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Virtual Film Festival Series

Faces of Home is now from "our homes" to "your homes".

We are proud to announce that The Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival is back, but with a few changes.

In response to the ongoing pandemic, the CMU IFF is adjusting its format to a virtual setting. We have restructured to a new film series format rather than two consecutive weeks of screenings and events. Instead of the originally scheduled time frame (November 5 to 22), the festival will now be spread over the coming months, starting October 2020 until May 2021. Each month, we will virtually stream 1 to 2 film selections, coupled with live Q&A sessions with filmmakers or panel discussions with guest speakers.

There is no denying that 2020 has been an unprecedented year and has challenged all of us in these isolating times. Though the festival is moving to an online format, creating a space for community engagement and connection is still a top priority. We hope there is a connection not only between audience members, but to the film creators and the themes they present. Now more than ever, there is a greater need for connection. Film continues to engage us in unique ways by presenting unheard stories to a broader audience. Many of the stories are different from our own, but open us to new perspectives and connect as beyond being an individual.

The mission of the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival has always been to showcase films that bring up critical questions and meaningful discussions amongst the greater Pittsburgh community. As the world continues to adapt to this new reality, film changes as well. New conversations are made about relevant global issues. With many difficult questions now in the headlines, these films help show the challenges we face as a society. We hope the films we share through the festival can be used as a form of expression. Not only as art we consume visually, but an outlet that allows us to think beyond our own stories.

About the Theme

This year’s festival theme, Faces of Home, explores how people define home, and the actions they take when their home is in a state of instability. And although we often associate these places and groups with security and warmth, they may also invoke feelings such as anxiety and fear. Indeed, “home” is generally a mix of many of these elements, a focal point of jostling associations and desires.

What do people have to say?

"The Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival is my annual favorite, due to the excellence of the choices by its director, Jolanta Lion, who deserves an Oscar in general."

Barry Paris
Film Critic
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"The CMU IFF is a full-city experience: Catch films at the university as well as various theaters across the city, while stopping along the way to sample [Pittsburgh's] global cuisine. Experience what's up and coming in student short films and take your festival experience to the next level by participating in discussions with directors, artists, academics, and other industry professionals."

Erin Prus
Cincinatti Magazine

"One of Pittsburgh's most unusual and consistently interesting film festivals..."

Michael Machosky
Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Short Film Competition

The CMU International Film Festival’s Short Film Competition (SFC) is an annual competition that aims to gather cinematic perspectives from around the world on a current social issue or idea. The SFC invites and encourages independent local filmmakers to submit a short film of their making that presents a unique vision, creates poignant conversation, and passionately and creatively captures the festival’s particular Faces theme.


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