Mammoth Lakes, California – The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival (MLFF) is pleased to announce their feature film line-up, as well as the Opening Night film, for the fifth iteration of the festival, taking place May 22 through 26 at venues across Mammoth Lakes.
OPENING NIGHT SCREENING
MLFF will open with In Fabric on Wednesday, May 22. In Fabric is a haunting ghost story set against the backdrop of a busy winter sales period in a department store and follows the life of a cursed dress as it passes from person to person, with devastating consequences. The film from A24 is directed and written by Peter Strickland and stars Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) and Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Blindspot).
“We’re excited to bring such an amazing and eclectic lineup of films to this milestone year of our festival,” said Festival Director Shira Dubrovner. “We’re also thrilled to be hosting over 100 filmmakers this year, who will get to experience all the scenic wonder that the Eastern Sierras has to offer.”
“We received a wide range of films submissions this year that explored the lives of people living on the margins of an overheated world economy – either striving to push their way in, willingly living away from it all, or pushed to the margins,” said Director of Programming Paul Sbrizzi. “We’re looking forward to sharing these amazing and thought-provoking stories with all our festival-goers, in hopes that they spark some interesting conversations and debates on the human dimension of current global realities.”
The MLFF film line-up is as follows:
North American Narrative Features:
- The Goose – A mute outsider goes on a psychedelic journey to escape small-town bravado and find his voice. Directed by Mike Maryniuk. U.S. Premiere
A Great Lamp – Set in a small riverside town in North Carolina, two sad vandals and an unemployed loner await a fabled rocket launch. Directed by Saad Qureshi. West Coast Premiere
Knives and Skin – Knives and Skin is a mystical teen noir that follows a young girl’s disappearance in the rural Midwest and its effect on teens and parents. Directed and written by Jennifer Reeder. West Coast Premiere
Olympic Dreams – In the Olympic Athlete Village, a young cross-country skier bonds with a volunteer doctor after her competition ends. Directed by Jeremy Teicher and starring Alexi Pappas and Nick Kroll. West Coast Premiere
International Narrative Features:
Cat Sticks (India) – On a rainy night in Calcutta a group of desperate addicts chase brown sugar, but the permanent intoxication they seek proves elusive. Directed by Ronny Sen.
Monument (Poland) – Waking up on a cold bus, a group of students start their internships in a remote hotel. Are they prepared for what lies ahead? Directed and written by Jagoda Szelc. North American Premiere
- No Exit (Kazakhstan) – In this eerie suspense-horror, Daniyar returns to his hometown and finds the locals strangely drawn to his mother and her special brand of milk… Plus people keep disappearing—but not forever. Directed and written by Sarah Wilson. World Premiere
North American Documentary Features:
17 Blocks – Using two decades of intimate home video, the story of the Sanford family, whose struggles with addiction and gun violence eventually lead to a journey of love, loss, and acceptance. Directed by Davy Rothbart. West Coast Premiere
Jawline – The film follows 16-year-old Austyn Tester, a rising star in the live-broadcast ecosystem who built his following on wide-eyed optimism and teen girl lust, as he tries to escape a dead-end life in rural Tennessee. Directed by Liza Madelup.
Juan – Searching for answers about his family’s legacy, Adrian starts a journey far away from the city to enter a world full of magic and nature to recover his memories about Juan, a hermit artist who changed his parents’ lives, and thus his own. Directed and written by Leandro Arvelo and Adrián Geyer. World Premiere
Memphis ‘69 – A year after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, a group of blues legends came together to celebrate the 150-year anniversary of Memphis, TN. This concert documentary is made entirely from footage that was shot over three days in June of 1969 and remained unseen for 50 years. Directed by Joe LaMattina. West Coast Premiere
Midnight Family – In Mexico City’s wealthiest neighborhoods, the Ochoa family runs a private ambulance, competing with other for-profit EMTs for patients in need of urgent help. As they try to make a living in this cutthroat industry, the Ochoas struggle to keep their financial needs from compromising the people in their care. Directed by Luke Lorentzen.
International Documentary Features:
- Anbessa (USA/Ethiopia) – A brand new condominium has shot up in the Ethiopian countryside, pushing farmers off their land for the construction, promising thousands of others a “better” way of life. Anbessa follows one boy caught between the two as he navigates modernization on his own terms in order to survive in a brave new world. Directed and written by Mo Scarpelli. West Coast Premiere
Beloved (Iran) – This documentary follows the life of an 80-year-old mother named Firouzeh who is fond of her isolated lifestyle in nature with her cows. The film shows her kind and loving character and demonstrates her bravery and strength tackling the hardship of life in the Alborz mountains without the modern comforts of technology. Directed by Yaser Talebi. West Coast Premiere
Clean Hands (Nicaragua) – Shot over the course of seven years, Clean Hands documents the human drama, personal struggle, innocence, and salvation of one family in Nicaragua surviving against the backdrop of Central America’s largest garbage dump, La Chureca. Directed and written by Michael Dominic.
Pariah Dog (India) – Pariah Dog paints a lyrical, kaleidoscopic picture of the city of Calcutta, seen through the prism of four outsiders and the neglected street dogs they love. The film gains intimate access to the lives of its subjects as they both care for the stray animals around them, and struggle to find their own place in this crowded megacity. Directed by Jesse Alk. West Coast Premiere
Buddy – In this poignant and carefully composed portrait of six service dogs and their owners, renowned documentary filmmaker Heddy Honigmann explores the close bond between animal and human. Directed by Heddy Honigmann. West Coast Premiere
Cold Case Hammarskjöld – Danish director Mads Brügger and Swedish private investigator Göran Björkdahl are trying to solve the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld. As their investigation closes in, they discover a crime far worse than killing the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Directed and written by Mads Brügger.
The festival will also feature a Short Films Program of 30 Narrative Shorts, eight Documentary Shorts, eight Animation Shorts, three Experimental Shorts and one episodic.
MLFF jurors include: Allison Amon (EVP Sales & Development, Bullitt), Shalini Doré (Variety), Mia Galuppo (The Hollywood Reporter), Sean McDonnell (Director of Theatrical Sales, A24), Jacques Thelemaque (Co-Founder, Filmmakers Alliance) Delila Vallot (Filmmaker), Harry Vaughn (Programmer, Sundance Film Festival), Katie Walsh (Los Angeles Times & Tribune News Service) and Max Weinstein (MovieMaker Magazine). Over $40,000 in cash and prizes will be given out in nine categories to this year’s films in competition. Winners will be announced on Sunday, May 26 at a Closing Night reception.
About Mammoth Lakes Film Festival
The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, held in the scenic and majestic setting of Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern Sierra region of California, brings together world-class cinema, emerging filmmakers, industry veterans, and audiences from around the world to celebrate films with thought-provoking stories. The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival is a DBA under Mammoth Lakes Foundation—the nonprofit founded in 1989 by Dave McCoy (who also founded Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in 1953). Dave McCoy turns 104 years old this August and is excited to be a part of the fifth annual Mammoth Lakes Film Festival. Visit www.MammothLakesFilmFestival.com for more information or connect on Facebook and Twitter.
2019 Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Sponsors include Panavision, Tambour Foundation, Blue Moon, Light Iron a Panavision company, Sierra Nevada Resort, VER, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mono County, Town of Mammoth Lakes and many more.