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In its rescheduled seventh edition, the Art of the Real festival continues to showcase the most vital and innovative voices in nonfiction and hybrid filmmaking. This year’s filmmakers engage with a wide range of pressing and perennial issues, from the intersecting relations of communities, landscapes, plants, and animals, to intertwined global histories and economies, to critiques of the work of nonfiction filmmaking itself. The slate includes new works by internationally acclaimed filmmakers—including Joshua Bonnetta, Jessica Sarah Rinland, Hassen Ferhani, Pacho Velez & Courtney Stephens, Ignacio Agüero, and Sky Hopinka—and innovative, award-winning debuts from around the world.

Throughout the festival, join us for a series of free talks with the filmmakers and artists behind some of this year’s most anticipated titles.

Free registration is now open and required for all talks. Check out event descriptions and watch the official Art of the Real trailer below.

Art of the Real is organized by Dennis Lim and Rachael Rakes, with program advisor Almudena Escobar López.

Art of the Real is presented with support from MUBI. Film at Lincoln Center Talks are presented by HBO.



Art of the Real 2020 Preview
Nov 12, 2020 05:00 PM (EST)
Join the co-programmers of Art of the Real, FLC Director of Programming Dennis Lim, FLC Programmer-at-Large Rachael Rakes and program advisor Almudena Escobar Lopez, along with FLC programmer Dan Sullivan for an in-depth preview of this year’s edition, discussing all the envelope-pushing highlights, under-the-radar sleepers, and much more.

Register Here!

Still from Anya Tsyrlina’s All Other Things Equal


Landscapes and Power
Nov 14, 2020 02:00 PM (EST)
Five filmmakers speak about their meditations on landscape as an actor in historical, social, and cultural life. The spooky seas of the Outer Hebrides in Joshua Bonnetta’s The Two Sights, the critical soundscapes of an ethnographic visit to Dutch New Guinea in Ernst Karel and Veronika Kusumaryati’s Expedition Content, “ethno-fictional” stagings on the Northern Plains in Argentina in Ezequiel Yanco’s La vida en común, and the same country’s complicit industrial structures captured in Jonathan Perel’s Corporate Accountability join together in a discussion about the visual production of place, evidence, and environmental encounter.

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Still from Ezequiel Yanco’s La vida en común 


Nov 15, 2020 02:00 PM (EST)
Portraiture is a mainstay of nonfiction filmmaking, and, as evidenced by the trio of works featured in this discussion, one still ripe for continuous complication and experimentation. Alexandra Cuesta’s Notes, Imprints (On Love): Part II, Carmela focuses on the filmmaker’s own grandmother through the prism of her garden, her music, and her reflections on a life well-spent; Lisa Marie Malloy and J.P. Sniadecki’s A Shape of Things to Come empathetically examines an outsider’s iconoclastic solitude in the Sonoran Desert; Eloisa Soláas’s The Faculties ingeniously depicts the absurdity of final examinations at Argentina’s public universities through the experiences of 12 students. The filmmakers will discuss proximity, encounters, and the challenges and possibilities of capturing singular lives.

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Still from Eloisa Soláas’s The Faculties


Communities and Social Forms
Nov 20, 2020 02:00 PM (EST)
In the films featured in this discussion, gestures of political and intellectual agitation reestablish how community and individual actions affect the social environment. Elisa Cepedal’s collective portrait of Asturian coal mines in Work, or to Whom Does the World Belong shows a working class solidarity in danger of extinction; in Here for Life, Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson engender a space where a new community emerges from the ruins of an increasingly gentrified London; Ignacio Agüero’s I Never Climbed the Provincia offers an intimate meditation on the construction of space through sensations, memories, and interpersonal relationships; and Pacho Velez and Courtney Stephens expand on the multiplicity of history and its selective commemoration by documenting the remnants of the Berlin Wall scattered around the U.S. in The American Sector. This talk will focus on how different social formations generate history, and the potential for communal life to undermine the destructive cycles of capitalist expansion.

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Still from Pacho Velez’s The American Sector


More than Human Relations
Nov 21, 2020 02:00 PM (EST)
Working along a cultural continuum that entangles pasts, presents, and futures, these filmmakers reflect on the poetics of objects and natural forms. Sky Hopinka’s małni—towards the ocean, towards the shore contemplates human and nonhuman embodiments of mythology and ancestral knowledge; Jessica Sarah Rinland’s Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another meditates upon cultural materiality, authenticity, and agency within Modernist museologies; and Sergio da Costa and Maya Kosa’s Bird Island observes interspecies interaction and its ecological implications from a sensorial point-of-view. The filmmakers will discuss these interfaces of history and how humans, land, and elements of fabrication create worlds together.

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Still from Sky Hopinka’s małni—towards the ocean, towards the shore




Art of the Real is proud to continue its collaboration with curated streaming service MUBI for the fifth consecutive year. 

Presented with support from: