This year’s NYFF features trailblazing filmmakers from around the globe who are not only reinventing world cinema, but challenging the very assumptions of that label. New York–educated Georgian filmmaker Dea Kulumbegashvili’s Beginning is the first feature film from her country to ever screen in the festival. Chaitanya Tamhane’s The Disciple brings back India—home to one of the biggest film industries in the world—to the NYFF Main Slate after 24 years. Philippe Lacôte’s Night of the Kings is Ivory Coast’s third-ever Oscar submission, while Ouvertures, a work of collective authorship by artists in Haiti, France, and the United Kingdom, defies national or geographic classifications.

The directors of these films joined NYFF Talks programmer Devika Girish for a discussion about breaking boundaries and inventing new international canons. They touched upon their varied (and very entertaining!) experiences of cinema while growing up, the particularities of making films in their home countries and navigating the festival circuit in the West, and the importance of both specificity and universality in their cinematic visions.

Watch the conversation below, presented by HBO.