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Film Festivals

The Debut SR Socially Relevant Festival Offer Meaningful Fare This March

SRlogoThe Rated SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York focuses on socially relevant human stories to raise awareness of social problems by offering positive solutions through the medium of cinema. 

A new non-profit film festival, it runs from March 14 to the 20th, 2014, at New York’s Quad Cinema; its main slate offers an international selection of narrative and documentary features representing a dozen nations.

Founded by award-winning actor, filmmaker and curator Nora Armani, the festival showcases films with human interest stories and socially impactful themes as a response to the proliferation of violent storytelling. 

The festival founders and supporters believe that by expanding knowledge about diverse cultures and the human condition as a whole, it’s possible to create a better world free of violence, hate and crime.

The festival shines the spotlight on filmmakers who tell compelling, socially relevant narratives across a broad range of social issues without resorting to gratuitous violence and violent forms of movie making.

Over 30 narrative and documentary films will screen including 12 features that compete for the Grand Prize — a week-long theatrical engagement at the Quad Cinema, courtesy of the QuadFlix Select Program. The 10 documentaries will compete for the documentary prize which offers the winner will a VOD DVD distribution deal courtesy of Cinema Libre Studio, a leader in the distribution of social issue documentaries and independent feature films.

The following lists the main slate of films in competition.  

Coney Island: Dreams for Sale
Alessandra Giordano
USA, 81min., 2013
documentary

Dovid Meyer
Paul Mones
USA/Israel, 101 min., 2013
narrative

Flore
Jean-Albert Lievre
France, 2014, 85min.
documentary

Forward 13: Waking Up the American Dream
Patrick Lovell
USA, 120 min., 2013
documentary

Full Circle
Zhang Yang
China, 2012,104min.
narrative

If Only Everyone
Nataliya Belyauskene
Armenia, 2012, 94min.
narrative

Indian Summer
Simon Brook
France, 84 min., 2013
documentary

My Love Awaits Me by the Sea (Habibi Biyestannani and el Bahr)
Mais Darwazah
Palestine, Qatar, Germany, Jordan
80min., 2013
documentary

Offside Trap (Abseitsfalle)
Stefan Hering
Germany, 98min., 2012
narrative

Orphans of the Genocide
Bared Maronian
USA, 91min., 2013
documentary

Small Small Thing
Jessica Vale
USA, 85min., 2013
documentary

Feature Documentary:

Coal Rush
Lorena Luciano & Filipo Piscopo
USA, 85min., 2013
documentary

Control
Chris Bravo, Lindsey Schneider
USA, 50min., 2013 (NYFA artist)
documentary

Destiny’s Bridge
Jack Ballo
USA, 80min., 2013 (NYFA artist)
documentary

Fred Ho's Last Year
Steven de Castro
USA, 58min., 2013
documentary

From the Black You Make Color
Richie Sherman and Judy Maltz
USA, Israel, 75min., 2012
documentary

Hamshen Community at the Crossroads of Past and Present
Lucine Sahakyan
Armenia, Turkey, 60min., 2012
documentary

Not Who We Are
Carol Mansour
Lebanon, 72min., 2013
documentary

Stable Life
Sara MacPherson
USA, 52min., 2013
documentary

The Throwaways
Bhawin Suchak
USA, 62min., 2013
documentary

Journalist/author/radio commentator Amy Goodman, host of  will deliver the keynote address on "The Impact of Socially Relevant Films" and will present an award for a film in the Rated SR Social Justice Category.  Democracy Now! currently aired by more than 1,000 radio, television, satellite and cable TV networks in North America, and watched in dozens of countries via the Internet.

Partner supporters include:

· Academic partner, the School of the Visual Arts Social Documentary department, home of the new MFA in Social Documentary filmmaking.

· Dailymotion (http://www.dailymotion.com/RatedSR#video=x19e8px), the official video media partner. A selection of close to 100 film trailers from the festival submissions are viewable on an official festival page, garnering close to 100,000 visits to date.

· Village Voice (Media partner)

Other promotional partners of the festival include: 

NYFA, Indieflix, Unifrance Films International, Cineuropa, Alouette Communications, FIAF, Samuel Infirmier, Final Draft and Center for Remembering and Sharing.

New-York based metalsmith designer Michael Aram has donated a special trophy to be awarded to the recognized Rated SR honoree. 

The festival also presents the Vanya Exerjian award to a film that raises awareness to violence against women and girls, in commemoration of Armani’s late cousin and uncle, victims of a violent hate crime.

The closing night includes the Awards Ceremony reception which takes place at the Tenri Center (across from the Quad Cinema) where one can applaud the winners, see the filmmakers win their awards, and view the closing night films all on one night.

A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales each year of the festival will be donated to a charity selected from the fields of: poverty, homelessness, cancer and aging. Rated SR aims to promote positive social change through the powerful medium of cinema.   

For tickets there is a variety of packages and discounted ticket options are now on sale at: www.ratedsrfilms.org

Individual tickets are available at Quad Cinema: www.quadcinema.com

Rated SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York
March 14-20, 2014

The Quad Cinema
34 West 13th Street
New York, NY
212-255-8800212-255-8800

Rendezvous with French Cinema Series Brings Us New Titles By World-Class Directors

french cinThis year's installment of the Rendezvous with French Cinema series, The 19th edition -- presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance Films -- annually showcases a slice of contemporary French film of the previous year.

Running from March 6th through the 16th, 2014, this festival features several interesting new works at three venues: The Film Society, the IFC Center and BAMcinématek.

In François Ozon's Young & Beautiful, a gorgeous 17-year-old — Marine Vacth, in a striking, quasi-Bressonian performance — decides to become a call-girl. The director's films are consistently stylistically accomplished and this is no exception — his handling of camera-movement, camera-placement, composition for the frame, and editing are remarkable.

Ozon, working from his own screenplay, achieves some unexpected pathos and his refusal to explain his protagonist is admirable, although I would have appreciated greater artistic ambition here, as I would regarding the director's other films.

The digital image in Young & Beautiful is mostly handsome although some sensuality is attenuated in scenes with bright light. The sphinx-like Charlotte Rampling has a memorable cameo and the great French actress, Nathalie Richard, is featured in a small role. A final bonus is the expressive use of several Françoise Hardy songs on the film’s soundtrack, each one marking a passage of time.

In Jacques Doillon’s Love Battles, from the director’s own screenplay, a young woman engages in a series of erotic and romantic confrontations with a man whom she has fixated upon. Doillon is faithful to his austere conception and risks tedium in the pursuit of artistic honesty and refusal to charm but this certainly has many of the impressive qualities that distinguish the director’s original body of work.

The intertwining of aggression and hostility with vulnerability and tenderness is remarkable here and the female lead, Sara Forestier, gives an especially compelling performance. The film is shot in a relatively loose style, with a lot of handheld shots, generating an unusual intimacy. The use of a digital format, however, proves to be a serious liability as the copious bright sunshine in the film washes out the image due to the narrow range of contrast.

Agnès Jaoui's entertaining Under the Rainbow is about, among other things, a romance between a music student and the daughter of an industrialist, interspersed with fairy-tale elements. Working with her regular writing partner, Jean-Pierre Bacri — who brilliantly co-stars with Jaoui here — the filmmaker has constructed an clever screenplay with excellent dialogue. The mise-en-scène, however, is undisciplined, lacking the  elegance of an earlier feature like Look at Me. This weakness is further compounded by the inadequacies of the digital format.

love-battles-resizedSerge Bozon's eccentric Tip Top follows the investigation by two Internal Affairs operatives into the murder of an immigrant Algerian informant. The unusual tone here is engaging and it’s pleasurably disorienting effect is enhanced by delightful, comic performances by Isabelle Huppert and Sandrine Kiberlain, in the lead roles. The director's style is formally controlled and characterized by abundant visual wit although the formal splendors are hampered by the deficiencies of the digital format. (The intriguing Bozon was the subject of a Film Society retrospective a few years ago.)

Bertrand Tavernier's Quai d'Orsay observes the circus-like atmosphere in which a newly hired young speechwriter attempts to please his employer, a Minister of foreign affairs. Thierry Lhermitte gives a bravura performance as the manic politician but Niels Arestrup as the chief deputy is even more impressive. 

Quai d'Orsay is not without interest but does not rise to the level of the director's best films, such as Coup de Torchon or Captain Conan. The absorbing classicism that opens the film settles into a somewhat routine conventionality for most its length. Here, again, the reliance on a digital format lamentably diminishes the visual texture.

For more information go to: www.filmlinc.com/films/series/rendez-vous-with-french-cinema-2014

Film Society of Lincoln Center
70 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY  10023

IFC Center323 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10014

BAMcinématek
30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Open Roads—New Italian Cinema 2013

Director Marco Bellocchio
Open Roads — New Italian Cinema
June 6 - 12, 2013
 
You can’t fault the Film Society of Lincoln Center for bringing back Marco Bellocchio’s Dormant Beauty (which was first screened during Film Comment Selects in February 2013) as part of the latest edition of Open Roads — New Italian Cinema: this is an important, typically idiosyncratic film on a timely subject from a true cinematic master.

Read more: Open Roads—New Italian Cinema 2013

Tales of Song, Salvation, & Soul: The African Diaspora International Film Festival

 

Telling tales of lives, triumphs, and struggles from people of color, The African Diaspora International Film Festival runs from November 25th to December 11, 2022 at venues across the city. Now in its thirtieth year, the ADIFF features narrative films, shorts, documentaries, animated works and much more.

Opening the festival is Woodstock of House, a documentary looking at how over a period of decades house music evolved and persisted, despite mainstream America in the late 1970s trying to suppress it for being too black, too Latin, and too gay.

Angels on Diamond Street is a documentary about three women fighting for social justice in an African American church in Philadelphia. We follow head cook Mamie Mather, former Black Panther Barbara Easley-Cox and Pastor Renee Mackenzie at the soup kitchen of the Church of the Advocate. When ICE agents threaten an undocumented Mexican immigrant family seeking sanctuary, the Pastor makes a stand to protect them.

Get Out Alive is a musical about depression by artist and activist Nikki Lynette. Using storytelling, humor, song, dance, visual art and a DJ, Lynette shows us that even when life leads us to a bad place, we can always make it out alive.

Kirikou and the Sorceress is an underrated animated classic. Recounting the tale of tiny Kirikou born in an African village in which Karaba the Sorceress has placed a terrible curse. Kirikou sets out on a quest to free his village of the curse and find out the secret of why Karaba is so wicked.

Sisters in Cinema pays homage to African American women, who against all odds made history. The careers, lives and films of inspirational women filmmakers, such as, Euzhan Palcy, Julie Dash, Darnell Martin, Dianne Houston, Neema Barnette, Cheryl Dunye, Kasi Lemmons and Maya Angelou are showcased within the film.

Now in its 30th year, the ADIFF was established in 1993 and is a Harlem based minority-led not-for profit international film festival that presents, interprets and educates about films that explore the human experience of people of color all over the world in order to inspire imaginations, disrupt stereotypes and help transform attitudes that perpetuate injustice. To celebrate its anniversary, ADIFF NYC 2022 has expanded its footprint in the city through partnerships with various institutions that will host free community screenings. These include the Schomburg Center in Harlem, the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem and Baruch College

To learn more, go to: https://nyadiff.org/

African Diaspora International Film Festival
November 25 - December 11, 2022

Various locations in NYC

 

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