The 11th annual First Look festival at the Museum of the Moving Image released its star-studded lineup February 7.
The festival, which is set to take place March 16–20 at the MoMI museum in Astoria, Queens, will open with the New York City premiere of Camera d’Or winner “Murina.” Director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović was honored with the title at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival for Best First Feature, and the film is executive produced by Martin Scorsese.
“Murina” is a coming-of-age story set in a scenic coastal Croatian town. Also on March 16, Tsai Ming-Liang’s ode to Hong Kong, “The Night,” will host its New York premiere. Closing Night selection and 2021 Locarno Grand Prix winner “The Balcony Movie” finishes off the festival.
The First Look festival features “new and innovative international cinema.” Spotlight screenings include the New York premiere of “Zero Fucks Given,” starring Adèle Exarchopoulos as a flight attendant in crisis, and the New York premiere for the IDFA Award-winner for Best Film, Sergei Loznitsa’s “Mr. Landsbergis.” Loznitsa’s other feature “Babi Yar. Context” will also premiere. The U.S. premiere of Kirill Serebrennikov’s third feature, “Petrov’s Flu,” additionally screens.
First Look will host 38 works, with 18 features representing more than 30 countries. Additionally, the festival will screen “Reflection,” a new work by Valentyn Vasyanovych, who will be the subject of a MoMI retrospective March 25–27.
“Now in its 11th year, First Look has evolved into an event reflective of both the current state of the cinematic arts and MoMI’s curatorial character and curiosity,” Eric Hynes, Curator of Film at MoMI, said. “We’re attracted to a wide spectrum of work, from a diversity of makers, and are ever in search of new ways of seeing and expressing. The films and projects in the festival are indeed new to New York, but First Look also signifies an open, activated way of approaching the moving image. Crucial to this is our showcasing both finished and unfinished work — the latter via our daytime Working on It sessions — offering artists and audiences an enticing space in which to encounter one another.”
Additional highlights include the North American premiere of famed Chinese contemporary artist Qiu Jiongjiong’s “A New Old Play” and the East Coast premiere of Indonesian auteur Edwin’s Locarno Golden Leopard recipient “Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash,” presented by MoMI’s ongoing Disreputable Cinema series. Omar El Zohairy’s surreal “Feathers,” and new shorts like “The Night” and Radu Jude’s “Semiotic Plastic,” plus the world premieres of Nathaniel Dorsky’s “William” and Laura Harrison’s “The Limits of Vision” will screen. The North American premiere of Philipp Fleischmann’s “Untitled (34bsp)” is also part of a special First Look edition of MoMI’s recurring experimental showcase, Persistent Visions.
Moving outside the traditional cinema space, two works by First Look alums will be presented in the Museum’s galleries: Deniz Tortum and Kathryn Hamilton’s “Our Ark” in the Video Screening Amphitheater and Charlie Shackleton’s “As Mine Exactly,” a live virtual reality experience.
Running concurrently with First Look, Working on It offers a laboratory for works in progress and dialogues about process, bringing together festival guests, filmmakers, students, writers, and the general public. Past participants have included Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, Robert Greene, Maya Daisy Hawke, and Reverse Shot editors and writers.
First Look 2022 was programmed by Eric Hynes, Curator of Film, and Edo Choi, Assistant Curator of Film; Becca Keating, Director of Development and curator of Persistent Visions; Sonia Epstein, Associate Curator of Science and Film; and Jesse Berberich, programmer of Disreputable Cinema.
Tickets for First Look will be available starting February 10 at this link.