The 2013 Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival, which opens with Oscar winner Michel Gondry’s latest film, The We and the I, will bring 16 award-winning independent films from 14 countries to various locations throughout Pittsburgh, March 21st through April 13th. This year’s festival theme, Faces of Media, uses the films to explore how new media impacts society.
Gondry, who won a 2005 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, will introduce his film The We and the I via Skype at 7 p.m. on March 21st at the Melwood Screening Room. The comedy looks at the lives of a group of teenagers who ride the same bus route, and how their relationships change and evolve on the last day of school. An opening night reception will follow the film.
Faces of Work, a tribute to the late filmmaker and CMU Professor Paul Goodman, is one of the new components added to the festival this year. The film will be a permanent festival feature and will pair Goodman’s films with other festival films to highlight the theme of work across different cultures, Goodman’s professional focus. Faces of Work will premiere at 7 p.m., March 22nd in CMU’s McConomy Auditorium. The Goodman film University President will be shown, which focuses on a CMU president in his attempt to foster connections among technology, business and the humanities. Accompanying it will be the Chinese-American film Crocodile in the Yangtze. The film from director Porter Erisman — who will attend the event — tells the story about the slow, yet victorious rise of entrepreneur Jack Ma and his journey building the first Chinese Internet startup company.
Other festival highlights include the Israeli-American film InContact, the first full-length feature film directed by Ann Oren, which recently won a special jury award at the Social Media Film Festival in Las Vegas. Screening at 7 p.m., March 23rd at the Melwood Screening Room, the film combines social networking and reality television to examine intimacy. Oren, who wrote her first script while serving in the Israeli army, will attend.
At 7 p.m., April 3rd, Blood in the Mobile will be shown in McConomy Auditorium. The film from Germany, England and the Congo sheds light on how the minerals used to make cellphones are mined in a way that is similar to “blood diamonds.”
The festival will close at 7 p.m., April 13th in McConomy Auditorium with Back to the Square. Directed by Harvard University philosophy professor turned filmmaker Petr Lom, the Norwegian-Canadian film digs deep into what was behind the “Arab Spring” revolutions. Lom, who has used his film career to find and document human rights issues, was behind the HBO documentary Letters to the President, a film about Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Lom will attend the screening and guest lecture in two history classes and one philosophy class. He also will give a workshop at 5 p.m., April 15th in Giant Eagle Auditorium on how to make a documentary on human rights topics. The workshop is free and open to the public.
Click on Schedule on the Faces of Media site for a rundown of all the films.
Opening night general admission tickets to the screening and reception are $15 and $10 for seniors and students. General admission tickets for all other screenings are $8 and $5 for seniors and students. A full-access festival pass can be purchased for $50 ($25 for seniors and students). Tickets are available for purchase on the Faces of Media site.