Carnegie Mellon University
March 14, 2023

CMU’s 2023 International Film Festival Begins

Stacy Kish

The 2023 Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival, “Faces of Change,” will run from March 16 to April 2 at locations around Pittsburgh, including Harris Theater, McConomy Auditorium at CMU, the August Wilson African American Cultural Center and Carlow University. The festival showcases films that have won awards around the world, their reach ranging from Cannes to national submissions for the Oscars.

“The festival is a rare opportunity in Pittsburgh to fully engage with the world through the medium of film,” said Jolanta Lion, director of the CMU IFF and assistant director of CMU’s Humanities Center in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Every year we can bring together the greater Pittsburgh community to discuss problems that resonate across the globe. This year’s festival theme, ‘Faces of Change’ really encapsulates everything we are seeing and feeling every day around us.”

Opening night features “Full Time,” a French film directed by Éric Gravel. It will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at CMU’s McConomy Auditorium. The event includes a moderated discussion with the director followed by a French food reception. Winner of Best Director and Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival, “Full Time” follows a single mother rushing through life to fit 36 hours into a single workday. Through her mishaps and the difficulties life throws at her, the film transitions into a critique about systems of work. Through it all, the characters manage to find hope.

“The opening film ‘Full Time’ is the perfect introduction to ‘Faces of Change,’ and it strikes at the core of what it means to live, work and make ends meet in an ever-changing world,” said Akanksha Sahay, executive assistant of the CMU IFF. “I wouldn’t miss the film. It spoke to me in ways I wasn’t expecting.”

The film “Joyland” will be screened at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, at CMU’s McConomy Auditorium. The event includes Naina Roy performing Kathak, one of the main forms of classical dance-drama of India. After the film, a Q&A discussion will be held with the film’s director, Saim Sadiq, actress Alina Khan, actor Ali Junejo and actress Rasti Farooq. The discussion will be moderated by activist and performer Mehrub Moiz Awan and will be followed by a catered reception of Pakistani food. 

“The Balcony Movie” will close the festival at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at CMU’s McConomy Auditorium. Pawel Łozinski directed this documentary film, capturing only what is seen from the director’s balcony. It debuts a unique cast of characters who offer differing, insightful and stimulating views of the world. The Balcony Film” won the Eagle for Best Documentary at the Polish Film Awards. 

In addition to the festival lineup, which can be found on the CMU IFF website, a short film (5 minutes) competition will be open to all amateur and student filmmakers in Pittsburgh. The theme is “Con-Science.” The winner will be awarded a $1,000 prize. A kick-off event, including a Q&A, is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 24 at CMU’s Frank Ratche Studio for Creative Inquiry. The competition filming period runs from March 25 to 29. A short film screening and reception begins at 5:30 p.m. on March 31 in Simmons Auditorium in CMU’s Tepper Quad. For more information and to register, visit

Information about tickets is available at, and a list of sponsors is available at

The “Faces” Film Festival prides itself on being the only international film festival in the world organized and run by university students. The festival staff comes from numerous institutions across Pittsburgh, including CMU and the University of Pittsburgh. The students create events around the festival’s rich variety of films from the United States, Egypt, France, Australia, China, Iran, Peru, Poland, Japan, Belarus, Korea and many others, hoping to reinforce Pittsburgh’s ethnic history and living culture.

The CMU Film Festival is dedicated to the late Paul Goodman, a world-renowned filmmaker, psychologist and CMU professor. The festival mirrors Goodman’s dedication to global awareness in his teaching and research, and his desire to bring light to important but often overlooked aspects of diverse individuals through filmmaking.