Main Street.


Pub Party

Join the FF crew, filmmakers and film lovers at the area’s hippest watering hole. Cash bar and small bites. Peint O’Grwr Pub, Main Street.

Saturday, October 20th

moderated by Peter Biskind


Panel Discussion moderated by Peter Biskind

Join FC’s Executive Director Peter Biskind and his prestigious panel of experts to discuss one of the hot topics within the film industry. Panel topic and attending experts to be announced


FilmColumbia’s treat for our kids, giving a rare opportunity to watch an international array of short films, lovingly selected by Patti Greaney of GIRALDI Media, NYC. Free to the public. 60 min.


The Central Park Five

In 1989, five African American and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. When a serial rapist confessed to the crime, the convictions were overturned, but not until the kids had spent from 6 to 13 years in prison. Ken Burns‘s documentary recounts the searing story of the crime itself and the subsequent rush to judgment by the police, the media, and a public clamoring for blood, as well as the personal stories of the five boys whose lives were ruined. Played the Cannes and Telluride film festivals. 119 min. Not Rated.


Rust & Bone

One of France’s foremost writer-directors, Jacques Audiard who directed the stunning prison drama A Prophet in 2009, now turns to this story of mutilation and redemption. France’s bright new star, Marion Cotillard, fresh from playing the villain in The Dark Knight Rises, is here a killer whale trainer who has lost her legs to one of her students. Enter Matthias Schoenaerts, an about-to-break-out Flemish actor playing a none-too-bright macho ex-boxer and sometime bouncer who lays waste to everyone around him with his violent outbursts. Nevertheless, he manages to enter into a relationship with Cotillard that is strangely redemptive for both of them. Produced by the Dardennes brothers (last year’s Kid With a Bike), the film reflects their signature naturalism and is a bit reminiscent of Darren Aronofsky‘s 2008 film, The Wrestler. Played the Cannes, Toronto, and New York film festivals. 120 min. Rated R. Subtitled.


The Sapphires

Based on a true story, The Sapphires is a real crowd pleaser. It tells the tale of four Aboriginal sisters billed as Australia’s very own Supremes, who toured Vietnam, performing for the U.S. troops. It’s 1968 and the story unfolds against the backdrop of that tumultuous year, in which the Aborigines finally got the right to vote, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated, and North Vietnam launched the Tet Offensive. Despite these tragedies, this funny, charming, and deeply moving film dramatizes the triumph of (soul) music over war and love over violence. Played the Cannes, Telluride, and Toronto film festivals. 103 min. Not Rated.


Saturday Night Sneak

One of thisfall’s most anticipated films, this one is a masterpiece by a world class director. Distinguished by two SNEAK brilliant performances, it leaves audiences stunned. Rated R.



Post Sneak Party

Join FC crew, filmmakers and film lovers right after the Saturday Night Sneak for drinks & appetizers. Blue Plate Restaurant.



Animation Program

Presenting an international array of cutting edge animation and a FilmColumbia audience favorite. Hosted by animator Gary Leib (American Splendor). Not for kids! Animators will be on hand to discuss their work after the screening. 75 min.


Script Reading

The first annual FilmColumbia Screen- writing Lab, held late September, brought in a talented group of soon-to-be known screenwriters. Join the fun as one finalist is given the opportunity to have their short read in front of an audience. Presented by actor Scott Cohen and writer Anastasia Traina. 75 min.


AKA Doc Pomus

A dramatic documentary look into one of pop music’s great untold stories. Doc Pomus, who was stricken with polio as a child and was confined to a wheelchair his entire life, overweight and unattractive, nevertheless triumphed over his disability to become the unsung maestro who wrote some of the most influential songs in the history of popular music, including “This Magic Moment,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “A Teenager in Love,” and “Viva Las Vegas.” The picture brings Doc Pomus to life and presents his world–the famous Brill Building in New York City — in vivid detail, capturing his interactions with the musicians who adored him, such as Lou Reed. 99 min. Not Rated.


Love Orchard

This locally made feature scripted by Chris Loken, the owner of Love Apple Farm in Ghent, is a heart- wrenching tale about the struggles of undocumented workers to find refuge in the United States. Veteran actor Jose Maria Yazpik plays a field worker who undergoes incalculable hardships trying to bring his pregnant wife from Mexico to reunite her with their two daughters who work at an unnamed farm that bears a striking resemblance to Love Apple Farm. The heavies here are the immigration cops, and the heroes are the workers, with an assist from a courageous lawyer, played by Kristanna Loken. Despite the loaded dice, Love Orchard is an entertaining and well made picture, with the added attraction of Bruce Dern. 104 min. Not Rated.

Sunday, October 21th


Screenwriting Panel

A FilmColumbia audience favorite event with actor Scott Cohen (Kissing Jessica Stein, The Other Woman) moderating. Screenwriters will be given a rare opportunity to have their work read by Cohen‘s fellow actors, followed by discussion of their work. Bring 6 copies of your 5-10 minute scene, (no more than 5 pages). Actors will read as much as time permits. Bagels and coffee served.



Silver Linings Playbook

Two years ago David O. Russell scored with The Fighter. He is one of our most important independent filmmakers, also known for Three Kings, Flirting With Disaster, and his first and breakthrough feature, Spanking the Monkey. Now he is back with Silver Linings Playbook, wherein Bradley Cooper plays a man who moves back in with his parents after spending eight months in a mental institution with a bipolar disorder. He wants to reconnect with his wife who has left him, but things get complicated when he meets the mysterious Tiffany, who also has issues, offers to help him, but wants something in return. Cooper is joined by Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro. This film comes fresh from the Toronto Film Festival where it received a standing ovation, and is most definitely Oscar bait. 122 min. Rated R.



Melissa Leo, after years toiling in the vineyards of Hollywood, working in countless movies and TV series, is emerging as one of America’s best, and certainly bravest actors. (See her stunning turn with Louis CK on his show Louie.) We are introduced to her eponymous character emerging from a shower naked in front of a prison guard before being released, but we never get to know her, because she is damaged, remote, and ultimately unknowable. Outside of random, desperate sex, she is unable to connect to anyone, and she finds whatever solace she can in animals. This spare, understated character study is a first feature, shot in the Hudson Valley by a husband-and-wife team. Played the Berlin Film Festival. Melissa Leo will be on hand to answer questions. 74 min. Not Rated.


The Sessions

The Sessions, aka, The Surrogate, was the sensation of Sundance this year. (It won the Audience Award and Special Jury Prize.) If you think you’ve heard everything, catch this plot: A 36-year-old man in an iron lung wishes to lose his virginity and connects with a professional sex surrogate and soccer mom, facilitated by his priest. What sounds lurid, turns out to be a moving and heartfelt emotional journey between the two of them. The exceptional John Hawkes, so good in Deadwood and Winter’s Bone, is the man in the iron lung; Helen Hunt is the surrogate; and William H. Macy, most recently of Shameless fame, is the priest. 98 min. Rated R.


Not Fade Away

Not Fade Away is David Chase‘s eagerly awaited first feature. Chase is, of course, the man behind the justly celebrated Sopranos, arguably the best television series —
ever. Chase grew up in New Jersey, which, circa 1964, is the setting for this loosely autobiographical narrative about a local band trying to make it big, as well as a personal story about kids on the brink of adulthood navigating a path through the generational land mines that characterized the early 1960s and beyond. Sopranos fans will welcome the return of James Gandolfini as a blustering, intolerant father angered by the shrinking horizons of his own life, frustrated by the changes around him that he neither understands nor appreciates, and envious of a future rich in possibility open to his son and his young friends. The picture is packed with great music produced by the Underground Garage’s Little Steven van Zandt, aka, Silvio Dante. Played the New York Film Festival. David Chase will be present to answer questions. 112 min. Rated R.



Havana, Havana

This music documentary pulsates with the soul and energy of African- Cuban drummers and guitarists along with the singing of celebrated Cuban musician Raul Paz. It is also a story of how many of the musicians, having left Cuba, are now returning to their homeland, injecting a new spirit into Cuban music and mirroring Cuba’s growing relationship with the world. 52 min. Not Rated.



This documentary focuses on the Finger Lakes region in Tompkins County, New York, which is one of the cloudiest, least windy places in the country, yet its residents, instead of complaining about useless and corrupt politicians, took things into their own hands and pioneered the use of alternative and renewable energy resources. From solar and wind to veggie oil and geothermal, this is the story of one community’s role in the energy revolution. 76 min. Not Rated.


In Our Nature

A boyfriend and girlfriend seeking a romantic weekend at a country home instead have an unexpected visit from the boyfriend’s estranged father, starring John Slattery, visiting with his own girlfriend. The week- end turns into an exploration of a modern broken family on the verge of major life decisions. Directed by Brian Savelson. 103 min. Not Rated.