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30 Jan – 9 Feb 2025

Five Cannes titles supported by IFFR

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Films backed by the Hubert Bals Fund and presented at CineMart and Darkroom feature across the programme, telling stories from the streets of São Paulo to nurses in Mumbai, miners in Vietnam, refugees in Greece and caregivers in Singapore.

Cannes Official Selection: Competition

Payal Kapadia becomes the first Indian director in 30 years to be represented in the Cannes competition with All We Imagine as Light. In 2021 she won the L’Oeil d’Or prize for best documentary at Cannes with A Night of Knowing Nothing, and now returns with her fiction feature debut. The project was supported by the Hubert Bals Fund three times: for development and with the NFF+HBF and HBF+Europe co-production schemes, and was presented at CineMart in 2020.

In Mumbai, Nurse Prabha’s routine is troubled when she receives an unexpected gift from her estranged husband. Her younger roommate, Anu, tries in vain to find a spot in the city to be intimate with her boyfriend. A trip to a beach town allows them to find a space for their desires to manifest.

Cannes Official Selection: Un Certain Regard

Trương Minh Quý’s second feature Viet and Nam is set to premiere in the Un Certain Regard section. A filmmaker familiar to IFFR through his short work and previous feature The Tree House screening at the festival in 2020, his latest was presented at CineMart in 2021 and supported by the HBF on two different occasions: for development and with the NFF+HBF scheme. Shot on 16mm, it follows the relationship between two miners in the underground depths.

Nam and Viet love each other. Both are miners, working 1000 metres below ground where danger awaits and darkness prevails. Coal earns them a living, while polluting the land and the sea. Black sea. Black coal. Burnt coal. Wet coal. Dusty coal. When Nam decides to leave the country via an agent who smuggles people in shipping containers, it causes a rift between his love for Viet and the desires for his own future.

La Semaine de la Critique

Baby is the latest from Marcelo Caetano, whose Corpo elétrico had its world premiere at IFFR 2017. The film screens in the Semaine de la Critique, following support from the HBF for development and through the NFF+HBF scheme, as well as participating in the BoostNL development programme together with the Netherlands Film Festival and its presentation at CineMart in 2018.

After being released from a juvenile detention centre, 18-year-old Wellington finds himself alone and adrift on the streets of São Paulo, without any contact from his parents and lacking the resources to rebuild his life. He encounters Ronaldo, a mature man, who teaches him new ways of surviving. Gradually, their relationship turns into a conflicting passion.

La Quinzaine des Cinéastes

Chiang Wei Liang and You Qiao Yin co-direct the Taiwanese mountain-set Mongrel, supported by the HBF for development and with HBF+Europe production funds. At IFFR 2024 the project was presented in IFFR Pro’s Darkroom work-in-progress programme for mentoring and the chance to present to international sales agents, festival programmers and buyers. 

Oom has no papers or formal training but is good at caring for the elderly and disabled. When his situation as a caregiver in the mountains becomes too much for him, he has to choose between survival or dignity.

Mahdi Fleifel’s latest To a Land Unknown is a drama on Palestinian refugees seeking an escape from Athens. It was twice HBF-supported for development and through the NFF+HBF scheme. Fleifel’s short works have screened frequently at IFFR, most recently in competition in 2020 with 3 Logical Exits, which also dealt with the lives of Palestinian refugees.

Chatila and Reda are saving to pay for fake passports to get out of Athens. But when Reda loses their hard-earned cash to his dangerous drug addiction, Chatila hatches an extreme plan, which involves them posing as smugglers and taking hostages in an effort to get him and his best friend out of their hopeless environment before it is too late.

Selections in full

All We Imagine as Light dir. Payal Kapadia, France, India, Netherlands, Luxembourg 

Baby dir. Marcelo Caetano, Brazil, France, Netherlands
Semaine de la Critique

Mongrel dir. Chiang Wei Liang & You Qiao Yin, Taiwan, Singapore, France
Quinzaine des Cinéastes

To a Land Unknown dir. Mahdi Fleifel, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Greece
Quinzaine des Cinéastes

Viet and Nam dir. Trương Minh Quý, France, Switzerland and Lichtenstein, Vietnam
Un Certain Regard

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