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Karlovy Vary Film Fest Sets Lineup For 47th Edition

Karlovy Vary Film Fest Sets Lineup For 47th Edition

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has set the program for its 47th edition, including an official competition featuring eight world premieres and four international premieres.

Those films will compete for the festival’s Crystal Globe, which has previously gone to Frédéric Dumont’s “Angel at Sea,” Henrik Ruben Genz’s “Terribly Happy,”  Laurie Collyer’s “Sherrybaby” and Alain Berliner’s “Ma Vie En Rose,” among others.

The film festival runs June 29-July 7, 2012. A complete rundown of the program — including descriptions and commentary care of the festival — is below.

Official Selection – Competition

Eight world premieres and four international premieres will be competing in the main competition of the 47th KVIFF, which will also be profiling four talented debut directors

One of the films competing for the Crystal Globe for Best Film will be Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy (Romanzo di una strage)by Italian director Marco Tullio Giordana, a thrilling reconstruction of the notorious and, to date, unsolved terrorist attack in Milan in 1969. Previous films by this respected filmmaker have been presented in competition in Cannes and Venice.

Prominent Polish director Jan Jakub Kolski also has experience from the Venice competition. The hero of his latest film To Kill a Beaver(Zabić bobra) is marked by his war experiences to such an extent that he shuts himself off from the world. Only a girl he has never met before manages to pull him out of his paranoid state.

The Czech representative, Polski film by Marek Najbrt, is highly unusual for its genre, unique not only for the competition section, but also within Central European cinema as a whole. This mischievous reflection on the boundaries of reality and fiction, in which well-known Czech actors play themselves, shows us how to cope with our own fame and with the pitfalls associated with the art of filmmaking.

Directors from countries severely affected by the economic crisis have also opted for unconventional modes of cinematic storytelling. The Bressonesque existential drama by debuting director Ektoras Lygizos Boy Eating the Bird’s Food (To agori troi to fagito tou pouliou) is one of the more radical allegorical films to come out of Greece, a country currently producing some of the most interesting works to figure on the international festival circuit. Portuguese filmmaker Rodrigo Areias elected to transfer the timeless philosophy of American moralist Henry D. Thoreau’s essay Civil Disobedience to the traditional Western environment in the film Hay Road(Estrada de Palha). While the story is set one hundred years ago, the movie is powerful not only for its bewitching style, but also for its extremely tangible parallels with the present.

The Austrian debut Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing…(Deine Schönheit ist nichts wert…) by Hüseyin Tabak overwhelms not only by its general sensitivity, but also an ability to tell a very serious story through the eyes of a little boy.

Other debut features include the Japanese existential ballad Kamihate Store (Kamihate shoten), and the Mexican film Nos vemos, papá (Nos Vemos Papa),whose director became celebrated as the co-screenwriter for the film Leap Year (2010), which won the Camera d’Or at Cannes for best first feature.

The Karlovy Vary competition this year welcomes back Iranian director and actor Ali Mosaffa, whose new film The Last Step(Peleh akhar) features Leila Hatami (A Separation) in a superb lead performance. The producer of the Spanish-French film LaLapidation de Saint Etienne by director Pere Vilà i Barceló is Luis Miñarro, who also produced the recent Vary winner The Mosquito Net. Having entered the Forum of Independents competition in 2009, Canadian filmmaker Rafaël Ouellet will this year be competing in the main competition with his drama Camion(Camion), while the Norwegian The Almost Man will continue the stream of recent strong Scandinavian titles in the KVIFF Competition.

Official Selection – Competition

Camion/ Camion/ Kamion
Director: Rafaël Ouellet
Canada, 2012, 95 min, World premiere
Widower Germain is an experienced truck driver. One day he becomes involved in an automobile accident that leaves an unknown woman dead. From that moment on he spirals into depression. The movie excels for captivating camerawork and formal and narrative purity. And although the protagonists rush into difficult situations, the film never stoops to false, pathetic sentiment, while still addressing life’s most basic issues.

Deine Schönheit ist nichts wert…/ Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing…/ Tvoje krása nemá cenu…
Director: Hüseyin Tabak
Austria, 2012, 81 min, World premiere
Twelve-year-old dreamer Veysel, who left Turkey with his parents to make a home in Vienna, falls in love for the first time. Talented debutant Hüseyin Tabak skilfully draws on the contrast between the idyllic notions that fill the boy’s head and the difficult living conditions within an immigrant community constantly under threat of deportation. Abdulkadir Tuncer (Kuma) is superb in the leading role.

Estrada de Palha/ Hay Road/ Na slaměné cestě
Director: Rodrigo Areias
Portugal, Finland, 2012, 95 min, International premiere
Not every avenger must set out on a journey with visions of bloody revenge, and not every journey takes place on a galloping horse. But each one offers a solution in the end. An enthralling, philosophizing Western that highlights the timelessness of its ideas as well as the lasting attractions of this versatile genre.

Henrik/ The Almost Man/ Henrik
Director: Martin Lund
Norway, 2012, 80 min, World premiere
Despite the approaching birth of his first child, plain-looking, thirty-something Henrik does everything he can to maintain the illusion of youth by following its unbridled conventions. His inept banter, however, masks an insecure individual who escapes the surrounding world through irony. Laced with bitterness, this psychological study banks on authenticity and strong acting performances.

Kamihate shoten/ Kamihate Store/ Obchod na konci světa
Director: Tatsuya Yamamoto
Japan, 2012, 104 min, World premiere
People often buy a one-way ticket to the hamlet of Kamihate. The owner of a local shop too is seeking a way out of the sorrow she’s mired in, seeking to ’avoid’ that long walk to the cliffs from which there is no return. This powerful picture works with moods and with the unique location where it unfolds.

La lapidation de Saint Etienne/ La lapidation de Saint Etienne/ Ukamenování svatého Štěpána
Director: Pere Vilá Barceló
Spain, 2012, 84 min, World premiere
Etienne is a sick old man living alone in a cramped apartment full of stuff, and he refuses to leave it although it no longer belongs to him. Here, the topics of old age and loneliness are not conceived as a traditional psychological story. Instead, in the spirit of contemporary Catalan cinema, the filmmaker aims for the greatest concision, even to the point of abstraction.

Nos vemos, papá/ Nos Vemos Papa/ Na shledanou, tati
Director: Lucia Carreras
Mexico, 2011, 89 min, International premiere
Pilar loses the one thing in life that mattered to her and, from that moment on time stops. The present begins blending with the past, and the heroine withdraws into a world of her own. An intimate drama about the extreme emotions connected to the loss of someone on whom our lives depend.

Peleh akhar/ The Last Step/ Poslední krok
Director: Ali Mosaffa
Iran, 2012, 88 min, World premiere
In director Ali Mosaffa’s psychological story, his wife in real life, Leila Hatami, pretty much plays herself – a beautiful and gifted Iranian film star. But the male focus of the story is the heroine’s recently deceased husband Koshrow, who becomes the somewhat unreliable narrator of a playful and delicately ironic story about a complicated but loving marital relationship.

Polski film/ Polski film/ Polski film
Director: Marek Najbrt
Czech Republic, Poland, 2012, 113 min, World premiere
“The fact that I’m playing myself doesn’t mean that this is actually me.” Four old school friends, today well-known Czech actors, decided to fulfil a distant dream and make a movie together. In his film about friendship and the absurdities of acting, director Marek Najbrt (Champions, Protector) gives us a witty reflection on the border between reality and fiction, and a unique take on the reality film genre.

Romanzo di una strage/ Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy/ Román o jednom masakru
Director: Marco Tullio Giordana
Italy, 2012, 122 min, International premiere
The film tells the story of a huge bomb explosion which occurred on 12 December 1969 at a bank on Piazza Fontana in Milan. The background to the case, whose investigation was entrusted to police captain Luigi Calabresi, was so complex that the filmmakers didn’t have to romanticise any details in order to create both a compelling crime drama and a faithful image of Italy at that time.

To agori troi to fagito tou pouliou/ Boy Eating the Bird’s Food/ Chlapec pojídající ptačí zob
Director: Ektoras Lygizos
Greece, 2012, 85 min, World premiere
The original, keenly anticipated debut from one of the greatest talents of Greek film powerfully investigates three days in the life of an Athens boy who is without a job, a girlfriend, or anything to eat. This radically intimist, Bressonesque movie is a fascinating visual puzzle about a dogged endeavor to maintain human dignity during a time of crisis.

Zabić bobra/ To Kill a Beaver/ Zabít bobra
Director: Jan Jakub Kolski
Poland, 2012, 99 min, International premiere
Eryk, a man in his forties, arrives at an abandoned farm where he confronts old memories, starts up an unexpected relationship, and makes ready for an unexplained bout of revenge. The new picture from Jan Jakub Kolski, the master of Polish magical realism, offers a dramatic tale that ponders just how civilized humans really are.

For East of the West, Documentary, and Forum of Independents section lineups, continue to the next page.

 

East of the West – Films in Competition

The Slovak-Czech debut THE TOWN OF ASH (Až do mesta Aš)by Iveta Grófováwill open the East of the West competition

There’s a new look to this section, which seeks out talented filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe and now focuses exclusively on brand new first and second films

The Czech Republic will also be represented by Czech Lion holder for Best Film Flower Buds (Poupata) and, like the section’s opening film, Yuma by Polish director Piotr Mularuk was made in a Czech coproduction as well. After entering his short film Poor-Land for the documentary competition, another Polish director, Filip Marczewski, now returns with his feature debut, the drama Shameless (Bez wstydu).

This year Hungary is being represented by the thriller The Exam(A viszga), about the machinations of the secret police after the suppression of the uprising in 1956, and by the psychological drama Dear Betrayed Friends (Drága besúgott barátaim)by director Sára Cserhalmi. The novice filmmaker not only cast her father György in the film, familiar to international audiences from works byIstván Szabó or Miklós Jancsó, but also János Derzsi, who was superb in Béla Tarr’s The Turin Horse.

Other entries for this competition section include those from Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Latvia and Estonia.

East of the West – Films in Competition

Až do mesta Aš/ The Town of Ash/ Až do města Aš
Director: Iveta Grófová
Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, 2012, 84 min, World premiere
This noteworthy social drama from young Slovak director Iveta Grófová concerns a Romany girl named Dorota, who leaves her native Slovakia after graduating from high school for a job in the Western Bohemian town of Aš. Thanks to authentic shots and the use of nonactors, the director achieves marked rawness and maximum punch.

Bez wstydu/ Shameless/ Beze studu
Director: Filip Marczewski
Poland, 2012, 80 min, International premiere
Eighteen-year-old Tadzik arrives at the home of his elder half-sister Anka for vacation. It soon comes to light that the feelings the young man entertains for his sister overreach socially accepted norms. In his feature debut, director Marczewski develops the topic of his successful short film Melodrama, which was nominated for a 2006 student Oscar.

Dom s bashenkoy/ House with a Turret/ Dům s věžičkou
Director: Eva Neymann
Ukraine, 2011, 81 min, European premiere
The plot of this small-scale wartime drama unfolds in Soviet Russia over the course of a winter’s day. Through a young boy’s eyes, we witness the state of a society exhausted by the interminable war and persistent food shortages, benumbed by ever-present death, and indifferent to the suffering of others. The movie is dominated by expressive black-and-white camerawork and a natural performance by the lead actor.

Drága besúgott barátaim/ Dear Betrayed Friends/ Drazí zrazení přátelé
Director: Sára Cserhalmi
Hungary, Germany, 2012, 93 min, International premiere
At the archive, Andor decides to read through the file the secret police kept on him. To his surprise he discovers that even his close friend János informed on him. Can the lifelong friendship survive in the face of such a betrayal? Hungarian director Sára Cserhalmi’s disturbing debut treats a sensitive topic from the recent past but avoids absolute judgments.

Ljudi tam/ People Out There/ Lidé na okraji
Director: Aik Karapetian
Latvia, 2012, 90 min, International premiere
The protagonist of this raw Latvian drama is twenty-something Jan, who lives in a dreary housing complex on the outskirts of town. He and his best friend Cracker just hang out smoking weed, occasionally making a little cash on the side through petty theft. Then Jan’s mundane life gets thrown for a loop when he meets the beautiful Sabina. The desire for love and a better life pulls him from his resignation and goads him to fight against the hopelessness of his situation.

Poupata/ Flower Buds/ Poupata
Director: Zdeněk Jiráský
Czech Republic, 2011, 93 min, International premiere
“Is that our dream? There’s no way around it!” cleaning lady Kamila says to her husband, who works as a railway dispatcher. Of course, people like them have a hard time fulfilling their dreams – first they have to take care of the necessities of daily life. This sensitive social drama took the Czech Lion for Best Film.

Praktični vodič kroz Beograd sa pevanjem i plakanjem/ Practical Guide to Belgrade With Singing and Crying/ Praktický průvodce Bělehradem za zpěvu a slz
Director: Bojan Vuletić
Serbia, Germany, France, Hungary, Croatia, 2011, 87 min, International premiere
Set against the backdrop of a pro-European, modern Serbia, this collection of mini-romantic comedies uses intelligent humour, insight and lightly subversive irony to describe love in contemporary Belgrade in four different ways.

Seenelkäik/ Mushrooming/ Houbaření
Director: Toomas Hussar
Estonia, 2012, 95 min, World premiere
Politician Aadu and his wife Villu decide to go pick mushrooms; in the forest they meet guitarist Zak and all sorts of other mushroom hunters. A tragicomedy with a wisp of thriller anchored to a model story: Through the behavior of the individual protagonists, the plot gradually reveals their inability to “survive” in an unknown environment that lays their characters bare.

Undeva la Palilula/ Somewhere in Palilula/ Kdesi v Palilule
Director: Silviu Purcarete
Romania, 2012, 141 min, International premiere
A young pediatrician named Serafim arrives in Palilula, a small town somewhere off the map, where he is to start his first job after graduating from medical school. But he soon realizes that his dream of practising medicine in this town, a place where time has stopped, will not be fulfilled – and not merely because it’s been ages since a child was born there.

A viszga/ The Exam/ Zkouška
Director: Petér Bergendy
Hungary, 2011, 89 min, International premiere
A year after the 1956 uprising, Hungary is still in the grip of fear. Young Agent Jung undergoes a test of loyalty but he also has trials in his personal life. Will he stand the test? The movie, which hovers somewhere between a psychological story and a spy piece, successfully demonstrates that even a modestly dramatic plot can bring out strong emotions.

Yuma/ Yuma/ Yuma
Director: Piotr Mularuk
Poland, Czech Republic, 2012, 105 min, World premiere
It’s the beginning of the 1990s but the situation along the Polish-German border hasn’t much changed since the fall of the Iron Curtain. So 20-year-old Zyga and his friends decide to brighten up life in their sleepy, gray town by bettering themselves and their fellow citizens. Debut director Piotr Mularuk’s compelling drama is deftly interwoven with Western motifs.

Documentary Films in Competition

Two Czech films will compete in the feature-length documentary competition

Čas cinema will host the world premiere of the new film by Czech RAPublic creators Pavel Abrahám and Tomáš Stejskal, TWO NIL (Dva nula), while the competition also welcomes back icon of Czech documentary filmmaking Helena Třeštíková with her latest real-time documentary PRIVATE UNIVERSE (Soukromý vesmír).

Winner of the Best Documentary from KVIFF 2006 Timo Novotny (Life in Loops) will try to defend his Crystal Globe with his new film Trains of Thoughts. The filmmakers behind The Mother, Pavel Kostomarov and Antoine Cattin, are bringing over their recently completed portrait of Aleksei German, Hard To Be God (Dur d’etre dieu). The 1980s East German skateboard scene is the subject of the dynamic film This Ain’t California, and we take a look inside a house of ill repute for transvestites located in a conservative Uruguayan village in the documentary The Bella Vista (El Bella Vista).

Documentary Films in Competition

Barbeiros/ Barbers/ Lazebníci
Director: Luiz Ferraz, Guilherme Aguilar
Brazil, 2012, 16 min, International premiere
This skillfully compiled cinematic portrait from a Brazilian filmmaking duo features experienced barbers from São Paulo who initiate us into the mysteries of their traditional craft. Unfortunately, its social dimension and even its very existence are gradually disappearing.

El Bella Vista/ The Bella Vista/ Bella Vista
Director: Alicia Cano
Uruguay, Germany, 2012, 73 min, World premiere
This playful movie records the transformation of a soccer clubhouse, formerly used by Uruguay’s provincial Bella Vista team, into a transvestite brothel and, finally, into a Catholic chapel. The characters are reminiscent, on the one hand, of the magical realistic microworld of a Marquez novel and, on the other, of the antiheroes of a TV sports drama.

Dur d’etre dieu/ Hard To Be God/ Je těžké být bohem
Director: Pavel Kostomarov, Antoine Cattin
Switzerland, Russia, 2012, 67 min, International premiere
Kostomarov and Cattin (The Motherat KVIFF 2008) record the ten-year, as yet unfinished, shooting of the new film by Russian director Aleksei German, Sr. based on a novel by the Strugatsky brothers. This is a powerful look at a particular place with its own particular rules, a portrait not only of a renowned and uncompromising creator, but of his country as well.

Dva nula/ Two Nil/ Dva nula
Director: Pavel Abrahám
Czech Republic, 2012, 108 min, World premiere
For director Pavel Abrahám and writer Tomáš Bojar, soccer (specifically a game between Prague’s Sparta and Slavia teams) became “an excuse” for shooting a portrait of contemporary Czech society. The main characters of this humorous movie, rather than the players themselves, are a wide variety of fans who are totally ensconced in the football match.

L’ equip petit/ The Little Team/ Malé mužstvo
Director: Roger Gómez, Dani Resines
Spain, 2011, 10 min
This wittily assembled movie, with music by the likes of Devendra Banhart and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, presents a coed soccer team of seven-year-old enthusiasts whose members, despite constant losses and an inability to shoot a goal, never lose the joy of the game.

För dig naken/ For You Naked/ Před tebou obnažen
Director: Sara Broos
Sweden, 2012, 74 min, International premiere
An untraditional love story about the relationship between one of Scandinavia’s most highly regarded modern painters and a young Brazilian dancer.

I’m Leaving on Wednesday/ I’m Leaving on Wednesday/ Odjíždím ve středu
Director: Clara Bodén
Sweden, Norway, 2012, 10 min, International premiere
This poetic Norwegian movie, combining super 8 and HD images, is a nostalgic look at the romantic relationship of two young girls, and an attempt to discover how such a story remains etched in human memory and how profoundly it affects us.

Kichot/ Kichot/ Kichot
Director: Jagoda Szelc
Poland, 2011, 14 min, International premiere
A portrait of nonconformist Polish artist Marcin Harlender, who lives with his wife Grażyna and their four young children in a messy apartment full of creative stimuli that he uses, à la Don Quixote, to fight against the world outside.

Nos jours, absolument, doivent etre illuminés/ Our Days, Absolutely, Have to Be Enlightened/ Ať jsou naše dny prozářené
Director: Jean-Gabriel Périot
France, 2012, 22 min
The latest picture from Jean-Gabriel Périot, one of the most distinctive figures of short documentary filmmaking, takes us to a prison in Orléans, France, to witness a nontraditional concert performed by the local inmates, whose touching songs may be enjoyed (thanks to loudspeakers) by chance passersby.

Polish Illusions/ Polish Illusions/ Polské iluze
Director: Jacob Dammas, Helge Renner
Poland, 2012, 82 min, European premiere
In their lighthearted movie, Jacob Dammas and Helge Renner give us a peek into the lives of a few characters living in the slowly modernizing Polish seaside town of Darłowo. They make use of numerous magical moments of unintentional humor, while their seemingly serious commentary is, in truth, gently ironic.

Poslednata lineika na Sofia/ Sofia’s Last Ambulance/ Poslední záchranka v Sofii
Director: Ilian Metev
Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, 2012, 75 min
In his observational documentary, award-winning director Ilian Metev offers us a highly authentic look at the exhausting and often frustrating work of Sofia’s three-member ambulance crews as they rush to save the lives of people in need in the Bulgarian capital.

The Queen of Versailles/ The Queen of Versailles/ Versailleská královna
Director: Lauren Greenfield
USA, 2012, 100 min
An audience hit at this year’s Sundance festival, the movie captures David Siegel’s attempt to build the most lavish family residence in the United States. The influential American billionaire, who lives with his eight kids and wife Jackie (30 years his junior), was hard hit by the financial crisis, and his dream of an American Versailles began to crumble.

Soukromý vesmír/ Private Universe/ Soukromý vesmír
Director: Helena Třeštíková
Czech Republic, 2012, 83 min, European premiere
Helena Třeštíková’s latest documentary captures 37 years in the life of the Kettner family. A family diary served as a springboard for the film: husband Petr faithfully jotted down all the joys and tribulations which his “utterly ordinary” Czech family underwent over the course of nearly four decades.

A Story for the Modlins/ A Story for the Modlins/ Příběh pro Modlinovy
Director: Sergio Oksman
Spain, 2012, 26 min, International premiere
Sergio Oksman’s brilliantly constructed picture, strengthened by a bewitching atmosphere and assured direction, unfolds the mysterious story of Elmer Modlin and his wife: hidden from the eyes of the world for decades, they artistically played out their bizarre apocalyptic vision in a darkened Madrid apartment.

This Ain’t California/ This Ain’t California/ Tohle není Kalifornie
Director: Marten Persiel
Germany, 2011, 90 min
A wittily edited movie that makes use of black-and-white animation, a lighthearted retro-soundtrack, and countless archive amateur shots as it takes a closer look at the inception of the skateboarding subculture of 1980s East Berlin.

Trains of Thoughts/ Trains of Thoughts/ Trasy myšlenek
Director: Timo Novotny
Austria, 2012, 85 min, World premiere
The Sofa Surfers’ original soundtrack accompanies the special rhythm of Timo Novotny’s audiovisual essay as it takes us on a journey through the subways of several world cities, discovering what makes them unique. This whimsical movie stands out for its effective interplay of music and image.

Forum of Independents

Adventures from a Serbian living room, a Canadian fairground and the mountain ranges of Pakistan are all played out in the Forum of Independents competition.

A mockumentary from a classical music festival in Dubrovnik, a drama about the abduction of a theatre company in the Moroccan desert, and a film tracing the movements of an unhinged hero trying to find his place in contemporary Berlin – these are films competing at this year’s festival for the Independent Camera Award.

The Forum of Independents is a traditional platform reserved for films with a highly specific point of view, an original conception, and unexpected themes. So we’ll find alongside one another in this year’s competition the violin virtuoso Julian Rachlin, who, together with his friend Aleksey Igudesman, violinist and filmmaker adopts an unconventional approach to draw viewers to his music festival in the mockumentary Noseland, and American producer Adele Romanski who, after working on the indie hit The Myth of an American Sleepover, debuts as a director with the film Leave Me Like You Found Me,a drama about a couple who set out for the Sequoia National Park.

Formal invention and murky humour dominate the Serbian film Death of a Man in the Balkans (Smrt čoveka na Balkanu), while Inside (Vast), a Dutch tale set in a correctional facility for young offenders, austerely traces the transformation of the main character.

The Forum of Independents will also be screening films from Italy, Hong Kong, Israel and Poland.

Forum of Independents

Lean She’at Nosaat / Where Ever You Go/ Kamkoli jdeš
Director: Rony Sasson
Israel, 2011, 50 min, International premiere
Zohara is headed to a wedding when young Neriman stops her car. Seeing the terror in the girl’s eyes, Zohara knows she has to get her off the street. Where does she want to go? And why does she have a gun? The film succeeds in developing a seemingly simple situation into a work of unexpected connections and strong dramatic impact.

Leave Me Like You Found Me/ Leave Me Like You Found Me/ Nech mě, jak’s mě našel
Director: Adele Romanski
USA, 2011, 80 min, International premiere
Erin and Cal used to go out together, and now they’re together again. During their trip to a national park, however, it becomes obvious that the old vices haven’t gone away, and eventually both begin to wonder why they’re even together. Or will this ordinary trip become a deeper experience than either expected?

Love Me Not/ Love Me Not/ Neměj mě rád
Director: Gilitte Pik Chi Leung
Hong Kong, 2011, 92 min, European premiere
Aggie and Dennis are old friends, connected by more than the flat they share. While Dennis is clear about being gay, Aggie is starting to be less so. With a natural flow, this relationship chronicle avoids crisis situations, enabling it to succeed as a sensitive look at the coexistence of two interesting characters.

Les manèges humains/ Les manèges humains/ Lidská manéž
Director: Martin Laroche
Canada, 2012, 89 min, World premiere
After studying to become a movie director, Sophie decides to work at an amusement park. Thinking his employee might be able to put her experience to practical use, her boss asks her to shoot a park video. Sophie never imagined she would be embarking on a journey which would ultimately allow her to come to terms with a trauma she experienced in her native Africa. This subjective movie benefits from superb acting performances reinforced by atmospheric music and captivating camerawork.

Les Mécréants/ The Miscreants/ Něvěrci
Director: Mohcine Besri
Morocco, Switzerland, 2012, 88 min, International premiere
On the orders of their spiritual leader, three young Islamists kidnap a troupe of young actors. When the extremists arrive at the specified place of detention, they find themselves cut off from their base. The two very different groups are forced to live together for a period of seven days during which any sense of certainty is destroyed on both sides. They may have differing views but could they have something in common as well?

Noor/ Noor/ Noor
Director: Cagla Zencirci, Guillaume Giovanetti
France, Pakistan, 2012, 79 min, International premiere
After leaving Pakistan’s Khusras transgender community, Noor appears as a man and takes a man’s job at a company that decorates transport trucks. He even finds a girl who loves him as he is.… But an unfortunate scuffle with a drunken rapist sends the feminine-looking youth on a journey in a stolen truck that forces him to redefine his own identity. This fascinating road movie offers viewers a bluntly poetic invitation to dance.

Noseland/ Noseland/ Nosálov
Director: Aleksey Igudesman
Austria, 2012, 82 min
Set at a classical music festival in summertime Dubrovnik, this mischievous mockumentary attacks stereotyped notions of violinists, cellists, and other virtuosos, conductors not excepted. Julian Rachlin, Aleksey Igudesman, Mischa Maisky, John Malkovich, Sir Roger Moore, and many others perform, play, and recite with withering (self)-irony.

Oh Boy!/ Oh Boy!/ Sakra, kluku!
Director: Jan Ole Gerster
Germany, 2012, 83 min, International premiere
Young Niko is riding a conveyor belt of experience, but he doesn’t seem to know what to do with it. He wants to be alone or at least be silent, but people keep asking him things. And so while contemporary Berlin pulsates around him, the young man wrestles with recklessness because, like this, his journey might end prematurely.

Smrt čoveka na Balkanu/ Death of a Man in the Balkans/ Smrt člověka na Balkáně
Director: Miroslav Momčilović
Serbia, 2012, 80 min, World premiere
A lonely composer commits suicide in his apartment. By means of a webcam that the victim mounted on a tripod and pointed at the middle of the room, we are able to follow the commotion that subsequently takes place in his flat. This original, low-budget movie, packed with snappy dialogue and functioning as a window onto the “Balkan mentality,” is shot entirely in one take.

Vacuum/ Vacuum/ Vakuum
Director: Giorgio Cugno
Italy, 2012, 94 min, International premiere
A young married couple, Arianna and Milo, are delighted by the birth of their first child. But, of course, six months later everything is different: for the young woman, daily life in their apartment in the suburbs of Torino has become a grueling routine focused exclusively on the child. The economic crisis and postpartum depression deeply affect the young woman’s life as she desperately tries to find herself again. Debut director Giorgio Cugno built his visually impressive project upon authentic details and a claustrophobic atmosphere.

Vast/ Inside/ Uvnitř
Director: Rolf van Eijk
Netherlands, 2011, 50 min, International premiere
An intense and intimate drama of an inwardly fragile, outwardly tough teenage girl who has been sent to a correctional facility. There her psychological state is laid bare as she tries to overcome shadows from the past. Sigrid ten Napel’s intense portrayal dominates a film boasting responsive, detail-driven camerawork.

W sypialni/ In a Bedroom/ V ložnici
Director: Tomasz Wasilewski
Poland, 2012, 76 min, International premiere
Forty-year-old Edyta is in crisis. She sleeps at hotels, and when her money runs out she uses the internet to find men who are looking for sex. With a minimalist plot line, the movie reveals the characters more through faces and gestures than words, and through the brittle, elusive atmosphere, perhaps the film’s main protagonist.

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