143 Sahara Street

Algeria/France 2019, Locarno Cineasti del presente, Best Director. Toronto Wavelenghts

Documentary by Hassen Ferhani

Synopsis

In the middle of the Algerian sahara, in her relay, a woman writes her History. She welcomes, for a cigarette, a coffee or eggs, truckers, wandering beings and dreams… Her name is Malika. Continuer la lecture

Acid Forest

Lithuania 2018, Locarno First Feature Swatch Art Peace Hotel Award

First Documentary by Rugile Barzdziukaite

Synopsis

Can you imagine a tourist attraction where people come to see a dead forest? Where they are not only observers, but also the ones being observed and listened to by black birds? The forest reminds of a nuclear fallout for some visitors, while others recall Hitchcock’s The Birds. People’s observations and responses to this environment are as multi-layered and bizarre as the story of the forest itself. » Continuer la lecture

Bulbul Can Sing

India 2018, Toronto & Busan 2018, Berlinale Generation 2019- special mention

Feature Film by Rima Das

Synopsis

Bulbul, Bonny and Suman live an idyllic life, playing in the rain, climbing trees and swimming in the river. On the cusp of puberty, the inseparable trio go through their schooling days as a unit, discovering love, sexual awakenings and rebellion together. When a group of villagers discover the teens engaged in acts that outrage their moral modesty, the trio’s friendship is put to the test through violent punishment and tragedy. Continuer la lecture

Don’t Look Down

France 2019, London BFI

Feature Film by Olivier Ducastel & Jacques Martinot

Synopsis

A woman and four men who barely know each other find themselves in an apartment in the sky above Paris. They have all been the victims of the same perverse dominator who is locked in a room. That night, they decided to end it all. In turn, they tell each other memories that bind them to this man and enter the room to confront him. But what happens there between the monster and them remains their secret. Continuer la lecture

Giacinto Scelsi. The First Motion of the Immovable

France 2018, IDFA Best First Appearance Award, Turin Special Prize of the Jury

First Documentary by Sebastiano d’Ayala Valva

Synopsis

When Sebastiano d’Ayala Valva was 10 years old, his father played him music by his cousin, the composer Giacinto Scelsi. He found it frightening. Now he attempts to penetrate the world of a composer who remained obscure for many years and whose ideas about music and sound were unorthodox.

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Gold Is All There Is

Italy 2019, Rotterdam Signatures

Non Fiction Film by Andrea Caccia

Synopsis

A river. A young boy who plays and gets lost in the woods. A naked man who wanders among the trees. A weapon. An illegal hunter. A police officer. A crime from the past. An old gold prospector. Real people, who go about their daily lives in a natural theatre where reality takes on the qualities of a fairy tale, a crime novel, a coming-of-age story. Five men at different stages of life who never meet yet are all part of one, unique, suspended narration.

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Just Don’t Think I’ll Scream

France 2019, Berlin Forum

First Documentary by Frank Beauvais

Synopsis

January 2016. The love story that brought me to this village in Alsace where I live ended six months ago. At 45, I am now alone, without a car, a job or any real prospects, surrounded by luxuriant nature, the proximity of which is not enough to calm the deep distress into which I am plunged. France, still in shock from the November terror attacks, is in a state of emergency. I feel helpless, I suffocate with contained rage. I am lost and I watch four to five films a day. I decide to record this stagnation, not by picking up a camera but by editing shots from the stream of films I watch. Continuer la lecture

Nona If they soak me, I’ll burn them

Chile 2019, Rotterdam Tiger competition

Fiction/ experimental documentary by Camila Jose Donoso

Synopsis

After a torrid act of vengeance on the home of her ex-lover, 66-year old Nona flees to her summer house in Pichilemu, a Chilean coastal town. There she potters about in apparent satisfaction, until a series of forest fires drives many of her neighbors from their homes.

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Present. Perfect.

USA/ Hong Kong 2019, Rotterdam Tiger Award 

Mexico Ficunam Special Mention for Best Film, Paris Cinema du Reel Young Jury Award Special Mention 

Documentary by Shengze Zhu

Synopsis

Weaving together footage filmed and broadcasted by little-known Chinese live-streaming anchors, who struggle with real-life face-to-face social interaction because of their identity, disability and social-economic status, this cinematic collage explores how individuals satisfy their cravings for human connection through virtual togetherness, and how these virtual relationships challenge standard definitions of companionship. Continuer la lecture

The Elder One

India 2019, Toronto Special Presentations

Geetu Mohandas

Synopsis

The search for Akbar brings his younger sibiling, Mulla from Lakshadweep island to the decadent underbelly of Mumbai.

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Widow of Silence

India 2018, Busan a Window on Asian Cinema, Rotterdam Voices 2019

Feature Film by Praveen Morchhale

Synopsis

In conflict-ridden Kashmir, a Muslim widow, responsible for her 11-year-old daughter and ill mother-in-law, finds herself in dire straits. Unable to obtain her missing husband’s death certificate from the government, she must find the strength to overcome this absurd plight.

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