Common Ground Middletown International Film Festival

Russell Library has partnered with Middlesex Community College and Wesleyan University to select and screen acclaimed international films for the 10th Annual Common Ground Middletown International Film Festival. 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.
  • Free Parking in the municipal lot directly across the street from the Russell Library.
  • All venues are accessible to individuals with disabilities.
  • Brief introductions and Q&A after each film are provided by area scholars.
  • Light refreshments are available.

2018: The 10th Middletown International Film Festival

The Insult, (Lebanon, 2017, directed by Ziad Doueiri)

In today’s Beirut, a civilian dispute blown out of proportion finds Tony, a Lebanese Christian, and Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, facing off in court.  As the media circus surrounding the case threatens a social explosion in divided Lebanon, Tony and Yasser reconsider their values and beliefs as revelations of trauma complicate their understanding of one another.
Speaker: Peter Gottschalk, Professor of Religion, Wesleyan University

Kills on Wheels, (Hungary, 2016, directed by Attila Till)

A wildly original action-comedy in which two teenaged boys living with disabilities find escape from their humdrum lives.  They are enlisted by a gruff ex-con to be his accomplices…as wheelchair hit men.  Thrust into a surreal world of gangster and guns, the partnership blossoms into friendship as their mentor reveals a soft heart beneath his tough exterior and the boys help him come to terms with his own disability.
Speaker: Máté Vincze, Director of the Hungarian Cultural Center in NYC

Drunktown’s Finest, (USA , Native, 2014, directed by Sydney Freeland)

On a beautifully desolate Navajo reservation in New Mexico, three young people - a college-bound, devout Christian; a rebellious and angry father-to-be; and a promiscuous but gorgeous transsexual, search for love and acceptance.  As the three find their lives becoming more complicated and their troubles growing, their paths begin to intersect.
Speaker: Sarah Del Seronde – Navajo Documentary Filmmaker

White Sun, (Nepal, 2016, directed by Deepak Rauniyar)

On the occasion of his father's funeral, Chandra returns to the village he left years earlier to join the Maoists, and finds himself revisiting frayed family relations and unspoken divisions among neighbors. Past traumas return and cause tensions to boil over.
Speaker: Indira Karamcheti, Associate Professor of American Studies, Wesleyan University

Santa & Andres, (Cuba, 2016, directed by Carlos LeChuga)

In 1983 Cuba, a dissident gay novelist, Andrés, is placed under house arrest for his sexual and ideological orientation. Santa, a local peasant woman is assigned to keep a close watch on him for three consecutive days, keeping him from disrupting a political event. An unlikely friendship forms between the two.  Banned in Cuba.
Speaker: Victor Triay, Professor of History, Middlesex Community College

Amerika Square, (Greece, 2017, directed Yannis Sakaridis)

Tattoo artist Billy and unemployed Nakos are best friends from Athens. Old bachelor Nakos is a racist, obsessed with the victim mentality, and he rages at Greece's increasing immigrant numbers. Billy, however, is in favor of foreigners coming. They meet in Amerika Square in Athens because of Syrian refugee Tarek.
Speaker: George Syrimis, Program Director Hellenic Studies, Yale University

2017 Middletown International Film Festival IX

The Saver, First People Canada, 2015, directed by Wiebke von Carolsfeld
Remote Control, Mongolia, 2013, directed by Byamba Sakhya
The Salesman, Iran, 2016, directed by Asghar Farhadi
Rams, Iceland, 2015, directed by Grimur Hakonarson
Difret, Ethiopia, 2014, directed by Zeresenay Mehari
The Kind Words, Israel, 2015, directed by Shemi Zarhin

2016 Middletown International Film Festival VIII

The Second Mother, Brazil, 2015, directed by Anna Muylaert
Rhymes for Young Ghouls, Canada, 2014, directed by Jeff Barnaby
Horses of God, France/Morocco, 2012, directed by Nabil Ayouch   
The Good Road, Gujarat, India, 2012, directed by Gyan Correa
Aftermath, Poland, 2012, directed by Wladyslaw Pasikowski
The Fool, Russia, 2014, directed by Yury Bykov

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 Middletown International Film Festival 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 Middletown International Film Festival 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

2011 Middletown International Film Festival III

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 Middletown International Film Festival 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 Middletown International Film Festival 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 CT Humanities, Middletown Commission on the Arts, Friends of the Russell Library and many individual donors.

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