Happening (L'Evenement)
Happening (L’Evenement)

Film at Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art announced the lineup for 51st edition of New Directors/New Films (ND/NF) taking place April 20–May 1, 2022. This year’s festival will introduce 26 features and 11 shorts, a total of 39 directors, 21 of which are women, to filmgoers in theaters at both FLC and MoMA.

Opening the festival is Audrey Diwan’s Happening, the winner of the 2021 Venice International Film Festival’s prestigious Golden Lion, a gripping portrait of a young woman’s attempts to secure an illegal abortion in 1960s France. ND/NF will close with The African Desperate, a frantic, wildly engaging debut feature from Martine Syms, rushing through 24 hours in the life of Palace (Syms’s fellow visual artist Diamond Stingily) on a hazy, often hilarious, and occasionally surreal trip through those moments where one’s life feels on the precipice. The rest of the lineup showcases work from a broad geographic range, with films from China, India, Norway, Argentina, Mexico, South Korea, France, and Rwanda; prizewinners from Berlin (Robe of Gems), Sundance (Dos Estaciones, Nanny), and Venice (Pilgrims, Full Time, White Building); and many feature debuts.

The complete 2022 New Directors/New Films lineup:

The African Desperate dir. Martine Syms
Album for the Youth dir. Malena Solarz
The Apartment with Two Women dir. Kim Se-in
Blue Island dir. Chan Tze Woon
The Cathedral dir. Ricky D’Ambrose
Children of the Mist dir. Diễm Hà Lệ
The City and the City dir. Christos Passalis and Syllas Tzoumerkas
Dos Estaciones dir. Juan Pablo González
Father’s Day dir. Kivu Ruhorahoza
Fire of Love dir. Sara Dosa
Full Time dir. Éric Gravel
Happening dir. Audrey Diwan
Hot in Day, Cold at Night dir. Park Song-yeol
The Innocents dir. Eskil Vogt
Nanny dir. Nikyatu Jusu
Once Upon a Time in Calcutta dir. Aditya Vikram Sengupta
Onoda – 10,000 Nights in the Jungle dir. Arthur Harari
Pilgrims dir. Laurynas Bareiša
Rehana dir. Abdullah Mohammad Saad
Riotsville, USA dir. Sierra Pettengill
Robe of Gems dir. Natalia López Gallardo
Shankar’s Fairies dir. Irfana Majumdar
Singing in the Wilderness dir. Dongnan Chen
Small, Slow but Steady dir. Shô Miyake
Talking About the Weather dir. Annika Pinske
White Building dir. Kavich Neang

Astel dir. Ramata-Toulaye Sy
August Sky dir. Jasmin Tenucci
Crystalized Memory dir. Chonchanok Thanatteepwong
The Eternal Melody dir. Niranjan Raj Bhetwal
Five Minutes Older dir. Sara Szymanska
Further and Further Away dir. Polen Ly
It’s Raining Frogs Outside dir. Maria Estela Paiso
Lili Alone dir. Zou Jing
Madhu dir. Tanmay Chowdhary and Tanvi Chowdhary
North Pole dir. Marija Apcevska
Suncatcher dir. Kim Torres

Directors who were presented to New York audiences in earlier ND/NF editions, some for the very first time, include Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Kelly Reichardt, Pedro Almodóvar, Souleymane Cissé, Euzhan Palcy, Jia Zhangke, Spike Lee, Lynne Ramsay, Michael Haneke, Wong Kar Wai, Agnieszka Holland, Lino Brocka, Guillermo del Toro, Luca Guadagnino, and more than a thousand others.


Films will screen at either the Film at Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th Street)
or The Museum of Modern Art Titus 1 / Titus 2 Theaters (11 W. 53rd Street).

Opening Night
Audrey Diwan, 2021, France, 100m
French with English subtitles
Winner of the Venice International Film Festival’s prestigious Golden Lion, Audrey Diwan’s exceptionally well-observed breakthrough is an unsparing, gripping portrait of a young woman’s attempts to secure an illegal abortion in 1960s France. A student of ambition and promise, hoping to leave her small town and embark on a professional life of the mind, Anne Duchesne (Anamaria Vartolomei in a brave, overwhelming performance) finds her entire future thrown into doubt upon discovering that she’s pregnant. Sure to be one of the most talked-about movies of the year, Happening, based on the semi-autobiographical novel by acclaimed author Annie Ernaux, is a drama that incrementally builds in power, showing the step-by-step process by which an ordinary young woman attempts to establish her freedom and ownership of her body. An IFC Films release.

Closing Night
The African Desperate
Martine Syms, 2022, USA, 100m
World Premiere
This frantic, wildly engaging debut feature from Martine Syms lunges through 24 crucial yet wayward hours in the life of Palace (Syms’s fellow visual artist Diamond Stingily). Following a bizarre and blithely passive-aggressive final interview with her all-white faculty, Palace receives her MFA from an upstate New York art school. Rather than attend that night’s graduation party with friends, she vows to relax and get out of Dodge, back to her hometown of Chicago. However, the night doesn’t go as planned, and Syms takes Palace on a hazy, often hilarious, occasionally surreal trip through those moments where one’s life feels balanced on a precipice. The African Desperate has its own singular momentum, fueled by Syms’s cutting satire and aesthetic invention, and coasting on the rhythms of Stingily’s sly, expertly deadpan comic performance.

Album for the Youth
Malena Solarz, 2021, Argentina, 81m
Spanish with English subtitles
North American Premiere
In her solo debut feature, director Malena Solarz takes a surprising, gentle, altogether gratifying approach to the coming-of-age genre. Encouraging naturalistic performances from her charming cast and using a rigorously unshowy visual approach, Solarz explores how young people navigate their creative impulses, focusing on Sol (Irina Rausch) and Pedro (Santiago Canepari), who, during summer break after high school graduation, prepare for possible futures as, respectively, a musician and a playwright. Drifting through tiny, mundane moments of connection and personal growth, exam preparations and writing workshops, Album for the Youth eschews predictable narrative beats of revelation; rather than being exalted, artistic endeavor is treated as a natural part of the human condition.

The Apartment with Two Women
Kim Se-in, 2021, South Korea, 139m
Korean with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Living together in a cramped city apartment, middle-aged single mother Su-kyung and her twentysomething daughter Yi-jung have long since settled into a relationship of simmering mutual resentment. Escalating frustrations in both of their lives—romantic, professional, and certainly domestic—drive them to a boiling point, and a shocking act allows Yi-jung to come to terms with the years of abuse she believes she has suffered. This nerve-jangling yet emotionally cleansing debut feature from Kim Se-in settles deep into the psychological folds of a parent and child caught in a vicious cycle of violence and dependency, and features a pair of lived-in, ruthlessly unsentimental performances by Lym Ji-ho and Yang Mal-bok.

Blue Island
Chan Tze Woon, 2022, Hong Kong/Japan, 97m
Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
The large-scale 2019 pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and the subsequent crackdown on freedoms provide the urgent anchoring point for this remarkable vision from HK filmmaker Chan Tze Woon, a genre-defying plunge into the political morass that has been ever-widening between the former colony and the controlling Chinese state. Taking a panoramic view of these fractures, and covering acts of resistance from 1967 to today, Chan mixes documentary footage and fictional recreations of the past starring contemporary student protestors (many awaiting prison sentencing for speaking out). Blue Island is an accomplishment of both political bravery and aesthetic daring, a film about the cyclical nature of history and the people who live within the folds of time, constantly on the edge of revolution. An Icarus Films release.

The Cathedral
Ricky D’Ambrose, 2021, USA, 87m
A multigenerational family saga in extreme miniature, the new feature from singular American independent director Ricky D’Ambrose, whose Notes on an Appearance played at the festival in 2018, is his most refined, emotionally resonant work yet. Slicing across decades with impressionistic precision, The Cathedral tells the formally economical yet engrossing story of the Damrosch family, whose quiet rise and fall is seen through the eyes of its youngest member, Jesse, born in the late ’80s. Using photographs and archival news footage to buttress his oblique drama, D’Ambrose shows how a family’s financial and emotional wear and tear can subtly reflect a country’s sociopolitical fortunes and follies.

Children of the Mist
Diễm Hà Lệ, 2021, Vietnam, 90m
Hmong and Vietnamese with English subtitles
In her extraordinary feature debut, which resulted in a Best Directing award in the International Competition at IDFA 2021, Vietnamese filmmaker Diễm Hà Lệ nestles her camera in with a family—members of the indigenous Hmong ethnic minority—living in the country’s northern mountainous region. Here, cherubic 12-year-old Di plays with her friends among the mist-enshrouded hills and goes to school, one of her people’s first generation with such access to education. However, the free-spirited Di is also forced to enter adulthood prematurely when she is subject to an unsettling matrimonial custom that creates rifts in her family and threatens to alter her future forever. Tender yet tough to shake, Diễm’s documentary immerses the viewer in a traditional world teetering on the brink of modernity, privileging us to know a young woman caught in the middle.

The City and the City
Christos Passalis and Syllas Tzoumerkas, 2022, Greece, 87m
Greek, Latin, French, German, Turkish, and Armenian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Using a radical, endlessly surprising narrative structure and a distinctive stylistic approach, Greek filmmakers Christos Passalis and Syllas Tzoumerkas tell of how the once-thriving Sephardic Jewish community in their native city of Thessaloniki was gradually decimated over the course of the violent 20th century. It’s a properly disjointed and unsettled tale, zigzagging across time, and taking place on parallel contemporary and historical tracks, tracing moments of anti-Semitic persecution, the Nazi occupation of Greece, and lingering postwar trauma. Originating as an installation project, The City and the City is a film of devastating emotional clarity and relentless force.

Dos Estaciones
Juan Pablo González, 2022, Mexico, 99m
Spanish with English subtitles
One is unlikely to forget the subtle expressivity of Teresa Sánchez, winner of Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Acting and mysterious camera subject of Juan Pablo González’s absorbing, immersive fiction feature debut. Sánchez holds the screen as María, the taciturn yet fiercely committed owner of a troubled tequila factory in rural Jalisco. After taking a new financial administrator (Rafaela Fuentes) under her wing, María is forced to reckon with the difficult realities of her business, both economical and natural. González and Sánchez always leave us on the mesmerizing outside of her emotional state, while making room for unexpected divergences, including a mid-film digression following the life of her hairdresser, Tatín (Tatín Vera, in an exquisitely modulated performance). Shot with sun-dappled radiance, Dos Estaciones is a singular achievement: an interior portrait focused on the external processes of life and work.

Father’s Day
Kivu Ruhorahoza, 2022, Rwanda, 108m
Kinyarwanda with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Expertly weaving three seemingly disparate stories set in and around the city of Kigali, Rwandan filmmaker Kivu Ruhorahoza has constructed a rich, poignant story of loss and the various meanings of parentage. Zaninka (Médiatrice Kayitesi), a masseuse barely making ends meet in the COVID economy, is emotionally devastated by the accidental death of her teenage son, and her grief has begun to affect her marriage; Mukobwa (Aline Amike), caring for her ailing father, is conflicted over whether she should become an organ donor to save his life; and Karara (Yves Kijyana) is a small-time criminal who drags his impressionable young son into his increasingly violent schemes. Told with crystalline precision and escalating emotional intensity, Father’s Day is a tough, humane inquiry into the ostensibly sacred bonds that form contemporary patriarchal culture.

Fire of Love
Sara Dosa, 2022, USA/Canada, 93m
English and French with English subtitles
World-famous volcanologists and lovers Katia and Maurice Krafft fearlessly observed and studied volcanic eruptions up close across the globe; they were at once intrepid adventurers, committed scientists, and innate filmmakers, capturing destructive earth ruptures with surreal beauty and terror. Tragically, they were killed together at the eruption of Japan’s Mount Unzen in June 1991. Using a trove of the couple’s monumental, almost otherworldly 16mm footage, filmmaker Sara Dosa consummately constructs the narrative of their remarkable lives, making the Kraffts into both vivid movie stars and unknowable figures whose pursuits constantly put them on the crater’s edge of existence. Evocatively narrated by Miranda July, Fire of Love is a transportive work of genuine awe. A National Geographic Documentary Films release.

Full Time
Éric Gravel, 2021, France, 87m
French with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
The everyday experiences of a divorced working mother desperately trying to make ends meet supply riveting, ferociously humane drama in Éric Gravel’s marvel of economical storytelling. Living in a distant suburb of Paris, Julie (Laure Calamy) wakes each morning before dawn, rouses herself and her two small children, leaves the kids with an increasingly fed-up babysitter, and runs to catch the train into the city to start her agonizingly early day at a five-star hotel. When a general transportation strike cripples Paris, Julie finds her already tiring day entering the realm of the harrowing, especially considering the interview for the better, higher-paying job she can barely fit into her breathless schedule. Gravel’s film of high-octane intensity, focused almost exclusively on Calamy’s expressive, relatable weariness, positions the director as a major new voice in French cinema, evoking the work of the Dardenne brothers and Laurent Cantet.

Hot in Day, Cold at Night
Park Song-yeol, 2021, South Korea, 90m
Korean with English subtitles
North American Premiere
An unemployed young couple spirals into ever-escalating economic precarity in Park Song-yeol’s gripping, frequently amusing, and expertly written moral tale, fueled by the desperation of contemporary lower-middle-class living. Hot in Day, Cold at Night follows Young-tae and Jeong-hee, appealingly played by the director and his co-writer Won Hyang-ra, as they try to make ends meet, pursuing dead-end jobs, picking up random gigs, and making the occasional bad or even dangerous choice. Park’s direct, unforced aesthetic, always focused on the minutest gestures and expressions of his characters, reflects the film’s mundane tenor, creating a work that is at once charming, empathetic, and satirical, and builds to a surprising moment of redemption.

The Innocents
Eskil Vogt, 2021, Norway, 118m
Norwegian with English subtitles
Perhaps best known as the co-screenwriter of acclaimed Norwegian director Joachim Trier (The Worst Person in the World), Eskil Vogt proves himself to be a filmmaker of astonishing skill and elemental force in his own right with this daring supernatural thriller. Set during the summer at an apartment complex surrounded by an ominous, fairy-tale-like forest, The Innocents follows the sinister, increasingly alarming interactions of a group of prepubescent children: Ida (Rakel Lenora Fløttum), feeling ignored next to her autistic older sister Anna (Alva Brynsmo Ramstad); the bullied Ben (Sam Ashraf); and the angelic Aisha (Mina Yasmin Bremseth Asheim), who appears to communicate telepathically—and feel through—the nonverbal Anna. With unforgettable, dark images and fleet visual storytelling, Vogt’s film pushes the “evil children” subgenre into more philosophical territory, creating a morally askew universe controlled by a child’s primitive understanding of the world. An IFC Midnight release.

Nikyatu Jusu, 2022, USA, 99m
English and Wolof with English subtitles
A riveting Anna Diop commands nearly every frame of director Nikyatu Jusu’s feature debut, a breakout at this year’s Sundance, where it won the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. In this psychologically complex fable of displacement tinged with supernatural horror, Diop plays Aisha, a woman recently emigrated from Senegal who is hired to care for the adorable daughter of an affluent couple (Michelle Monaghan and Morgan Spector) living in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood. Increasingly unsettled by the family’s volatile home life, though desperate to make enough money to bring over her young son from Senegal, Aisha begins to unravel, finding her life in America to be more nightmare than dream. Mixing domestic melodrama with American genre elements and West African folklore, Nanny is a spellbinding experience that defies expectation. An Blumhouse-Amazon Prime Video release.

Once Upon a Time in Calcutta
Aditya Vikram Sengupta, 2021, India/France/Norway, 133m
Bengali with English subtitles
The memory of Bengali poet, social reformer, and presiding artistic spirit Rabindranath Tagore looms over Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s sprawling yet intimate drama of contemporary urban life, an intricately constructed mosaic of people dealing with loss, economic disparity, industrial growth, and questions of basic human morality. Working with consummate Turkish cinematographer Gökhan Tiryaki (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), Sengupta employs an elegant compositional aesthetic to his story of a grieving mother and former actress (the magnetic Sreelekha Mitra, in a richly inhabited performance) whose attempts at overcoming tragedy and moving on are consistently complicated by the needs of others in her orbit. Sengupta presents the irresolvable contradictions of modern life with clarity and invention, depicting a society in constant flux.

Onoda – 10,000 Nights in the Jungle
Arthur Harari, 2021, France/Japan, 165m
Japanese with English subtitles
In this absorbing epic, Arthur Harari immerses the viewer in the true story of Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese intelligence officer in the Imperial Army who was stationed on the Philippine island of Lubang during World War II, and, due to a combination of duty, nationalistic pride, and personal obstinacy, ended up marooned there for nearly 30 years, leading guerilla attacks and believing Japan was still at war. To tell this simultaneously absurd and poignant tale, Harari uses a classical narrative approach, punctuated by moments of meditative beauty, and anchored by the twin performances of Yûya Endô and Kanji Tsuda as Onoda. In dramatizing Onoda’s extraordinary, isolated years on Lubang, Harari questions whether war and patriotism are entirely psychological states of being.

Laurynas Bareiša, 2021, Lithuania, 92m
Lithuanian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
A young woman and man reunite for a mission of initially unknown origin and goal. Indre (Gabija Bargailaite) and Paulius (Giedrius Kiela) are connected by a violent tragedy that killed Matas—her boyfriend, his brother. Spurred on by Paulius’s obsessive need to recount and relive the events that led to his death, they find themselves caught up in the past. Skillfully doling out narrative information piece by piece and layer upon layer in scenes marked by elegant, sinister single takes, Lithuanian filmmaker Laurynas Bareiša has created a foreboding, yet ultimately hopeful portrait of people racked with trauma and unresolved anger. Winner of the Horizons Award at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival.

Abdullah Mohammad Saad, 2021, Bangladesh, 107m
Bengali with English subtitles
This formally rigorous, breathlessly paced indictment of an abusive, protected patriarchal society is a tough-minded triumph from Bangladeshi filmmaker Abdullah Mohammad Saad. The title character, played ferociously by Azmeri Haque Badhon, is an assistant professor at a university hospital; after she witnesses an instance of inappropriate sexual behavior between a male associate and a female student, she tries to do what she believes to be the right thing, only to be met with resistance on every level. Saad’s galvanizing tale is deepened by a parallel narrative involving Rehana’s young daughter, whose own burgeoning problems create a kind of mirror to her mother’s plight. Saad’s intense, claustrophobic filmmaking—keeping almost every shot indoors—adds to the sense of a world mired in a moral fog. A Grasshopper Film and Gratitude Films co-release.

Riotsville, USA
Sierra Pettengill, 2022, USA, 91m
Meticulously conceived and masterfully constructed, filmmaker Sierra Pettengill’s documentary exclusively employs archival footage to excavate the racist governmental crackdown on Black Americans in the late ’60s. The film’s centerpiece is the astonishing, unsettling footage of police and National Guardsmen being trained in fake towns known as Riotsvilles, constructed on military bases and populated by participants “playing” rioters. Buoyed and complicated by philosophical voiceover narration written by critic Tobi Haslett, and precisely edited by Nels Bangerter, Pettengill’s film is a trancelike yet politically urgent work of historical record–resetting, using a tumultuous era not to wall off the past but to clarify how little has changed in terms of the political scapegoating and violence the U.S. government uses against its Black citizens.

Robe of Gems
Natalia López Gallardo, 2022, Mexico/Argentina, 118m
Spanish with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Deep in the Mexican countryside, a community is plagued by the constant threat of looming violence. Here, three women from different social classes—a maid, her wealthy employer, and a police officer—become tragically affected by a missing-person case related to organized crime. A work of accruing power and sinister depths simmering below a placid surface, Robe of Gems is the accomplished, unsettlingly oblique debut feature by Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear–winner Natalia López Gallardo (previously an editor for such filmmakers as Carlos Reygadas and Lisandro Alonso). Filled with unshakable images, Robe of Gems weaves an ever-expanding web of characters touched by violence, trauma, and daily rupture.

Shankar’s Fairies
Irfana Majumdar, 2021, India, 93m
Hindi with English subtitles
In her delicately composed, heartrending debut fiction feature, Irfana Majumdar recreates the meticulous, cloistered world of a young girl growing up in a privileged household in India in the early 1960s. The sensitive child of a senior police official, Anjana (Shreeja Mishra) forges a close bond with her parents’ servant, Shankar (Jaihind Kumar), who acts kindly toward her though he remains separated from his own daughter, who lives back in his village. Evoking her mother’s childhood memories, Majumdar dramatizes intimate moments that quietly, persuasively speak to the country’s deeply entrenched caste system and lingering colonialist mindset, while also using the camera to capture the beauty and tactility of the girl’s physical world.

Singing in the Wilderness
Dongnan Chen, 2021, China, 98m
A-Hmao language and Mandarin with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
The Miao people are a historically marginalized ethnic group living in the mountainous Southwest Chinese province of Yunnan. Many in the community have held deep-seated Christian beliefs for nearly a century, following the influence of western missionaries. In her poignant and thought-provoking documentary, Dongnan Chen follows the rise to national prominence of a Christian choir from the Miao community. Taking the viewer from their home in Little Well Village, where they become tourist attractions, to their performances in Beijing and even a well-attended concert at New York’s Lincoln Center, the director shows how the choir was co-opted for government party propaganda, while also following certain choristers’ lives through personal trials and arranged marriages. Singing in the Wilderness is a contemplative work of nonfiction that raises crucial questions of faith, globalization, and identity.

Small, Slow But Steady
Shô Miyake, 2022, Japan/France, 99m
Japanese with English subtitles
Introverted, sullen, and wildly skilled, Keiko Ogawa (Yukino Kishii) is a semiprofessional boxer navigating a largely male environment; she’s also been deaf since childhood, taking up the sport at an early age both to fend off bullies and to focus her attention on something tactile. Now in her twenties, and making ends meet as a chambermaid while living with her loving brother, she finds her greatest refuge in the economically struggling Tokyo gym where she trains with the aging Mr. Sasaki (Tomokazu Miura), whose health is in decline. Keeping Keiko at arm’s length, Shô Miyake’s scrupulously studied portrait of one woman’s life, shot and set during the COVID pandemic, is an entirely physical experience, punctuated by moments of pure feeling.

Talking About the Weather
Annika Pinske, 2022, Germany, 89m
German with English subtitles
Diligently working toward a PhD in philosophy, Clara (Anne Schäfer) has arrived at a crossroads. About to turn 40 and divorced, she has entered into an affair with an arrogant student; has increasing difficulty navigating the cold, cutthroat world of academia in Berlin; is trying to connect with her teenage daughter, who lives with her ex-husband; and feels estranged from her hausfrau mother, who still lives in the rural East German area where she was raised. In her absorbing and insightful feature debut, set largely over a few crucial days in Clara’s life, Annika Pinske has created an acerbic drama about the interrelation of deep-seated class anxieties and personal neuroses, establishing herself as a figure to watch in the ever-expanding landscape of contemporary German cinema.

White Building
Kavich Neang, 2021, Cambodia/France/China/Qatar, 90m
Khmer with English subtitles
In this deeply affecting and precisely detailed study of the familial and psychological effects of rapid industrial change, first-time fiction feature director Kavich Neang creates a film of tactile vividness and otherworldly beauty set in his hometown of Phnom Penh. Twentyish Nang dreams of fame as a dancer and singer on Cambodia’s Next Superstar, but his hopes for the future are constantly thwarted by the realities of day-to-day life, specifically the looming destruction of the apartment complex where he and his family live—and from which his parents refuse to be ejected and relocated. Moving between hushed realism and dreamlike interiority, White Building announces major new talents in both Neang and star Piseth Chhun, who won the 2021 Venice Film Festival’s Horizons best actor award for a performance of finely balanced sensitivity and charisma. A KimStim release.

Shorts Program 1

TRT: 90m
Monday, April 25
8:30pm, MoMA T2
Tuesday, April 26
9:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater
Films are listed in the order that they will screen.

Five Minutes Older
Sara Szymańska, Poland, 2021, 6m
Polish with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Traversing a hilly, windmill-studded landscape by car en route to a lakeside picnic, sardonic twins Mela and Zenia bicker, snipe, and cajole the day away in this sensitive, vivid portrait of sisterly attachment.

North Pole
Marija Apcevska, Macedonia/Serbia, 2021, 15m
Macedonian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Thick, white mist drifts heavily over the small town where teenage Margo navigates feelings of alienation among her more self-assured peers—and strains to make sense of her own yearning to belong—in Marija Apcevska’s understated character study.

Kim Torres, Costa Rica/Mexico, 2021, 20m
Spanish with English subtitles
“I have a recurring dream / if I’m reborn one day I’ll have the sun in my mouth / I’ll be hot and gleamy oil and everything will feel ok. Lol, ” writes @lilaaa to @dream.bby. Director Kim Torres crafts an atmospheric world awash in blue, where Lila spends her isolated days yearning for something more.

Ramata-Toulaye Sy, France/Senegal, 2021, 25m
Fulfuldé with English subtitles
In Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s tender coming-of-age vignette, set in the rural Fouta region of northern Senegal, 13-year-old Astel takes pride in the daily task of watching over the family’s herd of cattle with her father, until a wordless encounter with a stranger in the fields threatens to upend life as she knows it.

Further and Further Away
Polen Ly, Cambodia, 2022, 24m
Bunong and Khmer with English subtitles
Siblings Neang and Phal prepare to leave their rural village for a new life in the city, but Neang is drawn back to the town of their childhood, now the site of a hydroelectric dam. She makes the trek, communing with place and time, raising questions of how space holds memory and what we leave behind.

Shorts Program 2

TRT: 95m
Wednesday, April 27
9:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater
Thursday, April 28
8:45pm, MoMA T2
Films are listed in the order that they will screen.

It’s Raining Frogs Outside
Maria Estela Paiso, Philippines, 2022, 14m
English, Sambal, and Filipino with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Ominous strangeness pervades the interiors of Maya’s childhood home, where she shelters in solitude as catastrophe looms beyond. Director Maria Estela Paiso conjures an unsettling oneiric lyricism, juxtaposing surrealist animation with lush photography and a richly layered soundscape.

August Sky
Jasmin Tenucci, Brazil/Iceland, 2021, 15m
Portuguese with English subtitles
In São Paulo, the skies glow fiery orange and black as the rainforests burn. A pregnant nurse (a magnetic Badu Morais), anticipating new life but anxious for an uncertain future, surprises herself when she finds community in a Pentecostal church.

Lili Alone
Zou Jing, China/Hong Kong/Singapore, 2021, 22m
Mandarin with English subtitles
Lili trades the isolation of her rural town for the isolation of the big city when she leaves home to be a surrogate mother, with hopes of earning enough money to save her dying father.

Crystallized Memory
Chonchanok Thanatteepwong, Thailand, 2021, 18m
Thai with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Director Chonchanok Thanatteepwong casts his patient, searching gaze on an intimate natural setting in this delicate, finely textured meditation on loss, metaphysical longing, and making sense of what’s left behind.

The Eternal Melody
Niranjan Raj Bhetwal, Nepal, 2022, 14m
Nepali with English subtitles
World Premiere
When an elderly woman, living high in the mountains with her grown son, is visited in a dream by her late husband, mother and son go to great lengths to help ease his passage to the next world.

Tanmay Chowdhary and Tanvi Chowdhary, India, 2022, 13m
Bengali with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Childhood friends, now in their twenties, reunite during a Durga Puja festival. Though this homecoming takes place in a bustling city, directors Tanmay and Tanvi Chowdhary create a world of intimacy over the course of one evening, as the girls hum electric with possibility.

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