American independent films in the competition program
One of the gems of the selection is the unofficial follow-up of the Acadamy Award nominee Winter’s Bone by Debra Granik: ‘Leave No Trace’ has already been a great success in Cannes. Tom (15) lives with her father in the woods on the edge of Portland. Voluntary isolation from “normal society” allows them to create a reality of simple joys untainted by civilization. But one day the surrounding world rears its ugly head, and confrontation is unavoidable. Debra Granik presents a picture of alternative living that might seem radical but that offers a thought-provoking gloss on Western lifestyles and values.
Acting icon of American independent film Paul Dano debuts as director with this adaptation of Richard Ford’s novel about the parent-child relationship. ‘Wildlife’ is about Joe whose adolescence in 1960s Montana is marked by the catastrophic marital crisis of his parents: Jeanette, a stay-at-home mom, and Jerry, who works at a golf course. “It is a coming-of-age story for all three: mother, father, and son,” says Dano, who wrote the script in collaboration with Zoe Kazan. Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal star in the movie.
The organizers of the Festival believe that they have found a real treasure in Nicholas Gyeney’s ‘Ultra Low’. The meta drama takes an unfiltered look behind the scenes at the struggles of the independent film world. It’s a story of a filmmaking team that’s already sacrificed to make several feature films. Upon learning the news that their latest endeavor will not be accepted into any top tier film festival, the team has hit rock bottom. With heavy hearts, they push each other to pick up and move forward on development of their next feature film.