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Belmont World Film’s 22nd International Film Series @ Apple Cinemas

July 15 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

$8 – $80

Belmont World Film’s 22nd International Film Series, “Transformation/Preservation,” runs March 25 to May 20, 2024, at Apple Cinemas in Cambridge (168 Alewife Brook Parkway; March 25, April 1 & 8), Embassy Theater Waltham (16 Pine Street; April 15 & 29), and the West Newton Cinema (1296 Washington Street; May 6, 13 & 20), and features eight films that have mostly screened at the world’s top film festivals. Films screen weekly on Mondays at 7:30 PM, followed by engaging discussions led by filmmakers and expert speakers that delve deeper into the themes and messages portrayed on screen. Belmont World Film’s annual observance of World Refugee Awareness Month follows on June 3 and 10 at the West Newton Cinema.

From moments of upheaval to transformative experiences, the films in Belmont World Film’s 22nd International Film Series delve into the complexities of human existence with depth, compassion, insight—and even humor. In these remarkable stories from around the globe, we invite you to immerse yourself in the narratives of individuals and groups confronting the unexpected twists and turns that life presents, helping us gain a deeper understanding of resilience, adaptation, and the universal truths that bind us.

This year’s International Film Series has some impressive array of numbers, underscoring its commitment to diversity and excellence:

An equal number of films are directed by women and men, highlighting a commitment to gender parity in filmmaking.
A record-breaking ten languages are represented in the series (in addition to English and French), including Arabic, Croatian, Italian, Kabuverdianu, Mongolian, Persian, Swedish, Swiss-German, Turkish, and Urdu.
Three films are their respective countries’ submissions for the Best International Feature Film Oscar, demonstrating the caliber of the selection.

Opening night on March 25, at Apple Cinemas features the East Coast premiere of The Queen of My Dreams, about a Pakistani Muslim woman and her Canadian-born daughter who come of age in two different eras, sharing an obsession with the Bollywood fantasy film Aradhana. Director Fawzia Mirza will participate in a Q&A on Zoom following the screening; the screening will be preceded by a dinner reception featuring Indian and Canadian cuisine from 6:00-7:00 PM.

The other films include (only two films will be available online in addition to in-person: Traces and Bonjour Switzerland):

April 1 (Apple Cinemas): THE OLD OAK (UK, New England premiere). Said to be director Ken Loach’s (The Angel’s Share) last film, about a previously thriving mining town in Northern England and the owner of The Old Oak pub struggling to hold onto his establishment. When Syrian refugees are placed in empty houses, the townspeople become divided on their presence.

April 8 (Apple Cinemas): TRACES (Croatia, US premiere). Croatia’s submission for the Best International Feature Film Oscar. While grappling with loneliness, loss and an uncertain future an anthropologist spends her time researches an ancient burial ritual in the mountains of Croatia in which exposed stones in a burial area would mark the length of a deceased person’s body, and therefore leave a sign—a trace—of the life that had been lived. Speaker: Ellen Elias-Bursać, a scholar known for her translations of fiction and nonfiction books by Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian writers.. Available online: April 16-21

April 15 (Embassy Theater): HESITATION WOUND (Turkey, New England premiere). A criminal lawyer divides her time between the courthouse by day and her mother’s hospital bed at night. The plot turns on the moral choices she has to make that will affect the lives of her mother, the judge, and her murder suspect client. Speaker: Roberta Micaleff, Professor of the Practice in Middle Eastern Literatures and Coordinator of the Turkish Language Program at Boston University.
April 29 (Embassy Theater): GREEN TIDE (France, East Coast premiere). Following the deaths of several locals on the beaches in Brittany, a freelance reporter comes to investigate the mystery surrounding algae that may be a cause of these tragic events. Complimentary Far Breton (a tart that originated in Brittany) served starting at 7 PM.

May 6 (West Newton Cinema): ÀMA GLORIA (France/Cape Verde, East Coast premiere). Depicts the precious bond between a six-year-old French girl and her Cape Verdean nanny, who spend one last summer together on the shores of the Cape Verdean islands. The film captures themes of family, separation, and the ties that bind from the point of view of its captivating young star. Speaker: Alirio Pereira, a native of Cape Verde and Chief Program Officer of the Massachusetts Association of Portuguese Speakers.

May 13 (Majestic 7): CITY OF WIND (Mongolia, New England premiere). Mongolia’s submission for the Best International Feature Film Oscar is a coming-of-age drama about a 17 year-old shaman who is juggling his spiritual responsibilities while attending high school in modern day Ulaanbaatar, trying to reconcile his ties to the past with the practices of cold, contemporary society. Speaker: Manduhai Buyandelger, an anthropologist of religion, gender, and politics at MIT, with regional expertise in Mongolia and shamans.

May 20 (West Newton Cinema): BONJOUR SWITZERLAND (Switzerland, East Coast premiere). When a referendum in Switzerland leaves the country with French as the only national language, it precipitates a crisis among the German and Italian speakers. Think Woody Allen’s Bananas crossed with The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!

Funding is provided by a generous grant from the Mass Cultural Council. The Consulate of Sweden is the festival’s Province sponsor.


Belmont World Film
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Apple Cinemas
168 Alewife Brook Parkway
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
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