For 43 years New Directors/New Films has been an annual rite of early spring in New York City, bringing exciting discoveries from around the world to adventurous moviegoers. All aspects of cinema, from production to exhibition, have changed dramatically over the years, and even more rapidly of late. But the spirit of innovation and the element of surprise that have always defined this festival remain intact.
Opening Night. In this super-stylish black-and-white Persian take on the vampire genre that doubles as a compact metaphor for the current state of Iran, an alluring female vampire stalks potential victims in the sparsely populated underworld of “Bad City.” Director Ana Lily Amirpour and producer Sina Sayyah in person for both screenings.
Closing Night. A playful deconstruction of stardom and identity, this unclassifiable portrait of polymath musician Nick Cave combines footage of Cave and the Bad Seeds recording their latest album with telling and teasing scenes that fall somewhere between fact and fiction. Directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard in person for both screenings.
Centerpiece Selection. Jenny Slate gives a hilarious, star-making performance as a woman, reeling from being both dumped and fired, who seeks solace in family, friends, stand-up comedy, and ultimately a hookup that results in perhaps her greatest predicament yet. Director Gillian Robespierre and actor Jenny Slate in person for both screenings. Actor Gabe Liedman in person on March 29.
When a sinister children’s book called Mister Babadook mysteriously appears, a young widow begins to wonder if there’s is a presence in the house more disturbed than her odd seven-year-old son. Jennifer Kent in person for both screenings.
Through a series of small, increasingly unhinged mutinies a slacker office temp sticks it to corporate America on behalf of the great unsung 99%. Screening with Person to Person (Dustin Guy Defa, 18m). Directors Joel Potrykus and Dustin Guy Defa and actor Joshua Burge in person for both screenings.
Culture wars erupt at Winchester University when an all-black residence hall is dismantled in this playful satire that challenges our ideas of identity in our supposed post-racial world. Director Justin Simien in person for both screenings.
Jesse Eisenberg stars as both Simon James, a humdrum worker drone and his gregarious doppelgänger, James Simon, in this cerebral and darkly funny Dostoevsky adaptation. Director Richard Ayoade in person on March 24.
North American premiere. A menacing pair descend on a campsite where a group of college kids have gathered for a kite-flying festival. But something bigger is going on in this bold experiment in perpetual motion that plays out as one continuous shot.
North American premiere. Set in an economically destabilized Argentina, Benjamín Naishtat’s unsettling feature debut weaves stories of characters from multiple social strata into an interlocking narrative of paranoia and fear. Benjamín Naishtat in person for both screenings.
Opening Night followed by a reception open to all ticket holders!
Q&A with director Tudor Cristian Jurgiu on December 4, introduction on December 5.
This understated first feature about family reconciliation has a touch of Ozu and is Romania’s entry in the upcoming foreign-language Oscar race.
U.S. Premiere. Seventeen-year-old Aurelien (aka Sheep) is granted independence from his troubled family and creates a good life for himself in a seaside town—until a freak accident changes things irrevocably. Directors Gilles Deroo & Marianne Pistone and actor Michael Mormentyn in person for both screenings.
Horse and man share main billing in this perceptive, wildly original story of the relationship between man and beast, deeply embedded in the Icelandic countryside. Director Benedikt Erlingsson in person for both screenings.
North American Premiere. In mid-1980s Romania, the Securitate investigate a gifted mathematician when it comes to their attention that he has secretly arranged for an academic paper on his new theorem to be published in an American journal. Director Andrei Gruzsniczki in person for both screenings.
An unsparing documentary account of the besieged Syrian city of Homs follows two close friends whose lives are completely altered when their beloved city is bombed into a ghost town. Director Talal Derki in person for both screenings.
U.S. Premiere. For his directorial debut, Abdellah Taïa adapts his own deeply personal novel that chronicles the sexual awakening of young gay man in Morocco. Director Abdellah Taïa in person for both screenings.
The titular gangster in this mafioso thriller invades a Palermo home, only to discover his prey’s blind sister in the basement, setting off a nail-biting, magnificently orchestrated game of cat-and-mouse. Directors Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza in person for both screenings.
When sex-surrogate Ronah meets Johnny, her already fraying control dissolves the thin line between professional and personal intimacy. Director Anja Marquardt in person for both screenings.
Musician Robert A.A. Lowe stars as a man who embarks on a quest for utopia in experimental film and art masters Ben Rivers and Ben Russell’s bewitching collaboration. Director Ben Rivers in person for both screenings. Director Ben Russell will be in person on March 22.
U.S. Premiere. A documentary-style portrait of sheltered teenage girl, one of 12 children from a devout Christian goat-farming family in rural Texas. Director Roberto Minervini in person for both screenings.
U.S. Premiere. Against a backdrop of candlelit conversation and earthy carnality, Catalan maverick Albert Serra stages the 18th-century passage from rationalism to romanticism as a tussle between two figures of legend, Casanova and Dracula. Director Albert Serra in person for both screenings.
Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s follow-up to Amer further amplifies their super-fetishistic remix of Italian giallo and horror tropes for a delirious baroque tale of a missing wife and the husband who obsessively searches for her. Director Bruno Forzani in person for both screenings.
A comedic, exquisitely layered examination of the everyday focusing on an extended family-dinner gathering during which sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, cats and cousins weave in and around each other in the tight domestic space of a middle-class Berlin flat. Director Ramon Zürcher and producer/co-writer Silvan Zürcher in person for both screenings.
Perpetual humiliation inflicted on his family by local thugs pushes a father over the edge in Alejandro Almendras’s unnerving psychological thriller, which reveals a decidedly raw side of revenge. Director Alejandro Fernández Almendras in person for both screenings.
Notions of surveillance and observation are turned inside out in this noirish tale of digital-mapping-company employee smitten by a beautiful female stranger who leads him down a mysterious path. Director Vivian Qu in person for both screenings.
Deep in the forest, wedged in cracks in the bark and under the moss covered rocks, hide memories and myths. These subconscious tales, drawn from the natural world, inform the societies we build. Jessica Oreck’s fantastical work combines animation, traditional storytelling and contemporary non-fiction filmmaking to recount the Slavic fable of the Witch Baba Yaga. Director Jessica Oreck in person for both screenings.
Hubert Sauper’s masterful exploration of modern colonialism, with war-ravaged Sudan as a focus, is the second film of a planned trilogy that began with the Oscar-nominated Darwin’s Nightmare. Director Hubert Sauper in person for both screenings.
North American Premiere. Two Israeli brothers bite off more than they can chew with an ill-advised kidnapping scheme inspired equally by desperation and a lifelong diet of violent mainstream American cinema. Screening with Shlomo X (Ruth Patir, 9m). Directors Tom Shoval and Ruth Patir in person for both screenings.
A program comprising five short films: At the Door (Miriam Bliese, 5m), You Can’t Do Everything at Once, But You Can Leave Everything at Once (Marie-Elsa Sgualdo, 15m), Face in the Crowd (Alex Prager, 12m), Afronauts (Frances Bodomo, 14m), and The Island (Dominga Sotomayor and Katarzyna Klimkiewicz, 30m). Filmmakers Miriam Bliese, Alex Prager, Frances Bodomo, and Dominga Sotomayor in person.
A program comprising six short films: Landscape (Matias Umpierrez, 13m), The Wild (Helena Wittmann, 12m), Greenland Unrealised (Dania Reymond, 9m), Pieces (Xacio Baño, 7m), Three, Two (Sarah-Violet Bliss, 2m), and The Reaper (Gabriel Serra, 29m). Filmmakers Helena Wittmann, Matías Umpierrez, and Sarah-Violet Bliss in person for both screenings.
Now in its 44th year, New Directors/New Films remains guided by the spirit of discovery. At a time of new digital frontiers of film production and distribution, this year’s lineup shows artistic innovation more than keeping pace with technological change. We hope you'll join us in celebrating a group of filmmakers who represent both the present and the future of cinema, the daring artists whose work pushes the envelope and is, fascinatingly, never what you'd expect. Read More
For 43 years New Directors/New Films has been an annual rite of early spring in New York City, bringing exciting discoveries from around the world to adventurous moviegoers. All aspects of cinema, from production to exhibition, have changed dramatically over the years, and even more rapidly of late. But the spirit of innovation and the element of surprise that have always defined this festival remain intact. Read More