Lovers of indie film rejoice! This Thursday the 8th annual Possible Worlds Film Festival will be opening its doors and bringing you some of the best new independent films of the year.
Previously the festival has focused purely on Canadian films, but this year sees a shift as it broadens its scope to also include independent films from the country’s southern neighbour – the U.S.A.
In the program are twenty new feature films – ten Canadian and ten American – which will show in Sydney from August 8th – 18th with selected titles screening in Canberra from August 21st – 23rd. For the full program and to purchase tickets visit the festival website here.
In Sydney, the festival will open with Sarah Polley’s acclaimed documentary Stories We Tell and close ten days later with Sydney premiere of Joe Swanberg’s romantic comedy Drinking Buddies, starring Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson and Ron Livingston.
To help you with the tough choice of which of the indie gems on offer you should be locking in, we’ve pulled together our top five picks from this year’s program:
Don’t let the fact that it’s filmed in black and white fool you, as this film could not be more vibrant and full of joy. Charting the mid-twenties pitstop in life where adulthood settles in, the story follows a dancer who is approaching her 30s with little success, no boyfriend and nowhere to live. Breakout star Greta Gerwig – who also co-wrote the film – brings a lightness and quirkiness to the screen that makes this a bright and breezy modern masterpiece.
This Sundance hit follows the unsettling tale of an introspective teacher and her illicit sexual relationship with one of her high school students. It’s a simple but powerful film which manages to overcome the hysteria that usually accompanies this age-old subject. Lindsay Burdge gives a commanding performance that is the driving force behind this tale of incompatible desire.
STORIES WE TELL
Secrets – almost every family has one of them. This fascinating documentary centres on Canadian Sarah Polley’s investigation of her own family and her subsequent discovery of incredible secret from her late mother’s past. Make sure to steer clear of any spoilers for this festival favourite!
Jena Malone and Chlo√´ Sevigny star in this unique drama with supernatural overtones from Portland artist M Blash. The story centres on two sisters who decide to keep their deceased mother in their home after a call from a psychic suggests that she will come back to life. We were intrigued by this haunting exploration of grief and its effect on those experiencing it.
Yet another film in this year’s line up exploring a teacher/student relationship that oversteps the boundaries – but this time from a very different perspective. Molly is a student at a progressive high school that forms a bond with her disillusioned English teacher, and this time the taboo tale is told from the giddy and breathless view of someone experiencing their first love. This coming-of-age tale gives an oddly disarming and upbeat take on this heated topic.