NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art
and the Film Society of Lincoln Center announced the full lineup for the 42nd edition of New Directors/New Films (March 20 31). Dedicated to the discovery of new works by emerging filmmaking talent, the festival will screen 25 features (19 narrative, 6 documentary) and 17 short films representing 24 countries all making their New York City premieres.
The Opening Night feature selection is Alexandre Moorss BLUE CAPRICE. Screening on Wednesday, March 20 at MoMA, Moorss debut film explores gun violence, following two snipers, the elder John and 17-year old Lee, who set out on a shooting spree that is seemingly torn from the front pages. Masterfully played by Isaiah Washington and newcomer Tequan Richmond, the two characters at the center of the story are all too human for the monsters they become. When title character, a lumbering old Chevy Caprice, enters the picture, the stage is set for John and his charge to embark on their rampage.
The found-footage documentary, OUR NIXON, will screen as the Closing Night selection on Sunday, March 31 at Film Societys Walter Reade Theater. Directed by Penny Lane, the film is edited from hundreds of rolls of Super 8 film shot during the Nixon Presidency by his aides H.R.Haldeman, John Erlichman, and Dwight Chapin. Lane, with co-writer and co-producer Brian L. Frye, has taken that wealth of raw footage and interwoven it with period news and pop culture, excerpts from the infamous White House audio tapes, and contemporary interviews to create an unprecedented insiders view of an American presidency, chronicling watershed events like the Apollo moon landing, the 1972 trip to China, and Tricia Nixons White House wedding, as well as more intimate glimpses of Nixon in times of glory and disgrace.
Among the highlights of the festivals 42nd edition are Shane Carruths UPSTREAM COLOR and Sarah Polleys STORIES WE TELL. UPSTREAM COLOR, a science fiction puzzler, is the second film by Carruth, following his 2004 debut with PRIMER, which garnered awards and almost immediate cult status nine years ago. STORIES WE TELL is an emotional examination of the family story of Sara Polley and represents the indie actress and filmmakers first documentary foray after two critically lauded dramas (AWAY FROM HER, TAKE THIS WALTZ).
Another highlight will be Emil Christovs black comedy, THE COLOR OF THE CHAMELEON, about a misfit secret police informer who infiltrates and investigates a book club dedicated to new thinking. The selection will mark the first time in 35 years that a film from Bulgaria has been chosen to screen at New Directors/New Films. THE COLOR OF THE CHAMELEON received a Special Mention at the Thessaloniki Film Festival, a Bronze Horse at the Stockholm Film Festival, and was nominated for a Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. French filmmaker Rachid Djaidanis RENGAINE, an ultra-low budget Romeo and Juliet-type drama set in contemporary multicultural Paris, marks Djaidanis narrative debut. The film won a FIPRESCI Prize at last years Cannes Film Festival.
Rajendra Roy, MoMAs Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film says, The filmmakers we welcome into the New Directors family this year are remarkably engaged with issues of our time, and the history that got us here. From the scourge of gun violence, to mental illness to the aftermath of the Arab Spring, this year's lineup feels particularly relevant to contemporary life.
Among the feature debuts are Ukranian critic-turned-director Lyubov Arkuss documentary ANTONS RIGHT HERE, which traces the tremendous obstacles and challenges she faces as she gradually becomes the primary caregiver to a severely autistic teenage boy. Video and performance artist Shannon Plumbs TOWHEADS is a deadpan comedy about a Brooklyn mother who dons various imaginative guises to keep from going mad as a mother to two rambunctious children and a taken-for-granted wife. Writer-director Plumbs real-life husbandalso stars in the film opposite her husband, filmmaker Derek Cianfrance (BLUE VALENTINE, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES) plays the protagonists theater director partner. Following a string of successful short films, Canadian writer-director Kazik Radwanski makes his feature debut with TOWER, an intense character study of a lonely, social-awkward thirtysomething who dreams of making an animated film about a green creature.
Additional feature debuts include Dutch filmmaker Alex Pitstras semi-autobiographical meta-adventure DIE WELT about a video store clerk with grandiose ambitions in a post-Jasmine Revolution Tunisia. Brazilian Marcello Lordellos understated drama THEYLL COME BACK focuses on a privileged 12 year-old who is forced to learn how the other half lives when she and her brother are left behind by their parents in a rural backwater. Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm makes his solo debut with A HIJACKING, a tense hostage drama about cargo ship piracy. The film won the Golden Alexander at the Thessaloniki Film Festival, received a FIPRESCI Best Picture nod and an audience award at AFI Fest. Austrian filmmaker Daniel Hoesls feature debut SOLDATE JEANNETTE is an absurdist morality play about two women from opposite ends of the social spectrum whose worlds collide was a Tiger Award winner at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.
Other films honored at past film festivals include Italian filmmaker Leonardo Di Costanzos LINTERVALLO. An intense drama about two adolescents thrown together under the watchful eye of local gangsters in Naples, the film was honored with the critics prize at the Venice Film Festival last year. Also honored at Venice was Ali Aydins KÜF. The spellbinding character study, from Turkey, of a railroad inspector who seeks answers from a local police inspector about the disappearance of his son years ago won the 2012 Lion of the Future Award last year. Another film to have made a significant impact at a previous festival was Li Luos EMPEROR VISITS THE HELL. This clever reworking of one of the storylines in the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West, about the unintended consequences of a crooked Ming Dynasty kings attempts to change the weather, won the Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema at the Vancouver Film Festival.
Among the other films announced are JP Sniadecki and Libbie Dina Cohns PEOPLES PARK, which takes an immersive look at a Chinese community via a single tracking shot and was nominated for a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival, and Joshua Oppenheimers documentary on Indonesian death squad members, THE ACT OF KILLING, which received the DOX: AWARD from the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival.
A new feature in ND/NF this year is a mid-festival screening of Sophie Letourneurs LES COQUILLETTES at the VW Performance Dome at MoMAPS1 in Long Island City. This will be the first ND/NF film festival screening at MoMAPS1, and Letourneurs comedy about three young women looking for love (or something like it) at the Locarno Film Festival is a perfect fit for the venue.
Commenting on this years New Directors/New Films lineup, Film Society of Lincoln Center Director of Programming, Year-Round, Robert Koehler said, "This year's New Directors/New Films filmmakers have demonstrated the kind of daring and innovative approaches to storytelling that exemplifies what ND/NF represents. It will be a great pleasure to introduce many of them to New York audiences for the very first time."