Nova Frontier Film Festival in partnership with Restoration Art, launches with a compelling line up of films, panels and VR, showcasing films and art about and from the African Diaspora, Middle East, and Latin America that reflects the festival’s mission: to promote intercultural understanding and intellectual engagement through the arts, reflecting and celebrating the diversity that surrounds us. The festival was founded by multimedia artist and filmmaker, Billy Gerard Frank, and Filmmaker and actress Lydia Darly. The festival will be taking place at the Billie Holiday Theatre on Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY, Sept 7th to 9th.
We are thrilled to have in the program, films produced by Iranian Youth Cinema Society (IYCS), whose films have played at international film festivals, and won multiple award. Also in the program is Goût Bacon, 2018 César consideration, coming from Nova Frontier LAB collaborations with 1000 Visages that mentors marginalized youth in Paris Suburbs. Their work garnered major attention at Cannes when the Netflix produced film, Divines, directed by 1000 Visages founder, Houda Benyamina won the Camera d’Or. A CIAMBRA Executive produced by Martin Scorsese is a feature film from rising director Jonas Carpignano (Mediterranea), which exposes the complex social fabric of Southern Italy, where Italians, Romani, and African migrants coexist in uneasy tension. It Must Make Peace, directed and produced by Paul R. Chandler and Brian Melnyk is a feature length documentary that takes us on a journey into the music scene in Mali, once a paradise for music-lovers, now, traditional music and dance is rapidly losing ground to globalization, a declining economy and religious radicalization. Diamond, Backpacks, and a Matchbox directed by Wafa Tadjin is a feature length documentary that lyrically chronicles the ongoing plights of Syrian refugees, recounting their personal upheavals and hopes, both on an emotional and physical scale. The VR African Lounge features the following 360 titles: (Jim Chuchu/The Nest (Let This Be A Warning), Jonathan Dotse (Spirit Robot) and Ng’endo Mukii (Nairobi Berries), from the South African base incubator, Electric South, that collaborates with artists across Africa, creating emerging tech-driven stories. Their works depict an African perspective on the global stage; sparking new ideas in future storytelling.
This year’s festival focuses on themes of Immigration, Identity, and Interculturalism, with a curated program of over 22 films (shorts, features, documentaries), VR, and panels, culled from open submissions and invited filmmakers. The films and panels attempt to interrogate and address timely and pressing global issues on immigration, wars, the aftermath of war, with the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The filmmakers focus their lens on people caught up in the maelstrom of wars, oppression, and displacement, giving voice and humanity to them, which most westerners learn about via soundbites in the media. In most cases, these are filmmakers coming from countries like Iran and the Middle East that have been banned and boycotted from Europe and USA, with no access to financial institutions to submit their films to festivals.
OPENING NIGHT CEREMONY
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 7th
Opens with three short films that capture the mission of Nova Frontier Film Festival and this year’s theme of Immigration, Identity and Intercultural.
Total Running Time: 85 minutes
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 8th
12:30PM - SHORT FILM PROGRAM 1
Director Aurélie Harp - USA
Documentary - 12 MIN
"LaLa’s world" is a short documentary around LaLa Zannell, a Lead Organizer in the Trans community, and the first trans woman of color at the White House briefing for Women’s History Month, that aims to better understand the daily challenges of NYC trans women of color and to create a stage where transgender and non-transgender people can break stereotypes and connect on a human level.
Director Emma Benestan - France
Narrative - 12:45 MIN
A coming of age story set in Paris's banlieues. After a rumor started by a an ambigious Snapchat message, two friends, Bialal and Adil, start off on a quest for girls to save their reputation. But the journey is far from the one they imagined.
Total Run Time: 63:45 MIN
3PM - PANEL ON IDENTITY
We seek here to open a dialogue, an investigation on the subject of cultural identity in context of gender, equality, race and place, against emerging global visual and creative forms of representation today.
Moderator: Aurélie Harp
4PM - SHORT FILM PROGRAM 2
Director Camilio Palacios - Colombia
Narrative - 8 MIN
A woman abused by her husband has the option of leaving him immediately upon entering a doctor's office where a female psychologist and a male physician offer her help. In the midst of indecision and fear, she must also deal with the tension generated by the doctor's condescension towards the two women.
Total Run Time: 60:36 MIN
5:30PM - Women in Film: Promises are easy, change is hard.
According to the annual Celluloid Ceiling Study, women comprised 11% of writers, 20% of executive producers, 26% of producers, 22% of editors, and 6% of cinematographers in 2017. These numbers for women's behind the scenes employment support Manohla Dargis's statement in the New York Times that the film business treats women as "a distraction, an afterthought, and a problem". This panel seeks to have an honest conversation amongst women working in Film and Television industry today.
Moderator: Kashanna Evans
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 9th
11AM - SHORT FILM PROGRAM 3
TOTAL RUN TIME: 105:45 MIN
3PM - Displaced: a conversation on Refugees and Immigration today.
This panel explores the sentiments of global refugees, migrants, and domestically displaced people today as a result of war and terror. We will discuss the current political climate in America in light of the ban against Muslim countries entering the USA, and border control with Mexico. During this discussion we will also tackle the hardships that not only artists, filmmakers, and creatives face, but those affected by these new policies as a whole. According to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR), OVER 65 million people are displaced abroad, or within their own borders.
Moderator: Parissah Lin
Saturday 2-8 / SUNDAY 11-4
We are pleased to present NEW DIMENSIONS in VR, storytelling: The African Lounge. The following 360 titles: (Jim Chuchu/The Nest (Let This Be A Warning), Jonathan Dotse (Spirit Robot) and Ng’endo Mukii (Nairobi Berries), introduces the works of Electric South. Elecctric South is a South African base incubator for tech driven stories, supporting African artists in a spectrum of creative disciplines to explore 360 filmmaking. They works depict African perspectives on the global stage; sparking ideas in future African creators. The films were first shown at EFM Africa Hub in Berlin Film Fesstival, 2017, and have subsequently had successful festival runs, including screenings at the Tribeca Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest , Sydney Film Festival and locally at Encounters South African International Documentary Festival and Durban FilmMart.
The Other Dakar
Director Selly Raby Kane - Senegal
Narrative - 7:35 MIN
A Senegalese girl is chosen to journey through the surreal, invisible life-force of her city. Combining design and mythology, the 360 experience revives a sense of community in Dakar.
Director Jonathan Dotse - Ghana
Documentary - 8:38 MIN
VR documentary which explores the Chale Wote Street Art Festival in Accra.