Carnegie Mellon University: CMU Launches 2022 ‘Faces’ International Film Festival

“Faces Behind the Mask,” Carnegie Mellon University’s 2022 International Film Festival, 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, assistant director of The Humanities Center 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, 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.

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