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AIDOLLawrence Lek IFFR 2020 83′
In a futuristic gaming world, superstar pursues comeback. Geomancer sequel plays with ideas on AI, fame and the power of megacorporations.
Former superstar Diva hopes to rekindle her career by engaging an ambitious artificial intelligence in this sequel to Geomancer from 2017. Diva is our avatar in the futuristic gaming world of 2065 where mankind will battle the machines in an epic eSports final.
AntigoneSophie Deraspe IFFR 2020 109′
Modern Greek tragedy: sixteen-year-old Antigone, Algerian immigrant to Canada, primarily wages the struggle against authorities using social media.
In this adaptation of the Greek tragedy, Antigone is a 16-year-old Algerian immigrant in Canada. She tackles the legal system and ingrained prejudices when one of her brothers is jailed. Her indelible love of and loyalty to family go viral and make her a modern heroine.
BabaiArtem Aisagaliev IFFR 2020 65′
The Babai is the night-time bogeyman for children: traumas determine who you are, according to this claustrophobic portrait of two Russian brothers.
Russian brothers Mark and Gesha struggle with their strict father, while their tough youth illustrates how fear and sadness are unavoidable elements of aging. Using claustrophobic close-ups, Russian filmmaker Artem Aisagaliev provides a universal impression of a human existence characterised by trauma.
BacurauKleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles IFFR 2020 130′
A furious genre mash-up of Western, horror and sci-fi that projects Brazil’s disturbing reality several years into the future.
When a remote village in the north-east of Brazil suddenly disappears from all maps in this furious genre mash-up, it turns out to presage an invasion by trigger-happy gringos. Using elements from the Western, horror and sci-fi genres, Brazil’s pitiless reality is projected several years into the future. Winner Jury Prize in Cannes.
The Barefoot EmperorPeter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth IFFR 2020 98′
Politics becomes absurdist theatre in this sequel to festival hit King of the Belgians – understated humour and refreshing satire.
Three years after their festival hit King of the Belgians, Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth are back with the sequel in which a new Europe is created by the patients of a remote sanatorium. A refreshingly absurdist take on show politics with understated, top-class roles for Peter Van den Begin and Udo Kier.
Blanco en blancoThéo Court IFFR 2020 100′
Around 1900, Pedro travels to southern Chile to photograph a wedding, but ends up capturing the genocide of the Selk’nam people.
Mainly shot in the depths of winter in inhospitable Tierra del Fuego, Théo Court's second film is a hypnotic trip to the historic hell of Western expansionism. Around 1900, photographer Pedro (an amazing Alfredo Castro once again) travels to the southernmost part of South America, to photograph a wealthy landowner’s wedding.
Boyz in the WoodNinian Doff IFFR 2020 87′
Enjoyably chaotic hunt for four clueless teenagers in the Scottish Highlands. A bizarre game of cat and mouse, with a touch of social commentary.
The hunt is on for four clueless teens on the run from a duke with a shotgun during a trek through the Scottish Highlands. Idiotic decisions, wacky plot twists, paranoid local cops and lightning-fast editing complete the chaos.
CenoteOda Kaori IFFR 2020 75′
Entrancing underwater footage of cenotes, or holy springs, in Yucatan, Mexico. Long-lost memories echo in a hallucinatory game of light and dark.
Entrancing footage of cenotes, or holy springs, in Yucatan, Mexico. Long-lost memories echo in a hallucinatory game of light and dark. Swimming in these, director Oda encounters mysterious shapes. The past and present of the people living around the cenotes coalesce in this place where nothing is forgotten.
Children of the SunPrasanna Vithanage IFFR 2020 103′
A princess is married off to a beggar in pre-colonial Sri Lanka. She discovers character is more important than ancestry.
1814, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The Tamil king has been deposed by Sinhalese Buddhists aided by the British army. Amid the tumult, a man and woman from very different castes are condemned to marry each other. The differences seem irreconcilable in this epic love story, but ultimately they realise that character is more important.
I diari di Angela – Noi due cineasti. Capitolo secondoYervant Gianikian IFFR 2020 103′
Gianikian created a montage of images from work trips to the USA and Jerusalem to accompany his deceased partner Ricci Lucchi’s wonderfully illustrated diaries.
Sublime sequel to the film Gianikian made last year after the death of his life- and film-partner Ricci Lucchi. Diary and film excerpts provide insight into their lives and oeuvre as well as the artistic mission and methods of two of the most important filmmakers of the past 50 years.
Drag KidsMegan Wennberg IFFR 2020 78′
You can be a drag queen aged 9 or 11, if you just have the right make-up, clothes and attitude.
Can you be a drag queen at a young age? Of course you can: Stephan (9), Nemis (9), Jason (11) and Bracken (11) provide living proof. Only when they dress campily with fabulous make-up can they be themselves. Highlight: their performance at Montreal Pride.
L'extraordinaire voyage de MaronaAnca Damian IFFR 2020 92′
Self-willed drawings in this boundlessly imaginative animation film, in which a dying dog reflects on its owners.
Boundlessly imaginative animation about the dying dog Marona’s melancholy reminiscences about its various owners. Zooming around a cardboard Paris, dancing with planets, living in Mondrianesque surroundings: everything is possible, as if the drawings have a mind of their own.
The FeverMaya Da-Rin IFFR 2020 98′
Hypnotic drama about a native Amazonian whose life is disrupted when his daughter tells him she wants to study in Brasilia.
Middle-aged native widower Justino’s life is disrupted when his daughter tells him she wants to go study in Brasilia. This hypnotic fiction feature by Brazilian director Maya Da-Rin won the international film critics’ award in Locarno, where lead actor Regis Myrupu also won Best Actor.
FidelityNigina Sayfullaeva IFFR 2020 82′
Actress Jevgenia Gromova shines as Russian Lena in a passionless marriage, who rediscovers her sexuality through a string of affairs.
Jealousy drives married, yet sexually neglected Lena to take a series of lovers. Complex, explicitly shot psychological drama from a female perspective. Director Nigina Sayfullaeva studies the role of sex, power and vulnerability in relationships, revealing that what remains undiscussed soon begins to fester.
Un film dramatiqueEric Baudelaire IFFR 2020 114′
Film as collective workshop. Twenty French schoolchildren are given a camera to film themselves, one another and the world around them.
For four years, Eric Baudelaire followed 20 schoolchildren in a Paris suburb, letting them use the camera. How do they observe the world? Reflecting on themes such as racism, immigration and identity, the children were co-directors of this collective film project and the subject of their own and each other's lives.
Fire Will ComeOliver Laxe IFFR 2020 85′
Convicted arsonist Amador returns to the village of his birth. Fire breaks out – does it mean the end of this bucolic community?
Convicted arsonist Amador returns to his remote village in the mountainous Spanish region of Galicia. His mother is glad he’s back, but the other villagers don’t trust him. A raging fire breaks out – but did he start it? Or are the property developers destroying this impoverished rural community?
First LoveMiike Takashi IFFR 2020 108′
A boxer and a call girl become embroiled in a failed drug deal. Explosions, black humour and screaming Yakuza: Miike Takashi at his very best!
Genre master Miike Takashi returns to his first love, characteristic of his 1990s career – Yakuza films. This contemporary take includes the usual explosive elements: talented, yet ill boxer Leo and call girl Monica become embroiled in a failed drug deal between local gangsters and a Chinese triad.
A Girl MissingFukada Koji IFFR 2020 111′
Calm drama. Madness and vengeance take possession of nurse Ichiko after her nephew is suspected of a kidnapping.
In this calm, stylised revenge drama by Fukada Koji (Harmonium), nurse Ichiko feels the ground slipping away beneath her when her nephew is suspected of the kidnap of a good friend. Driven by madness and desire, it turns out that Ichiko herself also has a dark side.
The HaltLav Diaz IFFR 2020 278′
The Philippines descend into darkness under a crazed dictator whilst facing a huge volcanic eruption in this political science fiction film by grand master Diaz.
In this political fantasy of a future highly reminiscent of today, volcanic eruptions have thrown the Philippines into darkness, while a crazed leader threatens rebellious neighbourhoods with poison gas. Resistance is not an easy option. After a stirring rock intermezzo, grand master Diaz calmly heads for the unexpected denouement.
Heel-and-ToeMaxim Tomash IFFR 2020 77′
Upbeat documentary portrait of Antoha MC, a Russian hipster, rapper and trumpeter capturing Eastern European hearts with his positive music.
Russian self-made rapper Anton makes upbeat, personal hip-hop, with increasing success. Touring Eastern Europe as Antoha MC, he needs little more than his trumpet, hamster and a good mood. This affectionate travel documentary shows how millennials all over Eastern Europe party to his equally playful and critical music.
Les heures heureusesMartine Deyres IFFR 2020 77′
Fascinating archival material shows how an alternative psychiatric institution not only benefitted patients, but also became a hotbed of social resistance.
The psychiatric patients in this documentary seem incredibly happy. They were allowed to roam free, work at a farm and even go on supervised holidays. The impact of this approach was far-reaching. Unique archival material shows how for decades Saint-Alban attracted therapists, artists and political rebels.
Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland StoryPosy Dixon IFFR 2020 63′
The soulful life story of Beverly Glenn-Copeland, for whom recognition as a visionary musician came late in life.
The story of Beverly Glenn-Copeland, a composer of dreamy, electronic soul music so far ahead of his time, that he only met with sold-out venues at the age of 74. Also the story of an inspirational transgender who came out when homosexuality was still illegal.
Krabi, 2562Ben Rivers, Anocha Suwichakornpong IFFR 2020 93′
Prehistoric cave-dwellers, a retired boxer and a commercials actor populate a Thais coastal town threatened by mass tourism.
Krabi is a paradise irrevocably falling victim to mass tourism. But before it’s too late, a mysterious visitor takes in the sights, local history and stories of the inhabitants. Documentary, interview and fiction merge as seamlessly as prehistory, the recent past and present: the year 2562 in the Buddhist calendar.
LibertéAlbert Serra IFFR 2020 132′
Bewigged French libertines indulge in De Sadean excesses in the woods at night. Much-discussed provocation from film auteur Serra.
In an 18th-century woodland, a group of banished French libertines indulge in a night of De Sadean sexual excess. This much-discussed provocation from Catalan film auteur Serra is the sort of film that should come with a trigger warning. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
The LighthouseRobert Eggers IFFR 2020 109′
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe shine as lighthouse keepers in this 19th-century maritime nightmare by Robert Eggers.
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe shine as lighthouse keepers in this 19th-century maritime nightmare by Robert Eggers (director of The Witch). They drink away the mind-numbing time, resulting in sexually charged tension, violent outbursts and supernatural hallucinations.
Little JoeJessica Hausner IFFR 2020 105′
Has science gone too far in this clinical bio-thriller about mysterious plants that can create permanent happiness?
In this cold-blooded thriller, bio scientist Alice (Emily Beecham) dedicates her life to the invention of a new plant that makes its owners happy. But the prototype, ‘Little Joe’, maybe works too well. The users turn into anaesthetised zombies incapable of feeling any other emotions.
LusalaMugambi Nthiga IFFR 2020 61′
A young man leaves his wealthy adoptive home in Nairobi but demons from his past block his transition to adulthood.
Lusala is almost a grownup. Time to leave the nest, according to his wealthy adoptive family. He dives head-first into his new life as a car mechanic with a tiny apartment in Nairobi but demons from his past block his path to adulthood.
Les misérablesLadj Ly IFFR 2020 102′
Ladj Ly’s scintillating debut about the Parisian banlieue he grew up in. Things kick off on a provincial cop’s first day.
The day after the 2018 World Cup Final, won by France, tensions rise in Parisian banlieue Montfermeil. During cop Stéphane’s first day on the beat, some gypsies demand their stolen lion cub back and young Issa causes problems again. Impressive, explosive debut, partly inspired by the riots of 2005.
MuidhondPatrice Toye IFFR 2020 98′
Intense novel adaptation provides insight into the emotional life of 23-year-old paedophile Jonathan who struggles with his urges.
Intense adaptation of Inge Schilperoord’s controversial novel about 23-year-old Jonathan, fresh out of prison. With his mother, he tries to rebuild his life and control his paedophilic tendencies. Unfortunately, the 10-year-old girl next door is determined to become friends with him.
No.7 Cherry LaneYonfan IFFR 2020 125′
Turbulent 1960s Hong Kong, a love triangle, and an ode to the city and cinema in this nostalgic animation.
We had a 10-year wait for this film by legendary Hong Kong director Yonfan, and it was also his first animation. In the politically restless Hong Kong of the 1960s, a love triangle develops between student Ziming, 18-year-old Meiling and her mother. An ode to the city and cinema in nostalgic tones.
The OrphanageShahrbanoo Sadat IFFR 2020 90′
Bollywood-film nostalgia colours the experiences of fifteen-year-old Qodrat, who ends up in an orphanage during Afghanistan's 1980s Soviet-oriented period.
With humour and a dash of nostalgia, we follow fifteen-year-old Qodrat, who ends up in an orphanage during Afghanistan's Soviet-oriented period in the 1980s. The realism is breached at crucial, dramatic moments by big songs done in full Bollywood style, with Qodrat imagining himself a film star in his own story.
The Perfect CandidateHaifaa Al Mansour IFFR 2020 101′
A female Saudi Arabian doctor becomes a candidate in the local elections thereby breaking the glass ceiling.
A female doctor in Saudi Arabia stands as a candidate for the municipal elections, the first woman to ever do so. Even her modest political ambitions such as surfacing the dirt road outside the local hospital seem too much. Multi-layered family drama as well as an inspiring homage to women in this conservative, patriarchal society.