Be the First to See These World Premieres at HIFF 2015!

Undoubtedly, one of the best parts of attending a film festival is the heightened anticipation and thrill of knowing you are a part of the audience for a film’s very first screening… their World Premiere. The director is on hand—often with cast, crew, friends and family—the excitement is palpable, and life goals are being realized, right in front of your eyes. You know you are a part of something very special.

There are seven feature films world premiering at HIFF 2015. Make a point to catch one, two or all of the following films:


Director Marc Levin presents CLASS DIVIDE, a look into the modern effects of gentrification in West Chelsea, New York, seen through the eyes of students from both sides of the street—one avenue and worlds apart. In the face of rising inequality, stagnant class mobility, gentrification and much more, the kids from both sides of the street grapple with their relationship to each other amid the stark transformation.


THE UNCONDEMNED tells the gripping and world-changing story of a group of young international lawyers and activists who fought to make rape a crime of war, and the Rwandan women who came forward to testify, to win justice, where there had been none. Directed by Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel.


HARRY BENSON: SHOOT FIRST chronicles the illustrious career of the prolific photographer who initially rose to fame alongside The Beatles. Benson captured some of the most vibrant and intimate portraits ever taken and even now, at 85, has no intention of stopping. From directors Matthew Miele and Justin Bare.


Orphan. Entrepreneur. Recluse. Genius. Megalomaniac. Inventor Joseph Newman is all of the above. In his enthralling debut, filmmaker Jon Fox deftly seeks to understand the enigmatic inventor, who rose to notoriety with “The Newman Device,” an electromagnetic machine that he claimed produced more energy than it took to power it and created a whirlwind of controversy.


Based on a true story, THE PREPPIE CONNECTION chronicles the exploits of a working class prodigy (Thomas Mann, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL) who steps into the elite corridors of Sage Hall, a prep school in his hometown, yet a world away. Vying for acceptance in the privileged culture and trying to charm the beautiful and elusive girl of his dreams, he quickly learns the way into the “Preppies” is different than he expected—supplying them with cocaine. Directed by Joseph Castelo.


Filmmaker and cancer survivor Meghan O’Hara wants to change the way we think about cancer. In this daring and intimate film, she investigates the connection between the current cancer epidemic and our western lifestyle, including medical professionals’ tendency to treat only the symptoms and not the underlying causes. Narrated by Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman, THE C WORD challenges us to step up and take control of our health.


THE CHAMPIONS is the powerful story of the brave individuals who rescued, rehabilitated, and adopted the pit-bulls from NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s violent dog-fighting ring. With her inspiring documentary, first time filmmaker Darcy Dennett proves the power of resilience and addresses a variety of important issues, including the unfair stigma surrounding this misunderstood breed, the exploitation of animals for the sake of entertainment, and the way society is too quick to forgive its star athletes.

There are also two short films world premiering at HIFF 2015, both in the program entitled, New York Women in Film and Television: Women Calling the Shots:

World Premiere | USA
Ani Simon-Kennedy

83-year-old Nicodemus Bartolo Vasquez opened the doors
to his store, Jarciería El Arte Oaxaqueño, in 1961. He continues
to sell an eclectic mix of often under-valued, handmade Mexican folk art.

Living-Legend-650LIVING LEGEND
World Premiere | Peru/USA | Alonso Llosa
The most dangerous drug lord in Peru must face his ultimate fear: moving out of his mother’s house.