10 upcoming 2016 releases by and/or about POC
Directed by: Andrea Arnold
What it’s about: A wild teenager (played by newcomer Sasha Lane) who joins in with a group of similarly crazy kids who travel around the U.S. working for a multi level marketing scheme. This is also known for being the movie that Shia Labeouf cut his hand on. If the description isn’t enough to convince you then you should be convinced to watch it by Arnold’s talent alone. She’s an Oscar winning director who’s best known for Fish Tank and two of her previous films have played at Cannes. Crossing my fingers this one makes it there too.
Release date: Undetermined as of yet but A24 says they’re dropping this in the fall (so maybe they have an Oscar push in mind?)
Directed by: Anna Rose Holmer
What it’s about: An 11 year old tomboy named Toni who falls in with a dance troupe while she’s supposed to be boxing at the gym. But things start to go awry when the girls in the dance troupe succumb to violent fainting fits. The film already got rave review at Venice last year and is getting positive review at Sundance.
Release date: Undetermined so far but indie distributor Oscillope bought it before its festival premiere so the good news is this will be hitting theatres in limited release in 2016. Follow @TheFitsFilm for updates.
Directed by: Karyn Kusama
What it’s about: A man attends a dinner party thrown by his ex-wife and her new husband and slowly suspects that they have sinister intentions towards him. The low-key thriller stars Tom Hardy look-alike Logan Marshall-Green along with Michiel Huisman and Emayatzy Corinealdi. It has a mostly white cast but Kusama remains one of the few Asian-American women to have a strong and continuous career as a film director.
Release date: March 25, 2016
Directed by: Meera Menon
What it’s about: A female wall street trader played by Anna Gunn who is mired in a world of corruption, greed and scandal. Billed as the first wall street movie centered about a woman this has a predominantly (possibly entirely?) white cast however director Meera Menon is Indian-American.
Release date: No official date yet but this was picked up by Sony Picture Classics before its official Sundance premiere.
Directed by: Jeff Nichols
What it’s about: Real life couple Mildred and Richard Loving who married when interracial marriage was still illegal in their state and became plaintiffs in Loving vs. Virgina, the court case that made interracial marriage legal within the whole of the U.S. Ruth Negga plays Mildred with Joel Edgerton as Richard.
Release date: None yet, but this will probably head to festivals sometimes this year looking for a distributor.
Directed by: Don Cheadle
What it’s about: A passion project for Cheadle the movie examines the life of Miles Davis as he is interviewed by a Rolling Stone reporter, played by Ewan McGregor, in the 1970s. This one got mixed reviews when it played at festivals but by all acounts Cheadle’s performance is awards worthy.
Release date: April 1, 2016
Directed by: John Musker and Ron Clements
What it’s about: Ayoung woman who sets off on an adventure helped by a famed demi-God. The nice thing about this one is that not only is it about polynesians but the main vocal cast (which includes Dwayne Johnson) also are of polynesian ancestry.
Release date: November 23, 2016
The Queen of Katwe
Directed by: Mira Nair
What it’s about: A biopic based on Ugandan prodigy Phiona Mutesi who grew up in a slum and then turned her life around after her teacher taught her how to play chess. It’s also going to be Lupita Nyong'o’s first live-action role post-Oscar and also stars David Oyelowo.
Release date: Undetermined but this is owned by Disney so it will likely get a wide release sometime this year.
Directed by: Stephen Hopkins
What it’s about: A biopic on Olympian athlete Jesse Owens during his time at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany. Owens is played by relative newcomer Stephan James, and the rest of the cast includes William Hurt, Jeremy “I’m a sexist creep” Irons, and Carice van Houten.
Release date: February 19, 2016
Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Directed by: Chloe Zhao
What it’s about: Set in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation the film, about a young girl who goes looking for a father figure after her father drinks himself to death and her older brother starts making plans to leave for a better life, played at Sundance in 2015. This got great reviews but it struggled to find distribution until director Zhao announced she would self-distribute in 2016. The even better news? Indie distributor Kino Lober stepped up to give it a proper release!
Release date: March 2, 2016. Follow @songsthemovie for more info.