Promising Side Programs: Selections from Cannes 2023

By Ali Moosavi. Selections from Un Certain Regard, Directors’ Fortnight, Critics’ Week, and ACID.” Often ignored are the side programs of Cannes, including Un Certain Regard, Directors’ Fortnight, Critics’ Week, ACID (Association for the International Distribution of Independent Cinemas) and others. (In addition to these, hundreds of films are shown […]

Strain in Communities: Three from Berlinale 2023

By Ali Moosavi. The best kind of humour has roots in tragedy.” Silver Haze premiered at the Panorama section of Berlin Film Festival. In most movie productions the starting point is a script (original or adaptation) or at least an idea expanded into a treatment. Sometimes a script is modified […]

Nature and Individuation: the 41st Istanbul Film Festival

By N. Buket Cengiz. The programs at 41st Istanbul offer an ideal occasion for cinephiles, local and abroad, to return to movie theatres.” Istanbul Film Festival, organized by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), returned to theatres, after two years of the pandemic exile, to the great enthusiasm of […]

Family Affairs: Boston Underground Film Festival 2022

By Thomas Puhr. A common theme – be it literally or metaphorically – at this year’s festival was the dissolution of the family (or family-like) unit. The packaging of this theme, however, ranged from surreal body horror, to supernatural coming-of-age tales, to true-crime docudramas.” This year’s Boston Underground Film Festival […]

Hybrid, and Vital as Ever: AFI DOCS Turns 19

By Elias Savada. Eight years ago, the documentary film festival then known as Silver Docs was rechristened AFI DOCS, expanding out from the American Film Institute’s tri-plex in Silver Spring, Maryland, into multiple other venues throughout downtown Washington, DC. While the new format was connected by the area-wide Metro subway […]

Crises Around the Globe: Three from Berlinale 2021

By Ali Moosavi. Writer-director Igor Drljaca shows us the wide gap and the glaring contrast between the haves and have nots in Sarajevo.” In Tabija / The White Fortress, Faruk (Pavle Cemerikic) is a young Muslim boy living in Sarajevo. His mother has passed away and since his parents were […]

Reworking and Immersion: AFI European Union Film Showcase 2020

Grimm re-edit (Alex van Warmerdam) By Gary M. Kramer. The AFI European Union Film Showcase, being held virtually at December 2-20, offers an eclectic assortment of nearly 50 films. Here is rundown of a half dozen impressive features screening at this year’s fest. Writer/director Jurgis Matulevicius’s auspicious debut, Isaac, […]