Pass the popcorn, children, and grab a 2000-oz. soda–2015 is already set to be a banner year for exciting new films. There’s a breeze in the air, which means the Summer Blockbuster season is about to descend on us like a gigantic world-destroying robot but in cinema as in music, we know the real heat radiates from the underground up. The 2015 festival circuit which shines a light on the most compelling upcoming, indie, arthouse and documentary films–the vehicles for the actors, directors and cinematographers that the mainstream media will be buzzing about next year–kicked off out west in January with Sundance and will hit its East Coast peak at the Tribeca Film Festival (which launches tonight!–and immediately gets crazy tomorrow night with a live performance by Mary J. Blige for the premiere of MJB: The London Sessions). In between, both chronologically and on the map, SXSW premiered some of the most interesting music-related movies of the season.
Okayplayer has been keeping a close eye on the seen, sending special film correspondents to each (our close personal peoples Samora Pinderhughes put us up on the highlights of Sundance while in Park City, Utah as the musical director for a Nina Simone tribute from Erykah Badu! That’s what you call the best of both worlds). From artist biopics to documentaries to dramatic features that push at the very boundaries of cinema, there’s something for everyone to revel in when it comes to the year’s most anticipated films. And now, in selfless dedication to you the OKP reader, we clothes-pinned our eyeballs open to watch, collect and collate for you a comprehensive guide to 2015’s best film releases, musical and otherwise. From the long-overdue story of Ms. Simone to an unexpected personal journey by Chicago MC Rhymefest into his windy city childhood, to an unflinching look at rape on college campuses, our list covers the full spectrum of cinematic experience and will have you lining up at your local movie hall for flicks upon flicks. So load up at the concessions stand and find your seats; the Okayplayer guide to 2015 in film begins here and now.