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Back with 40 More: AFI Shorts 2019

By Gary M. Kramer. There are 40 shorts screening in six programs (as well as in front of features) at this year’s AFI Fest presented by Audi. Here are ten highlights from the festival, which unspools November 14-21 in Los Angeles. Sin Cielo is writer-director Jianna S. Maarten’s quietly powerful short, based on “true stories […]

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Three from the Open City Documentary Festival 2019

By Ali Moosavi. Three interesting documentaries screened at the Open City Documentary Festival in London, September 4-10, 2019. Sergei Loznitsa, the distinguished Ukrainian director known for films such as A Gentle Creature (2017) and Donbass (2018), in fact started off as a documentary filmmaker. In his return, Trial (2018), he has put together archival footage about a show […]

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On Programming Content and Context: 73rd Edinburgh International Film Festival in Review

By Mina Radovic. A lady patiently cleans her house. The yellow lights of Athens peer in through the windows as her husband smokes a cigarette and between puffs complains to her about his job situation. Her daughter walks past, asking for something new, and complaining about her brother. The family has little money and the […]

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Experimentation in NYC: NYFF Shorts 2019

By Gary M. Kramer. Two shorts programs at this year’s New York Film Festival are designed to provoke audiences. This is a welcome approach to short films, where the format encourages experimentation. As many of the films here attest, short films can yield some strong emotional responses by not following conventions. “Shorts Program 3: Narrative” […]

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Crises in Detail: AFI Docs 2019

By Gary M. Kramer. At the 2019 AFI Docs Film Festival this year, five provocative shorts and features tackled important topics ranging from the drug crisis and immigration to the creationism debate and disability issues. Here is a rundown of these highlights from this year’s fest. Elivia Shaw’s short, The Clinic, is an unflinching look […]

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Coming of Age with Care: the 21st Maryland Film Festival (2019)

By Gary M. Kramer. Now in its 21st year, the Maryland Film Festival in Baltimore is a showcase for eclectic independent features, shorts, and documentaries. This year’s program features films both homegrown and far-flung. Here is a rundown of several films that played at the fest. Mickey and the Bear establishes Annabelle Attanasio as an emerging […]

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Portraits and Passions: Tribeca Film Festival 2019

By Gary M. Kramer. The Tribeca Film Festival, April 24-May 5, offers a variety of features, shorts, documentaries, television and new media productions from new and established filmmakers. This year’s programs offered some impressive and ambitious films. Here is a rundown of seven distinctive titles. One of the gems of the festival was Run, Scott […]

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Documenting the Past and Gender: Istanbul Film Festival, 38th Edition

By N. Buket Cengiz. Held only a couple of days after a social democrat mayor has won the elections in the city after long years, Istanbul Film Festival, organized by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) for the 38th time on 5-16 April 2019, has been attended by over 110.000 cinephiles in this extra […]

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The Weight of the Journey: The 2019 Miami International Film Festival

By Gary M. Kramer. At this year’s Miami International Film Festival, there are some interesting debuts, some intriguing slow-burn films, and some compelling documentaries. Here is a rundown of a half-dozen titles screening at this year’s fest. Pahokee is the first feature-length documentary by co-directors Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan. Set in a small Florida […]

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Gods and Penguins: The 2019 DC Independent Film Festival

By Gary M. Kramer. The DC Independent Film Festival, unspooling March 1-10 in Washington, DC, is celebrating its 20th year in 2019. This year’s program features dozens of features and shorts, along with a tribute to director Phillip Noyce, who will present three of his features. Here is a rundown of some documentaries, features, and a […]

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