Women filmmakers at New Directors/New Films Fest

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Oscar-winner Andrea Arnold is among five women filmmakers included in the 2007 New Directors/New Films Festival at MoMA and Lincoln Center.

The Museum of Modern Art and Film Society of Lincoln Center present the 36th edition of New Directors/New Films, a showcase for new or emerging international directors.

Included in the program of 26 feature-length films and five shorts, are works by five women directors:

In Julia Loktev’s (US) Day Night Day Night, a 19-year old girl of unknown origin or ethnicity meets her handlers in a drab motel room, where she is instructed to become a suicide bomber, destined for Times Square. Loktev (Moment of Impact, ND/NF 1998) strips her narrative of motivations: we never learn the circumstances that brought the girl to this place. The tense and effective narrative concentrates on mood, gesture and a revealing accumulation of details. The simple eloquence of novice actress Luisa Williams’ performance recalls the work of Robert Bresson. Loktev’s first dramatic feature is both audacious and quietly spectacular. An IFC First Take release.

Kim Massee’s (France) Cowboy Angels is about Pablo, an 11-year-old boy who lives with his emotionally disconnected mother in a cheap Paris hotel. She takes off whenever she pleases, leaving her son to fend for himself among the cafes where mother and son are known only too well. When she deserts him once again, Pablo decides he’s had it. He convinces Louis, a down-on-his-luck poker player, to drive him to Spain to search—from among his mother’s many ex-lovers—for the man who could be his father. Massee, an American raised in France, explores this relationship between two males who each need to find someone to belong to.

Sophie is Birgitte Staermose‘s (Denmark) short about a couple who’s sweet stroll through Copenhagen’s red light district turns decidedly sour.

Andrea Arnold‘s (UK) “Red Road“ is named for and set in a rough Glasgow neighborhood where the streets are constantly monitored by surveillance cameras. On one of the screens in one of the command stations, a women security officer catches a glimpse of a man whose sudden appearance at first surprises and then obsesses her. What follows is a modernist suspense story, pitch perfect and unpredictable. For her debut feature, Andrea Arnold, an Oscar-winning short filmmaker, takes up Dogma’s latest challenge: three different filmmakers using the same set of characters. Hers is the first, and she delivers a powerful tale that leaves its viewers breathless. A Tartan Films release.

War/Dance by documentary filmmakers Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine (US) was shot in Northern Uganda, where the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel group that abducts children and turns them into mindless soldiers, has killed Rose’s parents, Nancy’s father, and made Dominic into an assassin. These three children now live in Patongo, a large refugee camp where they attend a one-room school and practice for the annual National Music Competition held in Kampala, where schools from across the country vie for awards. The Fines let the children tell their stories of horror, record their rehearsals, and follow them on to Kampala, where they show with pride, joy and exuberance what talent and heart can achieve. A ThinkFilm release.

This year’s festival runs March 21 to April 1, 2007, with screenings at MoMA’s Titus 1 Theater and Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater. For a full schedule and ticket information, visit Film Society of Lincoln Center

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