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Our programmers curate four main sections. Each of them has a unique feel and tone. Explore them.
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Retrospectives, film art and an in-depth look at filmmaking
Explore the theme programmes of this year’s edition
All the Cities of the NorthDane Komljen IFFR 2017 100′
Highly anticipated first feature of film artist Dane Komljen, about two men who live together harmoniously in an abandoned bungalow park. When a third party arrives, they must find a new balance. Essayist fiction and architectural quest for the fragility of human relationships, told via construction projects, landscapes and archive footage.
Als Paul über das Meer kamJakob Preuss IFFR 2017 93′
Jakob, the filmmaker, follows Cameroon refugee Paul on his risky trip to and across Europe. Going through different political as well as mental borders, this journey dramatically affects both of them. An absolutely genuine, unbiased and unpredictable adventure film about unusual connections in an agitated political context.
Antes que cante el galloArí Maniel Cruz IFFR 2017 98′
Coming-of-age drama in which a Puerto Rican teen girl is living at her strict grandmother’s house, waiting until she can move to America to be with her mom. That gets cancelled. As she suffers and struggles with puberty, her natural father suddenly appears after years in prison.
António Um Dois TrêsLeonardo Mouramateus IFFR 2017 95′
In romantic Lisbon, twenty-something António goes in search of loves lost and new and a goal in life, all in one mad dash. In his charming debut film, director Mouramateus – inspired by Dostoyevsky's novella White Nights – creates a seamless intermingling of fantasy and reality.
Bamseom Pirates Seoul InfernoJung Yoonsuk IFFR 2017 120′
The Bamseom Pirates from Korea make music appropriate to our sick society: a hundred songs in ten minutes, that kind of thing. This at times noisy, but also sparkling, activist and often humorous documentary reports on the resistance offered by these punk musicians to hypocritical, conservative money-grabbers and their often violent hold on society.
A Brief ExcursionIgor Bezinović IFFR 2017 75′
A group of Croatian friends trek through a barren landscape in searing heat, following Roko – half schlemiel, half Messiah. Narrator Stola provides a bone-dry commentary on this symbolic journey toward adulthood. A thoughtful authentic portrait of contemporary thirtysomethings dazed and confused by generation gaps, a sense of unbelonging and the elusiveness of freedom.
Burning BirdsSanjeewa Pushpakumara IFFR 2017 84′
Eight kids, no husband, no money: how can a woman alone in rural Sri Lanka keep her head above water in a situation like this? Director Sanjeewa Pushpakumara candidly depicts all the suffering to which single mother Kusum is exposed. Burning Birds is a beautifully filmed piece of biting social criticism.
By the Time It Gets DarkAnocha Suwichakornpong IFFR 2017 105′
Powerful second feature by Anocha Suwichakornpong, who won a Tiger in 2010 with Mundane History, starts with the Thammasat University massacre of 1976 in Bangkok. In an effortless and elegant manner, the filmmaker then takes the viewer through meandering storylines that examine both Thailand and the medium of film itself.
Cactus FlowerHala Elkoussy IFFR 2017 104′
Struggling actress Aida and bourgeois lady Samiha suddenly find themselves on the streets of a tense Cairo. Smooth-operating street urchin Yassin lends the ladies a hand, and this leads to an unexpected trip through the city. A remarkable and exceptional debut that shows Elkoussy's background as an artist.
Children Are Not Afraid of Death, Children Are Afraid of GhostsRong Guang Rong IFFR 2017 85′
Personal, impressive emotional documentary in which the director investigates a group suicide by children in a poor village in the mountains of Guizhou. His journey confronts him with his own fears and memories, but also with the surviving children, government officials and organised crime.
Corpo elétricoMarcelo Caetano IFFR 2017 95′
The sewing workshop n São Paolo where young homosexual clothing designer Elias works is in many ways a cross-section of colourful, 21st-century Brazil. This feature debut by Caetano beautifully sketches the nuances of the social relations between gay and straight, black and white, rich and poor, newcomer and establishment.
Los decentesLukas Valenta Rinner IFFR 2017 100′
A servant girl obtains a position in an exclusive gated community in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. When she notices a nudist swingers’ club behind the high walls of the garden, she begins a spiritual and sexual voyage of discovery. Socio-political allegory with exactly the right dose of dry, dark Austrian humour.
Drifting Towards the CrescentLaura Stewart IFFR 2017 85′
Following the flow of the Mississippi from the North to the South, this story flows through towns along the river. A fascinating, intimate documentary offering us insights into the lives of the inhabitants of small American settlements along the longest river in North America.
Die EinsiedlerRonny Trocker IFFR 2017 110′
Is there any future for the lonely, hard life of farmers in South Tyrol? Thirty-something Albert faces a tricky decision in this drama, shot in beautifully sparse light, about the oppressive weight of the past. An old way of life is ending, but is the new one much better?
Elon Doesn't Believe in DeathRicardo Alves Jr. IFFR 2017 75′
With compelling intensity, this debut film follows protagonist Elon as he searches for his missing wife in a huge Brazilian city. Viewers are inescapably pulled into a disquieting, claustrophobic world. Wherever Elon goes and whatever he asks, understanding for his concerns is hard to find.
Extraño pero verdaderoMichel Lipkes IFFR 2017 93′
A refuse truck driven by Mister Clean crisscrosses the streets of Mexico City with Jonathan and Yesi on board, who are in love – and on the point of losing control of their lives. Sharp black-and-white drama by director Lipkes on the crime and violence blighting his country, with love as a leitmotif.
FilthyTereza Nvotová IFFR 2017 88′
Lena is seventeen years old and is on the threshold of entering adult life, but her growing up is brutally interrupted by a horrific event. Devastated, she goes into her shell and is scared to share her experience with others. A strong, unsentimental coming-of-age drama with an excellent performance by the leading actress.
El futuro perfectoNele Wohlatz IFFR 2017 65′
Seventeen-year-old Xiaobin from China joins her parents in Argentina and tries to learn Spanish. Each new verb conjugation brings her further: friends, work, falling for Vijay. A pleasant film about adapting to a new land that makes daring stylistic choices. Xiaobin plays herself in many variations on her hypothetical “perfect future”.
La guerra dei cafoniDavide Barletti, Lorenzo Conte IFFR 2017 100′
Global politics in a nutshell: set in the mythical 1970s, bathed in Mediterranean sun, the eternal struggle between the ruling elite and the underclass is sketched as a fairy-tale-like ‘war of country bumpkins’. But in a holiday resort populated entirely by young people, change never comes without love.
HarunekoHokimoto Sora IFFR 2017 85′
Those who seek to die find refuge in a mysterious café. In this feverish musical dream that recalls Terayama Shuji, the forest is a place where life and death blur. Produced by Aoyama Shinji, this Japanese debut is full of life but tinted in darkness.
A Heart of LoveLukasz Ronduda IFFR 2017 78′
A fictionalised portrait of Polish artists Wojciech Bąkowski and Zuzanna Bartoszek. Their unconventional relationship is a basis for their works, and vice versa, but what's the price of this convergence? A stylish, visually clean-cut drama about real life as an artistic utopia – or rather, dystopia.
HEIS (chroniques)IFFR 2017 92′
A twenty-something young woman goes back to her parents’ home after some trials and tribulations, dreaming of a fresh start. This tale of a French Lena Dunham spreads its wings as a cross-media project, giving voice to the millennial generation through a film, a web series and an art installation.
I Am Truly a Drop of Sun on EarthElene Naveriani IFFR 2017 61′
April works as a prostitute in a run-down night club in Tbilisi. There she meets Dije, a Nigerian refugee who came to Georgia by pure mistake. An odd, romantic connection evolves between them. But can it ward off the alienation they both feel? A beautiful, subtle portrait of two souls in a ghostly city.
Inside the DistanceElias Grootaers IFFR 2017 101′
A famous director once said that making a film about a real person is a crime, because you can never do justice to life. So what did Elias Grootaers, who prefaces his keenly observed portrait of an Armenian boxing coach in Belgium with this quote, do? Made a film about a real person.
Katie Says GoodbyeWayne Roberts IFFR 2017 88′
A waitress in a small town in Arizona dreams of starting a new life in San Francisco. When she falls in love with a handsome mechanic, it looks like her dreams will come true. But alas, the world is not as good as Katie. Heart-breaking debut with an excellent cast.
KékszakállúGastón Solnicki IFFR 2017 72′
This highly praised first fiction film by Argentine talent Solnicki (Papirosen, IFFR 2012) is a beautifully filmed portrait of several young daughters of rich industrialists, examining in an equally intangible and compelling way the physical and spiritual aspects of a cultural recession. Tragicomic yet unsettling.
KfcLê Bình Giang IFFR 2017 69′
A necrophilic doctor, a man wearing headphones and a bunch of cannibals are just a few of the characters in this bizarre debut by director Lê Bình Giang about the cyclical effect of violence. Be warned, this Vietnamese 'body horror' does not have a late evening slot for nothing!
The Last FamilyJan P. Matuszyński IFFR 2017 123′
An unconventional portrait of an unconventional artist. The dystopian paintings of Polish cult hero Zdzisław Beksiński are constantly in the background in this feature film, which focuses principally on the painter’s dysfunctional family, his loving wife, Zofia, and their troubled, emotionally unstable son, Tomasz.
The Last of UsAla Eddine Slim IFFR 2017 95′
N. travels from Sub-Saharan Africa through the desert and then by boat to Europe, only to end up stranded in a mysterious forest and be confronted by a silent old man. Both contemporary and surreal, Ala Eddine Slim’s film explores the boundaries of man, country, nature and cinema.
The LevellingHope Dickson Leach IFFR 2017 83′
When her brother commits suicide, Clover returns to the farm where she grew up. Why did he decide to end it all? Director Hope Dickson Leach has a keen eye for all the suppressed emotion and unspoken tensions between the gentle trainee veterinarian and her surly father. A remarkable debut.
Live from DhakaAbdullah Mohammad Saad IFFR 2017 91′
A disabled man loses his grip on life in Dhaka. Family, love, money – nothing is working. So he tries to find a way to get out of the city. An impressive debut in raw black-and-white, full of anger, frustration, and finally desperation.
ManifestoJulian Rosefeldt IFFR 2017 94′
An outstanding tribute to various (art) manifestos of the nineteenth and twentieth century, ranging from Communism to Dogme, in connection with thirteen different characters, including a homeless man, a factory worker and a corporate CEO, who are all played by the incredible Cate Blanchett. A striking humorous audio-visual experience.