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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
AdamMaryam Touzani IFFR 2020 98′
In a small Moroccan bakery, widow Abla gradually opens her heart to Samia, an young unmarried pregnant woman she takes into her home.
Reluctantly giving in to the urging of her eight-year-old daughter, widow Abla agrees to temporarily take in young, pregnant, unmarried Samia. Inside the walls of Abla's small apartment and adjoining bakery, a relationship develops between three very different women in this modest, poignant feature debut.
AdorationFabrice Du Welz IFFR 2020 98′
Lyrical road movie and coming-of-age story about twelve-year-old Paul, who falls in love with young psychiatric patient Gloria.
In this beautifully filmed road trip through the Ardennes, twelve-year-old Paul tries to take the young psychiatric patient Gloria to her grandpa in Bretagne. Along the way, love-struck Paul has to deal with Gloria's unpredictability, bad weather and hunger. With strong performances by promising young actors Thomas Gioria and Fantine Harduin.
All This VictoryAhmad Ghossein IFFR 2020 94′
When Israel invades Lebanon, five people take refuge from the violence in a house. Israeli soldiers take up positions on the floor above.
Minimalistic – and all the more effective for it – impression of the war between Israel and Hezbollah in July 2006. In the ruins of Southern Lebanon, five villagers hide from the fighting – and from the Israeli soldiers holed up on the floor above them. Incredibly claustrophobic award-winner in Venice.
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.
Así habló el cambistaFederico Veiroj IFFR 2020 97′
The rise and fall of an opportunistic money changer who has to get his hands dirty to finance his luxurious lifestyle.
Film adaptation of Juan Enrique Gruber's 1979 novel The Moneychanger, about opportunistic Humberto Brause (beautifully played by Daniel Hendler). Set in Montevideo in 1975, 1956, 1962 and 1966, when military dictatorships and/or corrupt regimes held sway in the big neighbouring countries of Argentina, Chile and Brazil.
AtlantiqueMati Diop IFFR 2020 104′
In Dakar, two young lovers have a star-crossed relationship. Fate may bring them together in this beautiful, darkly romantic tale.
In Dakar, two young lovers have a star-crossed relationship. Souleiman is a construction worker who needs to leave the country for a better future, while Ada is the bride-to-be of someone else. Fate may bring bring them together in this beautiful darkly romantic tale, where realism can definitely be magical.
AtlantisValentyn Vasyanovych IFFR 2020 106′
Grim but urgent portrait of a traumatised Ukraine, in a crisis of almost apocalyptic proportions following the war with Russia.
Traumatised Sergey joins volunteers who recover the bodies of fallen soldiers in eastern Ukraine. This brings him into contact with archaeologist Katya, who is literally and metaphorically digging into her past. Atlantis presents a grim but urgent portrait of Ukraine today, and the horrific consequences of the war with Russia.
BabyteethShannon Murphy IFFR 2020 120′
Comic, heart-warming, tragic drama about love, pain and letting go in the life of a terminally ill teenager.
Loving, tragic portrait of a terminally ill Australian teenager who falls in love with a no-good drugs dealer. A subtle, comic debut about love, pain and letting go, with a stunning performance from Eliza Scanlen in the lead role as a teenage girl who can all too briefly become a young woman.
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.
BalloonPema Tseden IFFR 2020 102′
Cheerfully melancholic story of Tibet in the 1980s, as China's one-child policy encroaches on Buddhist traditions and condoms can become balloons.
In this cheerfully melancholic story of Tibet in the 1980s, China's one-child policy comes up against belief in reincarnation, and condoms can become balloons. Mother Drolkar is at the heart of a family of shepherds as modernisation slowly starts to encroach on Buddhist tradition in their everyday lives.
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.
BattleScar – Punk Was Invented by GirlsNico Casavecchia, Martin Allais IFFR 2020 30′
Lively VR experience immerses you in teenager Lupe's eventful life as she joins the 1978 New York punk scene.
This VR installation puts you in the shoes of Lupe, a Puerto Rican-American teenager, in grimy New York during the punk era. Diary excerpts – voice-over by actress Rosario Dawson – provide context as we join her in a punk scene full of outsiders.
BeanpoleKantemir Balagov IFFR 2020 134′
In his visually overwhelming second film, mega-talent Kantemir Balagov reveals the war traumas of two women who fought in the Red Army.
In his visually overwhelming second film, mega-talent Kantemir Balagov reveals the war traumas of two women who fought in the Red Army. In a Leningrad ravaged by the siege, young women Iya and Masha pick up the pieces of their devastated lives in the autumn of 1945.
A Beautiful Day in the NeighborhoodMarielle Heller IFFR 2020 107′
Unabashedly feel-good film about an American kid's TV star, played by Tom Hanks, who shows friendliness can win over the embittered.
Mister Rogers always manages to disarm even the most hardened cynics with his seemingly boundless friendliness. Director Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) achieves the same with her heart-warming film about forgiveness that never becomes too soppy. Actor Tom Hanks is phenomenal as the famous American kid's TV star.
Birds (Or How to Be One)Babis Makridis IFFR 2020 81′
Essay-like contemplation on the desire for freedom inspired by a play by Aristophanes in which people wish to become birds.
That sensation in your tummy on a swing, that's a deeply rooted, evolutionary desire to fly like the birds. This cinematic essay is a contemplation, a voyage of discovery searching for freedom. And perhaps also an indictment of the obstacles on our way to freedom.
Bitter ChestnutGurvinder Singh IFFR 2020 100′
Seventeen-year-old Kishan faces a dilemma: uncertain adventure in the city, or a predictable life in his Himalayan village?
Kishan is at the crossroads of youth and adulthood. He wants more than the predictable life offered by his village in the Himalayas, but has heard from friends that life in the city can be hard. Against the background of global urbanisation, this intimate coming-of-age drama shows the strength of traditional village communities.
Black BagShao Qing IFFR 2020 12′
You reap what you sow, a bank security guard realises after stealing a bag in this overwhelming, hand-painted VR noir.
What is actually in the bag is never revealed in this metaphoric VR noir. A bank security guard absconds with it, soon discovering this upends his life. Black Bag is in many ways an overwhelming VR experience; from its merciless tempo to the unique combination of computer animation and hand-painted textures.
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′
A group of half-stoned teenagers find out they are being hunted in this crazy comedy full of bizarre plot twists.
Four teenagers think they're setting off on a dull hike across the Highlands, but soon find out they are the quarry in a bizarre hunt. Half-stoned and hallucinating, they see bullets fly around their ears in this crazy comedy that kicks off in top gear.
Bring Me HomeKim Seungwoo IFFR 2020 108′
Korean thriller in which a mother is confronted with the secrets of a local fishing community as she searches for her missing son.
Yoonsu is still missing after six years when an anonymous caller assures his desperate mother Jungyeon that her son is living in a remote fishing village. She comes face-to-face with the local fishermen's gruesome secrets. An enthralling thriller full of twists, as can only be made in Korea.
Children of the SeaWatanabe Ayumu IFFR 2020 112′
Coming-of-age anime with imaginative twists, with a big role for the current climate crisis. Experimental, colourful and enchanting.
Strange things are happening with the ocean: whales appear in New York, a meteor crash attracts the sea life. Alienated teenager Ruka also feels an ever-deeper connection to the sea. This coming-of-age anime with an imaginative twist pulses with colourful, experimental images. The most enchanting animated film of the year.
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.
ColOZioArtemio Narro IFFR 2020 90′
Zany road movie in which Mexico's political history is almost rewritten by two tripping stoners.
An acid trip informs Diego and Gael that Mexican presidential candidate Colosio will be assassinated in three days' time. It's up to the dorky duo to save him so they can be heroes. Political reality inventively intertwined with mythology in this idiosyncratic, colourful road movie.
Il colpo del caneFulvio Risuleo IFFR 2020 93′
Marti is pursuing a thief who's stolen the dog she is sitting, but it turns out he too has his problems.
Marti thinks she can make some easy money dog-sitting for a spoilt pug, but it doesn't turn out like that when the pooch gets pinched. But then, the thief isn't having an easy time of it either. The coincidences stack up comically, but there is also something deeply tragic about it all.
Cook, F**k, KillMira Fornay IFFR 2020 116′
Layered, absurdist family drama about the vicious circle of domestic violence in central Europe, with as anti-hero the dorky ambulance driver Jaroslav.
Layered, absurdist family drama about the vicious circle of domestic violence in central Europe. Anti-hero Jaroslav's complex relationship with his wife Blanka and their families is told in various ways − with cooking, a lot of blood and a falling jukebox as recurring elements.
Corpus ChristiJan Komasa IFFR 2020 116′
A young man escaping from a youth detention centre pretends to be a priest in a village wracked by trauma. Oscar nomination.
Oscar-nominated drama about a 20-year-old delinquent sent on work experience, who ends up not in a sawmill but in the village church, where he is mistaken for the new priest. In this brand-new calling, he struggles with a village trauma, his own demons and the fear of being unmasked as a criminal.
A Dark, Dark ManAdilkhan Yerzhanov IFFR 2020 130′
Jet-black, absurdist, anti-Hollywood action film about corrupt Kazakh village. Detective Bekzat disrupts the vicious circle of fear and violence.
Jet-black, absurdist-comedy-coated, anti-Hollywood action film about corruption in a Kazakh village. Detective Bekzat, charged with killing a suspect, has a change of heart when a female journalist from the city forces him to truly investigate the murder of a homeless boy.
DetentionJohn Hsu IFFR 2020 103′
China's occupation of Taiwan takes on nightmarish logic in this psychological horror film.
In 1962's Chinese-occupied Taiwan, political literature is severely prohibited. This psychological horror film based on a popular, eponymous computer game is about the disappearance of the members of an illegal book club from a secondary school. One spooky night, two teens go in search of the horrific truth.
DeuxFilippo Meneghetti IFFR 2020 95′
Delicate feature film debut about the decades-long secret affair of two retired ladies. Is openness beckoning or is it too late?
This delicate drama is an actor's film about two elderly ladies who have been together half their lives without anyone knowing. Fate strikes when they finally want to tell the world. Barbara Sukowa and Martine Chevallier star in a moving, picture-perfect feature film debut.
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.
EmaPablo Larraín IFFR 2020 102′
Dance and drama combine seamlessly in this audiovisual spectacle in which a foster mother tries to get her adopted child back.
Platinum blonde Ema comes up with a master plan to get her adopted child Polo back. This audiovisual spectacle full of dance shows the smouldering streets of Valparaiso in all their glory and takes us into the (night)life of a group of young adults. With an ambient-reggaeton soundtrack by Nicolas Jaar.
EmiliaCésar Sodero IFFR 2020 97′
In the wake of a broken relationship, Emilia returns to her village in Patagonia, where she struggles to get to grips with emotions old and new.
After breaking up with her girlfriend, Emilia returns from the city to her village in Patagonia. The calm, unchanging nature of the impressive landscape contrasts with her restless inner life, and the people from her past elicit old emotions and new insights, some of which are not so uplifting.