PRessrelease #4 competitions

Press release Cottbus
25 October

The competitions of the 32nd FilmFestival Cottbus at a glance The 32nd FilmFestival Cottbus takes place as a presence event from 8 to 13 November in the Cottbus cinemas Filmtheater Weltspiegel, Kammerbühne, Glad-House and Obenkino, as well as the Raumflugplanetarium. The FFC will present a total of 50 films in its four competitions.

In the feature film competition, 12 films from 19 production countries will compete for the main prize of 25,000 euros, donated by the Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrechten (GWFF), the special prize for the best director (7,500 euros, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg) and the prize for an outstanding acting performance (5,000 euros, Sparkasse Spree-Neiße), including the coveted prize sculpture LUBINA (Sorbian: the lovely one).

The competition shows the cultural diversity of Eastern Europe and this year mainly describes the search for identity from young Polish pianists with a hip-hop look to a Serbian woman with three lives to a Romanian policeman on the verge of burnout - all are searching for their role in life. Three films deal with the direct and indirect experiences of violence under dictatorship and war, from the former Czechoslovakia to the present Belarus to an undefined country that won a war but whose physical and mental landscapes are completely scarred. 11 films will be shown at the FFC for the first time in Germany, Arsen Oremović's film THE HEAD OF A BIG FISH (Croatia) will celebrate its international premiere. The 32nd FilmFestival Cottbus will be opened by the competition entry LUXEMBOURG LUXEMBOURG by Ukrainian director Antonio Lukich. The film is about twin brothers in search of themselves when a message from their missing father suddenly appears. The film had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival. Also premiering in Venice was BREAD AND SALT (PL 2022), the feature film debut of Damian Kocur, about small-town clique dynamics between partying, aggression and peer pressure. WOMAN ON THE ROOF (PL/FR/SE 2022), the latest film by Anna Jadowska, who won four prizes at the FFC 2016 for "Wild Roses", shows a 60-year-old who frees herself from the web of her petty bourgeois constraints with a small act of desperation. The family drama FOOLS (PL/DE 2022) by Tomasz Wasilewski is an aesthetic work of art about the multi-layered forms of love and the third Polish film in the Feature Film Competition. In HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WOMAN (Dušan Zorić/Matija Gluščević, RS/HR 2022) the protagonist threatens to lose herself in the many roles attributed to her - a fragmentary questioning of female identity constraints. In METRONOM (RO/FR 2022), Alexandru Belc tells of growing up under the eyes of the communist secret police. The comic tragedy MEN OF DEEDS (Paul Negoescu, RO 2022) is about a Romanian village policeman on the verge of burnout who really only wants to retire to his orchard when he is suddenly confronted with a strange murder case. SAFE PLACE (Juraj Lerotić, HR/SI 2022) describes the desperate search for the right behaviour after a family member has tried to kill himself, a feature film debut that gets under your skin. In Arsen Oremović's film THE HEAD OF A BIG FISH, two brothers have to realise that they are estranged from each other due to war traumas and the different experiences in the years that followed. The Estonian film MINSK by Boris Guts is an angry one-take political thriller about a night in Minsk, after the presidential election in August 2021, where the viewer becomes a participant in the events. SERMON TO THE FISH (Hilal Baydarov, AZ/MX/CH/TR 2022), a story about a war won but few survivors and a devastated landscape, and the drama THE WORD by Beata Parkanová (CZ/SK 2022) show how political pressure under real socialism affects the life of a morally upright citizen.

In this year's Short Film Competition eleven films are competing for the main prize of 2,500 euros from Druckzone and the special prize for the best director, which is awarded in the amount of 1,500 euros by Tiede+. Upside-down world - from a butler who becomes a master in SLAVE, to confusion after the introduction of the television in 1950s Georgia in CAPSULE 1956 and an exhausted businessman who discovers the animal in himself one lunchtime in the forest in PRIMAL THERAPY, to a bizarre domino effect resulting from a mysterious death in THE INHERITANCE that may not be one at all, although everyone involved would actually have an interest in it really being one.

The jury of the Competition Short Film consists of Peter Hoferica, Slovakian director and writer, Eugen Kelemen, Romanian producer and editor and Polish editor Beata Walentowska.

Eight films are represented in this year's U18 Youth Film Competition, all of which have hopes of winning the prize for the best youth film, endowed with 5,000 euros by the city of Cottbus. Whether in hot-blooded battles with the Afghanistan veteran as a surrogate dad or in groovy battle raps as a stuttering YouTube sensation: the films in this year's youth film competition impressively tell of the wild search for identity of adolescents in the face of the rapidly changing world of the 21st century.

The debut film 9TH STEP by Irma Pužauskaitė celebrates its world premiere at the 32nd FFC and tells the story of an unusual trio of father, daughter and their friend who swap roles without further ado, heralding the start of a stirring rollercoaster ride of emotions. ERHART (Jan Březina, CZ 2022), a touching family story about a father's search following a forced auction of the old childhood home, will celebrate its international premiere. CARBIDE by Josip Žuvan (HR/RS 2022) is about the explosive friendship of two neighbourhood boys, and the Ukrainian film ROCK.PAPER.GRENADE by Iryna Tsilyk also tells an unusual friendship story between Felix, a war veteran suffering from PTSD, and young Tymophiv. In LARRY (Szilárd Bernath, HU 2022) a stuttering shepherd suddenly becomes a viral rap sensation on YouTube, and in MAGDALENA (Filip Gieldon, PL 2021) a mute mother struggles through her precarious everyday life, between her child and her desire to make it as a DJ. RIDERS (Dominik Mencej, SI 2021) takes viewers to the wild Southeast in the style of Dennis Hopper's cult road trip classic Easy Riders, and Orlin Milchev's feature debut THE ART OF FALLING sensitively portrays the fate of a young girl who, in the face of massive bullying, gains self-confidence with the help of judo and learns to go her own way.

Traditionally, the Lausitzer FilmSchau - Łužyska filmowa pśeglědka - Łužiska filmowa přehladk opens the festival week of the 32nd FilmFestival Cottbus on 7 November, this year for the 20th time. From climate protection to structural change, from Sorbian traditions to modernity, from everyday worries to fantasies and love - thematically, the Lusatian FilmSchau sets no limits. A total of 19 contributions by filmmakers from Lower and Upper Lusatia will be shown at the Weltspiegel film theatre.

Film lists and further information on the individual sections are available on request. In the PressLogin on our website you will also find film stills and further visual material. Accreditation for the festival week is possible online and free of charge for the reporting press. The complete programme is also now available on the website, as well as the festival magazine with more detailed information on each film and all festival sections. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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