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

Ava

Iran 2017, Toronto Discovery FIPRESCI award

First feature film by Sadaf Foroughi

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Iranian Ava challenges the strict rules of her traditional upbringing and learns that her mother broke the rules as a young woman as well.

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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

Donkeyote

Spain/Germany/UK, Rotterdam Big Screen Competition 2017

Chico Pereira

Synopsis

Manolo leads a simple life in Southern Spain. He has two loves: his animals, in particular his donkey Gorrión (“Sparrow”), and wandering through nature. Against the advice of his doctor, he decides to plan one last walk in the US, the brutal 2200 mile Trail of Tears. But not without his donkey.

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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, Curitiba Olhar do Cinema New Views Award – Feature for Best Film, DocLisboa Special Prize of the Jury

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

La Soledad

Venezuela, Venice Biennale College 2016, Miami Audience Award 2017

First feature film by Jorge Thielen Armand

Synopsis

Already struggling to survive in the urban jungle of Caracas, José discovers that the decrepit mansion he occupies with his family will soon be demolished. Driven by a desire for a better life and guided by the ancestral spirits of the house, José embarks on a mystical search for a cache of gold that is rumoured to be buried in the walls of the mansion. This film is based on a true story and played by the real characters.

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Le Fort des Fous

France, 2017- Locarno Cineasti del Presente, Toronto, Rotterdam 2018

Narimane Mari

Synopsis

Departing from material records of the early colonial “scientific expeditions” and “taming campaigns” led by the French colonizers in North Africa, the story follows a community of young nomads and wanderers as they form an imagined utopian society in response to imperialist rule.

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Love Blooms

France 2018, Cannes ACID selection

First Feature Film by Michaël Dacheux

Synopsis

Martin, in a last ditch hope, comes to meet Léa in Paris. They are both twenty-five and shared their first love story together. They are both now striving to mature.

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Newton

India, 2017 Berlin Forum, Hong Kong Jury Prize, Tribeca competition, Indian entry for Oscar Awards

Amit V Masurkar

Synopsis

As India, the world’s largest democracy, braces itself for another general election- with 9 million polling booths, more than 800 million voters, and costing nearly $5 billion- Newton Kumar, a rookie government clerk finds himself entrusted with a task that appears deceptively simple: conducting elections in a remote village in the jungles of central India.

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No Farewells (Sans Adieu)

France, 2017 Cannes ACID selection, Viennale, Turin Doc competition

First feature documentary by Christophe Agou

Synopsis

The endangered world of small farmers, determined to resist till the end…with Claudette as leader!

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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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Our Madness

Mozambique 2018, Berlin Forum

Joao Viana

Synopsis

Ernania is hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital in Mozambique. She dreams about her little son, Hanic, and her husband, Pak, who is a soldier of the war. In the meantime, a quirky musical intrument plays: her own bed. Ernania’s musical virtuosity, attracts the attention of the hospital nurses. One day, her song is played in a radio program and Rosa, an envangelical priest of “Rádio Moçambique”, goes to the hospital to listen to Ernania’s song. Ernania takes the priest’s visit as an opportunity to run away from the hospital.

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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, Montreal RIDM Grand Prize.

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

Private Fiction

Argentina 2019, San Sebastian Zabaltegi, IDFA Masters

Documentary by Andrés di Tella

Synopsis

Over several days and nights, an actor and an actress read the correspondence between Torcuato and Kamala, the film director’s parents, he from Argentina, and she from India. The letters, encompassing the decades from the 50s to the 70s, refer to love and idealism, record world travels, talk about socialism and psychoanalysis, about pain and broken dreams. Their reading reveals a relationship between the actors, with similarities and differences. Meanwhile, with his own daughter, the director sets about solving the puzzle of the family memory, an intimate twentieth-century tale.

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.

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Still Recording

Syria 2018, Venice Critic’s Week FIPRESCI & Audience awards. Valdivia Best Film

First Documentary by Saeed Al Batal & Ghiath Ayoub

Synopsis

Saeed is a young cinema passionate trying to teach other young people in Eastern Ghouta in Syria the rules of filming, but the reality they face is much more harsh to respect any rule.
His friend Milad is on the other side of the fence, in Damascus, under the control of the regime finishing his studies in Fine Arts.

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The Time of the Pirates

France 2018, FID Marseille, Grand Prize French competition

First Feature Film by Gael Lepingle

Synopsis

Following an urban redevelopment project, Géro is about to be evicted from his home and his small theatre, where he no longer plays since he lost his voice. A nephew he barely knows suddenly settles in his home. He wants to write.

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Theatre of War

Argentina 2018, Berlin Forum- Ecumenical Prize & CICAE Art Cinema award

First Documentary Film by Lola Arias

Synopsis

This is an essay on how to represent war, performed by former enemies. British and Argentinian veterans of the Falklands/Malvinas war come together to discuss, rehearse and re-enact their memories 35 years after the conflict.

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Walden

Switzerland 2018, Karlovy Vary Documentary competition- Special Jury prize, Rotterdam & Sundance 2019

First Documentary by Daniel Zimmermann

Synopsis

In the forest of the Catholic Monastery of Admont in Austria a fir tree is felled and processed into planks of wood. By train, truck, boat and finally by hand, the stack is transported to a mysterious destination right in the heart of the Brazilian rainforest.

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When The Persimmons Grew

Azerbaijan 2019- Nyon Visions du Reel Special Mention, Sarajevo Best Documentary Film, IDFA Best of Fest

Hilal Baydarov

Synopsis

Immobile in a home where the sands of time fall to the rhythm of rural Azerbaijani sounds, a mother waits for her son. When he arrives, their conversations circle around existential questi- ons and news from afar, troubling and cryptic. Unrest cloaks the world outside. Continuer la lecture

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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You Have the Night

Montenegro, Serbia, 2018- Venice Critic’s Week, Hong Kong Firebird Award 2019

First Feature Film by Ivan Salatic

Synopsis

After leaving the ship on which she works, Sanja finds herself stranded, with nowhere to go but home. The shipyard has filed for bankruptcy, leaving many workers out of work. Boats covered with tarpaulin are scattered around the landscape, set aside for better days. A storm comes. One life is lost. Luka is waiting for the night in the woods. The night when everything could change.

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Yours Truly

India 2018, Busan a Window on Asian Cinema

Feature Film by Sanjoy Nag

Synopsis

Amidst the daily din of the local trains in Calcutta, a lonely working woman in her late fifties finds herself falling in love with the voice of the railway announcer. Yours Truly is a story about seeking connection and discovering how love can strike at any age- and in the most unexpected places.

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