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Claus Mueller

Claus Mueller is a Film Festival Ambassador to

He is based in New York where he covers the festival scene.


New Directors / New Films, 2015

As in past editions, the 2014 New Directors/New Films series in New York, now in its 44th year, organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art, offered a wide range of cinematographic and narrative approaches. From hundreds of films Dennis Lim from the Film Society and Rojendra Roy from Moma selected 24 feature and 16 shorts, mostly the filmmakers’ first or second productions. They covered superb traditional departures (Creation of Meaning), issue oriented ...

New York: Delhi Art Gallery Opening

The Delhi Art Gallery (DAG) opened its new space with the India Modern:  Narratives of 20th Century Indian Art exhibition on March 17, 2015 for an upscale audience from the Indian American community, American collectors, art world professionals, other prominent individuals, and the media world.  About 600 individuals attended the opening of the exhibitions which offered the first comprehensive overview of modern twentieth century Indian art.  Numerous serious buy...

New York: The Luxury Technology Show

Organized by the New York based Rand Luxury Company, the 2015 edition of the Luxury Technology Show on March 12 show featured at the Metropolitan Pavilion the latest innovative technologies spanning a wide spectrum Including products presented for the first time in the United States. They covered numerous audio visual technologies, upscale appliances, cars, mobile devices, accessories, and more.  Appealing to affluent consumers relatively few low cost products were shown. The price range ...

New York: Burma themed films – Retrospective of Midi Z

The New York Asia Society presented from March 6 – 13  Homecoming Myanmar, the first US screening of the films by Midi Z, a Burmese-Taiwanese film maker. Under the military dictatorship the once vibrant Burmese film industry was destroyed and is now slowly recovering; overcoming the obstacles of having no film infra-structure and competing with pirated films. Midi Z was born in 1982 in Myanmar to ethnic Chinese parentage and raised there. He left at the age of 16 for Taiwan where h...

New York: Winter Film Awards Fest 2015

The Winter Film Awards festival showcased from February 25-28 productions on a wide range of topics in feature film, shorts and documentary formats. It has become an important platform for independent productions from the United States and foreign countries with entries in virtually all genres. Compared to past editions, the higher production value of submitted films is noteworthy. This results apparently from film makers’ ingenuity but also from the inexpensive sophisticated production ...

New York: Documentary Fortnight 2015

In its 14th edition Documentary Fortnight 2015, MoMA’s International Festival of nonfiction Film and Media’ showcased from February 13 – 27 twenty one feature films, seven shorts, archival films, a seminar and a media installation. As with other major festivals Documentary Fortnight is expanding its wide range of themes and creative approaches. Held at one of New York’s most prominent museums, the Museum of Modern Art, programming the festival had more fl...

New York Jewish Film Festival 2015

Held for the 24th time from January 14 to 27 at New York’s Walter Read theatre Center the Jewish Film Festival offered an expanded selection. Organized by the Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center the main program presented 22 features from 13 countries including several co-productions, 36 films in special programs and four seminars. Compared to last year’s edition the program has become more differentiated to reach its goal of proving a broad exploration of the...

New York: Wild Film Festival 2015

Celebrating wilderness and adventure, the festival was staged for a packed audience in the New York’s Explorers Club from January 29 – 31, selecting 21 award winning productions and finalists originating in 27 countries from more than 200 submissions. As the Polar Film Festival held in the same venue last November, the films chosen were characterized by outstanding cinematography and had a clear tendency towards action oriented advocacy documentaries. Introductions to the film...

New York: Ruben Oestlund Retrospective

The film society of the Lincoln Society organized the first retrospective of Ruben Oestlund’s films. His films and innovative approaches were largely unknown in the United States until his most recent production FORCE MAJEURE prompted attention because of its nomination as the Swedish entry for the foreign language  Oscar. Oestlund’s   depiction of Swedish society mirrors a dark and satirical perception with absurd overtones. He avoids linear story lines, not permitting ...

LIFE SENTENCES, Israel 2013, Nurit Kedar and Yaron Shani

  It has frequently been suggested that the creation of a reasonable identity is more difficult in postindustrial society. After all we experience the decline of collectively shared value systems, the weakening of family structures and the decay of supportive communities, to mention just some of the factors that provided stability in the past. In our times identities seem to have become flexible, if not temporary, and the sense of self has become precarious. In this context, the documen...

New York: DOC NYC, 2014

Netflix, Showtime, specifically HBO and more recently CNN as well as Aljazeera America, have been providing expanded platforms for documentaries which can be readily accessed.  Further festivals such as Britdocs and the Guanajuato International Film Festival’s ‘Documentary with an Impact’ program identify documentaries which have real consequences driving discernible change. Non-fiction programs have secured a firm position in the media landscape especially if they are i...

New York: Polar Film Festival 2014

Held at the renowned New York Explorer’s Club, the annual Polar Film Festival was staged for the third time from November 21-22 presenting a selection of shorts and documentaries with Arctic and Antarctica themes.  The program included the 2013 feature film Maina by Michel Poulette on the role of an Innu leader’s daughter in the conflict between two clans. Given its focus and the superb photography of most productions selected the imagery of nature and icescapes shown was stun...

New York: 2014 Margaret Mead Film Festival

Held at the American Museum of Natural History the Margret Mead Film Festival was guided by the theme “Past Forward”   and presented from October 23 - 27 44 films from more than 50 countries. The film program of this well organized fest was accompanied by events including art installations with cell phone made content and a participatory web-based interactive documentary project on the history of a rural US county. Three ‘Mead Dialogues’  covered screenin...

New York: New York City Independent Film Festival

Staged for the fifth time, the New York City Independent Film Festival show cased this year from October 15-19 over 254 films from 38 countries covering feature films, documentaries and short films.  Aimed at new, underground and experimental independent filmmakers the NYCIFF has established itself as a festival platform for domestic and foreign independent producers and directors. Panels of more than 100 judges selected  from 1000 submissions 47 features, 132 short films and 75 supe...

New York: 2014 NY Film Festival - Documentaries

Not offering any awards, outlandish social events and a sales market the New York Film Festival remains one of the most important US film festivals following its unique strategy of programming demanding artistic films as well as excellent movies which meet commercial demands.  As the main selection, the retrospective,   the revival, and Spotlight on Documentary programs and side bars demonstrate the fest has retained its appeal for cineastes as does the inclusion of first rate f...

New York: Asian American International Film Festival 2014

Presented by New York’s Asian Cinevision, The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) had its 37th edition from July 24 – August 2. There are now 22 Asian film festivals in the United States programming films for the communities they serve. The strong link to community based partners is also one of the defining marks of AAIFF and the program lists one or more partners for each selected film. What is also striking is the festival events designed to involve the audien...

New York: Japan Cuts

Presented by New York’s Japan Society with some corporate support from UNIQLO, Sapporo, Sony and private assistance, the eighth edition of Japan Cuts, The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema was held from July 10-20. Its program featured 27 feature films, of which 17 were not shown before in the US, and overlapped with the New York Asian Film Festival which carried 13 of the Japan Cuts selections.  Among the few festivals celebrating Japanese films in the United S...


Held for the 13th time the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) took place from June 27 – July 14 at the Lincoln Center, the Japan Society and the Asia Society.  Established  by  Subway Cinema in 2002, it teamed up in 2007 with the Japan Society’s Japan Cuts film fest and has been carried out since 2010 in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln  Center.  Support has been provided by the New York based trade or cultur...

New York: 2014 Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Human Rights Watch is one of the largest and most influential independent international human rights organizations. It has been carrying out global research on virtually all violations of human rights and published empirically based and verified reports about these violations. A most recent example is Human Rights Watch identification through photos and satellite images of war crimes committed by Jihadists in the rogue ‘Islamic State’. These reports have been influencing decision mak...

New York: KINO! 2014, New Films from Germany

  KINO! has been the longest running showcase for German Films in the United States at the Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, featuring for 35 years many award winning selections from major international film festivals such as the Berlinale. The programs have always offered a survey of themes and styles of the latest creative film making in Germany, frequently surpassing the boundaries of traditional cinematography.  KINO!  has programmed numerous films and plays an important role in pr...

New York: The Americas Film Festival of New York

      As noted in earlier reviews most new film festivals do not survive in the competitive New York market unless they have institutional support, access to productions, a clear profile and an audience. Even established festivals such as the German KINO!  which has had a successful 35 year run at the Museum of Modern Art faces an uncertain future. Kino! had to relocate this year to the small downtown Quad Cinema venue since MOMA no longer carries country specific film pro...

New York: Open Roads – New Italian Cinema, 2014

Those Happy Years   The Film Society of Lincoln Center presented the 2014 edition of Open Roads from June 5-12 including 16 productions of which 13 were U.S. Premieres.  Compared to past Open Roads programs, the festival offered more documentaries and features embracing a documentary approach. It carried Gianfranco Rossi’s Sacro GRA, the first documentary receiving the Golden Lion for best film at Venice and Alberto Fasulo’s   crossover TIR, a featur...

NEW YORK: 2014 FRIEZE ART FAIR – Moving Images Art

It has been estimated that the approximate value of art work shown during the Frieze Art Fair from May 8 -12 exceeded $2 billion. This also includes work exhibited during this period at other at the same time such as the Downtown Art Fair, Pulse, and the show organized by the New Art Dealers Association (NADA).  By far the largest fair, Frieze showed artist from 28 countries represented by galleries selected by the Frieze curators, including more than 50...

New York Polish Film Festival 2014

Established in 2005 to promote Polish films in the United States and attract an American audience, the Polish Film Festival (PFF) celebrated its 10th anniversary from May 7-11 at New York’s renowned Anthology Film Archives theatre, a traditional home to many niche film festivals. Working closely with the Polish Film Institute and other agencies, the film festival offered a well-rounded program with eleven recently produced features and a documentary, all subtitled.   Many ...

New York: 2014 Tribeca Film Festival wrap

Acquisition of half of Tribeca Enterprises for $22 million by the Madison Square Company, MSG, will permit Tribeca to expand.  The festival and some related ventures have grown so much since the festival was founded in 2002 that funds for the expansion seem necessary. Apart from the festival, its principal venture,   Tribeca enterprises is involved in a digital studio, theatrical and non-theatrical distribution   using traditional and digital p...


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