Now in its eighth year, the American Film Festival offers a unique perspective on recent developments in U.S. indie filmmaking. That’s because it happens in Poland, staged at the stylish Kino Nowe Horyzonty film center in Wroclaw, also home to the summer New Horizons festival, which has more of a European tilt.

Although the festival, which recently concluded, surveys many favorites from Sundance and South by Southwest, the curation doesn’t merely transpose selections to a new setting. It imports a lively assortment of filmmakers, as well, and creates a cozy, engaged atmosphere more akin to the communal vibe of the Maryland Film Festival. Indeed, to rub shoulders in a crowd that included Jody Lee Lipes, Noel Wells, Dustin Guy Defa, Nathan Silver, producer Mike Ryan, Jessica Oreck and Mike Ott is to experience a deep dive into the creative bustle of current indie ferment.

That spirit is further enhanced by the fest’s U.S. in Progress sidebar, an invitation-only program that spotlights works-in-progress and counts such alumni as Amy Seimetz, Onur Tukel, Matt Porterfield and Joshua Z. Weinstein, whose “Menashe” went on from an in-progress screening last year to become one of 2017’s surprise indie hits – in Yiddish, no less.

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Posted by 2018 article

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