Lineup: 47th Annual New Directors/New Films, Through –April 8

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Djon Africa

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art:  complete lineup for the 47th annual New Directors/New Films (ND/NF), through– April 8, 2018.

Throughout its rich, nearly half-century history, the festival celebrates filmmakers who represent the present and anticipate the future of cinema, daring artists whose work pushes the envelope in unexpected ways. This year’s festival will introduce 25 features and 10 short films to New York audiences.

“The purpose of New Directors/New Films is to seek out emerging filmmakers who are working at the vanguard of cinema,” says Film Society Director of Programming Dennis Lim. “This is as diverse and wide-ranging a lineup as we’ve assembled in years: full of pleasures and provocations and, above all, surprises—proof that film remains a medium ripe for reinvention in ways big and small.”

“The filmmakers in this year's New Directors are as imaginative, daring and restless as any we've seen, whether observing a world-famous rapper fighting injustices in Sri Lanka or prostitutes and holy men in Jamaica, a coal peddler in the Congo or a credit-card scammer in Switzerland," says Josh Siegel, Curator of the Department of Film at The Museum of Modern Art.

This year’s lineup boasts features and shorts from 29 countries across five continents, with 10 North American premieres, 13 films directed or co-directed by women, and 14 works by first-time feature filmmakers. Highlights include Pedro Pinho’s surprising three-hour epic The Nothing Factory, which was voted #1 on Film Comment magazine’s Best Undistributed Films of 2017 list; the late Hu Bo’s epic feature debut An Elephant Sitting Still, a masterpiece sure to be remembered as a landmark of modern Chinese cinema; New York-based filmmaker Ricky D’Ambrose’s dark, minimalist pseudo-detective tale Notes on an Appearance; Gustav Möller’s emergency call center thriller The Guilty, which won prizes at Rotterdam and Sundance; Our House, an evocative examination of female friendship by first-time Japanese filmmaker Yui Kiyohara; acclaimed documentarian Emmanuel Gras’s Cannes prizewinner Makala, which follows the monumental efforts of a young Congolese charcoal-maker at work; Khalik Allah’s stylistically rich Black Mother, a close look at Jamaica via its holy men and prostitutes; Locarno prizewinner Milla, Valérie Massadian’s moving, visually striking meditation on young motherhood; and many more exciting discoveries.

The New Directors/New Films selection committee is made up of members from both presenting organizations. The 2018 feature committee was comprised of Dennis Lim (Co-Chair, FSLC), Josh Siegel (Co-Chair, MoMA), Florence Almozini (FSLC), Sophie Cavoulacos (MoMA), La Frances Hui (MoMA), and Dan Sullivan (FSLC), and the shorts were programmed by Brittany Shaw (MoMA) and Tyler Wilson (FSLC).

To become a member of the Film Society or MoMA, please visit filmlinc.org or MoMA.org, respectively. Plus, see more and save with a 3+ film discount package or brand new VIP All-Access Pass (quantities are limited).

New Directors/New Films is presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art and is supported by the Annual Film Fund of The Museum of Modern Art, Film Society’s New Wave, The New York Times, American Airlines, The Village Voice, Shutterstock, and Hudson Hotel.

FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS: All films are digitally projected unless otherwise noted

CLOSING NIGHT: Hale County This Morning, This Evening

RaMell Ross, USA, 2018, 76m

New York Premiere
“The American stranger knows Blackness as a fact—even though it is fiction,” says writer-director RaMell Ross. For his visionary and political debut feature, which premiered to great acclaim at Sundance in 2018, Ross spent five years intimately observing African American families living in Hale County, Alabama. It’s a region made unforgettable by Walker Evans and James Agee’s landmark 1941 photographic essay Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, which documented the impoverished lives of white sharecropper families in Alabama’s Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. Ross’s poetic return to this place shows changed demographics, and depicts people resilient in the face of adversity and invisibility. Hale County This Morning, This Evening introduces a distinct and powerful new voice in American filmmaking.
Saturday, April 7, 8:30pm [FSLC]
Sunday, April 8, 2:00pm [MoMA]
 
3/4
Ilian Metev, Bulgaria, 2017, 82m
Bulgarian with English subtitles
New York Premiere
3/4 evokes the intimacies, joys, and tensions of a contemporary Bulgarian family facing an uncertain future; the father is an astrophysicist with his head in the clouds, his son a waywardly antic teenager, his daughter a gifted but anxious pianist. Illian Metev (whose previous film was the gripping documentary Sofia’s Last Ambulance) won the Filmmakers of the Present prize at the 2017 Locarno Festival for this fiction feature debut, a gracefully shot, uncommonly tender character study that plays like an exquisite piece of chamber music.
Saturday, March 31, 1:00pm [FSLC]
 
 
Ava
Sadaf Foroughi, Iran/Canada/Qatar, 2017, 103m
Farsi with English subtitles
New York Premiere
Adolescence creates intense pressure for any girl, but it’s particularly strong for 17-year-old Ava, buffeted by the harsh strictures of home and school in contemporary Tehran. Iranian writer-director Sadaf Foroughi won the jury prize at the Toronto International Film Festival for her intimate and intensely dramatic portrait of a young woman whose private longings drive her to rebellion and lead to public shaming. A Grasshopper Film release.
Thursday, March 29, 8:30pm [MoMA]
Sunday, April 1, 7:30pm [FSLC]
 
Azougue Nazaré
Tiago Melo, Brazil, 2017, 80m
Portuguese with English subtitles
North American Premiere
No measure of hellfire preaching can quell the boisterous and bawdy passions of Maracatu, an Afro-Brazilian burlesque carnival tradition with roots in slavery that takes place in the northeast state of Pernambuco. As the Falstaffian character Tiao, Valmir do Coco leads a nonprofessional cast of authentic Maracatu practitioners in a tale told through dance, music, and the supernatural, set in the sugarcane fields outside Recife. The fabulous—and fabulist—Azougue Nazaré is the first film by Tiago Melo, who worked on such recent celebrated Brazilian films as Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius (NYFF 2016) and Gabriel Mascaro’s Neon Bull (ND/NF 2016), and who was awarded the Bright Future prize at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival.
Saturday, March 31, 7:30pm [MoMA]
 
 
For the entire listing of films please visit www.newdirectors.org 
 
Dedicated to the discovery and support of emerging artists, New Directors/New Films has earned an international reputation as the premier festival for works that break or re-cast the cinematic mold. The New Directors/New Films selection committee is made up of members from both presenting organizations: from The Museum of Modern Art, Rajendra Roy, La Frances Hui, Sophie Cavoulacos, and Izzy Lee, and from the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Dennis Lim, Florence Almozini, Dan Sullivan, and Tyler Wilson. For more information about the festival, visit newdirectors.org and follow the festival on Facebook (facebook.com/newdirectors) and Twitter (@NDNF, #NDNF).
 
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.
 
The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Shutterstock, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. American Airlines is the Official Airline of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. For more information, visit filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.
 
The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film marked its 80th anniversary in 2015. Originally founded in 1935 as the Film Library, the Department of Film is a dedicated champion of cinema past, present, and future. With one of the strongest international collections of motion pictures in the world—totaling more than 30,000 films between the permanent and study collections—the Department of Film is a leader in film preservation and a discoverer of emerging talent. Through The Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center, a state-of-the-art storage facility in Hamlin, Pennsylvania, MoMA restores and preserves films that are shown across the world and in many of the Museum’s diverse programs, most notably in To Save and Project: The Annual MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation.
 
The Department of Film engages with current cinema by honoring films and filmmakers that will have a lasting historical significance through its annual Film Benefit, which raises funds for the continued maintenance and growth of the collection, and The Contenders series, an annual series of the year’s best movies, as selected by MoMA Film curators from major studio releases and top film festivals. Always looking to the future, the Department of Film is constantly unearthing emerging talent and providing a venue for young filmmakers through programs such as New Directors/New Films and Documentary Fortnight. Playing an essential role in MoMA’s mission to collect, preserve, and exhibit modern and contemporary art, the department was awarded an Honorary Academy Award in 1978 “for the contribution it has made to the public’s perception of movies as an art form.”
 

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