As the world prepared to usher in 2021 with hopes of overcoming the pandemic, the amalgamation of upcoming filmmakers in New York, known as New Directors/New Films, had its own reasons to celebrate. This year was supposed to be their 50th, after all!
And the festival that ran from April 28 through May 8, 2021, truly was one of a kind. To give you a peek into the virtual event, an array of contemporary movies was showcased at it, and there were a couple of in-person screenings conducted too at the “Film at Lincoln Center”. The event was all the more special since it was the first local one to start with indoor screenings since the pandemic.
But probably the best part about the festival was that on the one hand where audiences could once again enjoy the theatrical experience in-person, remote audiences too weren’t left behind. The ND/NF made arrangements to conduct virtual cinematic sessions for all movies that were displayed at the festival so that audiences don't miss out on the fun.
So, if you're hoping to catch some critically acclaimed movies from the festival, well, you're in luck! We've handpicked the top 4 suggestions for you so that you don’t have to spend hours deciding.
Four must-see movies from the ND/NF Festival 2021
Dark Red Forest
Contrary to the perception that it’s a horror or a thriller (as its name suggests), this movie is a all about Tibetan monks and nuns. Directed by Jin Huaqing, the movie captures mesmerizing visuals of the Yarchen Monastry, where scores of nuns and monks head every year to meditate and discover the purpose of life. The director has beautifully managed to capture a seeker’s mindset that will compel the audience to think about life on a serious note. Who knows, you just might find your calling after watching this one!
Rock Bottom Riser
This one had already made its mark by earning an Encounters Jury Special Mention at the Berlin Film Festival 2021, and it didn’t disappoint at the ND/NF 2021 either. Named after the classic Bill Callahan song with the same title, this film directed by Fern Silva explores the idea of a nature documentary, but it’s done in such a unique way that it will feel like the first such documentary that you’ve ever watched.
We’re All Going to the World’s Fair
Director Jane Schoenburn will set your pulse racing with this movie. Based around a thrilling coming-of-age tale interwoven with an interesting portrayal of the Internet culture, the film is based on a role-playing online game. Bet you’re interested already!
If you’re looking for some light-hearted fun, this movie is sure to tick all the boxes for you. Directed by Amalia Ulman, the movie revolves around a mother-daughter duo that lives in Spain and is dealing with the father’s passing. While most of the screenplay includes endearing screens between the two, the fact that the daughter’s role has been played by Ulman herself, and the mother’s role by her real-life mother, brings about striking chemistry and impeccable comic timing.
To wrap it up
There are many more gems in the list of movies showcased at the festival, and if not the above 4, you’re sure to find your ideal match among one of the others. So what are you waiting for? Grab that tub of popcorn and sit back on your couch with one of these timeless creations for company.