“New Directors” on Opening Night. Photo: Godlis

The 42nd New Directors/New Films festival opened last night at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), kicking off 12 days of debuts from sone of the most promising emerging filmmakers from around the globe. French-born filmmaker Alexandre Moors's Blue Caprice launched the 12-day event Wednesday. The film is a study of the two men behind the Beltway Sniper attacks that terrorized the U.S. capital and surrounding areas 10 years ago.

“I was looking for just the right story. We started with the idea that we wanted to make a feature within six months time and that was the personal challenge at the heart of this film,” Moors told FilmLinc Daily in an interview ahead of the film's New York Premiere. “So when I was looking for a subject, I was looking for something small in scope.” That idea lead to Blue Caprice, which premiered at Sundance in January to critical acclaim.

Over the festival's four-decade history, Opening Night has remained a jubilant event, with hundreds joining the after-party in MoMA's cavernous lobby after the screenings. Several filmmakers we caught up with expressed their excitement for both their own films, which will screen over the next week-and-a-half, and for what they hope to discover themselves via the work of their peers. Some quick reactions follow from Opening Night:

Sequin Raze director Sarah Gertrude ShapiroPhoto: Godlis

Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, director of Sequin Raze (Shorts Program 2)
Flm Description: A reality-show contestant tries to protect herself from the psychological onslaught of one of the producers.

“It's mind-blowing and such an honor. It's one of the most curated and particular programs in the country and it's great to be here. I am excited to see all the features and super excited to see all shorts programs. There's nothing I'm not excited about, actually.”

Tower director Kazik Radwanski, Stampede director Cyril Amon Schäublin, and Southwest director Jordi Wijnalda. Photo: Godlis

Jordi Wijnalda, director of Southwest (Shorts Program 1)
Film Description: In southwest Turkey, a Dutch woman helps save the lives of illegal immigrants but is forced to confront the unattended needs of those who love her. World Premiere!

I have a beautiful feeling right now because I work for a festival and I'm on the other side of things. But it's a festival I've always respected for its taste, and I feel humbled to be included in that selection, it's such a great recognition. I still have to graduate from film school, but it's so reassuring for how things will go from now on. There's another Dutch film here called Die Welt (by Alex Pitstra) I want to see, and of course The Act of Killing I'm excited to see.”

Tom McKay, Asst. Director on The Village (A Cidade), directed by Liliana Sulzbach (Shorts Program 3)
Film Description: A small village’s inhabitants are all elderly, and no one new is moving in. New York Premiere!

“For me it's the most prestigious thing to be here and I'm completely thrilled. I was here three years ago. I think just meeting all the other filmmakers that were here and the other people involved with the films. The opening night was great and so many films were discovered during that year and so many of our friends were talking about those films later.”

Blue Caprice producer Kim Jackson and MoMA Chief Film Curator Rajendra Roy. Photo: Godlis

Kim Jackson, producer of Blue Caprice
Film Desciption: Alexandre Moors’s remarkable debut feature explores the impulse to commit murder, following two snipers, the elder John and 17-year old Lee, who orchestrate an insidious act of gun violence that is seemingly torn from the front pages.

“It's really overwhelming because I feel like my life has come full circle…and to be here tonight and be here celebrating a film I'm very proud of — there's no real way to describe it except that I'm very proud and really grateful. It's a dream come true. I'm a big fan of Penny Lane so I can't wait to see the completed film 'Our Nixon' because we were both fellow IFP fellows. There are a few other films I'm also well aware of and can't wait to see. The fact we're here is because we've created a work of art and there's no better accolade than that as a filmmaker to achieve. And to do that out of the gate is a big responsibility I feel. I now all my choices have to be really good ones so I can uphold what was accomplished early on, so I feel a responsibility to uphold that…”

Here are some more great photos from Opening Night of the 42nd New Directors/New Films Festival:

Blue Caprice star Isaiah Washington and director Alexandre Moors. Photo: Godlis

Blue Caprice star Isaiah Washington and director Alexandre Moors. Photo: Godlis

Rengaine director 
Rachid Djaïdani (center) and artist Yaze (right). Photo: Godlis

Actor-director Alex Karpovsky. Photo: Godlis

ND/NF alum Adam Leon (Gimme the Loot) with Selection Committee Member Marian Masone. Photo: Godlis

ND/NF alum Terence Nance (An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, center). Photo: Godlis

Selection Committee Member Josh Siegel (left), FSLC Director of Cinematheque Programming Dennis LIm (right). Photo: Godlis

Closing time. (You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.) Photo: Godlis