FRIDAY, JANUARY 5 –  THURSDAY, JANUARY, 11

Each year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invites countries to submit a single film for consideration in the competition category of Foreign Language Film. This year 92 films have been accepted for competition and, for the 15th consecutive year, the Smith Rafael Film Center offers a choice sampling. This is a rare opportunity to view some of the most distinguished works in international cinema, many of which are film festival prizewinners.

Series programmed by Karen Davis and Janis Plotkin

Click image to view trailer

FÉLICITÉ

SENEGAL

Friday, January 5  •  5:30

Félicité sings her heart out at Kinshasa’s rowdiest bar. When her son is seriously injured in a car accident, the songbird begins to lose her voice. Franco-Senegalese filmmaker Alain Gomis crafts an incredible story of maternal endurance driven by a vibrant soundtrack featuring everything from the Kasai All-stars’ rump-shaking Afro-pop to the city’s real-life church choirs. Winner, Grand Jury Prize, Berlin Film Festival. In Lingala with English subtitles.  Director: Alain Gomis. 124 min.

MVFF40 OFFICIAL SELECTION

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

HAPPY END

AUSTRIA

Friday, January 5  •  8:15

Michael Haneke’s semi-sequel to 2012’s Oscar-winner Amour sets his portrait of a dysfunctional bourgeois European family against the refugee crisis in France. This ironically titled film focuses on characters with multiple skeletons in the closet, starring Isabelle Huppert as a grown daughter who has taken over the family business from her ailing father (Jean-Louis Trintignant). In French with English subtitles and some English.  With Mathieu Kassovitz, Toby Jones. Director: Michael Haneke. 107 min

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

AYITI MON AMOUR

HAITI

Saturday, January 6  •  2:00

Q&A WITH DIRECTOR GUETTY FELIN VIA SKYPE FOLLOWING SCREENING

Exquisitely shot in the Haitian mist and sunlight five years after the devastating earthquake, Ayiti mon amour presents three compelling stories that intertwine, collide and co-exist. Memories of the disaster still haunt the villagers who seek healing in order to begin anew. This beautiful and haunting film is the first feature-length narrative entirely shot in Haiti by a Haitian-born female director. In Creole, French, Japanese with English subtitles. Director: Guetty Felin, 86 min.

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

ZAMA

ARGENTINA

Saturday, January 6  •  5:00

In a remote South American colony during the late 18th century, officer Zama of the Spanish crown waits in vain for a transfer to a more prestigious location. Forced to accept submissively every task entrusted to him by successive Governors, Zama slowly succumbs to lust and paranoia, in this intoxicatingly atmospheric story adapted from Antonio di Benedetto’s 1956 classic of Argentinean literature. (Special Sneak Preview) In Spanish with English subtitles. Director: Lucrecia Martel. 114 min.

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

A FANTASTIC WOMAN

CHILE

Saturday, January 6  •  7:30

Meet Marina—the complex, talented, tender and determined title character who works as a waitress while aspiring to sing. In love with an older man who loves her in return, she is coming into her own as a well-adjusted transgender woman. But when her paramour dies unexpectedly, Marina must suddenly face a humiliating swirl of suspicion and rejection. Silver Bear, Berlin Film Festival. In Spanish with English subtitles. Director:  Sebastián Lelio. 103 min.

MVFF40 OFFICIAL SELECTION

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

YEVA

ARMENIA

Sunday, January 7  •  2:00

Recently widowed Yeva and her daughter arrive in a village seeking protection from vengeful in-laws. She struggles to conceal her past while fighting for her future, in this compelling drama. Anchored by a powerful lead performance and cinematic detail of Armenia’s disputed Karabakh region, where Persian, Turkish, and Russian cultures meet and collide, director Anahit Abad‘s debut feature paints the portrait of a border town rife with secrets and reeling from the after effects of war. In Armenian with English subtitles. 94 min.

MVFF40 OFFICIAL SELECTION

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

BREATH

IRAN

Sunday, January 7  •  4:15

Woman director Narges Abyar’s beautifully crafted (and multiple award-winning) anti-war drama is a portrait of pre-teen daydreamer Bahar and her family, in the wake of the 1979 Islamic revolution. Bahar’s love of books leads her into a rich fantasy world where frightening realities are left behind. Though current events are peripheral to her world, the revolution and brewing war with Iraq loom larger than she can imagine. In Farsi with English subtitles. 112 min.

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

THE WOUND

SOUTH AFRICA

Sunday, January 7   •   6:45

Q&A WITH DIRECTOR JOHN TRENGOVE VIA SKYPE FOLLOWING SCREENING

Factory worker Xolani returns annually to an encampment in the mountains to mentor young Xhosa initiates into manhood following their ritual circumcision.  His clandestine gay relationship with a fellow caregiver and the cultural shame of forbidden love reveal more than one type of wound in this deeply moving and important film. Director John Trengove’s acclaimed debut feature premiered at Sundance and has garnered more than 14 festival wins. In Xhosa with English subtitles. 88 min.

.

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

NOVEMBER

ESTONIA

Monday, January 8  •  5:30
Thursday, January 11  •  5:30

In this lush and folkloric tale of love and survival in 19th century Estonia, peasant girl Liina longs for village boy Hans, but Hans’ heart belongs to the baroness. Director Rainer Sarnet’s phantasmagorical imagery shapes a landscape where spirits and the devil himself converge, where thievery is rampant and mischievous objects come alive. Best Cinematography, Tribeca FF. In Estonian and German with English subtitles. 115 min.

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

LOVELESS

RUSSIA

Monday, January 8  •  8:00

Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev (Oscar-nominated Leviathan) delivers some devastating scenes from a marriage in Loveless, a meticulous, absorbing drama that won the Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Boris and Zhenya are a contentious husband and wife anxiously looking forward to finalizing their divorce—both of them have new lovers awaiting them—but they’re forced to spend time together after they belatedly realize that their 12-year-old son has gone missing. In Russian with English subtitles. Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev. 127 min.

MVFF40 OFFICIAL SELECTION

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

TEMPASTAD

MEXICO

Tuesday, January 9  •  5:45

Recounting the parallel emotional and physical journeys of two women, Miriam and Adela, director Tatiana Huezo’s brave film spans the landscapes and highways of Mexico, revealing tales of government corruption and injustice, along with their unfulfilled longings, dreams and desires. This exploration of love, resistance and dignity in the face of terrible odds examines the impact of violence and impunity afflicting Mexico today.  In Spanish with English subtitles. 105 min.

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

A CIAMBRA

ITALY

Tuesday, January 9  •  8:00

Focusing on a character from his award-winning debut Mediterranea (MVFF39), director Jonas Carpignano’s new film centers on Pio Amato, a teenage Romani hustler in a small Italian community.  This gripping coming-of-age tale addresses themes of poverty and crime, documenting Pio’s quest to assert himself as the man of the house after his elders are imprisoned. A supporting cast including Amato’s family members adds urgency and authenticity to this unforgettable drama. In Italian with English subtitles. 118 min.

MVFF40 OFFICIAL SELECTION

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

SONG OF GRANITE

IRELAND

Wednesday, January 10  •  5:45

Director Pat Collins takes us on a lyrical journey through the life of celebrated traditional Irish folk singer Joe Heaney, from his boyhood in Connemarra to the folk clubs of 1960s Greenwich Village alongside Pete Seeger and the Clancy Brothers. This beautifully photographed biopic invites us to draw up a chair by the fire, or a stool at the pub, and experience Heaney’s heart-stopping a cappella performances along with the story of his life. In English and in Gaelic with English subtitles.104 min.

MVFF40 OFFICIAL SELECTION

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

WHITE SUN

NEPAL

Wednesday, January 10  •  8:00

Immersed in idyllic beauty amid the textures of a rural mountain locale, this film chronicles a complex political and interpersonal relationship in the still-unsettled aftermath of the Maoist revolution in Nepal. A son, who left his village long ago to join the revolution, returns to his village to find himself confronted by class conflicts over the burial of his recently deceased father and more personal domestic tensions at home. In Nepali with English subtitles.  Director Deepak Rauniyar.  86 minutes.

MVFF40 OFFICIAL SELECTION

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows

Click image to view trailer

FOXTROT

ISRAEL

Thursday, January 11  •  8:00

From the Director of Lebanon comes a dance of fate.  Michael and Dafna are devastated when army officials show up at their home to announce the death of their son Jonathan. While his sedated wife rests, Michael spirals into a whirlwind of anger, only to experience one of life’s unfathomable twists, rivaling the surreal military experiences of his son. Winner, Silver Lion, Venice Film Festival.  In Hebrew with English subtitles. Director: Samuel Maoz 113 min.

TICKETS BACK TO CART

No Upcoming Shows