SECTION: Feature Film Competition

Restless in the here and now

Ever since the beginning of film history, the longing for a better life has been what cinema is all about. The "dream factory" not only means reaching for the stars, but also unmasking dreams as such by breaking the promises of happiness down to reality. And it is precisely here that Eastern European cinema looks particularly closely. It shows under more challenging conditions very personal stories of people who try to wrest a certain dignity from their everyday lives – between old and new slogans and corruption, between bureaucracy and tradition. Existential interpersonal stories are presented from the Macedonian-Greek border through the Kazakh provinces to Mars, analysing their socio-analytical core with precision, but never blatantly obvious and often with a tendency to sarcasm.

They include the new film by the exceptional young Russian director Ivan I. Tverdovskiy, as well as THE YEAR OF THE MONKEY by Vladimir Blaževski, THE LOAD by Ognjen Glavonić and CRYSTAL SWAN by Darya Zhuk, which had been developed or presented at our co-production market connecting cottbus (coco). Of the twelve competition entries from 23 co-production countries, half of them come from female directors, and many of the films have female protagonists at the centre of the plots.

Almost all of the films have heroes and heroines who remain homeless in the here and now. Faithful companions of real life who are inherently contradictory, restless and often overtaxed as they, oscillate between the desire for self-realisation and the quest for the social security that they have lost. Sometimes, they look for their happiness in house music, other times, in children's music workshops and, then again, just simply in an zoo monkey that is on the run and becomes the symbolic figure of the protest "against whatever establishment". They are descriptions of situations in a global society which has run out of steam after the “faster, higher, further” promise of post-ideological freedom and saw its moral compass go astray in the ensuing populist frenzy. BB

Crystal Swan

Crystal Swan

Khrustal

Darya Zhuk
Belarus, Germany, USA, Russia / 2018 / 93 min
A bird of paradise arrives in the countryside: DJ and unemployed graduate lawyer Evelina doesn't fit into the gloom of 1990s Belarus. She wants to escape Minsk and the post-Soviet depression for Chicago, the cradle of house music. The road there is ...
read more
Jumpman

Jumpman

Podbrosy

Ivan I. Tverdovskiy
Russia, Ireland, France, Lithuania / 2018 / 90 min
Denis is someone who is thrown around: into the baby hatch, then the orphanage and, finally, in front of expensive cars. It’s only the latter that he does of his own free will, but who knows how decisions and judgments are really made in the ...
read more
AYKA

AYKA

AYKA

Sergey Dvortsevoy
Russia, Germany, Poland, Kazakhstan, China / 2018 / 100 min
She needs money – urgently. And because Ayka is a woman, she works hard for it. And even harder because she is a Kyrgyz migrant with an expired work permit. Moreover, she has just become a mother, so the normal madness in Moscow's winter becomes a ...
read more
IRINA

IRINA

IRINA

Nadejda Koseva
Bulgaria / 2018 / 96 min
Everyday gloominess encounters a mother's happiness. The young mother Irina fights for the survival of her family in the Bulgarian province. When she has the opportunity to earn money as a surrogate mother, she doesn't have to think long about it. In ...
read more
ONE DAY

ONE DAY

EGY NAP

Zsófia Szilágyi
Hungary / 2018 / 99 min
Just the usual craziness of everyday life for Anna and Szabolcs. They manage their marriage and the three children. The two older ones have to go to school with Daddy; Mummy takes the little one to the kindergarten. Then it’s work, the daughter has ...
read more
REJECTED

REJECTED

OTVERGNUTYE

Zhanna Issabayeva
Kazakhstan / 2018 / 88 min
Outcast sister, brutal brother. Both will perish. For the landscape is rough and idyllic, and life in it is full of violence. Post-Soviet Kazakhstan is dominated by debts, corruption and a patriarchal way of thinking which – now seen in Zhanna ...
read more
TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT

TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT

VÕTA VÕI JÄTA

Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo
Estonia / 2018 / 102 min
After a long night out on the tiles, Erik receives a surprising message: his ex-girlfriend Moonika, who he hasn’t seen for the past six months, is in labour. She reveals to him in the delivery room that she is not ready for motherhood and wants to ...
read more
THE DELEGATION

THE DELEGATION

DELEGACIONI

Bujar Alimani
Albania, France, Greece, Kosovo / 2018 / 80 min
Albania 1990: Times have changed, but the powerful want to remain in power. A dissident is taken out of prison in a secret operation because a member of an EU delegation wants to meet the friend from his student days again. Psychologically profound ...
read more
THE LOAD

THE LOAD

TERET

Ognjen Glavonić
Serbia, France, Croatia, Iran, Qatar / 2018 / 98 min
Vlada drives a truck to Belgrade. The bridge is destroyed and the important roads closed. In the course of bloody battles between Serbian military units and the Kosovo Liberation Army war crimes are committed. The whole of Serbia is shaken by NATO ...
read more
YEAR OF THE MONKEY

YEAR OF THE MONKEY

GODINA NA MAJMUNOT

Vladimir Blaževski
Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Kosovo / 2018 / 112 min
Having escaped from run-down Skopje Zoo, a monkey is transformed into a folk hero and thus a symbol of resistance for a variety of causes in this political satire featuring undertones that barely suffice to scratch at what is a bizarre surface and ...
read more
TRASH ON MARS

TRASH ON MARS

MARS

Benjamin Tuček
Czech Republic / 2018 / 85 min
The absurd science-fiction comedy is set at a time when the colonization of Mars is no longer a future idea, but almost back in the past again. The funding was cut off, and only an abandoned base station and a lonely robot in human form are remaining ...
read more
VIA CARPATIA

VIA CARPATIA

VIA CARPATIA

Klara Kochańska, Kasper Bajon
Poland, Czech Republic, Macedonia / 2018 / 75 min
Piotr and Julia are a childless couple. In fact, they want to go on holiday to the south. But then this "holiday" becomes a completely different kind of adventure. Right in the middle of the 2016 refugee crisis, Piotr is to smuggle his unknown Syrian ...
read more
Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.
More information Ok