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In 1972, Film at Lincoln Center (formerly Film Society of Lincoln Center) and The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film presented the inaugural New Directors/New Films festival: a modest but eclectic program of 11 films born from a simple desire to share the best new international films from emerging directors with New York moviegoers. Richard Roud, one of the festival’s founding programmers, reflected in the Village Voice then that the festival allows one to “sit down and find out just where, in fact, the New Cinema is going.” If the festival’s last 50 years have shown anything, it’s that there is not simply one way forward—but young directors have continued to blaze into the future of filmmaking.
Directors early in their careers who were presented to New York audiences—some for the very first time—include Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Kelly Reichardt, Pedro Almodovar, Souleymane Cissé, Euzhan Palcy, Jia Zhangke, Spike Lee, Lynne Ramsay, Michael Haneke, Wong Kar Wai, Agnieszka Holland, Lino Brocka, Guillermo del Toro, Luca Guadagnino, and over one thousand others. Now in a vastly different film landscape, and accessible to viewers nationwide through streaming, the program has grown in size and stature while maintaining its commitment to experimentation and sharing the gift of discovery with audiences. Presented here is a small selection of favorites from the first 30 years of the festival, showcasing early works from filmmakers such as Lee Chang-dong, Chantal Akerman, Charles Burnett, and Christopher Nolan.
New Directors/New Films salutes programmers past and present: Florence Almozini, Mary Lea Bandy, Sally Berger, Sophie Cavoulacos, Stephen Harvey, La Frances Hui, Jytte Jensen, Laurence Kardish, Wendy Keys, Joanne Koch, Robert Koehler, Izzy Lee, Dennis Lim, Adrienne Mancia, Marian Masone, Joanna Ney, Richard Peña, Richard Roud, Rajendra Roy, Brittany Shaw, Josh Siegel, Gavin Smith, Dan Sullivan, Maddie Whittle, and Tyler Wilson.
Organized by La Frances Hui (Co-Chair, MoMA), Florence Almozini (Co-Chair, Film at Lincoln Center), Josh Siegel (MoMA), Rajendra Roy (MoMA), Brittany Shaw (MoMA), Dennis Lim (Film at Lincoln Center), Dan Sullivan (Film at Lincoln Center), Tyler Wilson (Film at Lincoln Center), and Maddie Whittle (Film at Lincoln Center).