IFFR 2023: Bright Future

27 October 2022

Film still: La amiga de mi amiga


IFFR 2023: Bright Future

27 October 2022

Bright Future is our selection of first feature debuts, characterised by original subject matter and an individual style, and representing the cutting edge of contemporary filmmaking. We’re announcing the first titles for our Bright Future programme for 2023, as plans take shape for the full-scale festival in January. This year’s selection includes films such as Whispering Mountains by Jagath Manuwarna, Almost Entirely a Slight Disaster by Umut Subasi, and Shimoni by Angela Wanjiku Wama. Keep reading to find out more about these filmmakers and their selected titles.

Bright Future

The Bright Future programme aims to present young, up-and-coming filmmakers who enrich contemporary cinema with innovative, original and daring work, often presenting their films for the first time on the international film scene. 

As our 52nd edition is approaching, we want to share with you the titles we have confirmed so far. For example, a supernatural virus spreads across Sri Lanka in Jagath Manuwarna’s powerfully satirical debut feature Whispering Mountains, which has its world premiere in Rotterdam. Likewise, Umut Subasi world premieres his Istanbul-set deadpan dramedy Almost Entirely a Slight Disaster. A rural Kenyan village gives the name to Angela Wanjiku Wama’s gripping debut Shimoni, which screens in Europe for the first time following its TIFF premiere.

First confirmations, Bright Future 2023:

Almost Entirely a Slight Disaster, Umut Subasi, 2023, Turkey, world premiere

Four millennials in Istanbul, demoralised by money and social troubles, break down in the solitude of their apartments. But chances are that you will be laughing through this poker-faced tragicomedy about a generation whose future prospects are indistinguishable from a game of chance.

La amiga de mi amiga, Zaida Carmona, 2022, Spain, international premiere

Zaida treats her life like a movie; recently dumped, the film follows her through a series of fast-paced hookups in Barcelona’s queer art scene. She ends up falling for Lara, a fellow filmmaker, who happens to be her friend’s girlfriend.


Amiko, Morii Yusuke , 2022, Japan, international premiere

This gentle but affecting tale about an extraordinary girl, her imagination and isolation features a triumphant young performance and confident debut direction. Both in its moments of sorrow and mischievous whimsy, Amiko is as uplifting as it is heartbreaking.



Clementina, Agustín Mendilaharzu, Constanza Feldman, 2022, Argentina

A delightful absurdist comedy about the life of two eccentrics – not to mention their collection of handmade objects, toys, books, souvenirs, records and leaves – during pandemic times. Shot with refreshing formal inventiveness and paying special attention to the humorous qualities of sound.


A los libros y a las mujeres canto, María Elorza, 2022, Spain, international premiere

A los libros y a las mujeres canto is an affectionate documentary about four women and their libraries – a film where passion, commitment and transmission matter more than genius. María Elorza brings into focus the kinds of characters and stories that often remain at the margins of culture.


Whispering Mountains, Jagath Manuwarna, 2023, Sri Lanka, world premiere

The young people of Sri Lanka are committing suicide in droves. The government blames a supernatural virus that must be cleansed by ancient ritual. Jagath Manuwarna’s debut feature is a powerfully satirical and layered reckoning with decades of civil unrest and suppression.


Shimoni, Angela Wanjiku Wamai, 2022, Kenya, European premiere

A gripping narrative about a tortured man trapped between the victim’s vulnerability and the perpetrator’s guilt. An affecting Kenyan film that addresses the profound, inescapable pain of open wounds that, unable to find expression and recognition, are condemned to be distorted and recreated.


Film still: La amiga de mi amiga

Film still: Almost Entirely a Slight Disaster

Film still: Amiko

Film still: Clementina

Film still: A los libros y a las mujeres canto

Film still: Whispering Mountains

Film still: Shimoni

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