Frankfort Film Festival

October 19-22, 2017

Save the date for the 9th Annual Frankfort Film Festival, happening October 19-22, 2017 at The Garden Theater.

Special thanks to everyone who joined us for our 8th Annual Frankfort Film Festival presented by Northway Orthodontics, October 20-23, 2016.

View the 2016 Film Festival Schedule or click the button below to download. The 2016 Frankfort Film Festival screened 20 award-winning films from around the globe.

Filmmakers for three of the 2016 films were in attendance at the festival. Plus, three short films produced by students of Interlochen Arts Academy's Motion Picture Arts program were shown preceding three daily feature films.

2016 Frankfort Film Festival Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor:


Thank you to our sponsors for their continued support of The Frankfort Film Festival and The Garden Theater!

Embrace of the Serpent

thursday, 12 pm

DRAMA / adventure | 125 minutes | rated: NR | Spanish w/ Subtitles

The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together over the course of 40 years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant.

The film received the first Academy Award nomination for Colombia.

Director: Ciro Guerra

awards: Nominated Best Foreign Language Film ACADEMY AWARDs, C.I.C.A.E. Award Cannes Film Festival, Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize sundance film festival, Best International Film Independent Spirit Awards

Movie websiteimdb movie Listing


Sweet Bean

thursday, 2:15 PM


A lonely baker has his life and business reinvigorated when he hires an elderly woman with an uncanny culinary skill and a mysterious communion with nature.

DIRECTOR: Naomi Kawase

AWARDS: audience award Cork International Film Festival, Best Performance by an Actress Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Best Actress Hochi Film Awards



Year By The Sea

thursday, 4:30 PM

comedy / Drama / romance | 114 MINUTES | RATED: nr | english

After 30 years as a wife and mother, an empty nester retreats to Cape Cod rather than follow her relocated husband to Kansas. Intent to rediscover herself but plagued with guilt, she questions her decision until stumbling upon a spirited mentor. Supported by her literary agent and a host of locals, including a sexy fisherman, our heroine learns to embrace the ebb and flow of life—ultimately discovering the balance between self and sacrifice, obligation and desire. Based on Joan Anderson’s New York Times best-selling memoir, "A Year by the Sea."

*Audience Q&A with Producer Bill Latka following the film.

DIRECTOR: Alexander Janko

Awards: Best Feature Memphis INternational Film & Music festival, best screenplay Rhode Island International Film Festival, Audience Award for best film Vail Film Festival

Movie Websiteimdb movie listing


Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You

thursday, 8:00 PM

documentary | 91 MINUTES | RATED: Nr | English

Arguably the most influential creator, writer, and producer in the history of television, Norman Lear brought primetime into step with the times. Using comedy and indelible characters, his legendary 1970s shows such as All In the Family, Maude, Good Times, and The Jeffersons, boldly cracked open dialogue and shifted the national consciousness, injecting enlightened humanism into sociopolitical debates on race, class, creed, and feminism.  

Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You is the definitive chronicle of Mr. Lear's life, work, and achievements, but it is so much more than an arm's-length, past-tense biopic; at 93, Mr. Lear is as vital and engaged as he ever was. Top-notch cinéma vérité documentarians Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing seize the opportunity to fashion a dynamic portrait that matches the spirit of their subject. Breaking down the fourth wall to create an evocative collage where past and present intermingle, they reveal a psychologically rich man whose extraordinary contributions emerge from both his personal story and a dialogue with the world.

DIRECTOR: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

AWARDS: Best Storytelling in a Documentary Nantucket Film Festival, Audience Award best Documentary Feature Montclair Film Festival, Stanley Kubrick Award Traverse City Film Festival



Kate Plays Christine

friday, 12:00 PM

documentary | 112 MINUTES | RATED: NR | english

A gripping, nonfiction psychological thriller, Robert Greene's Kate Plays Christine follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares for her next role: playing Christine Chubbuck, a Florida newscaster who committed suicide live on-air in 1974.

As Kate investigates Chubbuck's story (long rumored to be the inspiration for the classic Hollywood film Network), uncovering new clues and information, she becomes increasingly obsessed with her subject. A cinematic mystery that forces us to question everything we see and everything we're led to believe.

DIRECTOR: Robert Greene

AWARDS: Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival, Terry Porter Visionary Award Sarasota Film Festival



Mountains May Depart

friday, 2:15 PM

DRAMA / romance | 131 MINUTES | RATED: NR | chinese W/ subtitles

On the cusp of the capitalist explosion in China, Shen Tao has two suitors-Zhang, an aspiring entrepreneur, and his best friend Liangzi, who works in a coal mine. Shen Tao decides to marry Zhang -- a man with a future. From China to Australia, the film chronicles the lives, loves, hopes and disillusions of a family over two generations in a society changing at breakneck speed. The life of Tao, and those close to her, is explored in three different time periods: 1999, 2014, and 2025.

DIRECTOR: Zhangke Jia

AWARDS: Best Screenwriter asian film awards, Grand Jury Prize for best performance Miami Film Festival, Audience Choice Award Golden Horse Film Festival




friday, 4:45 PM

documentary | 96 MINUTES | RATED: R | english

Sexts, lies, and Carlos Danger: watch the wildest political meltdown in recent history as it unfolds. It’s 2013 and Anthony Weiner—still reeling from the sex scandal that ended his political career two years earlier—is back in the spotlight as he mounts an audacious comeback campaign for New York City mayor. But it’s not long before history repeats itself and new sexting allegations leave Weiner and his aides scrambling to contain the damage. Granted unfettered access to the candidate and his campaign, filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg capture a jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes look at the political machine as it breaks down.

DIRECTOR: Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg

AWARDS: grand jury prize sundance film festival, David Carr Award for Truth in Non-Fiction Filmmaking Montclair Film Festival



Adult Life Skills

friday, 8:00 PM


Anna is stuck. She’s approaching 30 and has just moved back to her rural hometown, and into a shed in her mother’s backyard. She spends her time working a menial job and hides in the depths of her imagination, making movies with her thumbs. Irritated by her childish behavior, Anna's mother insists that she move out of her shed and on with her life. When a troubled young boy starts hanging around, the two form an unlikely bond. Through their strange yet mutually beneficial friendship, Anna slowly begins to confront her perpetual state of arrested development. Expanded from her BAFTA-nominated short, Rachel Tunnard's striking feature debut is a dry-witted, charming, dark comedy that mixes dreamlike flourishes with dramatic action. Adult Life Skills is an off-beat comedy about a lost woman finding herself.

DIRECTOR: Rachel Tunnard

AWARDS: Nora Ephron Prize tribeca Film festival



Everybody Wants Some!!



In the summer of 1980, freshman pitcher Jake moves into an old college house with his new rowdy teammates. Together, they must navigate their way between girls, parties and baseball, all in the last weekend before school begins. From writer and director Richard Linklater (Boyhood, Dazed and Confused) comes the movie that’s "ridiculously fun" and proves that good times never get old.

DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater




Saturday, 11:00 AM

adventure / family | 95 MINUTES | RATED: G | ENGLISH

Oddball is the heart-warming true story about an eccentric chicken farmer who, with the help of his granddaughter, trains his mischievous dog to protect a wild penguin sanctuary from fox attacks and in the process tries to reunite his family and save their seaside town.

DIRECTOR: Stuart McDonald

AWARDS: Films4Families Youth Jury Award Seattle International Film Festival, Stuart Hollander Prize for best kids film Traverse City Film Festival



Cartel Land

Saturday, 12:45 PM

DOCUMENTARY | 100 MINUTES | RATED: r | english / spanish

A riveting, on-the-ground look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy – the murderous Mexican drug cartels.  In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as "El Doctor," leads a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona's Altar Valley – a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley – Tim "Nailer" Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border. Filmmaker Matthew Heineman embeds himself in the heart of darkness as Nailer, El Doctor, and the cartel each vie to bring their own brand of justice to a society where institutions have failed. Cartel Land is a chilling, visceral meditation on the breakdown of order and the blurry line between good and evil.

DIRECTOR: Matthew Heineman

AWARDS: nominated best documentary academy awards, best Cinematography u.s. Documentary sundance film festival, best director u.s. documentary sundance film festival, best documentary Moscow International Film Festival



The Club

Saturday, 2:45 PM

drama | 98 MINUTES | RATED: nr | spanish w/ subtitles

In a secluded house in a small seaside town live four unrelated men and the woman who tends to the house and their needs. All former priests, they have been sent to this quiet exile to purge the sins of their pasts, the separation from their communities the worst form of punishment by the Church. They keep to a strict daily schedule devoid of all temptation and spontaneity, each moment a deliberate effort to atone for their wrongdoings.  

Their fragile stability is disrupted by the arrival of an emissary from the Vatican who seeks to understand the effects of their isolation, and a newly-disgraced housemate. Both bring with them the outside world from which the men have long been removed, and the secrets they had thought deeply buried.

DIRECTOR: Pablo Larraín

AWARDS: Grand Jury Prize Berlin International Film Festival, best director and best screenplay Chicago International Film Festival, best picture Austin Fantastic Fest




Saturday, 4:30 PM

adventure / drama | 90 MINUTES | RATED: nR | English

During the height of the Vietnam War in 1969, Charlie is on his way to Michigan Tech University, and Derek is counting the days to his inevitable military draft eligibility. Before their futures take hold, the lifelong best friends embark on one final adventure: a 1300 mile bike ride along the shores of the gargantuan Lake Superior. With two-speed bicycles and limited preparation, Charlie and Derek pedal through the massive northern backwoods of Michigan, Minnesota, and Canada. Along the way they face hunger, exhaustion, and the kind of people in the world who never wanted to be found.

Filmed on location in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and inspired by the real journey taken by Karl Benda and Dan “Dudza” Junttila more than 40 years ago, Superior is a snapshot of America in 1969 when futures were uncertain, and yet the most outlandish adventures remained possible. 

*Audience Q&A with Director Edd Benda following the film.


AWARDS: jury commendation durango film festival, best feature east lansing film festival



Echo Park Blues (Short Film)

Saturday, 8:00 PM (showing prior to feature)

comedy / Drama | 18 MINUTES | RATED: nr | ENGLISH

Echo Park Blues is the story of journeyman jazz musician Teddy Bender, whose last shot at success means reuniting with the lyricist and lover he betrayed, and getting back into the good graces of his former band leader. Only problem is, both of them hate him. Propulsive rhythms, virtuosic solos and melodic freedom. Echo Park Blues captures the vibrant multicultural community of Los Angeles in the embodiment of Bender the musician. A man struggling to balance life's challenges with his singular artistic definition of success.

*Audience Q&A with Director Michael Bofshever following the film.

DIRECTOR: Michael Bofshever



Hunt for the Wilderpeople

SATURDAY, 8:00 PM (following short film)

adventure / COMEDY / DRAMA | 101 MINUTES | RATED: pg-13 | ENGLISH

Raised on hip-hop and foster care, defiant city kid Ricky gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving Aunt Bella, the cantankerous Uncle Hec, and dog Tupac. When a tragedy strikes that threatens to ship Ricky to another home, both he and Hec go on the run in the bush. As a national manhunt ensues, the newly branded outlaws must face their options: go out in a blaze of glory or overcome their differences and survive as a family.

Equal parts road comedy and rousing adventure story, director Taika Waititi masterfully weaves lively humor with emotionally honest performances. A hilarious, touching crowd-pleaser, Hunt for the Wilderpeople reminds us about the journey of growing up (at any age) and those who help us along the way.

DIRECTOR: Taika Waititi

Awards: Audience award Edinburgh International Film Festival, Audience award for Best Narrative Feature San Francisco International Film Festival, Golden Space Needle Award for best film Seattle International Film Festival



They Call Us Monsters

Sunday, 12:00 PM

Documentary | 82 MINUTES | RATED: NR | english

In California, violent juveniles between 14-17 years old can be tried as adults. Typically, they are accused of heinous crimes—murders and attempted murders—that leave their victims' families shattered. And yet, they are still kids, with a greater capacity to change and one day return to society. What is our responsibility to these kids? And to their victims? Do they deserve a second chance? These are the questions legislators are grappling with across the country as they attempt to reform our juvenile justice system. Meanwhile, behind the walls of the Compound, a jail within a jail—a high-security facility in the middle of Sylmar Juvenile Hall, three violent juvenile offenders are writing a movie as they await their trials. It’s the story of their childhoods with the ending rewritten.

DIRECTOR: benjamin lear

movie website




animation / comedy / drama | 90 MINUTES | RATED: R | ENGLISH

From the mind of Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) comes Anomalisa, a tender, touching and achingly funny black comedy - filmed entirely in breathtaking stop motion animation.  

Michael Stone, a husband, father and successful motivational speaker, is crippled by the mundanity of his life. On a business trip to a customer service convention in Cincinnati, he checks into his hotel and prepares to once more go through the motions. But this time a chance meeting with Lisa, an unassuming baked goods sales rep, throws the dullness into disarray and Michael feels he may have just met someone who can make a change.  

Smart, humorously absurd and bracingly humane, Anomalisa is a technically stunning work of animation, beautifully orchestrated by co-director Duke Johnson and scored by Carter Burwell (Carol, In Bruges, Fargo). Drawing brilliant performances from David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan.

DIRECTOR: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman

AWARDS: Nominated Best Animated Feature Film of the Year academy awards, Best Animation and best music Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, Creative Impact in Directing Award Palm Springs International Film Festival

movie website | IMDB MOVIE LISTING



Sunday, 3:15 PM

history / documentary | 88 MINUTES | RATED: NR | French, German & English

Set against the backdrop of the Louvre Museum’s history and artworks, master director Alexander Sokurov applies his uniquely personal vision onto staged re-enactments and archives for this fascinating portrait of real-life characters Jacques Jaujard and Count Franziskus Wolff-Metternich and their compulsory collaboration at the Louvre Museum under the Nazi Occupation.

These two remarkable men - enemies then collaborators - share an alliance which would become the driving force behind the preservation of museum treasures. In its exploration of the Louvre Museum as a living example of civilization, Francofonia is a stunning and urgently relevant meditation on the essential relationship between art, culture, and history.

DIRECTOR: Aleksandr Sokurov

AWARDS: Fedeora Award for Best Euro-Mediterranean Film Venice Film Festival



Love & Friendship


comedy / romance | 92 MINUTES | RATED: pg | english

Love & Friendship is an adaptation of young Jane Austen’s novella Lady Susan. Set in the 1790s, Love and Friendship centers on beautiful widow Lady Susan Vernon, who has come to the estate of her in-laws to wait out colorful rumors about her dalliances circulating through polite society. Whilst there, she decides to secure a husband for herself and her rather reluctant debutante daughter, Frederica.

DIRECTOR: Whit Stillman



The Dressmaker


comedy / DRAMA | 118 MINUTES | RATED: r | english

Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, The Dressmaker is a bittersweet, comedy-drama set in early 1950s Australia. After years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, the beautiful and talented Tilly Dunnage (Academy Award winner Kate Winslet) returns home to a town in the Australian outback to reconcile with her eccentric mother Molly (Academy Award nominee Judy Davis). She also falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), and armed with her sewing machine and haute couture style, Tilly transforms the women of the town, exacting sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.

DIRECTOR: Jocelyn Moorhouse

AWARDS: Best Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role Australian Film Critics Association Awards


Frankfort Film Festival 2016 Previews

watch the trailers for every Film showing at this year's festival.

The winner of the John P. Vinkemulder Audience Award for the 8th Annual Frankfort Film Festival is Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople can add the Frankfort Film Festival to its trophy case, which also includes awards from the Edinburgh International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, and more.

Second and third place for the 2016 Frankfort Film Festival went to The Dressmaker and Sweet Bean.

Listening Devices underwritten by Hearing Solutions of Northwest Michigan.