A teenage Yazidi girl, Hevi, tries to survive with her mother and younger sister in war-torn Iraq. As armed men ravage the countryside, the family spends their days hiding in a cave near their abandoned village. Amidst catastrophe, young Hevi must make a heart-breaking decision.
Nour, a teenage girl, lives alone with her widowed father. One spring day, something important happens in her life that she just can’t share with her father. Her silence leads to a tension in the household. This is a moving and intimate view of a father-daughter relationship.
Leticia is lost in time. Her nightly, melancholic routine reveals her wild, dark and bloody state of mind. When she meets Gabriela at a party and brings her to her house, strange things begin to take place in her old manor. One of the two will never leave that apartment. This is a film about tensions, memories and social dominations.
A sensuous portrait of a young musician who begins to tackle the fragility of her own identity when her hearing starts to fade into a seemingly muted existence.
Five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train that is headed away from his home
and family. Frightened and bewildered, he ends up in chaotic Kolkata,
thousands of miles away. Somehow he survives, living on the streets and
escaping all sorts of terrors and close calls in the process, before ending up
in an orphanage that is itself not exactly a safe haven. Eventually, Saroo is
adopted by an Australian couple and finds love and security as he grows up
in Hobart. Not wanting to hurt his adoptive parents’ feelings, he suppresses
his past, his emotional need for reunification, and his hope of ever seeing
his lost mother and brother. But a chance meeting with fellow Indians
reawakens his buried yearning. With just a small store of memories and the
help of a new technology called Google Earth, Saroo embarks on one of the
greatest needle-in-a-haystack quests of modern times.
For his directorial debut, Croatian-born actor Rade Šerbedžija teamed up
with his son Danilo to make a film adaptation of Slovenia-based Serbian
theatre director and playwright Dušan Jovanović’s play, The Liberation of
Skopje, whose original stage version was produced in 1980. In 1995, London’s
Riverside Studios made a British version featuring Vanessa Redgrave.
Set in World War II Skopje (now the capital of Macedonia) at the time of
occupation by German and Bulgarian troops, the story is told through the
eyes of an eight-year-old boy whose father has joined the partisans and
mother has become involved with a German officer.
In a story exploring the cruelty, poverty and suffering of war, young Zoran
witnesses his Jewish friend Renata Rossman and her family being taken to
a concentration camp but keeps his hope as he knows his uncle Gjorgjija
(Šerbedžija) is a partisan battling the Nazis.
Standing in the centre of the picture are two poets, Ingeborg Bachmann and
Paul Celan, who came to know each other in post-war Vienna. Their vivid
correspondence illustrates their dramatic and ecstatic but also infinitely sad
love story, creating the subject-matter basis of the film. In a separate story
two young actors, Anja Plaschg and Laurence Rupp, meet in a recording
studio to read the letters and they are blown away by the tumultuous emotions
of fascination and fear that seem to linger in proximity as well as in
distance; however, they also enjoy each other’s company as they get to know
each other while arguing, smoking, discussing their tattoos and favourite
music. Somewhere between the blurred lines of yesterday’s, today’s, and
tomorrow’s love lies the heart of this remarkable film.
The year is 2009. Pavel Josek, a prominent scientist and former dissident,
is due to receive State Honour for Bravery. During the shooting of a TV
documentary about his life it comes to light that at the beginning of the
1970s – under pressure from ŠtB, the communist regime’s secret police – he
played a part in its operation to discredit his former friend who was eventually
forced to emigrate. The film recounts the events that took place almost
forty years earlier without a single flashback. An emotional story of guilt
and atonement, the pitfalls of memory and the need for forgiveness, this
family drama sheds light on the practices ŠtB used to discredit the regime’s
This is the very first fiction feature film from the Czech Republic or Slovakia
to delve into the issue of denunciation and citizens’ collaboration with ŠtB.
Each name from its infamous archives stands for some individual’s drama,
tragedy or failure, which is brilliantly illustrated by the riveting yet intimate
family story told in the tenth joint project by the Hřebejk – Jarchovský
Queen of Earth is a claustrophobic drama that follows a passive-aggressive
battle of two women and subsequent plunging of one of them into madness.
While watching the film, the viewer may unwittingly recall Repulsion by
Roman Polanski or Persona by Ingmar Bergman.
The film takes place in the course of one week in a lake house where
Catherine comes to visit her girlfriend, Virginia in order to relax and get
over a recent death of her father and a break-up with her long-time lover.
The tension between the two women slowly builds up and the atmosphere
is not exactly improved by frequent visits of the “boy next door” whom
Virginia picks up just for the hell of it. The flashbacks intertwined with
the main story line show Catherine being infatuated with her ex-boyfriend
about a year ago.
Elisabeth Moss excels in the role of Catherine, seamlessly going through
a vast range of emotions. Details of her agitated face are the main visual
building blocks of this motion picture.
After the success he scored with The Color Wheel, Alex Ross Perry could
finally afford to shoot a film on other than a shoestring budget. The result
was Listen Up Philip featuring dramatic Jason Schwartzman in a robust main
role and sublime Elisabeth Moss in a subtle supporting stunt.
Schwartzman plays a misanthropic and egocentric author who impatiently
awaits publication of his second book. In New York, he is unable to focus on
virtually anything anymore, so when his literary idol, Ike Zimmerman, offers
him a chance to spend some time in his isolated summer home, he grabs
it regardless of how his girlfriend Ashley may feel about it. Of course, his
abrupt departure nothing but deepens their crisis.
Based on a tightly written screenplay, the film paints a light-hearted but
simultaneously melancholic and somewhat nostalgic picture of the New
York artistic community.
As his final cinematic opus after 12 years of creative hiatus Stanley Kubrick chose to shoot an erotic thriller inspired by Arthur Schnitzler’s Dream Story. He took the Freudian story set in early 20th century Vienna and transferred it to contemporary New York before Christmas, casting the celebrity couple of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman into the main roles. They are seconded by the likes of Sydney Pollack, Alan Cumming or Rade Šerbedžija who rendered one of his most memorable performances as an oddball owner of a shady costume rental shop. After wealthy MD William Harford’s attractive wife Alice confesses in the state of slight inebriation that she might be able to abandon her comfortable life for a wild erotic adventure with another man, jealousy sends William on a cathartic night-long journey of sexual discovery and moral repentance. Kubrick’s mysterious storytelling tiptoes along the blurry line between reality and fantasy, which is everything but a safe passage out of William’s daily routine.
This series of short bedtime stories features two small boys who discover the world around them. While playing, two inquisitive kid brothers teem with ideas that take them on unbelievable adventures and bring them to impossible situations; luckily, their compassion, creativity and cooperation always prevail in the end. Creatively, the entire series revolves around child play. The freedom and spontaneity children show when interpreting it as well as imagination, resourcefulness and humour it encourages in them is what the authors were primarily interested in and tried to capitalise on in the first place. Thus The Tots came about, bringing you amusing bedtime stories on what may happen when rascal Ben and know-all Tom play together.
The two stars of this film, Alex Ross Perry and Carlen Altman, wrote the
roles for themselves. They play Colin and JR, two siblings who set out on
a car trip to pick up her belongings from her ex-boyfriend’s place. She
desperately wants to become a TV newscaster but does nothing to attain it,
except perhaps manipulating other people and getting her way; he is more
or less happy with his mediocre, boring life.
The picture starts out as a screwball comedy teeming with quick dialogue
and black humour. Colin teases his sister, telling her that their parents hate
her, which is why they haven’t even told her about the family vacation.
Having confronted her ex and her former girlfriends, though, JR begins to realise
that she has really become stuck in her own life and is either ridiculed
or avoided by people she knows. Gradually, the film turns more melancholic
and dramatic. Without grand gestures, the viewer is taken along to witness
the main character’s crisis and self-reflection.
A film debut by Alex Ross Perry is a free adaptation of Gravity’s Rainbow,
a famous novel by Thomas Pynchon. While it qualifies for an absurd comedy,
don’t expect gusts of laughter as its humour is rather refined.
The entire picture takes place in a forest that provides a mysterious
backdrop for the roams of Tyrone, a clumsy soldier of the U.S. Army. The
World War II is over and Tyrone has been assigned with a task to locate and
retrieve two V2 missiles. Tyrone has already found one and now he carries it
while searching for the second one, which is even more important because it
is the prototype with number “00”.
Along the way, Tyrone keeps meeting strange characters such as Lazlo
Impolex, his army buddy – a talking octopus or a mysterious young woman.
They are all characters from his past or perhaps from his future. His journey
through the forest is also a trip through his consciousness.
At the occasion of their 60th broadcasting anniversary, we prepared this year’s programme for the youngest viewers (and their parents) in cooperation with the Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS). Although our tradition of watching TV bedtime stories is about one decade younger, they are an iconic TV format and have served as a gateway to the world of the television medium for a number of generations. The Radio and Television of Slovakia has been fostering this tradition and continues to support original animated production for children even today. One of the fruits of its labour is a series that we’re presenting to the domestic audience even before it appears on their TV screens.
A rashly accepted job at a construction site in a coastal resort becomes a pain in the neck of a backhoe loader operator from the hinterland who, in order to retain paternal authority and get a legal but dirty demolition work done, needs to remove an unwanted witness.
The film is an audio-visual weave in which the ani- mated line represents the warp while the female voice represents the filling. She who weaves and that what is woven intertwines through time.
Nada (100) and her daughter, Vera (75), share a tense but close relationship. The childlike Vera takes care of her mute and feeble, though at times cruel, mother. One day, a bat flies into Nada’s room and finds shelter underneath her bed. The animal’s presence gradually reinvigorates Nada.
In Sarajevo during rush hour, accompanied by a social worker, fifteen-year-old Emir is on his way to meet his father, Safet, for a weekend picnic at Igman, a semi-open penitentiary. Due to the heavy traffic, they are running late.
Herman H. Rott is a punk rat who lives alone in his messy apartment. One day, as he is drunkenly stumbling home, Herman is spotted by a lovable bourgeois cat. She promptly concludes that he is very charming and decides to move into his apartment – uninvited.
Two families are visiting their respective fathers who are sharing the same hospital room. One family is arguing about trivial problems while the other has a completely different perspective.
Three women of different ages and backgrounds meet in the waiting room of an ophthalmologist’s office. Overhearing the conversation of the two older women, the young woman, Sasha, learns of the tragedy they experienced. The indifference she felt towards them until that moment is replaced by a sense of closeness and connection. However, the chance to share her feelings is lost irretrievably.
For this short film, Pim Zwier drew inspiration from
Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky and his pioneering colour
photographs of early 20th-century Russian Empire. His
technique was based on overlapping three black-and-
-white photographs, which captured a different colour
spectrum thanks to the use of red, green and blue
The name of the film refers to the last words Vincent
Van Gogh uttered to his brother Theo: „The sadness
will last forever.” A film essay on sadness and hope,
the film starts out by black-and-white still shots of
deserted natural hideaways, especially trees, only
to evolve into moving images inspired by Van Gogh
paintings that teem with lush colours and hope.
Shot on Super8 and combined with photograms, this
abstract piece explores the film frame as a box for
things that live within the margins of experience.
Small moments, soon to be placed onto a crowded
shelf, impossible to find again.
This film pays homage to the medium of colour film.
Working with George Eastman House, Satz handpicked
early 1920s colour film footage – mainly test shots of
George Eastman’s family members and Hollywood
stars of the time – which exposes chromatic distortions
and misalignments. Satz has reworked the footage
using extreme close-ups and magnification, especially
of the eyes.
The film is a research into motion picture printing
techniques. The starting point and inspiration for the
film were the windmill paintings by Piet Mondriaan,
especially Red Mill. In the film, colour is created
by multiple exposures through different masks
during printing. Depending on the use of developing
process, the colours mix in two ways: either additive or
This film is an investigation into additive colour mixing
on film, handmade by a do-it-yourself silkscreen
printing technique. Starting point are on black and
white higher-control filmed trees shorn of their leaves.
As if they’re the reminiscent of branches seen flashing
past in the night from the back seat of a car. The
footage was subsequently transformed into 36-layer
Contempt is a multi-layered story of love and relationships, a tribute to cinema and an inconspicuous ironic incitement of France. An adaptation of a novel by Alberto Moravia, the film revolves around screenplay writer Paul Javal and his wife Camille. Paul is writing a screenplay for Fritz Lang based on Homer’s Odyssey but their ideas about the story and the film differ. Besides, something has crept into his relation with Camille – a subtle feeling or rather a seed of it – which slowly begins to gnaw away at their love. A tale of France, French culture and “Frenchness”, the entire film is set in French national colours of red, white and blue, sometimes ostentatiously,
with the help of colour filters such as in the opening scene with naked Brigitte Bardot, other times more furtively, through the choice of ambience or decorations.
We have chosen this classic fairy-tale according to a story by L. Frank Baum for two reasons: one, The Wizard of Oz was one of the first “big” motion pictures to be shot in 4th generation Technicolor, i.e. the technology that brought colour into mainstream cinema; two, the film uses colour as one of the principal vehicles of storytelling. The point is that the film starts out in a single colour shade and only after a tornado sweeps Dorothy into a country that is “not Kansas anymore”, we can see the picture in a full colour spectrum. In doing so, colour separates two different worlds – the ordinary and cheerless on the one hand and the beautiful, colourful and playful on the other. In the latter world, Dorothy befriends the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, fights against the Wicked Witch of the West and tries to find a path toward the mighty Wizard of Oz who can help her return home.
A collection of short restored films supplied by Cineteca di Bologna, one of
Europe’s most important film institutes, provides a unique look on the world
of colours captured at the beginning of the 20th century. The world most of
our contemporaries know only from black-and-white photographs and film
footage suddenly becomes alive, although the colour spectrum is somewhat
Long before the colour film became normal part of life and art, various
inventors and filmmakers had tried to capture colour as authentically as
possible. The films in this digest were shot with the use of Kinemacolor,
a special technology patented in Great Britain that was able to capture red
and green colour tinges. Most of them were “documentary” films, i.e. real-
-life footage as opposed to fiction films made in a studio. That is actually the
reason why they are of immense archival value: they document to us how
people of that period perceived the world (and colours) around them.
Coiffures et types de Hollande
(France, 1910, 3 min., Pathé)
Rapsodia Satanica / Satan‘s Rhapsody
(Italy, 1915-17, r. / dir. Nino Oxilia, 45 min.)
(United Kingdom, 1908, 6 min.)
Inauguration of the Campanile at Venice / L’inaugurazione del campanile di San Marco
(Italy, 1912, 12 min.)
Plotoni nuotatori della III divisione cavalleria comandata da S.A.R. il conte di Torino
(Italy, 1912, r. / dir. Luca Comerio, 9 min.)
Fording the River
(United Kingdom, 1910, 3 min.)
By using innovative editing techniques partially based
on a computer algorithm, the film traces back 50 years
of urban development of a Zagreb neighbourhood that
was built in the 1960s. The heritage of modernism and
utopian urbanism are placed in today’s context marked
by transition and lack of urban planning.
Shot on a building site, the video shows about 30
workmen in soldier’s uniforms and helmets working as
usual. The camera is recording objectively, but there
is an actor among the unsuspecting workers who are
unwittingly put into a video situation.
Between two spatially proximate locations – a memorial
to the founders of Tel Aviv and the remains of
the shrine of former Palestinian village Salame – the
film looks at the ability of architectural material and
moving images to register collective forgetfulness.
A musician with his career stuck in limbo seeks
inspiration by going to Santos, a harbour city near
São Paulo. Lost amidst a sea of isolated lives, he is
slowly swallowed by the mundane. The first in a series
of three shorts and one feature inspired by Brazilian
One morning in August 2012, Syrian photographer
Issa Touma saw students dragging sandbags down his
street. It turned out to be the start of the Syrian revolt
in Aleppo. He grabbed his camera and recorded the
first nine days from his window, providing a unique
prologue to a war that has already lasted well over
The creative output of Vincent Moon, one of the most original authors of
music documentaries currently in demand, has always been closely related
to the theme of a city. It was Moon who was the prime mover behind Take
Away Shows, a project aimed at shooting indie-rock stars in the streets of
Paris and capturing their songs in a somewhat more naked and personal
acoustic disguise that is left at the mercy of urban noise. It was here that
Moon invented and perfected his unique way of documenting those magic
moments when music is born: a single shot without unnecessary cuts;
a hand-held camera that is equally interested in those who look on as those
who perform; one microphone that makes random sounds of the ambience
an organic part of the music number. Our selection of films comes from
Petites Planètes (Little Planets), a collection that represents Moon’s more
recent identity of a nomadic ethnographer who travels around the world and
records traditional and experimental music.
Art school classmates, Krzystof and Michał, lead a wild night life. They
wander through the streets of Warsaw, striving to seize the night and enjoy
their youth by bouncing from one party to another and falling in love head
over heels every now and then. They constantly test the city limits and are
eager to push them every chance they get; at the same time, they test the
limits of their mutual friendship.
Buoying somewhere between fiction and documentary, this is a film about
two young people and one town. The stylish and polished night-time images
of the Polish capital are so hypnotic they make keeping the track of time
quite difficult. Based primarily on atmosphere, the film is edited instinctively
rather than chronologically. The director managed to squeeze several
months of wild night partying intertwined with several party-drenched
mornings into 100 minutes.
Which image is real – the one staring back at us from the mirror or the one standing in front of it? In hallways filled with illusions our protagonist, a simulacrum behind the looking glass, is trying to discover if he is looking at a stranger or a hidden part of himself.
Through this film, the author pays homage to the generation with which he shares his youthful enthusiasm and the idea about a revolution that will change the world with the motto of “being realistic and demanding the impossible”. At the same time, he questions the true impact of these changes on the social and – probably more importantly – on the private level. Having ideals is easy; making them look credible to the generations that follow is somewhat more difficult. Having rejected the ideals of 1968 as illusory, younger generations have come up with new ones, some of which are maybe even less realistic…
A secondary school teacher, Vjeko, spent his entire life studying history. Together with his father, he lives in a shabby and dirty apartment in downtown Zagreb. The death of Bobo, the love of his lifetime, has left him helpless and devastated. He best enjoys life walking through the empty streets at night, wearing make-up and women’s clothes. One night, he crosses the path of a group of adolescents who beat him up and leave him soiled and helpless on the street. He ends up in a hospital where he recovers with the help of Maja, a nurse who happens to live in the same block of flats as Vjeko. After Maja brings him back home, she begins to take care of Vjeko and his father. This is the beginning of a story of three completely different people who live in the same building and who, quite unexpectedly and largely against their will, are thrown together and grow dependent on one another.
Vesna is a middle-aged woman who works as a visiting nurse in Zagreb. Twenty years ago, she lived in Sisak, a small Croatian industrial town she was forced to leave during the Yugoslavian war, when a violent incident almost destroyed her entire family. In the capital, she manages to reinvent her identity and start anew. One day, Vesna gets an unexpected call from her husband, Žarko, a man who left her on the eve of the war after which he was sentenced for war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia. They haven’t spoken or heard from each other in more than two decades, but now he wants to reach out to her and reconnect with his family. At first, Vesna tries to keep her distance and show a cold face, but after the years of loneliness, something starts to break inside of her. When the news about Žarko’s release hits the media, Vesna’s past starts to creep up on her much faster than she thought.
This is a character-driven film in which the emphasis is placed on the fine-tuned rendering of all the main characters. Revolving around two big family gatherings – a wedding and the Christmas Eve – this is a story of Boro Bura, a young jazz musician who is trying to reconcile his quarrelling family members. Slowly, the plot is pushed aside and the characters’ reactions to events that happen around them take the central stage. Drama and comedy constantly intertwine, driven by people’s different perspectives of the same event.
Ivo is a bus driver in his fifties. His wife, Maja, is a housewife. Their son, Tomica, is about to graduate. They are satisfied with their normal and somewhat low-profile lives. Ivo is a gentle and quiet man and a law-abiding citizen. But even though he is living an ordinary life, he has strong moral principles. One day, Tomica comes home badly beaten-up. They go to the emergency room, but the doctor sends the boy home. Later that night, Tomica collapses. It seems that injuries are more serious than the doctor thought. Ivo and Maja become frightened and they go to the police but the police refuse to help. Bit by bit, Ivo is losing his trust in the rule of law. He used to believe that there are some principles on which society is built. Now he sees that’s not true. He decides he must do something, so he goes out looking for the boy who has beaten his son.
Set in the South before the U.S. Civil War, the film follows Nat Turner,
a literate slave and preacher whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner, accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves for remuneration. On his roams, Nat witnesses countless atrocities against himself and his fellow slaves. As he becomes radicalised, his eloquence, his charisma and his knowledge of Scripture become weapons deployed against his oppressors. It is only a matter of time before he spearheads an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom. The name of the film is an ironic reference to a spectacular epic of the same name by David W. Griffith (1915) on U.S. Civil War and the so-called Recon- struction Era, which has become infamous for its stereotypical portrayal of African Americans and effort to make heroes out of Ku Klux Klan members. Parker’s picture, on the other hand, has joined the growing line of films by African American directors that reflect American history in the context of ongoing debate on racial tension and lingering inequality.
Second feature by director Tom Ford tells a story about a woman forced to confront the demons of her past as she is sucked into a thriller novel written by her ex-husband.
A successful Los Angeles art gallery owner married to a handsome young doctor, Susan finds her paradise troubled when a manuscript arrives at her desk, written by her long-estranged ex-husband, Tony. With her current husband away in New York, Susan opens the manuscript and is instantly propelled into the fictional life of a book character whose family trip to a summer house is about to turn into a nightmare. As Susan plunges deeper and deeper into the book, she is forced to examine her own past. Oscillating seamlessly between Susan’s reality and the story from the book, Ford slowly and meticulously turns the screws, delving into suspense while keeping a firm hand on the disturbing drama, delivering an effective thriller and simultaneously a psychological study of a woman in crisis.
The death of an old friend plunges Slavko into a dilemma. He is unsure whether he, a Croat, should attend the funeral in the Muslim part of Mostar. On the one hand, he feels like it’s his duty; on the other, he fears hostile reactions from his own community. His wife is angry and his son is equally sick of his well-worn monologues. At odds with each other and torn by ubiquitous divisions, the man and his city have something in common. The story is based on the fact that nearly two decades after the war, the city of Mostar continues to be divided. The film tells a compelling tale of everyday life in a fractured society and a world where paranoia, comedy and drama co-exist. It is also an astute psychological portrayal of a man who is forced to cross the invisible line that divides two communities of the same town.
Forget the pie charts, color-coded maps and hyperventilating pundits. What is voters’ street-level experience in today’s America? A triumph in documentary storytelling, Election Day combines eleven stories all shot simul- taneously on November 2, 2004, from dawn until long past midnight into one. Factory workers, ex-felons, harried moms, Native American activists and diligent poll watchers from Seattle, Washington, to Miami, Florida, take the process of democracy into their own hands. The result: an entertaining, inspiring and sometimes unsettling tapestry of citizens determined to make their votes count on one fateful day.
“What’s so special about the War Room?” asked a CNN reporter. “It’s special,” said George Stephanopoulos, “because you’re not allowed to go in there.” Named after the off-limits command centre at the hub of Bill Clinton’s successful bid for the US presidency, The War Room follows the campaign through the eyes of two of its “generals”, communications director George Stephanopoulos and senior strategist James Carville. It is an honest, witty and revealing look at how these two men and their determined nucleus of collaborators revolutionised presidential campaigning and orchestrated one of the greatest political upsets in American history.
Robert Drew’s breakthrough documentary travels along with the then-senator John F. Kennedy as he campaigns against Hubert Humphrey for the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination. Allowing viewers to experience events along with the Kennedys, the film captures JFK’s rational and charismatic presence, Jackie Kennedy’s calm radiance, and Humphrey’s populist appeal against the backdrop of frenzied urban crowds. Revealing the personalities and politics of the campaign trail as they had never been seen before, Primary offers a compelling glimpse into the early career of one of the world’s most captivating leaders. Drew pioneered cinéma vérité in America by developing cameras and sync sound equipment that were for the first time small enough to move along with people and capture real life as it happened. The ground-breaking films by Drew and his Associates set a new standard for documentary filmmaking, creating what John F. Kennedy called “a new form of history.”
A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home: all these scenes and many others have been woven into Cameraperson, a tapestry of footage captured over the 25-year-long career of documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. Through a series of episodic juxtapositions, Johnson explores the relationship between image makers and their subjects, the tension between objectivity and intervention of the camera, and the complex interaction of unfiltered reality and crafted narrative. Combining documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, Cameraperson is both a moving glimpse into one filmmaker’s personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world.
The film tells a story of a girl who has just reached the age of majority and is looking for her place in the sun. Her only compass is her inner voice. By making art in her spare time, she fights ordinariness and loneliness of everyday life.
The memories of old photographs paint pictures in a little girl’s imagination. Their reflections can be seen through a small forgotten glass. Anything is possible in Emma’s world. But what happens if the glass is too fragile and the imaginary picturesque world gets lost all of a sudden?
Religious fanaticism may take on different forms. While some people blow themselves up, others wear masks of Jesus Christ. The film portrays everyday life in Nebojsa, a village in South Slovakia on the border with Hungary.
Told through off-screen conversations between the driver and 13 consecutive
clients of a cab circling the city, the film explores the bustling landscape
of Hong Kong, examines its past, present and future and exposes the alienation
and confusion of its residents that have been caused by recent political
reforms. This thorough exercise in cinema minimalism is the second part
of the intended “outsider” trilogy that started out with Distant (2013). It is
based on the director’s personal experience with living in the city where he
spent five years and witnessed dramatic economic and social changes. In
a sense, the city is the main character – though an inanimate one – of this
film that is calm and quiet at times and breathtaking at others.
Having the scope and multi-faceted approach of a classic novel, this beautiful
film about the memory of a place tells the story of a woman who defies
an insensitive developer that is about to destroy the neighbourhood she
grew up in and fell in love with. The character of Clara, rendered by the still
captivating Brazilian star Sonia Braga, was born to a wealthy family in Recife,
Brazil. She is the last resident of Aquarius, an original two-story building
built in the 1940s in the upper-class seaside district. All the neighbouring
apartments have already been acquired by a company that has other plans
for that plot. Clara has pledged to leave the place upon her death only, which
is why she decides to engage in a cold war of sort with the company, a confrontation
that is mysterious, frightening and nerve-wrecking. The tension
both disturbs Clara and gives her the edge on her daily routine. It also makes
her think about her loved ones, her past and her future.
In an intimate portrait of the city and its people, the director first introduces
the characters in the NYC subway and then follows them to the surface
in order to find out more about their lives, cravings, passions, hopes and
dreams – sometimes lost and sometimes still waiting to be discovered.
While Stasik’s latest picture betrays echoes of avant-gardist fascination with
a pulsating town organism, he is obviously more interested in what’s going
on under the surface – both literally and figuratively. The author sketches
fleeting portraits of people in frenetic sequences, only to develop their characters
through open and honest testimonies featured on an asynchronous
soundtrack. The outcome is an emotional tale of solitude that haunts us in
21st century western world.
An inseparable part of living in a city is the desire to leave it, if only for
a short while. That is why part of reflecting upon urban life is also what we
cannot find in a city and what occasionally forces us to set on a journey.
A directorial debut by an established cameraman and photographer Martin
Kollar, 5 October is about one such journey. We don’t quite know why the
main character decided to sit on his bicycle and rides away; all we know is
that on October 5 he is scheduled to undertake a surgery he may not survive.
Perhaps it is his way of dealing with the looming demise; a desire to be all
alone for a moment… or perhaps this temporary escape from the city is
a temporary escape from the Grim Reaper?
Featuring a single protagonist and his diary, and completely free of spoken
word, this magically simple film speaks through images in a way any film
Rehashing and providing additional commentary
to the 16mm footage from the estate of amateur
filmmaker Harald von Vietinghoff-Riesch, the director
compresses the horses of the Wehrmacht and the
civilians fleeing from it into a picture of war. Part
of P.O.V. (Point of View), a project by Clemens von
Wedemeyer, the film examines the subjective view of
the cameraman behind the front line.
Jean-Louis Trintignant, through the years. All the
actions and movements, all the seeking and striving,
all the alterations and associations revolve around
the view and excerpt from La reproduction interdite,
painted by Magritte in 1937. “Personne – that is somebody
and nobody and anyone. That is us in the course
of time; persistently, in vain. The self is the need for
permanent self-assertion,” write Christoph Girardet
and Matthias Müller.
Somewhere in rural Bangladesh: something’s wrong
with Moriom, but what is it? Talking to her counsellor,
with a camera pointed at her, she alleges that her parents
torture her and keep her chained up. Her parents,
however, claim Moriom suffers from a major trauma.
Most crimes against women and girls in Bangladesh
are not reported and the rape figures that appear
before closing credits are shocking.
At halftime of a women’s football match, a team of
young players are told that they must start performing
better in the second half or they will be demoted to
a lower division. The coach, Fanny, lacks authority
both with her daughter – who has just been expelled
– and the rest of the team. Against all odds, Fanny has
only fifteen minutes to try and reverse the situation.
A pink neon lamp and a laptop screen illuminate
the semi-naked blonde girl on the bed. Her name is
Melon Rainbow and right now she is at work. During
daytime she has a different job, cleaning for people
she has next to no contact with. One blind boy changes
that. Melon Rainbow is trying to help him – and help
The leopard shall lie down with the goat.
The wolves shall live with the lambs.
And the young boy shall lead them.
12 + 1 kids and the carcass of a whale washed ashore…
This video questions increasingly consumerist modern
society and our desire-driven media landscape. What
behaviour does desire lead us to? By tracking our
desires and using metadata retrieved from apps, social
media and websites, marketers create behavioural
profiles that reveal more about us than our DNA.
This allegorical, retro-futuristic film takes us into
a society whose scientists are trying to find cure
against ageing of the human body. During the search,
something goes terribly wrong: a noxious gas that
actually accelerates the ageing process escapes, calling
for massive evacuation via airships. In an attempt
for survival, a young couple get separated during the
In the year 2169 there will be a solar eclipse during
Midsummer Eve in Finland. That changes the life of
a certain female vampire bat.
Anssi Kasitonni’s films deal with age-old questions
related to morality, love, death, generation gaps, sexuality,
and of course, submarines. The ideas are epic, the
films decidedly homespun. His movies are a world unto
themselves while trying to tell us something essential
about our own.
“Since she has been alone for a really long time and
there’s just no one else, she might as well live on the
moon.” Using drawn, filmed and over-painted images,
this animation film begins with a softly whispered
monologue of a woman who addresses the moon in
her loneliness; she pleads for something to happen
– something terrible and bloody to break up her
Two women who work in a department store accidentally
get stuck in the store’s elevator. What happens
next is rather unexpected…
“Most of all it is important to me that Etage X deals
with women over 50 whose dissoluteness, cheekiness
and adventurousness is usually denied,” said director
“Last summer, I went back to my family during a Sunday
lunch. This allowed me to find my grandfather and
the dog I had when I was a little girl. But something
had changed.” This is a hilarious, over-the-top,
youthful animation film.
Documenting the style and elegance in grey partridge
and pheasant hunting, the film follows men from the
upper rungs of Finnish society for whom hunting is
a shared passion and lifestyle. Reenpää is a publisher
and charming storyteller: as something of a master of
ceremonies, he guides viewers from one hunt to another
and from one atmosphere to another, introducing
them to a number of people along the way.
Luca is a lonely boy. He likes to go swimming in a pool
at night when there is no one and only silence keeps
him company. Everything goes fine and quiet until one
Monday an unknown swimmer named Mia breaks into
his little world. Without either of them realising, the
Monday swim becomes a regular event for both young
lonely souls who, look after look, slowly begin to know
At dawn, a group of peasants tries to rescue the body
of a young man from inside a well. Women veil their
faces in silence while men endure the situation. In the
centre of it all, a mother awaits her son’s salvation.
The wait is over. The boy’s body emerges from the depths
of the earth. How can life cease to be despite the
enduring renewal existing in nature? In the distance,
the sun sinks into the horizon; a new day lies ahead.
1. Structural or functional evolution of an organism
towards higher survivability;
2. Process of an individual becoming better suited to
environment and more resistant to outer stress;
3. The ability of eyesight to adjust to seeing in the
An immaculate extra-terrestrial creature named Mundi comes to Earth with a sole purpose – to admire the beauties of our planet; however, the purity that life originates from is as fragile as Mundi itself. It might just be too late for a journey back.
In contemporary Russia, high-school student Veniamin has developed an
addictive relationship with the Holy Scriptures, obsessively reading and
re-reading the Bible, which he interprets with a fundamentalist literalness.
He rejects his agnostic upbringing in favour of a choke-hold on the Bible.
It all begins when he protests the school’s swimwear policy, which results in
the principal’s decision to ban bikinis in favour of more modest suits. The
further Venya descends into the depths of religious extremism, the more he
acts out at school, exposing a deep-seated bias towards conservatism in the
Perhaps no modern phenomenon is more divisive than religious fanaticism.
In that context, director Serebrennikov recently said: “Religion always
comes with pain and trauma. Originally, religion was love, but it doesn’t
work in our life, in our world. Now, religion is a point of aggressive misunderstanding
of different nations and countries. It is a point of terrorism, of
separation. It’s terrible.”
The film follows up on Diadém (Diamond), a 1978 debut by independent filmmaker Fero Fenič that revolves around four vocational school students. Today, pushing 60, all four men are marked with their pasts and dreams that did not come true.
When adults fail, their children have to grow up quickly. Ola is 14 and she
must take care of her dysfunctional father, autistic brother and a mother
who lives away from them and maintains her family ties primarily via phone.
She would give anything to be able to reunite a family that works about as
good as a broken TV set. She lives on the hopes of bringing her mother back
home one day. She uses her 13-year-old brother Nikodem’s Holy Communion
as a pretext for a family reunion. Ola is entirely responsible for preparing
a perfect family celebration. Revealing the beauty of the rejected, the
strength of the weak and the need for change when change seems impossible,
the film provides a crash course in growing up, teaching us that failure
is not final, especially when love is in question. An unexpectedly mature
debut that stands out with its sense of closeness to characters in front of
the camera and confident directing, Communion signals the emergence of
another remarkable auteur of Polish cinema.
17-year-old twin sisters, Sára and Emma, are searching for the meaning of life and facing new life situations and experiences. To adults they may seem banal but to the girls they are of essential importance.
“If you have found a perfect location for your burrow, you want to keep it to yourself!” A playful animated short film about animals living in the forest will teach you that nothing beats a good neighbour.
Five fingers, four hands and one briefcase…
The animation and visuals of this film on passion, aggressiveness and misunderstandings in a relationship have been inspired by naive art, deep dreams and unconscious mind.
15-year-old Patrik has made a bad mistake. Left alone with his guilt, Patrik becomes alienated from his loved ones. He gradually realizes that others have problems too and he might be the only one to help them.
Sena lives all by herself in a Sarajevo cinema, working as a projectionist
who every day shows the few Yugoslavian films of which copies still remain.
The silence, the everyday motions and the films projected from her living
room all combine to show a day in Sena’s life. The projected films take us
on a journey through Sena’s past, restoring both collective and personal
memory and honouring many Yugoslavian actresses such as Eva Ras.
André Gil Mata returns to the Bratislava film festival after three years; back
then, he introduced his feature-length debut, Captivity (Cativeiro), which
was a similarly tender and heartfelt portrayal of a close woman. His latest
film demonstrates that Gil Mata’s filmmaking remains inspired with old-
-fashioned love of film as material and of cinema as a cherished memory.
A short animated poem on abuse.
Alena, 52, is a violin player in a leading Slovak orchestra has been suddenly summoned for a test performance without explanation; is it sloppiness, age or personal thing? As if that wasn’t enough, her only daughter has just moved out to live with her new boyfri- end. Alone, Alena has reached the crossroad of her life.
I feel emptiness around me. The night is cold and dark. I am looking for a light, wherever it may be.
Eszter, her husband, Farkas, and their five-year-old son, Bruno, are paid
an unexpected visit in the middle of the night. Eszter’s sister Ernella, her
husband, Albert, and daughter, Laura, have returned from a year spent in
Scotland where, contrary to their expectations, they weren’t able to settle
down. It soon becomes obvious that the two families had never really been
in tune with one another.
Hailing from an impressive generation of Hungarian filmmaking heavyweights
such as Kornél Mundruczó, György Pálfi or Benedek Fliegauf, Szabolcs
Hajdu is probably the least predictable of them in terms of his formal
approach to the given subject matter.
In his latest film, Hajdu presents an uncompromising and intimate study
of two families thrown together by circumstance to share temporarily an
unusual apartment, demonstrating his resolve, unencumbered by scruples,
to get at what are often painful, naked truths about human relationships.
Are the feelings such as lingering in a stand-by mode or being right out stuck in it typical for the current generation of twenty-year-olds? How do these feelings affect young people who live in the country with a ra- ther recent war past? Five young adults speak of their ideas, feelings and childhood stories of growing up in a country scarred by civil war, revealing their minds full of chaos and incessant waiting for an ardently desired change.
The Nest is a tragicomic and intimate portrait of an ageing couple from a Slovak countryside. For years, Mária and Ján have been living in debt and repairing their house in hopes that their children will come back to live with them one day. But in every parent’s life, there comes a moment when they must face the fear of being alone.
According to statistics, every train driver in Serbia unintentionally kills 15
to 20 people during his professional career. The victims include suicides,
careless, drunk or just absent-minded people.
This is a story about the innocent murderers and their lives. Ilija is
a 60-year-old train driver just before retirement. He holds the infamous
record of 28 career kills. Ilija’s 19-year-old adopted son, Sima, is training
to take over the family trade and follow in his father’s tracks. During the
long drives, Ilija tries to prepare his son for the fact that accidents will
happen. The son is terrified, unwilling to become a killer but days go by and
accidents seem to elude them. Anxious that his son is not going to become
a proper driver, Ilija takes the matter in his own hands.
Produced by a famous Serbian actor Lazar Ristovski who also played the
main character, the film has been selected as Serbia’s candidate for the
Academy Award in the best foreign-language film category.
Since 2014, together with Sholto Dobie, the artists have gathered an archive of photography, video and sound recordings, throughout western Ukraine. As opposed to traditional documentary practices, the artists prefer to describe their work as a folk opera; a collection of songs, stories, music, performance and field recordings, existing somewhere between an ethnographic document and musical theatre.
The film takes place in a small-town television station and sketches
a pseudo-ethnographic portrait of a Georgian community. While rituals
and traditions still determine the local lifestyle, a far-away reflection of the
modern world has already invaded the collective mind. Everyone is confused
about how to act as best possible self-presentation is of primary importance
here. A kaleidoscope of characters, places and happenings gradually unveils
their lifestyle and their strange set of hybrid and distorted values. The sole
journalist employed by the television station, Dariko, is like Virgil from
Dante’s Divine Comedy, taking the audience on a journey to the community’s
moments of revelation.
Combining acting action with 3D and 2D animation, stop-motion techniques and background projection, this feature-length fiction cartoon omnibus film consists of three main stories (Antonio Cacto, Lighthouse, and Hefty Man) and three short blackouts. Each part of the picture is different in terms of genre and has been created in a different technology; however, all stories are mu- tually interconnected, both plot-wise and formally. In all three main stories, the creators toy around with the issues of double standard and heroic death. Every time, the story features something small matched against something enormous – a tiny knight faces a giant dragon; an ancient Mexican lepre- chaun meets a man; petit Professor runs into a herd of cows; two gangsters cross the path of Hefty Man – and each of these matchups ends in a heroic demise of the main character.
Shortly after the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968, 18-year-old Irena Brežná unwillingly followed her parents to exile. She had to face not only new culture that was inconceivable to her but also remorse that she failed to fight for her homeland. That is why she went on to write about the dissent movement in Eastern Europe and about the Russian invasion to Chechnya. Gradually we discover how she managed to create an inspiring “patchwork identity”, which is geographically situated not only between Switzerland, Germany, France, and Slovakia but reaches out as far as the African continent and Russia. In her homeland called emigration, many languages are spoken and many interesting and diverse people dwell. The film provides unique archival footage and fresh tears and laughter.
Examining the social status of Afghan women during the country’s transi- tion from a totalitarian theocracy to democracy, the picture tells the story of Suraya Parlika, a mature Afghan woman who after the defeat of Taliban decided to enter the political arena on the national as well as the local level. In doing so, she walked into the “territory of men” where active women are viewed rather as an oddity despite constitutional guarantees and where even members of cabinet and parliament, mostly tribal chieftains, show disre- spect to women. Especially those courageous women with unveiled faces who refuse to be silent but are trying to trigger an open public discussion on the most pressing social issues such as discrepancy between the law and its application in everyday life, overt as well as latent discrimination against women or concrete crimes perpetrated by men against women who strive for a dignified life.
The Maidan revolution, the annexation of Crimea, and the ensuing civil war: after a period of relative serenity, the “big history” seems to have moved closer to Slovakia’s borders again as these events are happening right in our own back yard and several reporters from Slovakia have brought invaluable testimony about them.
A documentary road-movie from East Ukraine, shot by young photographer and cameraman Juraj Mravec, is an important report on the state of a country that has changed into a war zone. Interwoven with impressive black-and-white photographs and accompanied by a subjective daily-like narration, its storyline focuses primarily on the consequences of war. The fleeting portraits of Donbas residents are composed into a mosaic of ruin and fear but also of human vitality, ability to survive and rejoice over everyday things the war has not yet taken away from them – just like their faith in a better future.
After Everyone Else, a rather gloomy probe into a dysfunctional relationship, German directress Maren Ade comes up with one of the most joyful films of this year’s festival season. Toni Erdmann is an insightful and multi-faceted portrayal of coming together between a father and a daughter, which wraps social criticism in the mantle of comedy with absurd undertones.In hopes of pursuing career in a supranational corporation, ambitious Ines gives up on her private life while drifting away from home and her loved ones. Coming to the rescue is her freewheeling father who relishes wearing disguises and false teeth. He invades her professional life as his unpredicta- ble alter ego that lent the film its name. The ensuing cascade of comic and awkward situations gradually erodes Ines’s self-confidence and undermines her conviction that career should be the meaning of anyone’s life. Representing Germany in vying for Best Foreign Language Film at upcoming Oscars, Toni Erdmann pithily caricatures the corporate world, its twisted rules and professional mumbo jumbo.
Leyla Bouzid is a young directress of Tunisian origin who graduated from the prestigious La Fémis in Paris and has continued to operate in the French-speaking environment. Her acclaimed debut, As I Open My Eyes, tackles issues related to cultural changes of her birthplace and her generation’s views of life. Her film is
a civil tale of a young female rebel who refuses to be crammed into roles prescribed by society. The story revolves around Farah, an unfettered frontwoman who tours night clubs with her music band. Her life choices inevitably meet with her parents’ lack of understanding as her art clashes with strictures imposed by the rigid political regime. As I Open My Eyes paints a stunningly vivid picture of Tunisian society on the brink of a radical change.
A defenceless young woman is being sexually harassed at work. Every day after office hours, she goes to play ping pong. She just practices hard alone as if trying to escape reality.