First Look Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image on January 9-18

First Look Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image on January 9-18

 First Look is not just a festival of new films, it is a festival about new approaches to filmmaking, with works that defy convention, experiment in form, blend fiction and reality, and allow us to see the art form—and the world—in a new way. Whether by emerging artists or established masters, the films in First Look are deeply engaged, not only with the medium but with such essential subjects as work, revolution, romantic obsession, aging, and the clash between tradition and modern life. Distinctly idiosyncratic, the films share an artisan approach; they feel intimate and hand-crafted.

Now in its fourth year, First Look is now officially a festival, with an expanded lineup, two theaters (including free screenings in the Bartos Screening Room), and a digital-media component, with specially commissioned GIFs and a large-scale lobby installation. This year, First Look also starts a programming partnership with FIDMarseille, the innovative, like-minded French festival that takes place in July in Marseille and is programmed by a team led by Jean-Pierre Rehm.

Tickets for First Look films are available for advance purchase online and are $12 per screening and free for Museum members at the Film Lover level and above, with the exception of opening night on January 9 and the free screenings in the Bartos Screening Room. Museum members (Film Lover and above) may reserve tickets in advance by emailing A First Look Festival pass, good for admission to all films, is available for $40.

First Look films were organized by Chief Curator David Schwartz and Assistant Film Curator Aliza Ma. First Look digital-media works were organized by Associate Curator of Digital Media Jason Eppink.

Museum of the Moving Image advances the understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media by presenting exhibitions, education programs, significant moving-image works, and interpretive programs, and collecting and preserving moving-image related artifacts.

Each year the Museum screens more than 400 films in a stimulating mix of the classic and the contemporary. With live music for silent films, restored prints from the world’s leading archives, and outstanding new films from the international festival circuit, Museum programs are recognized for their quality as well as their scope. The Museum’s diverse screening program presents a panoramic view of the moving image, from the global discoveries presented in the annual showcase First Look to the popular ongoing series See It Big!, which celebrates the excitement and immersive power of big-screen moviegoing.

The Museum’s curriculum-based education programs are an unparalleled resource for middle- and high-school students and their teachers. Many student visitors are from the New York City public schools and surrounding area, though the Museum regularly provides programs for students traveling from around the country and around the world. Through guided tours of its exhibitions, educational screening programs and hands-on workshops, the Museum serves approximately 50,000 students each year in the new Ann and Andrew Tisch Education Center. The Museum also offers professional development seminars and workshops for teachers, and after-school programs that develop academic and technical skills. The Museum serves thousands more children, teens, and families in weekend and summer studios, workshops, hack jams, courses, and camps.