Faces of Change
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.
Explore our program!
The Balcony Movie
Capturing only what is seen from the director’s home balcony, Łoźinski explores his neighbors’ sometimes banal and sometimes profound insights about the world.
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
Based on stories by Haruki Murakami, this animated film provides a snapshot of Tokyo shortly after the 2011 earthquake and tidal wave. Reality, memories, and dreams blend together in a rotoscoped fantasy.
At first glance, the film appears to be the slice-of-life of a single mother trying her best. As she struggles with the missed transport, the interview cram, and endless tardiness, a critique about systems of work unfolds.
Following what is seemingly a senseless act of violence, the film traces the histories of six people and their connection to the event while questioning society's relationship with digital media.
A disapproving father, a society that devalues women, and the demand for rigid expressions of gender and sexuality create a fertile ground for love to grow between a man and a trans woman in Saim Sadiq's first feature film.
Know Your Place
Zia Mohajerjasbi’s debut film, Know Your Place, follows an Eritrean-American boy’s journey of delivering a suitcase destined for a sick family member in his parents’ homeland.
The setting is Northern Mexico. Cielo’s teenage daughter has been kidnapped. When local authorities fail to assist in the search, Cielo takes the issue into her own hands.
Matter Out of Place
Geyrhalther’s documentary follows the path of human waste across the planet, discovering where trash is “disposed.” Accompanied by beautiful cinematography this film underscores how society values the perception of “clean.”
Grappling with life and its expectations, taken with a dose of humor for good measure, forms the core of Maha Haj's dark comedy and exploration of existential depression.
Return to Seoul
Set over an eight-year time span, Return to Seoul follows a woman, Freddie’s, journey back to her place of birth — a country to which she has never been and of which she does not know the language.
Wolf and Sheep
In rural Afghanistan, storytellers spin tales of mystery to understand their world. Shepherd children own the mountains and, despite the lack of adult supervision, they still uphold their parents' rules.
Woman on the Roof
At 60 years old, Mirka is struggling to find direction as she enters her twilight years. She stages a sudden act of defiance – an attempted bank robbery. Her journey through cold state bureaucracies uncovers a world where she struggles to belong.
Post the screening of the 2021 movie,' The Balcony', directed by the Polish director Pawel Łozinski, Will Zavala, a visiting lecturer for Film and Media Studies at The University of Pittsburgh, decided to interview people attending the CMU IFF showcase in 2023 and record their reactions to a simple question,' Why are you here at CMU IFF?'. While he was met with hard pauses and reflective silences, he also captured some interesting perspectives. All the 'Faces' in the video answered questions in a way that aptly represented the 2023 theme, 'Faces of Change'. Coping with the pandemic and ever-changing perspectives concerning culture, inclusivity and views towards international cinema, our CMU IFF attendees proved that we as a festival, are a niche community set to embark on a global journey of loving art, cinema and everything in between.