This Wednesday, March 20, kicks off the 42nd annual New Directors/New Films. A co-presentation of the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the event runs through Sunday, March 31, and presents a very selective showcase of the work of international and US emerging filmmakers. Screening just over forty films – features and shorts combined – the series has a track record of championing the early work of now well-established filmmakers, from Pedro Almodovar to Spike Lee.
Six feature docs are included in this year’s lineup, as well as one hybrid project. I’ve previously written about Sarah Polley’s exceptional non-fiction debut, STORIES WE TELL, and about Joshua Oppenheimer’s divisive but must-see THE ACT OF KILLING. I’ll be covering ND/NF’s closing night film, Penny Lane’s engrossing look at the Nixon administration, OUR NIXON (pictured), in my third SXSW post tomorrow.
I haven’t yet seen the remaining doc offerings, but hope to have a chance to do so before the end of the series: Lyubov Arkus’ ANTON’S RIGHT HERE (pictured), a personal chronicle of the filmmaker’s relationship with a severely autistic teenager; Libbie D Cohn and JP Sniadecki’s PEOPLE’S PARK, which draws the viewer through the various goings on at a public park in China through a single tracking shot; and Eryk Rocha’s JARDS, a cinematic duet between the filmmaker and his subject, acclaimed Brazilian singer/songwriter Jards Macalé. Finally, Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel’s THE SHINE OF DAY continues the pair’s string of hybrid documentary/dramas with an unconventional study of two performers.