Select a year to see lineup:

All entries from 2014:

An image from the film: ND/NF 2014 Shorts Program 1

ND/NF 2014 Shorts Program 1

Filmmakers Miriam Bliese, Alex Prager, Frances Bodomo, and Dominga Sotomayor in person.

A program comprising five short films:

At the Door (An den Tür)
Miriam Bliese | Germany | 2013 | DCP | 5m
A divorced couple rediscovers a long-lost intimacy via an apartment-building intercom.
German with English subtitles

You Can’t Do Everything at Once, But You Can Leave Everything at Once (Man kann nicht alles auf einmal tun, aber man kann alles auf einmal lassen)
Marie-Elsa Sgualdo | Switzerland | 2013 | DCP | 15m

Archival footage stands in for childhood memories, with family history unfolding like a tall tale.
French with English subtitles

Face in the Crowd
Alex Prager | USA | 2013 | HDCam | 12m

Characters appearing in intimate interviews and ethereal crowd scenes seem both anonymous and oddly familiar.

Afronauts
Frances Bodomo | USA | 2014 | HDCam | 14m

The story of the first Afronaut, a 17-year-old Zambian girl training for a moon launch.

The Island (La isla)
Dominga Sotomayor and Katarzyna Klimkiewicz | Chile/Poland/Denmark | 2013 | DCP | 30m

The mood of a family gathering on a beautiful island darkens when one of the guests fails to show up.
Spanish with English subtitles

An image from the film: ND/NF 2014 Shorts Program 2

ND/NF 2014 Shorts Program 2

Filmmaker Helena Wittmann, Matías Umpierrez, and Sarah-Violet Bliss in person for both screenings.

A program comprising six short films:

Landscape (Paisaje)
Matias Umpierrez | Argentina | 2013 | DCP | 13m

In the aftermath of tragedy, a woman seeks solace in nature.
Spanish with English subtitles
Travel support provided by Bienal Arte Joven Buenos Aires - GCBA

The Wild (Wildnis)
Helena Wittmann | Germany | 2013 | DCP | 12m

The quiet home of an elderly couple comes alive through projections of animals-in-the-wild footage shot by the husband.
German with English subtitles

Greenland Unrealised
Dania Reymond | France/Taiwan | 2012 | HDCam | 9m

An unlikely collision of animation, the Arctic, and Antonioni.
Bunun with English subtitles

Pieces (Anacos)
Xacio Baño | Spain | 2012 | DCP | 7m

A young man assembles fragments of his mother’s life.
Galician with English subtitles

Three, Two
Sarah-Violet Bliss | USA | 2013 | HDCam | 2m

A mother and daughter come home to a disturbing surprise.

The Reaper (La Parka)
Gabriel Serra | Mexico | 2013 | DCP | 29m

An exploration of a man’s relationship with death, and what one must do to live.
Spanish with English subtitles

An image from the film: Trap Street

Trap Street

Director Vivian Qu in person for both screenings.

Notions of surveillance and observation are turned inside out in Trap Street, producer Vivian Qu’s first turn as a director. While surveying city streets for a digital-mapping company, engineer Qiuming catches sight of Lifen, a beautiful young woman. Immediately smitten, he follows her to a street that doesn’t appear on any map or even a GPS. In between his other gigs—installing security cameras, sweeping hotel rooms for electronic bugs—he tries to get to know this alluring stranger. And he does—sort of. But as he tries to learn more about her, events take on disturbing overtones, and the mystery, as well as the paranoia, deepens from there. Noir in tone, and a great representation of the newest generation of Chinese filmmakers, Trap Street is a bold story of who is really watching who that, while firmly embedded in the current cultural context of China, could happen to any one of us.

An image from the film: Return to Homs

Return to Homs

Director Talal Derki in person for both screenings.

As immersive a documentary of active war as has ever been made, this unsparing account of the struggle for Homs follows—from August 2011 to August 2013—two close friends whose lives are completely altered when their beloved city is bombed into a ghost town. We witness Basset, a charismatic 19-year-old soccer player and iconic performer of protest songs, and Ossama, a 24-year-old media activist who captures the revolution with his camera, transform from peaceful protesters to armed resistance fighters. Derki’s camera, placed inside bombed-out buildings, records insurgents defending their city under siege as battles intensify, panicked civilians run for shelter, and a rising number of comrades are injured or killed. The soundtrack features Basset’s songs interrupted by gunfire and the occasional comment from the director. The images speak for themselves.

Travel support provided by Open Society Foundations and Institute of International Education

An image from the film: She’s Lost Control

She’s Lost Control

Director Anja Marquardt in person for both screenings.

In a world of increasing layers between people, intimacy is perhaps the most elusive ingredient of human interaction. A person can either take the plunge and emotionally connect with their OS (à la Spike Jonze’s Her) or, in the case of She’s Lost Control, psychotherapists can refer patients to sex surrogates. Engaging in that line of work, NYC-based Ronah (fearlessly played by Brooke Bloom) puts to use her considerable psych-studies experience, as well as her natural solicitous warmth, to engage in close but professional relationships. Until, that is, she meets Johnny, and her already fraying control dissolves the thin line between professional and personal intimacy. First-time feature director Anja Marquardt, however, never loses control, delivering a stylish, deeply unnerving, and profound film on an intangible modern issue.

An image from the film: Mouton

Mouton

U.S. Premiere

Directors Gilles Deroo & Marianne Pistone and actor Michael Mormentyn in person for both screenings.

Mouton (“Sheep”) is the nickname of Aurelien (David Mérabet), who at 17 is granted independence from his troubled family and goes off to live on his own in a seaside town. Hired as a chef’s assistant, Sheep fits in well with his coworkers and makes new friends. Life is finally good. Shot in 16mm, Gilles Deroo and Marianne Pistone’s first feature studies the quotidian aspects of Mouton’s life through his eyes as well as those of the town’s residents. Though fiction, the story is filmed as if it were a cinéma vérité documentary, the camera wandering from scene to scene, character to character. And just when audiences get into the groove of this town, something happens that changes things irrevocably. So two acts, not equally divided, bring us closer to the reality of living than many other films do, simply through small moments and gestures. Winner of two prizes at the Locarno Film Festival, Mouton is a lovely evocation of the pleasures and pain of small-town existence.

Travel support provided by Unifrance

An image from the film: The Japanese Dog

The Japanese Dog

Director Tudor Cristian Jurgiu in person for both screenings.

Offering a striking departure from the gallows humor of the Romanian New Wave, Jurgiu’s Chekhovian The Japanese Dog instead pays loving homage to the tender and gently comical family dramas of Yasujiro Ozu, Late Spring and There Was a Father in particular. Victor Rebengiuc, a legendary veteran of stage and screen, imbues the elderly Costache Moldu with a stoic, yet fragile dignity as he reunites with his estranged son after losing his wife and home in a devastating flood. Exquisitely attuned to the rhythms of nature and rural life—and the melancholy beauty of transient things—The Japanese Dog comes by its emotions honestly and poignantly.

An image from the film: We Come as Friends

We Come as Friends

Director Hubert Sauper in person for both screenings.

Hubert Sauper’s masterful exploration of modern colonialism, with war-ravaged Sudan as a focus, offers devastating insights into the most premeditated, casually insidious ways of taking possession of Africa today. The scenarios of clueless Texan missionaries, shallow UN case workers, and Chinese oil-company CEOs living in gated communities while polluting the local drinking water are like a collage of postcards from hell. It takes a particularly gifted filmmaker to construct from these horrors something that can also engage one’s sense of beauty; with an air of science fiction aided by otherworldly scenes captured from the self-manufactured flying machine in which Sauper and his co-pilot arrive in Africa, the documentarian has created an indelible and righteously alarming second film in a planned trilogy that began with the Oscar-nominated Darwin’s Nightmare.

Travel support provided by Unifrance

An image from the film: Dear White People

Dear White People

Director Justin Simien in person for both screenings.

Welcome to Winchester University where, in the name of diversity, the all-black residence hall Parker/Armstrong is about to be dismantled. In the middle of an Ivy League campus, all racial hell breaks loose: Samantha White (Tessa Thompson) uses her campus radio show to call out the administration as well as her fellow students, while Afroed geek Lionel (Tyler James Williams) writes for the all-white college newspaper hoping to expose hypocrisy campus-wide. No one is safe in the culture wars that follow. In his feature debut, Justin Simien riffs on groundbreaking films of the black experience of a generation ago (yes, really) to playfully explore the gray areas of race in America, and his satirical take challenges our ideas of identity in our supposed post-racial world.

An image from the film: 20,000 Days on Earth

20,000 Days on Earth

Closing Night.

Directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard in person for both screenings.

This unclassifiable immersion in the twilight world of polymath musician Nick Cave is a portrait worthy of a great self-mythologizer. In their feature debut, artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard combine footage of Cave and the Bad Seeds recording their 2013 album Push the Sky Away with alternately telling and teasing scenes that fall somewhere between fact and fiction. As Cave visits a shrink, digs into his archives, and reminisces with friends (like Ray Winstone and Kylie Minogue) who pop up in the backseat of his Jaguar, 20,000 Days on Earth evokes Godard’s One Plus One and Todd Haynes’s I’m Not There in its playful deconstruction of stardom and identity. This enthralling film offers a glimpse of an icon at his most exposed, even as it adds another layer to his legend. A Drafthouse Films release.

The 7:00pm screening is currently standby only. A standby line will form at the box office one hour prior to showtime. To receive New Directors/New Films ticket updates via email, sign up here.

An image from the film: To Kill a Man

To Kill a Man

Director Alejandro Fernández Almendras in person for both screenings.

Bullying is a phenomenon that doesn’t just take place in the schoolyard. In Alejandro Fernández Almendras’s raw, unnerving psychological thriller, bullies and their victims live side by side in a working-class neighborhood. Passive Jorge tries to ignore the cruel taunting of some local thugs who would be considered juvenile delinquents if they weren’t full-grown adults. But when the worst of the bunch steals Jorge’s insulin syringe, and his son winds up in the hospital with a gunshot wound after attempting to get it back, Jorge and his wife seek redress legally—to no avail. The family is humiliated again and again, and when his teenage daughter is sexually threatened, Jorge, pushed over the edge, decides to take matters into his own hands. A Film Movement release.

Travel support provided by Pisco Capel.

An image from the film: Buzzard

Buzzard

Directors Joel Potrykus and Dustin Guy Defa and actor Joshua Burge in person for both screenings.

Winner of the Locarno Film Festival’s 2012 Best Emerging Director award for his debut feature Ape, Joel Potrykus makes a brazen leap forward with his sophomore effort, Buzzard, a darkly comical look at a slacker office temp who gets by on cold SpaghettiOs while getting off on stealing refund checks from his employer. Filmed on a shoestring budget, often guerrilla-style, in the writer-director’s native Grand Rapids and Detroit, Michigan, Buzzard stars an unforgettable Joshua Burge as an angry young man who, through a series of small, increasingly unhinged mutinies, sticks it to corporate America on behalf of the great unsung 99%. Citing Alan Clarke, Jim Jarmusch, Michael Haneke, and Kelly Reichardt among his influences, Potrykus offers a barbaric yawp for truly independent regional American cinema.

Screening with:

Person to Person
Dustin Guy Defa | USA | 2014 | HDCam | 18m
A man is baffled when he finds a beautiful woman sleeping on his floor the morning after a party—and becomes even more so when she refuses to leave.

An image from the film: Fish & Cat

Fish & Cat

North American premiere!

A bold experiment in perpetual motion with an enigmatic time-warp narrative, Fish & Cat plays out as one continuous shot, with the camera moving among a host of characters at a remote forest and a nearby lake. Gradually subverting a gruesome premise drawn from a real-life case of a backwoods restaurant that served human flesh, the film builds an atmosphere of tension as a menacing pair descend on a campsite where a group of college kids have gathered for a kite-flying festival. But as the camera doubles back and crisscrosses between characters in real time, subtle space-time paradoxes suggest that something bigger is going on. Brilliantly sustained, Fish & Cat is further evidence of a new generation of filmmakers emerging in Iran.

An image from the film: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Opening Night

Director Ana Lily Amirpour and Producer Sina Sayyah in person for both screenings.

This super-stylish and spellbinding Persian take on the vampire genre doubles as a compact metaphor for the current state of Iran. Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature guides us on a dreamlike walk on the wild side, into the nocturnal and sparsely populated underworld of “Bad City,” an Iran of the mind that nevertheless rings true. In a cool and brooding scenario that involves just a handful of characters, an alluring female vampire stalks potential victims with a judgmental eye—but isn’t immune to romantic desire when it presents itself in the form of a young hunk who’s looking for a way out of his dead-end existence. With to-die-for high-contrast black-and-white cinematography and a sexy cast that oozes charisma, horror has seldom seemed so hot.

A limited number of tickets to the 7:00pm screening will be available at the door. A standby line for the 8:00pm will form at the MoMA film desk an hour before showtime.

An image from the film: The Babadook

The Babadook

Jennifer Kent in person for both screenings.

Young widow Amelia lives with her seven-year-old son, Samuel, who seems to get odder by the day. His father’s death in an accident when driving Amelia to the hospital to give birth to him may have something to do with the boy’s unnerving behavior, which scares other children and perhaps even his own mother. But when a sinister children’s book called Mister Babadook mysteriously appears—and keeps reappearing—Amelia begins to wonder if there’s a presence in the house more disturbed than her son. Jennifer Kent’s visually stunning debut genuinely frightens us with the revelation that the things that go bump in the night may be buried deep inside our psyches, not just in the basement. An IFC Midnight release. 

An image from the film: History of Fear

History of Fear

North American premiere!

Benjamín Naishtat in person for both screenings.

How strong does a fence need to be, or how loud must an alarm blare, or how brightly should an open field be lit for us to feel safe? The impossibility of a definitive answer to these kinds of questions lies at the heart of Benjamín Naishtat’s unsettling feature debut. Set in an economically destabilized Argentina, the film weaves stories of characters from multiple social strata into an interlocking narrative of paranoia and fear. The isolation of wealth and detachment from neighbors causes insecurities to fester, feeding a “security consumption” culture and all its incumbent paraphernalia. As we begin to recognize and sympathize with the situations depicted, the most troubling realization of all arrives: we are doing it to ourselves.

An image from the film: The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga

The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga

Director Jessica Oreck in person for both screenings.

Deep in the forest, wedged in cracks in the bark and under the moss covered rocks, hide memories and myths. These subconscious tales, drawn from the natural world, inform the societies we build.  Jessica Oreck’s fantastical work combines animation, traditional storytelling and contemporary non-fiction filmmaking to recount the Slavic fable of the Witch Baba Yaga.  A frightful character, living in a woodland hut perched on chicken legs, she would roast her guests for dinner.  But as modern conflicts and scourges encroached, and their refugees fled to the forest, the implications of her presence shifted.  An impressive contemporary allegory on progress, the past and the power of nature.

An image from the film: Youth

Youth

North American Premiere!

Directors Tom Shoval and Ruth Patir in person for both screenings.

Tom Shoval’s gripping, haunting feature debut depicts the ill-advised kidnapping scheme of two Israeli brothers (real-life siblings Eitan and David Cunio) from preparation to aftermath. With their father’s unemployment threatening the stability of their comfortable middle-class existence, older brother Yaki takes advantage of his recently acquired assault rifle, courtesy of his compulsory military service, to put into action a plan equally inspired by desperation and a lifelong diet of violent mainstream American cinema. But the brothers might have bitten off more than they can chew: it’s Shabbat, and their victim’s wealthy orthodox family won’t pick up the phone to take the ransom call. This sharply observed study of familial attachment and fraternal psychology broadens into a tough-minded generational portrait that subtly addresses many aspects of contemporary Israeli life, from the role of the military to the recent economic protests to the enduring fault lines of class and gender.

Screening with:

Shlomo X (שלמה איקס)
Ruth Patir | Israel | 2013 | HDCam | 9m

A car mechanic is at the nexus between fictional and real-life stories.

Travel support provided by Consulate General of Israel

An image from the film: The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears

The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears

Director Bruno Forzani in person for both screenings.

Deepening and amplifying their super-fetishistic remix of Italian giallo and horror tropes in Amer (ND/NF 2010), Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani create a delirious and increasingly baroque pastiche of the trance film and cinéma fantastique and then push it to breaking point. Returning home from a business trip, Dan finds that his wife Edwige has disappeared. When the police are of no help, he begins to obsessively investigate the singular and increasingly surreal art deco apartment building where the couple reside, in search of any clues to her whereabouts. Soon traditional narrative dissolves into mise en abyme in this kaleidoscopic and vertiginous adventure in sound and image, sadism and eroticism, and the real and the imagined. The unwary may be shaken up by the Belgian duo’s overpowering and percussive stylistic shocks, but in this haunted-house movie, one thing’s for sure: the eyes have it.

An image from the film: Story of My Death

Story of My Death

U.S. Premiere!

Director Albert Serra in person for both screenings.

No one else working in movies today makes anything remotely like the Catalan maverick Albert Serra, a cerebral oddball and improbable master of cinematic antiquity. Known for his unconventional adaptations of Cervantes’s Don Quixote (Honor of the Knights) and the Biblical parable of the Three Kings (Birdsong), Serra here stages the 18th-century passage from rationalism to romanticism as a tussle between two figures of legend, Casanova and Dracula. Against a backdrop of candlelit conversation and earthy carnality, Serra sets in motion contrasting ideas about pleasure and desire, alternating between winding philosophical dialogue and wordless passages of savage beauty. Winner of the top prize at the 2013 Locarno Film Festival, the film is both a painterly feast for the eyes, abounding with art-historical allusions, and an idiosyncratic, self-aware revamping of the costume melodrama.

An image from the film: A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

Director Ben Rivers in person for both screenings. Director Ben Russell will be in person on March 22.

As collaborators, Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, two intrepid and nomadic talents of experimental film and art, have created one of the most bewitching cinematic experiences to come along in a great while. In A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness, Robert A.A. Lowe, the celebrated musician behind Lichens and Om, gives a strangely affecting, perhaps even trance-inducing performance as the film’s Parsifal figure, a quixotic man who embarks on a quest for utopia—the holy grail of infinite truth, self-knowledge, and spiritual connectedness. He finds some measure of it in three seemingly disparate contexts: in a small collective community on a remote Estonian island, in isolation in the northern Finnish wilderness, and onstage fronting a black metal band in Norway. While his experience seems to be a perpetual one of home, exile, and return, for us, it is purely magical.

An image from the film: Salvo

Salvo

Directors Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza in person for both screenings.

In their supremely assured debut feature, writer-directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza breathe new life into the time-honored genre of the mafioso thriller. While hunting down a rival who has ordered a hit on him, the titular gangster (a smoldering Saleh Bakri) invades a Palermo home, only to discover his prey’s blind sister, Rita (Sara Serraiocco), in the basement. The nail-biting, magnificently orchestrated game of cat-and-mouse that ensues, with its evocative use of sound, darkness, and offscreen space, sets the tone for the rest of this richly atmospheric work. When Rita’s sight is restored—from shock or perhaps some kind of miracle—Salvo is left to determine the fate of his prisoner turned love interest. Winner of the top two prizes at the 2013 Cannes Critics’ Week, Salvo tweaks the conventions of its genre without betraying them and in the grand tradition of Jean-Pierre Melville, wrings blindsiding depths of emotion from the sparest of means.

Travel support provided by Istituto Luce Cinecittà

An image from the film: Salvation Army

Salvation Army

U.S. Premiere

Director Abdellah Taïa in person for both screenings.

Like the book it’s based on—Abdellah Taïa’s own 2006 landmark novel—the Moroccan author’s directorial debut is a bracing, deeply personal account of a young gay man’s awakening that avoids both cliché and the trappings of autobiography. First seen as a 15-year-old, Abdellah (Saïd Mrini) habitually sneaks away from his family’s crowded Casablanca home to engage in sexual trysts with random men in abandoned buildings. A decade later, we find Abdellah (now played by Karim Ait M’hand) on scholarship in Geneva, involved with an older Swiss professor (Frédéric Landenberg). With a clear-eyed approach, devoid of sentimentality, this wholly surprising bildungsfilm explores what it means to be an outsider, and with the help of renowned cinematographer Agnès Godard, Taïa finds a film language all his own: at once rigorous and poetic, worthy of Bresson in its concreteness and lucidity.

An image from the film: Of Horses and Men

Of Horses and Men

Director Benedikt Erlingsson in person for both screenings.

The debut feature by celebrated stage director Benedikt Erlingsson announces the arrival of an innovative new cinematic voice. Set almost exclusively outdoors amid stunning Icelandic landscapes, the film features in equal parts a cast of exquisite short-legged Icelandic horses and human characters—including the terrific Ingvar E. Sigurdsson and Charlotte Bøving as meant-for-each-other but put-upon lovers—illuminating with great inventive flair the relationship between man and beast. Several narrative strands defined by the way each character relates to their horse recount a variety of situations according to the particulars of the seasons, resulting in a surprising and sometimes humorous symbiosis between horses, humans, and nature.

An image from the film: Stop the Pounding Heart

Stop the Pounding Heart

U.S. Premiere!

Director Roberto Minervini in person for both screenings.

Sara (Sara Carlson, playing herself) is part of a devout Christian goat-farming family with 12 children, all home-schooled and raised with strict moral guidance from the Scriptures. Set in a rural community that has remained isolated from technological advances and lifestyle influence—no phones, TVs, computers, or drunken-teen brawls—the subtly narrative film follows Sara and Colby, two 14-year-olds with vastly different backgrounds who are quietly drawn to each other. In Minervini’s intimate documentary-style portrait—the third in the Italian-born filmmaker’s Texas trilogy—Sara’s commitment to her faith is never questioned. It’s the power of the director’s nonintrusive handheld-camera style that reveals his protagonist’s spiritual and emotional inner turmoil about her place in a faith that requires women to be subservient to their fathers before becoming their husbands’ helpers. By also presenting an authentic, impartial portrayal of the Texas Bible Belt, Minervini allows humanity and complexity behind the stereotypes to show through.

Travel support provided by Istituto Luce Cinecittà

An image from the film: The Double

The Double

Director Richard Ayoade in person on March 24.

Richard Ayoade has built a loyal following with his hilariously “off” characters, notably the one he plays in the TV series The IT Crowd and those that inhabit his 2010 directorial debut, Submarine. His cerebral, visually arresting follow-up, The Double, based on Dostoevsky’s 1846 novella, enters slightly darker territory, and recalls the stylizations of Terry Gilliam. Starring Jesse Eisenberg as both Simon James, a humdrum worker drone, and his gregarious doppelgänger, James Simon, the film is set within both the claustrophobic confines of Simon’s bureaucratic workplace and his paranoid mind. Aided by a stellar supporting cast (including Wallace Shawn, Mia Wasikowska, Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine, and Chris O’Dowd), The Double firmly establishes Ayoade as a leading voice in contemporary cinematic comedy. A Magnolia Pictures release.

An image from the film: Obvious Child

Obvious Child

Centerpiece Selection.

Director Gillian Robespierre and actress Jenny Slate in person for both screenings. Actor Gabe Liedman in person on March 29.

Note: The March 27 screening will take place at MoMA PS1 and includes a reception for all ticket holders prior to the show, starting at 8:00pm.

A girl walks into a bar… and starts telling jokes about her vagina and her boyfriend. It turns out the joke’s on her, since he’s been sleeping with her friend and takes advantage of her public, extremely off-color verbal antics to dump her. Basting in misery (she’s also about to lose her job) and booze (a gay wing-man on hand to enable), she attempts to find solace in family, friends, more stand-up and ultimately a sloppy hook-up. What comes next (no spoilers here) represents a brave new frontier in comedy, and director Gillian Robespierre tackles it head on with side-splitting results. Featuring a star-making lead performance by Jenny Slate, who allows herself to laugh along with the joke-called-life. Truly a “choice” comedy.

The March 29 screening is currently standby only. A standby line will form at the box office one hour prior to showtime. To receive New Directors/New Films ticket updates via email, sign up here.

An image from the film: The Strange Little Cat

The Strange Little Cat

Director Ramon Zürcher and producer/co-writer Silvan Zürcher in person for both screenings.

In the hands of masters like Jacques Tati, Lucrecia Martel, and Chantal Akerman, cinema that at first appears to merely observe and record is in fact masking intricately constructed commentaries, built from seemingly mundane experiences. In the case of The Strange Little Cat, an extended family-dinner gathering becomes an exquisitely layered confection ready for writer-director Ramon Zürcher’s razor-sharp slicing. A mother desperately trying not to implode and her youngest daughter who explodes constantly form poles between which sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, cats and cousins weave in and around each other in the tight domestic space of a middle-class Berlin flat. Fans of Béla Tarr and Franz Kafka will find much to love, as will devotees of The Berlin School, of which this film represents a third-generation evolution. A comedic examination of the everyday that has been captivating audiences since its premiere at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival.

Travel support provided by German Films, Munich

An image from the film: Quod Erat Demonstrandum

Quod Erat Demonstrandum

North American Premiere!

Director Andrei Gruzsniczki in person for both screenings.

Romania, mid-1980s. Sorin (Sorin Leoveanu),  a gifted mathematician whose career advancement is blocked because he is not a member of the Communist party, comes to the attention of the security services after he secretly arranges for an academic paper on his new theorem to be published in an American journal. With practiced insidiousness, the Securitate start their investigation, led by Voican (Florin Piersic Jr.), who sets about pressuring Sorin’s friends and colleagues to inform on him. Making a strong and engrossing addition to a body of films from the New Romanian Cinema that delve into the years of dictatorship, Andrei Gruzsniczki’s low-key but quietly tense drama of compromise and betrayal re-creates the period with painstaking accuracy and captures both the atmosphere of mistrustful cautiousness and resigned discontent of its populace and the petty banality of the regime’s methods of surveillance and control.