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Our main competitions and tomorrow’s film talent
Celebrating great storytelling and bold cinema
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Santiago 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SibylJustine Triet IFFR 2020 100′
To get inspiration for her novel, psychotherapist Sibyl secretly records her conversations with her new patient Margot, an up-and-coming actress.
Sibyl is a psychotherapist with a troubled past. She is intrigued by her patient Margot, an up-and-coming actress, and secretly records their conversations. Margot’s stormy life story gives Sibyl plenty of inspiration for the novel she is having trouble writing.
Terminal SudRabah Ameur-Zaïmeche IFFR 2020 96′
Thriller about a doctor in a former French colony who tries to keep doing his job in a lawless country.
A loyal doctor with a drinking problem tries to keep doing his job in an unnamed North African country. A difficult proposition where lawlessness, violence and fear have a chokehold on things. He should leave, says his girlfriend; but the doctor stays, and that takes its toll.
The WhistlersCorneliu Porumboiu IFFR 2020 97′
A corrupt policeman gets into hot water in this lively, stylish and witty thriller from Romanian maestro Porumboiu.
A Romanian policeman, a factory owner hiding drugs in mattresses, a femme fatale, a beautiful Spanish island and a centuries-old secret language. Romanian maestro Porumboiu blends these together to create an elegant, drily comical thriller in which good and evil conspire side by side.
The Wild Goose LakeDiao Yi'nan IFFR 2020 113′
This neo-noir about a gang leader and a prostitute on the run serves up one bloody, neon-lit visual tour de force after another.
This stylised neo-noir dismembers a straightforward plot about a gang leader and a prostitute on the run into its almost abstract separate components. The heart of modern-day China lies hidden in the chaos that ensues. Meanwhile, Diao Yi'nan serves up one bloody, neon-lit visual tour de force after another.
You Will Die at TwentyAmjad Abu Alala IFFR 2020 105′
Stunningly beautiful fable about the straitjacket of tradition and the call of freedom in Sudan. Coming-of-age with deep significance.
This Sudanese fiction feature is a marvellous fable of classic beauty about the straitjacket of tradition, the call of freedom and the power of cinema. Young Muzamil has been told he will die when he turns twenty. Can he break the spell? Dedicated to the victims of the Sudanese Revolution.
Zombi ChildBertrand Bonello IFFR 2020 103′
Old Haiti and contemporary France are drawn together in this unique zombie film about colonialism, folklore and adolescence.
Forget the clichés of the zombie genre. Bonello goes back to the origins of the living dead, rooted in Haitian folklore and colonialism. The result: an ambitious, conceptual genre film featuring the intriguing parallel stories of a Haitian teenager at a French boarding school today and a zombie slave on a sugar plantation in 1962.