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Meet The Next Lena Dunham: Indie Up-and-Comers at the Cinematheque

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What do Ryan Gosling, Hilary Swank and Lena Dunham have in common?

They all appeared on Filmmaker magazine's "25 New Faces of Indie Film" list at various moments since 1988, when the quarterly publication geared toward the American independent film community started printing the annual feature to spotlight notable industry upstarts.

You'll get a chance to meet and spitball with three of this year's crop — plus Filmmaker editor Nick Dawson — in a "traveling indie roadshow" — at 8 p.m. on Sunday at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque.

The three guests will screen their short films (about 90 minutes, all told) and then answer questions about their work and the state of indie movies everywhere.

"We're able to do this because of our HD projector," says Cinematheque director John Ewing. "And I think Filmmaker picked Cleveland, in part, because we have a good reputation as a film city. I'm excited for them to see what Cleveland has to offer."

The short films to be shown include: Needle, the award-winning film about ear piercing by Iran's Anahita Ghazvinizadeh; The Surveyor, a "nightmarish anti-Western" by West-coaster Scott Blake; and Refuge, another film with an Iranian influence that's a futuristic political thriller by filmmaker Mo Gorjestani, who was born in Iran but lives in California.

Ewing says having two Iranians on the bill was just coincidence, but it plays into the Cinematheque's commitment to foreign filmmaking and work from the Middle East.

Needle director Ghazvinizadeh also co-wrote Mourning a film that screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival two years ago.

This is the first time that a traveling roadshow supplements the Filmmaker list, and Ewing's not certain it will become an annual event. He's hopeful though, if nothing else, that it may be an opportunity for the Cinematheque to continue networking and programming with young, independent filmmakers.

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