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February 28 at 9:00am

Official Press Release: Ted Hope To Curate Lincoln Center’s “Indie Night” Series

By Ted Hope




New York, NY – (February 22, 2012) The Film Society of Lincoln Center is proud to announce two new monthly series spotlighting up and coming directors. Art of the Real, is a new monthly documentary showcase that will take audiences on a tour of the most innovative and consciousness-raising, non-fiction filmmaking being made in the world today. The series kicks off with March and April documentary selections, SHAKESPEARE HIGH and THEY CALL IT MYANMAR: LIFTING THE CURTAIN.

“Documentary filmmakers are the investigative journalists of cinema – showing us extraordinary feats, taking us places we’ve never been and introducing us to characters that could change our world. We’re proud to bring their untold stories to our screens and introduce them to audiences each month,” says Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Associate Director of Programming Marian Masone, who is programming Art of the Real with Programming Associate Isa Cucinotta.

Indie Night will spotlight the best and boldest new wave of independent cinema. In keeping with the tradition of supporting and showcasing emerging filmmakers, this new series will also be shaped by notable guest curators who hail from the American indie vanguard.

“The American indie film scene is going through a major renaissance right now, thanks to the low costs of digital filmmaking and the emergence of new distribution platforms,” says Film Society Associate Program Director Scott Foundas. “At the same time, this series can be seen as the latest permutation of the Film Society’s longstanding commitment to emerging artists, which dates back to the creation of the New Directors/New Films festival more than 40 years ago.”

Award-wining producer Ted Hope (MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, ADVENTURELAND) has been announced as co-curator’s of the series for the next year, alongside FSLC Associate Program Director Scott Foundas. Hope will curate the upcoming 2012 series. Additional co-curators confirmed for the future include producers Christine Vachon (FAR FROM HEAVEN, BOYS DON’T CRY), Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen (BEGINNERS, THE LONELIEST PLANET, OLD JOY).

“It’s just not true that all great movies get seen.  Filmmakers have never been more generative, ambitious, and skilled than they are today, but for all their talent, good work still slips by.  We are in the midst of a film revolution & we all must occupy the seats if we want the culture we love to not only survive, but also to thrive. The Film Society of Lincoln Center is one of the most prestigious and best programmed screens, and it is an honor for me to be part of it,” says Hope. “Now with a re-born Indie Night, we have the potential to bring artists and fans together to create an engaged community that will work together to make sure all of this unique, thrilling, and exciting work will not be overlooked.  The directors will be in the house, the films will shine, igniting our passions and mind, afterwards we will talk and debate, rant and rave, and the drinks will flow.  The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center will be an indie film salon once a month — and if people are fed up with film as usual, this is where the next fires will all get started.”

Both series will include additional in-person filmmaker appearances, panel discussions and more to engage audiences in discussion. Look out for additional announcements and updates on guest programmers and films for the year ahead.


Films, Descriptions & Schedule

Shakespeare High. Alex Rotaru, USA, 2011, Digital; 80m
Every year a wide cross-section of high school students prepare for the Drama Teachers Association of Southern California Shakespeare Competition. The unwieldy name of this contest belies the energy and excitement of the event, as well as the enthusiasm of the students who take part. Director Alex Rotaru’s lively documentary follows the ups and downs of many of the participants of this annual tournament, which claims such luminaries as Kevin Spacey, Sally Field and Richard Dreyfus as alumni (Spacey and actress Mare Winningham appear in the film giving some teens a pep talk). The tournament is team building at its finest, and the groups Rotaru follows are an appealing multicultural mix from former gangbangers to girls from a Catholic high school, who perform scenes from Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and other masterworks with gusto. While the tension of who will win is compelling, there is a larger story of how theater can save kids living on the edge. As arts education is being assailed as a luxury in schools, Shakespeare High proves that it is a necessity, and the students who perform–win or lose–are proof positive of that. A Cinema Guild release.
*March 7 at 6:30pm at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
**Q&A to follow with director Alex Rotaru and subjects from the film

They Call it Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain. Robert H. Lieberman, 2011, USA, Digital; 90m
A rare glimpse behind the scenes of one of the most isolated countries in the world, Burma (or Myanmar, as the ruling military junta renamed it in 1989). Writer and filmmaker Robert H. Lieberman secretly filmed the everyday lives of ordinary citizens over a period of two years – lives defined by food shortages, power cuts, and a lack of health care and education. This land of countless golden pagodas that not so long ago was renowned as the “rice bowl of Asia” is now a place of terrible poverty, which has led to widespread child labor and trafficking. In a remarkable interview, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks about the recent history of Burma and her many years under house arrest for her political activities. Anonymous commentators talk about the character of this regime, which has absolutely no communication with its population, but uses physical repression to hold the country in its iron grip. The film explores how Buddhism has influenced the way in which the Burmese deal with difficult living conditions. This film is a portrait of a land where beauty and decay, and fear and courage, closely coexist.
*April 3 at 6:30pm at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
**Q&A to follow with director Robert H. Leiberman


Film, Description & Schedule

Without. Mark Jackson, 2011, USA; 88m
Longing is one of the most powerful emotions in both life and cinema, altering the perception and interpretation of our experiences.  Few films of any scale have captured the essence of longing as well as Mark Jackson’s debut feature, Without, does in both its form and content.  The film’s economy of means helps to deliver a rare truth throughout its beautiful images, quiet tone and the mesmerizing introduction to star Josyln Jensen. Long after it has ended, this multiple prize-winning film still resonates: did we just live a love song, a ghost story, or a quiet thriller? Jackson delivers with his first outing what filmmakers strive for decades to achieve: the realest of real, the beauty of beauty and the sweet pain of a never-ending early love.
* March 6 at 8:00pm at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
**Q&A to follow with director Mark Jackson

Film Society of Lincoln Center

Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, the Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, currently planning its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award—now named “The Chaplin Award”—to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, 42BELOW, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.com

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