MoMI’s First Look Returns Mar. 16-20, Opens with Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s Caméra d’Or Winner, “MURINA”

MoMI’s First Look Returns Mar. 16-20, Opens with Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s Caméra d’Or Winner, “MURINA”


March 16–March 20, 2022 

Astoria, New York, February 7, 2022 — Museum of the
Moving Image is pleased to announce the complete lineup for
the 11th edition of First Look, the Museum’s festival of new and
innovative international cinema, which will take place in person
March 16–20, 2022. The Festival introduces New York
audiences to formally inventive works that seek to redefine the
art form while engaging in a wide range of subjects and styles.
The 2022 lineup includes both nonfiction and fiction, features
and shorts, as well as forms that fall outside the boundaries of
traditional theatrical distribution, from gallery presentations to
live performances to artist talks. This year, the festival will premiere 38 works, including 18 features representing more than 30 countries. Artists will appear both in person and remotely. 

Opening Night, on Wednesday, March 16, presents the New York City premiere of Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s Murina, a simmering, sexually charged coming-of-age tale set in scenic coastal Croatia that won the Caméra d’Or (Best First Feature) at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and was executive produced by Martin Scorsese, preceded by the New York premiere of Tsai Ming-liang’s sorrowful ode to Hong Kong, The Night. The Closing Night selection, on Sunday, March 20, is the New York premiere of Pawel Lozinski’s delightful and insightful documentary The Balcony Movie. Recipient of the Grand Prix at the 2021 Locarno Film Festival’s Critics Week (Semaine de la critique), the film was shot entirely from the balcony of Lozinski’s Warsaw apartment, which proves to be a uniquely advantageous perch for encountering the struggles and moods of the times. 

This year’s festival showcases the New York premiere of Julie Lecoustre and Emmanuel Marre’s Zero Fucks Given, an exhilarating portrait of contemporary malaise starring Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color) as a flight attendant in crisis, the U.S. premiere of celebrated Russian film and theater director Kirill Serebrennikov’s hallucinatory tour de force Petrov’s Flu, and celebrates the return to First Look of Ukrainian master Sergei Loznitza (whose Donbass opened First Look 2019) with his two latest features, Babi Yar. Context (Special Jury Prize of the Cannes L’Œil d’or for best documentary), a meticulous record of a horrific event during the Holocaust; and the definitive Lithuanian liberation history Mr. Landsbergis (IDFA Award for Best Film). Also from Ukraine is Reflection, a haunting new work by rising star Valentyn Vasyanovych (Atlantis), who will be the subject of a MoMI retrospective immediately following First Look (March 25–27). Additional highlights include the North American premiere of famed Chinese contemporary artist Qiu Jiongjiong’s splendid A New Old Play (Special Jury Prize at Locarno 2021) and the East Coast premiere of Indonesian auteur Edwin’s rambunctious Locarno Golden Leopard recipient Vengeance 

Museum of the Moving Image 36-01 35 Ave, Astoria, NY, 11106 

Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash (presented by MoMI’s ongoing Disreputable Cinema series); extraordinary Cannes-awarded features from emerging filmmakers, which in addition to Murina includes the U.S. premiere of Omar El Zohairy’s surreal comic vision Feathers (recipient of the Grand Prix at Cannes’ Critics Week); new shorts from major figures in international cinema, including The Night and Radu Jude’s Semiotic Plastic; plus the world premieres of Nathaniel Dorsky’s William and Laura Harrison’s The Limits of Vision, and the North American premiere of Philipp Fleischmann’s Untitled (34bsp), which are part of a special First Look edition of MoMI’s recurring experimental showcase Persistent Visions. 

Moving outside the traditional cinema space, two works by First Look alums will be presented in the Museum’s galleries: Deniz Tortum and Kathryn Hamilton’s Our Ark in the Video Screening Amphitheater and Charlie Shackleton’s As Mine Exactly, a live virtual reality experience. 

Running concurrently with First Look, Working on It offers a laboratory for works in progress and dialogues about process, bringing together festival guests, filmmakers, students, writers, and the general public. Past participants have included Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, Robert Greene, Maya Daisy Hawke, and Reverse Shot editors and writers. Working on It runs March 16–18; schedule will be announced soon. 

“Now in its 11th year, First Look has evolved into an event reflective of both the current state of the cinematic arts and MoMI’s curatorial character and curiosity,” said Eric Hynes, Curator of Film. “We’re attracted to a wide spectrum of work, from a diversity of makers, and are ever in search of new ways of seeing and expressing. The films and projects in the festival are indeed new to New York, but First Look also signifies an open, activated way of approaching the moving image. Crucial to this is our showcasing both finished and unfinished work—the latter via our daytime Working on It sessions—offering artists and audiences an enticing space in which to encounter one another.” 

First Look 2022 was programmed by Eric Hynes, Curator of Film, and Edo Choi, Assistant Curator of Film; Becca Keating, Director of Development and curator of Persistent Visions; Sonia Epstein, Associate Curator of Science and Film; and Jesse Berberich, programmer of Disreputable Cinema. 

The programming team would like to acknowledge the following people for their guidance, support, advocacy, and generosity: Michael Andrianaly, Chris Boeckmann, Caitlin Mae Burke, Phil Coldiron, Joost Daamen, Dominic Davis, Kristin Feeley, Robert Greene, Mary Lee Grisanti, Dorota Lech, Mads Mikkelsen, Dan Nuxoll, Janet Pierson, Alla Rachkov, Michael Sicinski, Tomek Smolarski, Abby Sun, Laura Van Halsema, Stacey Woelfel. 

Tickets & Passes will go on sale February 10:

Unless otherwise noted, tickets for individual screening programs are $15 ($11 seniors and students / $9 youth / free for MoMI members starting at the Senior & Student levels ($7 Classic members). Tickets for Opening and Closing Night are $20 ($15 for MoMI Members). An All-Festival Pass (including Opening and Closing night, and Working on It) will be available. 

Sponsors: First Look is made possible with support from the BFA Film Department, School of Visual 

Arts; Kickstarter; The Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism; The Harriman Institute at Columbia University; The Paper Factory Hotel; and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Additional support was provided by the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. 

First Look 2022 films are: 



New York City premiere
Dir. Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović. Croatia/Brazil/United States/Slovenia. 2021, 92 mins. Winner of the Camera d’Or (Best First Feature) at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, Murina is a serrated-edge, sexually charged coming-of-age tale set in scenic coastal Croatia. Amidst clashes with her oppressive father and impassive mother, restless Julija seeks liberation from their isolated existence when a visit from an old family friend foments overlapping waves of greed, jealousy, desire, and rage. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, the film features gorgeous camerawork by Hélène Louvart (The Lost Daughter, Happy as Lazzaro).
Preceded by:

The Night
New York premiere
Tsai Ming-liang. Taiwan, Hong Kong. 2021, 19 mins. No dialogue. DCP. Recorded in November 2019 at the height of mass protests against Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Law, Tsai’s plaintive durational portrait of emptying streets and an overpass on Causeway Bay builds almost imperceptibly to its exquisite pang of sorrowful longing. 


The Balcony Movie 

New York premiere
Dir. Pawel Lozinski. 2021, Poland. 100 mins. In Polish with English subtitles. DCP. Filmed before the pandemic yet prescient about our collective craving for connection in isolation, First Look veteran Pawel Lozinski (You Have No Idea How Much I Love You, 2018) returns with a quietly revelatory documentary shot entirely from his balcony in Warsaw. Elevated from the street and armed with just his camera and boom mic, Lozinski engages strangers and friends, old couples and young mothers, commuting workers and ex-convicts, in philosophical queries that evolve, over many months, into confessions, course corrections, and complicated relations, offering a cumulative portrait of the struggles and moods of the times while exemplifying the humanist curiosity and formalist rigor of the unseen director behind the camera. 


Zero Fucks Given (Rien à foutre)
New York premiere
Dirs. Julie Lecoustre, Emmanuel Marre. France/Belgium. 2021, 112 mins. In French with English subtitles. DCP. Toeing a fine line between documentary portraiture and archly pop fiction that evokes sixties Godard, Lecoustre and Marre’s boldly conceived, thrillingly singular debut renders the disconnected existence of Cassandre (Adèle Exarchopoulos, perfect), a seemingly carefree flight attendant for a budget airline, with the flat primary color tones and melancholic detachment of Hopper paintings. Starting as a sharply deadpan, basement-level study of the global service economy, the film gradually blossoms into a devastating depiction of personal loss amid the profound social and spiritual deficits of our age. 


Petrov’s Flu 

United States premiere
Dir. Kirill Serebrennikov. Russia. 2021, 145 mins. In Russian with English subtitles. DCP. Russian cause celebré Kirill Serebrennikov’s third feature is a hallucinatory, surrealistic adaptation of Alexey Salnikov’s novel The Petrovs in and Around the Flu, in which a young husband, wife, and child feverishly careen through the day, the past, and the dreams and nightmares of a city on the edge. A Strand release. 


Mr. Landsbergis 

New York premiere
Dir. Sergei Loznitsa. Lithuania/Netherlands/Ukraine. 2021, 246 mins. In Lithuanian and Russian with English subtitles. DCP. The latest documentary from the indefatigable Loznitsa is a masterwork of archival storytelling, grippingly and exhaustively detailing the Lithuanian fight for nationhood during the crucial years of 1989–1991, threaded together by interviews with the first Head of the Lithuanian Parliament, the now 89-year-old Vytautas Landsbergis. 

Babi Yar. Context 

New York premiere
Dir. Sergei Loznitsa. Netherlands/Ukraine. 2021, 121 mins. In Russian and Ukrainian with English subtitles. DCP. Winner of jury prizes at both Cannes and IDFA, Loznitsa’s latest film constructed entirely of archival footage (following The Event, The Trial, and State Funeral) is a meticulous recounting of the events at Babi Yar, a ravine on the outskirts of Kiev where, in 1941, one of the largest mass executions in history took place, and where citizens who turned on their Jewish neighbors under one occupation sought to erase their actions under the next. 


North American premiere
Dirs. Sasha Litvintseva, Beny Wagner. Germany/United Kingdom. 2022, 40 mins. DCP. The artist duo Litvintseva and Wagner use a combination of beautifully rendered 3-D animation, documentary footage, live action, and diagrams to relate the history of the search for a universal standard of measurement to the production and control of knowledge and power. A Science on Screen presentation. 

Day after… 

North American premiere
Dir. Kamar Ahmad Simon. Bangladesh/France/Norway. 2021, 115 mins. In Bengali with English subtitles. DCP. A century-old paddle steamer called the Rocket journeys from capital city Dhaka to coastal villages in a 360-degree portrait of contemporary Bangladesh, complete with a literal upstairs/downstairs class divide—politicians and radicals in conflict, workers, the elderly and bohemians gathered above and below deck. 

Faritra + Two by Marek Moučka
North American premiere
Dir. Tovoniaina Rasoanaivo, Luck Razanajaona. Madagascar. 2021, 78 mins. In Malagasy with English subtitles. DCP. This startlingly candid observational documentary takes place almost entirely inside a juvenile prison in Madagascar, where young boys rough-house, barter, gamble, and recount the conditions and incidents that led to their incarceration—both to the filmmakers and each other as they pass around the camera and slide provocatively between roles. 

Preceded by: 

Attention All Passengers 

United States premiere
Dir. Marek Moučka. Slovakia. 2020, 19 mins. In Slovak with English subtitles. DCP.

In Shallow Water
New York premiere
Dir. Marek Moučka. Slovakia. 2020, 10 mins. In Slovak with English subtitles. DCP.
Redolent of the frank, reportorial mode of early cinema vérité, these two miniatures, shot on 16mm, explore social rehabilitation in two different sets of men: train pilots recovering from the trauma of experiencing fatal collisions and prisoners who fish for traditional Christmas carp as a form of community service. Moučka evinces a keen eye for the telling idiosyncrasies of his subjects. 


United States premiere
Dir. Omar El Zohairy. Egypt, France, Netherlands, Greece. 2021, 112 mins. In Arabic with English subtitles. DCP. In his auspicious debut feature, a surreal absurdist parable, El Zohairy conjures an entire, self-contained universe around the story of a working-class Egyptian family, whose meekly long-suffering housewife is forced to fend for herself and her children when their overbearing patriarch is suddenly and inexplicably transmogrified into a chicken. Recipient of the Grand Prix at Cannes 2021 Critics’ Week. A Grasshopper Film release. 

First Time [The Time for All but Sunset (Violet)] 

United States premiere
Dir. Nicolaas Schmidt. Germany. 2021, 50 mins. DCP. In what Schmidt describes as his “common sensations music movie,” a young man rides the Hamburg tram at magic hour while listening to dreamy pop and sipping Coca-Cola. Over the course of a single film-length shot, interior and exterior spaces commingle and a tantalizing romantic encounter unfolds. 


United States premiere
Dir. Daniela Seggiaro. Argentina. 2021, 89 mins. In Spanish and Wichí Lhamtés with English subtitles. DCP. A multi-million dollar urbanization project for the indigenous territory of Gran Chaco threatens to relocate Wichi families and disrupt their ancestral way of life. Chief Valentino and his grandson refuse to comply, which nudges architect Ana to own up to her role in their displacement. Written with Wichi author Osvaldo Villagra and incorporating documentary elements, FIDMarseille winner Husek is both intently local and undeniably universal in its themes of erasure and gentrification. 

Preceded by: 

Listen to the Beat of Our Images 

New York premiere
Dirs. Audrey and Maxime Jean-Baptiste. France/French Guiana. 2021, 15 mins. In French with English subtitles. DCP. Recovering a history of colonial expropriation in Kourou, French Guiana, where, in 1964, France established its Guianese Space Center by displacing 600 Guianese villagers, the Jean-Baptistes’ archival film orchestrates a mesmerizing soundtrack to conjure a pellucid mental image of a lost time before the Europeans. 

A Man and a Camera 

New York premiere
Dir. Guido Hendrikx. Netherlands. 2021, 64 mins. In Dutch with English subtitles. DCP. Dutch instigator Guido Hendrikx’s conceit is simple—he knocks on strangers’ doors and then films them without saying a word. But the results are myriad and complicated. By playing the provocateur, or even, depending on your comfort level, the villain, the director fashions a subtly powerful and frequently hilarious mosaic of community and tolerance. 

A New Old Play 

North American premiere
Dir. Qiu Jiongjiong. China. 2021, 179 mins. In Mandarin with English subtitles. DCP. The story of 20th-century China, from the collapse of the Qing dynasty through Mao’s Cultural Revolution, is recalled through the irreverent remembrances of an old thespian on the road to the afterlife. In his hand-crafted masterwork, celebrated artist Qiu has delivered a gloriously synthetic historical pageant in homage to classical Chinese opera without forgetting to make us laugh. A dGenerate release. 


New York premiere
Dir. Valentyn Vasyanovych. Ukraine. 2021, 126 mins. In Ukrainian with English subtitles. DCP. Vasyanovych’s follow up to his acclaimed Atlantis concerns the trials of a Ukrainian surgeon who, moved to join his fellows at the front of Russia’s military incursion, is promptly captured, subjected to sickening horrors, and then released as though from an alien abduction. A grim and bloody tour de force of long-take cinema, Reflection obliterates the imaginary line between states of peace and states of war. 

A Thousand Fires 

North American premiere
Dir. Saeed Taji Farouky. France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Palestine, Myanmar. 2021, 90 mins. In Burmese with English subtitles. DCP. This ravishing film follows the tireless Thein Shwe and his family as they eke out a life drilling for oil in the fields of Magway, Myanmar. Tracing ineluctable cycles of life and death on multiple levels—natural, social, spiritual, and economic—A Thousand Fires accomplishes a rare feat, successfully balancing the universal and the particular without compromising the dignity of those with whom it was made. 

Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash 

East Coast premiere 

Dir. Edwin. Indonesia. 2021, 114 mins. In Indonesian with English subtitles. DCP. Indonesian auteur Edwin’s exhilarating whatsit blends grindhouse exploitation with meet-cute romance and magical realism in the form of a shaggy dog road movie. Ajo Kawir, a fighter whose fearlessness is matched only by shame over his enduring impotence, falls for (and gets pummeled by) a female fighter named Iteung, sending him on a journey in which he may finally rise to the occasion. A MoMI Disreputable Cinema presentation. 

Preceded by:
Semiotic Plastic
New York premiere
Dir. Radu Jude. Romania. 2021, 22 mins. No dialogue. DCP. Merging the kitschy with the uncanny, Romanian provocateur Radu Jude’s follow-up to Berlin winner Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn dramatizes the cycle of human life, and the history of western civilization, from birth to death, rise and fall, via tableaus of mismatched, inanimate toys. 

What We Leave Behind 

New York premiere
Dir. Iliana Sosa. United States. 2021, 71 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles. DCP. An intimate, lovingly patient portrait of the director’s 89-year-old grandfather Julián, from his final, long, solo bus ride to visit his daughters in El Paso, Texas, to his efforts to build a second house for his blind son on his property in Mexico. 

Persistent Visions Program 1 

Persistent Visions is the Museum’s ongoing series dedicated to experimental works. In this first program, an exploration of indeterminacy, feelings, time and a need for grounding in the physical world. 

Tigre del Carbón 

United States premiere.
aZuLosa. Mexico, Argentina. 2022, 5 mins. Super 8mm-to-digital. 

The Pendulum
New York premiere
Linda Scobie. United States. 2021, 2 mins. 16mm.
The Limits of Vision
World premiere
Laura Harrison. United States. 2022, 35 mins. DCP.
Notes on Connection III
North American premiere
Andrea Franco. United States, Peru. 2021, 12 mins. 16mm-to-digital. Autoficción
New York theatrical premiere
Laida Lertxundi. USA, Spain, New Zealand. 2020, 13.5 mins. 35mm. 

Persistent Visions Program 2 

Gestural lyrics, offerings to the heavens, rituals for ancestors, meditations on unfulfilled dreams give way to new forms, radical structures for restoring luminous contact with life, which, in turn, prepare the way for primordial visions of the world and our first tremulous contact with it. 

pài-la̍ k ē-poo (saturday afternoon)
New York premiere
Erica Sheu. Taiwan/USA. 2021, 2 mins. 16mm-to-digital.
United States premiere
Jorge Suárez-Quiñones Rivas. Spain. 2020, 10.5 mins. Super 8mm. 

New York premiere
James Edmonds. Germany. 2021, 8 mins. 16mm.
News from Nowhere
New York premiere
Ben Balcom. United States. 2020, 8 mins. 16mm-to-digital.
Slow Volumes
New York premiere
Mike Gibisser. United States. 2019, 4.5 mins. 35mm.
Untitled (34bsp)
New York premiere
Philipp Fleischmann. Austria. 2021, 5 mins. 35mm.
New York premiere
Malena Szlam. Indonesia, Canada. 2021, 8 mins.
World premiere
Nathaniel Dorsky. United States. 2020, 12.5 mins. 16mm. 


Our Ark 

New York gallery premiere
Dirs. Deniz Tortum, Kathryn Hamilton. Netherlands, USA, Turkey. 2021, 12 mins. Single-channel loop. Exploring the technological advances that have made backing up our world possible—from trees to turtles to tangerines—Our Ark probes the urge to preserve as well as what cannot be captured. 

As Mine Exactly 

New York premiere
Dir. Charlie Shackleton. United Kingdom. 2022. Live virtual reality performance. A mother and son revisit the medical emergency that reshaped their lives and the remarkable fragments that remain of that time in this intimate blend of VR and performance film. Co-presented with Rooftop Films. 

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