Ten-year-old Wadjda challenges deep-rooted Saudi traditions in a determined quest to buy a bicycle. When everything goes against her plans, she sees one last chance in her school’s Koran recitation competition and the large cash prize for first place. The first film ever shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, “Wadjda” is the story of a girl determined to fight for her dreams.
“A sharply observed, deceptively gentle film, reportedly the first feature ever directed by a Saudi woman. The movie presents the facts of its heroine’s life with calm authority and devastating effectiveness. With impressive agility, WADJDA finds room to maneuver between harsh realism and a more hopeful kind of storytelling. There is warmth as well as austerity in Wadjda’s world, kindness as well as cruelty, and the possibility, modestly sketched and ardently desired, of change. Buoyant.” -AO Scott, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“The film marks a huge triumph for its female director…a remarkable film twice over.” -Kenneth Turan, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
“It’s always fascinating to discover what can make us happy, both as moviegoers and citizens of the world. WADJDA does the trick…funny and touching in equal measure.” -Joe Morgenstern, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Patema is a precocious teen who loves to explore the caverns and tunnels of her subterranean world until she falls into the DANGER ZONE! In her inverted gravity world, she falls upwards to the Earth’s surface and risks falling into the sky. Saved by an equally rebellious young man who is charmed by this upside-down girl, they fight to save her from the totalitarian surface government that seeks to annihilate her subterranean civilization and the freethinking people they represent. A dizzying, suspenseful animé.
Lola lives on a houseboat called “The Pea” with her mother, but life isn’t exactly smooth sailing. She misses her long-gone Dad and doesn’t care much for her Mom’s new boyfriend. Things change when she befriends a Turkish schoolmate with problems of his own. Despite the tough subjects in this film LOLA ON THE PEA is also musical, funny, and fast-paced with a believable story that will provide much to talk about after the show.
There is perhaps no cinematic bond stronger than that of the friendship between a boy and his dog. For this reason, the novel “Belle et Sébastien” by actress and author Cécile Aubry has endured since the 1960s, inspiring several films, television series, and even the name of a Scottish indie music ensemble.
In this latest film adaptation by Nicolas Vanier, the setting has shifted to World War II on the French/Swiss border. Sébastien (Félix Bossuet) lives with his grizzled grandfather in a vertiginous mountain village and crosses paths with a giant, filthy Pyrenean mountain dog the locals call “The Beast” for allegedly killing livestock. Sébastien, however, sees something good in the misunderstood canine and eventually befriends the animal, naming her “Belle.” Their budding friendship is put to the test when Nazi occupiers march into town looking for members of the French Resistance who are guiding Jewish refugees to neighboring Switzerland. With their intimate knowledge of the nooks and crannies of the alpine valleys, Belle and Sébastien help point the way to safety, with the merciless SS officer, Lieutenant Peter, tracking them every step of the way.
Using 35mm film and jaw-dropping scenery from the Haute Maurienne-Vanoise region of France, Belle et Sébastien is a charming homage to the beloved live-action nature films of Disney, but with a pulse-pounding World War II subplot that will enthrall audiences of all ages.