"Faces Behind the Mask," Carnegie Mellon University's 2022 International Film Festival(opens in new window), features 13 award-winning films that explore the masks people wear, the realities they conceal, the facades they represent and the lives and the secrets behind them. The festival will run March 24 through April 9 at various locations throughout the city. It is organized and run by students from various Pittsburgh institutions, such as CMU and the University of Pittsburgh.
The festival creates a platform that allows global ethnic groups to expose the Pittsburgh community to their cultures, enables attendees to identify and relate to their own origins, and provides cinematic artists an opportunity to engage with audiences in a dialogue over their films.
"CMU's International Film Festival is unique in that it engages the Pittsburgh community with programming that promotes cultural exchange and expression, and illuminates the local and global ethnic communities which seldom have opportunities to celebrate their artwork and culture on a large public scale," said Jolanta Lion(opens in new window), assistant director of The Humanities Center(opens in new window) at CMU and the founder and director of the annual film festival.
"People only read headlines — they only ever have the general message, not the actual experiences of the people on the ground," Lion said. "The film festival allows people to tell their own stories. Once you see a film, you'll never read the headline the same way."
The festival will open with the showing of "Casablanca Beats" ("Haut et Fort"), a drama centered around social, political and cultural issues faced by contemporary Moroccan youth. The film was Morocco's submission for the 94th Academy Awards. Also included in the opening night festivities are a pre-film hip-hop performance by CMU's Helix Dance Crew and a Q&A with director Nabil Ayouch moderated by CMU's Nevine Abraham(opens in new window), a principle lecturer of Arabic studies.
Created in 2006, the Carnegie Mellon International "Faces" Film Festival is a project of The Humanities Center, which has supported research and encouraged interest in the humanities for more than 15 years. The festival serves as a non-academic bridge to the greater Pittsburgh community, and opens its doors each year to the interests and passions of people across generations and cultures.
View the 2022 "Faces Behind the Mask" film lineup on the International Film Festival website(opens in new window).
Sponsors of the CMU 2022 International Film Festival include: CMU — Humanities Scholars Program, Center for the Arts in Society; CMU University Funds; Department of Modern Languages; Department of History; Department of English; Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion; Sustainability Initiative; Student Dormitory Council; Arab Student Organization; Feminists Engaged in Multicultural Matter and Education; Undergraduate Student Senate; and the Jack Buncher Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies in the Department of History. University of Pittsburgh Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies; Asian Studies Center; Film and Media Studies Program; and Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. University of Toronto's Polish Language and Literature Program. Carlow University, the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York, the Polish Falcons of America, SCREENSHOT: ASIA, Pittsburgh Palestinian Solidarity Committee, J Street Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Documentary Salon, ReelQ Pittsburgh LGBT Film Festival, Armina Stone, Kara Bialecki, Harris Theater, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.