Film at Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art have set Savanah Leaf’s Earth Mama and Vuk Lungulov-Klotz’s Sundance Special Jury Award winner Mutt, both debut features, as opening and closing film at the 52st edition of their collaboration, New Directors/New Films, running March 29–April 9 in NYC.
The festival will introduce will showcase 27 features and 11 shorts from 41 directors at theaters in both venues.
Mutt star Lio Mehial was awarded a U.S. Special Jury Award for acting at Sundance Film festival for their portrayal of Feña, a twentysomething trans man contending with an onslaught of aggravation, surprise encounters and emotional choices over the course of a single hectic day in New York City. “We were charmed, seduced, and compelled by this fresh new performer as we watched them navigating the intimate complexities of their everyday life and relationships in his search for acceptance,” the jury citation said.
A24’s Earth Mama, which also premiered at Sundance, is a devastating and evocative portrait of motherhood refracted through the prisms of race and class. It stars Tia Nomore as Gia, a young mother fighting for her children.
Selections also include coming of age drama Metronom, which won Best Director for Alexandru Belc at Cannes, Un Certain Regard. Portuguese filmmaker Carlos Conceição’s drama of the Angolan War of Independence, Tommy Guns, won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European film at the Locarno Film Festival. Joyland by Saim Sadiq took the Queer Palm and Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes.
As is usual for ND/NF, the lineup showcases work from a broad geographic range, with films from Angola, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK and the US.
The program “brings together new directors from all over the world presenting works that make bold and creative statements on everything from identity and family to political repression and postcolonial discourse. The power of cinema to inspire imagination and explore perspectives is evident in the wide range of styles, ideas, and voices in the selection,” said La Frances Hui, curator, Department of Film at MoMA and ND/NF co-chair.
“We strongly believe that the future of cinema is in the hands of these brilliant directors and cannot wait to share their unique creations with our audience.” Florence Almozini, ND/NF co-chair and FLC’s Director of Programming.
Here’s the complete 2023 New Directors/New Films lineup:
Absence dir. Wu Lang
Almost Entirely a Slight Disaster dir. Umut Subaşi
Arnold is a Model Student dir. Sorayos Prapapann
Earth Mama dir. Savanah Leaf
Astrakan dir. David Depesseville
Ashkal: The Tunisian Investigation dir. Youssef Chebbi
Autobiography dir. Makbul Mubarak
Chile ’76 dir. Manuela Martelli
Coconut Head Generation dir. Alain Kassanda
Disco Boy dir. Giacomo Abbruzzese
Family Time dir. Tia Kouvo
Gush dir. Fox Maxy
Have You Seen This Woman? dir. Dušan Zorić and Matija Gluščević
Metronom dir. Alexandru Belc
MILISUTHANDO dir. Milisuthando Bongela
Mutt dir. Vuk Lungulov-Klotz
Maputo Nakuzandza dir. Ariadne Zampaulo
Joyland dir. Saim Sadiq
Leila’s Brothers dir. Saeed Roustaee
Pamfir dir. Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk
Petrol dir. Alena Lodkina
Remembering Every Night dir. Yui Kiyohara
Safe Place dir. Juraj Lerotić
The Face of the Jellyfish dir. Melisa Liebenthal
The Maiden dir. Graham Foy
Tommy Guns dir. Carlos Conceicao
Totem, dir Lila Avilés
48 Hours dir. Azadeh Moussavi
Aqueronte dir. Manuel Muñoz Rivas
Center, Ring, Mall dir. Mateo Vega
Civic dir. Dwayne LeBlanc
Serafina dir. Noa Epars, Anna Simonetti
The Kidnapping of the Bride dir. Sophia Mocorrea
Human Nature dir. Mónica Lima
Jitterbug dir. Ayo Akingbade
Chomp It! dir. Mark Chua and Lam Li Shuen
Escasso dir. Gabriela Gaia Meirelles, Clara Anastácia