Films / Programs

Films in Competition

The Krzysztof Kieslowski Award, established in 1989, is presented to a feature-length fiction film that reflects the artistic sensibilities of the late Polish director.

The Emerging Filmmaker Award is presented to a first or second-time director without U.S. distribution.

The Maysles Brothers award for Best Documentary is presented annually by Albert Maysles to a feature-length nonfiction film without U.S. distribution.

  • Another Planet

    Another Planet

    Hungary , 2008 , 95 min. Expanding upon themes he explored in Children: Kosovo 2000 (SDFF 24), Ferenc Moldoványi’s latest documentary is at once hypnotically beautiful and acutely disturbing. Shot over a two-year period in four countries on four continents—Ecuador (South America), Mexico (North America), Democratic R... more
  • The Class

    The Class

    France , 2008 , 128 min. Winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Laurent Cantet’s docudrama examines an extraordinary teacher’s attempt to quell the culture clashes erupting in a tough French high school—arguably a microcosm of postmillennial France.... more
  • Cook County

    Cook County

    USA , 2008 , 93 min. A visceral study of the methamphetamine plague in rural America, Cook County tells the story of drug manufacturer-slash-addict Bump, whose downward spiral threatens to destroy his family. Can teenaged Abe prevent the seemingly inevitable?... more
  • The Eternal City

    The Eternal City

    Italy , 2008 , 93 min. Suffused with the gentle spirit of postwar Italian cinema, this romantic dramedy follows a twenty-something American through Rome as he searches for love—only to stumble into a love triangle. The Eternal City itself costars in vivid black and white.... more
  • Finally, Lillian and Dan

    Finally, Lillian and Dan

    USA , 2007 , 97 min. In the engaging love story Finally, Lillian and Dan, director Mike Gibisser uses the closely observed minutiae of everyday existence to reveal the tantalizingly slow progress two isolated souls make toward connection.... more
  • Mommy Is at the Hairdresser's

    Mommy Is at the Hairdresser's

    Canada , 2008 , 98 min. As funny as it is sad, as quirky as it is dark, Léa Pool’s latest drama unfolds over the course of one long summer. While harboring secrets that threaten to destroy her family, teenaged Élise begins to discover exactly who she is—and who she is becoming.... more
  • Moscow, Belgium

    Moscow, Belgium

    Belgium , 2008 , 102 min. MUST END Thursday, March 12 35mm presentation - Moscow, or 'Moscou' in Flemish, is a densely populated working class neighborhood on the outskirts of Ghent, Belgium. That's where Matty (Barbara Sarafian), an ordinary housewife with nothing but three kids to her name, works at the post... more
  • The New Year Parade

    The New Year Parade

    USA , 2008 , 87 min. In this unsentimental kitchen-table drama set against the background of the annual Mummers Parade, the divorce of a Philadelphia couple leaves their teenaged daughter and twenty-something son grappling with painful doubts about love.... more
  • Pressure Cooker

    Pressure Cooker

    USA , 2008 , 99 min. MUST END Thursday, August 13 35mm presentation - Pressure Cooker profiles the lives of three high school seniors from Northeast Philadelphia, each with unique hardships but with the shared goal of winning scholarships to the country's best culinary schools. Their unlikely hero ... more
  • Sita Sings the Blues

    Sita Sings the Blues

    USA , 2008 , 82 min. MUST END Thursday, July 16 35mm presentation - A feminist spoof of the ancient Hindu epic The Ramayana, Sita Sings the Blues uses a rich blend of visual styles to wed the story of a modern-day marital split to the saga of the goddess Sita, abandoned by her husband Rama. With f... more
  • The Song of Sparrows

    The Song of Sparrows

    Iran , 96 min. MUST END Thursday, May 14 35mm presentation - Karim works at an ostrich farm outside of Tehran, Iran. He leads a simple and contented life with his family in his small house, until one day when one of the ostriches runs away. Karim is blamed for the loss and is fired from the farm. So... more
  • Song Sung Blue

    Song Sung Blue

    USA , 2008 , 87 min. A ragged slice of Americana, Song Sung Blue captures the strange, sad trajectory of Lightning, a Neil Diamond impersonator, and his chanteuse wife Thunder—who, following a freak accident, refuse to abandon their dreams, no matter how delusional.... more
  • Terribly Happy

    Terribly Happy

    Denmark , 2008 , 99 min. MUST END April 22 35mm Presentation - In this twisted, darkly comic thriller, Robert Hanson (Jakob Cedergren) is a Copenhagen police officer who, following a nervous breakdown, is transferred to a small provincial town to take on the mysteriously vacated Marshal position. He subsequen... more
  • They Killed Sister Dorothy

    They Killed Sister Dorothy

    USA , 2008 , 93 min. Via courtroom footage and shockingly candid interviews, Colorado-based filmmaker Daniel Junge (Iron Ladies of Liberia, SDFF 30) chronicles the search for justice following the execution of an activist nun in Brazil and its implications for the future of the rainforest.... more
  • Tricks


    Poland , 2007 , 96 min. In the humdrum quiet of a working-class mining town, a summer of discovery awaits six-year-old Stefek and teenaged Elka in Tricks, Polish director Andrzej Jakimowski’s homage to his own older sister.... more
  • War Child

    War Child

    USA , 2008 , 90 min. First-time director C. Karim Chrobog documents the life story of Sudanese hip-hop artist Emmanuel Jal, once a child soldier who carried an AK-47 at age seven. Now he raps about the horrors of his war-torn homeland, pleading for peace.... more
  • Wellness


    USA , 2007 , 90 min. Crafted on a less-than-shoestring budget from the improvisations of nonprofessional actors, this American tragedy centers on a Willy Lomanesque salesman who gives everything he’s got to a pyramid scheme that ends in his ruin.... more
  • Witch Hunt

    Witch Hunt

    USA , 2008 , 91 min. From Emmy award–winning documentarians Don Hardy and Dana Nachman comes Witch Hunt—a gripping, Kafkaesque, and true account of the breakdown of the American legal system during a high-profile child molestation trial in 1980s California.... more
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