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Tips from the top: What to see

Pros offer up fest favorites

Nancy Collet
director of programming

This is an unusual year in that two of my favorite films are gala presentations: “The Sea Inside,” a beautiful story with a brilliant performance by Javier Bardem, and “A Very Long Engagement,” from Jean-Pierre Jeunet, a master filmmaker with such attention to detail.

Official selection:Very strong films by first-timers include “Revolution of Pigs,” “Somersault,” “Duck Season,” “Aftermath,” “Symmetry,” “The Woodsman” and “Kontroll.” These filmmakers all have strong visions and have elicited amazing performances from their casts.

Docs: “Czech Dream,” “The Take” and “Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst” are extremely moving, informative and well-made films.

Others: Films I love from more experienced filmmakers are “Innocent Voices” and “Machuca,” both incredibly moving films from Latin America that show how the difficult political situations in these countries affect the young boys growing up there, and the epic “Infernal Affairs Trilogy,” a real masterpiece.

Shaz Bennett
senior programmer

It’s like choosing your favorite child, but since I don’t have children I’ll have to go with “Hotel Rwanda,” “Rock Fresh,” “Aftermath” and “Somersault.”

Also, “The Sea Inside,” “Yesterday,” “The Big Question,” “Gay Republicans,” “The Take,” “Campfire,” “Notre Musique,” “Speak,” “Frozen,” “Chrystal,” “Far Side of the Moon,” “Machuca,” “Malachance” and, of course, “Bad Education” and all things Almodovar.

Erin Anderson
programmer/series producer

“The Sea Inside,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “Yesterday” and “Chrystal,” which is proof that brilliant, independent character films continue to find a voice.

Also, “Live Flesh,” a great and underseen Almodovar film. Javier Bardem as a cop turned handicapped basketball player shouts his arrival as one of the most powerful actors of our time.

Plus, “The Art and Crimes of Ron English,” “Rahtree: Flower of the Night,” “The Other Side of the Street,” “Let’s Rock Again!” and “VeTool.”

Natalie McNemeny
festival manager/documentary programmer

“Seoul Train,” “Voodoo,” “Mounted by the Gods,” “The Take” and “The Other Side of AIDS.”

Also, because they’re loads of fun, “A League of Ordinary Gentleman” and “The Art and Crimes of Ron English.”

And for great music: “Let’s Rock Again!,” “Musica Cubana” and “The Nomi Song.”

— compiled by Amy Dawes

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