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MoMA to Present Fourth Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You
Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. 2009. USA. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle. Image courtesy of IFP.
NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art presents the fourth edition of Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You, an exhibition of the five films nominated for the IFP Gotham Independent Film Award “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.” The winner will be announced on November 30, 2009, at IFP’s Nineteenth Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards. This exhibition of screenings at MoMA, from November 19 through 22, 2009, is a collaboration between the Museum’s Department of Film and the nonprofit organization of independent filmmakers, IFP, and its quarterly publication Filmmaker Magazine. Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You is organized by Joshua Siegel, Associate Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art; Michelle Byrd, Executive Director, IFP; Scott Macaulay, Editor, Filmmaker Magazine; and Milton Tabbot, Senior Director, Programming, IFP.

All of the nominated films are American independents made in 2009 that have been screened at film festivals yet have not been distributed theatrically. They were selected by senior members of the Filmmaker editorial staff—Scott Macaulay, Jason Guerrasio, Brandon Harris, Ray Pride, and Alicia Van Couvering—and by MoMA’s Joshua Siegel.

This year, the nominees are Frazer Bradshaw's haunting directorial debut Everything Strange and New, about a carpenter coping with the ennui of mid-life, which won the critics’ prize at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Damien Chazelle’s Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench is an exuberant movie musical shot on a shoestring budget but with an original orchestral swing score. The feature-length documentary October Country by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher chronicles a year in the lives of a troubled working-class family, and won the Grand Jury prize at this year’s Silverdocs. A mix of cinematic styles energizes Ry Russo-Young’s You Wont Miss Me, which played at Sundance this year; Stella Schnabel, the film’s co-screenwriter, gives a raw and uninhibited performance as a self-destructive 23-year-old woman. Tariq Tapa’s Zero Bridge, a discovery of the 2009 Venice and Karlovy Vary Film Festivals, is a neorealist portrait of daily life in the war-torn city of Srinagar, Kashmir, as seen through the eyes of a teenage pickpocket in love with a girl whose passport he stole.

Past nominees that have been featured in MoMA’s Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You series have included Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues (2008), Ronald Bronstein’s Frownland (2007), Chris Fuller’s Loren Cass (2006), Goran Dukic’s Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006), and So Yong Kim’s In Between Days (2006).

The Museum of Modern Art | Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You | Joshua Siegel |

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