LOS ANGELES — The Anaheim International Film Festival announced its lineup on Monday. This year, 127 feature films and shorts will be featured in additional to speaker events, panels, and galas over the five-day period, October 13-17 at the UltraStar Cinemas at Anaheim GardenWalk

There will also be a special presentation of “Sixteen Candles” with a tribute to the late director John Hughes.

“Our team has worked very hard to deliver a world-class film program that will establish the AIFF as a valuable platform for emerging filmmakers and long-term addition to the festival circuit,” said Sinan Kanatsiz, chairman of the festival.

Opening Night Films

WILD TARGET (representing narrative films)

Directed by Jonathan Lynn and featuring the all-star cast of Emily Blunt, Rupert Everett, Rupert Grint, Bill Nighy, Eileen Atkins, Martin Freeman and Gregor Fisher, WILD TARGET is an action comedy about a middle-aged, solitary assassin who lives to please his formidable mother, despite his own peerless reputation for lethal efficiency. His professional routine is interrupted when he finds himself drawn to one of his intended victims — a beautiful thief. He spares her life, unexpectedly acquiring in the process a young apprentice. Believing the assassin to be a private detective, his two new companions tag along, while he attempts to thwart the murderous attentions of his unhappy client.

MONICA & DAVID (representing documentaries)

Directed by first time filmmaker Alexandra Codina, MONICA AND DAVID explores the marriage of two adults with Down syndrome and the family who strives to support their needs. Monica and David are blissfully in love and want what other adults have: an independent life. Full of humor, romance and everyday family drama, the film weaves together intimate footage with personal interviews, revealing the complexity of their story. While Monica and David are capable beyond expectations, their parents, who worry about rejection from the mainstream world, have trouble letting go. Although marriage is very unusual for adults with intellectual disabilities, throughout the film Monica and David become a model for love and challenge what it means to be an adult. The film premieres nationally on HBO October 14.

GOING VERTICAL: THE SHORTBOARD REVOLUTION (representing Wild Blue: The AIFF Sports Showcase)

Directed by David Bradbury, the documentary seeks to unravel one of surfing’s great mysteries: Who started the Shortboard Revolution? Filmed in Australia, Hawaii and California and featuring extraordinary archival footage of surf legends of the past four decades as well as the hottest surfers today, GOING VERTICAL: THE SHORTBOARD REVOLUTION is not your usual surfing film. Set to a pumping soundtrack including tracks by Pearl Jam, Powderfinger, Spoon and Boards of Canada plus iconic artists from the summer of love including Manfred Man, Russell Morris and Thunderclap Newman, the film tells the story of an era, of a revolution and the extraordinary characters that made it happen. The film is narrated by Simon Baker.

SUMMER WARS (representing animation)

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, the animated adventure focuses on ‘Kenji Koiso,’ an eleventh grade math genius, following his decision to take a summer job at the Nagano hometown of his crush, ‘Natuski.’ When he arrives, he finds that her family has reunited to celebrate the 90th birthday of the family matriarch and he must pretend to be her fianc©. As if that isn’t enough to contend with, his attempt to solve a mathematical equation has caused a parallel world’s collision with earth.

SIXTEEN CANDLES (Special Presentation)

John Hughes’ classic comedy stars Molly Ringwald as a fifteen-year-old girl with a crush on the most popular boy in school. However, standing between her and the boy is the geekiest boy in school with a crush on her, her big sister’s wedding, a visit by inappropriate grandparents, and on top of it all — the indignity of having the rest of her family forget her birthday. Add all this adds up to the makings of a hilarious and unforgettable journey into young womanhood. The film also stars Anthony Michael Hall, Michael Schoeffling, Justin Henry, John Cusack and Joan Cusack.


This exclusive presentation salutes some of today’s best and brightest shorts filmmakers. Representing most of the various styles that will play over the course of the film festival, the films include Joshua and Rebekah Weigel’s BUTTERFLY CIRCUS; Max Lang’s and Jakob Schuh’s THE GRUFFALO; Iram Haq’s LITTLE MISS EYEFLAP; Natalia Mirzoyan’s MY CHILDHOOD MYSTERY TREE; Lilli Birdsell’s ONCE UPON A CRIME; James Redford’s QUALITY TIME, starring Jason Patric; Cordell Barker’s RUNAWAY; and Peter Meech’s WINNER BEST SHORT FILM.

Closing Night Feature


Directed by Baltasar Kormakur, the dramatic thriller stars Dermot Mulroney, Diane Kruger, Rosanna Arquette, Sam Shepard, Vincent Perez and Jordi Molla. The story follows the horrific struggle a couple go through upon discovering their daughter has been diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease. Needing a lung transplant, but with many patients ahead of her on the waiting list for donors, they seek out a mysterious doctor who performs transplants in Juarez, Mexico. However, in the course of their pursuit, they uncover an illegal organ harvesting operation where the donors are in fact, the victims and now they may have to choose between saving the life of their daughter or saving the lives of many other children.

For the complete list, visit anaheimfilm.org

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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