The Very Best of Film and Television

Athena Film Festival, The Orpheus Variations, CineKink and much more!

One of the most anticipated and prestigious film festivals of the season, the Athena Film Festival, opens Feb 5 at the Barnard College Campus. It’s an engaging weekend of feature films, documentaries and shorts that celebrate women and female leadership. On opening night, Jodie Foster will receive the 2015 Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award, while Rosie O'Donnell will present the 2015 Athena Awards on Feb 7. The festival runs thru Feb 8.

For something completely different—and a blend of live theater and film—check out The Orpheus Variations at Theater at the 14th St Y. Fresh from a sold-out run at the 2015 Under the Radar Festival, this production is inspired by the Orpheus myth and the neuroscience of memory, blending cinema, radio play and theatre vocabularies into an art-house film created and screened in real time. Thru Feb 14.

We always look forward to MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight 2015. Established in 2001, this festival highlights the art of the documentary and runs for two weeks. The selection of international feature-length and short documentaries showcases films from all over the world. This year’s fortnight begins in mid-February and the schedule includes screenings of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution and Hot Type: 150 Years of The Nation.

Another film festival definitely worth checking out is CineKink, the kinky film festival! Founded in 2003, CineKink recognizes and encourages the positive depiction of sexuality and kink in film and television. Featuring a carefully curated program of films and videos that celebrate and explore the wide diversity of sexuality, with offerings drawn from both Hollywood and beyond, works presented by CineKink range from documentary to drama, camp comedy to artsy experimental, mildly spicy to quite explicit—and everything in between. Opens Feb 24.

If you haven’t seen MoMA’s 100 Years in Post-Production: Resurrecting a Lost Landmark of Black Film History, you’re missing out on a truly fascinating and unique lost artifact. This is a goldmine of unedited footage for an unreleased black-cast feature film, originally shot more than 100 years ago in 1913. Like buried treasure, it was recently discovered in MoMA’s biography collection, and it is the fascinating subject of this installation on view thru Mar 1.

We’re looking forward to the second edition of the critically acclaimed Rated SR: Socially Relevant Film Festival in mid-March, which will showcase a slate of timely, issue-oriented films from all over the globe. The stimulating lineup includes films that concentrate on a wide range of issues including violence against women, police brutality, race relations, conflict in the Middle East, climate change—and that’s just a sampling.

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