The family’s experience of Geir’s disappearance. Living with unanswered questions.
Father and son try to make the dying mother feel comfortable during her final hours.
In Pranjani, a small village in Serbia, locals compete in Rakija-making and Rakija-drinking.
An ironic story about the farewell to the phantoms of the USSR in Ukraine.
Airport – a place where the limits of borders, security and tolerance are tested.
A story about recycling, about a future where two strikingly different worlds collide.
As puberty approaches, they recognize the differences between body and mind.
The physical transformation and deconstruction of gender identity during a pregnancy. Filmform, © Maja Borg – Man, 2016.
A journey to Mozambique in order to find the dear friend Nafta and to shoot a film…
An immense dissappointment. Instead of a puppy for her birthday she got a father…
A mother with her daughter missing, refuses to go gentle into this good night.
German photographer and filmmaker Leni Kastell Leni talks about her memories in 1945.
The painted portraits… mesmerize both the viewer in the movie and in front of the screen.
A tour of the place will prove that sometimes one painting is not enough.
Georgian Film is one of world’s oldest movie studios. Now it looks like a ghost land.
The Wizard of U.S. is an animated collage, a social satire referring to a popular American story by L. F. Baum The Wizard of Oz.
In a deserted rich house, a couple of amphibians explore their surroundings and follow their primal instincts.
It’s not just the drawings. Award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski brings to screen the life and work of one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture. Touko Laaksonen, a decorated officer, returns home after a harrowing and heroic experience serving his country in World War II, but life in Finland during peacetime proves equally distressing. He finds post-war Helsinki rampant with homophobic persecution, and men around him even being pressured to marry women and have children. Touko finds refuge in his liberating art, specialising in homoerotic drawings of muscular men, free of inhabitations. His work – made famous by his signature Tom of Finland – became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution.
It’s not the dog. A dark, starkly funny story of a single dog and the many different people she touches over her short lifetime. Man’s best friend starts out teaching a young boy some contorted life lessons before being taken in by a compassionate vet tech named Dawn Wiener. Dawn reunites with someone from her past and sets off on a road trip. After leaving Dawn, Wiener-Dog encounters a floundering film professor, as well as an embittered elderly woman and her needy granddaughter – all longing for something more. Solondz’s perversely dark comedy offers an appallingly honest look at the American experience, brought to life by its allstar cast.
“Can I hug you? Just hug you. Can I?” Oleg is a young gifted paramedic. His wife Katya works at the hospital emergency department. She loves Oleg, but is fed up with him caring more about patients than her. She tells him she wants a divorce. The new head of Oleg’s EMA substation is a cold-hearted manager who’s got new strict rules to implement. Oleg couldn’t care less about the rules – he’s got lives to save. His attitude gets him in trouble with the new boss. The crisis at work coincides with the personal life crisis. Caught between emergency calls, alcohol-fueled off-shifts, and search for a meaning in life, Oleg and Katya have to find the binding force that keeps them together.
“I want to make films that trigger a positive crisis within yourself, films able to make you face your essential self.” A. Jodorowsky Santiago de Chile, during the thrilling years of the 40s and the 50s. Alejandrito Jodorowsky, aged twenty, decides to become a poet against the will of his family. He is introduced in the inner circle of the artistic and intellectual avant-garde of the time and meets Enrique Lihn, Stella Diaz, Nicanor Parra and many other promising but anonymous young writers who will become the masters of Latin America’s modern literature. Totally immersed in this world of poetic experimentation, they live together as few have dared to live before: sensually, authentically, freely, madly.
His wife, his trumpet and it’s snowing in New York. On a snowy night in February 1972, celebrated jazz musician Lee Morgan was shot dead by his wife Helen during a gig at a club in New York City. The murder sent shockwaves through the jazz community, and the memory of the event still haunts those who knew the Morgans. This feature documentary by Swedish filmmaker Kasper Collin is a love letter to two unique personalities and the music that brought them together. A film about love, jazz and America. There are different strands of newly filmed material in the documentary – the interviews, some memory visuals, and the 16mm material that illustrates Helen’s story.
A life more cinematic than life? Ismaël Vuillard makes films. He is in the middle of one about Ivan, an atypical diplomat inspired by his brother. Along with Bloom, his master and father-in-law, Ismaël still mourns the death of Carlotta, twenty years earlier. Yet he has started his life over again with Sylvia. Sylvia is his light. Then Carlotta returns from the dead. Sylvia runs away. Ismaël rejects Carlotta. Driven mad by these ordeals, he abandons the shoot for his family home in Roubaix. There, he lives as a recluse, besieged by his ghosts.
So much more than a period piece. The debut feature by accomplished theater director William Oldroyd relocates Nikolai Leskov’s play Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District to Victorian England. Florence Pugh is forceful and complex as Lady Katherine, who enters into an arranged marriage with the domineering, repressed Alexander (Paul Hilton), and must contend with her husband’s even more unpleasant mine-owner father (Christopher Fairbank). In this constrictive new milieu, she finds carnal release with one of her husband’s servants (Cosmo Jarvis), but there are profound consequences to her infidelity. Boasting deft performances by an outstanding ensemble cast, Lady Macbeth is a rousing parable about the price of freedom.
A manifesto of manifestos. Homage to the beauty of artists’ manifestos. Cate Blanchett in 13 distinct, must-see vignettes that incorporate timeless, influential and emotional manifestos from 20th century art movements. From anchorwoman to homeless man, from Pop Art to Dogma 95, a chameleonic Blanchett gives a tour-de-force performance as she transforms herself like never before. Rosefeldt weaves together history’s most impassioned artistic statements in this stunning and contemporary call to action. The film draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situationists and other artist groups, as well as the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers.
We’re in the same dream. A slaughterhouse in Budapest is the setting of a strangely beautiful love story. No sooner does Mária start work as the new quality controller than the whispers begin. At lunch, the young woman always chooses a table on her own in the sterile canteen where she sits in silence. Her boss Endre is also the quiet type. Tentatively, they begin to get to know each other. Recognising their spiritual kinship, they are amazed to discover that they even have the same dreams at night… This story of two people discovering the realm of emotions and physical desire tells about the fears and inhibitions associated with opening up to others, and about how exhilarating it can be when you finally do.
What drives people to kill? Today hunting in Africa is something even an average person can afford. And in a certain sense, for many hunters from the Western world, Russia or China, it has become normal to travel to Africa once or even several times a year, and to go hunting daily. As a rule that means shooting two animals a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Some determinedly searching for trophies, others to enjoy. Even if every prey comes at a price, they always find a way to legitimize their own actions. The director wanted to show both how hunting is organized – what‘s involved in it – and what those who hunt experience emotionally.
It seems as if the richness of Zweig’s conflicted identity is created right then and there – on the big screen. Each one of us, even the smallest and the most insignificant, has been shaken in the depths of his being by the almost unceasing volcanic eruptions of our European earth. I know of no pre-eminence that I can claim, in the midst of the multitude, except this: that as an Austrian, a Jew, an author, a humanist, and a pacifist, I have always stood at the exact point where these earthquakes were the most violent.“ Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday The years of exile in the life of Stefan Zweig, one of the most read German-language writers of his time, between Buenos Aires, New York and Brazil. As a Jewish intellectual, Zweig struggles to find the right stance towards the events in Nazi Germany, while searching for a home in the new world.
In this futuristic romance, outsider artists create a world in which everything can be designed and controlled, everything but their own feelings. Do the partners truly love one another or are they merely fascinated by their own mirror reflections? An attempt to examine the narcissism of contemporary young people who are part of Poland’s artistic Bohemia in the age of social media and consumption. The film is inspired by lives of two Warsaw based artists. Wojciech Bąkowski is one of Poland’s most charismatic modern artists with a fully developed stage image. Zuzanna Bartoszek creates drawings, writes poetry, and is affected by a number of autoimmune disorders that make her look unique.
After a chance meeting with a girl, a nameless boy becomes her lover and guardian angel. Together they avenge the girl’s rape, fleeing into the woods in an attempt to escape the modern world and civilization. They commit more crimes, killing encountered people at random, until the third character comes into the story, changing the dynamic of the lovers’ relationship. It’s an emotional story of passion, violence and the impossibility of running away from oneself. The previous feature film by Alexander Vartanov has been called a nightmarish Russian take on Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (1959). This film resembles a tragedy that took place in Russia near Pskov when the Blueberry Fields was completed already.
An odyssey through time and space, starting from the director’s own balcony. A journey filled with all the absurd, existential, trivial and sentimental thoughts and fantasies he came up with in a year, to see if it’s possible to grasp nothing more than the meaning of life. He is living in Brochmannsgate 12A, Oslo, Norway, Europe, Earth, Universe. This film is a time capsule filled with everyday life in Western Europe with all its holidays, memories and fantasies, questions big and small. It invites to think about one’s life and choices. What does it mean to be human today? And why do we rather want to speak to ourselves on a smartphone than socialize with strangers at a job gathering?
An impressionistic portrait of an octogenarian Swedish woman. The Sweden of the 1930s, a Siberian labour camp, and contemporary Ukraine. By blending time and places – a narrative painting is created about a family love that only exist in memories. The main character Lida, her son and sister have lived through war, a war that they aren’t a part of, or involved in, but are, nonetheless, irreversibly affected by. Now they can only be connected to each other through their common memories and the distances between them seem to vanish. The film tells about the cycle of time and a community with a unique language – an old Swedish dialect – disappearing.
Sixty-year-old Pia is intellectually disabled and lives with her aging mother Guittou in a farmhouse on the Danish island of Langeland. She dreams of meeting a man. Pia does exercises and strolls along the beach; she reads books, visits a day centre in the city and looks after her goose Lola with tenderness. Her conversations with her mother focus on the future – how and where will Pia live once she dies? The days come and go. One day Pia meets Jens at the harbour. The two of them get talking and start spending time together… A fictional tale that is based on Pia’s real life and is embedded in her everyday routines.
The vast Finnish archipelago consists of thousands of rocky islands. It’s a place where time passes differently, the mind has space to wander and even the smallest everyday things can be a source of endless fascination. Here we see five archipelago dwellers with lives so different, it makes one think that perhaps every man is indeed an island. They are all part of the archipelago’s landscape. But look beyond the surface and you’ll see that all islands are in fact parts of the same terrain. A poetic essay on life, death, and the taste of early potatoes.
Rauni Reposaarelainen is an overpowering, alcoholic samurai who sows damage and sorrow in his surroundings in Meri-Pori, western Finland. A mystical pseudonym Shametear makes a contract with the Satakunta Guild of Ninjas in order to assassinate Rauni. Rauni easily survives the assassination attempt. This is the beginning of the bloody and absurd road movie in Meri-Pori’s samurai reality. The film is a surreal and visually beautiful tragicomedy that open-mindedly combines Finnish and Japanese culture with beautiful northern nature.
A bourgeois dog confesses how he was transformed from being a filmmaker to being four-legged: Unable to find financing, Julian is forced to accept a job as a seasonal farmhand. However, he makes the young Canadian expat Camille believe that he’s going to do research for a communist fairy-tale film and offers her the leading part. They arrive at the deceitfully idyllic scene of an exploitative apple plantation. While Julian finds the manual labour agonizing, Camille enthusiastically plunges into the alleged research. The owner of the plantation accidentally gets killed, and an attempted revolution ends up in confusion. At this moment, however, the sparrows in the trees come up with a plan…
Life’s heaviest burden is to have nothing to carry. The film is based on movement by a closed mind.When Norwegian scientist Marie attends a seminar in Paris on the actual weight of a kilo, it is her own measurement of disappointment, grief and, not least, love, that ends up on the scale. Marie is forced to come to terms with how much a human life truly weighs and which measurements she intends to live by. The director Bent Hammer saw here an opportunity to further develop the type of poetic humor he used in Kitchen Stories (2003).
Stepping from the pages of Fredrik Backman’s international best-selling novel, Ove is the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about, and visiting his wife’s grave, Ove has given up on life. However, an unlikely friendship develops with his boisterous new neighbors… What emerges is a heartwarming tale of unreliable first impressions and the gentle reminder that life is sweeter when it is shared.
A story of a young couple, the journalist Arvid Stjärnblom and Lydia Stille, who fall madly in love. They are both drawn to the dream of pure, great, and untainted love. Yet, the dream demands greater sacrifice than they could ever imagine. A passionate and fiery love story about the choices we have, the ones we don´t, the choices we make and the consequences that follow. This is an adaptation of Hjalmar Söderberg’s novel The Serious Game (1912) by the Swedish actress-turned-director Pernilla August whose creative life was previously closely linked with Ingmar Bergman and Bille August.
Eskil Vogt’s feature debut stars Ellen Dorrit Petersen as Ingrid, who has recently lost her sight. She retreats to the safety of her home, alone with her husband and her thoughts, but her deepest fears and repressed fantasies soon take over. Ingrid no longer cares about what is real if she can manage to visualize it. The director hopes that the story will tell a lot of different things about human beings, especially about their inner selves – all the strange, shameful, imaginative thoughts we all have, but which we often have a hard time sharing with others. Vogt and his team have a visual language that exists somewhere between reality and dream. This film just refuses to fade away in memory.
A personal story based on the director’s experience growing up in a small fishing village.Two teenage boys experience a turbulent summer. A story of brotherhood, self-acceptance, strength, and the importance of family. The village in Iceland is an environment full of contrasts, where the sun shines without rest during the summer and barely rises at all in winter. A place where the same things you love and give you freedom also tie you down. A place to discover how nature and people can be both amazingly beautiful and incredibly cruel.
The legends, myths, and destiny of the Skolt Sámi. Swiss writer Robert Crottet followed an enigmatic call he heard in a dream and went to Lapland in the 1930s. He was welcomed by the indigenous people of the Kola Peninsula and formed a friendship with Kaisa – storyteller, seeress, and singer of epic ballads. He continued to be a part of her life until the 70s. A couple of years ago, the filmmaker Katja Gauriloff, Kaisa’s great-granddaughter, obtained the unique footage filmed by Robert Crottet and his partner – photographer Enrique Méndez. This poetic documentary tells about the enormous spiritual wealth of people who were forced out of their ancestral homes…
It was the spring of 2013 when the old friend of the filmmaker Anne Regitze Wivel fell down his stairs and got a severe injury. This man is Per Kirkeby – the world-renowned Danish painter, poet, essayist, sculptor, graphic artist, and filmmaker. Not only has he lost his physical mobility, but also his ability to recognize colours, faces and even his own artwork. He struggles to return to his work while at the same time acknowledging his lack of progress. A story about the artist’s universe – marked by deep melancholy as well as astounding beauty; a story about a personal struggle, illusions and the meaning of life.
In 2010, Martha Nabwire and Niki Tsappos took part in the biggest international Street Dance Competition, Juste Debout in Paris. It was the first time ever two women became World Champions in Hip Hop. Both are born in Africa and live in Sweden, yet one of them was adopted by a Swedish family as a baby while the other only arrived in Europe at the age of 14. This film, shot during a 5-year period in numerous cities across the globe, depicts their love of dance – something they treat with pure honesty and that comes across in each and every move. A brilliant documentary about identity and finding the right path in life.
Cecilie Debell, making her debut as a director, reveals a deeply unusual and highly surprising family story – a hardcore adventure. It is just as serious as any look back at a childhood characterised by failure, loss, and chaos, however moving, funny and almost disarmingly vibrant. How to come to terms with the painful things in one’s life? Who are our parents as people? How did they turn us into the people we are? A cinematic epistle about tolerance in an age that sorely needs it. The performance artist Michael Richardt invites his mother to join him on a road trip. The encounters with old friends and sympathetic strangers give both mother and son something they were missing…
Southern Sami yoiks and blood. What happens to you if you cut all ties with your culture? Can you really become someone else? In the 1930s, Ella-Marja was sent to a boarding school for Sami children where they were taught to know their place, scientists from the State Institute for Racial Biology came to measure and photograph them naked, and speaking Sami, even just among themselves, resulted in beatings. In present day, she calls herself Christina and visits Lapland… This is the director’s declaration of love to those who left and stayed, a film about the dark pages of the Swedish history. Recommended by
Finnish writer-director continues his trilogy on refugees, which started with the award-winning tragicomedy Le Havre (2011). It is dedicated to film historian Peter von Bagh, the director of the Midnight Sun Film Festival, which the Kaurismäki brothers founded in 1986. When the authorities decline his claim for refugee status and make a decision to return the Syrian Khaled (Sherwan Haji) to the ruins of Aleppo, he decides to stay illegally in the country and disappears into the streets of Helsinki. There he meets, besides various types of racism, also pure kindness. A Finn Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) finds him in the inner yard of his restaurant. For a moment life shows its sunnier side, but fate soon intervenes…
Trains and railroad tracks are the unifying elements in this found footage film made out of fragments from feature films produced in Latvia from 1958 to 1989. It’s a cinematic journey into the world of dreams, filled with memories, desires, and the incessant quest for the ever-elusive happiness. The trains have played an important role in the history of cinema. A lot of interesting phenomena are linked with trains – locomotion, changes, an opportunity to think, dynamics, force, sense of something important… It helps to cross the usual boundaries.
The film is based on the life story of Melānija Vanaga, a woman who managed to survive her deportation to Siberia. It is a truthful account of the magnitude of the human spirit and the painful destinies, which were a part of the greatest tragedy facing the nation. It is the story of Latvian women who had to suffer and survive physically and emotionally in order for Latvia to live. To maintain hope, to preserve a person who is stronger than famine, cold, cruelty and even death and is capable of taking on responsibility for another person, to help others – such is the confirmation of Melānija Vanaga, her memories and also this film to the light in the world.
The fast-paced action comedy takes us back to the 1980s. Three Estonian guys flee Soviet Union, because they want to have as awesome life in the free world as they’ve seen in TV series Miami Vice, Knight Rider and Santa Barbara. Swedes welcome friends as real heroes, who broke through the Iron Curtain. But as the media circus blows over, our dissidents discover that they’ve become nothing more than tedious immigrants. To put food on the table, they have to do something as lame as… work! But the boys are no quitters, so they come up with new crazy plans that should guarantee success in the Western world. That’s when things go totally insane!
Lithuanian provincial town is facing the economic crisis in 2008. Vytas gets fired from the factory. Pushed by his wife, he immediately starts looking for a new job, but not really successfully. After having his new haircut done, Vytas starts looking for a love affair with the hairdresser Marija, but not really successfully, either. Finally, Vytas gets involved into a third search – together with his best friend Petras he starts looking for a guy who posted video on youtube, claiming he saw Jesus Christ in their town. This is the only time Vytas succeeds…
Waterfall and I, and – no, the other way around! This film is, of course, about nature – human nature. Or – what a human can do with the widest waterfall in Europe. “I feel as if I had exclusive rights to this place, because I grew up ‘framing’ it—I was too small to see the waterfall over the railings of Kuldīga Bridge and so I spent lots of time with my head stuck through the lower gaps in the railings. I have been convinced since then that it is not enough for anyone just to look at the waterfall. For instance, I wished to shoot a film there and others also have all kinds of waterfall-related wishes. My film is about wish fulfilment,” says the director Laila Pakalniņa.
A psychological drama with elements of science fiction. Nurse Elza falls in love with her patient – a young, rich, and brilliant scientist Nicolas. He is trapped in a coma now, but previously he was experimenting with artificial intelligence. The recovery will take a long time and it’s not easy for both characters to build a mutual trust. Things are getting really complicated as the scientist’s invention – artificial intelligence Anna – manages to wilfully interfere in the relationship of the man and woman.
A mixture of magic, black humor and romantic love. The story is set in a pagan Estonian village where werewolves, the plague, and spirits roam. The villagers’ main problem is how to survive the cold, dark winter. And, to that aim, nothing is taboo. People steal from each other, from their German manor lords, and from spirits, the devil, and Christ. Stealing as an obsession. Estonian pagan and European Christian mythologies come together in this film. Both mythologies look for a miracle; for an ancient force that gives one a soul. This film is about souls – longing for a soul, selling your soul, and living without a soul. The film is based on Andrus Kivirähk’s novel Rehepapp.
The idea for this movie arose out of the director’s thought that came to him one cold morning in Warsaw: “Shit! How much time do I have left to make a movie about what it’s like to be young?” His hope with this film is to create a picture of how youth in all its crazy splendour can be more fully lived when you’re in it and more beautifully remembered once it has passed. Art school classmates Christopher and Michal restlessly roam Warsaw’s streets in search of living forever inside the beautiful moment. Never content with answers, they push each experience to its breaking point, testing what it might mean to be truly awake in a world that seems satisfied to be asleep.
The film is inspired by an event reported in the Bulgarian press. A social-realist parable exploring the themes of corruption, class differences, and the rural-urban divide in contemporary society. Tsanko Petrov, a railroad worker finds millions of leva on the train tracks. He decides to turn the entire amount over to the police, and the state rewards him with a new wristwatch, but soon the new watch stops working. Meanwhile, Julia Staikova, head of the PR department of the Ministry of Transport, loses Petrov’s old watch. And here starts his desperate struggle to get his old watch back, as well as his dignity.
An adult fairy tale. In mythology of mermaids, they are often portrayed as evil, wild, and predatory. Here the mermaid is a voracious but sensitive being who tries to follow the principles of the human world and loses her own identity. These mermaids do not wear seashell bras but rather chew on human hearts. A pair of mermaid sisters in an alternate 1980s Poland are drawn ashore to explore the wonders and temptations of life on land. Their tantalizing siren songs and otherworldly auras make them overnight sensations as nightclub singers. One sister falls for a human, and the siblings’ bond is tested as love and survival come into conflict…
A woman lives alone on the outskirts of a village in Russia. One day she receives a parcel she sent to her incarcerated husband, marked ‘return to sender’. Shocked and confused, the woman has no choice but to travel to the prison in a remote region of the country in search of an explanation. So begins the story of an absurd battle against this impenetrable fortress, the prison where the forces of social evil are constantly at work. Braving violence and humiliation, in the face of all opposition, our protagonist embarks on a blind quest for justice. This film is a metaphor for a country where people are constantly violated by each other. Hypocrisy, gigantic lies and double standards…
On the first day of the festival VFS Films will premiere a documentary project that took years in the making. At the centre of it all – a Latvian architect and a Chinese mountain miner. The process – an ambitious structure in the “centre of the World” – the Sacred Songshan mountain in the Henan province of China. Cultures differ, traditional assumptions and conventions need to be reassessed, personal ambitions become two sides of the same coin. Quanqi Zhu wants to bring the West into China, Austris Mailītis deeply values Eastern philosophy, and Shaolin monks fly in the air in the world’s first building constructed for probably the most fundamental of human ambitions – levitation.
Rokas and Inga, a couple of young Lithuanians, volunteer to drive a cargo van of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Amid the violence and death of the conflict, they meet different war correspondents, one of whom is played by Vanessa Paradis. When plans change and they find themselves left to their own devices, they cross the vast snowy lands of the Donbass region in search of allies and shelter, drifting into the lives of those affected by the war. They approach the frontline in spite of the danger, all the while growing closer to each other as they begin to understand life during wartime.
Under the loving but firm guidance of an old fan turned director and cultural diplomat and to the surprise of a whole world, the ex-Yugoslavian cult band Laibach becomes the first foreign rock group ever to perform in the fortress state of North Korea. Confronting strict ideology and cultural differences, the band struggles to get their songs through the needle’s eye of censorship before they can be unleashed on an audience never before exposed to alternative rock’n’roll. Meanwhile, propaganda loudspeakers are being set up at the border between the two Koreas and a countdown to war is announced. The hills are alive… with the sound of music!
Virág Zomborácz’ first feature film. Its screenplay was her graduation project from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest. The story portrays a pastor’s family and focuses on the relationship between the father and his son. The father is now dead and the son has to work out what’s keeping the annoying ghost of his father in the earthly dimension. He takes advice from a professional medium and starts to sew up a series of loose ends to set the ghost free. Such an unusual grieving process finally affects the life of the whole family.
The eighties, summer, Italy, swimming pools and intellectuals. “I asked myself if I wanted to create a piece that was a sort of conversation between the storyline, the characters, and the medium, or if I just wanted the characters and the story to flow. And I said to myself: ‘Step back! Have faith in these people and this setting.’ So I chose to make the movie in the most lighthearted and simple way. I think it’s probably the movie I made with the most calmness, applying in a very specific and literal way my motto, that we should live with a sense of joie de vivre,” the director Luca Guadagnino tells Variety about the film based on the 2007 novel by André Aciman. It tells of rare and deep feelings, of coming of age, of romance and of romanticism, of prejudice and lack thereof.
Short story about a mother, her son and their relationship. Who is the grown-up here? What does it mean to be a grown-up?
Sculptor Constantin Brancusi’s Princess X – a futuristic bronze phallus instead of a bust of Napoleon’s relative, Marie Bonaparte.
Because of ID issues, a man risks the authorities separating him from his underage daughter, who has just had a baby.
The power plant is closing – unemployment takes over a town in eastern Slovakia. Ágoston, a tall, family man in his fifties ventures through eastern Europe in desperate attempt to get a job and fulfil his dream – to catch a big fish. In Baltic, he finds himself alone and deserted. His voyage leads him deeper and deeper into the ocean of bizarre events and encounters, with tall friendly woman, Russian friend with unfriendly intentions, and sad stuffed earless rabbit. Waves grind on sandy beaches and return to sea. New wave comes to wipe off the preceding one. The sea doesn’t end here and it definitely doesn’t start here. fulfilled life.
An intriguing and romantic thriller about a young woman who has just left her religious family on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. Thelma (Eili Harboe) falls in love and at the same time discovers that she possesses frightening and inexplicable supernatural abilities. She is confronted with tragic secrets of her past and the terrifying implications of her powers.
Unconscious sexual desires are most closely linked with fear… Painter Alberts has chosen the beautiful Vita as a model for his portrait of Virgin Mary. After the first sittings for the artist, the young woman starts seeing strange dreams where she is chased by a horrifying spider. Unconscious sexual desires create a sense of fear and helplessness until the light of true love dispel the mystic webs. The first and for the time being only erotic horror film in the film history of Latvia based on a story by Vladimirs Kaijaks. This is the only film directed by professional production designer Vasili Mass (Limousine in the Colour of Midsummer’s Eve, 1981 / A Photo of a Woman and Wild Boar, 1987 / Days of Man, 1989) and the screen debut of actress Aurēlija Anužīte (The Mystery of the Old Parish House, 2000).
Newlyweds go on a honeymoon to Hungary. Thanks to a man they meet on the train Budapest-Visegrad they end up in a darkly poetic yet creepy castle where it turns out that their traveling companion has an old score to settle with the master of the house… Life and death is but a game for those whose souls have been slain by the self-destruction of Europe. Two legendary stars of the early horror movies – Bela Lugosi (Dracula, 1931) and Boris Karloff (Frankenstein, 1931) – meet for the first time in this film. Director Edgar G. Ulmer, an artist and aficionado of classical music, has created a visually elegant horror story, interwoven with satanic sadism, finding inspiration in the works by Edgar Allan Poe and occultist Aleister Crowley.
Lady Divine (a comic drag queen, international icon of bad taste cinema) and her troupe hold free shows called The Cavalcade of Perversion, said to be the most extreme and truthful exhibits of acts of obscenities. However, the finale is always the same – the audience is robbed and the performers fly the coop. Even the notorious director (Pink Flamingos, 1972) admits that he has gone a little too far with this grotesque tale of betrayal, revenge, perversions, depravity, violence and blood lust. At the time, he mocked the hippie philosophy the same way as he mocks political correctness now. And it is up to the audience to decide if they want to turn away in disgust, admire the extraordinary film or see a prophetic message of maniacs multiplying in the world.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Génessier does everything in his power to reconstruct the face of his beloved daughter after a car crash he caused. He needs material for the numerous skin grafting surgeries… Visually beautiful and chillingly dispassionate reminder that cruelty and atrocities are a part of human nature – it is nothing exceptional in desperate situations. It is said that, in Paris, the first spectators of this poetic horror film with music by Maurice Jarre were dropping like flies. This film has been quoted and interpreted in many cinematographic pieces. It inspired Billy Idol to compose the song Eyes Without Face. Meanwhile, the greatest achievement of the film’s director is the foundation of the Cinémathèque Française together with the legendary Henri Langlois.
The director wanted the black-and-white yakuza movie to be as entertaining as possible and made a surreal stew consisting of the following ingredients: contract killers, erotic attraction, macho rivalry, fetish for the smell of boiling rice, an appearance of a butterfly at the wrong time, obsession with death… The film quickly developed a serious cult status even though Nikkatsu Studio had short-sightedly considered it to be the last drop in the sea of films without any sense or box office potential, therefore the defiant director was fired. Suzuki dared to sue the studio and was blacklisted for many years.
This year – the NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS programme opening film comes from Sweden! Power, masculinity, great success, deep tragedy, and myths. Harry Schein, the founder of the Swedish Film Institute, was one of the most influential cultural and media personalities in Sweden of the 60s and 70s. A documentary about an Austrian war refugee who ended up counting Ingmar Bergman and Olof Palme among his best friends. His yearning for change and fame demanded sacrifices. But Harry had nothing to lose. He had already lost everything – first and foremost his family and his trust in others… Among the interviewees are director Roy Andersson, legendary actresses Harriet Andersson and Liv Ullmann, Daniel Bergman, Ingmar Bergman’s son, Mårten Palme, Olof Palme’s son and many others. Before the screening – Embassy of Sweden in Riga invites to a glass of lingonberry punch, some knäckebröd and to meet the film-makers. A small Q&A session is also planned after the screening.
During the other half of the eighties the world was electrified. Not just by the power shifts of the Cold War, not just because the Berlin Wall fell, also because something new and exciting was emerging when the blossoming electronic dance music culture of the West met the avant-garde that was lurking behind the Iron Curtain of the East. It’s incredible that the huge cultural upheaval Latvia experienced during that time had mainly a sole architect – Indulis Bilzēns. It’s no less incredible that this story has not until now been covered by documentary film-makers.
The cinematic series about three significant figures in Latvian theatre – directors Oļģerts Kroders (“The Fifth Hamlet” (2007), Māra Ķimele (“Mara” (2014), and the newest about Andris Freibergs – all investigate how loneliness, love and death weave the films’ heroes’ lives and art together as if it would be a tight braid. In the “Fairytale” the accomplished European stage designer and educator paints a self-portrait by shaping the stage for an imaginary production titled Andris Freibergs. He transforms himself into a space that contains close to eighty years worth of stunning success, tragic loss, birth and death. It is an attempt to create the perfect empty space – one that would simultaneously encompass everything and nothing, the beginning and the end. The film is produced by the Riga-based VFS FILMS.
Oleg’s Choice is a rare immersion into the private lives and thoughts of Russian combatants who have chosen to fight on the separatists side in Ukraine. Since the summer of 2014, thousands of young Russians poured into the Donbass region. Driven by Russian propaganda, they believed they were fulfilling their patriotic duty. Among the first wave of volunteers were Oleg and Max. Oleg was appointed deputy commander of a battalion, while Max became a soldier. Their illusions were shattered on the night of June 3rd 2015, when a battle went horribly wrong. While Oleg and Max continue to fight on the ground, they must also fight creeping doubts that they have that they ended up on the wrong side of the war. The film follows their introspection over the long term; the confession they have gone adrift, the search for meaning, the shock at realizing they have been misled – that they themselves have made mistakes to the frantic rhythm of a war that crushes bodies and reason. It is the story of the human face of a lie that confuses those involved. In this war rewritten by propaganda, where two parallel realities confront each other, they try in their own different ways to find a raison d’être. This is a human story on the borders of good and evil, where men are confronted by their own choices.
“This is a film about my mother – movie actress Nina Antonova. About a hundred roles – big and small. She was recognized by the public, she was a celebrity. This is a very personal story. Funny and sad. About the diluted identity overshadowed by a man, her filmmaker-husband, my father… About my family where life and films were inseparable, and where those involved often mistook the alternate reality for real life. About dependency and newfoundfreedom…About the change of fate… About new roles, and new hopes…”
“The story starts in the 1990s, when Boris Nemtsov was widely viewed as the future president of the country. It ends in February of 2015, when he was assassinated on Moskvoretsky Bridge across from the Kremlin. Nemtsov is the only Russian politician to have left a significant mark on both eras: the 1990s, with their free press, political struggles, and low oil prices, and the 2000s, the time of stability and economic growth â€“ but also the decline of political competition, growing censorship, street protests, and the invasion of Ukraine. Director Vera Krichevskaya and journalist Mikhail Fishman bring the riveting political biography of Boris Nemtsov to the screen. Many of the participants cast in this documentary would never find themselves on the same platform elsewhere. The people who talk about the crucial, often game-changing events of Russian history and the role Nemtsov played are his friends, colleagues, relatives, and fellow politicians: Alexei Navalny, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Kasyanov, Alfred Koch, Ilya Yashin, Irina Khakamada, Grigory Yavlinsky, Viktor Yushchenko, Mikhail Prokhorov, Vladimir Ryzhkov, Raisa and Zhanna Nemtsova, Tatyana and Valentin Yumashev, Mikhail Fridman, Oleg Sysuev, Sergey Yastrzhembsky, Yevgeny Kiselyov, Nina Zvereva, Yevgenia Albats, Dmitry Muratov, and others. Because the producers have worked extensively with archival recordings, the film is built not only on interviews, but also on unique documentary footage of Boris Nemtsov, and his voice is constantly heard on screen alongside other narrators. The Man Who Was Too Free is the story of a man whose life – and death – are emblematic of Russia’s recent history.”
Oleg Sentsov is a Ukrainian filmmaker, Euromaidan activist and native of Crimea. After the Russian annexation of Crimea, he became an active opponent of the occupation. In May 2014 he was arrested by the Russian security service, charged with planned terrorist attacks and transported to Moscow. After over a year in custody, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, despite the fact that the testimonies were given under duress and evidence was insufficient. Sentsov never pled guilty. Director Askold Kurov follows the progress of the trial and the attempts of Oleg’s family, friends and lawyers to save him from prison. The notorious case inspired protests around the world: the European Film Academy and many renowned filmmakers such as Pedro Almodovar, Wim Wenders, Agnieszka Holland, Ken Loach, Johnny Depp and others called for Oleg’s release. Kurov’s investigation gradually reveals an absurd and frightening Kafkaesque story about how anyone can become a victim of a ruthless state machine.
The Lithuanian scientist Aušra Revutaite has spent 30 years in the Tian Shan mountain range in Central Asia, straddling the borders between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the autonomous Chinese region of Xinjiang. Some 3,500 meters above sea level with only her faithful dog and gray cat for company, she studies climate change on the Tuyuksu Glacier at an old Soviet-era research station. She loves the solitude and silence that her painstaking work brings her. Magnificent shots of her surroundings and everyday work are interspersed with archive footage of the people who preceded her by a century. Not much seems to have changed. We see dripping, melting ice in imposing caves, streams flowing through desolate mountain passes, and Revutaite’s pets, playing together almost in silence. Living with Revutaite in the solitude she has chosen for herself, the two animals only have each other. The solemn silence of the mountains is punctuated sparingly by the music of a man far, far below, playing a traditional instrument.
Super-objective dashboardcam videos grow into a strong image of Russian national character with its permanent awaiting for the miracle and habitual approach to real dramas. Everything can happen on Russian roads. Everything can happen on the road of life. If you like car crash compilations and Russians with foul mouths, you will love this fascinating mosaic of asphalt adventures and landscape photography, in which video footage from a variety of dashboard cameras presents the absurd and frightening nature of Russia. Alongside a series of bizarre car accidents on the country’s roads, the dashboard cameras also capture other spectacles through the windshield, such as a hysterical wedding guest, a confused man and a horse-drawn sleigh. More than once, angry motorists brandish axes, pistols or sledgehammers at the camera, and at times the camera itself seems to come to life, when it is chucked out of the car or stolen by someone breaking in. The footage of spectacular trips through a forest fire, tall snowdrifts or flooded streets is almost poetic – and what’s that up there in the sky? Is it a plane crashing, or could it be a comet? Bemused commentary from unseen drivers and passengers or the sound of the car radio provides unintentionally comical moments. Would someone please call 911?
Oleg Karavaichuk, eccentric musical genius and famous composer, takes his final stroll through Komarovo, a bay-side summer community just outside St. Petersburg where he spent his whole life and wrote most of his works. His final piece, “The Komarovo Waltz”, unveiled here for the very first time, was written as a tribute to the place. The film is the reclusive composer’s farewell to audience as well as his last address and reminder of things that are truly important – love for your fellow man and virgin nature.
In the provincial theater there is a rehearsal of the staging of “Decameron” by Boccaccio. The actress can not cope with the role. The director is going to a risky experiment, which inflicts a deep psychological trauma on the actress, but, in the end, achieves the desired result.
In a province small town a road junction is being built. It hangs over the buildings and the people. Two young girls, schoolmates, make a video blog about it while hoping to move out of this place forever. This is a story of their friendship, of being so close, that you lose yourself.
Petr Pavlensky is currently the most radical artist in Russia, his bloody and challenging performances are mutilating his own body – he saws up his lips, naked wraps himself in barbed wire by the prosecutor’s office, nails his genitalia in the Red Square – he takes down the border between life and art.
A short review of one day in the life of young artists, mostly women, from different countries, students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Documentary episodes are interspersed with scenes, that mimic everyday life, and with the excerpts from the work by Sabina Spielrein, the first female psychoanalyst. What happens to life when nothing is happening, and what is the motivation of young artists, but already not so young people, to make art? The work continues the theme of the video “Interview” (2013), in which the author asked this questions to himself.
It’s bedtime. Father and Daughter make up a world floating high above the clouds. The queen of this world is called Po.
If you are a crocodile eating cookies is much more difficult than one would think.
A chance meeting of a pocket-size man and a blind person grows into a beautiful friendship.
Mop brings the coffee machine to boil and wonders what would happen if he added a bag of green powder.
A friendly giant tries to help people but fear keeps them from seeing his good deeds.
Seven of the Octopus’s tentacles want to bake a peach tart, but one – a chocolate cake. Who will win?
When autumn comes to the river banks, all animals – big and small – ar getting ready for winter.
The delicious biscuit Mama Rabbit made turns out to be a true rascal and tricks even the Sly Fox.
Baby Squirrel finds a sled but to have real fun with it he has to learn to control it.
A mutual friendship is weaved when a small spider finds inspiration in a woman’s knitting patterns.
Brother and Sister have a hard time getting along. But then Granny gets involved and great adventures begin.
When a baby brother arrives in Pigtail’s family she and her friend Mr. Sleeplessness plot on how to regain her parents’ attention.
Toda, 10, lives in a bakery with her dad, the best pastry chef in town. She knows everything there is to know about cakes and pastries. But one day, everything changes: her dad is called away unexpectedly to defend his country. She thinks it means becoming a bush because soldiers have to stick branches to their helmets. Now Toda must undertake an adventurous and challenging journey to the unknown neighbouring country where her mother lives. On the way she meets strange people, encounters absurd situations and finds a special new friend.
This film belongs to Lithuanian cinema classics. The classmates of nine-year-old Inga call her “Beauty Queen”. Their attitude changes as soon as one boy states that she is actually ugly. The children are not aware of how deeply they hurt her. However, just a couple of kind words would be enough to make the situation better.
Elvira, Meja and Bea go on a summer camp after the 6th grade. The three girls are to stay in room 213 – where no one has lived for sixty years. Soon inexplicable events start to happen: girls’ belongings go missing, a cryptic letter written in an ancient handwriting appears. Is the legend about the camp’s ghost really true?
Niilas, 12, has been living with his father in the Netherlands. But this summer, Niilas has to travel to the North of Sweden to meet his mother he barely remembers since his parents are divorced. He is faced with an intriguing and emotional reunion and getting acquainted both with her mother’s new family and the magnificent Northern nature. At first, the unfamiliar surroundings scare Niilas but as soon as he has overcome his fear, this becomes the most adventurous summer of his life.