IFFR 2023: Limelight

27 October 2022

Film still: War Pony


IFFR 2023: Limelight

27 October 2022

Limelight presents Avant-premieres of some of the cinematic highlights of the year: eagerly anticipated festival favourites and international award-winners. This year’s selection features films such as Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Pierre Földes and Saint Omer by Alice Diop. Keep reading to find out more about these filmmakers and their selected titles.


The Limelight line-up of avant-premieres and cinematic highlights from the year’s festival circuit will include Pierre Földes’ beguiling, animated take on Haruki Murakami’s short stories Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Pierre Földes, as well as Alice Diop’s courtroom drama Saint Omer. No Bears by Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, whose imprisonment the International Coalition of Filmmakers and Risk (ICFR) continues to speak out against, screens at the festival following its premiere in Venice, where ICFR organised a number of initiatives demanding the release of persecuted Iranian filmmakers.

First confirmations:

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, Pierre Földes, France, Canada, Luxembourg, Netherlands

Failing marriages and dead-end jobs may be the stuff of kitchen sink realism, but they become occasions for life-altering encounters with dreams, fantasies and fevered visions in Pierre Földes’ beguiling animated feature based on short stories by Haruki Murakami.

The Blue Caftan, Maryam Touzani, 2022, Morocco, Belgium, Denmark, France

When master tailor Halim, a closeted gay man, and his ailing wife Mina hire a young apprentice at their clothing store, the unvoiced tensions in their relationship come out in the open.


Godland, Hlynur Pálmason, 2022, Denmark, Iceland

A Lutheran priest is sent to the Danish colony of Iceland to oversee the building of a church and a journey of (self-)discovery begins. Part ironic essay on religion's foibles, part hard look at civilisation's soft spots, Godland is among the year's richest cinema experiences.


No Bears, Jafar Panahi, 2022, Iran

Over video calls from a peripheral Iranian village, dissident artist Jafar Panahi directs a film crew on the other side of the Turkish border. As the film’s fiction clashes with the actors’ real-life situation, the filmmaker’s own reality catches up.



Un petit frère, Léonor Serraille, 2022, France

Rose has emigrated from the Ivory Coast to France with her two sons. A caring mother, she motivates them to make the best of their lives, but her own search for love bears down on the boys, who hurtle into adulthood in contrasting ways.


Saint Omer, Alice Diop, 2022, France

Laurence Coly admits to drowning her baby, but pleads ‘not guilty’ in court. Perplexed by this contradiction, novelist Rama attends Laurence’s trial, but what she experiences begins to shake the foundations of her own life.



War Pony, Riley Keough, Gina Gammell, 2022, United States

Winner of the Cannes Caméra d’Or, the directorial debut of Gina Gammell and Riley Keough is set in America’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Filmed in close collaboration with local inhabitants, the sharply realistic drama explores a spiritual, indigenous perspective.


Wir sind dann wohl die Angehörigen, Hans-Christian Schmid, 2022, Germany 

On an evening in March 1996, millionaire academic Jan Philipp Reemtsma was kidnapped. What did his family do? An anti-thriller about one family’s attempts to maintain a sense of normality under the most extreme circumstances, which cleverly deals with the illusory nature of reality. A masterpiece.

Film still: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Film still: Godland

Film still: No Bears

Film still: Un petit frère

Film still: Saint Omer

Film still: War Pony

Film still: Wir sind dann wohl die Angehörigen

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