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Filmmaker and Metrograph Partner on “25 New Faces: Highlights, Favorites and Deep Cuts”

Filmmaker and New York’s Metrograph Theater have partnered on a screening series as well as online streaming selection, “25 New Faces: Highlights, Favorites and Deep Cuts.” As the title suggests, it spotlights filmmakers chosen for our popular annual survey of new talent. Three programs run this weekend (Friday, December 15 and Saturday, December 16): one program of short films curated from our 2023 selection and then two drawn from prior years. In addition, a number of the shorts will stream online for Metrograph members. I’ll be there this weekend hosting the screenings along with some of the filmmakers and hope to see a number of you.

Here’s the complete list of films with links to purchase tickets as well as to the filmmakers’s profiles.

Highlights from 2023’s 25 New Faces
Friday, December 15, 2023, 7:30 PM.

Palm Sunday, dir. Wes Goodrich
A mordantly ironic parable of cultural assimilation set in an impressively evoked ’70s Deep South, Goodrich’s short follows a young Black Jamaican immigrant when, struck by a vision, he strives to be admitted to an all-white Baptist Church.

Run, dir. Alex Prager
Starring Katherine Waterston, the anxieties of modern life are realized with surreal, darkly comic panache in the latest short by visual artist and filmmaker Prager, who envisions a group of urbanites on the run from a gigantic metallic orb.

Alpha Kings, dir. Faye Tsakas and Enrique Pedráza-Botero
This precisely composed verite documentary short by Tsakas and Pedráza-Botero anchors itself in a rented mansion, where young Texan men find class mobility by practicing the art of humiliation through sexualized webcam sessions.

Lemon Tree, dir. Rachel Walden.
Shot on handheld 16mm, Walden’s debut short brings surprisingly raucous energy to an autumnal road trip that becomes a loss of innocence for a young boy when his father plunges into an alcohol-induced bender.

Side Hustle, dir. Abby Harri.
Casting director Harri showcases electric performances from two of her discoveries in this portrait of a sex worker whose artistic ambitions are juxtaposed with the economic anxiety resulting from a client’s financial troubles.

Dilating for Maximum Results, dir. Nyala Moon
In this spritely sketch, Moon’s original comic voice offers instructions for a trans woman wants to hook up IRL with an online lover but must first get back into the habit of post-op vaginal dilating.

Favorites and Deep Cuts, Program 1
Saturday, December 16, 2023, 6:30 PM

According to… dir. Kevin Jerome Everson
Making use of a rich source of found footage and original 16mm films, Everson’s 2007 short considers several versions of tragic events in southern rural Black America.

Fry Day, dir. Laura Moss
For one 16-year-old teenage girl in Moss’s short, a party celebrating the execution of Ted Bundy outside of Florida State Prison leads to a nail-bitingly tense, mournfully sad coming-of-age adventure.

Pioneer, dir. David Lowery
Will Oldham plays a father telling a mysterious and frightening bedtime story—a violent parable about a soldier and an absent mother—to his young son in an early short developing the mixture of childlike wonder and adult wisdom characterizing Lowery’s subsequent work.

Yung Lean, Please Be My Yung Love, dir. Julia Mellen
Mellen’s rapid-fire monologue describes an imaginary perfect, charmingly chaste day spent with the crush-worthy rapper, envisioned in lo-fi but evocative animation rendered via a painting program adapted to custom ends.

Commodity City, dir. Jessica Kingdon
Flowers, knock-off Barbies and an infinite variety of miniature Christmas trees are among the goods on sale at Yiwu Market, the world’s largest wholesale consumer market, captured in Kingdon’s precise comic tableaus.

Mack Does MacDowell: Woodlands Woodlands Sketches Sketches: # 3: At an Old Trysting Place, dir. Jodie Mack
Made during a residency, experimental animator Mack envisions making old-fashioned love to herself via stroboscopic techniques that render the barest of resources and settings into a flickering spectacle that’s both old and new.

Favorites and Deep Cuts, Program 2
Saturday, December 16, 8:30 PM

Nicole, dir. Edy Modica
In Modica’s uncomfortably hilarious New Jersey odyssey, a craving for a Dunkin’ Coolata drives a self-involved and broke titular heroine through a bleak and lovingly rendered landscape.

Gowanus, Brooklyn, dir. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
A relationship of sorts develops between a Brooklyn high school student and her introverted, drug-addicted teacher, in an acclaimed short expanded for Boden and Fleck’s feature debut, Half Nelson.

The Trees, Ramzi Bashour
When a young man returns to his home in rural Lebanon for his father’s three-day funeral, he becomes distracted from the extended rites by the discovery of a rare tree infection in Bashour’s blackly comic parable for the climate change moment.

Mystery Film
A rare screening of one of the strongest shorts of recent years.

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