New Directors/New Films, 2021
April 28–May 8, 2021
The Museum of Modern Art and Film at Lincoln Center announce the 50th anniversary edition of New Directors/New Films (ND/NF), available April 28–May 8 via virtual cinema, with in-person screenings extending through May 14 at FLC. Throughout its rich, half-century history, the festival has celebrated filmmakers who represent the present and anticipate the future of cinema, and whose daring work pushes the envelope in unexpected ways. This year’s festival will introduce 27 features and 11 shorts to audiences nationwide in the MoMA and FLC virtual cinemas, and to New Yorkers at Film at Lincoln Center. Special to this year’s festival is a free virtual retrospective celebrating 50 years of ND/NF, April 16–28.
“From intimate, personal tales to political, metaphysical, and spiritual inquiries, the films in the 50th edition of New Directors/New Films embody an inexhaustible curiosity and a fearless desire for adventure,” said La Frances Hui, Curator of Film at The Museum of Modern Art and 2021 New Directors/New Films Co-Chair. “They prove that cinema will continue to illuminate and inspire the way we live, and make art.”
Opening the festival is writer-director-star Amalia Ulman’s breakthrough El Planeta, a captivating portrait in miniature of a mother and daughter barely scraping by in Spain’s northwestern seaside town of Gijón. ND/NF will close with All Light, Everywhere, winner of a Sundance Jury Prize for Experimentation in Nonfiction. Director Theo Anthony’s follow up to the acclaimed Rat Film, All Light, Everywhere uses U.S. law enforcement body-cam footage to anchor an ever expanding treatise on perception, power, and policing. The rest of the lineup showcases work from a broad geographic range, with films from Iran, South Korea, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Nigeria, Australia, Greece, and Georgia; prizewinners from Rotterdam (Pebbles), Sundance (Luzzu), and Berlin (We); and many feature debuts.
The complete 2021 New Directors/New Films lineup:
Aleph dir. Iva Radivojević
All Light, Everywhere dir. Theo Anthony
All the Light We Can See dir. Pablo Escoto Luna
Apples dir. Christos Nikou
Azor dir. Andreas Fontana
Bebia, à mon seul désir dir. Juja Dobrachkous
Bipolar dir. Queena Li
Dark Red Forest dir. Jin Huaqing
Destello Bravío dir. Ainhoa Rodríguez
Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) dir. Arie & Chuko Esiri
Faya Dayi dir. Jessica Beshir
Friends and Strangers dir. James Vaughan
Gull dir. Kim Mi-jo
Liborio dir. Nino Martinez Sosa
Luzzu dir. Alex Camilleri
Madalena dir. Madiano Marcheti
Moon, 66 Questions dir. Jacqueline Lentzou
Pebbles dir. P.S. Vinothraj
El Planeta dir. Amalia Ulman
Radiograph of a Family dir. Firouzeh Khosrovani
Rock Bottom Riser dir. Fern Silva
Short Vacation dir. Kwon Min-pyo & Seo Han-sol
Stop-Zemlia dir. Kateryna Gornostai
Taming the Garden dir. Salomé Jashi
We (Nous) dir. Alice Diop
We’re All Going to the World’s Fair dir. Jane Schoenbrun
Wood and Water dir. Jonas Bak
Beyond Is the Day dir. Damian Kocur
Binh dir. Ostin Fam
Heaven Reaches Down to Earth dir. Tebogo Malebogo
Hola, abuelo dir. Manuela Eguía
I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face dir. Sameh Alaa
Limousine dir. Saulė Bliuvaitė
A Love Song in Spanish dir. Ana Elena Tejera
More Happiness dir. Livia Huang
Nha Mila dir. Denise Fernandes
Summits and Ashes dir. Fernando Criollo
Surviving You, Always dir. Morgan Quaintance
“We’re delighted to finally return to our cinemas with this landmark edition of New Directors/New Films,” said Florence Almozini, FLC Senior Programmer at Large and 2021 New Directors/New Films Co-Chair. “There’s something so special about walking into a theater, not knowing what to expect, and discovering your new favorite filmmaker on the big screen. For 50 years, ND/NF has not only launched careers; it’s also, time and again, given audiences that singular, cinematic experience of unearthing something new.”
To celebrate this edition’s 50-year milestone, MoMA and FLC will also present a free virtual retrospective looking back on the festival’s history. In 1972, FLC (formerly the Film Society of Lincoln Center) and MoMA’s Department of Film presented the inaugural New Directors/New Films festival: a modest but eclectic program of 11 films born from a simple desire to share the best new works by emerging international directors with New York moviegoers. Richard Roud, one of its founding programmers, reflected in the Village Voice then that the festival allows one to “sit down and find out just where, in fact, the New Cinema is going.”
The last 50 years of ND/NF prove that there is not simply one way forward, as young directors continue to blaze into the vanguard of filmmaking. Directors early in their careers who were presented to New York audiences, some for the very first time, include Hou Hsiao-hsien, Kelly Reichardt, Pedro Almódovar, Souleymane Cissé, Euzhan Palcy, Jia Zhangke, Spike Lee, Lynne Ramsay, Michael Haneke, Wong Kar Wai, Agnieszka Holland, Lino Brocka, Guillermo del Toro, Luca Guadagnino, and over a thousand others. Now in a vastly different film landscape and accessible to viewers nationwide through streaming, the program has grown in size and stature while maintaining its commitment to experimentation and sharing the gift of discovery with audiences. Presented here is a small selection of favorites from the first 30 years of the festival, showcasing early works from filmmakers such as Lee Chang-dong, Chantal Akerman, Charles Burnett, and Christopher Nolan.
New Directors/New Films at 50: A Retrospective lineup:
Duvidha dir. Mani Kaul
Following dir. Christopher Nolan
The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick dir. Wim Wenders
The Living End dir. Gregg Araki
Lucía dir. Humberto Solás
My Brother’s Wedding dir. Charles Burnett
Peppermint Candy dir. Lee Chang-dong
Playing Away dir. Horace Ové
Les Rendez-vous d’Anna dir. Chantal Akerman
Sleepwalk dir. Sara Driver
Twenty Years Later dir. Eduardo Coutinho
“At 50, New Directors/New Films is by definition, and in spirit, forever young,” added Hui. “The statement-making titles in the retrospective, all made before 2000, remain fresh and trailblazing today. Together, they celebrate a vital festival that has helped launch some of cinema’s most glorious careers.”
The New Directors/New Films selection committee is made up of members from both presenting organizations. The 2021 feature committee comprises Florence Almozini (CoChair, FLC), La Frances Hui (Co-Chair, MoMA), Rajendra Roy (MoMA), Josh Siegel (MoMA), Dan Sullivan (FLC), and Tyler Wilson (FLC), and the shorts were programmed by Brittany Shaw (MoMA) and Madeline Whittle (FLC).
New Directors/New Films also salutes programmers past and present (in alphabetical order): Florence Almozini, Mary Lea Bandy, Sally Berger, Sophie Cavoulacos, Stephen Harvey, La Frances Hui, Jytte Jensen, Laurence Kardish, Wendy Keys, Joanne Koch, Robert Koehler, Izzy Lee, Dennis Lim, Adrienne Mancia, Marian Masone, Joanna Ney, Richard Peña, Richard Roud, Rajendra Roy, Brittany Shaw, Josh Siegel, Gavin Smith, Dan Sullivan, Madeline Whittle, and Tyler Wilson.
Tickets for the 50th anniversary edition go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 16 at noon. Virtual rentals are $12 and in-theater tickets are $17. Discover more and save with the discounted Virtual All-Access Pass for $275 ($348 value). Film at Lincoln Center members receive a pre-sale period starting on Tuesday, April 13 at noon and additional 20% discounts on virtual rentals and $5 savings on in-theater tickets. MoMA members will be able to view New Directors/New Films titles and the virtual retrospective for free on MoMA’s Virtual Cinema starting on April 16 for the virtual retrospective and April 28 for the ND/NF festival. All rentals for the virtual retrospective are free and open to the public. To access membership benefits for ND/NF, become a member of Film at Lincoln Center or MoMA today. In celebration of ND/NF’s 50th anniversary, FLC is offering $50 off all New Wave memberships for a limited time. All ticketing, scheduling, and film information will be available on newdirectors.org.
New Directors/New Films is presented by Film at Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art, and is supported by Film at Lincoln Center’s New Wave Membership Program.
Major support for Film at Lincoln Center is provided by American Airlines and The New York Times. Additional funding is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, and is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL. Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black and by Steven Tisch, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston.
THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film marked its 80th anniversary in 2015. Originally founded in 1935 as the Film Library, the Department of Film is a dedicated champion of cinema past, present, and future. With one of the strongest international collections of motion pictures in the world—totaling more than 30,000 films between the permanent and study collections—the Department of Film is a leader in film preservation and a discoverer of emerging talent. Through The Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center, a state-of-the-art storage facility in Hamlin, Pennsylvania, MoMA restores and preserves films that are shown across the world and in many of the Museum’s diverse programs, most notably in To Save and Project: The Annual MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation. The Department of Film engages with current cinema by honoring films and filmmakers that will have a lasting historical significance through its annual Film Benefit, which raises funds for the continued maintenance and growth of the collection, and The Contenders series, an annual series of the year’s best movies, as selected by MoMA Film curators from major studio releases and top film festivals. Always looking to the future, the Department of Film is constantly unearthing emerging talent and providing a venue for young filmmakers through programs such as New Directors/New Films and Documentary Fortnight. Playing an essential role in MoMA’s mission to collect, preserve, and exhibit modern and contemporary art, the department was awarded an Honorary Academy Award in 1978 “for the contribution it has made to the public’s perception of movies as an art form.”
FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER
Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.
Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; the presentation of podcasts, talks, and special events; and the creation and implementation of Artist Initiatives. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience, and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.
Film at Lincoln Center receives generous, year-round support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film at Lincoln Center. For more information, visit http://www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.