FSLC Announces Avant Garde Programming for 53rd New York Film Festival: Convergence and Projections
By: Ellis Nassour
Film Society of Lincoln Center’s New York Film Festival is not just about Opening Night, Centerpiece, Closing Night, and galas. The annual 17- day fest, this year September 25- October 11, always has a crowded calendar of special and free events and panel discussions. Now, with the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, programming has immensely expanded. Two popular programs are Convergence and Projections, which delve into the world of immersive storytelling with a mix of unique films, panels, and live interactive experiences
The full schedule for the fourth annual Convergence, September 26 and 27, will be announced soon. A highlight will be the U.S. premiere of Johan Knattrup Jensen, Mads Damsbo & Dark Matters’ 360-degree film The Dog House, described as "a virtual-reality dinner party"; Wolf 359’s Temping, an immersive theater piece designed to take sole audience members on a strange and comedic journey; and the world premiere of Angad Singh Bhalla & Ted Biggs’The Deeper They Bury Me, which plunges users into solitary confinement of Herman Wallace, held for over 40 years at Louisiana’s notorious Angola penitentiary.
Programs aren’t restricted to virtual worlds. There’ll be several live experiences such as (Dis)Honesty Project’s traveling story booth, The Truth Box, a collaboration between behavioral scientist Dan Ariely and filmmaker Yael Melamede out to improve behavior and ethics. Talks and panels are set with Lucasfilm and Roller Coaster Entertainment’s Diana Williams, Pixar’s Mike Jones,and NPR’s Bob Garfield.
"Our hope, as always, is to have audiences experience a wide variety of storytelling projects," says NYFF Convergence programmer Matt Bolish. "There’s a lot of attention focused on virtual reality, so we’re pleased to feature The Dog House, which will start a lot of conversation."
Bolish says ticket holders will also "be able to explore a multitude of non-traditional film experiences." They can play indie storytelling games in the GameScape arcade, assuming the role of master detective Sherlock Holmes to help to solve a string of crimes in Lance Weiler and Nick Fortugno’s Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things, or attending a performance of filmmaker/writer/singer Cory McAbee’s Small Star Seminar, an anti-motivational event featuring optimistic songs about quitting, accepting our limitations, and the power of sitting quietly.
Convergence tickets are $15, general public; $10, FSLC members and students; and $79 All Access Pass. Visit www.filmlinc.org for more information.
Complementing the experiential programs is Projections, October 2 – 4, returning for its second year.
The lineup of 14 programs presents an international selection of film and video that, says Dennis Lim, FSLC’s director of programming and a Projections curator, "expands our notions of what the moving image can do and be."
Drawing on a broad range of innovative modes and techniques, including experimental narratives, avant-garde poetics, crossovers into documentary and ethnographic realms, and contemporary art practices, Projections brings together a diverse offering of short, medium, and feature-length work by today’s most vital and groundbreaking filmmakers and artists.
"We think of Projections as the festival’s ever-shifting zone of discovery," Linn says. "A survey of inventive and unconventional work updates and challenges our idea of what constitutes experimentation in cinema in the spirit of its venerable predecessor, Views from the Avant Garde. We have a more varied slate than ever. It’s invigorating in its breadth, and for its implicit assertion that there are still myriad ways to reimagine the possibilities and their relationship to the world."
The NYFF is also welcoming a new collaboration with the MUBI, the video-on-demand service streaming cult, classic, and award-winning films. Several titles from Projections’ lineup will be on MUBI leading up to the festival.
Highlights include the U.S. premiere of Ben Rivers’ epic The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (UK/Morocco), which moves between documentary, fantasy, and fable, shot against the staggering and stark beauty of Moroccan landscapes.
Among the numerous world premieres are Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s Ah humanity!, from Japan and France and shot on a telephone through a handheld telescope, takes the 2011 Fukushima disaster as its point of departure to reflect on the fragility and folly of humanity; and Dani Leventhal (Hard as Opal, co-directed with Jared Buckhiester), Laida Lertxundi and Michael Robinson (Mad Ladders).
There’s much more information, such as list of premieres, synopses, run times, and showtimes at www.filmlinc.org.
Projections tickets are as above for Convergence, except the All Access Pass is $99.
All screenings take place at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.
Tickets for the 53rd New York Film Festival go on public sale September 13, and to Film Society patrons August 31. Learn about becoming a FSLC member and exclusive ticket discounts to the NYFF and Film Society programming at www/filmlinc.org/membership. VIP Passes and subscription packages are available. For purchasing information, go to filmlinc.org/NYFF.
Support for the New York Film Festival is also generously provided by Jaeger-LeCoultre, FIJI Water, KIND Bars, Portage World Wide Inc., WABC-7, and WNET New York Public Media.
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