New American Cinema

Join us on our journey into storytelling in its most modern, dynamic, and engaging form: the moving image.

When we begin our programming selection process in the fall, the team looks in awe at the sheer volume of films by independent American filmmakers, a category that fields the largest number of submissions by far. Each of these films may not currently have a distributor, but they have a champion on the programming team; someone who fought to have it included in the group that we would eventually present to our audience as the best and brightest work of our country's filmmakers.


USA | 2018 | 85 minutes | Yen Tan

A closeted gay man struggles to disclose his AIDS diagnosis to his conservative Christian parents.

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A Kid Like Jake

USA | 2018 | 92 minutes | Silas Howard

A married couple must reconcile embracing their son’s gender-fluid tendencies with safeguarding his future acceptance and success.

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American Animals

USA | 2018 | 116 minutes | Bart Layton

Four dimwitted, movie obessed college students attempt to rob their school librarie's rare books collection

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USA | 2018 | 95 minutes | Carlos Lopez Estrada

Two lifelong hip-hop loving friends struggle to adapt in a rapidly gentrifying Oakland.

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USA | 2018 | 104 minutes | Shana Feste

A Seattle woman accompanies her wayward, pot selling father on a riotous journey down the coast.

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First Reformed

USA | 2017 | 113 minutes | Paul Schrader

Legendary writer-director Paul Schrader's gripping new thriller about a small-town chaplain struggling with his faith.

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Hearts Beat Loud

USA | 2018 | 98 minutes | Brett Haley

A widowed hipster father goads his talented daughter into forming a pop band during her final summer before college.

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USA | 2018 | 92 minutes | Nijla Mu’min

Summer Dawson, a care-free black teen in LA, finds her identity tested when her mother converts to Islam.

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Leave No Trace

USA | 2018 | 108 minutes | Debra Granik

A traumatized veteran and his daughter struggle to re-enter society after years of living off the grid.

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My Name is Myeisha

USA | 2017 | 85 minutes | Gus Krieger

Winner of the SIFF 2018 Youth Jury Prize for Best FutureWave Feature | A heartrending dreamscape of a black teen’s life and dreams replaying as she becomes a statistic of police violence.

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USA | 2018 | 87 minutes | Christina Choe

A discouraged writer is convinced she may be a couple’s long-lost daughter, setting off a journey blurring fantasy and reality.

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Noble Earth

USA | 2017 | 79 minutes | Ursula Grisham

A visitor to Florence is star-struck by her romantic encounter with a nobleman, but soon sees past these dreamlike pretenses.

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USA | 2018 | 103 minutes | Marc Turtletaub

A housewife embraces competitive jigsaw puzzle solving to escape the ennui of suburban domestic life.

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Skate Kitchen

USA | 2018 | 105 minutes | Crystal Moselle

A suburban teen gains newfound freedom with group of girl skatboarders in New York's Lower East Side.

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The Long Dumb Road

USA | 2018 | 90 minutes | Hannah Fidell

Hoping to explore the “real” America, a hipster college student befriends a blue-collar drunkard on the road in the Southwest.

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Thunder Road

USA | 2018 | 90 minutes | Jim Cummings

Winner of the SIFF 2018 Grand Jury Prize - New American Cinema Competition | A small-town police officer struggling to process the death of his mother, an impending divorce, and his own unrecognized cluelessness.

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USA | 2018 | 86 minutes | Sebastian Silva

A comedy where a man realizes that he is the only black man attending a weekend getaway.

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We the Animals

USA | 2018 | 90 minutes | Jeremiah Zagar

A family in upstate New York struggles to cope with the realities of rural blue-collar life and preteen sexuality.

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Wild Nights With Emily

USA | 2018 | 84 minutes | Madeleine Olnek

A biopic about famed poet Emily Dickinson and her supposed relationship with her sister-in-law, Susan.

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