Festival in Media

The idea or concept of the festival was clear from very beginning that it was intended for European Film Festival which is why the Forum of European Cinema plays a huge role during this event. During this program we screen the best, recent European Films.

"A Ciambra" (Italy, US, France, Sweden 2017)

In A Ciambra, a small Romani community in Calabria, Pio Amato is desperate to grow up fast. At 14, he drinks, smokes and is one of the few to easily slide between the regions' factions - the local Italians, the African immigrants and his fellow Romani. Pio follows his older brother Cosimo everywhere, learning the necessary skills for life on the streets of their hometown. When Cosimo disappears and things start to go wrong, Pio sets out to prove he's ready to step into his big brother's shoes and in the process he must decide if he is truly ready to become a man.

Jonas Carpignano began making films at Wesleyan University and after graduating continued working on film sets in Italy and the US. His work as a director has been shown around the world and has won awards at Cannes, Venice, and Sundance. His first feature film Mediterranea debuted at the Cannes Film Festival - Semaine de la critique before receiving the award for the best directorial debut of 2015 by the National Board of Review.

"A Gentle Creature" (France, Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands 2017)

A woman lives alone on the outskirts of a village in Russia. One day she receives a parcel she sent to her incarcerated husband, marked 'return to sender'. Shocked and confused, the woman has no choice but to travel to the prison in a remote region of the country in search of an explanation. So begins the story of a battle against this impenetrable fortress, the prison where the forces of social evil are constantly at work.

Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa has directed 16 documentary films since 1996 and has received numerous international awards. Loznitsa's feature debut My Joy (2010) premiered in competition at the Festival de Cannes, and was followed by In the Fog, which also premiered in competition at the Festival de Cannes in May 2012, where it was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize.

"Arrhythmia" (Russia, Finland, Germany 2017)

Oleg is a young gifted paramedic. His wife Katya works as a nurse at the hospital emergency department. She loves Oleg, but is fed up with him caring more about patients than her. She tells him she wants a divorce.
The new head of Oleg's EMA department is a cold-hearted manager who's got new strict rules to implement. Oleg couldn't care less about the rules - he's got lives to save; his attitude gets him in trouble with the new boss. The crisis at work coincides with the personal life crisis.

Boris Khlebnikov is a producer and director, known for Roads to Koktebel (2003), Free Floating (2006) and Arrhythmia (2017).

"Call Me By Your Name" (Italy, France, Brazil, USA 2017)

It's the summer of 1983, and precocious 17-year-old Elio Perlman is spending the days with his family at their 17th-century villa in Lombardy, Italy. He soon meets Oliver, a handsome doctoral student who's working as an intern for Elio's father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of their surroundings, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.

Luca Guadagnino was born in 1971 in Palermo, Sicily, Italy. He is a director and producer, known for "Io Sono L'amore" (2009), "Call Me by Your Name" (2017) and "A Bigger Splash" (2015).

"Exiled" (Latvia 2016)

The final year of WWI. A German army surgeon Ulrich is sent to inspect a remote convalescent home for shell-shocked patients. The strange world he encounters in which reality appears more like fiction is quite challenging for his cold rational mind. His fruitless efforts to remodel the place and an unexpected attachment to a mysterious savage boy from the surrounding woods lead Ulrich to discover his one true self.

Davis Simanis is well-known film director and theoretician of his generation. He has directed several documentary films that have participated in various major festivals, for example "Valkyrie Limited" (2009), "Sounds under the Sun" (2010). "Exiled" is Davis first fiction feature.

"Frost" (Lithuania, France, Poland, Ukraine 2017)

Rokas and Inga, a couple of young Lithuanians, volunteer to drive a cargo van of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. When plans change and they find themselves left to their own devices, they cross the vast snowy lands of the Donbass region in search of allies and shelter, drifting into the lives of those affected by the war. They approach the frontline in spite of the danger, all the while growing closer to each other as they begin to understand life during wartime.

Sharunas Bartas graduated from VGIK film school in Moscow. In 1989, he founded Studija Kinema, the first independent studio in Lithuania. From early on, Sharunas Bartas met a great critical success. His films such as Three Days, Corridor, Few of Us, Peace to Us in Our Dreams, all built an uncommonly delicate aesthetic that his nine feature, Frost, keeps on expanding.

"Glory" (Bulgaria, Greece 2016)

When Tsanko Petrov, a railroad worker, finds millions of lev on the train tracks, he decides to turn the entire amount over to the police. Grateful, the state rewards him with a new wristwatch... which soon stops working. Meanwhile, Julia Staikova, the head of PR for the Ministry of Transport, loses his old watch. Here starts Petrov's desperate struggle to get back not only his old watch, but his dignity.

Petar Valchanov graduated in 2008 as a film and television director from the National Academy for Theatre and Film Art in Sofia, Bulgaria. The documentary "Parable of Life" (2009) marks the beginning of his directing cooperation with Kristina Grozeva. Their film "Jump" (2012) is the first Bulgarian short film to be nominated for the European Film Awards. "The Lesson" (2014) is their first feature. In addition, he has directed several television series.

Kristina Grozeva graduated Sofia State University and worked as journalist for Bulgarian TV. After that she graduated from National Academy for Theater and Film Art (Sofia, Bulgaria).

"Hannah" (Italy, France, Belgium 2017)

Hannah is the intimate portrait of a woman's loss of identity as she teeters between denial and reality. Left alone grappling with the consequences of her husband's imprisonment, Hannah begins to unravel. Through the exploration of her fractured sense of identity and loss of self-control, the film investigates modern day alienation, the struggle to connect, and the dividing lines between individual identity, personal relationships, and societal pressures.

Andrea Pallaoro holds an MFA in Film Directing from the California Institute of the Arts and a BA from Hampshire College. His first feature film "Medeas" (2013) premiered at the 70th Venice International Film Festival (Orizzonti) and won several international awards including Best Director at the Marrakech International Film Festival, the Sergej Parajanov Award for Outstanding Poetic Vision at the Tbilisi International Film Festival.

"Happy End" (France, Austria, Germany 2017)

Anne has taken over the family business from her ailing father, Georges. The cast broadens to include Anne's fiancé, her deadbeat son, her brother, who has just been saddled with his 12-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, and a pair of Moroccan servants.

Michael Haneke was born in Munich and grew up in Austria, where he studied philosophy, psychology, and drama at the University of Vienna. His features "The Seventh Continent" (1989), "Benny's Video" (1992), "71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance" (1994), "Funny Games" (1997), "The Castle" (1997), "Code Unknown" (2000), "La Pianiste" (2001), "Le Temps du loup" (2003), "Caché" (2005), and "The White Ribbon" (2009) have all played at various festivals. Amour (2012) won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

"Inflame" (Turkey 2017)

Her nightmare is reality, and the reality is a nightmare.
Hasret's dreams are haunted by a recurring nightmare, from which she disengages every morning. What she experiences nightly however, are not fictional recreations, but memories. As she returns from her job at a news channel, to a flat left to her after her parents' death twenty years earlier, the questions slowly begins to creep up: did her parents really die in a car crash?

Ceylan Özgün Özçelik made short films, which were screened in several festivals including Bratislava Art and Festroia. Her debut "INFLAME" was premiered at the 67. Berlinale Panorama.

"Let The summer never come Again" (Germany, Georgia 2017)

Two men love each other. If one is a military officer and goes to war, what shall the other one do? This question is interesting, but there are many other things in which the film is concerned not less (if not more).

Alexandre Koberidze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. From 2001 to 2005 he was studying Film producing at Film and Theater University in Tbilisi. Since 2009 he studies directing at German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB).

"Pomegranate orchard" (Azerbaijan 2017)

Gabil returns home to the humble family farmstead, surrounded by an orchard of venerable pomegranate trees; since his sudden departure twelve years ago he was never once in contact. However, the deep emotional scars he left behind cannot be erased from one day to the next.

Ilgar Najaf's family was expelled from Armenia after the ethnic conflicts of 1988, and at 13 he was a refugee. Studied film and TV direction at the Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts. He established Buta Film in 2004.

"Requiem for Mrs. J." (Serbia 2017)

Mrs. J., a former administrative clerk, decides to complete all her obligations: wash a sink full of dishes, go to the store, dig up an old family pistol. She is determined to kill herself with that gun on the anniversary of her husband's death. She is prepared to finish all private and administrative works so that she may commit suicide in the way she wants. But to start doing all that she needs just one thing - a certificate about her employment over the past 20 years.

Bojan Vuletić's first feature film "Practical Guide to Belgrade with Singing and Crying" premiered at Karlovy Vary Film Festival. It won several national and international awards.

"Sarajevo Songs Of Woe" (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany 2016)

Sarajevo Songs Of Woe is a filmic triptych containing of the two tales "Blue Ballad for Lovers" and "Blue Rondo for Survivors" and the documentary middle part "Blue Psalm for Wolves". They are flowing into each other and so building up a universal mosaic of fragmented life situated in the town of Sarajevo. The camera follows different protagonists and interweaves with their cinematic round dance of hope and despair, love and death and their quest for a dignified life.

Fred Kelemen first began studying painting and music and worked as an assistant director in various theaters. In 1989, he started a course of studies at the German Film & Television Academy in Berlin. His feature films include "Fate" (1994, winner of a German Film Award), "Frost" (1997, winner of the FIPRESCI Award in Rotterdam and the prize for Best Director at Taormina), and "Nightfall" (1999), among others.

"Spoor" (Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovakia 2017)

Duszejko, an eccentric retired construction engineer, an astrologist and a vegetarian, lives in a small mountain village on the Czech-Polish border. One day her beloved dogs disappear. A few months later she discovers a dead body of her neighbour, a poacher. The only traces leading to the mysterious death are those of roe deer hooves around the house...

Agnieszka Holland began her film career working in Poland with Krzysztof Zanussi as assistant director, and Andrzej Wajda as her mentor. She wrote several scripts with Wajda before directing her own films, which were soon winning awards at festivals and gaining notoriety as part of the Polish New Wave. Holland is best known in the United States for her Oscar-Nominated "Angry Harvest", "Europa, Europa", and Warner Bros. fims: "Olivier, Olivier" and the "The Secret Garden".

"The First, the Last" (France, Belgium 2016)

As inseparable bounty hunters Cochise and Gilou travel through endless windswept flatlands looking for a stolen phone containing sensitive information, their path crosses that of Esther and Willy, a couple on the run.

Bouli Lanners graduated from Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Liège and acted in numerous films prior to his 1995 debut as a director. His writer-director feature The Giants (Les géants, 2011) was presented in Cannes' Directors' Fortnight and won a Magritte (Belgian national award) for Best Film. His latest attempt at direction, The First, the Last, screened at this year's Berlin IFF in Panorama.

"The Other Side of Hope" (Finland, Germany 2017)

Khaled arrives at the port of Helsinki concealed in a coal container, fleeing war-torn Syria to seek asylum in Finland. Dazed and frustrated by the monolithic administration he encounters at the detention centre, he makes a break for it and heads out onto the streets. There he meets Wikström, a former shirt salesman who has recently left his alcoholic wife for a new life as a bachelor restaurateur. Together, they help each other to navigate the adversities they face in these unfamiliar and often baffling new worlds.

Aki Kaurismäki and his brother, Mika, are prolific filmmakers, and together have been responsible for one-fifth of the total output of the Finnish film industry since the early 1980s, though Aki's work has found more favour abroad. His films are very short, eccentric parodies of various genres (road movies, film noir, rock musicals), populated by lugubrious hard-drinking Finns and set to eclectic soundtracks, typically based around '50s rock'n'roll. In the 1990s he has made films in Britain and France.

"Winter Brothers" (Denmark, Iceland 2017)

A brother odyssey set in a rural chalk-mining community during a cold winter. We follow two brothers working in this harsh environment focusing on the younger brother Emil, who distills moonshine made from stolen chemicals from the factory. Emil is an outsider, an oddball, who made a conscious choice for loneliness and is only accepted by the mining community due to his older brother Johan. Emil longs for passion, for being wanted and loved. When a fellow worker becomes sick, the moonshine and Emil are prime suspects. Gradually a violent feud erupts between him and the tightly-knit mining community. Parallelly, Emil feels betrayed by his brother when he finds out that the neighbor girl Anna, the subject of his unfulfilled desires, chooses his older brother instead of him.

Hlynur Pálmason is an artist/filmmaker born in 1984 in Iceland. He started out as a visual artist and continued his career in filmmaking by pursuing education at the Danish National Film School. Hlynur lives in Copenhagen.

"Yeva" (Armenia, Iran 2017)

Yeva is a young woman who escapes her influential in-laws with her daughter Nareh, after her husband's tragic death and takes refuge in one of the villages of Karabakh. Yeva is a complete stranger in this village and is obliged to live her daily life in disguise.

Anahid Abad was born in an Armenian family in 1969 in Tehran, Anahid Abad holds a BA in Film Directing. During her career she has served as First Assistant Director and Planner to many movie projects in the professional Iranian cinema. She has cooperated with prominent directors such as Alireza Davood Nejad, Abolfazl Jalili, Rasoul Sadrameli, Ahmad Reza Darvish, Varuzh Karim-Masihi, Bahram Beyzai, and so on.









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