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African, Lithuanian and American Films Lead Chelsea Film Fest's Lineup

By Mathew Katz | October 8, 2013 1:41pm
"Narcissus" Trailer
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CHELSEA — One of Africa's first feature-length computer animated films, a dark Lithuanian melodrama and a Kenyan thriller will all be shown at this month's internationally-focused Chelsea Film Festival.

The event announced its inaugural lineup on Tuesday. It features 17 films from eight countries that will be shown from Oct. 24 to 27 at the SVA Theater at 333 W. 23rd St.

"We have so far France, Lithuania, Italy, the Ivory Coast, Thailand, the Netherlands, Kenya, Russia and, of course, the United States," said festival organizer Ingrid Jean-Baptiste.

"We have drama, we have science-fiction, we have documentaries, they're all great and they all tell a different story."

That includes "Pokou Princesse Ashanti," a full-length French-language animated film about a princess in 18th-century Africa made by Ivory Coast director Kan Souffle. The film tells the story of Pokou, who fled Ghana to set up a kingdom in the Ivory Coast.

There's also "Narcissus," a 2012 Lithuanian movie that features a gifted string quartet cello player who becomes increasingly self-obsessed.

On the more local front, there's "Admission," a Kickstarter-funded documentary by Brooklyn filmmaker Chloe Smolarksi that sheds light on the plight of undocumented students in the American higher education system.

The Chelsea Film Festival is designed to reflect the neighborhood's increasingly vibrant art scene and international community of artists and residents. Tickets for the films range between $8 and $25 and are available online.