We are pleased to announce the following films have been selected for the 2014 Greater Farmington Film Festival:
2014 Greater Farmington Film Festival (March 6-8, 2014)
REJECT (documentary, 95 mins.), directed by Ruth Thomas-Suh
March 6, 2014 at 6:45 PM, Smith Theatre at Oakland Community College
This presentation of REJECT is made possible by the support of the Farmington Public Schools
At the essence of this film is the idea that social rejection has a profound impact on human life. We on the film team believe that REJECT will come at a time when there is an urgent need in our society to address this—in our homes, in our schools, in the workplace and various institutions. In one of our expert’s words, “We live in a society where many are in physical pain resulting from experiences of rejection. With shared understanding this can be changed, and we can move forward.”REJECT is for parents, doctors, teachers, coaches, school administrators, organizations that train teachers, mental health professionals, clergy, counselors (camp, after-school, academic, etc.), juvenile judges, and many others—in other words, anyone who holds power over others, and holds the power to model acceptance or inflict rejection.
“This film will teach you a great deal and also bring hope to a deep societal concern.” — 23th Annual Heartland Film Festival
“For anyone concerned with our children’s future, this film is an absolute must-see.” —37th Cleveland International Film Festival
“If we train children to be inclusive and kind, we will, quite literally, change the world. Reject is a must-see film.”—Pat Lyden, CEO, Suicide Prevention Education Alliance
SHORT TERM 12 (97 mins., explicit language and some sexuality), directed by Daniel Destin Cretin
March 6, 2014 at 9:00 PM, Smith Theatre at Oakland Community College
SHORT TERM 12 is told through the eyes of Grace (Brie Larson), a twenty-something supervisor at a foster care facility for at-risk teenagers. Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker of the kids in her charge, and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) But Grace's own difficult past, and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself, throw her into unforeseen confusion, made all the sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility, Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection. She and Mason also struggle to help Marcus (Keith Stanfield), an intense, quiet kid who is about to turn 18, manage through the difficulty of having to leave the facility. Grace comes to find—in both her work and the new teenager in her care—surprising sources of redemption. And while the subject matter is complex and often dark, this lovingly realized film finds truth and humor in unexpected places.
“A Pitch-Perfect feel-good film.”- A.M. Homes, Vanity Fair
“Magical. A shining example of what cinema is all about.”- Germain Lussier, Slash Film
“Phenomenally Moving.”- David Edelstein, New York Magazine
“Pitched perfectly, fusing serious issues with a touch of humor, a lot of heart, and a healthy does of realism.”- Katie Walsh, The Playlist
“Short Term 12 (is) an exceptional film in every way” - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
WADJDA (100 mins), directed by Haifaa Al Mansour
March 7, 2014 at 7:15 PM, Farmington Civic Theater
Wadjda is a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Although she lives in a conservative world, Wadjda is fun loving, entrepreneurial and always pushing the boundaries of what she can get away with. After a fight with her friend Abdullah, a neighborhood boy she shouldn't be playing with, Wadjda sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale. She wants the bicycle desperately so that she can beat Abdullah in a race. But Wadjda's mother won't allow it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl's virtue. So Wadjda decides to try and raise the money herself.
At first, Wadjda's mother is too preoccupied with convincing her husband not to take a second wife to realize what's going on. And soon enough Wadjda's plans are thwarted when she is caught running various schemes at school. Just as she is losing hope of raising enough money, she hears of a cash prize for a Koran recitation competition at her school. She devotes herself to the memorization and recitation of Koranic verses, and her teachers begin to see Wadjda as a model pious girl. The competition isn‘t going to be easy, especially for a troublemaker like Wadjda, but she refuses to give in. She is determined to continue fighting for her dreams...
I’m so proud to have shot the first full-length feature ever filmed entirely inside the Kingdom. I come from a small town in Saudi Arabia where there are many girls like Wadjda who have big dreams, strong characters and so much potential. These girls can, and will, reshape and redefine our nation. It was important for me to work with an all-Saudi cast, to tell this story with authentic, local voices. Filming was an amazing cross-cultural collaboration that brought two immensely talented crews, from Germany and Saudi Arabia, into the heart of Riyadh. I hope the film offers a unique insight into my own country and speaks of universal themes of hope and perseverance that people of all cultures can relate to. - Haifaa Al Mansour
"A sharply observed, deceptively gentle film, reportedly the first feature ever directed by a Saudi woman. The movie presents the facts of its heroine's life with calm authority and devastating effectiveness. With impressive agility, WADJDA finds room to maneuver between harsh realism and a more hopeful kind of storytelling. There is warmth as well as austerity in Wadjda’s world, kindness as well as cruelty, and the possibility, modestly sketched and ardently desired, of change. Buoyant." - AO Scott, New York Times
“It's always fascinating to discover what can make us happy, both as moviegoers and citizens of the world. WADJDA does the trick…funny and touching in equal measure.”
-Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
RISING FROM ASHES (82 mins), directed by T.C. Johnstone, narrated by Forest Whitaker
March 7, 2014 at 9:30 PM, Farmington Civic Theater
“Rising from Ashes” is a feature length documentary about two worlds colliding when cycling legend Jock Boyer moves to Rwanda, Africa to help a group of struggling genocide survivors pursue their dream of a national team. As they set out against impossible odds both Jock and the team find new purpose as they rise from the ashes of their past.
[It] was created with a common goal, to tell a story of redemption, hope, and second chances. It was not about the bike, however, the bicycle became a tool that has changed a nation.
ELEANOR’S SECRET (animated, 80 mins), directed by Dominique Monféry
March 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM, Farmington Civic Theater, FREE
This presentation of Eleanor’s Secret is made possible by the support of the Farmington Community Library and the Farmington/Farmington Hills Foundation for Youth and Families
From Academy Award nominated director Dominique Monféry comes a sumptuously animated movie about a magic library where all the characters from classic children’s books come alive.
Nat has fond memories of his eccentric Aunt Eleanor reading to him from her enormous collection of storybooks but is frustrated by his inability to read the books himself. So he is less than thrilled when he learns that his aunt has left him the keys to her attic library as a gift. However, just as Nat’s parents are selling the collection to a shady antiques dealer, Nat discovers that the library is magical – the books are all original first editions of history’s most popular fairy tales, and the famous characters come to life! Now with the help of Alice in Wonderland, the Ogre, Peter Pan and others, he must find a way to get back the books and learn to read an ancient spell to keep the characters alive for future generations of children.
Eleanor’s Secret is a beautifully designed, rollicking adventure in which a boy’s new found ability to read not only sets his imagination free, but saves the day! The film features characters from classics storybooks Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Jack and the Beanstalk, Puss in Boots, Tom Thumb, Little Red Riding Hood, and more!
"A fanciful ode to the joy of reading!" - The Wall Street Journal
"Charming! Imaginative! The animation appeals to all ages and parents will appreciate
the pro-literacy message at the pic's heart ."- Variety
GIRL RISING (101 mins.), directed by Richard E Robbins
March 8, 2014 at 7:15 PM, Farmington Civic Theater
This presentation of Girl Rising is made possible by the support of the Valassis Women's Network
Girl Rising is a groundbreaking feature film about the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to transform societies.
The film presents the remarkable stories of nine girls around the world, told by celebrated writers and voiced by renowned actors.
We use powerful storytelling to deliver a simple, critical truth: Educate Girls and you will Change the World.
The documentary every mother, sister, and daughter should see, as well as the men who love and support them.—Entertainment Weekly
#STANDWITHME (76 mins), directed by Patrick Moreau and Grant Peelle
March 8, 2014 at 9:30 PM, Farmington Civic Theater
Only a 9-year-old would dream that a lemonade stand could free 500 children.
What followed became so much bigger.
Slavery still exists. The chocolate we love, that rug in our living room, or the cell phone in our pocket, all may have been touched by the hands of a child slave.
#standwithme brings to light the power of knowing the story behind our products.