BU ZHI BU XIU (Lo mejor está por llegar / The Best Is Yet To Come), by Jing Wang (China)
China, 2003. In the aftermath of the SARS epidemic. The internet is in its infancy and newspapers are still king. 26-year-old middle school dropout Han Dong dreams of being a journalist, and lucks into an internship at one of Beijing’s most powerful dailies. After earning the respect of his editor with plucky reporting on a disaster at a local mine, he throws himself into another explosive investigation, this time, into the high stakes world of medical fraud. Han Dong knows the story is of national significance and could land him a front-page byline and a permanent job with the paper. However, as publication draws near, Han Dong is forced to confront the cost his story’s success may have on millions of citizens.
EEB ALLAY OOO!, by Prateek Vats (India)
‘Eeb – allay – ooo!’. These are the three vocables used by ‘monkey repellers’ to drive away the nettlesome rhesus macaques that beg for food from tourists in front of Delhi’s government buildings. Shy Anjani has just arrived in Delhi, where his pregnant sister’s husband helps him find work in the monkey repelling profession. Limited in training and tools, Ananji finds it impossible to intimidate the brazen macaques until he creates a costume imitating the macaques’ natural predator, the langur.
EYIMOFE (Este es mi deseo / This is my Desire), by Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri (Nigeria / United States)
Tragedy and fate intervene as two Nigerians try to better the lives of their families. ‘This Is my Desire’ is a film about two people’s quest for what they believe will be a better life on foreign shores. After Mofe loses his family and Rosa fails to deliver on a promise, their travel plans collapse forcing them to reconsider living abroad. As time passes and wounds heal, they learn the future they desperately seek can be built at home.
KHATE FARZI (La regla de los 180º / 180º Rule), by Farnoosh Samadi (Iran)
Sara, a beloved school teacher, lives in Tehran with her husband, Hamed, and their five-year-old daughter, Raha. They are preparing to attend a wedding in northern Iran, but an unheralded work obligation for Hamed throws a wrench into the wheels of the family plan. When her husband suddenly forbids her to go, she makes a choice that will place her on a painful path to atonement.
MAINSTREAM, by Gia Coppola (United States)
Stuck working as a bartender at a Hollywood comedy club with her best friend and sometime-lover Jake, Frankie questions what today’s society truly values. When she encounters the mysterious Link, she is inspired to film him and upload his anti- commerce rants. With Jake onboard, this trio of outsiders quickly rises to internet stardom.But when manager Mark starts making demands to bring in more money, and as she watches Link turn into everything he once denounced, Frankie is faced with the question —is she also becoming the monster she helped create?
MOGUL MOWGLI, by Bassam Tariq (United Kingdom)
On the brink of his first international tour, Zed, a British Pakistani rapper, decides to fly home to the UK to visit the family he has not seen in two years. In the midst of trying to reconnect with his parents and rummaging through cassettes of Qawwali music, he is suddenly struck down by an autoimmune disease. As his condition worsens and his big breakthrough moment is in danger of vanishing into thin air, Zed descends into a physical and emotional crisis, amplified by vivid hallucinations.
PIEDRA SOLA (Lonely Rock), by Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf (Argentina / Mexico / Qatar / United Kingdom)
The hamlet of Condor lies in the Puna grasslands of the northern highlands of Argentina, at some four thousand metres above sea level, close to the border with Bolivia. Here, a lama herder lives with his family. He and his son sell lama meat and wool in the closest city, which is still a long trip on foot and by bus. When the herd is threatened by a puma, the herder goes in search of the predator. According to local custom, he has to make an offering to the beast.
RI GUANG ZHI XIA (La muela del juicio / Wisdom Tooth), by Liang Ming (China)
Gu Xi is about to lose her job because of undocumented citizenship status. While making use of all her social connections in her effort to get official registration papers, she also faces another challenge: getting along with her brother’s new girlfriend, Qingchang. Meanwhile, more trouble brews as a dead body is found floating in the sea, and a mysterious tape repeatedly brings Gu Xi to flit back and forth across the boundary of youth and adulthood. What she doesn’t know is that she is about to lose everything.
SHAO NV JIA HE (El verano es la estación más fría / Summer is the Coldest Season), by Zhou Sun (China)
Jiahe’s mother was unexpectedly murdered two years ago. Subsequently, she and her father both lost their focus in life. Jiahe’s father failed to find a decent job after retiring from his wrestling team. He had to work for a slaughterhouse as a beef deliveryman to earn his living. This humble job makes Jiahe a victim of public shaming in school. She becomes lonely and helpless, and forms her own moral code —fighting back in every possible way against humiliation and unfairness. The arrival of Yu Lei, a seemingly indifferent boy recently released from the reformatory, brings more anxiety into the young girl’s life. The fact that he has a direct connection to the death of her mother puts her in an unprecedented dilemma…
SLALOM, by Charlène Favier (France / Belgium)
15 year-old Lyz, a high school student in the French Alps, has been accepted to a highly selective ski club whose aim is to train future professional athletes. Taking a chance on his new recruit, Fred, ex-champion turned coach, decides to make Lyz his shining star regardless of her lack of experience. Under his influence, Lyz will have to endure more than the physical and emotional pressure of the training. Will Lyz’s determination help her escape his grip?