The Takeover- Harlem
Co-Produced by Harlem Stage
February 21- 25, 2017
Co-Produced by Harlem Stage, The Apollo Theater and a host of legendary Harlem venues, AFROPUNK commemorates Black History Month by celebrating African-American culture and engaging with contemporary thought and issues, in the New York neighborhood that’s been central to the black American experience for well over a century. AFROPUNK The Takeover – Harlem will present a week-long series of events featuring live musical performances, film screenings, comedy shows, jam sessions and frank discussions on identity, art and protest.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2017
NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE
BLACK JOY AS AN EXPRESSION OF RESISTANCE AND LIBERATION
OPENING PANEL DISCUSSION
7:00PM, FREE (Suggested donation $10)
2031 5th Ave, New York, NY 10035
The kickoff event of AFROPUNK The Takeover – Harlem confronts this historic political moment with a conversation about the diverse expression and cultural significance of Black Joy! With stereotypical images and tropes of “Blackness” inundating today’s media, it is imperative to explore the creative resistance, expression and liberation housed in our joy — on our own terms, in our own words. This panel discussion will explore the ways our various institutions and movements continue to tell our stories and introduce counter-narratives that genuinely celebrate who we are as a people. It will shine a light on the tools that have helped heal, activate and keep the cultural expressions of our communities unapologetic and liberated.
Participating in the panel will be
Zoe Kravitz, actress/musician
Larry Ossei-Mensah, co-founder of ARTNOIR
Sade Lythcott, CEO of National Black Theatre
Matthew Morgan, Founder of AFROPUNK
Moderated by André D. Singleton, Co-Founder of The Very Black Project
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017
TAMAR-KALI: DEMON FRUIT BLUES – A WORK-IN-PROGRESS SHOWING
150 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031
Connecting the dots between modern day rock, gospel, blues and original African rhythms, Tamar-Kali’s Demon Fruit Blues is a multidisciplinary work that explores and deconstructs interrogates gender binaries, patriarchy and womanhood by examining the origins of misogyny. Through the use of music and movement by Ase Dance Theatre Collective, Demon Fruit Blues interrogates the ‘curse of womanhood’ in Judeo-Christian ideology and how this perception of the female body reverberates in modern day western society, in an effort to heal a culture of “unspoken” influences that psychically severs the ties between history and culture. This work-in-progress showing will be preceded by the screening of a short film and followed by a panel discussion with the Tamar-kali, Adia Whitaker, Ashley Brockington, Feminista Jones and more.
THE SHED: OPEN JAM SESSION – AFROPUNK EDITION
GIN FIZZ HARLEM
Ranked as one of New York City’s “Top 5 Jam Sessions,” #TheShed is a bi-weekly gathering that takes place at Gin Fizz Harlem. It is the brainchild of Grammy-nominated producer/engineer, AnuSun, and provides a taste of the New Renaissance happening in Harlem, and a launch-pad for emerging musical talent. Join us for the special AFROPUNK Edition of The Shed, you never know who might come through!
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2017
BEARING WITNESS AS PROTEST
THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM
6PM-8:30PM, $7 GA/ $3 Students
144 West 125th Street, New York, New York
Explore current and historical expressions of dissent in contemporary art at The Window and The Breaking of the Window and Circa 1970, two current exhibitions at The Studio Museum. The evening will begin with a guided walk-through the exhibitions, followed by a public dialogue on bearing witness as an act of protest, and on the actions needed to create the path ahead.
The discussion will be a public dialogue about bearing witness as an act of protest with members of Harlem Copwatch, Oasa DuVerney (Featured artist in The Window and the Breaking of the Window) and moderated by Chaédria LaBouvier (creator of Basquiat’s Defacement).
AFROPUNK & JILL NEWMAN PRODUCTIONS present A Night Of Comedy Featuring Gina Yashere Doors: 9:00PM; Show: 9:30PM, $20 ADV/$25 DOS GINNY’S SUPPER CLUB at Red Rooster 310 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY 10027 Purchase Tickets Now
AFROPUNK and Jill Newman Productions are collaborating to present – AFROPUNK Comedy featuring Nigerian-UK comic Gina Yashere. Gina Yashere is a stand up Comedian and TV star from the UK that broke onto the American scene in NBC’s Last Comic Standing. She has appeared on Def Comedy Jam. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Nightly Show on Comedy Central and in her 1 hour Stand Up Special on Showtime, Skinny B*tch. Kevin Avery is a comedian and Emmy award-winning writer. His writing credits include HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, VH1′s Best Week Ever and the critically acclaimed FX original series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, on which he had the distinction of serving as head writer.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2017
AFROPUNK & THE CINEMA AT THE MAYSLES DOCUMENTARY CENTER present a screening of
THE TALK – RACE IN AMERICA
6:30PM; $10 Donation
THE CINEMA AT MAYSLES DOCUMENTARY CENTER
343 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY, 10027
The Talk – Race in America – a documentary about the increasingly common conversation taking place in homes and communities across the country between parents of color and their children, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police. The film profiles, Dr. Christi Griffin, Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, who was a 12-year-old boy killed by the Cleveland police while playing with a toy gun in a local park;Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President and retired New York police officer, Kenya Barris, creator/executive producer of Peabody Award-winning ABC series black-ish; Nas, musician/activist, John Singleton, director/screenwriter/producer; and Charles Blow, New York Times Op-Ed columnist.
MAD FREE & AFROPUNK present The Hair Tales: An Appropriation Conversation
150 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031
Cultural critic and image activist Michaela Angela Davis teams up with Franchesca Ramsey, actress/comedian/provocateur and creator of the YouTube sensation “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls,” to engage in a candid and kinky communal conversation about Black Girl hair culture in the age of #BlackGirlMagic & #BlackLivesMatter. Designed as a Pan-African Parisian Salon, the evening will feature improvisational braiding by Ancestral Strands, exclusive set pieces by Enitan Vintage, cocktails and YOU.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2017
THE APOLLO THEATER
AFROPUNK: “UNAPOLOGETICALLY BLACK” THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN SONGBOOK REMIXED, A CELEBRATION OF BLACK PROTEST MUSIC
7:30PM, Tickets start at $33.50
253 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027
Creative & Musical Direction by Robert Glasper
With Igmar Thomas & The Revive Big Band
Featuring Special Guests
Bilal, Toshi Reagon, Staceyann Chin, Jill Scott, Tunde Adebimpe (TV ON THE RADIO) and more
AFROPUNK pays homage to black protest music and iconic and contemporary artists who have celebrated the power of being unapologetically black.
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The Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center announce the complete lineup for the 46th annual New Directors/New Films, March 15-26
Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$ selected for Opening Night, Eliza Hittman’s Beach Rats is Centerpiece, and Dustin Guy Defa’s Person to Person to close the festival
New York, NY (February 15, 2017) – The Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center announce the complete lineup for the 46th annual New Directors/New Films (ND/NF), March 15-26. Since 1972, the festival has been an annual rite of early spring in New York City, bringing exciting discoveries from around the world to adventurous moviegoers. Dedicated to the discovery of new works by emerging and dynamic filmmaking talent, this year’s festival will screen 29 features and nine short films.
“Authenticity is an elusive thing these days, and without it we risk ruin. This is particularly true in cinema,” said Rajendra Roy, the Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at The Museum of Modern Art. “The filmmakers selected for this year’s festival share a common commitment to honest personal vision and integrity in storytelling. We’re honored that these artists will share their true optimism for film with our audiences this March.”
Film Society Director of Programming Dennis Lim said, “At this point in its long history, it goes without saying that New Directors/New Films is very much about discovery and revelation, but I think this year’s lineup, full of fresh takes on established genres and subtly new forms of expression, is an especially invigorating and timely illustration of the uses of imagination—as acts of resistance and renewal. These are distinctive voices you will be hearing a lot from in the years to come.”
The opening, centerpiece, and closing night selections showcase three exciting new voices in American independent cinema: Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$, a breakout hit of Sundance, is opening night; Eliza Hittman’s portrait of a Brooklyn teenager’s sexual awakening, Beach Rats, is the centerpiece selection; and Dustin Guy Defa closes the festival with Person to Person, a day-in-the-life snapshot of a group of eccentric New York characters.
This year’s lineup boasts nine North American premieres, seven U.S. premieres, and two world premieres, with features and shorts from 32 countries across five continents. A
number of films have won major awards on the festival circuit, including Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s Sexy Durga, winner of Rotterdam’s Tiger Award; Ala Eddine Slim’s accomplished debut The Last of Us, awarded Venice’s Lion of the Future; Dalei Zhang’s Golden Horse best feature winner The Summer Is Gone; as well as Locarno prizewinners The Future Perfect, The Last Family, and The Challenge, which took home honors for best first-time filmmaker, best actor, and the special jury prize, respectively.
The New Directors/New Films selection committee is made up of members from both presenting organizations. The 2017 feature committee was comprised of Rajendra Roy (Co-Chair, MoMA), Dennis Lim (Co-Chair, FSLC), Florence Almozini (FSLC), Sophie Cavoulacos (MoMA), La Frances Hui (MoMA), and Dan Sullivan (FSLC), and the shorts were programmed by Izzy Lee (MoMA) and Tyler Wilson (FSLC). Josh Siegel (MoMA) and Rachael Rakes (FSLC) served as program advisors.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Thursday, March 2 at noon. MoMA and Film Society members receive an early access purchasing period starting on Monday, February 27 at noon. To become a member of the MoMA or the Film Society, please visit MoMA.org and filmlinc.org, respectively.
FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS All films are digitally projected unless otherwise noted.
Opening Night Patti Cake$ Geremy Jasper, USA, 2017, 108m New York Premiere Make way for the year’s breakout star: newcomer Danielle Macdonald is Patti Cake$, aka Killa P, a burly and brash aspiring rapper with big plans to get out of Jersey. Patti lives with her mother (Bridget Everett), a former singer who drinks away her daughter’s wages, and ill grandmother (an epic Cathy Moriarty); meanwhile Patti is assisted in realizing her dreams by her hip-hop partner and BFF Hareesh (Siddharth Dhananjay) and their mysterious new collaborator Basterd (Mamoudou Athie). This raucous and fresh tale from first-time writer-director Geremy Jasper—a musician and former music video director from Hillsdale, NJ—follows Patti from gas station rap battles to her shifts at the lonely karaoke bar, while empathetically portraying the aspirations and frustrations of three generations of women. With homegrown swagger and contagious energy, Patti Cake$ announces Jasper and Macdonald as major talents. A Fox Searchlight release.
Centerpiece Beach Rats Eliza Hittman, USA, 2017, 95m New York Premiere Eliza Hittman follows up her acclaimed debut It Felt Like Love with this sensitive chronicle of sexual becoming. Frankie (a breakout Harris Dickinson), a bored teenager living in South Brooklyn, regularly haunts the Coney Island boardwalk with his boys— trying to score weed, flirting with girls, killing time. But he spends his late nights dipping
his toes into the world of online cruising, connecting with older men and exploring the desires he harbors but doesn’t yet fully understand. Sensuously lensed on 16mm by cinematographer Hélène Louvart, Beach Rats presents a colorful and textured world roiling with secret appetites and youthful self-discovery. A Neon release.
Closing Night Person to Person Dustin Guy Defa, USA, 2017, 84m New York Premiere This understated yet ambitious sophomore feature by one of American independent cinema’s most exciting young voices follows a day in the lives of a motley crew of New Yorkers. A rookie crime reporter (Abbi Jacobson of Broad City) tags along with her eccentric boss (Michael Cera), pursuing the scoop on a suicide that may have been a murder, leading her to cross paths with a stoic clockmaker (Philip Baker Hall); meanwhile, a precocious teen (Tavi Gevinson) explores her sexuality while playing hooky, and an obsessive record collector (Bene Coopersmith) receives a too-good-tobe-true tip on a rare Charlie Parker LP while his depressed friend (George Sample III) seeks redemption after humiliating his cheating girlfriend. With Person to Person (exquisitely shot in 16mm by rising-star DP Ashley Connor), Defa matches the sophistication of his acclaimed shorts and delights in the freedoms afforded by a bigger canvas.
4 Days in France / Jours de France Jérôme Reybaud, France, 2017, 141m French with English subtitles North American Premiere An erotic road movie like no other, Jérôme Reybaud’s fiction feature debut begins in the dark, as Pierre (Pascal Cervo) uses his smartphone to snap photos of his lover’s sleeping body. Then, as if in a trance, he hits the road without any clear destination, drawn this way or that only by the connections he forges with strangers on a hookup app. Soon, his lover will set out in hot pursuit of Pierre across four long days and nights, crossing paths with a succession of curious characters. In the sophisticated angle he takes on the state of modern Eros, Reybaud evokes the work of Stranger by the Lake director Alain Guiraudie, imbuing the proceedings with mystery, humor, and a restrained yet pronounced sensuality.
Albüm Mehmet Can Mertoglu, Turkey/France/Romania, 2016, 105m Turkish with English subtitles New York Premiere In this shrewd and visually accomplished social satire from Turkish filmmaker Mehmet Can Mertoglu, a taxman named Bahar (Şebnem Bozoklu) and his history teacher wife, Cüneyt (Murat Kiliç), adopt a child, only to find they feel no emotional connection to the kid. Further complicating their own situation, the self-involved couple initiates an elaborate ruse, with the assistance of contemporary social media, to alter the facts about
how they came to have a family. Stunningly photographed on 35mm by Marius Panduru (DP of Romanian New Wave cornerstone Police, Adjective), Mertoglu’s debut feature uses biting black humor to lampoon present-day Turkish society, capturing in equal measure the absurdity of reality and the reality of the absurd.
Arábia João Dumans & Affonso Uchoa, Brazil, 2017, 97m Portuguese with English subtitles North American Premiere Arábia begins by observing the day-to-day of Andre, a teenager who lives in an industrial area in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. After a local factory worker, Cristiano, has an accident on the job, he leaves behind a handwritten journal, which the boy proceeds to read with relish. The film shifts into road-movie mode to recount the story of Cristiano, an ex-con and eternal optimist who journeys across Brazil in search of work, enduring no shortage of economic hardship but gaining an equal amount of self-knowledge. Invigorating and ever surprising, Arábia is a humanist work of remarkable poise and maturity.
Autumn, Autumn / Chuncheon, chuncheon Jang Woo-jin, South Korea, 2017, 78m Korean with English subtitles North American Premiere With a surprising structure that recalls the work of both Hong Sang-soo and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, this delicate sophomore feature by Jang Woo-jin is a tale of human connection and searching for one’s place in the world. It begins simply enough, with a young man sitting next to an older couple on a train from Seoul to the city of Chuncheon. From there, we follow the man as he copes with the anxiety of trying to find a job, and then the couple, who, as it turns out, don’t know each other as well as it seems. With funny and moving scenes that play out in understated yet bravura long takes, Autumn, Autumn is as attuned to the passage of time and fluctuations of light as it is to everyday human drama.
Screens with Léthé Dea Kulumbegashvili, 2016, France/Georgia, 15m Georgian with English subtitles U.S. Premiere A lonely horseman wanders past the river of forgetfulness and through a rural Georgian village where both children and adults explore life’s more instinctual pleasures.
Boundaries / Pays Chloé Robichaud, Canada, 2016, 100m English and French with English subtitles New York Premiere
Chloé Robichaud’s sophomore feature centers on three women trying to square their political careers with complicated personal lives. Besco, a fictitious island country off the eastern coast of Canada, possesses vast natural resources that foreign companies would love to tap into, which occasions negotiations between Besco’s president (Macha Grenon) and Canadian government reps (including Natalie Dummar as a junior aide from the Ottawa delegation), mediated by a bilingual American (Emily Van Camp). As these three suffer through endless condescensions and mansplanations, they must also contend with an array of outside threats, from lobbyists, terrorists—and their own families. The performances are impeccable, and Robichaud stylishly renders the often absurd mundanity of her heroines’ political ordeal.
By the Time It Gets Dark / Dao Khanong Anocha Suwichakornpong, France/Netherlands/Qatar/Thailand, 2016, 105m Thai with English subtitles U.S. Premiere In the beguiling, mysterious second feature by Thai director Anocha Suwichakornpong, the story of a young film director researching a project about the 1976 massacre of Thai student activists at Thamassat University is just the beginning of a shape-shifting work of fictions within fictions, featuring characters with multiple identities. Drifting across a dizzyingly wide expanse of space and time, By the Time It Gets Dark offers a series of narratives concerning love, longing, the power of cinema, and the vestiges of the past within the present. Asking quietly profound questions about the nature of memory— personal, political, and cinematic—this self-reflexive yet deeply felt film keeps regenerating and unfolding in surprising ways. A KimStim release.
The Challenge Yuri Ancarani, Italy/France/Switzerland, 2016, 69m Arabic with English subtitles New York Premiere If you have it, spend it: Italian artist Yuri Ancarani’s visually striking documentary enters the surreal world of wealthy Qatari sheikhs who moonlight as amateur falconers, with no expenses spared along the way. The Challenge follows these men through the rituals that define their lives: perilously racing blacked-out SUVs up and down sand dunes; sharing communal meals; taking their Ferraris out for a spin with their pet cheetahs riding shotgun; and much more. Ancarani’s film is a sly meditation on the collective pursuit of idiosyncratic desires.
Diamond Island Davy Chou, Cambodia/France/Germany/Qatar/Thailand, 2016, 101m Khmer with English subtitles U.S. Premiere In this stylish coming-of-age story, an 18-year-old from the Cambodian provinces arrives at Diamond Island luxury housing development outside Phnom Penh to work a construction job transporting scrap between building sites. He makes friends and courts a local girl, but things grow ever more complicated when his long-estranged brother
resurfaces. Making his feature-length fiction debut, Chou (whose documentary Golden Slumbers explored the vanished past of Cambodian cinema) creates an intoxicating blend of naturalism and dreamy stylization, rendering the ecstasies and agonies of late youth with remarkable attention to detail.
The Dreamed Path / Der traumhafte weg Angela Schanelec, Germany, 2016, 86m English and German with English subtitles New York Premiere The Dreamed Path traces a precise picture of a world in which chance, emotion, and dreams determine the trajectory of our lives. In 1984 in Greece, a young German couple, Kenneth and Theres, find their romantic relationship tested after his mother suffers an accident. Thirty years later in Berlin, middle-aged actress Ariane splits with her husband David, an anthropologist. Soon, these two couples’ paths cross in unexpected ways, short-circuiting narrative conventions of cause and effect as well as common conceptions of the self. Angela Schanelec, part of the loose collective of innovative German filmmakers that came to be known as the Berlin School, puts her signature formal control to enigmatic and subtly emotional ends in a film of mesmerizing shots and indelible gestures.
The Future Perfect / El Futuro perfecto Nele Wohlatz, Argentina, 2016, 65m Spanish and Mandarin with English subtitles New York Premiere Winner of the Best First Feature prize at the 2016 Locarno Film Festival, Wohlatz’s assured debut is a playful, exceptionally idea-rich work of fiction with documentary fragments. Seventeen-year-old Xiaobin arrives in Argentina from China unable to speak Spanish. Employed at a Chinese grocery store, she saves up enough money to pay for language classes, and enters into a secret romance with a young Indian man, Vijay. As she begins to grasp the Spanish language’s conditional tense, she imagines a constellation of possible futures.
Screens with: Three Sentences About Argentina / Tres oraciones sobre la Argentina Nele Wohlatz, Argentina, 2016, 5m Spanish and Mandarin with English subtitles U.S. Premiere Nele Wohlatz transposes archival footage of Argentinian skiers into prompts for language exercises in this short made as part of an omnibus feature for the Buenos Aires Film Museum.
The Giant / Jätten Johannes Nyholm, Sweden/Denmark, 2016, 86m Swedish with English subtitles U.S. Premiere
Rikard lives to play petanque (a kind of lawn-bowling played with hollow steel balls). But his severe physical deformity, coupled with autism, makes communication with the world beyond a very small group of family, friends, and petanque teammates nearly impossible. As Rikard’s team gears up for a prestigious tournament, his fantasies— some involving his mother, who lives in squalor with her pet parrot, and some imagining himself as a giant stomping across a kitschy, romanticist landscape—transport him beyond the confines of the long-term care facility where he lives. Nyholm’s debut feature is a true original: a provocative, grittily realist sports movie, suffused with compassion and humor.
Happiness Academy / Bonheur Academie Kaori Kinoshita & Alain Della Negra, France, 2016, 75m French with English subtitles North American Premiere Uncannily melding fiction and documentary, Happiness Academy transports us to a hotel retreat for the real-life Raelian Church, a religious sect devoted to the transmission of knowledge inherited from mankind’s extraterrestrial ancestors. As the new candidates for “awakening” (two of whom are played by actress Laure Calamy and musician Arnaud Fleurent-Didier) spend time together at meals, out by the pool, at bonfires, and participating in new age-y group exercises, an unexpected humanism emerges amid the absurd spirituality. Humorous and moving, direct and enigmatic, this singular film meditates on the peculiar ways in which people strive to give their lives meaning.
Happy Times Will Come Soon / I Tempi felici verranno presto Alessandro Comodin, Italy/France, 2016, 102m Italian with English subtitles North American Premiere Two young fugitives out in the wild, a series of talking heads recounting a local legend about a wolf on the prowl, a loose dramatization of that same myth… With a narrative that enigmatically leaps from one hypnotic passage to another, Alessandro Comodin’s sophomore feature, set deep in the northern Italian woods and drawing on local folklore, is the work of a true original. This beautiful and haunting meditation on the relationships between imagination, desire, and violence is a dreamlike fable with the weight of documentary reality.
Lady Macbeth William Oldroyd, UK, 2016, 89m New York Premiere The debut feature by accomplished theater director William Oldroyd relocates Nikolai Leskov’s play Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District to Victorian England. Florence Pugh is forceful and complex as Lady Katherine, who enters into an arranged marriage with the domineering, repressed Alexander (Paul Hilton), and must contend with her husband’s even more unpleasant mine-owner father (Christopher Fairbank). In this constrictive new milieu, she finds carnal release with one of her husband’s servants (Cosmo Jarvis), but there are profound consequences to her infidelity. Boasting deft
performances by an outstanding ensemble cast, Lady Macbeth is a rousing parable about the price of freedom. A Roadside Attractions release.
The Last Family / Ostatnia rodzina Jan P. Matuszynski, Poland, 2016, 124m Polish with English subtitles New York Premiere This sort-of biopic of Polish surrealist artist Zdzisław Beksiński, renowned for his stark, unsettling, postapocalyptic paintings, focuses as much on the rest of the funny and reclusive Beksiński family: his religious wife Zofia, a perennially steadying presence; and his son Tomasz, a DJ/translator always on the verge of spiraling out of control. Jan P. Matuszynski’s fiction feature debut renders Beksiński’s home life as a vivid and affecting succession of near-death experiences and psychodramatic blowouts, and shows the brilliant artworks that emerged from all the sturm und drang.
The Last of Us / Akher Wahed Fina Ala Eddine Slim, Tunisia/Qatar/UAE/Lebanon, 2016, 95m North American Premiere Two men silently traverse a vast, flat landscape; they get in the back of a smuggler’s truck, and soon after they’re attacked by men with guns; one of them escapes to sea, perhaps headed to Europe. He soon then finds himself in an endless forest, where a kind of spiritual journey unfolds. In Ala Eddine Slim’s mysterious, entrancing, dialoguefree film, the political significance of the unnamed protagonist’s journey is given a metaphysical twist. Urgent and evocative, The Last of Us speaks powerfully about both contemporary migration and the ancient struggle between man and nature.
Menashe Joshua Z. Weinstein, USA, 2017, 79m Yiddish with English subtitles New York Premiere Something like Woody Allen meets neorealism in Borough Park, Brooklyn, Menashe follows its titular hapless protagonist through a host of existential, spiritual, and familial crises. In the wake of his wife’s recent death, Menashe must care for his ten-year-old son—despite the fact that he knows bupkis about parenting—at the same time that he finds himself straying from the rigid norms of his Hasidic community. His friends and family insist that he remarry as soon as possible, but since he can’t get over his deceased wife or make enough money to feed his son, an uncle attempts to intervene. Joshua Z. Weinstein’s fiction feature debut is a poignant and funny parable about the tension between our best intentions and our efforts to make good on them. An A24 release.
My Happy Family / Chemi bednieri ojakhi Nana Ekvtimishvili & Simon Gross, Georgia/France, 2017, 120m Georgian with English subtitles New York Premiere
The second feature by Ekvtimishvili and Gross subtly and sensitively follows a middleaged woman as she aims to leave her husband and escape from the multi-generational living situation she shares with her aging parents, the aforementioned husband, her son, her daughter, and her daughter’s cheating live-in boyfriend. Lacking both personal space and free time, she breaks out on her own, building a new life for herself piece by piece while contemplating the family structure she has left behind. My Happy Family is a funny, perceptive, and sociologically rich work about the myriad roles we play in life and the obligations we endlessly strive to fulfill.
Pendular Julia Murat, Brazil/Argentina/France, 2017, 108m Portuguese with English subtitles North American Premiere A male sculptor and a female dancer live and work together in their big, barren loft, a mere strip of orange tape serving as the boundary between his atelier and her studio. Here, the stage is set for a low-key psychosexual drama centered around the couple’s erotic, artistic, and everyday rituals. This absorbingly intimate third feature by Julia Murat (her second, Found Memories, was a ND/NF 2012 selection) is a moving portrait of a couple caught between rivalry and the desire to build a future with each other.
Quest Jonathan Olshefski, USA, 2017, 105m New York Premiere Jonathan Olshefski’s documentary chronicle of an African-American family living in Philadelphia is a powerful and uplifting group portrait rooted in today’s political realities. Beginning at the dawn of the Obama presidency, the film follows the Raineys: patriarch Christopher, who juggles various jobs to support his family and his recording studio; matriarch Christine’a, who works at a homeless shelter; Christine’a’s son William, who is undergoing cancer treatment while caring for his own son, Isaiah; and PJ, Christopher and Christine’a’s teenage daughter. A patient, absorbing vérité epic, Quest covers eight years filled with obstacles, trials, and tribulations.
Sexy Durga Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, India, 2017, 85m Malayalam with English subtitles North American Premiere Sasidharan’s third feature, main competition winner at this year’s International Rotterdam Film Festival, is a wildly tense nocturnal thriller with a razor-sharp political message. Late one night, Kabeer and Durga, a young couple on the run, are picked up by two strange men in a minivan who offer them a lift to a nearby train station. However, these men reveal themselves to be anything but benevolent, and so begins a long, claustrophobic drive that feels like Funny Games meets The Exterminating Angel. Sasidharan renders this bad trip with precision and an economy of style.
Yance Ford, USA/Denmark, 2017, 107m New York Premiere A haunting investigation into the murder of a young black man in 1992, Yance Ford’s Strong Island is achingly personal—the victim, 24-year-old William Ford Jr., was the filmmaker’s brother. Ford powerfully renders the specter of his brother’s death and its devastating effect on his family, and uses the tools of cinema to carefully examine the injustice perpetrated when the suspected killer, a 19-year-old white man, was not indicted by a white judge and an all-white jury. As a work of memoir and true crime, Strong Island tells one of the most remarkable stories in recent documentary; as a political artwork, its resonance is profound.
The Summer Is Gone / Ba yue Dalei Zhang, China, 2016, 106m Mandarin with English subtitles New York Premiere Dalei Zhang’s atmospheric debut feature is a portrait of a family in Inner Mongolia in the early 1990s that doubles as a snapshot of a pivotal moment in recent Chinese history. As the country settles into its new market economy, 12-year-old Xiaolei stretches out his final summer before beginning middle school, while his father contends with the possibility of losing his job as a filmmaker for a state-run studio, and his mother, a teacher, worries about her son’s grades and future. Beautifully shot in shimmering blackand-white, The Summer Is Gone is intimate and far-reaching, creating ripples of uncertainty from the microcosm of one family’s everyday life.
White Sun / Seto Surya Deepak Rauniyar, Nepal/USA/Qatar/Netherlands, 2016, 89m Nepali with English subtitles New York Premiere The second feature by Nepalese filmmaker Deepak Rauniyar sensitively explores the damage done to the fabric of Nepalese society by the decade-long civil war between the Maoists and Nepal’s monarchical government. On the occasion of his father’s funeral, Chandra returns to the village he left years earlier to join the Maoists, and finds himself united with the daughter he never met and revisiting uneasy relations with family members and neighbors. Past traumas return and cause tensions to boil over. Finding the political within the everyday, White Sun uses one village’s complex tribulations to speak to an entire national history. A KimStim release.
The Wound John Trengove, South Africa/Germany/Netherlands/France, 2017, 88m Xhosa with English subtitles New York Premiere In a mountainous corner of the Eastern Cape of South Africa, an age-old Xhosa ritual introducing adolescent boys to manhood continues to this day. This is the backdrop for this stark and stirring first feature by John Trengove, in which Xolani, a quiet and sensitive factory worker (played by musician Nakhane Touré), guides one of the boys,
Kwanda, an urban transplant sent against his will from Johannesburg to be toughened up, through this rite of passage. In an environment where machismo rules, Kwanda negotiates his own identity while discovering the secret of Xolani’s sexuality. Brimming with fear and violence, The Wound is an exploration of tradition and masculinity. A Kino Lorber release.
Wùlu Daouda Coulibaly, France/Mali/Senegal, 2016, 95m Bambara and French with English subtitles New York Premiere A gangster picture with political resonance, Wùlu tracks the rise to power of Ladji, a 20year-old van driver in Mali who takes to crime so that his older sister can quit a life of prostitution. He calls in a favor from a drug-dealer friend and soon finds himself deeply involved in a complex and illicit enterprise; as he discovers his knack for his new profession and his lifestyle ostensibly improves, the stakes grow higher and deadlier by the day. Set during the lead-up to 2012’s Malian Civil War, Wùlu is more than an exciting and superbly made thriller—it offers a powerful glimpse at the complexities of a particular historical moment.
Shorts Program 1:
Events in a Cloud Chamber Ashim Alhuwalia, India, 2016, 20m New York Premiere Filmed on Super 8mm and 16mm, this documentary traces a collaboration between director Ashim Alhuwalia and Akbar Padamsee, a pioneer of modern Indian painting, to recreate Padamsee’s 1969 film, lost for decades and now regarded as potentially the birth of experimental cinema in India.
Old Luxurious Flat Located in an Ultra-central, Desirable Neighborhood / Apartament interbelic, în zona superbă, ultra-centrală Sebastian Mihăilescu, Romania, 2016, 19m Romanian with English subtitles U.S. Premiere A young man spends the night alone in his apartment plagued by jealousy and anxieties as his wife goes out with an old high school friend in an attempt to sell the family car.
Spiral Jetty Ricky D’Ambrose, USA, 2017, 15m World Premiere A young archivist is hired to whitewash a late psychotherapist’s legacy in this exquisitely crafted story, imbued with an arch, conspiratorial air and told at a perfectionist’s pace.
Manodopera Loukianos Moshonas, France/Greece, 2016, 28m Greek and Albanian with English subtitles North American Premiere Oscillating between labor and leisure, a young man alternates helping an Albanian workhand renovate an Athens apartment and joining in ponderous conversations with his friends on the roof. Nyo Wveta Nafta Ico Costa, Portugal/Mozambique, 2017, 21m Portuguese, Gitonga, and Shitsua with English subtitles U.S. Premiere Ico Costa casually observes the rhythms of daily life in Mozambique in this freeform film shot on 16mm.
Shorts Program 2:
As Without So Within Manuela De Laborde, Mexico/USA/UK, 2016, 35mm, 25m New York Premiere This experimental meditation on the detailed surfaces of objects confronts representation in theater and cinema and forces the viewer to confront hierarchies of viewership.
The Blue Devils / Los diablos azules Charlotte Bayer-Broc, France, 2017, 48m Spanish with English subtitles World Premiere More than 3,000 miners of Chile’s La Pampa were shot down by the national army during a demonstration in Iquique, a massacre told in Luis Advis’s 1969 cantata Santa María de Iquique. In The Blue Devils, Charlotte Bayer-Broc wanders through one of the ghost mining towns—a remote outpost in the Atacama Desert—interpreting Advis’s lament across eerily abandoned landscapes and industrial vistas. Bayer-Broc upends cinematic convention in a beguiling adaptation that is entirely her own; this mediumlength musical is at once personal and political, reverent and burlesque.
ND/NF 2017 PUBLIC SCREENING SCHEDULE
About New Directors/New Films 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, #NewDirectors).
THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART 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.”
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER 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.
For more information, visit http://www.filmlinc.org, follow @filmlinc on Twitter, and download the FREE Film Society app, now available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices.
SPONSORSHIP: New Directors/New Films is presented by The Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center 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, Variety, Shutterstock, and Row NYC.
Dance – DANCER AND EDUCATOR THERESA RUTH HOWARD LAUNCHES MOBBALLET: A DIGITAL ARCHIVE PRESERVING THE LEGACY OF BLACK BALLET
MoBBallet’s Roll Call is a list of professional black ballet dancers that today features 301 names and is growing as black ballet artists submit their names. The site also houses an E–Zine that features insights on issues affecting both the ballet world and society such as diversity and inclusion –and a timeline that spans the history of black ballet from 1919 to present day.
DANCER AND EDUCATOR THERESA RUTH HOWARD LAUNCHES MOBBALLET: A DIGITAL ARCHIVE PRESERVING THE LEGACY OF BLACK BALLET
Initiative Creates a Shift in Perspective on the Current Conversation around Diversity in Ballet through Stories of Current and Past Black Professional Ballet Dancers
Dancer Theresa Ruth Howard announces the launch of Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet (MoBBallet), a groundbreaking legacy project documenting and transforming conversations around black ballet artists. The initiative will focus on bringing visibility to the lesser-known history of black ballet dancers around the world through video profiles, essays and archival data which capture the artistry and humanity of black ballet dancers. At launch, MoBBallet’s website houses a community sourced Roll Call which lists the names of black ballet dancers past and present, a digital timeline that places historical moments in black ballet history next to key events in world history, and an E-Zine that sheds light on issues affecting the ballet community and society at large.
The recipient of a $50,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, MoBBallet’s first anchor project, the Philadelphia Project, will document the stories of four Philadelphia trained black ballerinas— including Joan Myers Brown, founder of The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO!), Delores Browne from the New York Negro Ballet Company and Judith Jamison, Artistic Director Emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Coinciding with the launch of MoBBallet, founder Theresa Ruth Howard will serve as keynote speaker at Dutch National Ballet’s Positioning Ballet conference on February 11th, where she will officially introduce MoBBallet’s mission to promote larger discussions within the international dance community around the stories of black ballet dancers. A select group of leading artistic directors from America, Europe, Asia and Russia have been invited to attend the conference.
“Diversity in Ballet in America is a very specific challenge given our racial history” remarks Howard. “The histories and demographics of each of the companies that will be represented during Positioning Ballet are just as specific. This is an unprecedented opportunity to see and hear what their issues are regarding diversity in the field.”
To date, MoBBallet has captured over 301 names to the Roll Call and calls for professional black ballet dancers not already on the list to add their names. MoBBallet’s archival information covers important moments in the history of black ballet from 1919 to present day.
ABOUT MOBBALLET Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet (MoBBallet) is a non-profit organization that is building a digital archive where the history of blacks in professional ballet can be preserved. Founded by ballerina Theresa Ruth Howard, MoBBallet facilitates authentic dialogues on diversity, equality and aesthetics through workshops, panels and video profiles of both iconic and emerging black ballet dancers. The online archive provides timelines of important moments in the history of black ballet and juxtaposes them against key moments in world history. The Roll Call initiative is an ever-expanding list of black ballet dancers past and present –E-Zine brings visibility to issues that loom large in both the ballet world and society such as diversity and inclusion.
ABOUT THERESA RUTH HOWARD Founder of MoBBallet, Theresa Ruth Howard is an expert and advocate on the issue of diversity in Ballet. She has sat on panels for Dance/USA, Dance/NYC, Collegium for African Diaspora Dance at Duke University, and collaborated with International Association of Blacks in Dance in the planning and facilitation of the first Ballet Audition for female ballet dancers of color. A former member of the Dance Theater of Harlem, and Armitage Gone! Dance, Howard has worked extensively with choreographer Donald Byrd, and was a guest artist with Complexions Contemporary Ballet. As a contributor to Pointe, Expressions (Italy), Tanz (Germany) and dance media publications, Howard has emerged as a clear and defining voice on topics such as body image and race. She holds more than 17 years of experience as a dance educator including Ballet Faculty at the Ailey School.