Here's An Indie, There's An Indie! BAMcinemaFest Announces 2013 Line Up

Ben Umstead, East Coast Editor
Oh, New York, New York, you're one hell of a town. And Brooklyn in the summertime is a place to be. Come this June BAMcinématek is most certainly a place to be, when their fifth annual BAMcinemaFest kicks off with many an Indie favorite from this year's Sundance and SXSW and a few other places. Titles I'm noting are Destin Daniel Cretton's youth consular drama  Short Term 12, David Lowery's brooding romance Ain't Them Bodies Saints and the melancholy Christmas comedy White Reindeer. Take a look at the whole kitten caboodle below. 


BAMcinématek announces complete lineup for the fifth annual BAMcinemaFest, a festival of American independents with 22 New York premieres and one world premiere, June 19--28

Opening Night--New York premiere of David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Closing Night--New York premiere of Destin Daniel Cretton's Short Term 12

Opening & closing night plus spotlight screenings at the new Steinberg Screen at the BAM Harvey Theater

The Wall Street Journal is the title sponsor for BAMcinemaFest, BAMcinématek, and BAM Rose Cinemas.

Brooklyn, NY/May 8, 2013--BAMcinématek announces the complete main slate for the fifth annual BAMcinemaFest (Jun 19--28), a 10-day festival presenting premieres for emerging voices in American independent cinema. With 22 New York premieres and one world premiere, the young festival--"New York's best independent film showcase" (The New Yorker)--includes films culled from Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Rotterdam, Locarno, True/False, and SXSW. The 2013 edition marks BAMcinemaFest's fifth anniversary, commemorated with more premieres than ever before and special screenings at a new venue.

"We're celebrating the fifth anniversary of BAMcinemaFest with a very strong and very eclectic lineup this year," says Florence Almozini, program director of BAMcinématek. "For our fifth year, we have a few festival veterans returning: Andrew Bujalski will celebrate with us with his hilarious film Computer Chess, Matthew Porterfield returns with I Used to be Darker, and Andrew Dosunmu, whose debut feature premiered at BAMcinématek, is back with Mother of George.  We're thrilled that BAMcinemaFest has remained a hometown festival, with nearly half of our main slate by Brooklyn filmmakers, from Dosunmu to Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman (Remote Area Medical), Lana Wilson and Martha Shane (After Tiller), Shaka King (Newlyweeds), Eliza Hittman (It Felt Like Love), Zach Clark (White Reindeer), Nick Bentgen and Lisa Kjerulff  (Northern Light), and more."

"We're thrilled to support BAMcinemaFest this year as the title sponsor," said Paula Keve, Head of Communications for Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal. "The festival serves a critical purpose in surfacing and showcasing the work of independent artists, and the Journal is delighted to be part of such an important cause."

Opening BAMcinemaFest on Wednesday, June 19 is the New York premiere of David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints, which screens on the new Steinberg Screen at the 834-seat BAM Harvey Theater with Lowery and cast in person. Brought to life with exquisite period detail and richly textured cinematography from talented young DP Bradford Young (winner of the US Dramatic Cinematography award at Sundance for his work on this and Dosunmu's Mother of George), the gritty landscape of 1970s Texas Hill Country serves as the backdrop for this mood-drenched collision of love and crime. After his pregnant wife (Rooney Mara) makes one false move during a bloody shootout, a bank robber (Casey Affleck) faces a 25-year sentence that destroys his dreams of a family life.  Shot through with the yearning and melancholy of a folk ballad, Lowery's directorial breakthrough--one of the most acclaimed films at this year's Sundance Film Festival and a special Critics' Week selection at Cannes--extends the Bonnie and Clyde tradition with its breathtaking meditation on the fragility and transience of love. Ain't Them Bodies Saints is an IFC Films release and will open August 16.

Destin Daniel Cretton's powerful and affecting SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner Short Term 12 closes the festival on Friday, June 28. Sincere and emotional but never sentimental, this warmly empathetic drama, based on the director's real-life experience, follows tenacious young counselor Grace (United States of Tara's Brie Larson, in a soul-baring breakthrough performance) and her long-term boyfriend Mason (John Gallagher Jr., The Newsroom) who work in a halfway house for troubled teens. More than just caretakers, they foster relationships with the at-risk patients that are far more therapeutic than their requisite treatments. With handheld camerawork by Brett Pawlak, this extension of the director's award-winning 2008 short film of the same name is bracingly honest, refreshingly original, and a singular achievement. Short Term 12 is a Cinedigm release.

BAMcinemaFest also features two spotlight screenings in their New York premieres at the BAM Harvey Theater: Sebastián Silva's Crystal Fairy, a bizarre, mescaline-driven road trip through Chile starring Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffmann, and James Pondsoldt's Sundance hit The Spectacular Now, a bittersweet coming-of-age dramedy from the writers of (500) Days of Summer. Filmmakers and cast will appear in person for both films--more information below.

The complete BAMcinemaFest 2013 slate includes:
For complete film descriptions, please download the full release.
OPENING NIGHT: Ain't Them Bodies Saints (David Lowery) NY Premiere Narrative
CLOSING NIGHT: Short Term 12 (Destin Daniel Cretton) NY Premiere Narrative
SPOTLIGHT SCREENING: Crystal Fairy (Sebastián Silva) NY Premiere Narrative
SPOTLIGHT SCREENING: The Spectacular Now (James Ponsoldt) NY Premiere Narrative
After Tiller (Martha Shane & Lana Wilson) NY Premiere Documentary
C.O.G. (Kyle Patrick Alvarez) NY Premiere Narrative
The Cold Lands (Tom Gilroy) NY Premiere Narrative
Computer Chess (Andrew Bujalski) NY Premiere Narrative
Continental (Malcolm Ingram) NY Premiere Documentary
The Crash Reel (Lucy Walker) NY Premiere Documentary
Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg) NY Premiere Narrative *Outdoor screening with Rooftop Films
God Loves Uganda (Roger Ross Williams) NY Premiere Documentary
Hellaware (Michael M. Bilandic) World Premiere Narrative
I Used to be Darker (Matthew Porterfield) NY Premiere Narrative
It Felt Like Love (Eliza Hittman) NY Premiere Narrative
Mother of George (Andrew Dosunmu) NY Premiere Narrative
Museum Hours (Jem Cohen) NY Premiere Narrative
Newlyweeds (Shaka King) NY Premiere Narrative
Northern Light (Nick Bentgen) NY Premiere Documentary
Remote Area Medical (Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman) NY Premiere Documentary
These Birds Walk (Omar Mullick & Bassam Tariq) NY Premiere Documentary
This is Martin Bonner (Chad Hartigan) NY Premiere Narrative
White Reindeer (Zach Clark) NY Premiere Narrative
Special events, shorts, the complete festival schedule, and press screenings to be announced.

In its first five years, BAMcinemaFest has presented the New York premieres of many high-profile American indies, including Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me (2012), Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture (2010), Nicolas Winding Refn's Bronson (2009), Andrew Haigh's Weekend (2011), Alex Ross Perry's The Color Wheel (2011), Lynn Shelton's Humpday (2009), and many others, along with spotlight screenings of Academy Award-nominated films Armando Iannucci's In the Loop (2009) and Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012).

Around the Internet:
  • CJ

    I've heard pretty amazing things about SHORT TERM 12, even though it does look a lot like HALF NELSON

  • benu

    I can say SHORT TERM 12 looks nothing like HALF NELSON beyond young people helping slightly younger people. As someone who has spent most of his "professional time" working with children and teens this seems to be right on the money, plus Brie Larson is overdue to break out as a lead. Plus Film Crit Hulk's review was out of this world good.

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