September 17 AMY, Asif Kapadia, England 2015, 127min
The incredible story of six-time Grammy-winner Amy Winehouse – in her own words and featuring extensive unseen archival footage and previously unheard tracks. This strikingly modern, moving and vital film shines a light on the world we live in, in a way that very few can. A once-in-a-generation talent, Amy Winehouse was a musician who captured the world’s attention. A pure jazz artist in the most authentic sense – she wrote and sang from the heart using her musical gifts to analyze her own problems. The combination of her raw honesty and supreme talent resulted in some of the most unique and adored songs of the modern era. Her huge success, however, resulted in relentless and invasive media attention which coupled with Amy’s troubled relationships and precarious lifestyle saw her life tragically begin to unravel. Amy Winehouse died from alcohol poisoning in July 2011 at the age of 27.
September 24 IRRATIONAL MAN, Woody Allen, USA 2014, 94min
When a burned-out, brilliant professor (Joaquin Phoenix) - one who believes in lessons from life rather than textbooks - takes a job at a small college, everyone there is a buzz. He becomes involved with a teacher as well as a precocious student (Emma Stone), but it takes a dramatic, existential act to turn his life around and make him see the world through a much rosier and more positive perspective.
October 1 ALOFT, Claudia Llosa, Spain/Cnada/France 2014, 112min
The story of a struggling mother, Nana Kunning and her evolution into a renowned artist and healer. When a young journalist tracks down her son Ivan 20 years after Nana abandoned him, she sets in motion an encounter between the two at the very edge of the earth that will bring the very meaning of their lives into question, and force them to contemplate living life to its fullest, despite the distance between them and the uncertainties littering their paths. Healing will bring warmth, even in the coldest place on earth.
October 8 THE SALT OF THE EARTH, Wim Wenders, Juliano Salgado, France/Italy 2013, 110min
For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus. He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of wild fauna and flora, and of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project, which is a tribute to the planet's beauty. Sebastião Salgado's life and work are revealed to us by his son, Juliano, who went with him during his last travels, and by Wim Wenders, himself a photographer.
October 15 SEYMOUR: an introduction, Ethan Hawke, USA 2014, 84min
Seymour Bernstein is a virtuoso pianist, veteran New Yorker, and true original who gave up a successful concert career to teach music. In this wonderfully warm, witty, and intimate tribute from his friend, Ethan Hawke, Seymour shares unforgettable stories from his remarkable life and eye-opening words of wisdom, as well as insightful reflections on art, creativity, and the search for fulfillment. A “poignant guide to life” (Indiewire) and an engaging exploration on the dedication, perseverance, and fortitude essential to creating both art and a rewarding life,
October 22 TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, James Kent, UK 2014, 129min
A powerful story of love, war and remembrance, based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain, which has become the classic testimony of that war from a woman's point of view. Vera, irrepressible, intelligent and free-minded, overcomes the prejudices of her family and hometown to win a scholarship to Oxford. With everything to live for, she falls in love with her brother's close friend as they go to University to pursue their literary dreams. But the First World War is looming and as the boys leave for the front Vera realises she cannot sit idly by, so volunteers as a nurse. She works tirelessly,experiencing all the grief of war. A searing journey from youthful hopes and dreams to the edge of despair and back again, this is a film about young love, the futility of war and how to make sense of the darkest times.
October 29 THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, Marielle Heller, USA 2015, 101min
Minnie is longing for love, acceptance and a sense of purpose in the world. She begins a complex love affair with her mother's boyfriend, "the handsomest man in the world". What follows is a sharp, funny and provocative account of one girl's sexual and artistic awakening, without judgment. Set in 1976 San Francisco, the film begins at the crossroads of the fading hippie movement and the dawn of punk rock. Minnie's hard-partying mother and absent father have left her rudderless. She first finds solace in Monroe's seductive smile, and then on the backstreets of the city by the bay. Animation serves as a refuge from the confusing and unstable world around her. Minnie emerges defiant — taking command of her sexuality and drawing on her newfound creative talents to reveal truths in the kind of intimate and vivid detail that can only be found in the pages of a teenage girl's diary.
November 5 MERU, Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, USA 2015, 87min
After suffering dramatic set backs in their lives, three close friends, who are among the world’s best professional climbers, battle their complicated pasts, inner demons and nature’s harshest elements in an attempt to climb the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru, considered the ultimate prize in the exclusive high stakes game of Himalayan big wall climbing. Sitting 21,000 feet above the sacred Ganges River in Northern India, the mountain's perversely stacked obstacles make it both a nightmare and an irresistible calling for some of the world's toughest climbers. In October 2008, renowned alpinists Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk arrived in India to tackle Meru. Their planned seven-day trip quickly declined into a 20-day odyssey in sub-zero temperatures with quickly depleting food rations.
November 12 GRANDMA, Paul Weitz, USA 2015, 80min
Lily Tomlin is Elle Reid. Elle has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when Elle's granddaughter Sage unexpectedly shows up needing money for an abortion before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets. Paul Weitz draws out a near-perfect performance from Lily Tomlin whose comic timing and nonconformist ways make this character-driven drama one of the funniest films of 2015.
November 19 BEEBA BOYS, Deepa Mehta, Canada 2015
Mix bhangra beats, AK-47s, bespoke suits, and cocaine and you have this explosive clash of culture and crime. Jeet Johar and his crew of young, charismatic men vie to take over the Vancouver drug and arms scene in this ball-to-the-wall action drama. Blood is spilled, heads are cracked, hearts are broken and family bonds are pushed to the brink in this adrenaline charged glimpse into a Sikh Indo gang war. If you wanna be seen, you gotta commit to being seen. Go hard or go home.
November 26 WHEN ANIMALS DREAM, Jonas Arnby, Denmark 2015, 84min
A teenage girl's sexual awakening unleashes something primal within, revealing a dark family secret. On the run and in mortal danger, embracing a century's old curse will be her only way to survive. A crisp thriller about a shy teenage girl getting in touch with her inner werewolf. It explores the notion of burgeoning womanhood as something terrifying to many a man, particularly if a woman simply will not be tamed