Spring International Film Festival at Keith Albee Performing Arts Center - March 2-5

by Angela Jones, Marshall Artists Series

HUNTINGTON, WV – The Spring International Film Festival is taking place at the Keith Albee Theatre March 2-5, 2017 allowing for people from all over the community the chance to experience films of different cultures on the big screen. This season’s festival promises to provide the Huntington community with the best in cinematic and cultural entertainment.

Starting off this season’s festival is The Second Mother (Brazil) directed by Anna Muylaert, and winner of the Panorama Audience Award for Best Fiction Film, is about a woman named Val, who is a hardworking live-in housekeeper in modern day Sao Paula. She is perfectly content to take care of every one of her wealthy employer’s needs, from cooking and cleaning to being a surrogate mother to their teenage son, who she has raised since he was a toddler. But when Val’s estranged daughter Jessica shows up, the unspoken but intrinsic class barriers that exist within the home are thrown away into disarray. Jessica is smart, confident, and ambitious, and refuses to accept the upstairs/downstairs dynamic, testing relationships and loyalties and forcing everyone to reconsider what family really means. (This film is presented in Portuguese with English subtitles, 1 hr. 54 minutes).

The Second Mother shows on Thursday, March 2 @ 5:30pm and on Saturday, March 4 @ 5:30pm.

Sweet Bean (Japan), has been given critical praise since its release and has received several nominations along with winning the Asia Pacific Screen Award, for best performance by actress Kirin Kiki (2016). Directed by Naomi Kawase, Sweet Bean tells the story of Senatro, who runs a small bakery that serves dorayakis – pasteries filled with sweet red bean paste. When an old woman, Tokue, offers to help in the kitchen, he reluctantly accepts. But Tokue proves to have magic in her hands when it comes to making sweet bean paste. Thanks to her secret recipe, the little business soon flourishes. And with time, Sentaro and Tokue will open their hearts to reveal old wounds. (This film is presented in Japanese with English subtitles, 1 hr. 53 minutes).

Sweet Bean shows on Thursday, March 2 @ 7:35pm and on Sunday, March 5 @ 12:30pm.

Truman (Spain/Argentina), directed by Cesc Gay, has received CEC Awards for Best Film and Best Director, and tells the story of Julian, who receives an unexpected visit from his childhood friend Tomas. The encounter is bittersweet. This reunion, their first meeting in many years, will also be their last. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, Julian has decided to forgo continued treatment and instead focus on putting his affairs in order: distributing possessions, finalizing funeral arrangements, and, most importantly, finding a home for his beloved dog, Truman. It’s his final task that is causing him the greatest heartbreak. (This film is presented in Spanish with English subtitles, 1 hr. 48 minutes).

Truman shows on Friday, March 3 @ 5:30pm and on Sunday, March 5 @ 5:30pm.

Dheepan (France), This Palme d’Or Award Winner at Cannes (2016), is a gripping, human tale of survival. On the losing side of a civil war in Sri Lanka, a Tamil soldier poses as the husband and father of two other refugees in order to escape their ravaged homeland. Arriving in France, the makeshift “family” sets about establishing a new life – only to find themselves once again embroiled in violence on the streets of Paris. A heartrending saga of three strangers united by circumstance and struggle, Dheepan is both a tour-de-force thriller and a powerful depiction of the immigrant experience. (This film is presented in French with English subtitles, 1 hr. 55 minutes).

Dheepan shows on Friday, March 3 @ 7:30pm and on Saturday, March 4 @ 7:35pm.

The Dark Horse (New Zealand), directed by James Napier Robertson, winner of a Blue Angel award for Best Director (2015), is based on the true story of Genesis ‘Gen’ Potini, a Maori speed-chess champion seeking redemption and a new purpose in life despite his struggles with bipolar disorder. A former chess prodigy, Gen is brilliant, and charismatic, bringing unusual, potent energy to a game most often played with quiet reserve. Gen volunteers to coach the ragtag young members of the Eastern Knights chess club, bringing hope to the children of the club and hopefully turning his troubled life around. (This film is presented in English, 2 hrs. 4 minutes).

The Dark Horse shows on Saturday, March 4 @ 12:30pm and on Sunday, March 5 @ 2:30pm.

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (USA), directed by Werner Herzog, nominated for Best Documentary in the Nesnady and Schwartz Documentary Competition, and winner of the One Future Prize, receiving an Honorable Mention, tells the story of a playful, yet chilling examination of our rapidly interconnecting online lives. Although the Internet is “one of the biggest revolutions we as humans are experiencing,” there are also horror stories from the victims of online harassment and Internet addiction. This documentary also wrestles questions regarding the Internet’s future. (This film is presented in English, 1 hr. 38 minutes)

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World shows on Saturday, March 4 @ 2:45pm and on Sunday, March 5 @ 7:30pm.

Tickets for the Spring International Film Festival are $8.00 per film and free to full-time Marshall students with a valid student ID. Tickets may be purchased at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center, advance tickets are not necessary.  Tickets go on sale 15 minutes prior to each film.  For more information call 304-696-6656. To view movie trailers and to download film schedule visit www.marshallartistsseries.org

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