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Claus Mueller

Claus Mueller is  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.



New York: 2014 Margaret Mead Film Festival

Held at the American Museum of Natural History the Margret Mead Film Festival was guided by the theme “Past Forward”   and presented from October 23 - 27 44 films from more than 50 countries. The film program of this well organized fest was accompanied by events including art installations with cell phone made content and a participatory web-based interactive documentary project on the history of a rural US county. Three ‘Mead Dialogues’  covered screenin...

New York: New York City Independent Film Festival

Staged for the fifth time, the New York City Independent Film Festival show cased this year from October 15-19 over 254 films from 38 countries covering feature films, documentaries and short films.  Aimed at new, underground and experimental independent filmmakers the NYCIFF has established itself as a festival platform for domestic and foreign independent producers and directors. Panels of more than 100 judges selected  from 1000 submissions 47 features, 132 short films and 75 supe...

New York: 2014 NY Film Festival - Documentaries

Not offering any awards, outlandish social events and a sales market the New York Film Festival remains one of the most important US film festivals following its unique strategy of programming demanding artistic films as well as excellent movies which meet commercial demands.  As the main selection, the retrospective,   the revival, and Spotlight on Documentary programs and side bars demonstrate the fest has retained its appeal for cineastes as does the inclusion of first rate f...

New York: Asian American International Film Festival 2014

Presented by New York’s Asian Cinevision, The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) had its 37th edition from July 24 – August 2. There are now 22 Asian film festivals in the United States programming films for the communities they serve. The strong link to community based partners is also one of the defining marks of AAIFF and the program lists one or more partners for each selected film. What is also striking is the festival events designed to involve the audien...

New York: Japan Cuts

Presented by New York’s Japan Society with some corporate support from UNIQLO, Sapporo, Sony and private assistance, the eighth edition of Japan Cuts, The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema was held from July 10-20. Its program featured 27 feature films, of which 17 were not shown before in the US, and overlapped with the New York Asian Film Festival which carried 13 of the Japan Cuts selections.  Among the few festivals celebrating Japanese films in the United S...


Held for the 13th time the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) took place from June 27 – July 14 at the Lincoln Center, the Japan Society and the Asia Society.  Established  by  Subway Cinema in 2002, it teamed up in 2007 with the Japan Society’s Japan Cuts film fest and has been carried out since 2010 in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln  Center.  Support has been provided by the New York based trade or cultur...

New York: 2014 Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Human Rights Watch is one of the largest and most influential independent international human rights organizations. It has been carrying out global research on virtually all violations of human rights and published empirically based and verified reports about these violations. A most recent example is Human Rights Watch identification through photos and satellite images of war crimes committed by Jihadists in the rogue ‘Islamic State’. These reports have been influencing decision mak...

New York: KINO! 2014, New Films from Germany

  KINO! has been the longest running showcase for German Films in the United States at the Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, featuring for 35 years many award winning selections from major international film festivals such as the Berlinale. The programs have always offered a survey of themes and styles of the latest creative film making in Germany, frequently surpassing the boundaries of traditional cinematography.  KINO!  has programmed numerous films and plays an important role in pr...

New York: The Americas Film Festival of New York

      As noted in earlier reviews most new film festivals do not survive in the competitive New York market unless they have institutional support, access to productions, a clear profile and an audience. Even established festivals such as the German KINO!  which has had a successful 35 year run at the Museum of Modern Art faces an uncertain future. Kino! had to relocate this year to the small downtown Quad Cinema venue since MOMA no longer carries country specific film pro...

New York: Open Roads – New Italian Cinema, 2014

Those Happy Years   The Film Society of Lincoln Center presented the 2014 edition of Open Roads from June 5-12 including 16 productions of which 13 were U.S. Premieres.  Compared to past Open Roads programs, the festival offered more documentaries and features embracing a documentary approach. It carried Gianfranco Rossi’s Sacro GRA, the first documentary receiving the Golden Lion for best film at Venice and Alberto Fasulo’s   crossover TIR, a featur...

NEW YORK: 2014 FRIEZE ART FAIR – Moving Images Art

It has been estimated that the approximate value of art work shown during the Frieze Art Fair from May 8 -12 exceeded $2 billion. This also includes work exhibited during this period at other at the same time such as the Downtown Art Fair, Pulse, and the show organized by the New Art Dealers Association (NADA).  By far the largest fair, Frieze showed artist from 28 countries represented by galleries selected by the Frieze curators, including more than 50...

New York Polish Film Festival 2014

Established in 2005 to promote Polish films in the United States and attract an American audience, the Polish Film Festival (PFF) celebrated its 10th anniversary from May 7-11 at New York’s renowned Anthology Film Archives theatre, a traditional home to many niche film festivals. Working closely with the Polish Film Institute and other agencies, the film festival offered a well-rounded program with eleven recently produced features and a documentary, all subtitled.   Many ...

New York: 2014 Tribeca Film Festival wrap

Acquisition of half of Tribeca Enterprises for $22 million by the Madison Square Company, MSG, will permit Tribeca to expand.  The festival and some related ventures have grown so much since the festival was founded in 2002 that funds for the expansion seem necessary. Apart from the festival, its principal venture,   Tribeca enterprises is involved in a digital studio, theatrical and non-theatrical distribution   using traditional and digital p...

New York: Sikh International Film Festival 2014

Sponsored by the Sikh Art & Film Foundation, the Sikh International Film Festival was held in New York City for the tenth time on May 2 – 3. As reflected in the selection, the foundation’s mission is to use films to make Sikh culture and values accessible to a larger public; with the goal of overcoming preconceptions and prejudice which the Sikh community has been experiencing.  The festival also serves to raise awareness about the issues and problems the Sikhs face h...

New York: 2014 Havana Film Festival New York

  As suggested in earlier articles, in order to survive the growing festival scene in major metropolitan areas niche festivals need to have an unmistakable profile offering a program others do not have. These fests’ niche must be  successfully branded, offering more than just a marginal differentiation from other fests.  In New York the international Latino Film Festival announced its demise. As the founder Calixto Chinchilla explained the fest cannot meet the economic ...

New York: First Time Fest April 3-7, 2014

A rapidly growing number of films resulting from new low cost production technologies and the rising number of young filmmakers have made the identification and subsequent exposure of outstanding independent films and their release on different platforms problematic.  As members of the FTF Critical Eye film criticism panel noted, it is impossible to track all the films which are a produced, many of which will never see the light of the day.  A significant number of the close to 800 fil...

New York: New Directors / New Films, March 19-30, 2014

Now in its 43nd year, the renowned New Directors/New Films festival, presented jointly by The Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, introduces New York audiences to the work of emerging or not-yet-established filmmakers from around the world.  With a focus on diversity, original narratives, and outstanding direction, the programmers from MOMA and the Film Society selected features by innovative film makers from recent film festivals but also from individual sub...

New York: First Time Fest 2014 Prologue

Having survived its first year because of the unique focus on presenting   first-time film makers from around the world and a retrospective program of the debut films of established   film directors, the First Time Fest will present its second edition from April 3-7 in New in New York City. It will honor Julia Taymor with the John Huston Award for achievement in Cinema. An innovative director Julie Taymor the recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant, excelled in oper...

New York: Winter Film Awards 2014

Focusing on independent and arts-oriented productions the Winter Film Awards presented its third edition from February 26 to March 1st, surviving the first three years during which many new festivals fade away.  As Stephen Follows pointed out a third of the new festivals last only one year. Run by volunteers the Winter Film Awards fest   is non-profit endeavor with a minimal budget and not widely known.   350 productions were submitted for 2014 with a final selection of 61 ...

Beki Probst: 2014 European Film Market Remarks

    Claus Mueller:   You noted several years ago that too many films are produced.   At the changing market panel I mentioned the overproduction issue because some panelists seem to encourage more production though there is hardly a market for all these films. What do you think accounts for this problem? Beki Probst:   One reason they are producing so much is that there has been a reduction in the cost of making a film.  Frankly speaking, though...

The European Film Market 2014 - Benefits and Prospects

Virtually each year similar criticisms of the European Film Market are articulated.  Thus the decline of must-have productions  is deplored,  the low level of business, the” lack of heat” (Screen International),  the costs of attending the EFM and  the timing of the market. Presumably, the EFM is too close to the important other important film markets, the American Film Market in November and the Cannes film market in May.  Undoubtedly it is expensiv...

Dieter Kosslick: Berlinale 2014 Reflections

Claus Mueller: What surprised you about the 2014 selection? DK: This year’s selection is completely different from what we offered last year. You really cannot compare it from the product ion angle, but you can compare it from the subject matters. Some films have the same focus such as sex, kids, violence... otherwise the films are entirely different, we have the kind of diversity we never had before CM: Thus you have a supermarket of different approaches and themes? DK:  M...

New York Jewish Film Festival 2014

The 23rd edition of the New York Jewish Film Festival presented a vastly enlarged program held from January 8-23, 2014 at Lincoln Center Film Society venues. As in past years most performances were sold out with a faithful audience attending.  This year 49 features were presented with many world, US or New York premieres and several archival films.  The expansion was made possible by a significant increase of the festival budget by the co-sponsoring New York Jewish Museum. Among the...

New York: 2013 South Asian International Film Festival

  The South Asian International Film Festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary from December 3-8, focuses on films from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Indian Diaspora. It presented this year 9 feature films and 5 shorts, including 6 Indian co-productions and 2 films from Pakistan. HBO is the principal sponsor of the festival which is considered to be the largest US film festival with productions from that region. The current edition programmed several outstandin...

New York: Chinese Film Festival 2013

New York: Chinese Film Festival 2013   The fourth edition of the New York Chinese Film Festival was held from November 5 -7 featuring seven recent films from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It opened at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with Vick Zhao Wei’s debut film SO YOUNG and screened the others at   an AMC theater. Principal sponsors of the 2013 festival were the Chinese Movie Channel (CCTV-6), the Chinese American Arts Council and the Chinese Film F...


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