Indiana Daily Student

First Ryder Film Festival coming to Buskirk-Chumley

"They Will Have to Kill Us First" follows musicians in Timbuktu organizing a concert after Islamic extremists banned music in Mali. The film will screen Sunday at the Ryder Film Festival.
"They Will Have to Kill Us First" follows musicians in Timbuktu organizing a concert after Islamic extremists banned music in Mali. The film will screen Sunday at the Ryder Film Festival.

After being host to the Oscar Shorts Festival and the Children’s International Film Festival for the past six years, Peter LoPilato said he and the Ryder want to try something new.

LoPilato, the founder of the Ryder, Bloomington’s art house film and magazine group, is presenting the Ryder Film Festival, which will take place all day Sunday at the Buskirk-Chumley 

The films to be screened Sunday are “Noam Chomsky: Requiem for the American Dream,” “45 Years,” “Mustang” and “They Will Have to Kill Us First.”

LoPilato said the only difficulty in programming the festival was wanting to screen more films.

“Our only limitation is time — how many feature-length films can we screen in eight hours?” he said in an email interview.

The four films LoPilato chose for Sunday’s film 
festival defy conventions in their own ways, he said.

“The two films that bookend the festival are non-fiction films that confront issues of social justice,” he said. “The middle two films are fictional. Both revolve around marriage, but in very different ways.”

The 2015 documentary “Noam Chomsky: Requiem for the American Dream” features interviews with Chomsky during a four-year span as he analyzes income inequality and the deterioration of the middle class.

LoPilato said he chose the film due to its timeliness and its connection with IU.

“One of the filmmakers, Jared P. Scott, graduated from IU,” he said. “He discovered the work of Chomsky as a student here when he came to our screening of ‘Noam Chomsky: Manufacturing Consent’ at Bear’s Place.”

“Mustang” (2015) tells the story of five Turkish girls who live in a strict home and are preparing for their arranged marriages.

The film was Oscar-nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

“45 Years” (2015) follows a couple that has been married for 45 years and has a secret that changes their 

Charlotte Rampling was Oscar-nominated for Best Actress for her role as Kate Mercer.

“They Will Have to Kill Us First” (2015) tells the story of musicians who organize a concert in Timbuktu following a music ban in Mali.

LoPilato said he hopes to give residents the opportunity to see films they wouldn’t otherwise be able to see at theaters.

“A film like ‘Mustang’ or ‘They Will Have to Kill Us First’ would never play at the multiplex,” he said. “Hollywood movies are carefully assembled commercial packages — creative decisions are made by accountants and lawyers.”

The Buskirk-Chumley was chosen because it is a good venue not only for live performance but also for film, he said.

The theater’s location was also considered when determining a venue, he said.

“If someone wants to see three of the four films, there are quite a few locally-owned restaurants within walking distance of the theater,” he said. “They can grab a bite to eat and come back to the theater in time for their next film.”

LoPilato said he chose the four films because they encourage people to see the world in a new light.

He said he hopes the films cause patrons to stop and ponder their meanings long after the projector 
turns off.

“When the movie is over, hopefully, moviegoers will think, reflect, debate and step outside their usual world,” he said. “They’ll also have a great time. At the end of the day, a great film is a great story.”

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