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Ah, fall. The crisp air, the sound of leaves crunching beneath your feet, the proliferation of pumpkin spiced beverages and confections. Oh yes, and demons, monsters, mask murderers, and other things that go bump in the night inhabiting theaters. FEARnyc is returning to Cinema Village (22 East 12th St, New York). Running October 21 - 27, this fest features a whopping 65+ horror films, combining all time classics and new up-and-comers.
The festival also features special events screenings. FW Murnau’s 1926 silent classic, Faust, will be accompanied by live music from Ben Singer of Modern Robot. 1980’s camp-fest (and study on werewolf anatomy), Monster Squad, will be presented with a Q&A featuring cast members Duncan Regehr (Count Dracula) and Tom Noonan (Frankenstein's Monster) live and in person!
Dead Awake, the latest film from Final Destination writer Jeffrey Reddick, will premiere at the fest, along with the anticipated remake of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Blood Feast, and new documentaries. Unearthed and Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary (a look back on the film based on the Stephen King novel) and Resurrecting Carrie (a look back at the musical, based on the movie, based on the Stephen King novel). 1978’s pea-soup-soaked-screamer, The Exorcist, will be opened by a live seance conducted by a “renowned psychic”, and a screening of Halloween will include a Halloween party with candy and games for the audience.
So when you need some respite from a world of daily grinds and toxic elections, why not take a jaunt to FEARnyc and have a GOOD scare for a change?
To learn more, go to: http://www.fearnyc.com/
FEARnycOctober 21 - 27, 2016
Cinema Village22 E 12th St. New York, NY 10003
Featuring work from around the world from new and legendary directors alike, the 54th New York Film Festival focuses on a theme of “internal landscapes” and “the urgency of self-realization.”
Running from September 30 to October 16 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the festival opens with The 13th, Selma director Ava DuVernay’s documentary on the loophole in the 13th Amendment that allowed for a progression from slavery to the horrors of mass incarceration and the prison industry.
20th Century Women is the Centerpiece film. Directed by Mike Mills, this World Premiere is warm, funny, and a work of passionate comedy.
James Gray’s Lost City of Z, starring Charlie Hunnam as a British explorer on a quixotic search for a lost city in the Amazon, closes the festival.
The 54th New York Film Festival’s main slate features a selection of 25 films from around the globe. Among the other main slate of films are:
It wouldn’t be a festival without a slate of revivals too.
Kenji Mizoguchi’s classic ghost tale, Ugetsu Monogatari, is on display with a pristine new restoration. Marlon Brando’s sole shot at directing, One-Eyed Jacks, loosely based on the life of Billy the Kid, was the last film shot at Paramount using the VistaVision (an early form of widescreen) and has been restored under the supervision of Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.
Gillo Pontecorvo’s Battle of Algiers, a film that is woefully always relevant, follows Algeria’s brutal fight for independence from France, is being screened with a new 4K restoration.
The NYFF also features a section called Convergence, a slate of “non-traditional film experiences” that use virtual reality, augmented reality, and installations that explore themes of war, religion, domestic violence, and life in a hyper connected world.
To learn more, go to: http://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2016/
54th New York Film FestivalSeptember 30 - October 16, 2016
Film Society of Lincoln Center144 W 65th St.New York, NY 10023
The Women Texas Film Festival, held at the Texas Theatre (231 W Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208), showcases the range and depth of female driven visual stories. This film festival isn’t just made of sugar and spice, it's got some grit and gasoline, too.
WTxFF (August 19 - 21, 2016) screens qualified films that have women in at least one key creative role: Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer. The festival also hosts virtual reality demos, game room, Q&As with filmmakers, panel discussions, a master class, exclusive parties, and a gala night with filmmaker red carpet.
In 42 Seconds of Happiness a circle of friends reunite for a weekend away to celebrate the same sex wedding of a member of their group. Yet, despite their best efforts to behave themselves, a series of surprise plans, unexpected arrivals and exposed secrets lead to an explosion of drama that, coupled with the flammable combination of hurt feelings, unresolved tensions, and lots of wine cannot be contained.
Girl Asleep, a vibrant portrayal of Australian adolescence, follows Greta Driscoll as her bubble of obscure loserdom is burst when her parents throw her a surprise 15th birthday party and invite the whole school! Perfectly content being a wallflower, suddenly Greta's flung far from her comfort zone into a distant, parallel place -- a strange world that’s a little frightening and a lot weird, but only there can she find herself. Equal measures Wes Anderson and Lewis Carroll, Girl Asleep is an enchanting journey into the absurd -- and sometimes scary -- depths of the teenage mind.
The festival also has multiple specialized tracks of short films. The “Video Mix Tape” shorts program takes audience members on a visual ride that ranges from the high comedy of a brother and sister who can’t stop bickering as they attempt to choose a casket for a loved one, and two couples that must do some fast thinking to outsmart a magical board game that has transported them to the Old West, to the emotional lows and heart-wrenching drama of a little boy determining the fate of a piggy bank he has come to love, and a prostitute that must make a hard choice in order to provide for her autistic son.
The “Youth” shorts program, many of which were directed by local up-and-coming female filmmakers, features films that deal with the conflicts and hurdles ever-present in the lives of young women, be it dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, escaping poverty, getting out of a day at work in order to head out to the beach, navigating the dating world, or being a transvestite in the unforgiving religious culture in Pakistan.
To learn more, go to: http://womentxff.org
The Women Texas Film FestivalAugust 19 - 21, 2016
The Texas Theatre231 W Jefferson Blvd.Dallas, TX 75208
Presented by Asian CineVision, the 39th Annual Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) focuses on films made by and about Asian Americans and features a plethora of touching, shocking, and thought provoking films. The festival will take place in New York City from July 21 to July 30, 2016. Screenings will be held at Cinema Village East (181-189 2nd Avenue), Asia Society (725 Park Avenue), Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Ave, Astoria), and Flushing Town Hall (13735 Northern Boulevard, Flushing).
Opening AIFF is Spa Night, which had its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival where main lead, Joe Seo, won the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance. Set in LA’s Korea Town, Spa Night addresses the issue of gay sexual awakening within a family with Korean immigrant parents that have high hopes for their son.
Based on the incredible true story of Jackie Chan's parents, A Tale of Three Cities is an epic yet intimate account of love at a time of epochal upheaval. The new film from Hong Kong cinema's golden couple, Mabel Cheung and Alex Law, spans decades - from the Second Sino-Japanese War in the 1930s to the beginning of Mao's era in the early 1950s - as it follows one couple who defied all odds and kept their passion alive.
As part of the festival, there are several special brackets of films. The We Are Beautiful shorts program features brief but powerful films addressing issues of social, cultural, and sexual identity. In Speechless in Japan a deaf and speech-impaired cross-dressing outcast in Tokyo bears the burden of social judgment with extraordinary grace, inducing people to finally listen to his/her story, shattering societal expectations in the process. Mumbai Mornings follows a humble, but driven, Indian jewelry polisher-turned-ultramarathoner shows us how the world has opened to him as he runs through the city he calls home.
This is only a small sampling of the films at the AAIFF, which offers a truly wide selection of fascinating features.
To learn more, go to: http://aaiff.org/2016/
Asian American International Film FestivalJuly 21 - 30, 2016
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