Exclusive Video: The Films of the 2011 Gen Art Film Festival

Exclusive Video: The Films of the 2011 Gen Art Film Festival

May 25, 2011

One of our favorite film festivals to attend each year is the Gen Art Film Festival, based out of New York City. It's not one of the giant, buzzed-about fests like Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca, SXSW or Toronto, which is part of its charm. The thing I like most about it is how compact and easy to navigate it is. The whole idea of the festival is to find 7 feature films and 7 shorts (some of which are popular on the festival circuit; others are brand new discoveries), and then screen them over the course of 7 nights in New York City. The bonus for those who like to booze it up a little after watching a great independent film is that each of the 7 nights includes its own after party, complete with open bar and all sorts of pretty faces in the crowd.

Always wanted to experience a hip, red-carpet film premiere, complete with posh after party, but never seem to know anyone who can get you access to such an event? Welcome to the Gen Art Film Festival!

This year the festival shifted dates a bit to take place June 8-14, though in previous years we've seen it in April. The line-up, as expected, features some films that have been making waves on the fest circuit (like A Beginner's Guide to Endings and Salvation Boulevard), while others -- like The Pill -- will be enjoying their World Premiere at Gen Art.

The festival put together a little exclusive video highlighting this year's crop of films, and you can scope that out right here. The video features some never-before-seen looks at all the films premiering over the course of the seven nights.

For more on each night's line-up, see the detailed night-by-night schedule below. If you're interested in buying tickets, or finding out more general information about the festival, definitely make sure you hit up Gen Art's website.



A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO ENDINGS

Directed by Jonathan Sobol

Starring: Scott Caan, J.K. Simmons, Tricia Helfer, Jason Jones, Paulo Costanzo and Harvey Keitel

A Beginner’s Guide to Endings is a spectacular journey through the lives of an unforgettable family - interweaving three stories of miraculous redemption and non-stop hilarity. Duke White (Harvey Keitel) is a hard-living gambling man who has doomed his three sons to a horrible fate. When they find out just how little time they have left, the boys decide to make up for a lifetime of misdeeds in a single day. There’s Nuts (Jason Jones), a disgraced boxer-turned-promoter whose lack of talent in the ring is rivaled only by his uncanny lack of brotherly love. Cal (Scott Caan), a smooth-talking charmer with a weakness for all the wrong women - who decides to take one last chance on the one that got away (Tricia Helfer). And Jacob (Paulo Costanzo), who has walked the straight-and-narrow his entire life, but is now determined to cross everything off his bucket list no matter the cost. Rapid-fire comedy and a polished aesthetic take the audience on a wild ride they will not soon forget.

World premiered at Toronto Film Festival

Preceded by DELMER BUILDS A MACHINE

Directed by Landon Zakheim

If you build it, he will come..

AFTER-PARTY

AT VERMILION

480 Lexington Ave. (off 46th St.) 10PM – 1AM

THURSDAY, JUNE 9th – 7:30pm

VISUAL ARTS THEATRE

333 West 23rd Street

YELLING TO THE SKY

Directed by Victoria Mahoney

Starring: Zoe Kravitz, Jason Clarke, Antonique Smith,Yolonda Ross, Tim Blake Nelson and Gabourey Sidibe

Like most teenagers, 17-year-old Sweetness O’Hara (Zoe Kravitz) has arrived at the first of several life changing forks in the road. However, Sweetness has some significantly heavier balls to juggle than the typical teenager’s song and dance. Firstly, she’s the daughter of mixed race parents in a less than tolerant community. Her father, who’s white, has alcoholic tendencies and a history of being abusive. Her mother, who’s black, has a mild mental illness, the exact nature of which Sweetness is unsure. Her protective older sister Ola is pregnant, and though she‘s of great help to Sweetness, has no support for herself from the child’s father. Yet with all this chaos enveloping her, Sweetness still has to deal with the outside world and life in and around school is a minefield of obstacles that she must face on a daily basis. But this is all part of the way it goes growing up in a tough, working class Queens neighborhood - where to become an adult, you first must survive as a teenager.

World premiered at Berlin International Film Festival.

Preceded by SAENG-IL (BIRTHDAY)

Directed by Jennifer Suhr

The only thing Jae wants to do is go to his crush’s birthday party. But when responsibilities to his father’s business begin to mount he has to make a choice that will change everything.

AFTER-PARTY

GRIFFIN

50 Gansevoort St.

(btwn 9th Ave. & Greenwich St.)

10PM – MIDNIGHT

FRIDAY, JUNE 10th - 7:30pm

VISUAL ARTS THEATRE

333 West 23rd Street

NORMAN

Directed by Jonathan Segal

Starring: Dan Byrd, Emily VanCamp, Richard Jenkins, Billy Lush and Adam Goldberg

Norman Long is a high school loner, a self-aware and darkly funny teen who’s just trying to handle his daily existence. In the wake of his mother’s sudden death, Norman must now also deal with the reality that his father is starting to lose his battle with stomach cancer. Depressed and angry, Norman unintentionally gets caught up in a lie that is starting to spiral out of control. Into the eye of this hurricane walks Emily (Emily VanCamp), a magnetic girl with one of those rare enchanting smiles, who becomes invested in Norman’s tale; struggling with her deeply rooted romantic feelings in the face of his ever-growing charade. Ultimately, Norman must confront a burning set of conflicting emotions in the struggle to define his relationship with his father, the love he has for Emily, and a decision to live his life - or be totally consumed by trying to control it.

Winner of acting and directing awards at Chicago, Woodstock, and San Diego Film Festival

Original scores and songs by Andrew Bird.

Preceded by HENLEY

Directed by Craig Macneill

Meet 9-year-old Ted Henley: Budding motel manager and inspired young entrepreneur. He earns his tiny allowance collecting roadkill off the nearby highway. So when the motel register starts to run dry, Ted sets his sights on a much bigger game.

AFTER-PARTY

LAVO

39 E. 58th St.

(btwn Madison and Park Ave.)

10PM – MIDNIGHT

SATURDAY, JUNE 11TH - 7:30pm

VISUAL ARTS THEATRE

333 West 23rd Street

GOOLD’S GOLD

Directed by Tucker Capps and Ryan Sevy

Featuring Jonathan Goold

Jonathan Goold has big dreams. As the glaciers in Alaska melt due to global warming, this geophysicist-adventurer takes his friends on an epic quest in hopes of finding the mother lode of gold — finally accessible after millennia resting under a massive layer of ice. Part Indiana Jones, part Don Quixote, with just enough heart to make it happen, Jonathan leads his merry band of friends through the Alaskan wild in this visually stunning and inspiring journey in search of the great American dream.

Preceded by THE RENOVATION

Directed by: Lea Mathiesen

Maybe it’s the house at the end of your block. Or the building you pass on your way to work every day. You never see anyone go in or come out, but there’s a story inside, and his name is Jim.

AFTER-PARTY

(LE) POISSON ROUGE

158 Bleecker St.

10PM – MIDNIGHT

SUNDAY, JUNE 12th - 7:30pm

VISUAL ARTS THEATRE

333 West 23rd Street

THE PILL

Directed by J.C. Khoury

Starring: Noah Bean, Rachel Boston and Anna Chlumsky

It happens. You meet someone at the bar, one thing leads to another, and the next thing you know you’re waking up wondering (and potentially regretting) exactly what went down the night before. Such is the case for Fred, who starts to panic when his free-spirited one night stand, Mindy, claims that she’s not on birth control - but for some reason isn’t too concerned. Thus sets off Fred’s quest to not become a father. The result is an all-day adventure that abounds in socially awkward and untimely roadblocks, forcing Fred to navigate his life through New York City, while his world is on the verge of collapse. But with a resolution finally in sight, the no-boundaries Mindy starts to grow on the overly anxious Fred, and he’ll have to make a decision that will change the rest of his life.

Shot in New York City

This is the bi-coastal World Premiere of the film. See the film in Los Angeles at the Dances With Films Festival

Preceded by EXCUSE ME

Directed by Duncan Birmingham

Things heat up in the bedroom when sweet little nothings become a bit more..

AFTER-PARTY

THE CHELSEA ROOM

222 W 23rd St

10PM – MIDNIGHT

MONDAY, JUNE 13th - 7:30pm

VISUAL ARTS THEATRE

333 West 23rd Street

AMERICAN ANIMAL

Directed by Matt D'Elia

Starring: Matt D'Elia, Brendan Fletcher, Mircea Monroe, Angela Sarafyan

Remember Alex from A Clockwork Orange? Or Patrick Bateman from American Psycho?? Well they’ve got nothing on Jimmy Pistol. A sex crazed, terminally ill, maniacal modern day Kerouac with a family fortune that ensures he’ll never have to work a day in his life; Jimmy starts to lose it when his life as a recluse is threatened by his roommate’s desire to lead a “normal” life. Jimmy’s solution? Invite a couple of hotties over for a night of debauchery to remind his buddy just how sweet life is. What could possibly go wrong?

This impeccably crafted and very personal film digs beneath the skin to connect with your inner id; a raw, intellectually stimulating social commentary that leaves the audience feeling just as exposed as the characters on screen.

World premiered at SXSW Film Festival

Preceded by WORST ENEMY

Directed by Lake Bell A lame lady named Wooly gets trapped in a full body girdle. AFTER-PARTY Avalon 116 10th Avenue 10PM – MIDNIGHT CLOSING NIGHT TUESDAY JUNE 14th - 7:30pm VISUAL ARTS THEATRE 333 West 23rd Street SALVATION BOULEVARD Directed by George Ratliff Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Jim Gaffigan, Yul Vasquez and Marisa Tomei Salvation Boulevard is a comic romp through the world of Christian fanaticism, instigated by Pastor Dan Day (Pierce Brosnan) a charismatic evangelical preacher who has captivated a small western American town with his charm – and the promise of a sweet real estate development. Carl (Greg Kinnear) is a former follower – not of Christ, but of the Grateful Dead – who’s since become “found” in Dan’s Evangelical community, serving as one of the preacher’s great examples of spiritual and moral transformation. But Carl’s new belief system is turned upside down when he witnesses a sinful act that Pastor Dan’s doughy henchman (Jim Gaffigan) aims to cover up. Now Carl finds himself on the run, torn between Honey (Marisa Tomei), a security guard who still follows the Dead and partakes in those pleasures - and his militantly devout wife (Jennifer Connelly) and her daughter, who is on the eve of taking a vow of sexual purity. This film is based on the book of the same title by Larry Beinhart (WAG THE DOG) and directed by two time Gen Art alumnus George Ratliff, who previously showed Hell House and Joshua at previous Gen Art Film Festivals. World premiered at Sundance Film Festival Preceded by HOT DOGS & HAND GRENADES Directed by Justin Corsbie This “moo-ckumentary” exposé of Bobby Cartwright's U-Shoot 'Em Ranch in rural Texas tells the story of a boy on his first hunt, a group of angry animal rights protesters, and a speed freak determined to kill a cow by any means necessary. AFTER-PARTY HIRO 88 9th Ave. 10PM – 1AM *Presentation of festival awards will take place during the party

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