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Film Festivals

Athena Film Festival Examines Lives of Women Around the World


City of Joy

A film festival with a feminist angle, the Athena Film Festival (February 9 - 12, 2017) is now in its seventh year of screening shorts, features, and documentaries with leading ladies. Held at Barnard College (3009 Broadway, New York, NY) and co-founded by the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood, the festival also features panels and workshop covering everything from the female gaze in cinema, to a crash course in camera work from B&H.

The centerpiece film of the festival is City of Joy, directed by Madeleine Gavin, a documentary on a community of women in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that also act as a shelter for victims of sexual violence. Long Way North, directed by Rémi Chayé, Ron Dyens, and Henri Magalon is a French-Danish animated film and tells the story of Sascha, a Russian teenager, who sets off on a voyage to find and recover the lost ship of her missing grandfather who disappeared on his way to the North Pole. Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds follows the strange lives of two members of “Hollywood Royalty” and their bond as mother and daughter. Closing the festival is Dolores, directed by Peter Bratt, a documentary on the life of feminist union organizer Dolores Huerta.

To learn more, go to:

Athena Film Festival
February 9 - 12, 2017

Barnard College
3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027


Andrzej Wajda Retrospective Coming to Film Society of Lincoln Center


The legendary Polish director Andrzej Wajda who died last year at the age of ninety is being honored at the Film Society of Lincoln Center with an eleven-film tribute from February 9th to the 16th, presented in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute. The selection of films is quite good even if several of the most impressive films from the first half of his career such as Ashes, Everything for Sale and The Wedding are missing. Fortunately, all the films—excepting the New York premiere of his final film, Afterimage, from last year—are being screened in 35mm.

Afterimage, photographed attractively in widescreen, is a portrait of the final years—a period of Stalinist persecution and Kulturkampf—of the significant Polish avant-garde artist, Władysław Strzemiński, brilliantly portrayed by the great Bogusław Linda. Wajda's perspective on the material is not especially original here, and stylistically and imaginatively this is a relatively conventional work in the director's œuvre,but he approaches the subject with sensitivity and skill with an admirable consistency and is especially effective at evoking the early postwar period in Łódź.

Afterimage screens on Thursday, February 9th at 7pm.

To learn more, go to:

Tribute to Andrzej Wajda
February 9 - 16, 2017

Film Society of Lincoln Center
70 Lincoln Center Plaza #7
New York, NY 10023

India Kaleidoscope Festival Shines at Museum of the Moving Image


The Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Ave, Queens, NY) and The India Center Foundation are launching India Kaleidoscope, a festival celebrating the rich cultural heritages of India and Indian cinema. Running December 8 to the 11th, the festival features eight films tackling societal and changing issues within India.

“India Kaleidoscope is an auspicious start to MoMI’s collaboration with The India Center Foundation. This dynamic partnership is proven by the quality of the Festival lineup and the participation of so many emerging and established film directors,” said the Museum’s Chief Curator, David Schwartz.

One of the highlights of the festival is India in a Day,  which was shot over the course of a single day in October 2015 when thousands across India recorded and shared moments from their everyday lives.  The film was directed by Richie Mehta and executive produced by Ridley Scott.

Films at the festival include:

  • Loktak Lairembee (Lady of the Lake) - Director Haobam Paban Kumar attending
    Dir. Haobam Paban Kumar.
    Set amidst the unique community of fishing families that populate the floating islands of northeast India’s Lake Loktak, the spellbinding narrative debut from nonfiction filmmaker Haobam Paban Kumar blends documentary-like realism with a touch of the surreal.

    india in a day 25p 550x238-detail-main

  • Lathe Joshi - Director Mangesh Joshi attending
    Dir. Mangesh Joshi
    After losing his job, a lathe worker takes a stand to reclaim his dignity in a society that no longer seems to value him. This lyrical, meditative character study is both a moving portrait of a man and a perceptive look at globalization’s human toll.

  • The Violin Player - Director Bauddhayan Mukherji attending
    Dir. Bauddhayan Mukherji
    A chance encounter with an enigmatic filmmaker sets a struggling violinist on a surprising journey of self-discovery. This mesmerizing tale of art and destiny conjures a quietly gripping air of mystery as it builds towards its soul-shaking denouement.

  • Sila Samayangalil (Sometimes)
    Dir. Priyadarshan.
    In a doctor’s office waiting room, eight people of varying backgrounds nervously await the results of their HIV tests. When they learn that one among them has tested positive, tensions mount and anxious guessing games begin. This richly emotional comedic drama tackles a serious subject with compassion and unexpected humor.

  • Ghatashraddha (The Ritual) – Director Girish Kasaravalli attending
    Dir. Girish Kasaravalli.
    One of the key works of the Indian New Wave, this spare, haunting drama tells the story of a bond that develops between two outsiders: a Brahmin boy who contends with bullying at school and an unmarried young woman who faces excommunication when she becomes pregnant.

    hari 550x238-detail-main

  • Harikatha Prasanga (Chronicles of Hari) - Director Ananya Kasaravalli attending
    Dir. Ananya Kasaravalli
    The lines between stage and reality begin to blur for a male actor who plays female roles in traditional Yakshagana theater. Taking the form of a faux-documentary, the provocative feature debut of Ananya Kasaravalli examines issues of gender, performance, and identity within Indian society.

  • Tope (The Bait) - Director Buddhadeb Dasgupta attending
    Dir. Buddhadeb Dasgupta
    Internationally renowned auteur Buddhadeb Dasgupta directs this seductively surreal, folkloric fable about three fantastical characters—a traveling tightrope walker, a tree-dwelling postman, and a wealthy, tiger-hunting raja—whose lives intertwine in the lush Bengal countryside.

To learn more, go to:

India Kaleidoscope
December 8 - 11, 2016

Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35th Ave.
Queens, NY 11106

10th Annual Other Israel Film Fest Features Film & Music

Featuring musical guests, special panels, appearances by actors and directors, and a wealth of films, the Other Israel Film Festival (December 1 - 8, 2016, multiple venues across New York City) offers a bountiful slate of film, art, and culture from Israeli and Arab people. This being the 10th installment of the fest is a momentous occasion. “We are thrilled to mark ten years of curating dynamic and inclusive forums for exploration of tough themes related to Israeli society,” says Ravit Turjeman, ‎Director of the Other Israel Film Festival & Fund. “As in past years, we will continue to encourage cinematic expression and creativity that truly celebrate the humanity and daily lives of Arab citizens and other minority groups who are most often overlooked by mainstream culture.”

Films (many of which are US premieres) being shown include:

  • A.K.A. NADIA
    Dir. Tova Ascher
    Nadia is a 20-year-old Arab woman having a secret love affair with Nimer, a PLO activist. They move to England, where Nimer is caught by the authorities, leaving Nadia on her own. A shady character provides her with a Jewish woman’s Israeli passport, allowing her to return to Israel. Twenty years later, Nadia is Maya, a successful choreographer married to Yoav, a Jewish official at the Ministry of Justice. When Nimer reappears in Jerusalem, Nadia’s past catches up with her, forcing her to deal with an identity crisis played out against the region’s political backdrop.
    Dir. Miya Hatav
    When Bina and Meir visit their son Oliel, hospitalized in Jerusalem after a terror attack, they form a bond with Amal, a young Arab woman, seemingly there to attend to her dying father. As the truth unfolds, they all struggle to accept the unlikely circumstances that have brought them together.
    Dir. Eran Kolirin
    David is discharged from the army after serving 27 years. He finally returns to his family and tries to find himself in his new civilian life. When a friend suggests working for a company that markets dietary supplements, David sees this as an opportunity to get his foot in the door of the business world and make something out of himself. But this decision slowly gets him and his family entangled in the web of dark forces that rule life in Israel.
    Dir. Maya Zinschtein
    Beitar Jerusalem
    is the most popular and controversial soccer team in Israel–the only club in the Israeli Premier League never to sign an Arab player. Midway through the 2013 season, a secretive transfer deal by the owner brings in two Muslim players from Chechnya. That deal inspires the most racist campaign in Israeli sports, sending the team spiraling out of control. A look at one season in the life of this famed team provides a window into Israeli society, personal identity, money, and power, showing how racism can destroy a team and society from within.
    Dir. Ori Sivan
    Sarah, a morose harpist in the Jerusalem Philharmonic Orchestra, is married to Abraham, the charismatic conductor of the group. They have no children. When Hagar, a young horn player from East Jerusalem joins the Orchestra, Sarah's world erupts. A unique friendship develops between the two women. Hagar, sympathizing with Sarah’s pain, offers to have a baby for Sarah. Ismail, born to Hagar and Abraham, is a wild and gifted pianist whom Sarah raises as her own. When Ismail discovers the true identity of his mother, his world–and that of those around him–falls apart. Unearthing the metaphoric roots of the conflict, Harmonia maintains the essence of the biblical story from Genesis and adds a unique perspective.

Special events during the festival include a short films selection, opening and closing receptions, as well as a concert from Tamer Nafar with  Marcus Mumford. Panel discussion on the power of film includes special guests Michael Moore, Udi Aloni, Chelsey Berlin, Tony Copti, and Maya Zinshtein


To learn more, go to:

Other Israel Film Festival
December 1 - 8, 2016

Various Locations

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