57 DÍAS (57 Days), by Mario Lumbreras & Laura Brasero (Spain)
Julio Lumbreras was one of the first patients to enter an ICU in Spain with COVID-19. Through the phone messages of his family, we follow his 57 days of fighting the coronavirus.
BUSTARENGA, by Ana Maria Gomes (Portugal / France)
Every summer Ana goes to Bustarenga, a small mountain village in the interior of Portugal. At the age of 36, this Parisian woman of Portuguese origin is still single. The inhabitants of the village, worried about her future, make her understand that the clock is ticking. Ana listens to the advice and warnings of the villagers to find a Prince Charming according to the principles of the village.
CLOUD FOREST, by Eliane Esther Bots (Netherlands)
Five Dutch girls take the viewer on an imaginative journey through the memories and images they have of their parents’ experiences of the war in the former Yugoslavia. A war which the girls haven’t physically experienced themselves. The narratives are a combination of facts and imaginations, vague memories and detailed impressions, transferred from the parents to their daughters through conversations, listening in, silence and finding information on YouTube. The result is a scattered image of a conflict that looms on the horizon of their lives.
THE FANTASTIC, by Maija Blåfield (Finland)
A film about imagination and encountering the unknown. North Korean exiles describe their experiences of watching forbidden foreign films. What did they imagine the world outside to be like on the basis of smuggled fiction films? ‘The Fantastic’ isn’t a lm about North Korea. The lm reverses the set-up where westerners are peeping in on the everyday life of the closed-o state. In this lm, it is the North Koreans who direct their curiosity at the outside world and imagine what life in Western countries is like.
GARDELIANA, by Patricio Toscano (Argentina)
A group of Carlos Gardel fans gather every year in a Buenos Aires cemetery to commemorate the death anniversary of the greatest Argentinian singer of all time. The strange characters, who seem to magically emerge from the misty Buenos Aires sunrise, sing and dance during a day of celebration and farewell. ‘Gardeliana’ portrays a ritual about a forgotten hero, a day of sad faces that coexist between the wonderful and the ghostly.
HUNTSVILLE STATION, by Jamie Meltzer & Chris Filippone (United States)
Every weekday, dozens of inmates are released on parole from the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville. Their first stop is the Greyhound bus station, where they take their first tentative steps back into life on the outside. The abrupt return of everyday satisfactions —like scratching a lottery ticket, smoking a cigarette and putting on a spritz of cologne are overwhelming to some. A meditative look at the first moments of a major life transition as the former inmates reflect on their past and plan for the future.
MARY, MARY, SO CONTRARY, by Nelson Yeo (Singapore)
Repurposing and manipulating footage from two classic films and the filmmaker’s own personal footage, ‘Mary, Mary, So Contrary’ weaves together a phantasmagoric narrative about a Chinese woman named Ma Li who dreams that she is a Caucasian woman named Mary.
DER SCHORNSTEINSEGLER (El vencejo de las chimeneas / The Chimney Swift), by Frédéric Schuld (Germany)
A British chimney sweeper describes his everyday routine of forcing young kids to become workers. While we observe a kid cleaning a chimney, the master’s statement gets more personal with every sentence until we understand, that he is speaking about his own past. Being locked in a vicious circle, there seems to be no exit.
SPREAD THE WINGS (Desplegad las alas), by Alice McDowell (Ireland)
Sisters Maggie and Nora are from the Irish Traveller community —an indigenous nomadic ethnic minority group. Despite being forced o the road in the 1980s, they still travel back to Connemara every summer to rekindle their connection with the land. With their caravans pulled up on the side of the road they recall a childhood spent in the area, lamenting the loss of loved ones. However, their culture endures in nature and ritual; and the wings of their grand-nephew Connie.