Posted: 10/24/2003


New York University’s Student International Film Festival 2003

by Del Harvey

Thinking Outside the Frame: New York University’s International Student Film Festival Focuses on Censorship in Filmmaking.

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The 2003 New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts International Student Film Festival (ISFF) will run October 25-31 at the Cantor Film Center (36. E. 8th Street). One of the largest festivals of its kind, the seven-day program will exhibit more than 100 narrative, documentary, and experimental films. Showcasing the talent of the next generation of aspiring filmmakers, NYU¹s Tisch School of the Arts will host 60 directors representing over 30 countries, including: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, China, Croatia, Cuba, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan, and Turkey.

The theme of this year¹s ISFF is political censorship and the role of film in social reform. A special panel—Silenced: International Perspectives on Censorship and Resistance in Film—will be held to discuss truth in filmmaking, censorship, and the repercussions of political dissent in the arts. Pulling from diverse disciplines and experiences, the panel of esteemed voices includes: acclaimed filmmaker Costa Gavras (Z, State of Siege, Missing and Amen); Kathleen Cleaver, Executive Producer of the International Black Panther Film Festival and Senior Lecturer at Yale; Bruni Burres, Director of Human Rights Watch International Film Festival; veteran writer, producer, and director St. Clair Bourne (Half Past Autumn: The Life And Works of Gordon Parks and John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk); and Richard Peña, Program Director, Film Society of Lincoln Center and Head of Selection Committee, New York Film Festival. “Given the increasingly guarded and monitored world we live in, we feel it is particularly important to use the context of an international film festival to talk about how contemporary politics affect contemporary culture and film,” says Pari Shirazi, Vice Dean of Tisch School of the Arts.

Broadening the festival¹s international scope, Sundance Channel will present a special series of documentaries that tackle timely social issues in three different cultures. The films include: Dear Fidel—Marita¹s Story directed by Wilfried Huismann, When the War is Over directed by Fran├žois Verster, and Divorce Iranian Style directed by Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini.

Founded in 1993, the ISFF is a biannual event that is curated by a team of NYU faculty. The ISSF is the international counterpart to the NYU/Tisch School of the Arts First Run Festival and is presented alternately between New York City and Florence, Italy. Many of the exhibited films will go on to screen at premiere international film festivals, including Cannes, Toronto, Venice, and Berlin.

The 2003 ISFF is generously sponsored by Kodak, Sundance Channel, Virgin Megastore, TLA Video, World Gym, The New York Times, Starbucks Coffee, and Roots.

For more program information about the 2003 International Student Film Festival please visit Ticket information: General admission $5; Students with ID $3; Tisch Students Free.

For press inquiries please contact Wellington Love at 15minutes, tel: 212.366.4992 or

Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly. He lives in Chicago and is a survivor of Lucasfilm, The Walt Disney Company, and The Directors Guild Of America.

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