Here's a compelling reason to swap your movie theater outing for a night at the museum (and we don't mean the Ben Stiller movie). When you go to the "First Look" festival, you can get a glimpse at films from more than 20 countries—many of which are being shown in the United States for the first time ever.
The festival opened on Friday, January 6, and will continue through January 16. The lineup of films includes avant garde selections (like German director Philip Scheffner's provocative refugee-focused feature Havarie), documentaries (like English director Charlie Lyne's creepy flick about horror cinema, Fear Itself), and heart-warming dramas (like Colombian director Camila Rodriguez Triana's nursing home-set film, Atentamente).
Interested? Here are five eye-opening films First Look has to offer this year.
As three young goat farmer tend to their herd, this film situates itself firmly between pastoral idealization and documentarian realism, giving a beautiful homage to the struggles and beauties of agricultural work.
Set in a now-derelict palace, Silencio gives a group of homeless men and women a space to share their stories and discuss their deepest feelings, making the film an empathetic work of art.
Out There (Japan/Taiwan)
Director Takehiro Ito's documentary-fiction hybrid follows a director searching for a new actor to complete a film project. The result is an interweaving film-within-a-film that focuses on the theme of home. Watch the trailer here.
How Heavy This Hammer (Canada)
This portrait of a middle aged father at a crossroads shows a man attempting to figure out how to operate in his life, as he withdraws himself into his hobbies of video games and rugby.
Between Fences (Israel/France)
An empathy-inducing documentary, Between Fences focuses on African asylum seekers who find themselves stuck in a detention facility. With the help of theater director Chen Alon and filmmaker Avi Mograbi, they start to express their experiences and frustrations using techniques found in the Theater of the Oppressed.