The East Coast premiere of Sony Pictures Classics’ “Once Upon a Time in the Midlands,” directed by Shane Meadows, will kick off the sixth Newport Intl. Film Festival June 10.
Also screening at the Rhode Island meet, which runs through June 15, is Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini’s “American Splendor”; Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s “The Heart of Me,” with Helena Bonham Carter, Paul Bettany and Olivia Williams; and Tom Peosay’s doc “Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion,” narrated by Martin Sheen.
The Newport feature competition includes Alejandro Agresti’s “Valentin” (Argentina-Netherlands), Claude Berri’s “A Housekeeper” (France), and U.S. entries “Detective Fiction,” from Patrick Coyle, Joseph Pierson’s “Evenhand” and Greg Pritikin’s “Dummy,” starring Adrien Brody and Milla Jovovich.
Included in the docu feature competition are Finnish helmer Rostislav Aalto’s “Cleaning Up!” Italian Alina Marazzi’s “For One More Hour With You” and four from the U.S.: Liz Garbus’ “Girlhood,” Jyllian Gunther’s “Pull Out,” Cynthia Wade’s “Shelter Dog” and Jesse Moss’ “Speedo.”
The Docu-Club, In-the-Works at Newport program continues, presenting a work in progress that offers industryites and non-professionals the opportunity to participate in critical stages of a documentary production.
This year’s project is Julie Mallozzi’s story about Cambodian-American teens, “Monkey Dance.” Last year’s work-in-progress, Robb Moss’ “The Same River Twice,” went on to premiere in the Sundance docu competition and also will screen at Newport.
As part of NIFF’s animation program, a screening is scheduled of Bill Plympton’s “Hair High,” a gothic high school comedy reminiscent of “Carrie.”
Other sidebars include a Portuguese-lingo showcase, a lineup of children and family films, and Song on Celluloid, devoted to the revitalized musical genre. Featured titles include Deepa Mehta’s “Bollywood/Hollywood,” indigenous Australian Rachel Perkins’ musical drama “One Night the Moon” and a special showing of “Singin’ in the Rain.”
The NIFF also will honor established directors by presenting their feature debuts, including Baz Luhrmann’s “Strictly Ballroom,” Alexander Payne’s “Citizen Ruth,” Ang Lee’s “Pushing Hands,” Mira Nair’s “Salaam Bombay” and Mike Nichols’ “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”