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2015 Festival Films List

**Final schedule subject to change**

Click on time of show to purchase tickets. To purchase a festival pass, click here.

2015 Feature Films

About Elly

about elly

Iran, 2015, drama, 120 min., unrated

Friday, November 13 - Hoyt Library (5:15 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Hoyt Library (11:00 a.m.)


Sponsored by Judith Anderson

Synopsis: A group of former college pals from Tehran reunite for a weekend by the Caspian Sea. One of them brings along her daughter's kindergarten teacher (Elly), but when she suddenly vanishes deceptions and revelations will shatter everything.

 

About Elly is a stunning surprise package, profound in utterly unexpected ways.”

Colin Cover, Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

Clouds of Sils Maria

Clouds of Sils Maria

France/Switzerland, 2014, drama, 124 min., R

Friday, November 13 - Pit & Balcony (2:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Pit & Balcony(8:00 p.m.)


Sponsored by Padma and Ramesh Raju

Synopsis: A veteran actress (Juliette Binoche) comes face-to-face with an uncomfortable reflection of herself when she agrees to take part in a revival of the play that launched her career 20 years earlier -- playing a different character this time. Kristen Stewart is cast as her assistant.

 

Binoche is reliably good, but it is Stewart who genuinely surprises.”

Tim Evans, Sky Movies

 

Danny Collins

Danny Collins

USA, 2015, drama/comedy, 106 min., R

Thursday, Novermber 12 - Saginaw Club, 3rd Floor (8:00 p.m.)

Friday, November 13 - First Congregational Church (11:00 a.m.)

Sponsored by Allen Supply

Synopsis: Al Pacino stars as an aging 1970s rocker who can't give up his hard-living ways -- until his manager (Christopher Plummer) uncovers a 40-year-old undelivered letter written to him by John Lennon. Also stars Jennifer Garner, Annette Bening.

 

It's corny but funny, moving, well observed and very nicely acted

Brian Viner, London Daily Mail

 

The End of the Tour

The End of the Tour

USA, 2015, drama, 106 min., R

Friday, November 13 - The Castle Museum (5:00 p.m.)

Sunday, November 15 - The Castle Museum (2:00 p.m.)

Synopsis: The story of the five-day intense interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) and novelist David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) after the 1996 publication of Wallace's epic "Infinite Jest."

 

What we have here is a road trip about two guys talking. And it's riveting

–Liz Braun, Toronto Star

 

Gett

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

France, 2014, drama, 115 min., unrated

Friday, November 13 - First Congregational Church (2:00 p.m.)

Sunday, November 15 - First Congregational Church (5:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by Second Friday Book Club

Synopsis: An Israeli woman has been applying for a divorce for three years -- which only rabbis can dissolve and only with the full consent of the husband. Her cruel and manipulative husband, of course, says no. But she continues to fight for her freedom. Nominated for a Golden Globe. Winner at seven film festivals.

 

Shot in intense close-ups, to study the emotions burning off the character's skin, the all talk and gestures film begins to take your breath away

–Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

 

Ida

Ida

Poland, 2014, 80 min., PG-13

Thursday, November 12 - First Congregational Church (5:00 p.m.)

Sunday, November 15 - First Congregational Church (2:00 p.m.)

Synopsis:A sheltered orphan raised in a convent, and on the verge of taking her vows in 1960 Poland, discovers a dark family secret dating back to the Nazi occupation. Won an Oscar for best foreign language film among many other honors.

 

Let yourself be enveloped by a modern cinema classic

–Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

 

I'll See You in My Dreams

I'll See You In My Dreams

USA, 2015, drama/comedy, 95 min., PG-13

Friday, November 13 - Saginaw Club, 3rd Floor (2:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Saginaw Club, 3rd Floor (11:00 a.m.)

Sponsored by Leslie and Sherri Gregory

Synopsis:With the support of three girlfriends (June Squibb, Mary Kay Place, Rhea Perlman), a widow and former singer (Blythe Danner) pursues a new lover (Sam Elliott).

 

Danner is exquisite, exploring every nuance of her character

–Linda Barnard, Toronto Star

 

In the name of my daughter

In the Name of My Daughter

France, 2014, drama, 116 min., R

Friday, November 13 - Saginaw Club, 2nd Floor (8:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Saginaw Club, 2nd Floor (8:00 p.m.)

Synopsis: A young woman returns to Nice in 1976 to begin a new start after a failed marriage. Soon she falls in love with a ladies man lawyer 10 years older -- a tumultuous affair that results in her disappearance and her mother's (Catherine Deneuve) 30-year crusade to prove he killed her. Based on a true story

 

A fascinating, suspenseful story about obsessive love, money, the Mafia, and murder

–Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer

 

It Follows

It Follows

USA, 2014, horror, 94 min., R

Thursday, November 12 - Hoyt Library (8:15 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Hoyt Library (8:00 p.m.)

Synopsis: After a strange sexual encounter, a Detroit teen finds herself haunted by nightmarish visions and the inescapable sense that something is after her. Winner at five film festivals.

 

One of the best horror films in years

–Beth Accomando, KPBS.org

 

Learning to drive

Learning to Drive

USA, 2014, comedy/drama, 90 min., R

Friday, November 13 - Pit & Balcony (5:00 p.m.)

Sunday, November 15 - Pit & Balcony (5:00 p.m.)

Synopsis: As her marriage dissolves, a Manhattan book critic (Patricia Clarkston) takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor (Ben Kingsley) with marriage troubles of his own. In each other's company they overcome their odds. Winner at Toronto, Traverse City film festivals.

 

Precisely the sort of adult-themed, intelligent and heartfelt film it wants to be, with Clarkston and Kingsley wonderfully on point

–Tom Long, Detroit News

 

Love and Mercy

Love & Mercy

USA, 2015, drama, 120 min., PG-13

Friday, November 13 - Saginaw Club, 3rd Floor (5:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Saginaw Club, 3rd Floor (8:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by A&D Health Care

Synopsis: Set against the Brian Wilson's music, the film examines the personal voyage and ultimate salvation of the Beach Boys icon whose success came at a high personal cost. Stars Paul Dano, John Cusak, Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti.

 

The screen goes blank for a moment at the end. And what follows brought me to tears

–Linda Cook, Quad City Times

 

Mommy

Mommy

Canada, 2014, drama, 140 min., R

Friday, November 13 - Saginaw Club, 2nd Floor (5:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Saginaw Club, 2nd Floor (2:00 p.m.)

Synopsis: A feisty white trash widowed mom finds herself burdened with the full-time custody of her unstable 15-year-old ADHD son. Enter a peculiar neighbor. Cannes, Cesar winner.

 

A work of haunting power

–Kristan M. Lin, Fort Worth Weekly

 

Mr Holmes

Mr. Holmes

England, 2014, drama, 105 min., PG

Thursday, November 12 - Pit & Balcony (8:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14, Pit & Balcony (5:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by SAMSA

Synopsis: It's 1947 and an aging Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) faces the end of his days tending to bees at his remote seaside farmhouse. Enter his housekeeper's young son, who helps Holmes revisit the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement.

 

Class and refined

–Linda Cook, Quad City Times

 

Runoff

Runoff

USA, 2014, drama, 90 min., R

Friday, November 13 - Hoyt Library (11:00 a.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Hoyt Library (2:00 p.m.)

Synopsis: As harvest nears, a woman confronts a terrifying reality and will go to desperate lengths to save her family when they are threatened with being forced from their land.

 

A tightly compressed exploration of the forces that make it next to impossible to operate a small business when a voracious corporation moves in for the kill

–Stephen Holden, New York Times

 

71

'71

England, 2014, drama, 100 min., R

Saturday, November 14 - Castle Museum (11:00 a.m.)

Sunday, November 15 - Castle Museum (5:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by Public Libraries of Saginaw

Synopsis: A single night in the life of a young British soldier (Jack O' Connell) accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of 1971 Belfast. Winner at four film festivals.

 

The film takes no sides....and shows that in war, no one is right

–Adam Graham, Detroit News.

 

Slow West

Slow West

USA, 2015, mystery/suspense, 84 min., R

Friday, November 13 - Saginaw Club, 3rd Floor (11:00 a.m.)

Synopsis: At the end of the 19th century, a 16-year-old Scottish boy journeys across the American frontier in search of the woman he loves. He is joined by mysterious traveler (Michael Fassbender).

 

The movie feels like a folk song and features fine work by the cast, especially Fassbender

–David Bradley, Rip It Up

 

Star Trek Duet

USA, 2014, 84 min., PG

Wednesday, November 11 - Temple Theater (5:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by Janet I. Martineau, a Trekker from the beginning

Synopsis: In tribute to No.1 Vulcan Leonard Nimoy, who died this past year, on Nov. 11 the festival will show two of the most popular "Star Trek" movies on the big screen at the Temple Theater.

Showing at 5pm is "Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan" (1982). With the assistance of the Enterprise crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis (Khan, played by Ricardo Montalban) from using a planet-generating device. In this installment, Nimoy's Spock dies.

And showing at 8pm is "Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home" (1986) To save Earth from an alien probe, Admiral Kirk and his fugitive crew go back in time to 20th century Earth to retrieve the only beings who can communicate with it -- the now extinct humpback whales. Nimoy also directed as well as starred.

In between the films, diehard Trekkies dressed in their "Star Trek" best are invited to parade across the stage in a contest. First place $50 and a festival T-shirt, second place $25 and a festival T-shirt, third place a festival T-shirt. Min-concert on he theater’s historic Barton pipe organ.

$10 admission for the evening. Festival passes not accepted.

 

Tangerines

Superior

USA, 2015, drama, 90 min., unrated

Friday, November 13 - Saginaw Club, 3rd Floor (8:00 p.m.)

 

Synopsis: During the height of the Vietnam War in 1969, Charlie is on his way to Michigan Tech University, and Derek is counting the days to his inevitable military draft eligibility. Before their futures take hold, the lifelong best friends embark on one final adventure: a 1300 mile bike ride along the shores of the gargantuan Lake Superior. With two-speed Schwinn bicycles and limited preparation, Charlie and Derek pedal through the massive northern backwoods of Michigan, Minnesota, and Canada. Along the way they face hunger, exhaustion, and the kind of people in the world who never wanted to be found.

 

 

Tangerines

Tangerines

Estonia, 2013, drama, 86 min., R

Friday, November 13 - Castle Museum (11:00 a.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Castle Museum (8:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by Delta Broadcasting

Synopsis: Set in 1992, during the growing conflict between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists in the wake of the Soviet Union dissolution, two Estonian immigrant farmers remain in Georgia to harvest their tangerine crop -- a move which results in two wounded soldiers from opposing sides landing under their care. Nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe. Winner at six film festivals.

 

Though about war and peace, this is also good, old-fashioned storytelling with a high level of craftsmanship

–David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle

 

Testament of Youth

Testament of Youth

England, 2014, drama, 129 min., PG-13

Thursday, November 12 - Pit & Balcony (5:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Pit & Balcony (2:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by Delta Broadcasting

Synopsis: A British woman recalls coming of age during World War I in a story of young love, the futility of war and of making sense of the darkest of times. Based on the memoir by Vera Brittain.

 

Though the movie at times feels oddly unfinished, it is artful and moving

–Moira McDonald, Seattle Times

 

Timbuktu

Timbuktu

France, 2014, drama, 97 min., PG-13

Friday, November 13 - Pit & Balcony (11:00 a.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Pit & Balcony (11:00 a.m.)

Synopsis: A cattle herder and his family living in the dunes -- typically free of the Jihaists determined to control their faith -- find their lives abruptly disturbed. Nominated for best foreign language film Oscar. Winner at Cannes, Cesar.

 

The performances are hushed and memorable. The cinematography captures the beauty of this desert land. The score is its own act of gorgeous grace and defiance

–Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

 

The Water Diviner

The Water Diviner

Australia, 2014, drama, 111 min., R

Friday, November 13 - Pit & Balcony (8:00 p.m.)

Sunday, November 15 - Pit & Balcony (2:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by David and Audrey Lewis

Synopsis: An Australian man travels to turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons. Directed by Russell Crowe.

 

It is an old-fashioned movie in the best sense, beautifully photographed

–Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review

 

What we do in the shadows

What We Do in the Shadows

New Zealand, 2015, drama/comedy, 86 min., R

Thursday, November 12 - Castle Museum (8:00 p.m.)

Friday, November 13 - Castle Museum (8:00 p.m.)

Synopsis: Four unhip vampire roommates are trying to get by in a modern world not always hospitable to the undead -- all the while under the lens of a documentary crew. Winner at 10 film festivals.

 

This pitch-perfect genre spoof is worth relishing

–Claudia Puig, USA Today

 

White God

White God

Hungary, 2014, fable/drama, 117 min., R

Thursday, November 12 - First Congregational Church (8:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - First Congregational Church (5:00 p.m.)

Synopsis: When a young girl is forced to give up her beloved dog because its mixed breed is deemed "unfit" by the state, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. Winner at Cannes.

 

A dark -- very dark -- take on the way humans exert authority, and superiority, over our fellow creatures:

–Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

 

 

 

Documentaries

Batkid Begins

Amateur Night

Saturday, November 14 - First Congregational Church (11:00 a.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Saginaw Club, 2nd Floor (5:00 p.m.)

Synopsis: Created and distributed by the Center for Home Movies, the 84-minute "Amateur Night" features 16 amateur films from a collection of American film archives. They are funny, poignant and even strange and piece together family moments, historical scenes, animation, drama, comic routines and travelogues from 1915-2005.  Films by average Joes are shown alongside those by notables like Alfred Hitchcock, Richard Nixon, animator Helen Hill and Smokey Bear with audio commentaries from family members and newly recorded music. 

 

Batkid Begins

Batkid Begins

USA, 2015, 87 min., PG

Friday, November 13 - First Congregational Church (5:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - First Congregational Church (2:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by Goodrich Quality Theaters

Synopsis: On one day, in one city, the world comes together to grant one 5-year-old leukemia patient his wish -- to be Batman. The film looks at the why of this flash phenomenon.

 

Cynics can carp. Let them. But don't be one of them

–Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

 

Iris

Iris

USA, 2015, 80 min., PG-13

Friday, November 13 - Castle Museum (2:00 p.m.)

Saturday , November 14 - Castle Museum (5:00 p.m.)

Synopsis: 93-year-old style maven Iris Apfel has been a larger-than-life free spirit on the New York fashion scene for decades -- and continues to work. Shot by 87-year-old filmmaker Albert Maysles.

 

This woman has plenty of blunt wisdom to share

–Cath Clarke, Time Out

 

Meet the Patels

Meet the Patels

USA, 2014, 88 min., PG

Saturday, November 14 - Saginaw Club, 2nd Floor (11:00 a.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Saginaw Club, 3rd Floor (5:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by Barb Doren

Synopsis: An almost 30-year-old Indian-American enters a love triangle between the woman of his dreams -- and his parents. Directed by four family members. Traverse City Film Festival winner.

 

It's just plain fun to watch, but it also examines problems of assimilation, culture clash, modern romance and tradition

–Tom Long, Detroit News

 

Red Army

Red Army

USA, 2014, 84 min., PG

Thursday, November 12 - Castle Museum (5:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 -Castle Museum (2:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by Judy Johnson and Kimberly White

Synopsis: A study of the Soviet Union and the most successful dynasty in sports history: the Red Army hockey team. Told from the perspective of its captain Slava Fetisov, the story portrays his transformation from national hero to political enemy as the Cold War is played out on the ice rink, Winner at three film festivals.

 

Fascinating, funny, heroic, moving

–John Anderson, Newsday

 

Tab Hunter Confidential

Tab Hunter Confidential

USA, 2015, 80 min., unrated

Thursday, November 12 - Saginaw Club, 3rd Floor (5:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - Saginaw Club, 3rd Floor (2:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by David and Audrey Lewis

Synopsis: The story of the matinee idol from his teenage stable boy years to closeted Hollywood star of the 1950s. Footage includes Clint Eastwood, Natalie Wood, Paul Newman, James Dean, Debbie Reynolds, Rock Hudson and Connie Stevens.

 

A colorful, likable and unpretentious look at the 1950s dreamboat

–Dennis Harvey, Variety

 

The Wolfpack

The Wolfpack

USA, 2015, 90 min., R

Friday, November 13 - First Congregational Church (8:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 14 - First Congregational Church (8:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by Mondays @ 7 Book Club

Synopsis: Locked away from society in their Lower East Manhattan apartment, the six Angulo brothers learn about the outside world through films they watch on TV -- re-enacting their favorites with homemade props and costumes. When one of them escapes, the dynamics of the house are transformed as the brothers seek to enter society without abandoning the brotherhood. Sundance winner.

 

This is a documentary that creeps into your heart and shatters it

Pauline Adamek, Filmlink Australia

 

 

FREE AT THE FESTIVAL

.....all these films are shown at Hoyt Library and honor actors who passed away this year. Free admission, free coffee/tea/hot chocolate.

 

Gigi

 

Gigi/Louis Jourdan


Jourdan is cast as a restless Parisian playboy who moves from one mistress to another while also spending platonic time with Gigi (Leslie Caron), a precocious younger friend learning the ways of high society.

1958 release. Director: Vincente Minnelli. Runs 2 hrs.

 

Thursday, November 12 @ 5:00 p.m.

 


 

They live

 

They Live/Roddy Piper


Piper portrays a wanderer who discovers a pair of sunglasses showing the world the way it truly is. As he walks the streets of Los Angeles, he sees that most of the social elite are skull-faced aliens bent on world domination and begins a fight to free humanity.

1988 release. Director: John Carpenter. Runs 1 hr 37 min.

 

Saturday, November 14 @ 5:15 p.m.

 


 

Funny Girl

 

Funny Girl/Omar Sharif


Vaudeville bit player Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand), valued for her vocal and comedic talents, works her way up to stardom on Broadway. But as she thrives her relationship with her suave, imprisoned businessman husband, Nick Arnstein (Sharif), is another story.

1963 release. Runs 2 hrs 35 min.

 

Friday, November 13 @ 2:00 p.m.

 


 

The serpent and the rainbow

 

The Serpent and the Rainbow/Wes Craven


Craven attempted a slight change of pace from his usual slasher milieu with this chiller loosely based on a true story. Bill Portman stars as Harvard researcher sent to Haiti by a drug company to investigate the zombie legend and any possible connection it might have to a rumored drug that could be used as a new powerful anaesthetic.

1988 release. Runs 1 hr 38 min.

 

Friday, November 13 @ 8:00 p.m.

 


 

All these films are shown at Hoyt Library. Free admission, free coffee/tea/hot chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit for Schedule Page for a list of films, times and to download the current program/schedule.