Hd17 Special Pres2 Bnr

First Look: Special Presentations Program

We’ve announced 26 films in our Special Presentations program, showcasing high-profile premieres, award winners, and works by masters or featuring star subjects.

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Full film lineup announced and single tickets available on March 21.


BECOMING WHO I WAS
D: Chang-Yong Moon, Jin Jeon | South Korea | 2016 | 96 min | North American Premiere
An impoverished young boy discovers he’s the reincarnation of an esteemed, high-ranking Tibetan monk. Displaced from his past self’s monastery and denied the privilege of that position, he struggles with his identity amid growing doubts.

BILL NYE: SCIENCE GUY
D: David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg | USA | 2017 | 101 min | International Premiere
In the 90s, Bill Nye’s infectious enthusiasm for science inspired a generation of kids, but with his field increasingly under attack, the bow-tied science guy now finds himself leading an urgent crusade against creationists and climate change deniers.

BROTHER’S KEEPER
D: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky | USA | 1992 | 104 min
A 25th anniversary screening of the groundbreaking true-crime story of the Ward brothers, one of whose death sparked a media sensation amid accusations of coerced confessions, political pressure and miscarriage of justice.

CHASING CORAL
D: Jeff Orlowski | USA | 2016 | 93 min | International Premiere
From the director of Chasing Ice comes this breathtaking cinematic journey below the world’s oceans to its coral reefs. Spectacular time-lapse footage reveals the devastating impact of climate change, which threatens to eradicate this marvelous ecosystem—within our lifespan.

CITY OF GHOSTS
D: Matthew Heineman | USA | 2016 | 91 min | Canadian Premiere
Academy Award–nominee Matthew Heineman captures the extraordinary story of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently,” a fearless group of citizen journalists who risk their lives to document and expose the atrocities of ISIS in their home city.

THE DEPARTURE
D: Lana Wilson | USA | 2017 | 86 min | International Premiere
A Japanese punk rocker assumes a new role as a Buddhist priest, helping suicidal people find hope in the depths of their despair. But his wholehearted dedication to their suffering starts to erode his own well-being.

DOLORES
D: Peter Bratt | USA | 2017 | 98 min | International Premiere
Often overshadowed by her United Farm Workers co-founder Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta was a powerhouse activist who defied 1950s gender conventions as she unflinchingly fought to protect women and people of color in her push for social change.

ELIÁN
D: Tim Golden, Ross McDonell | Ireland, USA | 2017 | 105 min | International Premiere
When five-year-old Elián Gonzalez was plucked from the ocean near Miami in 1999, it sparked a flashpoint for simmering US-Cuban tensions. Decades later, with relations warming, the media firestorm and ensuing international custody saga is revisited.

GILBERT
D: Neil Berkeley | USA | 2017 | 96 min | International Premiere
The bluest jokes and the shrillest whine delivered with a perpetual squint—what’s not to love about Gilbert Gottfried? Publicly polarizing yet intensely private, the scandalous comic opens his peculiar life and process to cameras.

HELL ON EARTH: THE FALL OF SYRIA AND THE RISE OF ISIS
D: Sebastian Junger | USA | 2017 | 99 min | International Premiere
The fall of Syria, the rise of ISIS and the alarming role played by the West is powerfully dissected in this hard-hitting, compelling look at the political and social consequences of this ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.

HONDROS
D: Greg Campbell | USA | 2016 | 93 min | International Premiere
Driven by a commitment to capturing the heart-wrenching realities of war, award-winning conflict photographer Chris Hondros, killed in combat in 2011, shed light on world events with his arrestingly powerful imagery, and changed lives with his definitive work.

SCHOOL LIFE
D: Neasa Ni Chianain, David Rane | Ireland, Spain | 2016 | 99 min | Canadian Premiere
A heartfelt look at the lives of two soon-to-be-retired educators—and married couple of almost 50 years—whose passion and idiosyncratic teaching styles inspire and challenge the young students of Ireland’s last primary-age boarding school.

INTENT TO DESTROY
D: Joe Berlinger | USA | 2017 | 115 min | International Premiere
The truth about the Armenian Genocide and the shocking tactics of the Turkish government to suppress history are both revealed in this thoroughly original film-within-a-film exposé by legendary documentarian Joe Berlinger.

JOSHUA: TEENAGER VS. SUPERPOWER
D: Joe Piscatella | USA, Hong Kong | 2016 | 78 min | Canadian Premiere
China’s government meets its fiery match in young Joshua Wong. Rallying thousands of fellow students to skip school and occupy the streets in support of Hong Kong’s autonomy, he becomes one of his country’s most notorious—and unlikely—dissidents.

THE LAST ANIMALS
D: Kate Brooks | USA, UK | 2017 | 85 min | International Premiere
From Africa’s frontlines to Asian markets to European zoos, this animal-rights thriller follows the conservationists, scientists and activists battling poachers and transnational trafficking syndicates to protect the last of the world’s elephants and rhinos from extinction.

LONG STRANGE TRIP
D: Amir Bar-Lev | USA | 2017 | 240 min | International Premiere
Deadheads rejoice! Expand your consciousness of the Grateful Dead through rare archival footage and never-before-seen performances in this deep dive into the music and cultural phenomenon that helped define and inspire a generation.

MOMMY DEAD AND DEAREST
D: Erin Lee Carr | USA | 2017 | 82 min | International Premiere
After an ailing, wheelchair-bound girl goes missing and her devoted mother is found dead in their home, dark family secrets are revealed as the girl becomes the prime suspect in her grisly murder.

NOBODY SPEAK: TRIALS OF THE FREE PRESS
D: Brian Knappenberger | USA | 2017 | 93 min | International Premiere
The trial between wrestler Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media pitted privacy rights against freedom of the press, but ended up as a case study in how big money can silence media through legal means. An examination of the perils and duties of the free press in an age of inequality.

PLAYING GOD
D: Karin Jurschick | Germany, Netherlands | 2017 | 95 min | World Premiere
Witness firsthand the struggle of the charismatic and controversial US attorney who, since 9/11, has been charged with the impossible task of assigning a dollar value to life when compensating victims of America’s most tragic events.

PRE-CRIME
D: Matthias Heeder, Monika Hielscher | Germany | 2017 | 90 min | World Premiere
Science fiction turns into disturbing fact as forecasting software, algorithms and databases quickly become the new fortune-tellers for future crimes, driving us to ask: how much are we willing to abandon for the sake of security?

RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD
D: Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana | Canada | 2017 | 103 min | Canadian Premiere
The sound of rock ‘n’ roll was forever changed by Link Wray’s distorted guitar. Decades later, his legacy—and that of other Native Americans who shaped popular music—is given overdue recognition in this Sundance award winner. The film also features executive producer and guitarist Stevie Salas, who has put together a group of music royalty to discuss the influence of Indigenous music on rock and roll.

STEP
D: Amanda Lipitz | USA | 2016 | 83 min | International Premiere
Meet the fierce and inspiring “Lethal Ladies” of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, a dynamic step dance team battling the odds to make it to the championship and become the first in their families to go to college.

STRONG ISLAND
D: Yance Ford | USA, Denmark | 2017 | 107 min | Canadian Premiere
Twenty years after an unarmed African-American was shot during an altercation with a young white mechanic, his brother revisits the circumstances that left his sibling dead and the killer uncharged in this powerful investigation of love, loss and justice.

WHITNEY “CAN I BE ME”
D: Nick Broomfield, Rudi Dolezal | UK | 2017 | 100 min | Canadian Premiere
A troubled pop star, a brilliant vocalist or just a normal girl from Newark, New Jersey? Whitney Houston was a lot of things at once. Get to know the real woman and her struggle in this all-access look.

THE WORKERS CUP
D: Adam Sobel | United Kingdom | 2017 | 92 min | Canadian Premiere
On the backs of 1.6 million migrant workers, Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But far from the roaring crowds and media spectacle, 24 construction companies compete for glory and the thrill of hoisting the Workers Cup.

All >

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Presenting Partners

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