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South Asian Film Festival: Diaspora & Discovery

I Am Alone, So Are You…

Featuring South Asian/Indian film makers, the South Asian Film Festival returns with a new slate of films November 20 to the 24th. Held at the Village East Cinema (189 2nd Ave, NY, NY) the Festival is committed to exhibiting films from South Asia (i.e India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal) and within the Indian Diaspora.

One of the highlights of the fest is Jallikatu, directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery. Set in a remote village in the hill ranges of Kerala, Jallikatu unfolds during the course of a day and night as what starts with a butcher’s buffalo running away turns into ferocity, greed, lust, distrust and vengeance lurching below the surface erupting into the open. In the opening night film The Illegal, directed by Danish Renzu, in which an educated middle class kid from Daryganj, India comes to Los Angeles after getting accepted into a prestigious film school, but due to an unfortunate turn of events, he is forced into working illegally on his student visa in a restaurant in order to survive. In I Am Alone, So Are You…, from director Harish Vyas, a girl from Meerut and a boy from Chandigarh run away from their respective homes on their wedding day and bump into each other at a club in Delhi, setting them on a journey of self discovery. 

To learn more, go to:

South Asian Film Festival
November 20 - 24, 2019

Village East Cinema
189 2nd Ave.
New York, NY 10003

Irish Screen America New York: From Gaza to the Boxing Ring

Irish Screen America
, the film fest for Irish storytellers, will have its latest NYC edition running October 25 to the 27th. Held at NYU’s Cantor Film Center (36 E. 8th St), the festival includes shorts, documentaries, and live Q&As with cast and crew.

Films include the documentary Katie, which follows champion boxer Katie Taylor as she attempts to rebuild her career after a year of turmoil threatened to derail it. With many writing her off, Taylor decided to start again, and the notoriously private champion agreed to let a small crew document her attempt to rescale the heights. Gaza, directed by Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell, is a portrait of Palestinian life which offers a rare chance to be immersed in the heart of this misunderstood land to get to know the real people who inhabit it.

To learn more, go to:

Irish Screen America New York
October 25 - 27, 2019

Cantor Film Center
36 East 8th Street
New York, NY 10003

CineCina Film Festival: Indepedent Chinese Cinema

Raining in the Mountain

The CineCina Film Festival (CCFF), running October 25 to November 3, is the fest that sets out to promote art house Chinese and international cinema. Held at venues across NYC, CCFF was formed in 2018 by a group of young film scholars and filmmakers active in New York looking to create a new platform for Chinese cinema. This year’s edition of the film festival will open with Elia Suleiman’s Palestinian Oscar selection for 2019, It Must Be Heaven, and will close with a special 10th Anniversary presentation of Samuel Maoz’s Lebanon. A digitally restored version of King Hu’s 1979 classic Raining in the Mountain will make its U.S. Premiere as the Centerpiece Screening. Raining in the Mountain was voted as one of the “100 Greatest Chinese Films” by the Hong Kong Film Awards and follows a Buddhist monastery during the Ming Dynasty in turmoil over a stolen scripture and the decision of who will be the next abbot. 

North American premieres include Takahisa Zeze’s The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine, about two female sumo wrestlers trying to escape the abuses of their past, while two other women – members of an anarchist group - start to watch their wrestling matches. Lu Zhang’s Fukuoka looks at two old schoolmates reconnecting, as a mysterious woman who enters the picture, leading to a tense love triangle. There will also be a screening of the John Woo classic The Killer and Naoko Yamada’s A Silent Voice will be screened as a special Tribute to Kyoto Animation.

To learn more, go to:

CineCina Film Festival
October 25 - November 3, 2019

Various Locations

DOC NYC Celebrates 10th Anniversary in Latest Fest

Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over

DOC NYC, one of America’s largest documentary festivals, returns to New York for its tenth anniversary edition. Running November 6-15 at the IFC Center (323 6th Ave), the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street) and Cinépolis Chelsea (260 West 23rd Street). The 2019 festival includes 136 feature-length documentaries among over 300 films and events  Included are 28 world premieres, 27 North American premieres and 59 NYC premieres, with more than 500 doc makers and special guests expected in person to present their films or participate on panels. 

The Opening Night film, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, directed by Daniel Roher, about the legendary musicians, with Robbie Robertson in attendance. Closing Night film, The Capote Tapes, from Ebs Burnough, a look at the life of Truman Capote, with André Leon Talley participating in a post-show Q&A with the director. The festival’s Centerpiece presentation, Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator, by Eva Orner, on the disgraced head of the yoga empire that bears his name.

“Our tenth anniversary lineup reflects a more international scope than in previous years, drawing compelling stories from all over the world, in addition to a rich selection of American nonfiction,” said Director of Programming Basil Tsiokos. “Where better to experience this diversity of documentary storytelling than NYC?” Tsiokos leads the programming team in collaboration with Artistic Director Thom Powers.

In the Metropolis competition section are films set in New York City, including the world premieres of The Grand Unified Theory of Howard Bloom, a portrait of an eccentric music publicist turned evolutionary philosopher. In I’m Gonna Make You Love Me we learn about Brian Belovitch, who spent more than a decade as a woman before transitioning back to being a man. Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over, on the pioneering No Wave singer, writer and actress; and Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back, a portrait of the charismatic Broadway song-and-dance man.

Other returning sections include high-profile Special Events; national and global takes in American Perspectives and International Perspectives; and thematic sections Portraits (profiling singular individuals), Modern Family (on unconventional families), New World Order (on today’s most urgent issues), In the System (inside looks at institutions), Fight the Power (on activism), Art and Design (on art, photography and design), Behind the Scenes (on filmmaking), and Sonic Cinema (on music). 

 DOC NYC will welcome over 500 filmmakers and special guests in attendance for Q&As after most screenings and for DOC NYC PRO panels. 

 Special Guests include:

  • Robbie Robertson
  • Dr. Ruth Westheimer
  • Ben Taylor
  • Sally Taylor
  • Kori Wither
  • Chris Stills
  • André Leon Talley
  • Lydia Lunch
  • Thurston Moore
  • Donita Sparks
  • Maurice Hines, Nicholas Kristof
  • Sheryl WuDunn
  • Soledad O’Brien
  • Elliott Erwitt
  • Audrey Flack
  • Buster Williams  

To learn more, go to:

November 6 - 15, 2019

Various Venues


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