Carnegie Mellon University
Faces of Migration, 2011

International Film Festival

Faces of Migration

"As always on this boulevard, the faces were young, coming annually in an endless migration from every country, every continent, to alight here once in the long journey of their lives." – Brian Moore, novelist and screenwriter

Five years since its inception, the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival continues to celebrate the art of filmmaking and the themes that define our contemporary social landscape. We have searched the world to bring you the fifteen distinctive films to be presented in this year’s Faces of Migration festival, including selections from China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Turkey, and our very own Pittsburgh. From main attractions at Cannes, Berlin, and Sundance to avant-garde documentaries, many of these projects are still in the festival circuit or vying for the most prestigious cinematic recognitions. Moreover, each screening features panels with renowned international directors or casts, live performances ranging from opera singing to break dancing, and controversies that will undoubtedly provoke lively discussion. For five years, the festival has looked for its inspiration into the faces of people — this year, into the Faces of Migration.

How do we define migration? The natural and systematic exodus of birds, plant seeds, molecular cells, planets, and even computer data reveals that a wide variety of organisms engage in a distinct process of migration at some point during their existence — some to return, some to make their home permanently elsewhere. The application of this idea to humans introduces a multitude of considerations. What motivates the migration of people? In what ways does migration affect the native and host countries? How is the identity of the immigrant both enriched and threatened by the ever-evolving complexities of nationality, citizenship, and culture, both native and adopted?

Through the power of independent film, Faces of Migration brings the intricacies surrounding migration to life. By focusing attention on unique individuals caught up in constantly shifting circumstances, these films both move us and enrich us by helping us better comprehend the current issues surrounding modern migration.

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