Features, shorts, future Oscar winners (yep, former entry Toyland brought home a statuette last year): The Brooklyn International Film Festival -- which kicks off today and runs though June 14 at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema -- has it all. Here are five films we've got our eye on, in the filmmakers' own words:
BREAKING UPWARDS (Dir: Daryl Wein, USA, dramedy) "Based on an actual experiment devised by director/actor Daryl Wein and actress Zoe Lister-Jones, the film loosely interprets a year in their lives exploring alternatives to monogamy, and the madness that ensues."
YOU MIGHT AS WELL LIVE (Dir: Simon Ennis, Canada, black comedy) "Robert R. Mutt has never had it easy. His family thinks he's a retard, the neighbors think he's a pervo, and almost everyone else thinks he's a total douche bag. He's failed at everything he's ever tried to accomplish, including his own suicide. If that wasn't enough, he's just been kicked out of the only place where he's ever felt at home, the depression ward of the Riverside Mental Hospital... for being too happy."
DR. ALEMÁN (Dir: Tom Schreiber, Germany, drama) "Seeking to escape suburban boredom, 26-year-old med student Marc travels to Cali, Colombia, on an exchange. No sooner has he arrived in the hospital than he is thrust into the operating room, as if in a war zone. […] Marc finds himself drawn to the dangerous life in the favela of Siloé, a picturesque neighborhood of teenage hired assassins."
WAITING FOR WOMEN (Dir: Estephan Wagner, U.K., documentary) "In the remote Spanish village of Riofrio, most of the women left years ago. Only the men remain, without the slightest possibility to find a relationship. Not able to bear this situation any longer, they organize a busload of single women to come from Madrid into their loneliness. Their ideal aim is to fall in love. But having never learned how to deal with women, beside their mothers and some motorway prostitutes, their event goes in some unexpected directions."
PIG HUNT (Dir. Jim Isaac, USA, horror) "Deep country bliss turns into a verdant hell when John, his girlfriend, and a group of buddies head out from San Francisco for a weekend of pig hunting at the remote Mendo County ranch of an uncle who died under mysterious circumstances."
THE MAN WHO WOULD BE POLKA KING (Dir: Joshua von Brown & John Mikulak, USA, documentary) "[An] irreverent look at the rise and fall of Grammy-nominated polka music superstar Jan Lewan, whose defection from Poland to the West in the 1970's led to fame, fortune and an international Polka Empire. For over 30 years, the flashy showman wowed polka fans the world over, headlining massive concerts and hobnobbing with powerful figures like Donald Trump, George HW Bush and even Pope John Paul II. But when the King was hit with a beauty pageant scandal and a subsequent personal tragedy, Lewan's empire collapsed... and the polka world was stunned to learn of the greatest polka-related financial crime in history."
For information on all the films at the festival, screening schedule, and to purchase tickets, go to wbff.org.