New Directors/New Films alum David Licata wrote of his experience at NDNF in 2004 with his film TANGO OCTOGENARIO in his blog (http://alifesworkmovie.com/blog/2011/03/new-directors-new-films/):
People who know me well will tell you that I’m modest. But there is one thing I’ll drop without hesitation: I directed a film that screened at New Directors/New Films, a showcase presented by the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. ND/NF showed the early films of Pedro Almodovar, John Sayles, Atom Egoyan, Sally Potter, Wim Wenders, Wong Kar Wai, Guillermo del Torro* — and those are just the filmmakers I love. There are quite a few more directors on the roster that are now household names, including that guy who made Jaws and E.T. and a few others.
ND/NF was by far the most enjoyable screening experience of my film career. They invited me to a tech run. They had a press screening. They were one of a handful of festivals that projected a 35mm print of the film. It looked glorious and sounded amazing at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, the premiere art house theater in NYC and my favorite place to watch a film. (It’s also three blocks from my home.) Other festivals may have had better swag, but ND/NF treated the films like works of art and the filmmakers like artists. Honestly, the way to my heart is not through my stomach. No, call me an artist and I’m yours. And as if to prove that they respected the filmmaker as an artist, in addition to screening the films at the art house, they also screened them at MoMA.**
Publication of written work, screenings at film festivals, acceptance into artist residencies, they’re all great validations, and certainly, ND/NF was that, to the Nth degree. I mean, something I created was going to be in MoMA? Can there be more of a boost to an artist’s ego than that?
But more than this validation, ND/NF gave me a sense that I belonged, that I was on the right track, and most important of all it gave me the confidence to tackle a bigger, more ambitious project, A Life’s Work. So, thank you, thank you, thank you fine folks at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art (you know who you are), I cannot express how grateful I am for your support.