Venice Golden Lion Winner ‘Happening,’ ‘The African Desperate’ Bookend New Directors/New Films

Film at Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art has set Audrey Diwan’s Happening and The African Desperate by Martine Syms will bookend the 51st edition of their collaboration, New Directors/New Films running April 20–May 1 in NYC.

The festival will introduce 26 features and 11 shorts and total of 39 directors — 21 of which are women.

“Portraits of individuals and communities navigating uncertain and turbulent circumstances in pursuit of freedom, self-determination, and survival set a remarkably contemplative tone to the lineup,” said La Frances Hui, curator of MoMa’s film department and event co-char.

Happening (L’Événement), winner of the 2021 Venice International Film Festival’s Golden Lion, is the portrait of a young woman attempting to secure an illegal abortion in 1960s provincial France. It was acquired by IFC Films and will be released May 6.

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The African Desperate, a debut feature from Syms, rushes through 24 hours in the life of protagonist Palace Bryant (Syms’s fellow visual artist Diamond Stingily) on a surreal trip through moments when life feels on the precipice, starting with her MFA graduation in upstate New York and ending at a Chicago Blue Line Station.

The rest of the lineup showcases work from a China, India, Norway, Argentina, Mexico, South Korea, France, and Rwanda; prizewinners from Berlin (Robe of Gems), Sundance (Dos Estaciones, Nanny), and Venice (Pilgrims, Full Time, White Building) and many feature debuts.

Directors presented to New York audiences in previous editions, some for the first time, include Ryusuke Hamaguchi (whose Drive My Car just won the Oscar for best international feature), Hou Hsiao-hsien, Kelly Reichardt, Pedro Almodóvar, Souleymane Cissé, Euzhan Palcy, Jia Zhangke, Spike Lee, Lynne Ramsay, Michael Haneke, Wong Kar Wai, Agnieszka Holland, Lino Brocka, Guillermo del Toro and Luca Guadagnino.

The New Directors/New Films 2022 selection committee, made up of members from both presenting organizations,  includes Florence Almozini, La Frances Hui, Dennis Lim, Rajendra Roy, Josh Siegel and Tyler Wilson. The shorts were programmed by Brittany Shaw and Maddie Whittle.

The complete 2022 New Directors/New Films lineup:


The African Desperate dir. Martine Syms

Album for the Youth dir. Malena Solarz

The Apartment with Two Women dir. Kim Se-in

Blue Island dir. Chan Tze Woon

The Cathedral dir. Ricky D’Ambrose

Children of the Mist dir. Diễm Hà Lệ

The City and the City dir. Christos Passalis and Syllas Tzoumerkas

Dos Estaciones dir. Juan Pablo González

Father’s Day dir. Kivu Ruhorahoza

Fire of Love dir. Sara Dosa

Full Time dir. Éric Gravel

Happening dir. Audrey Diwan

Hot in Day, Cold at Night dir. Park Song-yeol

The Innocents dir. Eskil Vogt

Nanny dir. Nikyatu Jusu

Once Upon a Time in Calcutta dir. Aditya Vikram Sengupta

Onoda – 10,000 Nights in the Jungle dir. Arthur Harari

Pilgrims dir. Laurynas Bareiša

Rehana dir. Abdullah Mohammad Saad

Riotsville, USA dir. Sierra Pettengill

Robe of Gems dir. Natalia López Gallardo

Shankar’s Fairies dir. Irfana Majumdar

Singing in the Wilderness dir. Dongnan Chen

Small, Slow but Steady dir. Shô Miyake

Talking About the Weather dir. Annika Pinske

White Building dir. Kavich Nean


Astel dir. Ramata-Toulaye Sy

August Sky dir. Jasmin Tenucci

Crystalized Memory dir. Chonchanok Thanatteepwong

The Eternal Melody dir. Niranjan Raj Bhetwal

Five Minutes Older dir. Sara Szymanska

Further and Further Away dir. Polen Ly

August Sky dir. Jasmin Tenucci

Crystalized Memory dir. Chonchanok Thanatteepwong

The Eternal Melody dir. Niranjan Raj Bhetwal

Five Minutes Older dir. Sara Szymanska

Further and Further Away dir. Polen Ly

It’s Raining Frogs Outside dir. Maria Estela Paiso

Lili Alone dir. Zou Jing

Madhu dir. Tanmay Chowdhary and Tanvi ChowdharyNorth Pole dir. Marija Apcevska

Suncatcher dir. Kim Torres





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