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 Thursdays, beginning at 7:00pm. Free admission.
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 Eighth Annual Common Ground Middletown International Film Festival
Thursdays, 7:00 pm. Multiple locations, please check each date.

October 6: The Second Mother, Second Mother
(Brazil, 2015, Directed by Anna Muylaert)
Location: Russell Library / Hubbard Room

In modern day Sao Paulo, when the estranged daughter of a hard-working live-in housekeeper suddenly appears, the unspoken class barriers that exist within the home are thrown into disarray. 

October 13: Rhymes for Young Ghouls
(Canada, 2014, Directed by Jeff Barnaby
Location: MXCC / Chapman Hall

Based on a true story about Mi’c Maq Reservation in 1976, requiring that all Indian children must attend a residential school and be at the mercy of the sadistic Indian agent that runs the school, unless they pay a “truancy tax” to the Indian agent.  This is the story of one teenage girl who can no longer pay the “tax”.

October 20: Horses of God
(France/Morocco, 2012, Directed by Nabil Ayouch)   
Location: MXCC / Chapman Hall

A fictional account of the lives and the radicalization of the young men responsible for the suicide bombings in Casablanca in 2003, the deadliest act of terrorism in Morocco’s history. 

October 27: The Good Road
(Gujarat, India, 2012, directed by Gyan Correa)
Location: Wesleyan University / Center for Film Studies     

State Highway 378, Gujarat.  A family on vacation.  A truck driver on his last journey.  A little girl chasing hope.  A boy finding his home.  24 hours later their lives would have changed forever.

November 3: Aftermath
(Poland, 2012, directed by Wladyslaw Pasikowski))
Location: Wesleyan University / Center for Film Studies   

Two brothers uncover a dark secret that forces them to confront the history of their family, their village and their nation.  Inspired by actual events, Aftermath caused controversy in its native Poland due to its present-day reckoning with a dark period in that country’s history.

November 10: The Fool
(Russia, 2014, directed by Yury Bykov)The Fool
Location: Russell Library / Hubbard Room - 7pm

A dramatic tale worthy of Dostoyevsky, tells the story of one man’s fight against a corrupt political system. A young plumber’s assistant eking out a living in modern day Russia finds himself drawn into a world of dark secrets and cancerous corruption.

Sponsorship information: The film festival is made possible by The Middletown Commission on the Arts, CT Humanities, The Friends of the Russell Library, and Individual donors.

2015 Middletown International Film Festival VII

The Other Son, (France, 2012, Directed by Lorraine Levy)
Leviathan (Russia, 2014, Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev)
Lucky (South Africa, 2012, Directed by Avie Luthra)
Timbuktu (France/Africa, 2014, Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako)
Tangerines (Estonia/USA, 2013, Directed by Zaza Urushadze)
Josh (Against the Grain) Pakistan, 2013, Directed by Iram Parveen Bilal

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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