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Innovative Global Filmmaking on Full Display at the Museum of the Moving Image’s First Look Festival

MoMI's annual festival will showcase some of the most innovative art films being produced today.

Beginning this Friday, January 8, the Museum of the Moving Image will present its fifth annual First Look Festival, the venue's showcase of artistic and experimental cinema. The fest will run through Sunday, January 24. More than 50 films and digital projects from around the globe will be shown, many of which are U.S. and New York premieres. The schedule includes the work of several avant-garde filmmakers like Ken Jacobs, Margaret Honda, and Björn Kämmerer.

With a lineup of some of the most innovative art films being produced today, First Look is not to be missed. Read on for Tribeca's recommendations for First Look's must-see screenings and must-attend events.

Capital Cuba
Directed by Johann Lurf. Cuba/Austria, 2015, 12 minutes, 35mm. NY Premiere.

Capital Cuba, premiering in New York at First Look's opening night, is an experimental study of the Cuban seascape, consisting of very short clips of the bay between Old Havana and Casa Blanca. Visually, the effect is full of movement, resembling a stormy body of water. The footage includes the water itself as well as the shoreline, resulting in a portrait of nature and industry that are simultaneously developing and decaying.

Capital Cuba's screening will precede the U.S. premiere of Alexander Sokurov's Francofonia (2015). Sokurov's film takes as its starting point the Louvre Museum and combines fiction and documentary to create a portrait of the relationship between art, culture, and history.

Friday, January 8, 7:00 p.m.
Buy tickets here.

New Films by Ken Jacobs
Orchard Street, 1955/2015, 27 minutes, silent. U.S. premiere.
I'm Telling You, 2015, 12 minutes, 3D. World premiere.
Hydroelectric Dam, 2015, 25 minutes, 3D. World premiere.
The Lackadaisical Speed of Light, 2015, 19 minutes, 3-D.

Ken Jacobs will screen four new films, including Orchard Street, which was originally filmed in 1955 but will be shown for the first time in its recently restored full-length version. One of America’s most important experimental filmmakers, Jacobs has been exploring the capabilities of film for the past half century, producing work that reveals impossible depths and visual elements of film that are invisible when shown at regular speed.

Sunday, January 10, 1:30 p.m.
Screening and live event, with Ken Jacobs in person.
Buy tickets here.

This Is What It Is (Esto es lo que hay)
Directed by Léa Rinaldi. Cuba/France, 2015, 100 minutes. U.S. premiere.

This Is What It Is (Esto es lo que hay) is a candid documentary about the popular Cuban hip-hop group Los Aldeanos. By focusing on Los Aldeanos, who've been critical of political systems and government corruption, the documentary provides an in-depth look beyond the music at the realities of personal life and politics in Cuba.

Friday, January 15, 7:00 p.m.
Screening and live event, with Léa Rinaldi in person.
Buy tickets here.

Jet Lag
Directed by Eloy Dominguez Seren. Spain, 2014, 52 mins. U.S. premiere.

Visually, Jet Lag evokes an Ed Ruscha gas station painting combined with the eerily lit atmosphere of Edward Hopper's lonely night scenes. The film begins quietly, documenting an isolated gas station in Portugal during the night shift. The otherwise routine evening is interrupted by a news report and the arrival of some unexpected guests, and the film becomes not just a documentary about the night shift at a gas station, but also a portrait of the filmmaking process itself.

Sunday, January 24, 6:30 p.m.
Buy tickets here.

First Look runs through Sunday, January 24 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York. Tickets for individual screenings and events include same-day admission to the Museum of the Moving Image. A series pass, which includes admission to all films, can be purchased here. For more about First Look and a complete schedule, visit the festival page on the Museum of the Moving Image website.


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