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New Directors/New Films: 40 Years of Discovery

 

New Directors/New Films, the program of film discoveries co-presented by New York's  Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, has been a strong launching pad for debut directors over the past four decades. In its 40 years, the event has introduced such leading international cinema auteurs as Chantal Akerman, Pedro Almodóvar, Guillermo Del Toro, Agnieszka Holland, Wong Kar Wai, George Miller and Christopher Nolanas well as such important American film talents as Greg Araki, Darren Aronofsky, Kelly Reichardt, Kevin Smith, Todd SolondzSteven Spielberg, Whit Stillman and Bruce Weber, among many others. As it begins its fifth decade, NDNF is poised to put the spotlight on a whole new generation of cineastes. Beginning tomorrow evening and running through April 3, the 2011 New Directors/New Films will showcase 28 features and 7 shorts from six continents, continuing an invaluable tradition of introducing audiences to new filmmaking talents, as cinema itself undergoes profound and exciting transformations.

 

Festivities begin with the New York premiere of MARGIN CALL, a timely and terrifying dramatic expose set on a Wall Street trading floor on the eve of the financial collapse in Fall 2008. With an all-star ensemble cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Simon Baker, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci and Jeremy Irons, the film explores the chaos and the mania of those obsessed with making money at any cost and the havoc that their reckless behavior has for society at large. The film, directed by J.C. Chandor, was in competition at last month's Berlin Film Festival and will open commercially next month via arthouse distributor Roadside Attractions.

 

The event wraps with the premiere of CIRCUMSTANCE, a powerful French/Iranian co-production by debut director Maryam Keshavarz. The film, which recently won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, follows two young Iranian women as they live their lives of sexual and other freedoms in the shadow of the repressive Iranian regime. As a portrait of disaffected youth in contemporary Iran, the film offers a telling indictment of political and social repression, as well as a keen observation of the longings of those who have put their lives on the line to protest the repressive policies of the regime in power.

In between these two powerful zeitgeist films are a series of superb and moving productions, which will be reported on in this blog in the days to come. For more information on the complete program, visit: www.newdirectors.org

Sandy Mandelberger, Film New York Editor

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(International Media Resources)

The Ultimate Guide to the New York Film, Video and New Media Scene.

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