10. What Will People Say (dir. Iram Haq, Norway)
Haq’s film about a young woman caught between two cultures is intense, vital, and impeccably performed. Lead actress Maria Mozhdah, in her very first role, is a supernova. More info.
09. Four Hands (Oliver Kienle, Germany)
Kienle’s slick, unpredictable freak-out is the most twisted sister movie since Ginger Snaps. More info.
08. Bodied (Joseph Kahn, U.S.)
The director of Torque and Detention‘s rap battle spectacular is his funniest and most gleefully belligerent movie yet. More info.
07. Unarmed Verses (Charles Officer, Canada)
Officer’s overwhelmingly entertaining and uplifting doc, about kids in a Toronto housing project arts program, is like Rocky with mics instead of boxing gloves. More info.
06. Milla (Valérie Massadian, France)
Stark, hypnotic, fascinatingly natural, Massadian’s film also features the definitive use of Violent Femmes’ “Add it Up”. More info.
05. Ugly & Blind (Tom Lass, Germany)
Endlessly irreverent and delightfully dangerous romantic comedy by filmmaker/co-star Lass, a person I would be afraid to bring home to meet my mom. More info.
04. Everything Else (Natalia Almada, Mexico)
Academy Award-nominee Adriana Barraza’s career-best performance is in this portrait of a grieving woman finding her way after the lights in her life start to go out. More info.
03. The Genius and the Opera Singer (Vanessa Stockley, U.K.)
02. Past Imperfect (Nathalie Teirlinck, Belgium)
Teirlinck’s moving, understated debut about an escort suddenly having to look after the son she abandoned is a kaleidoscopic ode to the ache of human connection, with an uncompromisingly raw performance from Orphan Black‘s Évelyne Brochu. More info.
01. Meerkat Moonship (Hanneke Schutte, South Africa)
Schutte’s instant coming-of-age classic is a gauzy fairy tale about grief, loss, and friendship, with two of the most astonishing child performances you’ll ever see. There will be tears. More info.