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 world’s diverse cultures—their joys and their struggles—as we gather on ‘common ground’ to celebrate the shared human spirit.

All screenings are on Tuesdays, beginning at 7:00pm. Free admission and parking.
All venues accessible to individuals with disabilities. Brief introductions and Q&A following each film, provided by area scholars.
Light refreshments follow each event.

The Seventh Annual Common Ground Middletown International Film Festival
Tuesdays, 7:00 pm. Multiple locations, please check each date.Other Son

October 6: The Other Son,
(France, 2012, Directed by Lorraine Levy)
Location: Russell Library / Hubbard Room
Speaker: Ali Antar (Prof CCSU)
106 min. French, English, Arabic, Hebrew

As he is preparing to join the Israeli army for his national service, Joseph discovers he is not his parents' biological son, and that he was inadvertently switched at birth with Yacine, the son of a Palestinian family from the West Bank.  

LeviathanOctober 13: Leviathan
(Russia, 2014, Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev)
Location: Wesleyan University / Center for Film Studies
Speaker: Irina Aleshkovsky (Prof WesU)

142 min. Russian

 In a Russian coastal town lives an ordinary man, haunted by a corrupt mayor trying to seize his business, his house, and his precious land.

October 20:Lucky Lucky
(South Africa, 2012, Directed by Avie Luthra)
Location: Wesleyan University / Center for Film Studies       
Wesleyan University Center for Film Studies – 7pm
Speaker: Indira Karamcheti (Prof WesU)

105 min. Zulu, English, Hindi

Orphaned and homeless, 10-year-old Lucky leaves his Zulu village for the city where he hopes to make something of himself. Helpless, he must rely on the friendship of an elderly Indian woman with a fear of Africans. 

TimbuktuOctober 27:Timbuktu
(France/Africa, 2014, Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako)
Location: MxCC / Chapman Hall– 7pm
Speaker: Laura Ann Twagira (Prof WesU)

97 min.  French, Arabic, Bambara, Songhay

A cattle herder and his family who reside in the dunes of Timbuktu find their quiet lives -- which are typically free of the Jihadists determined to control their faith- abruptly disturbed. 

November 3: Tangerines
(Estonia/USA, 2013, Directed by Zaza Urushadze)
Location: MxCC / Chapman Hall– 7pm
Speaker: Julia Titus (Instructor Yale)
87 min.  Estonian, Russian, Georgian

War in Georgia, Apkhazeti region in 1990. An Estonian man Ivo has stayed behind to harvest his crops of tangerines. In a bloody conflict at his door, a wounded man is left behind, and Ivo is forced to take him in.

Josh (Against the Grain)November 10: Josh (Against the Grain)
Pakistan, 2013, Directed by Iram Parveen Bilal
Location: Russell Library / Hubbard Room - 7pm
Speaker: Anu Sharma (Prof WesU)
104 min. English, Urdu

Fatima, a committed schoolteacher living the cosmopolitan high life in Karachi, has her life shattered when her nanny, Nusrat, inexplicably disappears.

Sponsorship information: The film festival is made possible by The Middletown Commission on the Arts, Middletown Rotary, Friends of the Russell Library, the New Haven Philatelic Society and Individual donors of the Russell Library.

2014 Middletown International Film Festival VI

Wadjda (2012) 98 min. Saudi Arabia - directed by Haifaa Al Mansour
The Rocket - (2013) 96 min. Australia, Thailand, Laos - directed by Kim Mordaunt
Monsieur Lazhar - (2011) 94 min. Canada - directed by Philippe Falardeau
War Witch (2012) 90 min. Democratic Republic of Congo - directed by Kim Nguyen
Shun Li and the Poet -(2011) 98 min. Italy - directed by Andrea Segre
Clandestine Childhood (2011) 112 min. Argentina - directed by Benjamin Avila

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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