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Claus Mueller


Claus Mueller is filmfestivals.com  Senior New York Correspondent

New York City based Claus Mueller reviews film festivals and related issues and serves as a  senior editor for Society and Diplomatic Review.

As a professor emeritus he covered at Hunter College / CUNY social and media research and is an accredited member of the US State Department's Foreign Press Center.

 


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BAHER, Her Mind, Hassan Akhondpour, Iran 2015

Rarely has a short film been produced that covers with superb creative editing, directing, and acting the complex issue of contradictory psychological dynamics in such a successful brief way. The audience is intrigued by a compelling non-linear story shown through outstanding cinematography, a story which does not provide any ready answers but forces the viewer to decipher a cascading series of brief action and imaginary components. An apparently wealthy woman is prompted by small clues to in...

New York: Tribeca Film Festival 2016 Innovations

As in past editions the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival continues to expand traditional film festival limits to embrace new areas as eagerly anticipated by its audience. Before the Berlin Film Festival incorporated innovative television in its program schedule several years ago, Tribeca had already shown in 2004 the last episode of the hit show Friends. This year it presented 16 television programs, ‘The Best of the Small Screen on the Big Screen’ incorporating series finales of HBO&rsq...

New York: Frieze Art Fair 2016

The 2016 version of the Frieze Art Fair presented from May 5-8 in New York in its fifth edition 202 galleries from 31 countries with a focus on solo shows, commissions and installations.   Compared to 2015 with more than 40.000 attendees, this year drew over 43.00 domestic and international visitors and was not overwhelmed by the flood of other New York arts fairs held during the same time. The fair certainly qualifies as an upscale must attend social and sales event given its reputa...

Bilal, Khubram H. Alavi, Dubai, 2015

BILAL is an extraordinary full length animation feature produced in Dubai and excels in first rate animation conveying a universal message.  Set in the 6th century landscape of the Arabian desert the feature depicts  Bilal and his sister Ghufaira  who were abducted  from their African home as children by slave traders who slayed their mother. As slaves they are growing up in a forlorn village dominated by merchants adhering to a belief in idols and terrorizin...

New York Polish Film Festival 2016

Numerous awards from international film festivals such as the Berlinale, the London festival, Cannes, and the recent Oscar for Pawel Pawiloski’s IDA, and renowned directors like Andrzej Wajda, Krzyszrof Kieslowski, and Roman Polanski have given Polish filmmaking a global reputation.  With co-financing from international partners, support from the Polish Film Institute, regional film funds and the European Union through its MEDIA and Europe-Images initiatives Poland has been producin...

New York: Focus on French Cinema 2016

The festival was held at the Alliance Francaise in New York and most productions were also shown at the Alliance Francaise in Greenwich which organized the festival and a selection at its counterpart in Stamford. Focus on French Cinema presented 23 current outstanding French language films from France , Canada, and 10 co-productions including partners in Qatar, Lebanon, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Turkey, Morocco, the Czech Republic , and Luxembourg.  A welcome bonus was the inclusion ...

New York: KINO! 2016 German Film Festival

From April – 7-14 the independent KINO festival premiered twelve German features and a new short film section with 10 productions complemented by talks from attending German filmmakers, Q&A sessions, and receptions. Held for the third time it is one of the few US festivals focusing on German films. KINO 2016 was supported by Bertelsmann, the German Information Center and other sources.  A special event presented the first US screening of the digitally restored famed 1920 German ...

New York: 17th Havana Film Festival NY

  17th Havana Film Festival NY Announces Havana Star Prize Winners at Packed Closing Night Ceremony   Best Feature: Magallanes (Peru-Colombia) Best Director Santiago Mitre (Paulina) and Best Screenplay goes to El Acompañante (Cuba-Panama) Best Documentary: La Prenda (Guatemala-Switzerland) 18 Films Competed for the coveted Havana Star Award   New York, April 15, 2016— The 17th Havana Film Festival ...

New York: New Directors / New Films, 2016

New York: New Directors / New Films, 2016  For the last 45 years curators from the Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art have programmed the annual New Directors / New Films selection showcasing the most innovative films breaking the boundaries of traditional cinema. Held this year from March 16-27 ND/NF offered 27 feature and nine short films spanning a broad thematic spectrum and divergent film making approaches. This included, to name but a few, ghost stories, me...

New York Premier, Before the Spring, Egypt, 2015

  Before the Spring is an impressive reconstruction of the events leading to the Egyptian Spring by a blogger who lost his eye sight during the revolution. He was part of a small group of young opponents effectively using the social media for the revolt while leading government officials remained totally oblivious to rapidly emerging use and power  of the internet. The director Ahmed Atef provides a compelling cogent demonstration in his film of the social and political power of th...

New York Socially Relevant Film Festival March 2016 Awards

The Vanya Exerjian: Empowering Women and Girls Awardin memory of Founding Artistic Director Nora Armani's cousin and uncle, victims of a hate crime was presented by Ms. Ruchira Gupta of Apne Aap, together with Ms. Armani and it went to: Myriam Zaki for her work in Who Killed the Armenians? directed by Mohamend Hanafy (Egypt) * The Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature Award went to: Before the Spring directed by Ahmed Atef (Egypt) The film is offered a screenings at the Bow Tie Ci...

New York: at the Socially Relevant Film Festival

ALL MESHED UP which premiered at the New York Socially Relevant Film Festival in March 2016 is one of the best documentaries I have seen over the last year. Produced the Netherlands it is a data driven investigation revealing through its analysis of vaginal mesh implants the problems of more than 500 000 medical implant devices marketed and sold in the European community. There are no procedures establishing the safety of these devices or of the liability of companies selling them. All that is...

New York: Doc Fortnight 2016

In its 15th edition Doc Fortnight, the international festival of non-fiction films, presented from February 19-29 at the Museum of Modern Art 20 features and nine short films including numerous premieres were selected from 400 productions. The thematic range covered current events such as the refugee crisis, migration, the Syrian war, biographical portraits, colonialism, and ethnographic explorations.  Though traditional documentaries with archival footage, interviews and linear narrative...

New York Pulse Contemporary Art Fair, 2016

Held at New York’s Metropolitan Pavilion from March 3-6 the eleventh edition of the art fair presented an international showcase of the contemporary art market. The fair is held annually in Miami and New York, featuring established and emerging art galleries. In New York, galleries from Europe, Africa, and the Americas presented more than 120 artists. Four  parallel platform programs were held:  ‘Perspectives’ offered  a series of panel discussio...

New York Wild Film Festival 2016 3rd edition wrapped

From January 28 -31 New York’s renowned Explorers Club presented the third edition of the New York Wild Film Festival. It was established by its executive director Nancy Rosenthal as the first documentary festival in the New York metropolitan area devoted exclusively to environmental and wildlife productions with the mission of exploring, discovering and protecting global nature and its wildlife.  Through effective storytelling and superb cinematography in most productions selected ...

Exodus to Shanghai, 2015 review

Produced by Michel Adam a fashion TV founder and directed by Anthony Hickox (Waxwork, Hellraiser3...) this upbeat feature film provides a superb symbiosis of action thriller, comedy, romance, adventure, music and high production value. Using most attractive fashion models and seasoned actors the Exodus story is largely based on the true story of Dr. Feng Shan Ho the Chinese Consul of Vienna issuing 10, 000 exit visas in 1938 to Austrian Jews to leave the Third Reich for Shanghai, an initiative...

New York: Socially Relevant Film Festival: March 2016 Preview

The third edition of this relatively new and unknown festival will be held from  March 14-20  in Manhattan’s Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea. In the first two years 108 films from 33 countries  were shown in smaller venues  drawing an audience of more than 200. Established by filmmaker Nora Armani as a non-profit film festival SRFF occupies a unique niche with its focus on socially relevant films reelecting universal human interests contributing to positive change but foregoi...

New York Jewish Film Festival 2016

In the United States there are now more than 80 Jewish film festivals with The New York and San Francisco Jewish film festivals considered the best. Given its venue at the Lincoln Center, the large Jewish population of the New York metropolitan area and the upscale educated audience it attracts the NY Jewish film festival plays a special role. A large program with a balanced mix of features, documentaries, shorts as well as panels and master classes as offered this year by Amis Gitai and the i...

New York: Outsider Art Fair 2016

Held from January 21 – 24 the 24th edition of the Outsider Art Fair featured 60 exhibitors with a growing number of New York based contemporary art dealers and two curated and memorial exhibitions, ”Babel” an installation of 3d-printed imaginary towers and a memorial exhibition on Ionel Talpazan. The comprehensive fair showed in its new home the Metropolitan Pavilion a plethora of styles, media, materials, and approaches difficult to catalogue.  Everything imag...

Making Waves The New Romanian Cinema

  The tenth edition of the Romania film festival with new and well established older films was held by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Romanian Film Initiative from December 2-7. The best of current Romanian film making including feature films, documentaries and shorts were presented. It also brought back some classic landmark films like Poi’s THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU and Nemescu’s CALIFORNIA DREAMING. Panels focused on Romanian filmmakers and a special program C...

New York: DOC NYC 2015

Established in 2010 DOC NYC had become by 2014 the largest documentary festival in the United States and is considered by Movie Maker  as one of the top five documentary film festivals in the world, and by the Wall Street Journal  as “One of the city’s grandest  cinematic events”. DOC NYC was presented from November 12-19 in three Manhattan locations with over 200 films of which 107 were feature length productions. The program included 27 world and 15 U.S. prem...

New York: Margaret Mead Film Festival, 2015

In this year’s 39th edition the Margaret Mead Film Festival selected for the October 22-25 run 31 long documentaries and 22 short films from 41 countries including those listed in co-productions.  The international character of the films reflects globalization more transparently in this year’s theme than in past editions. Certainly, traditional anthropological and ethnographic  films  are retained in the program showing the struggling persistence of local cultures ye...

Chelsea Film Festival 2015 wrap

Staged for the third time from October 15-18 in New York City the Chelsea Film Festival focused on Women in Film and Media and presented sixty six productions from twenty three countries of which the majority were directed, produced and written by women.  The non-profit international festival was organized with cooperation from the School of Visual Arts and the Fashion Institute of Technology and exceeded last year’s success. In 2013 47 films from 24 countries were shown to 4000 peo...

New York Film Festival 2015

Established in 1963 by Amos Vogel and Richard Roud this year’s 53rd edition of the New York Film Festival turned out to be a signature cross cultural event. Held at the Lincoln center arts complex it presented a full range of features, shorts and documentaries and special screening events with many film makers and industry specialists present.  Continuing the festival’s long standing tradition no jury judged the productions or provided awards and most film makers were present ...

New York: Affordable Art Fair

Held from September 9 -13  at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Pavilion  the Affordable Art Fair  served   more than 10,000 visitors and  72 US and international exhibitors with work from more than 1000 artists with sales  amounting to $2.5 million..   Arranged twice a year in New York the AAF displayed in its 14th edition affordable contemporary art work in all media and will return next spring to the Metropolitan Pavilion from March 30-Apr...

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