It’s officially fall, and while the leaves don’t exactly change here in Los Angeles, it does mean the Feature Film Program is hard at work. We’re busy evaluating new submissions for our January Screenwriters Lab, reading new drafts of screenplays already supported in our Labs, and helping our filmmakers fine-tune their edits before submitting to our own Sundance Film Festival. All of which makes it even more exciting and rewarding to see so many of our FFP-supported films making it out into the world, hopefully to a theater near you. We currently have seven films either premiering or expanding this week—we hope you’ll have a chance to see some (or all) of them.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Written by Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin and directed by Benh Zeitlin
Beasts of the Southern Wild whisks you to a surreal realm, where little girls and mythical animals coexist in a bayou called The Bathtub, all intertwined in the cosmic mesh of the universe. Hushpuppy (stunning newcomer Quvenzhane Wallis) relentlessly explores her world for answers, to satisfy her curiosity, and to make her budding mark on a world she’s only beginning to comprehend.
Hello I Must Be Going
Written by Sarah Koskoff and directed by Todd Louiso
Hello I Must Be Going features acclaimed actress Melanie Lynskey (Win Win, Up In The Air, Two And A Half Men) in her breakout role as Amy, a recent divorcée who seeks refuge in the suburban Connecticut home of her parents (Blythe Danner and John Rubinstein). Demoralized and uncertain of her future, Amy begins an affair with a 19-year-old actor (Girls’ Christopher Abbott) that jumpstarts her passion for life and helps her discover an independence and sense of purpose that she has missed for years.
Keep the Lights On
Written by Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias and directed by Ira Sachs
Keep the Lights On chronicles an emotionally and sexually charged journey of two men in New York City through love, friendship, and addiction. Documentary filmmaker Erik (Thure Lindhardt) and closeted lawyer Paul (Zachary Booth, Damages) meet through a casual encounter, but soon find a deeper connection and become a couple. In an almost decade-long relationship defined by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries and dignity while being true to himself. Harrowing and romantic, visceral and layered, Keep the Lights On is a film that looks at love and all of its manifestations, taking it to dark depths and bringing it back to a place of grace.
Written and directed by Elgin James
Fifteen-year-old Lily and her best friend, Alison, live on the shores of the Salton Sea. Sprinting toward adulthood, Lily wants to escape her depressing hometown. But Alison is content with her life; she enjoys being sheltered from the uncertainty of growing up. When the girls meet three street kids, Lily convinces Alison to follow the boys to Los Angeles. Thrust into a world of excitement and danger, the girls must decide how far they are willing to go to get what they want.
Sleepwalk With Me
Written by Mike Birbiglia, Seth Barrish, and Joe Birbiglia and directed by Mike Birbiglia and Seth Barrish
When an aspiring stand-up fails to express his true feelings about his girlfriend and his stalled career, his anxiety comes out in increasingly funny and dangerous sleepwalking incidents.
Written and directed by Craig Zobel
Becky and Sandra aren’t the best of friends. Sandra is a middle-aged manager at a fast-food restaurant; Becky is a teenaged counter girl who really needs the job. One stressful day (too many customers and too little bacon), a police officer calls, accusing Becky of stealing money from a customer’s purse, which she vehemently denies. Sandra, overwhelmed by her managerial responsibilities, complies with the officer’s orders to detain Becky. This choice begins a nightmare that tragically blurs the lines between expedience and prudence, legality and reason.
Written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal
The Words follows young writer Rory Jansen who finally achieves long sought after literary success after publishing the next great American novel. There’s only one catch – he didn’t write it. As the past comes back to haunt him and his literary star continues to rise, Jansen is forced to confront the steep price that must be paid for stealing another man’s work and for placing ambition and success above life’s most fundamental three words.