NYFF to feature James Ivory doc on 1960's Afghanistan and a few other MENA titles

Among the other titles, 'The Dam' by Ali Cherri, a short on 70's actress Maria Schneider featuring Manal Issa and Abbas Fahdel's 'Tales of the Purple House' fresh from its Locarno premiere.
NYFF to feature James Ivory doc on 1960's Afghanistan and a few other MENA titles

The New York Film Festival has unveiled some of its lineup, in both their Spotlight and Currents sections.

The Spotlight selection features well-known names making films with a twist, like Luca Guadagnino's cannibalistic love story Bones and All, starring Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell, as well as the Martin Scorsese doc Personality Crisis: One Night Only, on New York institution David Johansen. But also the 50th anniversary screening of Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris and "Sr." by Chris Smith, an irreverent portrait of the life and career of Robert Downey, Sr. (Jr., the actor's, father).

The most spellbinding title in the lineup is A Cooler Climate, a deeply personal new documentary from James Ivory, the Academy Award®-winning filmmaker who, along with the help of co-director Giles Gardner uncovers boxes of film he shot during a life-changing trip to Afghanistan in 1960. Featuring music by Alexandre Desplat, this promises to be a film which takes us to a different world, in a different and maybe better time.

“Ranging from illuminating portraits and affecting personal stories to uncomfortable histories that ignite change, the third edition of our NYFF Spotlight section is a curated mix of world premieres, films by acclaimed auteurs, a selection of must-see documentaries, as well as a one-of-a-kind evening of film and music,” said Eugene Hernandez, executive director of the New York Film Festival. “Our aim once again with Spotlight is to engage, enlighten, and entertain.” Find the whole Spotlight selection here.

The NYFF Main Slate selection was announced earlier and includes the opening night film White Noise by Noah Baumbach which is also opening the Venice International Film Festival in late August. The film stars Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig and is a Netflix release.

Currents instead features more up and coming filmmakers and narratives with a contemporary gaze. This year's Currents slate includes 15 features and 44 short films, representing 23 countries, and complements the Main Slate, tracing a more complete picture of contemporary cinema with an emphasis on new and innovative forms and voices. The section presents a diverse offering of short and feature-length productions by filmmakers and artists working at the vanguard of the medium.

The lineup here includes The Dam by Ali Cherri, a "meditative film about displacement, illusion, and mythmaking." But also a short film by Elisabeth Subrin in which actresses Manal Issa, Aïssa Maïga, and Isabel Sandoval recreate a 1983 French TV interview with 70's icon Maria Schneider; and the American premiere of Abbas Fahdel's Tales of the Purple House, and a short by Lebanese artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan titled 45th Parallel.

“Each Currents lineup is an attempt to distill the spirit of innovation and playfulness in contemporary cinema, and this is, by design, the most expansive section of the festival,” said Dennis Lim, artistic director, New York Film Festival. “There are familiar names here—including multiple filmmakers who will be known to NYFF and FLC audiences—as well as some electrifying new talents, all testing and stretching the possibilities of the medium.” For the complete Currents lineup, check out the NYFF website.

The 60th NYFF is scheduled to run from September 30th to October 16th, 2022 and is presented by Film at Lincoln Center.

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