As we near July, it’s hard to believe that it has been almost two months since TFF 2012. We strive to give our audiences the chance to be among the first to see the year’s most exciting and groundbreaking films. Clearly, 2012 was no different. Over 200 critics comprise Indiewire’s Criticwire, and many have showered the films and filmmakers of this year’s Festival with acclaim. We are so proud to see so many of our 2012 Festival titles (and one from TFF 2011) included on their list of the Best Indie Movies of 2012 So Far.

Please join us as we give these TFF films and their teams a giant pat on the back. The praise is all well deserved! 

Booker's Place: A MississippPI Story
Top Documentaries of 2012 (Rank: #1)
Top Festival Premieres of 2012 (Rank: #1)

While filming a documentary on racism in Mississippi in 1965, Frank De Felitta forever changed the life of an African-American waiter and his family. More than 40 years later, Frank's son Raymond (director of City Island) returns to the site of his father's film to examine the repercussions of their fateful encounter. This intensely personal film about children struggling to understand their parents is also a heartbreaking portrait of the legacy of intolerance.

Read our interview with director Raymond De Felitta.
Watch director Raymond De Felitta discuss Doc vs Narrative.

Watch this movie today.


Graceland
Top Foreign-Language of 2012 (Rank: #2)

The second place winner of the 2012 Audience Award (Narrative), this film is a gritty and gripping crime thriller that weaves plots of political corruption and human trafficking into a kidnapping-gone-wrong narrative, making for one intense and unpredictable ride. Family man Marlon Villar is the longtime chauffeur of Manuel Chango, a notoriously corrupt Filipino politician. One day as he and his daughter accompany his boss' preteen daughter home, their car is ambushed and the wrong girl is kidnapped. The unassuming driver's life takes a sudden, terrifying turn that propels him into a horrifying downward spiral.

Read our interview with director Ron Morales.


 

High Tech, Low Life

High Tech, Low Life
Top Documentaries of 2012 (Rank: #2)
Top Festival Premieres of 2012 (Rank: #2)

As the Chinese government expands its efforts to police the Internet and block websites in the country, the rising tide of censorship has aroused a wave of citizen reporters committed to investigating local news stories. Two such rogue bloggers include Zola and Tiger Temple, who decide to take matters into their own hands.

Read our report from the Festival Q&A featuring director Stephen Maing and journalist Zola. 


Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Top Theatrical Releases of 2012 (Rank: #7)

Beyond its cinematic celebration of the art of sushi and the mastery of Jiro Ono, Jiro is a film fundamentally about family, tradition, and the value of hard work. The complicated relationship between the master and Yoshikazu, his son and heir apparent, is a story of legacy, succession, and intergenerational tension—universal themes that transcend the specificity of their epicurean world.

Read our interview with director David Gelb.

See Jiro Dreams of Sushi in theaters.


Journey to Planet X
Top Documentaries of 2012 (Rank: #3)

Top Festival Premieres of 2012 (Rank: #3)

By day, Eric Swain and Troy Bernier are just a couple of mild-mannered, nerdy Florida scientists, but after hours their real passion comes alive in the form of the fantastical and sometimes inadvertently hilarious science fiction films. While Eric views their efforts as a fun hobby, Troy believes the films could lead to the big time, and so with very different agendas the two undertake their most ambitious project yet, an epic short known simply as Planet X.

Read our interview with directors Josh Koury and Myles Kane.

Side By Side

Top Documentaries of 2012 (Rank: #7)
Top Festival Premieres of 2012 (Rank: #9)

From the way audiences access movies to the way filmmakers shoot them, the art and business of film is evolving at a shockingly swift rate. Producer Keanu Reeves interviews some of the most innovative game-changers in the world of cinema including James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbegh and Christopher Nolan who share their insights in this thoroughly engaging documentary about the future of film.

Watch Side by Side on VOD and in theaters beginning August 22.


 

Sleepless Night
Top Theatrical Releases of 2012 (Rank: #1)
Top Foreign Language Features of 2012 (Rank: #1)

Vincent is a dedicated police officer, or so it seems. After he steals a massive bag of cocaine, his young son winds up being held for ransom by the mob boss it belongs to. When Vincent travels to the outskirts of Paris to trade the drugs for his son, he gets caught in an intense cat-and-mouse game that quickly spirals out of control. This night might not only be the longest of his life—it could be the last.

Watch this movie today!

Read our interview with director Frédéric Jardin.


 

Yossi

Yossi
Top Foreign Language Features of 2012 (Rank: #10)

After the events that transpired in Yossi & Jagger, Yossi, a closeted gay man, is now living a solitary existence in Tel Aviv. A perennially sad, workaholic doctor, Yossi has his quiet world shaken when a middle-aged woman walks out of his past and into his examination room. Their brief but emotionally charged reunion unnerves enough to make him spontaneously leave his home. A chance encounter with a group of lively soldiers ignites Yossi's desire to awaken from his emotional slumber.

Read our interview with director Eytan Fox.

Yossi will have a theatrical release in early 2013 from Strand Releasing.


 

Don't forget to check out all the great films on Indiewire's list!