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Emerging Film Directors Walk the Red Carpet at 'New Directors/New Films' Festival

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cinephiles and film critics are looking forward to this year's "New Directors/New Films" festival. It kicks off on Wednesday night and runs through April 3.

The festival, now in its fortieth year, showcases feature films from emerging filmmakers, such as Denis Côté and Seren Yüce.

"There are films that show promise that are sometimes a little bit raw but just, you know, really have a lot of thrust to them," said film critic Howard Feinstein who helps program the Sarajevo Film Festival. "As a critic, I like to see promise, you know, I like to see films that may not be perfect but have a lot in them."'

Feinstein recommended old and young film lovers check out "The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975," a documentary directed by Swedish filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson about America's black power movement.

"Even though I grew up in that period, it's like you've never seen any of it before," he said. "It's made almost like a music video. It's just mind-boggling."

The festival films will be screened at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center and at the Museum of Modern Art.

For critics, the festival is a good time to spend more time with films that have been shown on the festival circuit.

"Nobody's seen these things before, so there's no real hype or buzz or reviews," said Eric Kohn, the lead film critic for IndieWIRE. "It allows people like me to go back and see things at places like Sundance and sort of reevaluate these movies without some of the extra noise."

Kohn said he recommended seeing "Curling" at the festival, by the Canadian filmmaker Denis Côté.

"It's a very low-key story of a guy who lives a single life with his daughter and works in a bar and is sort of looking for his purpose," Kohn said. "It takes a lot of interesting, sort of surreal twists that you wouldn't expect with a story like that."

For most of the public, the festival will be the first time they'll get the chance to see the films.

David Schwartz, chief curator for the Museum of the Moving Image, said he looked forward to "Attenberg," a documentary by Athina Rachel Tsangari that features songs by French chanteuse Françoise Hardy and the new wave band Suicide.

"There was a really fascinating Greek film called 'Dogtooth,' that came out last year," Schwartz said referring to Yorgos Lanthimos' 2009 film about a couple who keep their children isolated until they came of age. "This is supposed to be along those lines. It seems like there’s a sudden burst of fascinating films coming out of Greece."

Click here for the full schedule of movies that were selected for the 2011 "New Directors/New Films" festival.

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