Aspen Film has announced the program for its 35th-anniversary Aspen Filmfest. The festival, with highly anticipated features, new foreign films, documentaries and a special presentation by documentarian Daniel Junge, is scheduled for Sept. 26 through Oct. 1, with screenings at the Wheeler Opera House, Isis Theater and Crystal Theatre.
The opening-night feature at the Wheeler is “The Good Lie,” based on the true story of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan and starring Reese Witherspoon as an employment-agency counselor working with the immigrants. The opening night’s documentary is “Keep on Keepin’ On,” following 89-year-old jazz icon Clark Terry and the young musicians he mentors. “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed,” from Spain, is the festival’s opening foreign offering, tracking a ’60s-era high school teacher on a quest to meet John Lennon during a Beatles tour stop. The documentary “We Are the Giant,” about the Arab Spring, also screens Sept. 26. Both “We Are the Giant” and “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed” also screen Sept. 28 in Carbondale.
Sept. 27’s lineup includes a public conversation with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Daniel Junge and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Loren Jenkins, featuring clips from Junge’s work. Junge is also featured on the program Sept. 29, along with sneak previews of two surprise films.
“My Old Lady,” a comic drama with Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith, screens Sept. 27 and begins the festival’s “New Voices” track spotlighting up-and-coming filmmakers. It is the directorial debut of playwright Israel Horovitz. It’s followed by the documentary “Meet the Patels,” a comic documentary about an Indian-American man on a search for a wife with his mother and father as matchmakers.
Sept. 28 includes a special presentation of “The Imitation Game,” with Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, about a British code-cracker during World War II who runs afoul of England’s anti-gay laws. It is preceded by “Limited Partnership,” a documentary about Richard Adams and Tony Sullivan, a same-sex couple who were legally married by a county clerk in Boulder in 1975. “Marie’s Story,” a French period drama, also screens Sept. 28.
Knightley is featured in a second film Sept. 30, the belated coming-of-age story “Laggies,” featuring the actress as an aimless 28-year-old. The documentary “Tomorrow We Disappear,” about New Delhi’s Kathputli artist colony, is also on the bill Sept. 30 with the foreign films “Life’s a Breeze” and “24 Days.”
The closing night’s feature is “Men Women & Children,” the latest from director Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air,” “Juno”) following a group of teenagers and their parents as they navigate the ways the Internet is changing their relationships and love lives. The ensemble cast includes Judy Greer, Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner. The documentary “The Starfish Throwers,” a portrait of three ordinary people fighting global hunger, also screens on the closing night.
Tickets go on sale Sept. 9 at the Wheeler Opera House box office and Carbondale’s Boomerang Coffee. They’re available online at www.aspenshowtix.com. Tickets for shows at the Crystal Theatre are available only at Boomerang Coffee. The full Filmfest lineup is online at www.aspenfilm.org.