The eighth edition of First Look, the Museum's acclaimed festival of innovative new international cinema, will include more than two dozen programs, featuring formally inventive new works that seek to redefine the art form while engaging in a wide range of subjects and styles. It opens with the New York premiere of Sergei Loznitsa’s Donbass, a surrealistic journey into the eastern region of Ukraine based on actual events. Loznitza, who won the Un Certain Regard Award for Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for this film, will appear in person at the screening as well as for the U.S. premiere of his latest documentary, the archival-based The Trial, screening January 12.
Notable among this year’s slate are the number of works that manage to be both outwardly and inwardly oriented, tethering interrogations of society and history to more personal explorations. Films such as Talena Sanders’s Between My Flesh and the World’s Fingers, Edward Lawrenson’s Uppland, Miles Lagoze’s Combat Obscura, and the shorts of Joe Callander and Sophy Romvari all traverse along this line. Also notable are the number of of works rooted in collaboration, be they products of art collectives (The Disappearance of Goya), artistic partnerships (The Disappeared, Las Cruces, Joe Bini and Maya Hawke’s Little Ethiopia), academic departments (the shorts from the Jonathan B. Murray Center), training programs (the shorts from Ambulante Mas Alla), or teacher-student team-ups (Claire Simon’s Young Solitude, the festival’s Closing Night film). The full lineup features both documentary and narrative works, features and shorts, live performances and artist talks, with work hailing from countries including China, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine, Slovenia, Denmark, France, Israel, Pakistan, Mexico, Canada, Belgium, United Kingdom, The United States, and beyond.
Organized by Film Curator Eric Hynes and Festival Founder David Schwartz