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French Animation Online: Animation First 2022

The Night Watch, directed by Julien Regnard

The 2022 Animation First Festival
goes nationwide and online starting February 14th, 2022. Animation First is the only festival in the US dedicated to French animation. This year, the festival presents 51 premieres of feature-length and short films, Works in Progress of highly anticipated films, a 2nd Annual Student Short Film Competition, and more.

Films include The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily directed by Lorenzo Mattotti, which was inspired by the 1945 classic Italian children’s book by Dino Buzzati. In The Tower, directed by Mats Gorud, Wardi, an eleven-year-old Palestinian girl, lives with her whole family in a refugee camp in Lebanon and learns her family’s history. Shorts programs include Best of Annecy 2021: Spotlight on Women Directors, as well as two blocks of new French animated shorts, while the Fontevraud Presents block showcases animators from around the world. In Liberated! writers and broadcasters Ovidie and Sophie-Marie Larrouy examine prejudice and taboos around sex. Uncanny Stories is a showcase of horror centric animation, and for those looking for less unsettling fare, there's a screening of Don Bluth's classic An American Tail.

The online portion of the festival can only be viewed from within the United States.

To learn more, go to:

Animation First 2022
February 14 - 21, 2022.


Music, Monsters, & Murder at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival


One of the most important film festivals in the world, The Sundance Film Festival, returns January 20th to the 30th online and in theaters. Held in Park City, Utah, this year the festival is offering satellite screenings at theaters in North Carolina, Massachusetts, California, Tennessee, Kansas, Washington, and Maryland, along with streaming the films on the Sundance website.

Ramin Bahrani’s feature-length documentary, 2nd Chance, chronicles the life of former pizzeria owner and body armor magnate Richard Davis, and his eventual downfall. In Piggy, an overweight teen is tormented by her bullies, but when the same bullies are kidnapped by a stranger, the girl is torn between telling the police what she saw, and her fascination for her rescuer. In Every Day In Kaimukī, Naz, a listless radio DJ in Hawaii has a life change dropped in his lap when his girlfriend pushes him to move to New York. Now Naz contemplates his place in the world and what is truly home for him. Mija tracks the life of Doris Muñoz, and her path through music management and finding voices that are unrepresented. Body horror is served sunny-side up in Hatching as a young girl escapes from her smothering mommy-blogger mother and obnoxious brother by caring for an egg she found in the woods. But when the egg starts to grow and hatch, bizarre occurrences befall the family.

Not just an occasion for watching films, Sundance also features panels, discussions, and networking events, even online. The Outfest Queer Brunch at Sundance will be a gathering of festival alumni, industry, community, and fans of cinema celebrating the LGBTQ+ films at Sundance & Slamdance  in an immersive virtual platform Sunday, January 23rd. How To Live (After You Die) has multiple Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and media artist Lynette Wallworth unearthing the story of her coming-of-age as a prophet in a radical Christian community, as Wallworth charts with tenderness and wry humor an artist’s journey to reclaim her voice and find her place in the world. The Story of Us- Reclaiming the Narrative has legal Scholar and civil rights advocate Kimberlé W. Crenshaw moderating a conversation interrogating how censorship, legislation, and storytelling are creating a distorted national narrative, and the crucial role of new cinematic genres in challenging these myths.

To learn more, go to:

Sundance Film Festival 2022
January 20 - 30, 2022

Online and In Person

The 50th Dance on Camera Festival: Decades of Dancing

The longest running dance film festival in the world just keeps on going as the 50th Dance on Camera Festival hits Lincoln Center. Running February 11 to the 14th, at the Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th St.) with a slate of 32 films. “This year’s Dance on Camera Festival not only honors the festival’s half-century history, but also looks forward to the vast artistic potential of the festival’s future,” said Co-Curator Liz Wolff. “This year we’ll spotlight emerging artists from around the globe.”

The festival opens with the World Premiere of The Moment Remains directed by Turkish filmmaker Ebru Şeremetli. In the film a dancer returns to her homeland and faces feelings of unease as she works to hone her craft amidst prevailing darkness.

In Mahålang, Chamorro Filipino choreographer and dancer Caili Quan pays tribute to the family and culture of Guam that sparked her love of music and inspired her dream of dancing. Quan explores her own heritage through memories and conversations with her family, with each dance inspired by a different facet of Guam’s culture.

The Nangiarkoothu Artist is a documentary dance portrait of an ethnic artist from Kerala, India. A hybrid piece, this film uses a multi-narrative approach, employing modes of traditional storytelling and a staged dance performance to create a poetic profile of Aparna Nangiar, a young exponent of classical Nangiarkoothu, who practices and teaches the 2,000-year-old

The festival also includes a slate of short films from around the world. Closing the fest is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Bob Fosse classic Cabaret, with the film being screened in 35mm.

To learn more, go to:

The 50th Dance on Camera Festival
February 11 - 14, 2022

Film at Lincoln Center - Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th St.

New York, NY 10023

History & Humanity at the New York Jewish Film Festival 2022


Now in its 31st installment, the New York Jewish Film Festival 2022 showcases films from around the world that embody the Jewish experience. Running January 12 to the 25th at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street) as well as some films streamed online, the festival mixes narrative features, shorts, and documentaries from around the world.

The Opening film is Neighbours, in which a young boy and his family live in a Kurdish community near the Syrian/Turkish border in the early 1980s. He’s extremely fond of his Jewish neighbors, but perplexed when a new teacher propagates fiery nationalism and antisemitism. Director Mano Khalil (Die Schwalbe) mines childhood experiences with a welcome sense of humor while drawing parallels with contemporary refugee crises.

The Centerpiece film is Sin La Habana, winner of the award for Best Canadian Film at the 2021 Vancouver International Film Festival. In the film, a salsa dance instructor and his girlfriend, a lawyer, seek to escape Cuba by any means, ensnaring an Iranian-Jewish woman in their plot. Writer/director/composer Kaveh Nabatian, himself Iranian-Canadian, offers a lyrical and deeply felt meditation on cross-cultural relationships, with their attendant gulfs of religion and background, further complicated by the hidden agendas of all concerned parties.

As part of a special screening, the NYJFF will also present the World Premiere of the new 4K digital restoration of Steve BrandsKaddish, an engaging chronicle of a Hungarian Holocaust survivor’s son that reveals 1980s New York and activist Yossi Klein Halevi in his formative years.

In Rose, by Aurélie Saada, a 78-year-old Parisian woman, played by iconic French actress Françoise Fabian (My Night at Maud’s, Belle de Jour) , rebels against ageist and sexist stereotypes to reinvent herself.

Set on Wall Street in 2008, A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff offers a singularly creative perspective on financial fraud as musician/poet Alicia Jo Rabins plays herself, obsessing over Madoff and the capitalist system that enabled him.

The essay film, The Will to See, grew out of writer, activist, and philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy’s journalistic coverage of places where human suffering predominates. Journeying from Mogadishu, Somalia, “a ghost town abandoned to the warlords,” to Nigeria, where Christians are massacred with impunity, Lévy spotlights locations the world cannot afford to keep ignoring.

In addition, the festival includes the special program: Tribute to Pearl Bowser (presented virtually), focusing on the celebrated film scholar, author, archivist, educator, activist, filmmaker, and independent distributor. Harlem-raised Pearl Bowser is a stalwart champion of independent film and filmmakers of color. Alongside her late colleagues, psychologist and artist Mel Roman, and Charles Hobson, producer-writer at ABC-TV, Bowser researched and curated a landmark retrospective at the Jewish Museum in 1970 called “The Black Film,” igniting a new wave of enduring interest in exhibiting, producing, and engaging with African American cinema beyond borders. She has spent her multifaceted career cultivating audiences for marginalized voices in motion pictures, particularly with her groundbreaking work on early 1900s Black film pioneer Oscar Micheaux. This virtual tribute program includes a recent short-film interview with Bowser and several films, including Body and Soul (1925) by Oscar Micheaux, which features Paul Robeson in his acting debut.

To learn more, go to:

New York Jewish Film Festival 2022
January 12 - 25, 2022

Online & The Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th St.
New York, NY 10023


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