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10 Must-See Movies from Emerging Filmmakers at New Directors/New Films 2021

New York's most exciting annual celebration of emerging filmmakers returns (both online and in-person!) for its 50th edition.

A still from All Light, Everywhere by Theo Anthony, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Corey Hughes.All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“All Light, Everywhere”

Corey Hughes

2021 was always going to be a triumphant year for New Directors/New Films, as the annual festival dedicated to emerging filmmakers — co-hosted by The Museum of Modern Art and Film at Lincoln Center — is celebrating its 50th edition and augmenting its usual array of vital contemporary work with a selection of highlights from past lineups (including Christopher Nolan’s “Following” and Lee Chang-dong’s “Peppermint Candy”).

But ND/NF 2021 is also celebrating a new day for cinephiles in New York, as it’s the first local festival to offer indoor screenings since the pandemic began, and it feels like the closest thing to a formal reopening for the city’s theatrical community. Fortunately, remote audiences don’t need to worry about missing out, as all 27 films and both of the shorts packages screening as part of ND/NF this year will also be available to watch via virtual cinema.

And that’s especially good news in light of the 2021 slate, which collects some of the most exciting standouts of Sundance, Berlin, Rotterdam, and beyond into an expertly curated lineup full of fresh voices from around the world. New Directors/New Films 2021 runs from April 28 – May 8 on virtual cinema, with in-person screenings extending through May 14 at Film at Lincoln Center. Visit ND/NF for more information.

Here are 10 must-see movies from this year’s event.

Tambay Obsenson and Ryan Lattanzio also contributed to this article. 

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