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Indie Film Release Guide: May 31st [An ONTD Original]

ONTD Indie Release Guide Graphic.png

This is a big weekend for major studio films. Warner Brothers unleashes Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Paramount’s Rocketman lifts off, and Universal rolls out the Octavia Spencer starrer Ma. But what about the indies, you ask?

The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia and Disney. Note that some of the movies listed are in their first week or two of limited release in the USA, so it may take them a few more weeks (or months) to show up in your local arthouse theater or on VOD. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have just opened near you: May 24th, May 17th, and May 10th.

Always Be My Maybe

Stars: Ali Wong, Randall Park, Michelle Buteau, Daniel Dae Kim
Writer: Michael Golamco, Randall Park, Ali Wong
Director: Nahnatchka Khan
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Plot: A pair of childhood friends end up falling for each other when they grow up.
What you should know: Director Nahnatchka Khan may be known for creating Fresh Off the Boat, but she was also a writer and executive producer on Don’t Trust the B and Pepper Ann.
Opens in: Select cities & on Netflix

Too Late to Die Young

Stars: Demian Hernández, Matías Oviedo, Antar Machado, Magdalena Tótoro
Writer/Director: Dominga Sotomayor Castillo
Genre: Drama
Plot: The year 1990 was when Chile transitioned to democracy, but all of that seems a world away for 16-year-old Sofia, who lives far off the grid in a mountain enclave of artists and bohemians. During the hot, languorous days between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the troubling realities of the adult world—and the elemental forces of nature—begin to intrude on her teenage idyll.
What you should know: It’s in Spanish, and premiered at TIFF 2018.
Opens in: Select cities

The Fall of the American Empire

Stars: Maripier Morin, Éric Bruneau, Maxim Roy, Rémy Girard
Writer/Director: Denys Arcand
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Plot: Pierre-Paul Daoust, 36, an intellectual with a PhD in philosophy is forced to work as a deliveryman to afford a decent living. One day, while delivering a parcel, he gets caught in a hold up gone terribly wrong: two dead and millions in money bags laying on the ground. Pierre-Paul is confronted with a dilemma leave empty handed, or take the money and run?
What you should know: It’s in French and English.
Opens in: Select cities


Stars: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Carice van Houten, Guy Pearce, Søren Malling
Writer: Petter Skavlan
Director: Brian De Palma
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Plot: A Copenhagen police officer seeks justice for his partner's murder by a mysterious man.
What you should know: De Palma blamed Danish producers for financing issues and difficult production conditions, and says he will never again shoot in Denmark
Opens in: Select cities


Stars: Rady Gamal, Ahmed Abdelhafiz, Osama Abdallah, Mohamed Abdel Azim
Writer/Director: A.B. Shawky
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Plot: Beshay – a man cured of leprosy – has never left the leper colony in the Egyptian desert where he has lived snce childhood. Following the death of his wife, he finally decides to go in search of his roots. With his meagre possessions strapped to a donkey cart, he sets out to cross Egypt and confront the world.
What you should know: This was Egypt’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2019 Academy Awards.
Opens in: Select cities


Stars: Amy Nostbakken, Norah Sadava, Maev Beaty, Sarah Camacho
Writer: Amy Nostbakken, Patricia Rozema, Norah Sadava
Director: Patricia Rozema
Genre: Drama
Plot: Cassandra Haywood is a single writer who lives by her own rules. She’s also a bit of a disaster. Following the sudden death of her mother, she finds herself in crisis, unable to think straight with a debate raging inside her head. This movie makes that invisible conflict visible: Cassandra battles it out with herself while figuring out what to say at her mother’s funeral.
What you should know: This Canadian drama premiered at TIFF 2018.
Opens in: Select cities

For the Birds

Director: Richard Miron
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: A woman's love for her pet chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys—all 200 of them—ignites a battle with local animal rescuers and puts her marriage in jeopardy.
What you should know: One of the executive producers is the host and creator of S-Town.
Opens in: NYC

Free Trip to Egypt

Director: Ingrid Serban
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: Seeking to build a bridge of mutual understanding and friendship, a Canadian-Egyptian entrepreneur living in Switzerland decides to reach out to the very people who fear him. He travels across the United States to find Americans concerned about an Islamic threat and makes them an intriguing offer: a Free Trip to Egypt. The initial reactions range from disbelief to hostility, but eventually a diverse group from various backgrounds is selected, including: a teacher, a police officer, a Marine veteran, a single mom, a preacher and a beauty pageant queen. All have their preconceptions but are receptive and courageous enough to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
What you should know: Check out #PledgetoListen on Twitter for more info.
Opens in: NYC this week, LA next week, and nationwide for one night on June 12th.

Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank

Director: Gerald Fox
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: The first ever feature-length documentary about Robert Frank, the legendary Swiss-American photographer and filmmaker. Shot in cinema-verité style between New York and Nova Scotia, where Frank now lives, the film captures Frank reflecting on a lifetime of image making.
What you should know: An hour-long version of this aired on TV in 2005, but it’s been cut into a feature for its first NY theatrical release this year.
Opens in: Select cities

The Cold Blue

Director: Erik Nelson
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: A tribute to one of the world's great filmmakers and the men of the 8th Air Force who flew mission after suicidal mission in the Second World War.
What you should know:
Opens in: Select cities; premieres on HBO June 6th

Also opening: Loners (Trailer), Find Me (Trailer)

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What have you been watching lately, ONTD? Seeing anything this weekend?
Tags: asian celebrities, comedy / comedian, film - action / adventure, film - comedy, film - documentary, film - drama, film - foreign, film - romance, film trailer / stills / clips, fresh off the boat (abc), game of thrones (hbo), indie film release guide, ontd original, race / racism

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