There are a few massive movies on the horizon this April, with Fast 7 Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron set to hit the big screen.

The Falling

The Falling

However, it is not all about the big blockbusters, as over the next few weeks there are some terrific independent films that you really should check out.

- The Dark Horse - out now

Cliff Curtis has been winning over critics and audiences with The Dark Horse, which sees him team up with director and writer James Napier Robertson for the first time.

This emotionally charged independent film sees Curtis take on the central role of Genesis in a story that is inspired by the real-life take of Genesis Potini, a Gisborne speed chess play and coach who struggled with bipolar disorder.

Despite his own personal struggles, Genesis was determined to help the youngsters of his community - he taught them how to play chess in a bid to keep them away from gangs and crime and give them a focus in life.

Cliff Curtis is best known for his roles in TV series Missing and Trauma as well as movies Colombiana and Sunshine, but The Dark Horse is being called the performance of his career by critics.

Robertson is back in the director's chair for the film, which is the second feature of his career and comes six years after I'm Not Harry Jenson. As well as directing the film, Robertson also wrote and stars in the movie.

The Dark Horse was both a critical and commercial hit when it opened in New Zealand and has gone on be a success at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The Dark Horse

- Lost River - released 10th April.

Ryan Gosling is making the transition from in front of the camera to the director's chair this month as his directorial debut finally hits the big screen.

Lost River is a movie that we everyone seems to have been talking about for well over a year... now it is finally here and get the chance to see what Gosling has delivered.

As well as being in the director's chair, Gosling has also penned the screenplay - however, he will not be starring in the film. He has brought together a terrific cast he reunites with Christina Hendricks - who he worked with on Drive. Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes, Iain De Caestecker, Matt Smith, and Ben Mendelsohn are also on board.

Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy (Hendricks) a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son Bones (Caestecker) discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery if their family is to survive.

It seemed only a matter of time before Gosling make the leap to behind the camera and it will be interesting to see just how much directing he does over the next couple of years.

Lost River

- Grassland - released 17th April

Jack Reynor and Will Poulter are two of the most exciting young actors around and he is back on the big screen this April with Grassland.

Grassland will mark the second feature film for Gerard Barrett as he returns to the director's chair for the first time since making his debut with Pilgrim Hill.

As if a cast with Reynor and Poulter was not exciting enough, Toni Collette is also on bard alongside Michael Smiley.

Set in Dublin Grassland tells the story of a young taxi driver (Reynor) who gets tangled up in the world of human trafficking while trying to save his mother (Collette) from addiction.

Reynor's last couple of projects have seen him move from comedy Delivery Man to blockbuster Transformer: Age of Extinction, but Grassland will show off a very different side to him as an actor.

Poulter on the other hand is no stranger to the grittier film roles, with Wild Bill already under his belt - it is a film in which he gave a terrific performance.

Grassland

- Amar, Akbar & Tony - released 17th April

- Amar, Akbar & Tony is one of the British movies to watch out for this month as Atul Malhotra makes his live action feature film directorial debut.

Malhotra is no stranger to the director's chair with a string of TV work under his belt - I am looking forward to seeing him make the transition into live action features.

Rez Kempton, Sam Vincenti, and Martin Delaney take on the title roles, while Karen David, Laura Aikman, Goldy Notay, and Meera Syal are also on board.

The 1970's Bollywood comedy 'Amar Akbar Anthony', about three brothers separated by circumstance, has inspired the title of this British film about three friends driven apart by circumstance.

The film explores the predicaments that face its lead trio - Amar (Kempton) whose promising career is derailed by a turn of events, Tony (Delaney) whose obsession with winning over the Asian woman of his dreams finds him pursuing the wrong woman, while Akbar (Vincenti) an ambitious charmer tries to manage business, love, and friendship with the gift of the gab.

Amar, Akbar & Tony

- The Falling - released 24th April

Carol Morley is one of the most exciting British female directors and she is back this April with her new film The Falling.

Morley has moved between drama, documentaries, and shorts during her directing career, and The Falling sees her return to live action for the first time since Edge back in 2012.

The Falling is set in 1969 at a strict English girls' school where charismatic Abbie and intense and troubled Lydia are best friends. After a tragedy occurs at the school, a mysterious fainting epidemic breaks out threatening the stability of all involved.

Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams will take on the role of Lydia, while we will be introduced to the acting talents of Florence Pugh as Abbie. They are joined on the cast list by Maxine Peake, Anna Burnett, Greta Scacchi, Rose Caton, and Lauren McCrostie.

The Falling premiered at the BFI London Film Festival last year - where it was met well by both audiences and critics - and it is always exciting to see Morley back in the director's chair.

The Falling

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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