Six titles have been unveiled for this year's New Directors/New Films series, a joint event organized by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York. The popular series spotlights emerging filmmakers and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
Representing six countries from around the world, the initial six selections are Pia Marais’s "At Ellen's Age," Denis Côté’s "Curling," Denis Villeneuve’s "Incendies," Bogdan George Apetri’s "Outbound" (Periferic), Nicolás Pereda’s "Summer of Goliath" (Verano de Goliat) and Hongqi Li’s "Winter Vacation" (Han jia).
“These first six selections are indicative of the great variety of films and the worldwide scope for which New Directors/New Films has long been known and respected," commented Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator, Department of Film, MoMA and New Directors/New Films programmer in a statement. "Each of these filmmakers has demonstrated a remarkable gift for storytelling and we are thrilled to bring their work to New York audiences." Film Society of Lincoln Center Program Director Richard Pena added, "While New Directors/New Films continues to be dedicated to emerging talents, the filmmakers of those films already selected exhibit astonishing maturity as well as fresh approaches to these often challenging works."
Notable ND/NF filmmakers over the decades have included Chantal Akerman, Pedro Almodóvar, Darren Aronofsky, Ken Burns, Agnieszka Holland, Wong Kar Wai, Spike Lee, Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg and others. Additional ND/NF titles will be announced in the lead up to the series taking place March 23 - April 3.
Six ND/NF titles with information and descriptions provided by the event:
"At Ellen's Age," Pia Marais (Germany)
Marais’ "At Ellen's Age" is a character study of a woman at a crossroads following her husband’s confession of having an affair and the loss of her job due to a subsequent panic attack. The film follows the woman’s awakening after she joins forces with a group of animal activists.
"Curling," Denis Côté (Canada)
Set in the dead of winter, Côté’s "Curling" tense and darkly comic drama is a portrait of an estranged family in a rural Quebec village. The film follows a single father as he seeks to isolate his adolescent daughter from the outside world for fear that it will scar her as much as it has him.
"Incendies," Denis Villeneuve (Canada/France)
Villeneuve’s film, "Incendies" focuses on twins grieving their mother’s death who have their world shaken further when the reading of her will reveals that their father, presumed to be deceased, is actually still alive and that they also have a brother. The film follows the twins as they seek to fulfill their mother’s final wish – for them to find their father and brother and deliver to each of them a sealed letter. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
"Outbound" (Periferic), Bogdan George Apetri (Romania)
Apetri’s "Outbound" is a tense race against time as a young woman, serving a five-year prison sentence for a crime she didn’t commit, attempts to right the wrongs done to her, collect on debts and cleanse herself from her past life after she receives a day pass so that she can attend her mother’s funeral.
"Summer of Goliath" (Verano de Goliat), Nicolás Pereda (Mexico)
Pereda’s "Summer of Goliath" combines documentary and fiction as it intertwines the stories of people living in a small town in rural Mexico. Those people include: a woman who believes her husband has left her for another woman; her soldier son, who hopes that one day he and his soldier partner will be issued machine guns so that they may intimidate the people passing motorists; and three brothers whose father left them many years ago in the care of their mother, who can barely support them.
"Winter Vacation" (Han jia), Hongqi Li (China)
Hongqi’s "Winter Vacation" is a deadpan comedy about four teenagers during the last day of their winter vacation as they face the prospects of having to return to school and their studies. The kids argue, debate and fight as the clock ticks away on their holiday and they deal with their love lives and question school's value and relevance to real life.