Stony Brook Film Festival

  Please Note:  Shorts Play First at Screenings Times


AT 8:00 PM




The Man From Oran (L'Oranais)


U.S. Premiere - Algeria, France - 128 minutes


Written and Directed by Lyès Salem.


With Lyès Salem, Khaled Benaïssa, Djemel Barek.


In French and Arabic with subtitles



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The multitalented Lyès Salem wrote, directed  and stars in this epic tale that explores the themes of friendship, idealism, politics and betrayal.  Set largely during the years immediately after Algeria gained independence from France, Djaffar (Salem) and Hamid (Benaïssa) seem as primed for a bright and promising future as their newly free country, only to find that the misfortunes and compromises that accompany revolution have already set their lives on a path fraught with difficulties.  Writer-director-actor Salem masterfully presents us with an epic tale of a larger than life character. The man from Oran is caught between the tragic events of his past and the moral ambiguity of his future in a war-weary country that has enshrined him as a national hero.


Produced by Isabelle Madelaine.  Edited by Florence Ricard.  Director of Photography: Pierre Cottereau.   A  Dharamsala production.  Opening night premiere from Films Distribution.




AT 7:00 PM


Painkillers (Pijnstillers)

U.S. Premiere - Netherlands - 98 minutes

Directed by Tessa Schram.  Written by Maria Peters & Tessa Schram from the novel by Carry Slee.

With Gijs Blom (Sonny Boy), Birgit Schuurman, Raymond Thiry and Susan Radder.

In Dutch with subtitles

Fourteen year old Caspar is an ambitious musician who lives alone with his mother, yearns for a different relationship with Sophie, and spends his hours with long-time friend Pim.  Life suddenly changes one day when he accidentally discovers that his mother is terminally ill.  Facing an unknown future Caspar becomes determined to save his mother and to find out more about the father he never knew.  A poignant story about family, friendship, and the awakening of love.


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Produced by Dave Schram, Maria Peters, Koji Nelissen.  Edited by Robin de Jong.  Director of Photography: Thijmen Doornik.  From Shooting Star Filmcompany BV.




U.S. Premiere - Netherlands - 15 minutes

A film by Maria Peters

In Dutch with subtitles


Anna discovers a magic bottle that allows her to freeze people for a little while, but she’s not the only one who finds this prize useful.



AT 9:30 PM


This Isn't Funny


East Coast Premiere - USA - 86 minutes


Directed by Paul Ashton.  Written by Paul Ashton and Katie Page.


With Paul Ashton, Katie Page, Edi Gathegi  (X-Men: First Class), Mimi Rogers (Austin Powers, The Rapture) and Anthony LaPaglia (The Client, Without A Trace).


Eliot (Katie Page) is a stand up comedienne with an anxiety disorder;  Jamie (Paul Ashton) manages a Juice Bar while he tries to figure out what he wants to do with himself.  When Jamie crashes his bicycle into Eliot’s car, they discover that meeting the right person at the wrong time can eventually become the best thing that ever happened to youA surprisingly touching and reflective comedy that, like a good stand up, works for its laughs and skirts sentimentality.











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Produced by Paul Ashton, Maria Menounos, Katie Page, Lije Sarki and Keven Undergaro.  Edited by Spencer Averick.  Director of Photography: Peter Borosh.  Easy Open Productions.  Distributed by Candy Factory Films.


Houkak  (Just Because)


U.S. Premiere - Morocco- 16 minutes

A film by Younes Yousfi

In Arabic and French with subtitles


Two young men in their 30’s decide to try a social experiment on the streets of Morocco, with unexpected results.



AT 7:00 PM


Henri Henri


New York Premiere - Canada  - 100 minutes


Written and directed by Martin Talbot.


With Victor Andrés Trelles Turgeon, Sophie Desmarais (Sarah Prefers to Run).


In French with subtitles


Raised in an orphanage, Henri has spent his life maintaining the lights of the convent he calls home.  But now that the convent is closing, he is forced to learn how to survive in the real world.  Armed with only innocence and sincerity, Henri sets out to bring light to all those he encounters.











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Produced by Caroline Héroux, Christian Larouche.  Edited by Arthur Tarnowski.  Director of Photography: Mathieu Laverdière.  From Séville International.


A Single Life

Netherlands - 3 minutes

A film by Marieke Blaauw, Joris Oprins, Job Roggeveen.


When Pia plays a mysterious vinyl record single, she suddenly knows how to travel through her own life.



Germany  - 5 minutes

A film by Roman Kälin, Falko Paeper, Florian Wittmann


Time-lapse photography and computer-generated animation are combined in this film where the deterioration of one life becomes the foundation for another in a seemingly never ending cycle.



AT 9:30 PM


Jackie & Ryan


East Coast Premiere - USA  - 90 minutes


Written and directed by Ami Canaan Mann.


With Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up), Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian), Clea DuVall (Argo), Emily Alyn Lind (Won't Back Down), Sheryl Lee (Twin Peaks).


Jackie is a former singer who is at a crossroads in her life when she first encounters travelling musician Ryan busking on the street.  After a sudden accident brings them together, they discover they may share more than a passion for music.  This beautifully acted film features strong performances from both Barnes and Heigl and a wonderfully uncontrived soundtrack of  down-home folk standards and originals.



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Produced by Molly Hassell, John Jencks, Ami Canaan Mann.  Edited by Lauren Connelly, Mako Kamitsuna.  Director of Photography: Duane Manwiller.  From Mainstreet Films.


Grounded (Au Sol)


East Coast Premiere - France  - 18 minutes

A film by Alexis Michalik

In French with subtitles


An airline hostess becomes invested in a woman’s attempt to fly to London for her mother’s funeral in the face of endless regulations and delays. 



AT 6:00 PM


Nefertiti's Daughters


East Coast Premiere - USA/Egypt  - 39 minutes


Directed by Mark Nickolas, Racha Najdi.  Written by Mark Nickolas.


In English and Arabic with subtitles


This timely documentary witnesses the critical role revolutionary street art played during the Egyptian uprisings.  Focused on the role of women artists in the struggle for social and political change, it spotlights how the iconic graffiti of Queen Nefertiti placed her on the front lines in the ongoing fight for women's rights and freedom in Egypt today. 




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Produced by Jean Ferreri, Ramy Francis, Mark Nickolas.  Edited by Mark Nickolas.  Director of Photography: Oscar Frasser, Mark Nickolas.  From Mosaic Films NYC.



AT 7:00 PM

To Life!


Germany - 90 minutes


Directed by Uwe Janson.  Written by Stephen Glantz, Volker Kellner, Thorsten Wettcke.


With Max Riemelt, Hannelore Elsner, Sharon Brauner.

In German with subtitles


Jonas arrives in Berlin just in time to save Ruth, a sarcastic, warm-hearted aging cabaret singer who has just been evicted from her apartment.  But Ruth soon learns that Jonas, driven by a secret, may need his own saving.  As each learns the other’s story, they form an intense bond that transcends age and experience, giving each other a reason to live.  An inspiring story that effortlessly shifts between World War II, the post-war generation and the present, featuring several popular Yiddish songs re-recorded and newly interpreted for this film.



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Produced by Alice Brauner.  Edited by Boris Gromatzki.  Director of Photography: Peter Krause. A CCC Filmkunst and MZ-Film Production. From Menemsha Films.




U.S. Premiere - Germany - 15 minutes

A film by Martin Wallner

In English


Cynical cancer patient and successful writer Lilith Winterbottom (Jean Marsh of Upstairs, Downstairs) seems to have scared even death away in order to finish her last book.  But now there is a new patient sharing her hospital room, who is not so easily put off.




AT 9:15 PM



USA - 104 minutes


Written and directed by Frank Hall Green.


With Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek, Mad Men, Flight), Ella Purnell (Maleficent, Never Let Me Go), Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker, Jarhead), Ann Dowd (Leftovers, True Detective), Nolan Gerard Funk (X2, Riddick, Glee).


A troubled teenager (Purnell) is sent by her struggling mother to live with her uncle in Alaska, but the girl soon realizes that she is not safe there and tries to make her way back to Seattle to find her absent mother.  With no one else to turn to, she shadows a lone backpacker (Greenwood), an unlikely father figure with scars of his own.  Together, they cross the wilderness and discover sanctuary in the last frontier.



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Produced by Julie Christeas, Frank Hall Green, Joseph Stephans, Schuyler Weiss and Christine Vachon.  Edited by Mako Kamitsuna.  Director of Photography: Hillary Spera.  From Greenmachine Films, Tandem Pictures and Killer Films. 


The Loss  (Haovdan)


U.S. Premiere - Israel - 15 minutes

A film by Dekel Nitzan

In Hebrew with subtitles


When his son Isaac’s former commander shows up to return his belongings to this family, his father Joseph confronts him with repressed feelings of pain and guilt.



AT 7:00 PM


Secrets of War  (Oorlogsgeheimen)


Netherlands - 95 minutes


Directed by Dennis Bots.  Written by Karen van Holst Pellekaan, Jacques Vriens (novel).


With Maas Bronkhuyzen, Joes Brauers, Pippa Allen.

In Dutch with subtitles


Tuur and Lambert are best friends in a Nazi-occupied Dutch village who pass their days playing soldiers and exploring caves.  When Maartje joins their class, the boys welcome her into their world of adventure and secrets.  But the realities of war cause them to realize there are even deeper secrets to discover, with dire consequences for those who keep them.  Secrets Of War puts both the danger and the humanity of wartime friendships squarely on the shoulders of three children who must face extraordinary circumstances with a maturity far beyond their years.



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Produced by David-Jan Bijker, Reinier Selen, Harro van Staverden.  Edited by Peter Alderliesten.  Director of Photography: Rolf Dekens. A Rinkel Film Production. From Film Movement.


Feeling Wanted


World Premiere - USA - 14 minutes

A film by Yasmin Mistry


At age 6, Charell woke up to find herself alone.  She made breakfast, dropped her baby sister off with a neighbor, and walked to school.  This begins an inspiring documentary about Charell Charleston’s journey through the foster care system and her determination to break the cycle.



AT 9:15 PM


Number One Fan  (Elle L'Adore)


France - 104 minutes


Directed by Jeanne Herry.  Written by Jeanne Herry, Gaëlle Macé.


With Sandrine Kiberlain, Laurent Lafitte.

In French with subtitles


In first-time director Jeanne Herry’s very dark comedy Number One Fan, Sandrine Kiberlain stars as Muriel, a divorced beautician and mother of two with a penchant for telling tales.  Muriel also happens to be crooner Vincent Lacroix’s number one fan. When she opens her door one night to find her idol Vincent standing at her doorstep with a very unusual and dangerous request for help, who would ever believe her?



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Produced by Alain Attal, Hugo Sélignac, Sophie Tepper.  Edited by Francis Vesin.  Director of Photography: Axel Cosnefroy.  From Distrib Films US.



East Coast Premiere - Germany - 28 minutes

A film by Tali Barde

In German with subtitles

A man gets hit by a car only to wake up taking a shower five days later.  After another fatal accident, he wakes up in an elevator and realizes he has a limited number of chances left to figure out what is happening to him.



AT 7:00 PM


Thicker than Paint


New York Premiere – Iran - 42 minutes


Written and Directed by Maryam Sepehri.


In Persian with subtitles


Habibeh Bedayat is a mother, a teacher, a wife, and a self-taught artist who has produced more than 4,000 paintings.  As the camera moves deeper into the privacy of her everyday life, we gradually come to understand how her unique style and vision were born.  A moving and very personal documentary that opens as a simple tale of growing up as an independent female in Iran before seamlessly transforming itself into a very complex story of sacrifice, creativity, and the perseverance of the human spirit.


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Produced by Anita Alkhas, Payman Fotovat.  Edited by Arash Zahedi Asi.  Director of Photography: Mohsen Nazari.


Blazing Sun  (Plein Soleil)


New York Premiere - Belgium - 24 minutes

A film by Frédéric Castadot

In French with subtitles


Under the blazing sun of summer, a harried father races off to an important meeting.  But has his stress made him forget the most important thing?



AT 8:45 PM


The Challenger


New York Premiere - USA - 95 minutes


Written and directed by Kent Moran.


With Kent Moran, Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile), S. Epatha Merkerson (Law & Order).


When he and his adopted mother are evicted from their home, struggling Bronx auto mechanic Jaden Miller is forced back into the one thing he's run from his entire life: fighting.  With the help of a legendary trainer he will do everything in his power to save his family from living on the streets.  An inspiring first feature from writer-director-actor Moran with a powerful performance from Michael Clarke Duncan in his last screen role.


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Produced by Ellyette Eleni, Adam Hawkey, Kent Moran.  Edited by Kent Moran, Anthony Muzzatti.  Director of Photography: Giacomo Belletti. From Wishing Well Pictures.


Cops & Robbers


USA - 13 minutes

A film by Marco Ragozzino


Eddie is tired of being typecast as a cop, so in an act of defiance he takes drastic measures to land his dream role: a homicidal psycho killer. But will anyone ever believe he can play a different role?



AT 7:00 PM


Projections of America


U.S. Premiere – USA/Germany/France - 52 minutes


Written and directed by Peter Miller (A.K.A. Doc Pomus, Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story)


In English, German and French with subtitles


During the darkest hour of the WWII, a team of filmmakers working for the U.S. Office of War Information hoped the power of the movies could reshape the world.  Led by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Robert Riskin, this secret film unit created twenty-six short documentaries about American life that was shown to millions of people around the world. The films gave many of them their first glimpse into a very different America than they one they had been told about.  The Projections of America films told stories of cowboys and oilmen, farmers and window washers, immigrants and school children, capturing the optimism and messiness of American democracy.  These gorgeously crafted propaganda films were idealized versions of what America could be, created by politically engaged filmmakers who ultimately wanted to change America itself.  John Lithgow narrates this documentary of war, idealism, and the power of cinema. 

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Produced by Christian Popp, Antje Boehmert, Amy Linton.  Edited by Amy Linton.  Director of Photography: Antonio Rossi. From Docdays Productions and Willow Pond Films.


Day One


New York Premiere - USA - 25 minutes

A film by Henry Hughes


On her first day in Afghanistan, an interpreter for the US Army is forced to deliver the child of an enemy bomb-maker.



AT 9:00 PM


One for the Road

(En el último trago)


East Coast Premiere - Mexico - 93 minutes


Directed by Jack Zagha Kababie.  Written by David Desola, Jack Zagha Kababie, Yossy Zagha Kababie.

With Luis Bayardo, Eduardo Manzano, José Carlos Ruiz, Pedro Weber ‘Chatanuga’.


In Spanish with subtitles


Three octogenarians set out on a trip in order to fulfill the dying wish of a lifelong friend.  In spite of the disapproval of their families and the limitations of their age, they find themselves involved in a series of misadventures as they encounter an assortment of colourful characters.  This is truly a road movie for the ages.


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Produced by Jack Zagha Kababie.  Edited by Jeanette Russ.  Director of Photography: Javier Morón.  From Avanti Pictures


5 Ways 2 Die


New York Premiere - Cyprus - 15 minutes

A film by Daina Papadaki.

In Greek with subtitles


How many ways are there to die?  Makis explores many of the possibilities as he struggles to find the ideal result.



AT 7:00 PM




New York Premiere – UK/Hungary - 94 minutes


Directed by John Goldschmidt.  Written by Jonathan Benson, Jez Freedman.


With Jonathan Pryce (Brazil, Glengarry Glen Ross) , Malachi Kirby, Ian Hart (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Backbeat).


Nat, a widowed Jewish baker in London’s East End, struggles to keep his business afloat until his young Muslim apprentice Ayyash accidentally drops a stash of cannabis in the dough and sends sales sky high.  An unlikely friendship is born between the two in this warmhearted look at growing old, growing up, and baking bread.


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Produced by Wolfgang Esenwein, György Gattyán, John Goldschmidt, András Somkuti.  Edited by Michael Ellis.  Director of Photography: Peter Hannan.  From Menemsha Films.


Coaching Colburn


New York Premiere - USA - 16 minutes

A film by Jeff Bemiss


James Colburn was born with Fragile X Syndrome.  Now at age 26, he is a child at heart who finds joy in the smallest things while using his gift of comedic timing to inspire those around him.



AT 9:30 PM


The Keeping Room


East Coast Premiere - USA - 95 minutes


Directed by Daniel Barber.  Written by Julia Hart.


With Brit Marling (Another Earth, The East), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Begin Again), Muna Otaru, Sam Worthington (Avatar, Cake).


Left without any men to help them in the dying days of the American Civil War, three Southern women - two sisters and one African-American slave - must fight to defend their home and themselves from two rogue soldiers who have broken off from the fast-approaching Union Army.  Based on Julia Hart’s revered 2012 Black List screenplay, this mesmerizing film deliberately shuns the standard Hollywood Western image of the Southern Belle with its depiction of brave, resilient women.


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Produced by Jordan Horowitz, David McFadzean, Dete Meserve, Patrick Newall, Judd Payne.  Edited by Alex Rodríguez. Director of Photography: Martin Ruhe.  From Drafthouse Films.





East Coast Premiere - USA - 13 minutes

A film by Spencer Gillis (Gun)


Three men meet in a chance encounter at a local recycling center.  A tense exchange transforms into a bond transcending their differences, until an unexpected arrival puts this new bond to the test.



AT 7:00 PM 


Best of Enemies


New York Premiere - USA - 87 minutes

Written and Directed by Morgan Neville, Robert Gordon.

With William Buckley, Gore Vidal, Dick Cavett, John Lithgow.


In the summer of 1968, last-place network ABC decided to try something different in an effort to garner ratings by hiring two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions: William F. Buckley Jr. of the new conservative movement, and leftist novelist/writer Gore Vidal.  Already distrustful of each other, Vidal and Buckley each believed the other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America and the resulting uncensored, unscripted, explosive exchanges kept viewers riveted.  Ratings for ABC News skyrocketed, and a new era in public discourse was born out of this event that not only changed television news forver, but also haunted these two men for the rests of their lives.



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Produced by Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville.  Exec. Producers: Julie Goldman and Clif Phillips, Co-Producer: Caryn Capotosto.  Edited by Eileen Meyer, Aaron Wickenden.  Director of Photography: David Leonard, Mark Schwartzbard, Graham Willoughby.  From Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media.




AT 9:00 PM 


The Clearstream Affair 



France, Luxembourg, Belgium - 106 minutes


Directed by Vincent Garenq.  Written by Stéphane Cabel, Vincent Garenq, Denis Robert.


With Gilles Lellouche, Charles Berling, Laurent Capelluto, Florence Loiret Caille.


In French, English, Mandarin, Luxembourgish with subtitles


Journalist Denis Robert sparked a storm in the world of European finance by denouncing the murky operations of banking firm Clearstream. His quest to reveal the truth behind a secret world of shadowy multinational banking puts him in contact with an ever-expanding anti-corruption investigation carried out by Judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke. Their paths will lead them to the heart of a political/financial intrigue named the which will rock the foundations of the Europe and the French government itself.

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Produced by Christophe Rossignon.  Edited by Jean-Luc Simon.  Director of Photography: Renaud Chassaing.  From Films Distribution.



AT 8:30 PM 




The Passion of Augustine


East Coast Premiere - Canada - 103 minutes


Directed by Léa Pool.  Written Marie Vien, Léa Pool.

With Céline Bonnier (Mommy is at the Hairdresser's), Lysandre Ménard, Diane Lavallée, Valérie Blais, Pierrette Robitaille, Marie Tifo.


In French with subtitles


In 1960s Quebec, Mother Augustine has turned a small convent school into a musical treasure where the students have won every prestigious music competition in the region.  But just as her talented, unconventional niece arrives, the government threatens to shut down the school in favor of public education, forcing Augustine and the other nuns to confront the cultural upheavals of the outside world.  Set against the scenic landscape of rural Quebec and featuring beautiful renditions of classical chorale and piano repertoire, this nuanced portrayal of the lives of these Sisters and their beloved students transcends stereotypes and offers us refreshingly real women at a particular moment in history.


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Produced by Lyse Lafontaine, François Tremblay.  Edited by Michel Arcand.  Director of Photography: Daniel Jobin.  A Lyla Filmsproduction.  From Séville International.



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