Celebrating its fifth year, the Art of the Real festival offers a survey of the most vital and innovative voices in nonfiction and hybrid filmmaking. The 2018 lineup features a host of brilliant new works by internationally acclaimed filmmakers such as Corneliu Porumboiu, Sergei Loznitsa, Irene Lusztig, Karim Aïnouz, Kazuhiro Soda, and Jumana Manna, along with a vibrant slate of impressive, award-winning debuts from around the world. This year also includes a series of “Artist Spotlights,” four presentations and career-spanning conversations with visual artists whose work resonates with nonfiction filmmaking: Hiwa K, Amar Kanwar, Steffani Jemison, and Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme. Art of the Real is documentary redefined.
Organized by Dennis Lim and Rachael Rakes.
Presented with support from MUBI.
UniFrance; German Films; Mara Polgovsky; Michel Lipkes; Marian Goodman Gallery; the New Museum; UnionDocs Documentary Arts Center; NYLO
The fifth edition of Art of the Real is an essential showcase for the most vital and innovative voices in nonfiction and hybrid filmmaking.
Q&A with Julien Faraut · North American Premiere · Opening Night ReceptionFaraut’s sophisticated and witty found-footage ode to tennis legend John McEnroe is an essayistic investigation into the poetics of athletics, taking as its point of departure Jean-Luc Godard’s maxim, “Cinema lies, sports doesn’t.”
Closing Night · World Premiere · Q&A with co-directors Adam Khalil, Bayley Sweitzer, cast & crewThis first feature by Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer is a forceful and hallucinogenic film about personal politics in extraordinary times.
New York Premiere · Q&A with Martin DiCiccoA glimpse at the lives of the laborers who built the Baku–Tbilisi–Kars railway, Martin DiCicco’s serene documentary doubles as a stunning document of Central Asia’s unique geography.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Juliana AntunesWith its almost exclusively female crew and nonprofessional cast, Baronesa is structurally simple yet multilayered in its resonance, recalling the films of Pedro Costa as it establishes Antunes as a formidable new voice in Brazilian cinema.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Clément Cogitore · Pre-Screening ReceptionThe director of Neither Heaven Nor Earth (ND/NF 2016) looks at the conflict between two families of “Old Believers” living in an extremely remote region of the Siberian taiga. Uninterested in anyone’s rules but their own, the families are not only threatened by each other and wild animals but also by environmental change. Screening with Alex Tyson’s Divieto 2.
North American Premiere · Q&A with Luise DonschenDonschen’s feature debut is a funny, eclectic, and seductive film about seduction, veering radically from fiction to observational documentary to single-subject interview (including John Malkovich) to landscape and back again.
U.S. PremiereBerlin-based Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz returns with this impeccably photographed documentary chronicling a year in the lives of asylum seekers in Berlin's historic Tempelhof, a former airport built by the Nazi government as a symbol for Hitler's Germania.
New York Premiere · Q&A with Antoine Bourges and actress Deragh CampbellBourges’s droll, touching debut, about a support caseworker in training assigned to the case of a withdrawn shoplifter, studiously renders the mechanics and kinks of the Canadian legal system and social services.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Gustavo VinagreFilmed in a single all-night session, Brazilian director Gustavo Vinagre’s latest is an extended interview with his friend and collaborator Julia Katharine, a Japanese-Brazilian trans actress-filmmaker whose insomnia keeps her awake long enough for her to candidly spill stories from her life.
North American Premiere · Q&A with Donal ForemanDonal Foreman tries to understand the father he hardly knew, the Irish-American political filmmaker Arthur MacCaig, who passed away in 2008, in his singular essay film.
North American PremiereThe latest from Romanian New Wave master Porumboiu is a hilarious and politically incisive portrait of a bureaucrat who dreams of radically revising the rules of the world’s most popular sport.
North American Premiere · Q&A with Kazuhiro SodaMrs. Koso, an elderly fishmonger, and Mr. Murata, an 86-year-old fisherman who still takes his boat out daily, are captured in this vérité-inflected black and white documentary.
U.S. PremiereGürcan Keltek’s poetic, engrossing debut feature captures a critical moment from 2015 in the Turkish-Kurdish conflict via otherworldly black-and-white images, gradually arriving at a political truth that verges on the cosmic.
New York Premiere · Q&As with Milford Graves, Jake Meginsky, and Neil YoungAn experimental jazz icon who has played with Albert Ayler, Giuseppi Logan, and Sonny Sharrock, Milford Graves is now the subject of a documentary as radical as his music.
North American Premiere · Q&A with cinematographer Joana PimentaThis witty and visually dazzling Afrofuturist docufiction takes on Brazil’s structural racism and the 2016 presidential coup.
North American PremiereSwiss documentarian Kristina Konrad’s epic document of Uruguay’s 1989 amnesty referendum is an engrossing, powerful and frequently funny look at democracy in action.
New York Premiere · Introduced by Amar KanwarA well-off math professor gives everything up to live in a train car in this minimalist meditation on modern existence.
U.S. PremiereLoznitsa’s incisive film documents the annual gathering at the Soviet Memorial at Berlin’s Treptower Park to commemorate the Red Army’s defeat of the Nazis, capturing the event in all its patriotic spectacle and ecstatic strangeness.
North American Premiere · Q&A with Jumana MannaJumana Manna (A Magical Substance Flows Into Me, Art of the Real 2016) documents the complex pathway of seed distribution between Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley and the global seed vault deep inside Norway’s Svalbard archipelago.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Irene LusztigIn the 1970s, Ms. received several thousand letters to the editor detailing all manner of injustices as well as criticisms of the magazine’s feminism. This film returns to the sites where some of the letters originated and records women of all ages reciting them to camera.
Q&A with Francisco Rodriguez, Laura Huertas Millán, and Deborah StratmanAn impressionistic exploration into the final moments of four Chinese workers who died at sea, an astute observation of indigenous weavers who use a pre-Spanish loom to create their work, and a multilayered portrait of the residents of Dawson City, Yukon Territory.
Introduction by Mara PolgovskyOne of the best documentary filmmakers of his generation, Eugenio Polgovsky died suddenly last year. These two medium-length works—Tropic of Cancer and Mitote—reveal vastly different aspects of 21st-century Mexico.
Q&A with Nicolás PeredaIn this interactive performance, Nicolas Pereda will explain his relationship to C.B., an amateur archaeologist, activist, artist, and the creator of the Mining Museum in La Union, as interview footage plays behind him.
Presentations and career-spanning conversations with visual artists whose work resonates with nonfiction filmmaking.
Discussion with Steffani JemisonThis program spotlights the urgent and sublime work of multimedia artist Steffani Jemison, whose videos, performances, scores, and installations seamlessly merge politics, poetics, and aesthetics.
Discussion with Hiwa KIraqi-born, Germany-based artist Hiwa K shares three works from the past decade, followed by a discussion.
Discussion with Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-RahmeA program-length survey of duo Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme’s recent video works, followed by a discussion.
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