California-based Cambodian pop band Dengue Fever have been selected to open the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival in New York with the premier of their documentary Sleepwalking through the Mekong on November 9. The film, directed by John Pirozzi, features the band on their tour through Cambodia with a repertoire of 1960s and 1970s Khmer pop music. The screening will take place at the American Museum of Natural History and will be followed by a discussion with the director.
The Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival is the longest-running documentary film festival in the United States. Tackling diverse and challenging cultural and social issues, the Mead Festival has introduced New York audiences to such acclaimed films as Spellbound (2002), Power Trip (2003), The Future of Food (2004), the Oscar-winning animated short The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation (2005), and the Oscar-winning documentary The Blood of Yingzhou District (2006). The Festival has a distinguished history of “firsts,” and was the premiere venue to screen the now-classic Paris Is Burning (1990), about the urban transgender community, and one of the first U.S. festivals to feature “indigenous media production.” Founded by the American Museum of Natural History in 1977, the Festival continues to showcase the season’s strongest international documentaries and includes engaging postscreening discussions with directors, producers, film participants, and regional and topical experts.
This year the festival celebrates its 31st Anniversary, showcasing an outstanding and eclectic selection of 29 titles culled from over 1,000 submissions. The festival will run from Friday to Sunday, November 9 through 11. A touring version of the Festival begins its cycle in January at universities and film centers around the country.
Tickets are $10 per program for the general public, and $9 per program for Museum Members, students, and senior citizens. Shorter films may be grouped together in single programs. The Friend of the Festival Pass (opening night film and reception plus six other programs) is $75. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 212-769-5200, online at www.amnh.org/mead, or at any of the Museum’s admission desks.