DATABASE TRIAL: New World Cinema: Independent Features and Shorts, 1990–Present

200 full length feature films from leading independent distributors…New World Cinema: Independent Features and Shorts, 1990–Present delivers approximately 200 full length feature films from leading independent distributors such as Kino Lorber, First Run Features, Film Movement, MK2, and the Global Films Initiative, along with approximately fifty award-winning shorts. All the films were shown at major festivals, many were nominated for awards, and a large number have won major awards. Films include, for example, the Oscar®-nominated Twilight Samurai, directed by Yôji Yamada, Oscar®-nominated The Scent of Green Papaya, directed by Tran Anh Hung, Oscar® nominated Dogtooth, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, and Cannes Grand Jury Prize winner The Piano Teacher, directed by Michael Haneke.

Films by many of the world’s leading contemporary directors, including Andrei Zvyagintsev, Koji Wakamatsu, Wong Kar-Wai, and Jean-Luc Godard, show students and scholars a wide range of cinematographic techniques.

Works from more than sixty countries, across all continents and tens of cultures, from Austria to Uruguay, are included. The narratives provide a window into a wide range of cultures and sociological issues around the world. Students can experience vividly life under Ceausescuin the 2006 film Cum Mi-Am Petrecut Sfarsitul Lumii (The Way I Spent the End of the World), or see the struggle of an immigrant Algerian woman to come to terms with Western values in Inch’Allah dimanche (Sunday God Willing, 2001). In El baño del Papa (The Pope’s Toilet, 2007), acclaimed director César Charlone presents themes of poverty and religion on the Brazilian border.

Detailed title-level indexing allows viewers immediately to identify films with social, cultural, or political dimensions, making the content relevant for studies in sociology, linguistics, anthropology, and other disciplines. Issues of domestic abuse in Japan, the impact of mercury on human health and the environment in Peru, political upheaval in China during the 50s and 60s—these and other themes are examined.

Over forty languages are represented—with all non-English-language films subtitled in English. The transcripts are keyword searchable, making it easy to jump to particular sections for viewing or even to study sections of dialog.

New World Cinema comes with classroom performance rights. Clearance to show the films in educational settings, together with tools to identify and annotate sections of the films, will make it easy for faculty to use the material for instruction and assignments. Once identified,course synopses can link to individual scenes.


Janet Clarke

Janet Clarke

Associate Dean, Research & User Engagement at Stony Brook University Libraries
Janet Clarke
Posted in Arts & Humanities, Cinema Studies, Cultural Analysis & Theory, Database Trials, Film Studies, MFA Theatre & Film, Writing and Literature