Film Programs

Special Presentation

From Oscar-worthy film titles to favorites on the film festival circuit, the Special Presentations section offers an array of poignant storytelling combined with nuanced performances and dynamic subjects.

The Aeronauts
USA 2019 101 min.

In 1862, daredevil balloon pilot Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) teamed up with pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) to study the weather—flying higher than anyone in history in the process. This thrilling adventure pits human grit and ingenuity against increasingly thin air.

USA 2019 113 min.

Prison warden Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard) scrupulously maintains her emotional distance from everyone and everything—including a failing marriage and a botched execution. But with plans to carry out another death sentence underway, her nerves are starting to fray in this devastating drama.

Germany 2019 93 min.

This stunning documentary about visionary modern-dance choreographer Merce Cunningham bursts onto the screen in glorious 3D. Moscow-born director Alla Kovgan traces three decades of Cunningham’s genius through archival footage and the recreation of some of his most memorable works.

A Hidden Life
Germany 2019 173 min.

Devoted husband and pious churchgoer Franz Jägerstätter is faced with an intolerable choice in World War II-era Austria: take an oath of loyalty to Hitler or be executed as a traitor. Terrence Malick’s latest epic explores faith and moral certitude in the face of earthly consequences.

Honey Boy
USA 2019 93 min.

This highly personal and cathartic drama based on writer and co-star Shia LaBeouf’s own experiences as a child actor follows young Otis Lort as he attempts to mend his contentious relationship with an abusive, alcoholic father over the course of a decade.

The Human Factor
United Kingdom 2019 108 min.

With unprecedented access to key players, this absorbing behind-the-scenes documentary reveals how, in the 1990s, the United States nearly achieved the impossible—securing peace between Israel and its neighbors. The lessons to be learned from the not-so-distant past couldn’t be more urgent.

Motherless Brooklyn
USA 2019 144 min.

Edward Norton directs and stars in this offbeat homage to classic film noir, adapted from a Jonathan Lethem novel, about a private detective with Tourette syndrome investigating the murder of his boss. The crack supporting cast includes Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

The Painted Bird
Czech Republic 2019 169 min.

This unsparing black-and-white Czech period drama follows an unnamed boy as he wanders aimlessly across the countryside at the bloody close of World War II. In his fight to survive, he is both witness to and victim of increasingly savage acts at the hands of villagers and soldiers alike.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
France 2019 119 min.

French writer/director Céline Sciamma won the Best Screenplay award at Cannes for this affecting, elegantly subversive period romance set in the 18th century, which follows artist Marianne on a delicate assignment: painting the wedding portrait of reluctant bride-to-be Héloïse.

The Report
USA 2019 119 min.

Adam Driver and Annette Bening head up an excellent ensemble cast in this smart political thriller that tackles the true story of Daniel J. Jones, a Senate staffer charged with investigating the CIA’s use of torture in the wake of 9/11.

The Traitor
Italy 2019 145 min.

For all its extravagance, this engrossing spectacle of a drama is based on a true story: the life of Tommaso Buscetta, a made man turned informant whose collaboration with the Italian government led to a seven-year trial that toppled the Casa Nostra in the 1980s.

The Truth
France 2019 106 min.

Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, and Ethan Hawke star in the latest from acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters, DFF41) about a legendary French actress who may or may not regret putting career before family all her life. This sweet-and-sour drama is classic Kore-eda.

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