From an American Museum of Natural History news release:

The Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival—the longest-running documentary film festival in the United States—will celebrate 33 years at the American Museum of Natural History this November, screening an outstanding and varied selection of titles culled from more than 1,000 submissions. The Festival is distinguished by extraordinary films that tackle diverse and challenging subjects, as well as exciting discussions with filmmakers and special guest speakers. The Festival presents a far-reaching selection of documentaries and other non-narrative works as well as animation, experimental films, and indigenous media. The Festival runs from Thursday–Sunday, November 12–15, 2009.

This year the Mead will highlight a series of films in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Traveling the Silk Road, opening November 14, 2009. This series includes Hair India (Raffaele Brunetti and Marco Leopardi, NY Premiere), a stirring story about a destitute family’s religious sacrifice of hair that is processed and ultimately sold for profit and Cooking History (Péter Kerekes, director in person, NY Premiere), an exploration of the customs and conflicts of food on the frontlines, from serving up savory blinis to Soviet soldiers fighting off Nazi armies to feeding French forces during the Algerian War. Other Festival highlights include Babaji, an Indian Love Story (Jiska Rickels, US Premiere), a captivating tale about a centenarian man near Hazaribagh, India who has dug a grave next to his late wife’s and descends into it each morning to await death; Beyond the Game (Jos de Putter, director in person, US Premiere), a behind-the-scenes look at the tight-knit and competitive community of cybergamers that follows the top players of Warcraft III, the most popular game globally, on their way to the professional world championships; Blind Loves (Juraj Lehotsky, NY Premiere), an emotional story about four non-sighted subjects as they demonstrate and discuss their passions and anxieties while managing independent lives; and an exploration of the science and history behind Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica, a new multimedia performance by Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky), which incorporates the sounds of melting ice recorded by Miller in Antarctica.

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