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About the Theme

As the COVID-19 pandemic relaxes its grip, unrest destabilizes the status quo, and the rumblings of war threaten new struggle, the world seems to irreversibly change with every headline. Each morning, we wake up to developments that upset our preconceived notions about our place in the world and how it operates, and we continuously change, adapt, and try to make sense of the new, the mysterious, and the challenging. Change — whatever form it takes — constantly shapes our realities. 


Change is integral to how we approach, navigate, and live life, and FACES OF CHANGE seeks to explore the ways it manifests, the anxieties it represents, and the hope it promises. How does change affect us, and how do we, ourselves, change in response to the new? Can we trace change, from the shots heard 'round the world, to the minute ones that affect only the individual? How do we work through change, or resist when it's no longer desired? Through film, and the privileged perspective it grants us, the CMU IFF hopes to answer these questions, and asks all of us to reflect on change, and our relationship with, for, and against it

2023 may just be the tail-end of two years of rapid, unpredictable change. From COVID-19, political unrest around the world, the war in Ukraine, and economic anxieties, it is only fitting that we follow suit, adapting the CMU IFF to meet the challenges of our world in lock-step. We are delighted to continue our successes of "Faces Behind the Mask," as we continue our mission to bring the world to Pittsburgh.

This year, the festival has had the opportunity to expand in scope, with our team growing profoundly and our capacities evolving in turn. As we continue to embrace coming together as a community in-person, allowing discourse and conversation to take place right in the theater, we are excited to see what "Faces of Change" can do for Pittsburgh, and what inspiration can come from our time together with the community. As the world enters our city – from Pakistan to Poland, France to Taiwan – we wait with baited breath to share our greatest festival yet.

Opening Night is March 16!

The 2023 CMU IFF, “Faces of Change,” continues a legacy of screening world-class films and hosting insightful discussions with directors, filmmakers, academics, and community members from around the world. Each event offers the opportunity to come together as part of the greater Pittsburgh community.


Join us in celebrating this year’s film selections, and don’t miss our opening night with Full Time (À plein temps).

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