Shine could easily be called The Salsa Kings Dance With Pride and Love. Anthony Nardolillo devotes a sizable chunk of his first film to dance numbers, and there’s an infectious joy to these scenes, more about the characters than does the creaky melodrama that frames them.
The small tobacco farm in East Bend, North Carolina where Angus MacLachlan filmed the lean, elegiac drama Abundant Acreage Available is a vision of bygone rural life, a contained microcosm where hard work and self-reliance could sustain a family for generations.
Emanuele Della Valle’s choppy feature debut has the visual markers of noir, using the autumnal gloom of desolate coastal communities south of Atlantic City to express the isolation and bone-deep sadness of his characters.
The atmosphere of mourning in Deepak Rauniyar’s wistful White Sun isn’t just the result of the sudden death of the revered former leader of a remote mountain village. Nepal, as the remaining elders once knew it, died when the monarchy was overthrown after a decade of civil war.
In his debut film Some Freaks, writer/director Ian MacAllister-McDonald focuses on teenage misfits. Tagged as irredeemable outsiders in their Rhode Island high school, three seniors cope with indignation and hopelessness.