ONCE UPON A TIME, CONGO MIRADOR /VE, UK, BR/
Director: Anabel Rodriguez
Producer: Nancy Harrison/Sepp R. Brudermann
Editor: Sepp R. Brudermann
Co-producer: Malu Campos
On Lake Maracaibo, beneath the mysterious silent Catatumbo lightning, the small lake-top village of Congo Mirador is preparing for parliamentary elections. For streetwise local businesswoman and Chavist party representative Tamara every vote counts and must be obtained by whatever means necessary, while for rebellious opposition-supporting school teacher Natalie, politics is a weapon unsuccessfully attempting to force her out of her job. And with her sharp eyes, little Yoaini sees her community sinking from sedimentation, and her childhood and innocence with it. What is the possibility of a small fishing village surviving against corruption, pollution and political decay – a reflection of all the flaws of contemporary Venezuela.
ACASA, MY HOME /RO, FI, DE/
Director: Radu Ciorniciuc
Producer: Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan
Editor: Andrei Gorgan
An immense green space in the middle of a metropolis, the Bucharest Delta is an abandoned water reservoir in which wildlife has grown to become a rare urban ecosystem. For the last two decades, the Enache family lived here, sleeping in a hut on a lakeshore, following the rhythm of the seasons and catching fish barehanded.
When the bulldozers come to destroy their home, they have to move and adapt to a completely new city life. Fishing rods are replaced by smartphones, idle afternoons are now spent in classrooms, and family ties are hard to maintain. With their roots in the wilderness, the nine children and their parents need to find a way to keep their family united in the concrete jungle.
CUBAN DANCER /IT, CA, CL/
Director: Roberto Salinas
Producer: Michele Fornasero
Editor: Abraham Lifshitz
Alexis is a Cuban teenager who has dedicated his life to his one and only passion: ballet. He’s a talented and proud student of the National Ballet School of Cuba and his everyday life is shaped by alternating pas de deux, chassé and entrechats with his girlfriend and dance partner Yelenia. However, when his family moves to Florida to reunite with Alexis’ sister, he must start from scratch and adjust his expectations, plans and dreams to a radically new environment. Supported by his unbeatable determination, Alexis will become, dancing on stage and in life, a true Cuban-American artist, faithful to his roots while also open to embrace change.
Director: Lotta Petronella
Producers: Johanna Tarvainen, Ilona Tolmunen
Editor: Matti Näränen
Själö, the Island of Souls, has captured the destiny of countless women over hundreds of years. When the filmmaker begins to listen to the winds and spirits, hidden memories become visible.
For centuries, a closed institution served as a final destination for socially transgressive women at Själö, an isolated island in the Baltic Sea. The outcast women were kept there in detention, to be observed, studied and measured – in much the same way as the surrounding nature is by scientists at the now converted research center.
While a young scientist is collecting samples around the island, the past emerges in the whispers of the unsent letters and empty rooms of the hospital. The space fills up with hidden memories as the invisible archives come alive. Whose stories are remembered and whose are forgotten?
Produced by: MADE (FI)
EPIPO, OUR LAND /HU, FR/
Director: Judit Oláh
Producer: Sára László
Editor: Péter Sass
In the last decade of socialist Hungary – Epipo, an imaginary democratic country was the place of a magical summer camp that every child wanted to go to. But in the shadows of Epipo’s own language, passport, anthem and rules, the camp was also a place of humiliation and abuse. 25 years passed in silence until a scandal shook Hungary’s elite. When Judit, the film director, being an ex-Epipo kid, is asked by her own daughter for permission to go to a summer camp, she feels the need to resolve the unanswered questions from the past. She embarks on a quest to find out the unique ties of Epipo identity that impacts former camp community until today.
LESSONS OF LOVE /PL/
Directors: Małgorzata Goliszewska, Katarzyna Mateja
Producer: Anna Stylińska
Editor: Alan Zejer
For decades, Jola did what was expected of her. As a mother of six and the wife of an abusive husband, she would put on make-up and colorful clothes to pretend everything was fine. One day something breaks inside her and she finds the strength to leave her husband and start living life to the fullest. She hangs out with her girlfriends, dances in Café Smile, and writes poems and songs. She sings about love – something she’s always dreamt of, yet never experienced. Unexpectedly, she meets Wojtek, who treats her like a queen. Will she be able to open up and embrace love for the first time?
THE EARTH IS BLUE AS AN ORANGE /UA, LT/
Director: Iryna Tsilyk
Producers: Anna Kapustina, Giedré Žickyté
Editor: Ivan Bannikov
Single mother Anna and her four children live in the front-line war zone of Donbas, Ukraine. While the outside world is made up of bombings and chaos, the family is managing to keep their home a safe haven, full of life and full of light. Every member of the family has a passion for cinema, motivating them to shoot a film inspired by their own life during a time of war.
The creative process raises the question of what kind of power the magical world of cinema could have during times of disaster. How to picture war through fiction? For Anna and the children, transforming trauma into a work of art is the ultimate way to stay human.
ON YOUR MARKS! /SK, CZ/
Director: Mária Pinčíková
Producer: Zuzana Mistríková, Alice Tabery
Editor: Marek Šulík, Peter Kudlička
Prague, July 2018. Fifteen thousand women and men of all generations gather together in one place to give a mass gymnastic performance. They all belong to Sokol, an apolitical movement established in the 19th century to foster self-development within a democratic community.
We follow the preparations of this huge endeavor with all their failures and victories. As the date of the show approaches, the participants feel more and more pressure, which leads to many intense situations. The struggle of the Sokol members becomes an absurd metaphor of our society.
A NEW SHIFT /CZ/
Director: Jindřich Andrš
Producer: Augustina Micková
Editor: Lukáš Janičík
Tomas is a cheeky and funny fifty years old guy. He lives in Ostrava, region which was historically set as heavy industry zone. His peaceful life, however, disrupts the closure of the Paskov mine, where he worked for more than 20 years. Shortly before he got fired, Tomas saw a strange poster which happened to be a turnover. “Go from the declining profession to the most wanted one. Retrain yourself and become Computer Programmer!” After completing the tough programming course, Tomas discovers that ability to write a working code is not enough. That it is far more difficult to break down the prejudice whether such a big carrier change is possible.
Suddenly a positive answer comes up, and Tomas joins an IT company as a programmer. From now on, he is sitting in an air-conditioned office in front of several monitors. It is time to ask an unpleasant question. What has he lost?
Produced by: moloko film s.r.o. (CZ)
JAN JEDLICKA: COLOURFUL TRACES OF A LANDSCAPE /CZ, IT/
Director: Petr Záruba
Producer: Alice Tabery
Editor: Pavel Kolaja
Produced by: CINEPOINT s.r.o. (CZ)
PERSONAL LIFE OF THE HOLE /CZ, FI/
Director: Ondřej Vavrečka
Producer: Alžběta Janáčková
Editor: Anna Petruželová
Personal Life of the Hole is an artistically demanding film with fictional passages complemented by expert testimonies, shot on 16mm film material. A poetic-philosophical documentary with feature-length footage responds to contemporary issues of ecology, economics and culture. But what does “Personal Life of a Hole” mean? This hole relates to the current situation of (western) man. We are in the hole of ages and the hole of nonsense. What to do? The only solid point can provide us with a truly free creative act.
Produced by: Silk Films s.r.o. (CZ)
WOLVES ON THE BORDERS! /CZ/
Director: Martin Páv
Producer: Zuzana Kučerová
Editor: Matěj Beran
Wolves on the Borders takes the controversy around the reintroduction of wolves to the Czech countryside to tell a broader tale of humankind’s ambivalent relationship towards nature. It has been more than 200 years since the last wolf was killed in the Broumov region. It is also the area with the largest concentration of sheep in the Czech Republic. No sooner did the wolves arrive than the wolves than they began harming the herds. The public is divided – on one side there are farmers and inhabitants who feel threatened and want to get rid of the wolves again. On the other side are people who welcome them as natural predator necessary to restoring the balance of nature – a stance that would mean giving up a degree of control over the environment. This film looks at the wolves as providing an opportunity to transform our society into one that is more open and tolerant.
Produced by: Frame Films s.r.o. (CZ)
Director: Maia Martiniak
Producer: Silvia Panáková
Editor: Mária Hirgelová
Stella is just one of the women who have experienced disrespect, manipulation, and violence at giving birth. The birthing experience left a feeling of rape in her and affected her further life. Three years have passed, and Stella is still unable to find inner peace. She decided to sue the hospital in the Czech town of Neratovice in order for similar things not to repeat. Her lawyer Zuzana Candigliota works for the Human Rights League in the Czech Republic. She has her own experience with the violation of women’s rights when giving birth. She encounters the ignorance of hospital staff, the police, and judges. On the other side, there are women with a traumatic experience from hospitals. No communication with mothers, a lack of information, the distortion of provided information, and manipulative behaviour lead to a traumatic experience that can grow into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Produced by: ARINA film production (SK)
HAPPILY (UN)FAITHFUL /SK, UK/
Director: Diana Fabiánová
Producer: Mike Chamberlain
Editors: Michal Baránek, Fero Krähenbiel, Mária Hirgelová
Diana, the movie director has a husband and two kids. Having recently been married, they find themselves in the midst of their friends’ marriages going through crisis. The dominant cause of infidelity is present everywhere. Why do many people cheat even in seemingly healthy relationships? How to deal with the aftermath of infidelity so that it doesn’t destroy the lives of everyone in the family? Can we work with our tormented emotions? Diana lives in a perfect marriage. Then, out of the blue, she falls for another man. Unexpectedly, irrationally. In the midst of her own internal chaos and scepticism caused by the people around her, Diana travels to explore the cultures that look at (in)fidelity in many different ways. She looks for answers among friends as well as experts and wonders about human sexuality. She tries to find out why it is so attractive to become unfaithful yet so hard to accept it from her partner. She explores the world of polyamory and embarks on a journey that turns her family life upside down. The movie Happily (un)Faithful talks about the ego of an individual as well as about our society, its double morality, and the old unfunctional patterns that we’ve been blindly following for ages. The movie uncovers the phenomenon of infidelity and monogamy versus (many times hidden) other types of intimate relationships across human history. Through archival footage we explore how understanding of infidelity changed depending on social structure and religion. The strongest emotions, however, are presented through human stories, their sincerity, authenticity and power. The movie is a probe to human psyche as well as hypocrisy of the society we live in.
Produced by: Tearaway Films Limited (UK)
YOURS SINCERELY, SOCIAL SYSTEM /SK/
Director: Martin Tokár
Producer: Jakub Viktorin
Editor: Peter Morávek
“Yours sincerely, Social System” is an absurd comedy and social documentary film about Yves Nicolas Ogou, who originally comes from Benin in Africa, but he has been living and working in eastern Slovakia for almost 25 years now. Although he is a foreigner in this country, it is he who helps the local people understand the social system, which is many times being very unhelpful to them. Nicolas is trying to do his job the best he knows, though his clients and the state do not help him much. The mayor has built a preselection campaign that his crisis center is a problem for the village. When he won the election, he closed the crisis center. Nicolas is now trying to influence the new elections to win his candidate and manage to reopen his crisis center. During this, we follow the lines of his clients Gejza and Jana.
Produced by: Nutprodukcia (SK)
AS I WANT /DK, FR, EG, PS/
Director: Samaher Alqadi
Producer: Karim El Hakim
Editors: Thomas Papapetros, Ahmed Abosaada
After the brutal gang rape of Samaher’s best friend, and waves of attacks against women, a rebellion of women ignites on the streets of Cairo during the short-lived Morsi regime. Samaher enters the fray, her camera her weapon of self-empowerment. But her journey is not only an immersive, first-hand view on historical events, it is an intimate documentation of her own inner-awakening that confronts the painful childhood traumas that shaped her. Through her evolution and poetic documentation of self, we witness a cinematic transformation as Samaher finds her voice and her personal power to be on her own terms, as she wants.
Produced by: Prophecy Films (EG)
THE BUSINESS OF REVENGE /SI, XK, RS, ME/
Director: Marija Zidar
Producer: Danijel Hočevar
Editor: Mariana Kozáková
In the Albanian Highlands, Gezim’s 19 year-old daughter Gjyste was shot dead – by his cousin who was aiming at the father in a conflict. The father is now facing a huge dilemma. While still grieving his loss, his local community expects him to either forgive the killer’s family or – according to the remains of traditional tribal laws called ‘Kanun’ – he or one of his six sons can avenge her death. A mediator, Gjin, from the Albanian capital, steps in, in an attempt to reconcile the two sides of the family. After two years, the mediator achieves the almost impossible task of softening the obstinate father. However, gradually it becomes clear that the motives of the mediator, but also the father, were not what they appeared to be. In the film, we see how the death of a girl becomes an almost business-like negotiation.
Produced by: Vertigo (SI)
TWO ROADS /CZ/
Director: Radovan Síbrt
Producer: Karel Poupě
Editor: Tomáš Elšík
What would you do with your life, if you knew that you have much shorter time ahead of you than average people? Members of The Tap Tap – a music band of physically disabled – or rather crippled ones as one would cynically call themselves – have a pretty clear idea. They want to live and enjoy every single minute of it. And their bandmaster has also one clear idea – to make them the greatest band in the world. But is it really what the members want?
Produced by: PINK (CZ)
CAUGHT IN THE NET /CZ/
Director: Vít Klusák, Barbora Chalupová
Producers: Pavla Klimešová, Vít Klusák
Editor: Zuzana Walter
A social film experiment in which those who steal the innocence of children fall into their own traps. The feature-length documentary film ‘Caught in the Net’ (90’ and 52’ minute versions) opens the hitherto taboo topic of online child abuse. Statistics show that the problem is becoming bigger with each passing day. Unfortunately, awareness remains very low. Documentary feature film that declares war against Czech internet predators.
The main narrative of the film follows a radical psychosocial experiment whereby the authors present the realities of what children of age 11 to 13 see in online space. For the experiment, the filmmakers both observe and employ the tricks and manipulative techniques used by the deviants and turn them against them: The hunters became the hunted.
Produced by: Hypermarket Film (CZ)