Noujaim’s documentary begins in 2011 and follows a group of young people nonviolently protesting in Tahrir Square, advocating for political change to the Mubarek regime. We see the young protesters ride their initial euphoria and victory of toppling the Mubarek regime through peaceful protest, which then turns into a painful birthing of a nation as the vacuum left by Mubarek’s departure devolves into a battle for power.
The film focuses on several protesters from 2011 to the fall of 2013, with the most compelling protester being Ahmed, who we see develop from a energetic, peaceful advocate for social change into a scared but brave protester in the wake of violent clashes, to finally, a committed and tireless crusader for political change.
The Square is the first Egyptian film to be nominated for an Oscar, but is not allowed to be officially shown in Egypt. However, this great documentary film that unfolds like a modern day Les Miserables, is now available for viewing on Netflix.
In a time when women’s reproductive rights are at the forefront of the political and cultural conversation, a group of teenage girls gather to assert their power, prepare for their futures, and determine the best way forward together. Following the smash hit success of their documentary Boys State at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, directors Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss returned to Park City in 2024 with the companion piece Girls State. NYWIFT Member Laela Kilbourn was one of seven cinematographers on Girls State, assigned to follow one of the protagonist’s throughout her week-long journey. She spoke to us about her experience working on the documentary.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Sara Robin! Sara is a German filmmaker bringing her stories of humane futures to New York. She directed and wrote the award-winning short coming-of-age film Cranberry Nights starring Inde Navarrette (13 Reasons Why, Superman & Louis). Her script Switch explores virtual relationships and won the 2023 HollyShorts screenwriting contest. She is in production on feature documentary Your Attention Please, investigating how to overcome the addictive pull of the attention economy. She has also brought her talents into commercial work, directing and producing for clients including Netflix, Jordan Brand, and Dunkin’ Donuts. Sara tells us about her exciting works in progress here!READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Toby Perl Freilich! Toby is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and writer, focusing on cultural reporting. Her work explores all sorts of perspectives, from senators to artists, spanning across the world. She co-produced and co-directed Moynihan, a film about the late New York senator, policy expert, and public intellectual. She also directed, produced, and wrote Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment, about one of the world's longest running and most successful experiments in radical, secular communal living. Right now, she is producing and directing I Make Maintenance Art: The Work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles about the pioneering ecofeminist and the first Artist in Residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation. Read about Toby’s inspiring past and future projects here!READ MORE
Finding your tribe is one of life’s greatest pleasures—and losing it is one of the greatest sorrows. In NYWIFT Member Amy Nicholson’s beautifully observed film Happy Campers, working-class Americans gather every summer at a seaside trailer park in Chincoteague, Virginia, to enjoy the simple pleasures of a scrappy, no-frills vacationland, and each other’s company. When a developer buys the land and reimagines the property, the inhabitants of this shabby Shangri-La wistfully eke out the joys of one last summer together as a melancholic twilight hangs in the air. Happy Campers just made its world premiere at DOC NYC, where it received a Special Mention for the Grand Jury Prize. Amy spoke to us about her unique process making this film, biggest challenges and triumphs, and the commodification of some of life’s simplest pleasures.READ MORE