2016 Film Lineup
In the film Sonita, 18-year-old Sonita Alizadeh, an Afghan refugee in Iran, dreams of becoming a big-name rapper.
Public tickets for films go on sale June 17.
SPOTLIGHT HEALTH LINEUP
Body Team 12
Body Team 12 is tasked with collecting the victims at the height of the Ebola outbreak. These body collectors have arguably the most dangerous and gruesome job in the world. Yet, despite the strain, they emerge as heroes while the film explores their philosophy and strength. The story is told on the ground in Monrovia, Liberia through the eyes of the only female member of the team, who reveals the heartbreaking lifesaving work of removing bodies from loved ones in order to halt transmission of the disease.
Chau, Beyond the Lines
During the Vietnam War, the United States dropped 20 million gallons of chemicals onto the dense jungles of Vietnam in order to rid the Northern Vietnamese Army of food and cover. More than 40 years later, Chau, a teenager living in a Vietnamese care center for kids disabled by the chemical Agent Orange, battles with the reality of his dream to one day become a professional artist. With a rare disability in his arms and legs, Chau is repeatedly told his dream is not only unrealistic, but impossible. At age 17 and against all odds, Chau ventures out into the real world to see if, in fact, he can make his dream a reality.
Filmmaker Peter Landesman (Parkland) wrote and directed this sports-themed drama based on Jeanne Marie Laskas' GQ article "Game Brain," about the potentially horrific costs of playing football. Pittsburgh-based neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) discovers a degenerative brain disease now known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in the autopsies of several deceased pro-football players, but after presenting his research, he finds himself under fire from the NFL. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Luke Wilson, Alec Baldwin, Bitsie Tulloch, and Albert Brooks co-star. Author: Tom Ciampoli.
At the age of 34, Steve Gleason, a former NFL defensive back and New Orleans hero, was diagnosed with ALS. Doctors gave him two to five years to live. And that’s what Steve chose to do: live. So when Steve and his wife, Michel, learned they would soon have a baby, he began recording video journals of their life and love – a time capsule his unborn son, Rivers, could watch in the future.This intimate project has evolved into a feature-length documentary film with honest, breathtaking video shot over five years. It’s about Gleason’s strength as an activist, but more importantly, as a husband and father. It’s ugly. It’s beautiful. It’s frustrating. It's hopeful. It’s a lot like life.
ASPEN IDEAS LINEUP
Audrie & Daisy
Audrie & Daisy is an urgent real-life drama that examines the ripple effects on families, friends, schools, and communities when two underage young women find that sexual crimes against them have been caught on camera. From Acclaimed filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (The Island President, The Rape of Europa), Audrie & Daisy—which made its world premier at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival—-takes a hard look at America's teenagers who are coming of age in this new world of social media bullying, spun wildly out of control.
Romeo is Bleeding
A fatal turf war between neighborhoods haunts the city of Richmond, CA. Donté Clark transcends the violence in his hometown by writing poetry about his experiences. Using his voice to inspire those around him, he and the like-minded youth of the city mount an urban adaption of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, with the hope of starting a real dialogue about violence in the city. Will Richmond force Donté to compromise his dealistic ambitions? Or will Donté end Richmond's cycle of trauma?
Filmed over the course of nearly three years, the filmakers use unique access and never-before-heard testimonies to tell a story of the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history. Newtown documents a traumatized community fractured by grief and driven toward a sense of pupose. Joining the ranks of a growing club to which no one wants to belong, a cast of characters interconnect to weave an intimate story of community resilience.
Under the Gun
In the past few years, a drastic rise in mass shootings has ripped across the United States, compounding an epidemic of gun violence. Yet, despite the growing body count, and the shock and outrage that comes with it, our nation has failed to respond with meaningful action. What is keeping the two sides of this debate—those favoring stricter gun control laws and Second Amendment purists like the NRA—from finding common ground? Filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig and Katie Couric joined forces to create a documentary that is comprehensive and fair to both sides of one of America's most polarizing issues. With never-before-seen footage of the shooting in Aurora, CO, Under the Gun gives a human face to the crisis that is scarring the conscience of a nation.
Two-time Sundance Film Festival award winner Sonita tells the inspiring story of Sonita Alizadeh, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee in Iran who thinks of Michael Jackson and Rihanna as her spiritual parents and dreams of becoming a big-name rapper. For the time being, her only fans are the other teenage girls in a Tehran shelter. And her family has a very different future planned for her: As a bride, she's worth $9,000. Iranian director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami (Going Up the Stairs) poignantly shifts from observer to participant, altering expectations, as Sonita's story unfolds in this personal and joyful portrait.
The Secret Life of Pets
For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, and Albert Brooks. Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film, which is directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney, and written by Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio, and Brian Lynch.