The 2015 Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival lineup will examine the theme “work as passion” with 19 award-winning films from 14 countries. Now in its ninth season, Faces of Work will take place at various local venues from March 19th through April 11th, and will include director appearances, panel discussions, presentations and culinary displays relevant to the film’s themes.
7 :15 p.m.
A Master Builder (USA, 2013)
Regent Square Theater will host the opening night film A Master Builder, a tense, troubling exploration of ego and power from the creators of My Dinner with André and Vanya on 42nd Street, and adapted from Henrik Ibsen’s classic masterpiece of theatrical realism. Wallace Shawn stars as Halvard Solness, a viciously domineering architect attempting to make amends with his wife, mistress and employees as he nears the end of his life. Jonathan Demme, Oscar-winning director of the Pittsburgh-filmed Silence of the Lambs, will present at the screening.
Prior to the screening, Faces of Work and the CMU School of Drama will present the director Q&A Face to Face with Jonathan Demme from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Philip Chosky Theatre in the Purnell Center for the Arts. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $10 general admission, free for CMU drama students.
Dior and I (USA/France, 2014)
Dior and I brings the viewer inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’ first haute couture collection as its new artistic director—a true labor of love created by a dedicated group of collaborators. Melding the everyday, pressure- filled components of fashion with mysterious echoes from the iconic brand’s past, the film is also a colorful homage to the seamstresses who serve Simons’ vision. The screening will take place in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes access to a Fashion and Design Exhibition and a reception provided by La Gourmandine.
Secret Sharer (UK/China/Poland, 2014)
The adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s book tells the story of a Polish captain’s first command that goes awry in the South China Sea. When his crew abandons ship, the young captain is left alone on board – until he finds a Chinese woman in distress, floating in the water. Dawn comes a few hours later and so does a search party led by the woman’s husband, followed by the crew, all looking for a murderer. The Secret Sharer screening will take place in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and will include a reception and appearance by the film’s writer/director Peter Fudakowski (Tsotsi).
ShortFACES Student Film Competition
Presented in part by the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the 2015 ShortFACES Student Film Competition gathered submitted student works from Pittsburgh and around the world to undergo evaluation by a panel of jurors. The event will feature the competition finalists and an announcement of the Top Four award winners, followed by a networking reception. The ShortFACES Student Film Competition will take place at Melwood Screening Room.
Bad Hair (Venezuela, 2014)
Nine-year-old Junior (Samuel Lange Zambrano) has “bad hair.” He wants to have it straightened for his yearbook picture, like a fashionable pop singer. This puts him at odds with his mother Marta (Samantha Castillo). The more he tries to look sharp and make his mother love him, the more she rejects him, until he is cornered, face to face with a painful decision. ReelQ President Mitch Leib will moderate a Q&A with director Mariana Rondón after the film. Bad Hair will screen in in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium.
A Dangerous Game (UK/Croatia, 2014)
The sequel to You’ve Been Trumped examines our ability to protect what’s left of our vanishing and fragile natural world. Director Anthony Baxter takes us on a journey to other global hot spots where rapacious developers – often in cahoots with local officials – are using golf as a smokescreen to build massive luxury resorts that end up costing the earth. A Dangerous Game will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes an appearance by Baxter.
The Dabbawallas (India/USA, 2004)
Every day 4,000 dabbawallas pick up more than 100,000 lunches at homes in Mumbai, India, and deliver the lunches to their places of work. The dabbawallas (or “box people”) sort the lunches multiple times and transport them by bicycle, cart and train. Paul S. Goodman , an esteemed filmmaker and CMU professor who passed away in 2012, captures this more than 100-year-old work system in his documentary. The Dabbawallas will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium. Includes a special guest appearance by film director Abhay Kumar.
Placebo (India, 2014)
After witnessing an act of brutal violence, a filmmaker goes undercover in one of the greatest educational institutes of India to investigate the rising incidents of violence amongst some of the best minds in the nation. Four students agree to be filmed for a year as a part of this investigative experiment. What follows is a dark yet fascinating journey through the celebrated hallways of excellence, carved by ambition and success- and those who pass through it must battle monsters; both within and without. What the world outside sees as success is only a grand start to the battle which lies ahead. Placebo will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes an appearance by Abhay Kumar.
Placebo (India, 2014)
Placebo will screen in Aquinas Hall 106 at Carlow University.
Bronx Obama (USA, 2013)
When Louis Ortiz shaved off his goatee one day in 2008, his life changed forever. He looked in the mirror and he didn’t see himself – a middle-aged, unemployed Puerto Rican father from the Bronx. He saw the face of change, of hope, of money. The debut film from Ryan Murdock tells the strange and improbable tale of a Barack Obama impersonator who tries to cash in on the “look of a lifetime” and chases a fevered American dream from opportunity to oblivion. Bronx Obama will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium. Murdock will attend along with Ortiz, who will take Polaroid shots with interested guests.
Ghosts of Amistad (Sierra Leone, 2014)
Inspired by Marcus Rediker’s The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom, the documentary by director Tony Buba chronicles a trip to Sierra Leone in 2013 to visit the home villages of the people who seized the slave schooner Amistad in 1839. Buba and his crew interview elders about local memory of the case, and search for the long-lost ruins of Lomboko, the slave trading factory where the transatlantic voyage began. The film uses the knowledge of villagers, fishermen, and truck drivers to recover a lost history from below in the struggle against slavery. Ghosts of Amistad will screen at the Harris Theater and includes an appearance by Buba.
I Am Here (China, 2014)
Lixin Fan, director of the award-winning Last Train Home, takes a very different look at contemporary China with a documentary that follows the eager young hopefuls who audition for the country’s most famous televised singing competition. I Am Here will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes a reception and mock singing competition.
Fair Play (Czech Republic, 2014)
Young Czech athlete, Anna (Judit Bárdos), comes under state pressure to use illegal anabolic steroids while training for a spot at the 1984 Olympic games. Fair Play will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes a reception, a Skype Q&A with director Andrea Sedláčková, and a screening of Jeremy Braverman‘s short Take Care.
Excuse My French (Egypt, 2014)
A Christian boy is forced to attend a Muslim pubic school after his father suddenly dies. Excuse My French will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes an appearance by director Amr Salama.
I Am Eleven (Australia, 2014)
Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey traveled the world for six years talking with 11-year-olds to compose this insightful, funny and moving documentary portrait of childhood. From an orphanage in India, to a single-parent household in inner-city Melbourne, to bathing with elephants in Thailand, the film explores the lives and thoughts of children from 15 countries and weaves together deeply personal and at times hilarious portraits of this transitional age. I Am Eleven will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium.
10 Minutes (Korea, 2014)
Kang Ho-chan is studying and preparing for his dream job as a TV station producer. Barely scraping by since his father’s retirement, his family has high hopes for him. However, he fails time and time again to get into the station and eventually ends up getting a part-time job at a government office to support his family. One day, one full-time employee resigns and Ho-chan’s boss offers him a permanent position. Ho-chan hesitates between his long-time dream of becoming a producer and a steady job. After thinking long and hard, he chooses to be realistic and take the offer, but someone else gets appointed for the job. Suddenly, Ho-chan gets left out in the cold and ends up back in a dilemma. 10 Minutes will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes a reception.
Dangerous Acts (Belarus, 2013)
Creating provocative theater carries great personal risks: emotional, financial and artistic. For the members of the Belarus Free Theatre, there are additional risks: censorship, imprisonment, and worse. Director Madeleine Sackler goes behind the scenes with the acclaimed troupe of imaginative and subversive performers who, in a desolate country choked by censorship and repression, defy Europe’s last remaining dictatorship. Dangerous Acts will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes an appearance by Free Theatre actor Oleg Sidorchik.
The Mighty Angel (Poland, 2014)
Jerzy is a writer and an alcoholic who believes he can finally can stop drinking. He falls in love with a young girl and the relationship becomes his new goal. However, escaping from his dependence and embarking upon a new path proves extremely hard. The Mighty Angel will screen in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes a reception.
Court (India, 2014)
The festival will close with the drama Court. When a sewage worker’s dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai, an aging folk singer is arrested and accused of performing an inflammatory song, which may have incited the worker to commit suicide. The trial unfolds in a lower court, where the hopes and dreams of the city’s ordinary people play out. Forging these fates are the lawyers and judge, who are observed in their personal lives beyond the theatre of the courtroom. The Court closing night event will take place in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium and includes a free closing night reception provided by Tamarind.
General admission tickets to the opening night film and reception are $20, $10 for seniors and students. General admission tickets for all other screenings are $10, $5 for seniors and students. Full-access festival passes are available for $50, $25 for seniors and students. All tickets are available for purchase at the CMU Faces of Works website.