One of the best of its kind in the continental United States, this film series highlights 20 acclaimed films actively campaigning for Academy Award® consideration. Free to voting members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, British Film and Television Arts, and associated guilds, this popular fixture on Aspen’s holiday calendar is also open to the general public. Previous seasons have included subsequent Oscar winners BEAUTIFUL BOY, COLD WAR, EVERYBODY KNOWS, THE FAVOURITE, MOMENTUM GENERATION & STUDIO 54.
28TH ASPEN FILM ACADEMY SCREENINGS PROGRAM
BOMBSHELL (1 hr 48 min)
Sat, Jan 4 | 5:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House
Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, John Lithgow, and Margot Robbie star in BOMBSHELL, a look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time. Based on the real scandal, BOMBSHELL tells the story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created Fox News. Directed by Jay Roach and written by Charles Randolph, the film also stars Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Mark Duplass, Rob Delaney, Malcolm McDowell and Allison Janney.
1917 (1 hr 59 min)
Sat, Jan 4 | 8:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House
At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay) and Blake (Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them.
THE ELEPHANT QUEEN (1 hr 36 min)
Sun, Jan 5 | 2:30 PM | Isis Theatre
Embark on an epic journey of family, courage and coming home. THE ELEPHANT QUEEN is a genre-crossing wildlife documentary, uniquely crafted as a character-driven narrative. Its enduring themes are built upon a foundation of authenticity and integrity, brought from filmmakers Mark Deeble (Voyage of Time) and Victoria Stone’s (The Queen of Trees) 60 years of collective experience in the rich tradition of wildlife documentary filmmaking and production. Deeble and Stone, who are Emmy® and Peabody Award winners, spent 25 years living in the East African bush, preparing them for the unforgettable odyssey of “The Elephant Queen.” The Elephant Queen is Athena, a majestic elephant matriarch, who leads her family across an unforgiving, yet cinematic natural landscape made up of grasslands and woodlands, dotted with seasonal waterholes. The elephants share their home with a cast of supporting character species who provide texture and richness to the elephants’ ecosystem – from a toenail height perspective. Athena, as leader of her herd, anticipates the coming dry season and knows there are lean times ahead. As the waterholes dry up, she has no choice but to take her family on a treacherous journey across even more foreboding landscapes, as the majestic creatures seek refuge until the rains fall again.
THE TRUTH (1 hr 46 min)
Sun, Jan 5 | 5 PM | Wheeler Opera House
Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) is a star; a star of French cinema. She reigns amongst men who love and admire her. When she publishes her memoirs, her daughter Lumir (Juliette Binoche) returns from New York to Paris with her husband (Ethan Hawke) and young child. The reunion between mother and daughter will quickly turn to confrontation: truths will be told, accounts settled, loves and resentments confessed.
UNCUT GEMS (2 hrs 15 min)
Sun, Jan 5 | 8 PM | Wheeler Opera House
From acclaimed filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie comes an electrifying crime thriller about Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score. When he makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime, Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides, in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win.
THE KINGMAKER (1 hr 41 min)
Mon, Jan 6 | 2:30 PM | Isis Theatre
Centered on the indomitable character of Imelda Marcos, THE KINGMAKER examines, with intimate access, the Marcos family's improbable return to power in the Philippines. The film explores the disturbing legacy of the Marcos regime and chronicles Imelda's present-day push to help her son, Bongbong, win the vice presidency. To this end, Imelda confidently rewrites her family's history of corruption, replacing it with a narrative of a matriarch's extravagant love for her country. In an age when fake news manipulates elections, Imelda's comeback story serves as a dark cautionary tale.
THE APOLLO (1 hr 38 min)
Mon, Jan 6 | 5 PM | Wheeler Opera House
The HBO documentary THE APOLLO, helmed by Oscar®- and Emmy®-winning director Roger Ross Williams, chronicles the unique history and contemporary legacy of New York City’s landmark Apollo Theater. The feature-length film weaves together archival clips of music, comedy and dance performances; behind-the-scenes verité footage of the team that makes the theater run; and interviews with such artists as Jamie Foxx, Angela Bassett, Pharrell Williams, Common, Patti LaBelle and Smokey Robinson. While uncovering the rich history of the internationally renowned theater that has influenced American music and culture for 85 years, Williams also examines the current state of race in America, following a new multimedia adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ best-selling book “Between the World and Me” as it comes together on the theater’s grand stage.
LES MISÉRABLES (1 hr 42 min)
Mon, Jan 6 | 8 PM | Wheeler Opera House
Inspired by the 2005 riots in Paris, LES MISÉRABLES – directed by Ladj Ly – follows Stéphane (Damien Bonnard), a recent transplant to the impoverished suburb of Montfermeil, as he joins the local anti-crime squad. Working alongside his unscrupulous colleagues Chris (Alexis Manenti) and Gwada (Djebril Zonga), Stéphane struggles to maintain order amidst the mounting tensions between local gangs. When an arrest turns unexpectedly violent, the three officers must reckon with the aftermath and keep the neighborhood from spiraling out of control.
INCITEMENT (2 hrs 3 min)
Tue, Jan 7 | 2:30 PM | Isis Theatre
In September 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin announces the Oslo Accords, which aim to achieve a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians after decades of violence. Yigal Amir, a law student and a devoted Orthodox Jew, cannot believe that his country's leader will cede territory that he and many others believe is rightfully - by the word of G-d - theirs. As the prospect of a peaceful compromise approaches, Amir turns from a hot-headed political activist to a dangerous extremist. Consumed by anger and delusions of grandeur, he recruits fighters and steals weapons to form an underground militia intent on killing Palestinians. After his longtime girlfriend leaves him, Amir becomes even more isolated, disillusioned, and bitter. He soon learns of an ancient Jewish law, the Law of the Pursuer, that he believes gives him the right to murder Yitzhak Rabin. Convinced he must stop the signing of the peace treaty in order to fulfill his destiny and bring salvation to his people, Amir's warped mind sees only one way forward.
CITIZEN K (2 hrs 6 min)
Tue, Jan 7 | 5 PM | Wheeler Opera House
Oscar® winning writer/director Alex Gibney’s revelatory CITIZEN K is an intimate yet sweeping look at post-Soviet Russia from the perspective of the enigmatic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former oligarch turned political dissident. Benefitting from the chaos that ensued after the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., Khodorkovsky was able to amass a fortune in financing and oil production and became the richest man in Russia. But when he accused the new Putin regime of corruption, Khodorkovsky was arrested, his assets were seized and following a series of show trials, he was sentenced to more than ten-years in prison. Today, as an exile living in London, he continues to speak out against Putin’s two-decade stranglehold on power. Expertly researched and photographed, Gibney uses Khodorkovsky’s story as a way to explore the complex interplay between oligarchy and government and its destructive effect on democracy, in Russia and beyond.
JUST MERCY (2 hrs 17 min)
Tue, Jan 7 | 8 PM | Wheeler Opera House
JUST MERCY is the true story of young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) and his history-making battles for justice in Alabama. Stevenson refuses to back down as he fights a legal system without mercy stacked against him and his clients at every turn. One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), a man whose clear innocence means nothing to the corrupt and compassionless forces Stevenson doggedly takes on.
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