Premiere Showcase is the Cinematheque’s effort to bring the boldest and most exciting new cinema back to the big screen. Crafted with the same curat­orial acuity we bring to our repertory series, Premiere Showcase presents exciting new work by contem­porary directors that would otherwise have no theatrical venue in the area. Our selections for this calendar, in addition to those new films playing our annual LACIS series, are Oliver Laxe’s “Eastern Western” Mimosas, filmed on breathtaking Moroccan locations; and a new Iranian documentary, Starless Dreams, which takes a compassionate look inside a juvenile detention center near Tehran.

  • Fri., Feb. 3 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In the Moroccan desert, a ragtag caravan of misfits transport a dying sheik across a dangerous mountain range.  What begins as a spiritual journey takes on the enveloping, ineffable aura of mythos.  Featuring hypnotic 16mm cinematography, stunning landscapes, and an impeccable nonprofessional cast, Laxe’s mesmerizing “Eastern western” won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival’s Semaine de la Critique. (MK)

  • Fri., Feb. 10 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

This profoundly empathetic documentary takes us inside a juvenile detention center for teenage girls on the outskirts of Tehran.  Director Oskoeui spent seven years gaining permission to film these girls and tell their stories, and the depth of their connection is palpable in the film’s gentle intimacy and heartrending candor.  As we learn of their pasts, hopes, and dreams, it becomes apparent that their crimes, which range from pickpocketing to drug dealing to manslaughter, evince and indict the impossible circumstances of their youth far more than any innate criminality. (MK). Presented with the support of the Middle Eastern Studies Program.