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37 Seconds

Overprotected by her mother and exploited by her wannabe influencer cousin who claims Yuma’s drawings as her own, 23-year-old Yuma, an aspiring artist with cerebral palsy, craves a life of her own making. Played by disabled actress Mei Kayama in her triumphant screen debut, Yuma craves a bigger life where she can explore her sexuality, not shaped or limited by her disabled body. Though soft-spoken, Yuma has a spark of inner steel which reveals itself as she draws her fictional erotic manga, Hana and the Lusts of Time. Through her art, we’re privy to her inner world, a vast panorama beyond the vantage point of her wheelchair. Winner of several awards at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, 37 Seconds is an odyssey of discovery, involving love hotels, kind sex workers, and drag queens—a journey humorous and absurd but also deeply human and joyful. Tokyo’s skyline, through Yuma’s eyes, is a character unto itself, guiding her to realization and triumph.
Thu, Oct 10 6:00 PM
Fri, Oct 11 11:00 AM
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The Aeronauts

Spontaneous pilot (Felicity Jones) and prudent meteorologist (Eddie Redmayne) rise to new heights in this entrancing tale of a 19th-century hot air balloon expedition from British director-on-the-rise Tom Harper (Wild Rose). Five years after The Theory of Everything (MVFF 2014), reunited stars Jones and Redmayne reignite their winning chemistry amid the film’s stunning visual effects, daring stunts, and rich spectacle.
Thu, Oct 10 9:00 PM
Sun, Oct 13 2:15 PM
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Amateurs (Amatörer)

The picturesque Swedish town of Lafors has fallen on hard times: Once a thriving center of leather and textile production, outsourcing has shuttered the factories. In addition, the community’s demographics are changing: Immigrants, refugees, and the homeless are now part of the face of Lafors. To stimulate the job market, the town council decides to entice SuperBilly, a German cut-price superstore, into opening an outlet in Lafors. When councilman Musse enlists the help of high schoolers to create a promo film, the results are so hilariously bad that the town recruits a filmmaker from Stockholm. His efforts to portray the town as a bucolic Scandinavian paradise backfire badly, so plucky teenage BFFs Aida and Dana decide to take matters into their own hands, with surprising results. At once light-hearted and socially prescient, this delightfully charming and thought-provoking film is a meditation on globalism, the power of film, and what it means to "represent."
Fri, Oct 4 6:30 PM
Wed, Oct 9 9:00 PM
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Amra and the Second Marriage

Following 2016’s Barakah Meets Barakah (Saudi Arabia’s first Oscar® submission), director Mahmoud Sabbagh returns with a perceptive comedy of about the gender wars in modern-day Saudi Arabia. The filmmaker underlines the contrast between the country’s blend of old and new by satirizing gender inequality in traditional middle class society. As told through the eyes of Amra, a wife and mother of two daughters, she appears to acquiesce to her husband taking a second wife who might provide the male heir their culture and his ego demands, but Amra finds subtly subversive ways to undermine him. Amra and the Second Marriage—the first Saudi film to screen at MVFF—is a hilariously rendered and thought-provoking commentary on the clash between the nation’s ancient traditions and its modern prosperity.
Sat, Oct 5 12:00 PM
Sun, Oct 13 2:45 PM
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And Then We Danced

In Tbilisi, Georgia, teenage Merab lives in a crowded apartment where the electricity gets turned off as regularly as his phone runs out of data, forcing him to panhandle. After a lifetime of rigorous training alongside his dance/romantic partner Mary, Merab has hitched his hopes for an escape from his circumstances to a coveted slot in the Georgian National Dance Ensemble. But the tradition-bound regional ensemble leader thinks Merab is too “soft” to master the challenging, athletic choreography. The arrival of another male dancer, Irakli—gifted with perfect form and movement, and equipped with a rebellious streak and eyes full of mischief—upends Merab’s dedication to the company and his relationship with Mary, with galvanizing results. Levan Akin’s gorgeous film is a feast for the senses and an emotional tug on the heart. With his exuberant physicality, star Levan Gelbakhiani, who won the Best Actor award at the Sarajevo Film Festival, shapes Akin’s story into a joyous
Thu, Oct 10 6:00 PM
Fri, Oct 11 2:45 PM
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Animals

Laura (Holliday Grainger, Tell It to the Bees) and Tyler (Alia Shawkat, Arrested Development) are the sort of best friends who have no use for boundaries. They share clothes, an apartment, and a love of drinking and "medicating" their way into Dublin’s boho-chic demimonde. Still, all that hedonism isn’t helping Laura finish her novel. When the twentysomething writer gets engaged to a promising concert pianist, she must choose between a life where the fun never stops and a world where she has to act like a—gasp!—grown-up. A Withnail & I for millennials, Sophie Hyde’s adaptation of Emma Jane Unsworth's bestseller nails that fraught moment when the curtain comes down on the party of youth and you’re unsure what comes next. But it’s the way the killer double act of Grainger (on simmer) and Shawkat (on the boil and beautifully incendiary) captures the ebb and flow of female friendships—from late-night revelry to take-no-prisoners truth-telling—that makes Animals
Wed, Oct 9 8:15 PM
Fri, Oct 11 8:30 PM
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August (Agosto)

Set in the Gibara region of Cuba where the director grew up and using a cast of both professional and non-professional actors, this quietly affecting directorial debut from Armando Capó is at once a coming-of-age story and a reflection of Cuba’s turbulent history. Carlos, Elena, and Mandy are teenagers living in a rural Cuba. After school gets out for the summer, they wander around, go to the beach, form crushes and misunderstandings—like teenagers everywhere. But their idyllic summer is about to be overwhelmed by forces they can’t control. It’s 1994, and Cuba is beset by a wave of emigration due to economic and social instability. The balseros, or rafters, are leaving in droves, some in homemade vessels—many perishing before they make it to their destinations. Carlos' poor yet close-knit family life and comfortable social milieu will be forever changed by the forces of history that threaten to engulf his island home.
Fri, Oct 4 3:45 PM
Sat, Oct 5 1:30 PM
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Aurora

Hard-partying, commitment-phobic nail technician Aurora is true to her name: at once luminous and dark, beautiful and bound to burn out quickly. She pinballs through life in icy Lapland without a plan more concrete than moving to Norway to administer colonics, bouncing from karaoke bar to dance party to friends’ couches and back again, and getting ejected from a strip club for trying to incite a feminist riot. Then, in an unorthodox romcom twist, she meets-not-so-cute with Iranian asylum seeker Darian and discovers her purpose: to find him a wife so he can stay in Finland with his young daughter. Meanwhile, soulful Darian starts to assimilate to his new surroundings, including a few hilarious attempts at mastering the Finnish culture of sauna bathing. But will he settle for a fake spouse and stop running for his life, and will Aurora keep running away from herself? Winner of the Best International Feature at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Fri, Oct 11 5:30 PM
Sat, Oct 12 11:45 AM
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Bacurau

A feverish mixture of thriller, science fiction, western, and political satire, Bacurau is, above all, an angry commentary on Brazil’s shifting political fortunes—albeit one that makes room for Spandau Ballet tunes. Co-directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho (Aquarius, MVFF 2016) and Juliano Dornelles, the movie chronicles the surreal happenings that occur in a small rural town—which has vanished from GPS, an indication of the off-the-map peculiarity that follows. This ensemble piece, featuring everyone from Aquarius star Sônia Braga to genre legend Udo Kier, begins as a lament for a community cut off from society but soon morphs into a life-or-death struggle, pitting greedy outsiders against fiercely determined locals. The clash of tones and styles electrifies, but what ties this Cannes Jury Prize winner together is its sense of outrage: at globalization, at those who try to erase indigenous peoples, at an encroaching modern world that too often destroys everything in i
Mon, Oct 7 8:15 PM
Tue, Oct 8 9:00 PM
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Beanpole (Dylda)

Richly stylized and dramatically raw, Beanpole fulfills the promise the now-27-year-old Russian director Kantemir Balagov made with his searing 2017 debut Closeness. Leaving audiences buzzing at Cannes and eventually claiming both the Best Director and FIPRESCI prizes in the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, Balagov, a former student of cinema master Alexander Sokurov (Russian Ark), instantly became one of world cinema’s most invigorating new talents. Set in the ravaged city of Leningrad in 1945, friends Iya and Masha, who met fighting on the frontlines during WWII, attempt to restore purpose to their lives in the strange aftermath of war while working at an overcrowded veteran’s hospital. With a staggeringly rich color palette of verdant emeralds, glowing ambers, and deep reds to juxtapose the foggy subject matter, Balagov has painted a devastating portrait of the brutality of the mind that you won’t soon forget.
Wed, Oct 9 8:15 PM
Fri, Oct 11 8:00 PM
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Blackbird

SPECIAL PREMIERE: With unvarnished clarity, unflinching courage, and delicate grace, versatile British director Roger Michell (Tea with the Dames, Le Week-End, MVFF 2013) sensitively examines the complex strands of parental, sibling, and other intimate relationships as three generations of an American family gather over the course of a weekend to bid farewell to their matriarch Lily (Susan Sarandon), who has chosen to take control over her final moments before end-stage ALS robs her of that dignity. Lily uses her indomitable will and her wicked sense of humor to counter the physical pain, but the idyllic weekend she envisioned is quickly sabotaged by her sparring adult daughters (Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska) who cast last minute doubts about her end-of-life decision. Michell has carved a niche in crafting unconventional, nuanced portraits of adults over 50, and with the stunningly cinematographic Blackbird, the complexities of long-term marriage and the two-way
Sat, Oct 12 4:30 PM
Sun, Oct 13 11:15 AM
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Blue Hour

Japanese director Yuko Hakota's sincere and touching debut full-length feature follows Sunada (Kaho, a Japanese TV darling who also co-starred in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Our Little Sister), a 30-year-old TV commercial director whose work and home lives leave something to be desired. With her quirky best friend Kiyoura (Korean actress Shim Eun-kyung) who fancies herself an amateur chanteuse, she embarks on a road trip from Tokyo to her childhood home in the countryside of Ibaraki. In a setting that's both familiar and changed, Sunada and Kiyoura reimagine themselves and consider how one's childhood shapes a person. Full of gorgeous color thanks to cinematographer Ryûto Kondô (Shoplifters, MVFF 2018), Blue Hour is a visual treat which evenly blends awkwardly funny scenes with emotionally stirring drama in this remarkable coming-of-age-in-your-30s tale.
Sat, Oct 5 2:45 PM
Thu, Oct 10 9:15 PM
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The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open

Based on a true life incident, this indelible character study intimately wraps us into the lives of Áila (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, who also co-wrote and directed alongside Kathleen Hepburn) and Rosie (Violet Nelson, in a moving debut performance), two Indigenous Canadian women who have been dealt very different hands in life.
Sat, Oct 5 8:30 PM
Mon, Oct 7 6:00 PM
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By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu)

If you think Spotlight (MVFF 2015) is all that the cinema world has to say about the trauma of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, François Ozon has some powerful news for you. Acclaimed for his stylish, sexually playful oeuvre (8 Women, Swimming Pool), Ozon radically shifts registers here with a gripping ripped-from-the-headlines exposé of a nationwide scandal still unfolding in France today. Ozon’s unlikely heroes (only lightly fictionalized) are three adult male survivors (top French talents Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet, and Swann Arlaud) of the venerable and predatory Father Bernard Preynat. Discovering that their former tormentor has been reassigned to Lyon and has apparently been shielded all along by a heavenly institution hellbent on silence, the men—still scarred and facing near-insurmountable challenges to their faith—begin a movement to bring the Church to account. Sensitively performed and tautly constructed, this film—winner of the Silver Bear G
Mon, Oct 7 8:45 PM
Thu, Oct 10 2:45 PM
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Carmilla

Based on a 19th-century gothic novel (pre-dating Bram Stoker’s Dracula by 30 years), this evocative and supernaturally-inflected coming-of-age tale combines the beauty, gruesomeness, and inevitability of nature with a young girl’s burgeoning sexuality. Lara (Hannah Rae, Broadchurch), an isolated teenager, certainly earns the frequent palm whackings from her stern governess, Miss Fontaine (Jessica Raine, Call the Midwife). Fascinated with the macabre, Lara borrows "forbidden" anatomy books from her father’s study and uses her left hand to eat despite the governess' admonitions. When a carriage overturns on the road outside the estate, its injured occupant, the spirited and sensuous young Carmilla, takes up residence in the home for her recuperation. Lara develops a growing obsession with the enigmatic houseguest, and strange events unfold. When Lara falls mysteriously ill in the same manner as other girls in the region, suspicions turn to Carmilla as the source of t
Mon, Oct 7 9:00 PM
Tue, Oct 8 11:30 AM
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Cherry Blossoms & Demons (Kirschblüten & Dämonen)

For downtrodden and alcohol-dependent Karl (Golo Euler), everything in his life seems to be going wrong—he loses his job, separates from his wife and child, and is still unable to grieve his parents’ deaths. He doesn’t know where to turn until a mysterious dancer from his late father’s past named Yu (Aya Irizuki) magically arrives on his doorstep. Unexpectedly, Yu begins to help Karl confront his demons (both literal and figurative) and start to heal in this surreal, whimsical dramedy. Celebrated German filmmaker Doris Dörrie (who won the Audience Award at MVFF 2016 for Greetings from Fukushima) continues to explore the process of reckoning with our spirits across different cultures. In this sweet-spirited sequel to her award-winning 2008 film Cherry Blossoms, Dörrie continues the moving stories of her lively characters, bringing the great Birgit Minichmayr, Hannelore Elsner, Felix Eitner, and Elmar Wepper back as Karl's charming family. Don’t miss a special cameo by Hiro
Mon, Oct 7 6:00 PM
Tue, Oct 8 8:30 PM
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The Conductor (De dirigent)

Feminist icon Antonia Brico, for those not (yet!) familiar with her, was the first woman to conduct the New York Philharmonic. Internationally acclaimed for her work with the Berlin Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and her own Women’s Symphony Orchestra, the story of Brico’s rise from poverty to prominence in her field is truly extraordinary. Director Maria Peters' cinematically stunning and inspirational biopic tells the tale of a defiant and determined Dutch working-class immigrant (and SF Bay Area transplant) in the early 20th century. Raised by a stern and tradition-bound foster family, Brico must choose between her passion to train as an orchestra conductor—unimaginable for a woman of her time—and the comforts and constraints of traditional gender roles and functions. With galvanizing performances by Christianne de Bruijn (as Brico) and Scott Turner Schofield (as Antonia’s dedicated friend and confidant), this unforgettable drama brings Brico’s story to life with vibrant
Sat, Oct 5 2:00 PM
Sun, Oct 6 8:00 PM
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Days of the Bagnold Summer

SPECIAL PREMIERE: When plans to visit his father in Florida are abruptly canceled, 15-year-old Metallica superfan Daniel (Earl Cave, brilliant in his big-screen debut) begrudgingly spends the summer at home in the British 'burbs with his cheery librarian mum, Sue (Monica Dolan, Pride). On the surface, the moody teen and his unsinkable progenitor have about as much in common as his black heavy-metal t-shirts do with her pastel cardigans. The one trait they share is the struggle to follow Sue’s repeated advice: “Try something new.” Over the course of the summer, each is pushed to the limits of their comfort zone, and both indeed "try something new." With pitch-perfect performances by Dolan and Cave (and a wicked cameo by Rob Brydon) and set to a superb soundtrack by Belle & Sebastian, Simon Bird’s fabulous feature debut is an utterly delightful take on the coming-of-age comedy, hilariously and tenderly exploring the mother-son relationship with all its idiosyncrasies, heartache, a
Sat, Oct 12 5:00 PM
Sun, Oct 13 11:00 AM
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