Indie Close-Up: '2016,' 'Sleepwalk With Me,' 'Hermano' Highlight Indie Films in Theaters This Weekend

This week sees new films starring Marion Cotillard, James Cromwell, Lauren Ambrose and Jean Dujardin get limited releases. Also, the red-hot documentary 2016: Obama's America expands to 1,900 more screens. Let's see what else is hitting screens this weekend...

General Education

Synopsis:  Levi Collins (Chris Sheffield) is set to go to the local University on a tennis scholarship, but he forgot to tell his parents one thing – he didn’t graduate. As a result, he must take summer school before his mom and dad discover he’s failed senior science. At school, Levi falls in love with his classmate, Katie (Maiara Walsh), and learns that he has to make a choice between playing tennis and receiving a proper education.

Starring: Chris Sheffield, Janeane Garofalo, Larry Miller, Bobby Campo, Maiara Walsh

Directed by: Tom Morris

 

Hermano

Synopsis: Two kids raised together as brothers, Daniel (Fernando Moreno) and Julio (Eliú Armas), struggle to become professional soccer players. Daniel is an exceptional striker, a phenomenon. Julio is the captain of the team, a natural leader. Both play soccer in the La Ceniza slum. The opportunity of their lives arrives when a headhunter for the Caracas Football Club invites them to a try-out with the team. But their life in the slum interferes and a tragedy shakes them. They will have to choose their destinies on a dirt field. Which is more important: the unity of the family or the dream of their lives?

Starring: Fernando Moreno, Eliú Armas, Ali Rondon, Marcela Ciron, Gonzalo Cubero

Directed by: Marcel Rasquin

 

A Lonely Place for Dying

Synopsis: As the Vietnam War rages on, a KGB mole waits to present damaging evidence against the CIA.

Starring: Ross Marquand, Michael Scovotti, James Cromwell, Michael Wincott, Brad Culver

Directed by: Justin Eugene Evans

 

Samsara

Synopsis: Filmed over a period of five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on 70mm film, SAMSARA transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, SAMSARA subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary. It encourages our own interpretations, inspired by breathtaking images and transcendent music that infuses the ancient with the modern.

Directed by: Ron Fricke

 

Sleepwalk With Me

Synopsis: Based on the successful one-man show, Sleepwalk With Me engages in the kind of passionate and personal storytelling that transfigures intimate anguish into comic art. Bursting with sincerity, Mike Birbiglia’s foray into the medium marks the invigorating emergence of a strong and poignant American voice, at once hilarious and heartbreaking.

Starring: Mike Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, James Rebhorn, Carol Kane, Cristin Milioti

Directed by: Mike Birbiglia

 

Somewhere Between

Synopsis: In profiling Chinese adoptees in contemporary America, Linda Goldstein Knowlton's  deeply moving documentary illustrates that even the most specific of experiences can be universally relatable. Of the roughly 80,000 girls who have been adopted from China since 1989—a decade after China implemented its One Child Policy—the film intimately follows four teenagers: Haley, Jenna, Ann, and Fang. These four wise-beyond-their-years, yet typical, American teens reveal a heartbreaking sense of self-awareness as they attempt to answer the uniquely human question, “Who am I?” They meet and bond with other adoptees, some journey back to China to reconnect with the culture, and some reach out to the orphaned girls left behind. In their own ways, all attempt to make sense of their complex identities. In English, Mandarin and Spanish with subtitles.

Directed by: Linda Goldstein Knowlton

 

Wild Horse Wild Ride

Synopsis: Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge is an annual contest that dares 100 people to each tame a totally wild mustang in order to get it adopted into a better life beyond federal corrals. Stunning and poignant, Alex Dawson and Greg Gricus’ debut feature documentary chronicles a handful of unforgettable characters from their first uneasy meeting with their horses and over three months as they attempt to transform from scared strangers to the closest of companions.

Directed by: Alex Dawson, Greg Gricus

 

The Revenant

Synopsis: This breakout horror comedy centers around a fallen soldier who somehow finds he has joined the ranks of the living dead. Bart Gregory (David Anders) has just recently been laid to rest - so why is he still up and walking around? The only person Bart can turn to for answers is his best friend Joey (Chris Wylde), and before long the two pals have surmised that blood is life. In order to survive, Bart requires a steady supply of it. Convinced that no one will miss the drug dealers and killers who have transformed L.A. into a swirling cesspool of crime and vice, the two friends decide to do law enforcement a favor by cleaning up the streets while collecting the precious blood needed to keep poor Bart from withering away into dust!

Starring: Chris Wylde, David Anders, Jace King, Louise Griffiths

Directed by: D. Kerry Prior

 

Little White Lies

Synopsis: French box-office sensation Little White Lies is a sparkling comedic drama from Guillaume Canet, the writer-director of the worldwide smash hit Tell No One. Bringing together the top names from France’s current generation of actors, including Jean Dujardin, Marion Cotillard and François Cluzet, Canet weaves a joyous and heartfelt film out of the dilemmas of eight thirty and forty-something close friends. In French with English subtitles.

Starring: François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Benoît Magimel, Gilles Lellouche, Jean Dujardin

Directed by: Guillaume Canet

 

2016: Obama's America (Expands to 1,900 screens)

Synopsis: 2016: Obama's America takes audiences on a gripping visual journey into the heart of the world's most powerful office to reveal the struggle of whether one man's past will redefine America over the next four years. The film examines the question, "If Obama wins a second term, where will we be in 2016?" Across the globe and in America, people in 2008 hungered for a leader who would unite and lift us from economic turmoil and war. True to America's ideals, they invested their hope in a new kind of president, Barack Obama. What they didn't know is that Obama is a man with a past, and in powerful ways that past defines him--who he is, how he thinks, and where he intends to take America and the world. Immersed in exotic locales across four continents, best selling author Dinesh D'Souza races against time to find answers to Obama's past and reveal where America will be in 2016.

Starring: Barack Obama

Directed by: Dinesh D'Souza, John Sullivan

Follow along on Twitter @DerrickDeane and @Fandango.

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