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Our main competitions and tomorrow’s film talent
Celebrating great storytelling and bold cinema
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Une affaire d'ÉtatÉric Valette IFFR 2017 99′
A group of Congolese insurgents captures eight French soldiers. By way of ransom, the French government sends an airplane load of illegal weapons that is shot down and never arrives, leaving quite a few people in high places very nervous. A taut masterpiece of political crime cinema based loosely on Dominique Manotti’s Affairs of State.
Afro FutureIFFR 2017
Historical overviews are often painful for people of colour. Looking to the future keeps hope alive, but the present always has roots in the past.
AfronautsIFFR 2017 14′
A rag-tag group is trying to launch a moon rocket to beat the American Apollo 11. The astronaut is a 17-year-old girl who has to be the first to set foot on the moon along with her two cats.
Agents secretsFrédéric Schoendoerffer IFFR 2017 109′
A team of operatives is on a mission to sink a cargo vessel carrying illegal weapons for a faction in the Angolan Civil War. But then, things start to go wrong. A dark look at the Janus-faced nature of international espionage and counter-terrorism, anchored loosely in the infamous 'Opération Satanique'.
Alipato: The Very Brief Life of an EmberKhavn IFFR 2017 88′
Whirlwind mix of humour and grotesque violence by the productive Khavn, this time with young kids from the slums of Manila in the leading roles as robbing and murdering gang members with nicknames like Pork Chop, Bull Dog, McAbnormal and Snowman. And a smoking toddler, Day-Old Chick, walking round with a gun in his hand.
And Yet My Mask Is PowerfulBasel Abbas, Ruanne Abou-Rahme IFFR 2017 8′
A richly layered film in which 3D-printed Neolithic masks worn in destroyed Palestinian villages in Israel become a counterpoint to the dominant imagery of violence.
AtlantaDonald Glover IFFR 2017 300′
Earn (Donald Glover) is the inexperienced manager of his cousin, rapper Paper Boi. All they have in common is their struggle for a better life and earning more money. This hilarious, intelligent series, also aired by television channel FOX, offers an idiosyncratic, experimental narrative style but also a critical glimpse of the spirit of our times.
AzadaarAyamus IFFR 2017 15′
Loosely translated Azadaar means they who lament. This two-part video installation by Ayamus depicts a group of men pounding their bare backs or chests in a trance. The sensuous images are purposely unspectacular to provide a more nuanced insight than the ideological, polarising media discourse allows.
Baldwin's NiggerHorace Ové IFFR 2017 48′
In a filmed conversation with a largely black British audience, writer James Baldwin examines similarities between the British and American black experience and the role of white liberals in the struggle. With his fabled eloquence, Baldwin provides difficult issues such as race and skin colour with sharp and subtle commentary.
Bayard & MeMatt Wolf IFFR 2017 16′
Intimate portrait of black homosexual civil rights activist and Freedom March organiser Bayard Rustin. His partner Walter Naegle describes how they rebelliously managed to make their relationship legal after all.
A Boy, a Wall and a DonkeyIFFR 2017 5′
Three young boys want to make a film in a village without cameras. There is a place they know with plenty of cameras.
BraqueursJulien Leclercq IFFR 2017 81′
A group of heist artists gets in trouble with a major narcs outfit. To avoid serious retribution, they have to intercept a go-fast drug run for them. And then things get out of hand. A very urban noir thriller about honour among thieves that plays hard and fast fast f-a-s-t!
ChlorophylBarry Jenkins IFFR 2017 17′
Young woman wrestles with her identity and failed relationship, reflected in the city of Miami. A cinematographic exploration of change as a natural process, the way chlorophyll makes photosynthesis possible in leaves.
Le convoiFrédéric Schoendoerffer IFFR 2017 102′
Seven people, four cars, one day to get from Malaga to Paris with a serious load of drugs. When a shoot-out with Spanish cops turns ugly and a French tourist is taken hostage, things get out of hand. A classy exercise in genre existentialism where only space and speed matter.
De guerre lasseOlivier Panchot IFFR 2017 94′
After killing a member of Marseillaise’s Corsican mafia, Alex, the son of pied-noir gangland kingpin Armande, ducks in a time-honoured way by joining the Foreign Legion. When he returns, several people are waiting for him, but for very different reasons. A Greek tragedy disguised as a grimly serene gangster melodrama.
Double PlayErnest Dickerson IFFR 2017 130′
An electrifying sketch of society in Curaçao focused on the apparently innocent domino game played by four men every Sunday. Until it unexpectedly takes a dramatic turn. There are dangerous secrets, women who make radical choices and a boy who sees everything. Based on the successful novel Double Play by Frank Martinus Arion.
Flower SellerIhab Jadallah IFFR 2017 15′
Hiding his true identity behind the role of an innocent flower seller, Abu El Ward is confronted by destiny in this thriller about a Palestinian collaborator.
FonkoLars Lovén, Lamin Daniel Jadama, Göran Hugo Olsson IFFR 2017 87′
An exciting exploration of the musical, social and cultural innovation presently spreading across the African continent. Fonko introduces us to a young generation that is rediscovering its own musical and activist heritage in countries like Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa and is producing a wide range of infectious new music styles.
Experimental space for idiosyncratic artists who make their own rules. They also depict how rules can be broken using their own, unique imagery.
Generatie BPieter Van Hees IFFR 2017 90′
With Belgium in economic turmoil, youths are the first to be hit, forced to live in squatter areas and literally beg for jobs. The homeless Jonas devises surreal strategies to survive. This satirical comedy imagines a dystopia that feels very close to home.
The Glass ShieldCharles Burnett IFFR 2017 104′
The idealist JJ starts as a rookie and first black cop in the department. There he comes across a murky affair and discovers that when he tries to expose it, there are powers and forces that try to stop him. A clear-cut indictment of racism, sexism and violence within a police department based on existing incidents.
The Golden ChainEzra Claytan Daniels, Adebukola Bodunrin IFFR 2017 14′
Yetunde is the only crew aboard the Nigerian space station Eko and witnesses the recreation of the origins of the universe. A futuristic reinterpretation of the Yoruba story of creation.
Graft and Ash for a Three Monitor WorkstationSondra Perry IFFR 2017 7′
Self-portrait of Sondra Perry's avatar investigating its own identity. A problematic software process that leads to a fatal error mode: the blue screen of death.
Le grand jeuNicolas Pariser IFFR 2017 100′
When has-been literati Pierre meets gambler Joseph, this mysterious man makes him an offer he should have refused. Yet it’s only too understandable he didn’t – it’s not every day one is asked to write a manual for insurrection. An icily elegant allegory about seduction, vanity and the past’s long shadow.
HAMSTERsMartine Doyen IFFR 2017 71′
After the terrorist attack at the Jewish Museum in 2014, people in Brussels are plagued with a very peculiar disease — they can’t help dancing in the streets. Modern trauma is dealt in a raw, poetic way in this film, part-documentary on a neighbourhood, part-urban-magical-spell.
Hustlers ConventionMike Todd IFFR 2017 91′
Ten years before Public Enemy and Grandmaster Flash launched the new musical trend, the trailblazing Hustlers Convention appeared by Jalal Nuriddin, regarded by many as the 'Grandfather of Rap'. Interviews are juxtaposed with music excerpts in this investigation of the origins of hip-hop and the crucial role of this almost forgotten album.
IdentificationMike Hoolboom IFFR 2017 29′
A story of the city in sixteen acts, recurring scenes with variations, of loss and humour. A look at the colour that is not a colour. Remembering Charlie "Africa" Keunang. (Mike Hoolboom)
Improvement AssociationKevin Jerome Everson IFFR 2017 12′
Fascinating portrait of Malik Hudgins, who has been a member since 1974 of the Universal Negro Improvement Association founded by Marcus Garvey.
In the Future They Ate from the Finest PorcelainLarissa Sansour, Søren Lind IFFR 2017 29′
A narrative resistance group tries to change the history and fate of its people in the future by manipulating its past through underground porcelain deposits.
Introduction to the End of an ArgumentElia Suleiman, Jayce Salloum IFFR 2017 42′
Snippets from Western films, documentaries and news coverage are woven together to expose their racial bias when depicting the Middle East, Arab culture and Palestinians.
Japanese Girls Never DieMatsui Daigo IFFR 2017 100′
A young woman disappears in Tokyo and a group of female street artists paint her face on walls all over the city. A gang of teenage girls attack men in the streets. All this fuels a dazzling mix of delicate moments and chaotic outbursts championing lively Japanese girls irked by machismo.