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Our main competitions and tomorrow’s film talent
Celebrating great storytelling and bold cinema
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Explore this year's theme programmes
After the StormKore-eda Hirokazu IFFR 2017 117′
The umpteenth typhoon of the season has trapped a failed author (who recently lost his father) with his mother, ex and son. Leave it to director Kore-eda to meticulously dissect their weaknesses, annoying qualities and loving familiarity using drama and humour.
American HoneyAndrea Arnold IFFR 2017 163′
Pounding music; the youngsters sing, smoke weed, have sex and fight. The ragged Star (scintillating debut from Sasha Lane) falls for Jake (Shia LaBeouf) and jumps in his van to travel with him. A depressing look at the American economy, but an optimistic take on the strength of young people. First American production by British director Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank).
Asura: City of MadnessKim Sungsoo IFFR 2017 136′
Very hard Korean noir, in which it becomes clear that it’s better not to be too squeamish in local politics. A corrupt, populist mayor stops at nothing in his greedy renovation plans, while his accidental sidekick becomes increasingly stuck between the countless conflicting interests and his extremely ill wife.
Beyond the Mountains and HillsEran Kolirin IFFR 2017 90′
Success means doing unpleasant things, that’s what David gets to hear when he tries to find his feet in modern day Israel after 27 years in military service. A tense society that focuses on money and status. This forms the starting point for a series of dubious decisions taken by David and his family.
Burma StorybookPetr Lom IFFR 2017 81′
Poet and activist from Myanmar Maung Aung Pwint has spent large swathes of his life in prison. Now the country is free after 50 years of military dictatorship, he reminisces and struggles with painful memories. A poetic, loving documentary about a country reinventing itself.
CâiniBogdan Mirică IFFR 2017 104′
A man inherits a property from his grandfather and discovers the latter was a crime lord. The late grandfather’s accomplices are not ready to give up the property. A moody, tense mix of Western, thriller and Romanian New Wave.
Le Ciel FlamandPeter Monsaert IFFR 2017 112′
In the flat Flemish landscape, along a long straight road, is the brothel Le Ciel Flamand, run by Sylvie and her mother. Sylvie’s six-year-old daughter is fascinated by what goes on inside, but is forbidden to enter. One day something terrible happens. In this complex context, Monsaert paints a gripping and layered portrait.
DaphnePeter Mackie Burns IFFR 2017 90′
Daphne is 31, too young to settle, too old to live aimlessly. Long nights, drink and a variety of lovers form a welcome distraction from the question: what do I want? An unexpected event forces her slowly but surely to confront her life. A confrontation with herself is inevitable.
Free FireBen Wheatley IFFR 2017 90′
Retro gangsters in glitter jackets and bell-bottoms try to stay alive during an arms deal that gets out of hand in a deserted factory. Ben Wheatley’s cool cast finds itself in a classic shoot-out, with well-aimed bullets and one-liners. Who will survive the battle in this bold action film?
The HandmaidenPark Chanwook IFFR 2017 144′
Master swindler Count Fujiwara has taken an interest in the family fortune of Lady Hideko. To rob her, he conspires with her new maid Sook-hee. But a blossoming affair between the two women threatens his plans. An opulently styled erotic thriller by Park Chan-wook, set in 1930s South Korea.
HarmoniumIFFR 2017 118′
This home invasion thriller masquerades as a family drama about gnawing guilt and revenge. A family reluctantly takes in a mysterious man (Asano Tadanobu) who caused an inexplicable tragedy. Eight years later, old wounds are painfully reopened.
Het doet zo zeerHeleen van Royen IFFR 2017 86′
"How many more ‘trials’ are there yet to come?!", wonders Mrs Breed desperately after again being reminded that age brings infirmity. From behind the camera, her daughter, Heleen van Royen, can scarcely bear to watch her mother, confused and in
hellish pain. How much can she do, as a daughter and unpaid full-time carer?
JackiePablo Larraín IFFR 2017 91′
“I won’t let you write that down”, Jackie says to her interviewer, a slight smile playing across her face, after getting too personal. However, we see it all, in this first English-language film by Chilean master Pablo Larraín, about Jackie Kennedy in the days after JFK’s assassination. The widely lauded Natalie Portman puts in an intense and intimate performance in the title role.
King of the BelgiansPeter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth IFFR 2017 94′
Widely praised Belgian mockumentary and road movie by IFFR regulars Brosens and Woodworth. A Belgian king hears during a state visit to Turkey that Wallonia has become independent. What follows is a hilarious journey by the king and his entourage through the Balkans, reflecting all possible (cultural) clichés.
Knife in the Clear WaterWang Xuebo IFFR 2017 93′
In the remote hills of Ningxia, old Ma Zishan lives with his family, who are Islamic Hui Chinese. in line with custom, the family want to sacrifice it’s only bull for the ceremony marking the death of Ma's wife. But both Ma and the bull have other ideas in this beautifully made melancholy fable.
Lady MacbethWilliam Oldroyd IFFR 2017 89′
Young Katherine is a prisoner in her own home in Northumberland in 1865 and is thoroughly humiliated by her sadistic husband and his authoritarian father. Living in such a loveless world has to lead to excesses in this powerful costume drama. When Katherine embarks on a all-consuming affair with a servant, things really go wrong.
Masterclass Olivier AssayasIFFR 2017
Olivier Assayas’ masterly Personal Shopper world-premiered in 2016 Cannes competition and forms the core of his IFFR 2017 masterclass. Chilling, experimental, slick and existential in equal measure, the film was awarded the Best Director prize by the Cannes jury. The Guardian’s 5-star review noted how the film was "uncategorisable yet undeniably terrifying."
My Father's ChoiceYuen Yan Ting IFFR 2017 79′
Her father fled Mao's Cultural Revolution, going to Hong Kong. Not long after, he joined the great Chinese exodus to the West and started a restaurant in Maastricht. But was his personal story really so closely interwoven with the history of China, Yan Ting Yuen wonders in this family portrait.
Night of a 1000 HoursVirgil Widrich IFFR 2017 92′
Hermann Ullich died in a bunker in World War II. Or did he? Why do all the dead relatives of the industrialist appear on this winter's night in the huge family home? Agatha Christie would love this Austrian whodunnit, in which skeletons from the nation’s past also come out of the cupboard.
OrphelineArnaud des Pallières IFFR 2017 111′
If you look back through someone’s life you’ll encounter someone who is perhaps intrinsically the same in every phase of life, but is in some senses also unrecognisable. That’s why the lead, a school director, is here portrayed by four different actresses using an exciting form of narrative that does entail some risk of disorientation.
PatersonJim Jarmusch IFFR 2017 118′
Paterson (Adam Driver) gets up at six a.m., drives his bus, comes home to his wife Golshifteh Farahani at six p.m., walks the dog and has a beer at his local bar. Every day. In the meantime, he writes poetry. Jarmusch is the loving observer of this loving observer. A small oasis of a film.
Personal ShopperOlivier Assayas IFFR 2017 105′
After her much lauded role in Clouds of Sils Maria, Olivier Assayas again casts Kristen Stewart as a celebrity’s assistant. This time, her job is an excuse to live in Paris and engage in a supernatural search for her deceased twin brother. Combined horror, drama and thriller.
PortoGabe Klinger IFFR 2017 76′
Memories are hard to pin down in this hyper-romantic, melancholy ode to love. Actor Anton Yelchin, who died in 2016, and actress and model Lucie Lucas philosophise and make love in picturesque Porto. Featuring delightfully melancholy music. Attentive film-lovers will notice the varied and meaningful use of film formats.
RawJulia Ducournau IFFR 2017 98′
The way to the heart is through the stomach. This particularly true for young veterinary student Justine. After the vegetarian is forced to eat raw rabbit during a student initiation, she develops a worrying lust for meat. Already highly lauded, bloody, stomach-turning horror about physical lust in which humans act like animals.
La región salvajeAmat Escalante IFFR 2017 100′
How it works exactly is hard to say. There’s a meteorite. Véronica is overcome, horror film-style, by extreme lust. And she's not the only one. All this in conservative Guanajuato, with its social nightmares of violence and homophobia: for director Escalante (Heli, 2013), Mexico’s brutal reality is never far away.
Réparer les vivantsKatell Quillévéré IFFR 2017 104′
One person dies and many lives are affected. Everything is related to everyone. What can be decided? Three storylines (with actors like Bouli Lanners, Tahar Rahim and Emmanuelle Seigner) become increasingly intertwined as the clock ticks and a stopped heart may save an unknown life.
Sami BloodAmanda Kernell IFFR 2017 110′
Keenly observed drama about the position of Sami – the Laps – in Sweden in the 1930s. In Sami Blood we see through the eyes of a 14-year-old Sami girl (compellingly played by Lene Cecilia Sparrok) how prejudice and racial stereotypes can be gruesome obstacles. Assured debut by half Sami, half Swedish Kernell.
SieranevadaCristi Puiu IFFR 2017 176′
The films of Cristi Puiu, a leading light of the Romanian New Wave since 2001, mercilessly reflect the mood in his country. The same applies to this chaotic, darkly comic family dinner, as conspiracy theories about the outside world, capricious and derailing mutual conflicts and painful revelations abound.
Sneak NLIFFR 2017 90′
Poetry from an old IFFR friend. Please note this film has no English subtitles.
Staying VerticalAlain Guiraudie IFFR 2017 100′
Filmmaker Léo has to raise the child he had with a shepherdess alone. At the same time, he struggles to find inspiration for his next film. In this surreal rural comedy, Alain Guiraudie (Stranger by the Lake) tackles his favorite subject: how desire pushes our boundaries.
Train to BusanYeon Sangho IFFR 2017 118′
Zombies threaten the passengers on a Korean high-speed train in this highly skilled, terrifying cross between Snowpiercer and 28 Days Later. The train travellers – including a workaholic and his young daughter – try to keep the bloodthirsty zombies at bay, while receiving some salutary lessons in empathy and courage.
TramontaneVatche Boulghourjian IFFR 2017 105′
Moving, ingenious and musical narrative about life after war. When his band is to perform in Europe, blind Lebanese musician Rabih has to get a passport. This leads to a quest for his roots in a country where the civil war has left a trail of lies and loss. Who is really blind here?