"Is this the falcon you told me about?" Check out this festival promo trailer for an indie coming-of-age film titled The Falconer, which is premiering soon at the Heartland Film Festival. No release has been set, but this looks like it's one to keep an eye out for. This is apparently the first feature ever to be shot entirely in Oman. The Falconer is about two best friends, Tariq, the Lebanese-born son of a poor beekeeper, and Cai, a Westerner. The inseparable pair work together at a ramshackle zoo in Oman. Their care-free friendship is challenged when Tariq promises to help his sister, Alia, escape from an abusive marriage. Cai's worldview and love for animals is pitted against Tariq's daring plan to steal animals from the zoo and sell them to save Alia. They are forced to wrestle with morally complex choices that expose the vast distance between their worlds. Starring Rami Zahar, Rupert Fennessy, Noor Al-Huda, & Khamis Al-Rawahi. Watch below.
"Try not to care what the world thinks about us. Because this is real for me." Strand Releasing has unveiled an official trailer for an indie drama titled Cicada, marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Matt Fifer. This played at numerous LGBT film festivals last year, including Outfest, Out on Screen, OUTshine, Zinentiendo, Queer Screen Sydney, and Frameline in San Fran. Cicada follows Ben, a young bisexual man, as he comes out to the world and develops an intense relationship with Sam, a closeted man struggling with deep wounds of his own. As the summer progresses and their intimacy grows, their pasts begin to crawl to the surface. Written & directed by Matt Fifer, who also stars in the film as Ben, with Sheldon Brown, Sandra Bauleo, Cobie Smulders, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, Michael Potts, Scott Adsit, and David Burtka. This looks quite tender and lovely, and decidedly honest about relationships and their challenges.
"Your are gonna learn something that can't be taught in a book or classroom." Vertical Entertainment has released an official trailer for Heart of Champions, a sports drama formerly known as Swing before this release retitle. This recently premiered at the Oldenburg Film Festival a few months ago. The film is about a trouble rowing crew. During their last year at an Ivy League college in 1999, a group of friends and crew teammates' lives are changed forever when an army vet takes over as coach of their dysfunctional rowing team. Michael Shannon stars as Coach Murphy, with a cast including Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Alex MacNicoll, Ash Santos, Lilly Krug, and David James Elliott. This doesn't seem like it has anything new to offer, just another story of a team learning to play together to be better, like so many other sports movies before. And it's produced by the Winklevoss twins, which should tell you plenty about it.
"I don't want you getting dragged any further into this." Dark Star Pictures has debuted an official trailer for an indie noir crime thriller titled Time Now, written and directed by Detroit-based filmmaker Spencer King. This is arriving on VOD later in October for anyone interested in watching. A young mother returns to her estranged hometown of Detroit after the sudden death of her twin brother and immerses herself in his friend group, soon discovering that his death is not what it seems… Eleanor Lambert stars in this, with Claudia Black, Xxavier Polk, Paige Kendrick, Dwele, Sebastian Beacon, Jeannine Thompson, Peter Knox, Aaron Matthew Atkisson, and Asher Atkisson. Looks like there's something strange and supernatural going on in here. Hard to tell from just this footage, but seems like an intriguing Detroit noir.
"I'm not afraid to fight you!" A24 has revealed the first official trailer for the film Red Rocket, the latest from Sean Baker (The Florida Project, Tangerine) which premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. It also stopped by the Telluride, Deauville, San Sebastián, and New York Film Festivals this year, and opens in theaters starting this December. Red Rocket is about a washed up, low-life porn star actor named Mikey Saber who returns to his hometown in Texas and tries to move back in with his wife. But no one really wants him there or likes him much. "The audacious new film from writer-director Sean Baker, starring Simon Rex in a magnetic, live-wire performance." The cast includes Suzanna Son, Bree Elrod, Brenda Deiss, Ethan Darbone, Brittney Rodriguez, and Judy Hill. This is a very good flick; even if it's awkward and cringe and this guy is a slimy bastard, Baker makes it all a very entertaining film to watch.
"The way I've always been doing things just doesn't work now." Relativity Media has debuted a trailer for an indie film titled Violet, which first premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival earlier this year. Violet marks the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Justine Bateman, who has been working in Hollywood and tells many of her own stories in this film. It is a brutal look at life in the industry, and how shitty so many people can be. But it's also a brutal look at how shitty we can be to ourselves. Olivia Munn stars as Violet, who realizes her entire life is built on fear-based decisions, and must do things differently to become her true self. The film features Justin Theroux as "the voice" inside of her head, telling her how awful she is. There's also on-screen text for three layers showing how she's overwhelmed with anxiety all the time. The cast includes Luke Bracey, Dennis Boutsikaris, Erica Ash, and Zach Gordon. I saw this film during SXSW and loved it, a very clever take on overcoming negativity. And FS.net is quoted in here! Have a look.
"What she did was liberate those girls." Studio Soho Distribution has released an official UK trailer for a biopic documentary film titled Quant, made by actress-turned-filmmaker Sadie Frost. This is premiering at the London Film Festival this month before it opens in UK cinemas later this fall. The doc explores the life and legacy of 1960s fashion icon, Mary Quant. In her directorial debut, Frost pairs archival footage with dramatized scenes, featuring Camilla Rutherford as Quant with striking creativity. Interviews with Quant family members and titans of the fashion & beauty industry provide a rich texture for exploring the creative, personal and professional life of a beloved cultural icon. If you don't know much about her, a perfect chance to learn more! LFF's intro: "A film powered by female ingenuity, both in front of and behind the camera, along with 1960s pop hits and a vibrant dayglow archive, Quant brims with London vim." Looks quite good.
"I don't know what my future will be." PBS has unveiled an official trailer for an acclaimed documentary film titled Fruits of Labor, which is airing on PBS's POV series on TV today. This doc originally premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, and also played at the Seattle, Hot Docs, and IFF Boston Film Festivals throughout the year. Ashley, a Mexican-American teenager living in California, dreams of graduating high school and going to college. But when ICE raids threaten her family and her plans for the future, Ashley is forced to become the breadwinner, working days in the strawberry fields and nights at a food processing company. "Director Emily Cohen Ibáñez documents Ashley's life guided by the spirit world through her hardships and joys in modern America." This film highlights two important topics: where your food comes from, who grows & collects it; and the struggles of immigrants trying to make a life in America.
"He isn't a stranger to himself anymore, he can see inside himself." Strand Releasing has unveiled a new US trailer for an indie drama titled Minyan, which originally premiered at last year's Berlin Film Festival. It also played at Outfest last year, and stopped by the New York Jewish Film Festival earlier this year. The film stars Samuel H. Levine as a young Russian Jewish immigrant caught between thrilling private trysts and his repressive family. Set in 1980s Brooklyn, he develops a close friendship with his grandfather's neighbors, two elderly closeted gay men who open his imagination to the possibilities of love and the realities of loss–and explores the East Village where he finds a world teeming with the energy of youth, desire, and risk. The cast includes Ron Rifkin, Christopher McCann, Chris Perfetti, Elizabeth Loyacano, and Zuzanna Szadkowski. Looks like a distinct coming-of-age film with intense passion carefully worked into the story.
"What did it make you feel?!" A24 has revealed an official trailer for the film The Souvenir: Part II, a follow-up to the 2019 film The Souvenir, both of them written and directed by filmmaker Joanna Hogg. This premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival earlier this year playing in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar, and is also stopping by the Zurich, New York, and London Film Festivals this fall before its release. This is a direct sequel to The Souvenir, continuing the story of Julie, a young filmmaker in England trying to pick up the pieces of her life after a manipulative, destructive relationship (as seen in the first film) ends abruptly. Honor Swinton Byrne returns as Julie, who tries to make a film about her own life, with a cast including Jaygann Ayeh, Richard Ayoade, Ariane Labed, James Spencer Ashworth, Harris Dickinson, Charlie Heaton, Joe Alwyn, and Tilda Swinton. I'm not a fan of either of these two films, they connect with a very specific cinephile audience that enjoys these kind of dull stories. It's still worth a look anyway.
"We can only greet the strange and unusual with love." Mubi in the UK has debuted another official trailer for the psychedelic, mind-expanding hand-drawn animated film Cryptozoo, which initially premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. As cryptozookeepers struggle to capture a "Baku" (a legendary dream-eating hybrid creature) they begin to wonder if they should display these rare beasts in the confines of a cryptozoo or if these mythical creatures should remain hidden and unknown. With the voices of Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Alex Karpovsky, Zoe Kazan, Louisa Krause, Angeliki Papoulia, Thomas Jay Ryan, Peter Stormare, and Grace Zabriskie. We already featured two other trailers for this film earlier in the summer before it opened in the US (back in August), but with a European release from Mubi (UK, Ireland, Germany, Turkey) coming up in October, why not share some more footage. If you haven't seen this yet and you love psychedelics, crazy cool animation, and/or fantastical storytelling, you must watch the film.
"The ways of the Lord are often terrifying." Or sometimes tantalizing. IFC Films has revealed a sultry official US teaser trailer Paul Verhoeven's latest film Benedetta, already infamously known as the "lesbian nuns" film. This rocked the 2021 Cannes Film Festival in the summer, playing at the festival and earning a mix of love and hate reviews (as expected with a Verhoeven film - don't let these opinions sway you). We also posted the full French trailer back then. A 15th-century nun at a convent in Tuscany, Italy suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. She is assisted by a young companion, and the relationship between the two women at the convent develops into a romantic love affair. Belgian actress Virginie Efira stars as Benedetta Carlini, also with Daphne Patakia as Bartolomea, Charlotte Rampling, Lambert Wilson, Olivier Rabourdin, Hervé Pierre, Clotilde Courau, and Guilaine Londez. I had a blast watching the film, it's as sexy and wild and epic as it seems from this teaser. Definitely worth catching in theaters this fall.