Nichols, whose “Midnight Special” has become one of the year’s best and least-seen sci-fi movies, premiered “Loving” at Cannes in May. “Loving” is a look at the struggle of Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), whose civil rights case, “Loving v. Virginia,” made Supreme Court history.
The complete list of programming at the 23rd annual AFF, including short films, competition titles, and conference panels, will be announced in mid-September, but here is the second wave of films announced:
Opening Night Film
Writer/Director: Jeff Nichols*
Cast: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Michael Shannon, Nick Kroll
Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga star in the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, who waged a decade-long legal battle that led to the overturning of the state of Virginia’s law prohibiting interracial marriage.
The Big Spoon
Writers: Mallory Culbert*, Carlyn Hudson*
Director: Carlyn Hudson
Cast: Zach Knighton*, Nick Stevenson*
Long-term couple Mallory and Ben plan to enjoy a romantic weekend alone in Mallory’s house, but their plans are ruined when Elle, Mallory’s flighty roommate, shows up with a surprise lover. As tensions rise, each couple is forced to question the strength of their relationship.
The Harvest Run
Writers/Directors: Steven Balvanz*, Aaron McAdams*
The Colby’s, a third generation farming family, gear up for the annual Harvest Run – a demanding seven-month journey that is essential to producing America’s annual yield of wheat and corn. Faced with the insurmountable hardships of the American economy and climate change, the year’s run proves more challenging than ever.
Writers/Director: Jake Goldberger*
Cast: Freddie Highmore, Odeya Rush, Haley Joel Osment, Christopher Meloni
Mid-twenties, unmotivated, and still living at home with his mother and stepfather, Charlie Brenner is given a surprising boost of confidence when he meets Amber (Odeya Rush,) a local barista. As they become closer, the line between friendship and intimacy is blurred, and the situation forces both of them to examine where they are in their respective lives. Charlie’s situation is further complicated by the sudden appearance of his estranged father.
Writer: Luke Davies
Director: Garth Davis
Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara
Adapted from the non-fiction book A Long Way Home, Lion follows the challenges a young Indian boy faces after taking a wrong train, being separated from his family, and being adopted by Australians. Twenty-five years later, armed only with sparse information and Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family.
The Man Who Was Thursday
North American Premiere
Writer/Director: Balazs Juszt*
In a mind-bending metaphysical thriller, disgraced local parish, Father Smith, is called to Rome for spiritual rehabilitation. Upon Smith’s arrival, his spiritual mentor, Charles, tasks him with a mission to go underground to ascertain the mysterious leader of an archaist group of renegades.
Writers: J.D. Singer, Nicholas Zafonte*
Director: Nicholas Zafonte*
Fifteen years after graduating college, two college friends reconnect at a weekend writers’ retreat. As they struggle to attempt one last shot at a creative lifestyle, the drama of old regrets, insecurity, and unfinished romantic business takes its toll.
Writer: Ryan Colucci*
Directors: Ryan Colucci*, Dragan Roganovic
In this gritty story based on real events, a Long Island drug dealer find himself in over his head once one of his soldiers robs a dealer with a connection to ruthless Serbian gangsters. Now responsible for the debt, he is forced to take drastic measures.