Common Ground Middletown International Film Festival

Russell Library has partnered with Middlesex Community College and Wesleyan University to select and screen acclaimed international films.  The festival provides an opportunity to learn more about our local community’s diverse cultures and to gather together on ‘common ground’ to celebrate the global human spirit.  Each screening begins is followed by a scholarly discussion of the film’s cultural and societal themes. The venues are handicapped accessible.  All events are free and refreshments will be served.

Common Ground 2014: The Sixth Middletown International Film FestivalWadjda directed by Haifaa Al Mansour 2012

Tuesday, September 30
Russell Library Hubbard Room

Wadjda (2012) 98 min. Saudi Arabia - directed by Haifaa Al Mansour

An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school's Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remainng funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.

The RocketTuesday, October 7
Center for Film Studies, Wesleyan University

The Rocket - (2013) 96 min. Australia, Thailand, Laos - directed by Kim Mordaunt

A boy who brings bad luck to everyone around him leads his family and two new friends through Laos to find a new home. After a calamity-filled journey through a war scarred land, he proves he is not bad luck by building a giant rocket to enter an exciting and dangerous Rocket Festival competitionMonsieur Lazhar

Tuesday, October 14
Center For Film Studies, Wesleyan University

Monsieur Lazhar - (2011) 94 min. Canada - directed by Philippe Falardeau

At a Montréal public grade school, an Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom. While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is revealed.

War WitchTuesday, October 21
Middlesex Community College

War Witch (2012) 90 min. Democratic Republic of Congo - directed by Kim Nguyen

Somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, Komona, a 14-year-old girl, tells her unborn child growing inside her the story of her life since she has been at war. Everything started when she was abducted by the rebel army at the age of 12.

Tuesday, October 28Shun Li and the Poet
Middlesex Community College

Shun Li and the Poet -(2011) 98 min. Italy - directed by Andrea Segre

A study of the friendship between a Chinese woman and a fisherman who came to Italy from Yugoslavia many years ago, who live in a small city-island in the Veneto lagoon.

Clandestine ChildhoodTuesday, November 4
Russell Library Hubbard Room

Clandestine Childhood (2011) 112 min. Argentina - directed by Benjamin Avila

The year is 1979 and an Argentinean family who have been exiled in Cuba return to Argentina as Montoneros - a guerilla group fighting against the military junta that controlled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. Based on the true story of the director’s childhood.


2013 MIFF V

More Than Frybread– directed by Travis Holt Hamilton, USA, 2011, 93 min. 
Mouth to Mouth– directed by Manuel Gomez Pereira, Spain, 1995, 106 min.
Saving Grace– directed by Nigel Cole, England, 2000, 93 min.
Intouchables– directed by Olivier Noakache, Eric Toledano, France, 2011, 112 min.
Working Class – directed by Tsui Hark, Hong Kong, 1985, 98 min.
In July – directed by Fatih Akin, Germany, 2000, 99 min.

2012 MIFF IV

My Voice (2002) Portuguese, directed by Flora Gomes
Seraphine (2008) French, directed by Martin Provost
The Concert (2009)Russian, directed by Radu Mihaileanu
Poetry (2010) Korean, directed by Chang-dong Lee
Dancing Dreams (2010) German, directed by Rainer Hoffmann and Anne Linsel
As It Is in Heaven (2004) Swedish, directed by Kay Pollak


BOY - Taika Waititi, Director, New Zealand, 2010, 87 min.
Cherry Blossoms - Doris Dorrie, Director, Germany, 2008, 127 min.
Departures - Yojiro Takita, Director, Japan, 2008, 130 min.
Undertow - Javier Fuentes-Leon, Director, Peru, 2009, 100 min.
We Still Live Here - Anne Makepeace, Director, Native American, 2010, 82 min.
The Italian - Andrey Kravchuk, Director, Russia, 2005, 90 min.

2010 MIFF II

Sin Nombre - Honduran/Mexican
Kaadhal - South Indian/Tamil
Yesterday - South African
My Best Friend - French
The Cave of the Yellow Dog - Mongolian
Reel Injun - Native American

2009 MIFF I

Under the Same Moon - Latino
Offside - Iranian
Chungking Express - East Asian
Dance Me Outside and 4 shorts by local directors - First Nations/Native American
Golden Door - Italian
Everything is Illuminated - Ukranianian

Film Lists from The Middletown International Film Festivals

Common Ground International Film Festival is made possible by Middletown Rotary Club, Friends of the Russell Library and many individual donors.

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