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Russia scene from above

Russia scene from above

Seyran Ateş in Sex, Revolution and Islam

Seyran Ateş in Sex, Revolution and Islam

Jonathan Del Arco and Hector Medina in "Borrowed"

Jonathan Del Arco and Hector Medina in “Borrowed”

June 12-19 at the Producer’s Club, New York

This year’s selection of films tackles a few holy houses, such as sex in the Islamic world and a love song about Russia.

— Gerard van den Broek, documentary curator

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, USA, May 14, 2022 / — This year’s edition of New York Independent Film Festival features some notable new movies. A selection with which the organization of the festival does not hesitate to evoke sensitive subjects social themes. As always, the NYC Independent Film Festival is strong on the LGBT theme. But this year there are also a few films that touch on holy houses, such as sex in the Islamic world and a love song about Russia, the country of Putin’s new nemesis.

“Sex, Revolution and Islam” is the story of Seyran Ateş, a Turkish-German lawyer, feminist and one of the first female imams in Europe. She fights for a sexual revolution within Islam. In return, she was shot, received fatwas and death threats, and now has to live under constant police protection. Seyran believes the only way to fight radical Islam is through Islam, which is why at his liberal mosque there is no segregation or exclusion based on sexual orientation. This is the story of Seyran’s personal and ideological struggle for the modernization of Islam. It’s also a journey through Seyran’s life, from her humble beginnings as a young Muslim girl in the slums of Turkey to a woman leader who dared to challenge her own religion.

“Between Root and Wings” is a drama production in which Vera searches for her self-esteem after discovering that her husband, an ethics professor, is involved in a romance with a college student. Their teenage son has trouble with his parents’ breakup and starts a rebellion.

A whole different kind of human interest story is “borrowed.” A middle-aged painter and former Navy officer living in a remote but beautiful coastal home in the Florida Keys, breaks his self-imposed isolation to paint a portrait of the young, edgy, openly gay Justin; but as the date takes an unexpected turn, David must do everything in his power to stay in control of the situation while uncovering Justin’s true intentions.

“Russia From Above” is a two-hour documentary about the various rich landscapes of Russia, filmed in 4K by drones. The film is narrated by Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated actor John Malkovich. Long before, of course, the country became synonymous with the world’s sworn enemy when it attacked neighboring Ukraine with its military forces in February. The film does not refer to it in a single word and it is true, because it pays homage to the beautiful, differentiated landscape of Russia with its rich nature, beautiful architecture and colorful people. The film actually only makes you regret the war that is raging right now even more and makes you think that a people who can build such a beautiful country are at the same time capable of such a brutal war. The director spent nine months in the air filming at a minimum of 50 frames per second, resulting in an incredible 4K experience. This is Russia like you’ve never seen it before and includes a number of spectacular locations that have been granted filming permits for the very first time in film history.

Tickets for the NYC Independent Film Festival can be obtained at festival website

Denis Cieri
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