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Our favorite foreign films from the First Time Festival

First Time Fest came to an end yesterday on April 7, 2014.
First Time Fest came to an end yesterday on April 7, 2014.

"The First Time Fest, The Second Time Around" is a festival that was created by Johanna Bennett and Mandy Ward in an effort to give recognition to first time filmmakers for their hard work and efforts put into their films. Yesterday on April 7, the festival came to an end. Today we are excited to share our favorite foreign films from the festival.

Ten films were chosen to be in the international competition at the festival this year. Below are a few highlights. "Bittersweet" was directed and produced by Marieke Niestadt, this is a documentary on women boxers Diana Prazik and Frida Wallberg in a battle of whether the national champ (Wallberg) or the underdog (Prazik) would win. This film is from the Netherlands.

"Class Enemy (Razredni Sovraznik)" was directed by Rok Bicek and written by him, Nejc Gazvoda and Janez Lapajne, this Slovenian thriller is about high school students that revolt against their new professor after the suicide of one of their friends.

"Farewell, Herr Schwarz" was directed and written by Yael Reuveny, this Germany and Israeli documentary follows the heart wrenching journey of a brother and sister duo who were separated by World War II in 1945 and now are living two separate lives in two separate countries without knowing the other exists.

"Love Steaks" from Germany was directed by Jakob Lass and written by him, Ines Schiller, Timon Schaeppi and Nico Woche, this film is an entirely improvised love story.

"Miss Julie" was written and directed by Mikael Berg. The Swedish film follows the story of a newly single Miss Julie in a love affair with the servant of the mansion at which she is staying.

The festival also screened the firsts of established filmmakers as well, such as David Lynch’s "Eraserhead" and "Roger & Me" from Michael Moore. The festival’s panels included a series called "How They Did It" in which accomplished filmmakers gave advice on how they managed to get their films made with major setbacks, as well as "Stand Alone," which were conversations with Michael Moore and Peter Bogdanovich.

Johanna Bennett and Mandy got the idea to make this film festival six years ago, when they saw there was no other film festival that honored the first time filmmaker, so they decided to team up with Cinema Libre to give the winner theatrical distribution as well as funds to make their next film to come. Watch the video to see what the First Time Fest is about!

Catherina Gioino contributed reporting.

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