Jean-Luc Goddard once said, "Cinema is not the reflection of reality, but the reality of the reflection,” so how then does a festival begin to approach the subject of realism through the medium of film? The obvious response would be through documentary, but even in documentary film, there are questions of what is real, what is contrived through editing and can reality really resist the performance pressures of a camera lens? A director and a subject, these are the basics of a film, whether it is a short, a feature or a documentary. The Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival has always strayed from the obvious responses and sought faces to respond to its themes, and Faces of Realism is no exception.

This third annual edition brings a selection of films that blur the lines between feature and documentary, between the role of subject and director. In “It’s A Free World,” acclaimed social-realist director Ken Loach uses a fictional character to explore the very real hardships of immigrant workers in England. Australian director and former actor, Anna Broinowski becomes involved with her subject while the camera rolls. Is she filming a criminal or a victim, a con or an artist? Helena Trestikova’s camera continues to roll…for a twenty year period, as she chronicles the life of Marcela, an average Czech citizen who faces more hardships of reality than most would dare confront.

Faces of Realism is excited to be able to incorporate American cinema amongst these international greats. Twenty-five-year-old Antonio Campos’ first feature, Afterschool was an Official Selection at Cannes and is now nominated for Best First Feature at the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards. Azazel Jacobs, the other young American independent filmmaker to make the Faces selection was voted one of the ten writer/directors to watch in 2008 by Movie Maker magazine. His latest film, Momma’s Man verges on autobiography but digs deeper than mere nostalgia could hope to go. Both of these up and comers are invited to attend, as well as local great Tony Buba who will present his internationally-screened films on Braddock, Pa. With other films arriving from Poland and Italy, these are just a few glimpses of the highlights in store.

Once again, The Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival will take advantage of entering the Pittsburgh community at large. Screenings will take place at South Side Works Theater, Pittsburgh Filmmakers locations in addition to the McConomy Auditorium at Carnegie Mellon. Faces of Realism takes a new approach to film this year by screening Bomb It!, a documentary on the history and culture of graffiti, at Future Tenant Gallery in downtown Pittsburgh. Proving once again, that the festival is about more than just viewing a film, audience members will get the chance to test their own tagging skills on the gallery walls and learn more about local graffiti culture. Film and discussion go hand in hand, so stick around after the screenings, eat food from local restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops. Truly ignite your film debates with donated wines, vodkas and beers from our sponsors. Debate responsibly of course and only if you’re over twenty-one. Faces of Realism looks forward to seeing your face in the crowd!

Faces of Realism would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support: Einhorn Design, the Sprout Fund, Master of Entertainment Industry Management Program at the Heinz College, Humanities and Social Sciences Humanities Scholars Program at the CMU, the Robert Morris University Center for Documentary Production & Study, Documentary Center, Film and Digital Technology at Chatham University, The Graduate Program for Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, the Cinema and Digital Arts department at Point Park University, the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts at Duquesne University,Carnegie Mellon School of Art , Carnegie Mellon's Department of English and Department of Modern Languages, Institute of International Art & Languages,Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York, The Czech Center in NY ,WYEP, WPTS and Pittsburgh City Paper, South Side Works Theater, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Future Tenant Gallery in downtown Pittsburgh, , Morning Glory Inn, East End Food Co-op, Adamba Imports International in New York, Allegro Hearth Bakery, Big Dog Coffee,Billington wines and Imagine Environmental Charter School. Read More...