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. Continuer la lecture

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. Continuer la lecture

Antonio Um Dois Três

Portugal/Brazil, Rotterdam Bright Future Award Competition 2017

First feature film by Leonardo Mouramateus

Synopsis

António runs away from home and spends the night at his ex-girlfriend’s apartment. There he meets an unexpected guest, a Brazilian girl. Johnny is struggling to stage his first play in Lisbon. The friendship with a young lightning technician leads him to face his own questions.

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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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Balekempa

India 2018, Rotterdam Bright Future competition- FIPRESCI award

First feature film by Ere Gowda

Synopsis

A village bangle seller and his wife cannot conceive a child. The villagers gossip. In this close-knit patriarchal community in South India, hidden desires and relationships find a way to exist. Will the husband’s secret ever come out?

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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. Continuer la lecture

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. 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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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.

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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.

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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. Continuer la lecture

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.

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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…

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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. Continuer la lecture

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. 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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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. Continuer la lecture

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.

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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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Loving Pia

Denmark, Berlin Forum 2017

Daniel Borgman

Synopsis

A work of fiction, the film is developed from the life of – and starring – a real woman, Pia, who is intellectually disabled. Pia is 60 years old and she lives in rural Denmark in the care of her mother Guittou, 84.In the story, Guittou is getting old, and Pia worries about what will happen when her mother dies. She is afraid of being left alone.

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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…

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My Brother, My Love

Switzerland 2018, Locarno competition

Feature Film by Thomas Imbach

Synopsis

Lena loves her brother Noah. In the desperate attempt to conquer her feelings, she retreats into a world of her own.

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Napalm

France, Cannes 2017 Official Selection – out of competition

Claude Lanzmann

Synopsis

« Napalm » is the story of the breathtaking and brief encounter, in 1958, between a French member of the first Western European delegation officially invited to North Korea after the devastating Korean war (4 million civilians killed) and a nurse working for the Korean Red Cross hospital, in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Continuer la lecture

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!

Continuer la lecture

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.

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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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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?

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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. Continuer la lecture

Pillar of Salt (The)

Turkey 2018, Berlin Forum

First feature film by Burak Cevik

Synopsis

A reclusive woman in her thirties leads a life frozen in time in a cave-like room. In her rare trips to the city, she chats with an oarswoman haunted by the devils. She searches for her twin sister in unfrequented corners of the city. In this journey in which time and space are out of joint, a same dream is recounted time after time.

Continuer la lecture

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.

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Room for a Man

Lebanon 2017, Montreal RIDM – Grand Prize

First feature documentary by Anthony Chidiac

Synopsis

A young Lebanese filmmaker who shares a Beirut apartment with his mother and pet dog sets about reconstructing his identity by renovating his bedroom. But as the male construction workers come and go in the freshly embattled household, new questions, old arguments and unexpected passions get stirred…

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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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Silent Mist

China 2017, Busan Window on Asian Cinema, Rotterdam 2018

Miaoyan Zhang

Synopsis

In the seemingly tranquil midst of a small canal town, a rapist lurks in the shadows of the night, searching for prey. A schoolgirl, a young woman and a young couple, al seem unable to cope with both the visible and the hidden dangers they all face from their morally corrupted compatriots.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Pot and The Oak

Iran, Rotterdam Bright Future Award Competition 2017

First feature film by Kiarash Anvari

Synopsis

After finding out that he has no sperm and can’t impregnate his wife, an Iranian man suffers an existential crisis.

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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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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.

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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.

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