The 2015 Spring International Film Festival is making its way to the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center March 27 through April 2, bringing culture and award-winning films together.
Here’s a look at what’s being offered:
Kicking off the festival is “Gloria” (Chile), a story about a “woman of a certain age” who still feels young. Though lonely, she makes the best of her situation and fills her nights seeking love at social dance clubs for single adults. Her fragile happiness changes the day she meets Rodolfo. Their intense passion, to which Gloria gives her all, leaves her vacillating between hope and despair – until she uncovers a new strength and realizes that, in her golden years, she can shine brighter than ever.
The film’s awards include the 2013 National Board of Review Top Five Foreign Language Films and the 2014 SLFCA Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
“Gloria” shows at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, 12:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31.
“Land Ho!” (USA/Iceland), tells the story of Mitch, a brassy former surgeon, who, feeling disenchanted with life after retirement, convinces mild-mannered Colin, his ex brother-in-law, to holiday with him in Iceland. The pair set off through Reykjavik ice bars, trendy spas and adventurous restaurants in an attempt to reclaim their youth, but they quickly discover that you can’t escape yourself, no matter how far you travel.
As a bonus, there will be a post-film discussion after the Saturday, March 28, “Land Ho!” screening, which takes place at 2:30 p.m.. with star Earl Lynn Nelson, who plays Mitch. Fans of the film will be afforded the opportunity to hear Nelson discuss the making of the film, and ask questions. A former New Orleans surgeon, Nelson’s role as Mitch came naturally in this comedy, which won the 2015 Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award.
In addition to the March 28 showing, “Land Ho!” shows at 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 30, and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April. 2.
“Love is Strange” (USA) is the story of Ben and George, who have been together for nearly 40 years. When gay marriage becomes legal in New York the couple decide that it’s finally time to tie the knot. Although the ceremony is everything Ben and George could have hoped for, the happy couple’s newlywed bliss is short-lived when the diocese receives word of the wedding, and George is fired from his job at a Catholic school. As a result, the pair are no longer able to afford the rent on the NYC apartment they’ve shared for two decades. The big event that should have brought Ben and George closer together leads only to loneliness and frustration as everyone involved finds their once-comfortable lives in a hopeless state of flux. The film earned the 2014 Women Film Critics Circle Award and was nominated for the 2015 Independent Spirit Award and a Golden Globe Award.
Show times are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31.
Oscar-winner “Ida” (Poland), is a drama set in 1962 Poland. Anna, an orphaned teenager preparing to become a nun, is sent into the secular world to be with her only living relative, Wanda. Being outside the comforts of the convent, Anna experiences new things and learns that she is, in fact, Jewish. Anna also learns that both of her parents were killed in the Holocaust. Although ready to take her vows as a nun, Anna is forced to deal with her tragic family history. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, she and Wanda search for answers and, along the way, question their religions and beliefs. The film won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the 2014 American Society of Cinematographers Spotlight Award
“Ida” can be seen at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March. 29 , and 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 1.
“2 Autumns, 3 Winters” (France) is about a 33-year-old man, Arman, who is ready to make a change in his life. Arman starts with a run in the park, where he literally bumps into Amélie. Slightly cynical but nevertheless lovely, Amélie becomes his target. Arman is set on making a connection with Amélie and will do whatever it takes. As fate brings them together, Arman’s best friend, Benjamin, suffers an unexpected stroke, relegating him to the hospital for weeks, where he falls for his doting physical therapist. Over the course of two autumns and three winters, the three share the incidental moments, unexpected accidents, unconventional love stories and memories that will define who they are. The film earned the 2014 RiverRun International Film Festival Special Jury Prize, and was nominated for the 2013 Hamptons International Film Festival Golden Starfish Award.
“2 Autumns, 3 Winters” can be seen at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29, 7:30 p.m., Monday, March 30, and 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 1.
Chronicling the drama of the Lim family, “Ilo Ilo” (Singapore), is set in Singapore during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. A troublesome grade-schooler, Jiale, and his overstressed parents, Heck and Leng, are the focus of this film. Comfortably middle-class and with another baby on the way, the family hires Teresa, a Filipino immigrant, as a live-in maid and nanny. An outsider to both the family and Singapore, Teresa struggles to manage Jiale’s antics and find her footing in the community. The two eventually form a unique bond, but just as Teresa becomes an unspoken part of the family, unforeseen circumstances in an uncertain economy will challenge the new normal yet again. This film won the 2013 Asia Pacific Screen Award, and the 2013 Bombay International Film Festival Silver Gateway
“Ilo Ilo” shows at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, 5:30 p.m., Sunday March 29, 5:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April. 2.
In a special festival kick-off event, a free screening of “Seeking God in All Things” will be hosted by the Pallottine Missionary Sisters at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26. For the past century in the United States, the Pallottine Missionary Sisters have been answering their call to serve the Catholic Church as religious sisters. From Germany to Huntington and points in between, the Pallottine Missionary Sisters have provided a century’s worth of extraordinary service to those in need. “Seeking God in All Things” is a documentary that chronicles the sisters and their unwavering answer to God’s call, in which they would all be saying yes to a life that would not be their own…going where they might not want to go…to seek and find God in all things.
Tickets for the 2015 Spring International Film Festival are $7.50 per film. Tickets may be purchased at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center; advance tickets are not necessary. Tickets go on sale 15 minutes prior to each film. For more information call ext.6-6656 or visit www.marshall.edu/muartistseries.
The International Film Festival is sponsored by Cabell Huntington Convention & Visitors Bureau, Oldies 97.1, WVHU, WSAZ, the Herald Dispatch, Marshall University, and the Marshall Artists Series.