New Directors/New Films 2023
The Museum of Modern Art and Film at Lincoln Center announce the 52nd edition of New Directors/New Films (ND/NF), taking place from March 29 through April 9, 2023. For more than half a century, the festival has celebrated filmmakers who speak to the present and anticipate the future of cinema, and whose bold work pushes the envelope in unexpected, striking ways. This year’s selection will introduce 27 features and 11 shorts, a total of 41 directors, to filmgoers in theaters at both MoMA and FLC.
See more and save with a 5-Film Package for $50! Discount automatically applied when adding 5 tickets to cart (excludes Opening and Closing films).
La Frances Hui, Curator, Department of Film, MoMA, and 2023 ND/NF Co-chair observes, “This geographically diverse lineup 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.”
Opening the festival is Savanah Leaf’s debut feature Earth Mama, a devastating and evocative portrait of motherhood refracted through the prisms of race and class. ND/NF will close with first-time director Vuk Lungulov-Klotz’s Mutt, starring Lío Mehiel (Special Jury Award winner at Sundance) as Feña, a twentysomething trans man who must contend with an onslaught of aggravations, surprise encounters, and emotional choices over a 24-hour period. The rest of 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 United Kingdom, and the United States; prizewinners from Cannes (Metronom), Locarno (Safe Place, Tommy Guns), Sundance (Mutt); and many feature debuts.
“We are thrilled to bookend the 2023 ND/NF edition with two remarkable features, directed by up-and- coming artists Savanah Leaf and by Vuk Lungulov-Klorz, portraying tormented yet determined characters with sensitivity, authenticity, and a true inspiring artistic vision,” said Florence Almozini, FLC Director of Programming and 2023 New Directors/New Films 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.”
The New Directors/New Films selection committee is made up of members from both presenting organizations. The 2023 feature committee comprises La Frances Hui (Co-Chair, MoMA), Florence Almozini (Co-Chair, FLC), Rajendra Roy (MoMA), Josh Siegel (MoMA), Dan Sullivan (FLC), and Tyler Wilson (FLC), and the shorts were programmed by Olivia Priedite (MoMA) and Maddie Whittle (FLC).
New Directors/New Films 2023
See 5 films for $50! Discount automatically applied when adding tickets to five films to your cart. Excludes Earth Mama (Opening Night) and Mutt (Closing Night).
Opening Night | Intro from Savanah Leaf on March 29 at 7pm Screening and Q&A on March 30A devastating and evocative portrait of motherhood refracted through the prisms of race and class, Savanah Leaf’s auspicious, Bay Area–set debut feature follows a pregnant young African American woman (played with immense complexity by Oakland rapper Tia Nomore) as she grapples with whether to give her baby up for adoption amid utterly hostile socioeconomic conditions.
Closing Night | Q&As with Vuk Lungulov-Klotz, Lío Mehiel, Cole Doman & MiMi Ryder on April 8 and 9Over the course of 24 breathless hours in New York City, twentysomething Feña (electrifying newcomer Lío Mehiel) must contend with an onslaught of aggravations, surprise encounters, and emotional choices. First-time director Vuk Lungulov-Klotz has confidently and lovingly constructed a day in the life of a young trans man with precision and sensitivity.
North American PremiereLee Kang-sheng, best known for his indelible starring roles in the films of Tsai Ming-liang over more than 30 years, holds the screen with his customary stoic vulnerability as a man who has returned to the island province of Hainan after a long stint in prison and is endeavoring to reconnect with his former girlfriend.
Almost Entirely a Slight Disaster
North American Premiere | Q&A with Umut Subasi on April 4 and 5In his trenchant, consistently surprising portrait of malaise pushed to near absurdity, debut feature filmmaker Umut Subasi tells the stories of a small group of interconnected millennials aimlessly grasping for love, work, friendship, and financial stability in Istanbul.
Arnold Is a Model Student
Q&A with Sorayos Prapapan on April 8 and 9An original and gripping vision set in the rigid, cutthroat environment of high school in contemporary Thailand, Sorayos Prapapan’s first film takes a hard, highly entertaining look at the options open to young people in a dictatorial world.
Ashkal: The Tunisian Investigation
Q&A with Youssef Chebbi on April 4 and 5In this assured and gripping thriller set in northern Tunis, young detective Fatma (Fatma Oussaifi) investigates a disturbing series of connected deaths—all of them apparent suicides by self-immolation—while combating misogyny in her own profession and larger political pressures.
U.S. Premiere | Q&A with David Depesseville on March 30 and April 1With his gentle, unhurried, but compelling style, French director David Depesseville takes a largely observational approach to the story of young Samuel (Mirko Giannini), a traumatized orphan on the cusp of teenagehood trying to adjust to life with his new, rural foster family.
Q&A with Makbul Mubarak on April 8 and 9Both a coming-of-age morality tale and a riveting political thriller, the feature debut by Indonesian critic turned filmmaker Makbul Mubarak follows the dangerous downward spiral of an 18-year-old housekeeper’s son who falls under the spell of a retired military general running for local office.
Coconut Head Generation
North American Premiere | Q&A with Alain Kassanda on April 8 and 9In this invigorating observational documentary, Kinshasa-born, French-raised filmmaker Alain Kassanda captures the words and emotions of students at the University of Ibadan in southwestern Nigeria, presenting spirited debates over power imbalances and heated discussions around ethnicity, feminism, and gender.
North American Premiere | Q&A with Giacomo Abbruzzese on March 31 and April 1Franz Rogowski plays a Belarusian emigrant making his way through Poland before arriving undocumented in Paris, where he ends up placed for training in the French Foreign Legion. During service, his fate becomes intertwined with that of a Nigerian villager mounting an insurgency against the French oil companies.
The Face of the Jellyfish
North American Premiere | Q&A with Melisa Liebenthal on April 2 and 3Marina is a woman in her early thirties who has been stricken with a strange malady: her face has changed. Melisa Liebenthal’s film is a wryly comic examination of the meaning of human identity.
Q&A with Tia Kouvo on April 1 and 2 | U.S. PremiereIn a remote, rustic house tucked in the snowy Finnish woods, a family gathers for a Christmas that’s anything but idyllic. In her debut, Tia Kouvo expertly depicts the forced togetherness and claustrophobia of the holiday and, perhaps even more unsettling, what happens when everyone has to go back to their normal routines.
Q&A with Fox Maxy on April 1 and 2In her first feature, acclaimed video artist Fox Maxy uncorks a deluge of images captured and created over nearly 10 years, drawn from her personal archives and evoking through recalled words and rhyming images the experience of trauma and recovery.
Have You Seen This Woman?
North American Premiere | Q&A with Dušan Zorić and Matija Gluščević on April 6 and 7Draginja (a remarkable Ksenija Marinkovic) is a door-to-door vacuum cleaner vendor whose reality is shaken when she happens upon a dead body while on her rounds. Set in a depressed yet vividly evoked working-class Belgrade, the haunting Have You Seen This Woman? is an inquiry into the malleability of identity and the invisibility of daily living.
Q&A with Saim Sadiq on April 1 and 2Garnering acclaim and accolades around the world, this transgressive and humane drama about the relationship between a young husband and his new boss, a transgender exotic dancer, bravely interrogates expectations around gender and sexuality in contemporary Pakistan.
U.S. Premiere | Q&A with Graham Foy on April 4 and 5Set in the emotional hinterlands of loss and mourning yet attuned to the beautifully off-kilter cadences of life, Graham Foy’s high school drama gives exceptionally original treatment to the fragility and resilience of youth.
North American Premiere | Q&A with Ariadine Zampaulo on April 2 and 3In this kaleidoscopic view of a city from dawn to dusk, filmmaker Ariadine Zampaulo guides us through Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, where different lives intermingle easily amid the director’s illuminating, distinct approaches to and ideas about cinematic poetry. Screens with Clara Anastácia and Gabriela Gaia Meirelles' Escasso (Scarce).
Q&A with Milisuthando Bongela on April 6 and 7In her poetic and galvanizing essay film, Milisuthando Bongela has constructed a multilayered and thought-provoking inquiry into history and identity. Through five distinct chapters it evokes the experience and after-effects of growing up amidst apartheid in South Africa.
North American Premiere | Q&A with Alena Lodkina on March 30 and April 1A magical coming-of-age story that is also perhaps the tale of a haunting, Russian-born, Melbourne-raised filmmaker Alena Lodkina’s enigmatic spell of a movie centers around a film student named Eva (Nathalie Morris) who develops a close bond with mercurial performance artist Mia (Hannah Lynch).
Remembering Every Night
North American Premiere | Q&A with Yui Kiyohara on April 5 and 6A film that moves on the rhythms of a gentle breeze, Yui Kiyohara’s follow-up to her acclaimed Our House immerses viewers in the quiet pursuits of several women, including a wandering university student, a helpful neighborhood meter reader, and a middle-aged gentle soul seeking employment but finding herself agreeably lost instead.
Q&A with Juraj Lerotić on April 6 and 7First-time writer-director-star Juraj Lerotić has constructed a gripping, ever-intensifying drama, based on events from his own difficult family history, about a young man desperately trying to save and care for his suicidal brother over the course of 24 hours.
North American Premiere | Q&A with Carlos Conceição on April 8 and 9In his eccentric, shape-shifting breakthrough, set in 1974 Angola, Carlos Conceição vaults between genres and modes with audacity, constantly reinventing this reflection on historical tyranny and the metaphysical effects of war.
North American Premiere | Q&A with Lila Avilés on March 30 & 31In her enormously poignant follow-up to The Chambermaid, director Lila Avilés tells an emotionally expansive family drama from the perspective of a 7-year-old (the marvelously naturalistic Naíma Sentíes), as her mother and extended relatives prepare for the birthday party of the girl’s father, who has been ill.
Shorts Program I
Q&As with Manuel Muñoz Rivas, Mateo Vega, Dwayne LeBlanc, and Monica LimaIncludes Aqueronte, 48 Hours, Center, Ring, Mall, Civic, and Human Nature.
Shorts Program II
Q&As with Mark Chua, Lam Li Shuen, Ayo Akingbade, Noa Epars, Anna Simonetti & Sophia MocorreaIncludes The Spiral, Chomp It!, Jitterbug, Serafina, and The Kidnapping of the Bride.
Tickets are $17 for the general public; $13 for students, seniors (62+), and persons with disabilities; and $12 for MoMA and FLC members.
Opening Night tickets are $25 for the general public; $22 for students, seniors (62+), and persons with disabilities; and $20 for FLC and MoMA members.
See more and save with a 5-Film Package for $50! Discount automatically applied when adding 5 tickets to cart (excludes Opening and Closing films). Single tickets beyond the 5-Film Package must be purchased in a separate transaction.
Complete your ND/NF experience with a VIP Pass! $500 for the general public and $450 for MoMA and FLC Members. Includes two tickets to every film and two tickets to Opening Night and the Opening Night Party. Limited quantities. Passes are available to pick up at the box office and will grant access to two (2) for every screening in the festival. We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes prior to a screening as late seating cannot be guaranteed.
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