(Be) Longing (Volta a Terra)

Portugal, Cannes ACID 2015

Documentary by Joao Pedro Placido

Synopsis

The story of an endangered community: farmers who practice subsistence farming in a mountainous village of northern Portugal, deserted because of immigration. Between the evocation of the past and their uncertain future, we follow the 49 inhabitants through four seasons, from the wintry fallow until the return of the prodigal sons in August. Among the inhabitants is António – a former emigrant who fulfilled his dream of returning home – who prepares the village festivities for the coming summer, and Daniel, a young shepherd who dreams of love at dusk.

Continue reading

40 Days of Silence

Uzbekistan, Berlin Forum 2014

A first feature film by Saodat Ismailova

Synopsis

Surrounded by high mountains, in an isolated village of Central Asia, Bibicha, a young woman, decides to take a vow of silence followed by her past, unaware of her future and struggling with the present. Will her awakening as a woman and her personal journey answer her questions? Continue reading

A Corner of Heaven

China, Busan 2014- A window on Asian Cinema, Rotterdam 2015

Miaoyan Zhang

Synopsis

A boy is in search of his mother in the estuary of the dirty Yellow River. He finds pollution, oppression, drugs and violence and yet he does not loose his will to live. Continue reading

Adventure

Kazakhstan, Karlovy Vary competition 2014

Nariman Turebayev

Synopsis

Marat is single, lives alone and works as a security guard.He lives his lonely life according to a never changing boring daily routine. Then, one day, somethingunusual happens. Continue reading

Au Revoir l’été

Japan, Tokyo 2013, Mongolfiere d’or & young jury award at Nantes 3 Continents 2013, Rotterdam Spectrum 2014

Koji Fukada

Synopsis

Sakuko, a high school graduate studying for her college entrance exams, decides to accompany her aunt Mikie to stay at a rural town by the sea. There, she becomes friends with Mikie’s friends Tatsuko, Ukichi, and Takashi. Continue reading

Bellas Mariposas

Italy, Venice Orizzonti 2012, Rotterdam Big screen award 2013

Salvatore Mereu

Synopsis

Cate lives on the outskirts of Cagliari with her many brothers and sisters and a good-for-nothing father. She wants to get out and dreams of becoming a singer, not wanting to end up like her sister, Mandarina, pregnant at thirteen, or like Samantha, the neighbourhood slut. Continue reading

Between 10 and 12

Netherlands, Venice Days 2014, Rotterdam 2015

First feature film by Peter Hoogendoorn

Synopsis:

BETWEEN THE HOURS OF TEN AND TWELVE A PIECE OF NEWS STOPS A FAMILY IN ITS TRACKS, WHILE AROUND THEM LIFE GOES ON AS BEFORE.

Continue reading

Blood Cells

UK, Venice 2014 Biennale College Programme

Joseph Bull and Luke Seomore

Synopsis

Adam has lived a rootless existence since his family’s farm was destroyed by the Foot & Mouth epidemic of 2001. His life imploded and he abandoned his family after a single devastating incident. He has spent the years since on the nomadic fringes of British society, cycling through transitory jobs and transitory relationships, adrift from his family and past.

Continue reading

Bloody Beans

Algeria, FID Marseille 2013- Grand Prix, CPH Dox 2013- Grand Prix

Narimane Mari

Synopsis

17 kids, relentless, insatiable of gestures and screams, set everything on fire. Continue reading

Corn Island

Georgia, Karlovy Vary competition 2014- Crystal Globe for Best Film

George Ovashvili

Synopsis

The Enguri River forms the border between Georgia and the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia. Tensions between the two nations have not abated since the war of 1992-93. Every spring the river brings fertile soil from the Caucasus down to the plains of Abkhazia and northwestern Georgia, creating tiny island: small clusters of no man’s land. The islands are havens for wildlife but occasionally also for man. Continue reading

Cure- The Life of Another

Switzerland, Locarno 2014- in competition

Andrea Staka

Synopsis

1993: after the Siege of Dubrovnik. 14-year-old Linda has moved back to Croatia from Switzerland with her father. Her new best friend Eta takes her up to the forbidden forest above the city.

Continue reading

Dust Cloth

Turkey, Berlin Forum 2016, Istanbul IFF- Best Film, Best Actress, Best Screenplay

First feature film by Ahu Öztürk

Synopsis

Nesrin and Hatun are two Kurdish cleaning women living in Istanbul. While Nesrin tries to survive with her little daughter in the big city, trying to understand why her husband left her, Hatun dreams of buying a house in the districts where she goes to clean.

Continue reading

Fort Buchanan

France, Locarno 2014- Signs of Life, Rotterdam 2015

A first feature film by Benjamin Crotty

Synopsis

From the woods of Eastern France to the Djiboutian desert, Fort Buchanan follows a group of army husbands and wives over one year. With dialogues inspired from American TV, protagonists change with the seasons as the group evolves romantically, sexually, and (a little bit) intellectually. Continue reading

Heaven Sent

France/Lebanon, Cannes ACID selection 2016

First feature film by Wissam Charaf

Synopsis

After 20 years apart, Samir a former militiaman who was presumed dead, reappears in the life of Omar, his little brother who has become a bodyguard in Beirut. Between drama and comedy, Samir has to come to terms with a country he no longer recognizes.

Continue reading

I’m not Him

Turkey, Rome 2013- best screenplay, Rotterdam Spectrum 2014

Tayfun Pirselimoğlu

Synopsis

Middle-aged unmarried loner Nihat works in a hospital canteen. When young colleague Ayşe invites him to her house for dinner, he accepts despite the rumours that her husband Necip is in jail for a serious offence. Continue reading

I, Olga Hepnarova

Czech Rep, Berlin Panorama Opening Film 2016

First feature film by Tomas Weinreb & Petr Kazda 

Synopsis

Olga Hepnarova was a young, lonely lesbian outsider from a coldhearted family who couldn’t play the part society desired of her. Her paranoid self-examination and inability to connect with other people eventually drove her over the edge of humanity when she was only twenty-two years old.

Continue reading

Impressions of a drowned man

Cyprus, Rotterdam Tiger award competition 2015

A first feature film by Kyros Papavassiliou

Synopsis

Totally disconnected from his past and memory, the Passenger tries to define himself, confronted by his pre-determined fate, a fate that he has to re-live upon every anniversary of his death.

 

Continue reading

Isola

France, Cannes ACID selection 2016

Fabianny Deschamps

Synopsis

A story made of dreams without fairies, at the heart of a contemporary world where individuals must reinvent themselves to survive. On an island lost between two worlds, Dai, a young Chinese woman, survives alone in a cave, waiting for the baby that swells her womb day after day. By the harbour which, every day, flurry with the arrival of hundreds of migrants, she searches tirelessly the face of the man she loves, her husband. One night her wish is to be fulfilled…

Continue reading

Ivy

Turkey, Sundance World Cinema competition 2015

Tolga Karacelik

Synopsis

After months without pay, the already disgruntled crew on a Turkish cargo ship arrives in an Egyptian port and learns that the port authority is foreclosing on them. Continue reading

Keep Me Upright

France, Berlin Forum 2012

A first feature film by Zoe Chantre

Synopsis

When I was a child they found I had a giant S-shaped scoliosis of the spine and a large angioma of the left brain. Continue reading

Labour of Love

India, Venice Days 2014- Fedeora Award for Best Debut Film, Rotterdam 2015

A first feature film by Aditya Vikram Sengupta

Synopsis

Set in the crumbling environs of Calcutta, LABOUR OF LOVE is a lyrical unfolding of two ordinary lives suspended in the duress of a spiralling recession. Continue reading

Labyrinthus

Belgium, Toronto Kids section 2014

Douglas Boswell

Synopsis

Frikke, a 14-year-old boy, comes across a computer game and discovers that it’s being played with real children, uploaded in the game’s labyrinth. In a race against time, Frikke tries to find the evil creator of this horrible game.

Continue reading

Liar’s Dice

India, Sundance World Dramatic competition 2014, Rotterdam Bright Future 2014

A first feature film by Geetu Mohandas

Synopsis

The canvas of the film stretches from a small village on the mountains called Chitkul, which borders China to the industrial land of big dreams, Delhi city. Continue reading

Life after Life

Hong Kong, Berlin Forum 2016, Hong Kong Firebird Award 2016, Tokyo Filmex Grand Prize 2016

First feature film by Zhang Hanyi

Synopsis

Industrial development and the migration of population have seen the gradual desolation of the village with few people left and houses collapsed. Some people die, and some ghosts return. Xiuying’s spirit who has wandered for over a decade returns to the village by borrowing her son’s body.

Continue reading

Mercuriales

France, Cannes ACID selection 2014

Virgil Vernier

Synopsis

This story takes place in a far distant time, a time of violence. All throughout Europe, a silent war was spreading. In a city there lived two sisters…

Continue reading

Oscuro Animal

Colombia. Rotterdam Tiger competition 2016, Guadalajara 2016 Best Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Actress

First feature film by Felipe Guerrero

Synopsis

Oscuro animal tells the story of three women forced to flee their homes in a war-torn region of Colombia. Each woman’s journey, marked by terror, takes her on a trek from the depths of the jungle to the outskirts of Bogotá, where each must gather the strength needed to start a new life.

Continue reading

Oyster Factory

Japan. Locarno official selection 2015

Documentary by Kazuhiro Soda

Synopsis

In the Japanese town of Ushimado, the shortage of labor is a serious problem due to its population’s rapid decline. Traditionally, oyster shucking has been a job for local men and women, but for a few years now, some of the factories have had to use foreigners in order to keep functioning. Hirano oyster factory has never employed any outsiders but finally decides to bring in two workers from China. Will all the employees get along?

Continue reading

Paris of the North

Iceland, Karlovy Vary competition 2014

Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson

Synopsis

Seeking shelter from the trials and tribulations of city life, Hugi has built a quiet existence for himself in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. Continue reading

Rio Corgo

Switzerland/Portugal, Berlin Forum 2016

Documentary by Maya Cosa & Sergio da Costa

Synopsis

Silva has trodden many paths over the course of his life, paths that criss-cross the north of Portugal. Now his steps echo in the narrow streets of a remote village, where he has moved into an empty house.

Continue reading

Roundabout in my Head

Algeria/France/Lebanon. FID Marseille 2015- Grand Price for the French competition, IDFA Special Jury Award for First Appearance, Turin Best Film for Documentary

Documentary by Hassen Ferhani

Synopsis

To a slaughterhouse in the centre of Algiers, men live and work behind closed doors to the throbbing rhythms of their tasks and their dreams.Hope, bitterness, love, paradise and hell, the football stories as of the Chaabi and Rai melodies that set their lives and their world.

Continue reading

Song of my Mother

Turkey, Best Film & Best Actor at Sarajevo 2014

First feature film by Erol Mintas

Synopsis

Young teacher Ali lives with his aging mother Nigar in Istanbul’s Tarlabaşı district; home to many Kurdish immigrants since the 90’s. When the ongoing gentrification of the old city forces them to move for a second time, they end up in the soulless concrete desert of the city’s furthest outskirts.

Continue reading

The Ardennes

Belgium, Toronto Discovery 2015

First feature film by Robin Pront

Synopsis

Brothers Dave and Kenneth are reunited on Kenneth’s release after four years in prison following a failed home invasion. While Kenneth is anxious to dive headfirst into the drug-centered existence that ensnared him in the first place, both Dave and Kenneth’s erstwhile girlfriend Sylvie, have adopted clean lifestyles. Drugs, crime and the bonds of brotherhood create this dark crime thriller journey in The Ardennes.

Continue reading

The Creation of Meaning

Italy, Locarno Cineastes of the Present 2014- Best New Director, Rotterdam 2015

Simone Rapisarda Casanova

Synopsis

The Creation of Meaning is set in the Tuscan Alps, where German occupying forces massacred hundreds of civilians during WWII, and follows the daily life of Pacifico, a shepherd born in the wake of the war among those same breathtaking landscapes. The film blurs fiction, documentary and anthropology to explore the transient nature of meaning in capturing what Borges calls an Aleph, an allegorical singularity in space and time where past, present and future overlap and intertwine.

Continue reading

The Magic Mountain

Romania, Karlovy Vary 2015- in competition- special mention of the jury

Animation Feature Film by Anca Damian

Synopsis

In the form of an animated docu-drama,
the biography of Adam Jacek Winker wonders through nearly half a century of history.

A Polish refugee in Paris, Adam lived a boundless life, wanting to change the world.

Continue reading

The Quispe Girls

Chile, Venice Critic’s Week 2013, mention for best Latin American feature film at Mar del Plata 2013

A first feature film by Sebastian Sepulveda

Synopsis

Based on a true story that occurred in 1974, “The Quispe Girls” is the tale of the sisters Justa, Lucia and Luciana Quispe, shepherds in the Chil- ean altiplano, who lead a solitary life. The recent death of a fourth sister and news from abroad, forces the sisters to an existential quest that will relentlessly bring them to a tragic end. Continue reading

Until I lose my breath

Turkey, Berlin Forum 2015

A first feature film by Emine Emel Balci

Synopsis

Serap is a quiet but hot-headed adolescent who is working long hours in a cramped clothing workshop as a runner. Fed up with her abusive brother-in-law and detached sister, the only thing that keeps Serap going is the hope of moving into an apartment with her father who is a long distance truck driver. Since the father is quite indifferent to Serap’s wishes, however, she decides to take matters in her own hands.

Continue reading

Violencia

Colombia, Berlin Forum 2015

A first feature film by Jorge Forero

Synopsis

A man in chains, a young man who dreams of being part of something and a militant from an armed group who must wield a cruelty in which he may not believes in. All of them in the center of a violence that they don’t understand. The film, through three successive stories, gives unique faces, not interchangeable, to the tragic reality of the war.

Continue reading