Centrul Astra Film
Ro / En

                                                              

Astra Film Festival

Films

  • 12 Days

    Every year in France, 92,000 people are placed under psychiatric care without their consent. By law, the hospital has 12 days to bring each patient before a judge. Based on medical records and a doctor’s recommendations, a crucial decision has to be made – will the patient stay or leave? 12 days, after which lives can change forever. Granted access to these hearings for the first time, celebrated filmmaker/ photographer Raymond Depardon captures these extraordinary encounters between justice and psychiatry. Astonishing, enlightening – a film that gives a voice to those who have previously been voiceless. ...

  • 69 Minutes of 86 Days

    Deciding on personifying the broader theme of the refugee crisis, 69 Minutes of 86 Days focuses on Lean, a three-year old girl with large, piercingly curious eyes, her family and their trans-continental journey to Sweden. Restless and perceptive, the camera emulates the child’s perspective, while the piano and violin music matches the pitter-patter of her little feet on the hard cement as she rushes to keep up with the grownups around her. Yet under the veil of childhood innocence actually lies more understanding and awareness than adults general believe children to be capable of. In a starkly emotional moment, made so by the little girl’s startling, matter-of-factly sincerity, she recounts glimpses of what she’s seen and felt during these turbulent times. Emotional and poignant, this poetic documentary manages to articulate the endlessness of the refugee’s roads and the weariness of a child that has endured more than anyone should. ...

  • A Film less happy, more sad, poetical and wise

    The inventively pieced together portrait of a wood carver from Maramures, A film less happy, more sad, poetical and wise is a mosaic made of pieces from the life and the philosophy of life of a natural born storyteller. Editing 26 hours of material, filmed over the course of fifteen years, the director endeavors to present a coherent and compelling profile of a man who through his simple yet profound thoughts and words holds the narrative together. Tracing the life events of a traditional family from baptism, through marriage and until death, and interweaving them with the local traditions, the film is also an ethnographic look at a community where customs and beliefs are still preserved. ...

  • A Grandmother’s Love

    The viewers are invited into the homes and lives of two children— one who reaps the benefits of solar power and one who doesn’t. Narrated by a Guatemalan grandmother the film shares insight into a life without light to raise awareness of the one in seven people worldwide living without access to electricity. ...

  • All That Passes By Through a Window That Doesn't Open

    Two Armenian clerks guard an abandoned train station by a desolate railway while some hundred kilometres away Azerbaijani workers diligently hammer away at a new train track. The enthusiastic promises of a better future brought about by new Eurasian high-speed train line clash with the dreary reality of the people. Living a life in transit and transition under the isolating force of routine, the protagonists contemplate their dreams and regrets, their missed opportunities and a stalemate present. Contemplative and lyrical, “All that Passes by a Window that Doesn’t Open” adopts a clever aesthetic of dualism, echoing the Armenian-Azerbaijani troubled past and present cooperation. Complementary colours, crisp orange and icy blues, create a feeling of complicity and camaraderie but also reinforce the tension bubbling under the surface. Silence is deafening against the constant clamouring of hammers, while stillness after constant motion feels deathly. In a subjective corporal perception of time and space, the documentary beautifully portrays the silent heartbreak of a never-ending state of uncertainty. ...

  • Another Year

    A deceptively simple film, Another Year follows a three-generation family over the course of thirteen months through thirteen shared meals. Director Shengze Zhu perceptively captures the essential contemporary working-class Chinese family struggling with socio-economic conditions and forced to migrate for work to the city for at least part of the year. Confined by the cramped family space, the director uses subtle changes in framing to reinvent the familial expanse, and illustrates the interactions, problems or conflicts that plague their everyday existence. Through distinct family portraits built over the course of the film, from the silent ailing grandmother to the two young children who are either glued to the television or always looking for attention, the film illustrates the inexorable passage of time and the way it changes everyone. ...

  • Art Universe

    Art Universe showcases works by artists from Likuid Art’s growing online subscription-based art repository. A collaboration between painters, photographers and digital animators present a new way to experience art transforming static visual elements into kinetic ones. ...

  • Baloane de curcubeu

    In the village where cattle are grazing on the football field, where the villagers are sent to the seaside during winter, the president's wife is kidnapped. ...

  • Bashir’s Dream

    At the age of 14, Qusai is shot by a sniper. Confined to a wheelchair he dreams of playing basketball and traveling abroad for better care. Filmed entirely in Jordan, the project explores a childish attitude towards a reality torn by war. ...

  • Batusha's House

    In the Kosovar city of Prishtina, a building like a cubist painting has been in the making for the past 15 years, incessantly expanding without a pre-set plan. It is Kadri Batusha’s House, a labyrinth made of concrete, his own personal Xanadu. It is also the mirroring image of his own convoluted past: from the beginnings in a kebab shop, his turn to political activism, to his exile to Switzerland and his plunge into the thick of the Bosnian war. Interviewing family and friends, following him on his first visit to Switzerland since his years of exile, directors Tino Glimmann and Jan Gollob assemble the portrait of a man whose anarchic impulses become symbolic for whole Kosovo. These impulses echoed by the disordered architecture are the essence of their existence, motivated not only by a restless drive to keep moving and building but also by an almost compulsive need to do so, as a confirmation of one’s existence, one’s belonging. For in roder to truly belong one must claim one’s own space. ...

  • Bear 71

    The project blurs the line between the wild and the wired world, watching various wild animals from the time they were implanted with a GPS receiver and a chip: Deer 48, Fox 21 and a grizzly female named Bear 71, who personified tells us her experiences lived in the Banff National Park from Canada. ...

  • Before I go to sleep, I say "Good night, Andreea!"

    Traveling through the visual and aural landscape of the Danube Delta, the film captures a reunion in which the director, Andreea Moisei, returns home after some time away at university. Looking for a way to reconnect with her father, she probes him about the family’s identity, and finds out that their surname is the result of the mistake of a city hall clerk, a funny coincidence but one which questions the very idea of self and identification. But most of all, it underlines a strained relationship between father and daughter, as he attempts to create a happy reunion in order to erase periods of alienation, yet in the end with many unanswered questions remain. ...

  • Before I met you

    Is it going to hurt very badly? Am I going to be in pain for long? Is my baby going to be all right? These must be some of the thousand questions to seize the mind of a mother-to-be when she goes to the hospital to give birth, along with worries about the upcoming new responsibilities and the challenges of parenthood. An overwhelming exaltation gives her the impression that her happiness is shared by everyone. Or is it? Before I Met You offers a rare glimpse into an area which is still marked as a no-entry zone in most Eastern European hospitals: the delivery room, and takes an uncompromising look at what ''the happiest day in a woman's life'' can sometimes look like. ...

  • Behind the Fence

    While extremist Buddhists propagate virulent anti-Muslim sentiment across the country while inside the camp that imprisons the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma, Abul, a husband who does everything he can to try to help his sick wife, Barbulu and a twelve-year-old boy whose future is diminished due to the constraints of living in this open air prison. ...

  • Breaking Fake News. The War behind the Cold War?

    In an era in which war is waged through the airwaves, and not so much through military power, the two poles of the Cold War, Russia and the West face each other over a disinformation battle. “The War Behind the Cold War” presents clear examples of media misinformation from around the world with testimonies from Romanian experts. ...

  • Burma Storybook

    In Burma/Myanmar, there are more online poets than bloggers. In a country tormented by dictatorship and isolation, poetry has been a way to endure and resist tyranny. The film features Maung Aung Pwint, Burma's most famous dissident poet alive today and in telling his story, it makes a panning over a country undergoing a process of change. The structure is fluid, like a storybook in verse, combining cinema verité scenes with accounts of past sufferings and poems recited on camera. Petr Lom recalls that Maung Aung Pwint 's first words about this project were “let’s make a long poem together”. And the filmmakers took on the challenge. ...

  • Calabria

    Calabria is a road movie featuring two charismatic employees of a Swiss funeral parlour who set off in the company hearse to take its passenger to a village in Southern Italy. Jovan is a gypsy singer and José is a Portuguese intellectual. Their charge was an Italian worker who had came to Switzerland in the 1970s, looking for a better life and whose last wish was to be buried in his native village in Calabria. Crossing Italy from North to South, the two protagonists draw up the viewer into their spiritual journey with bitter-sweet inklings of immigrant life, family, life and death. ''I have chosen a pure and simple form for this road movie, settling upon a precise “mise en scène” - revealed the director . ''I would like viewers to concentrate on observing life unfolding before their eyes, while death — which we often forget — is ever present in the background.'' ...

  • Calan, the Bagpiper

    "I think it's good that we have a queen," says 10-year-old Calan from Braemar in Scotland. "She's really nice. But she's actually just a normal person, he says, and I'm not particularly excited when I see her. " Calan lives in a typical Scottish village in the highlands not far from the summer residence of the English royal family in Balmoral. He already sees Prince Charles walking in the hills. "But now, before the great Scottish play, the Braemar Gathering, where I am supposed to play a serenade for the Queen on my bagpipe, I am quite nervous. Hopefully I will not be. " ...

  • China's Van Goghs

    One of many similar characters, Zhao Xiaoyong works in one of the painting factories in China, making replicas of world famous works to be shipped and sold in museum gift-shops and tourist centers in Europe. Developing the skill of reproducing Vincent Van Gogh’s passionate brushstrokes, Zhao dreams of the day in which he will be able to see the famous paintings in person and find the confidence to develop his own original art. A thrilling, closely observed story of a man’s physical and artistic journey between China and Europe, and between artistic reproduction and self-expression. ...

  • City of Ghosts

    Death comes from all sides in Syria: from the Assad regime, from international interventions, from ISIS. The situation has gone beyond nightmarish to unfathomable. Countering ISIS recruitment propaganda with on-site recorded, smuggled footage, “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently”, a self-organized group of civil journalists, provide the only window to the grisly reality of ISIS new Caliphate’s headquarters. Visceral, gruelling, unrelenting “City of Ghosts” does not shy away from explicit footage but it doesn’t use them to mythicize the protagonists. They are not cardboard heroes or victims. They weep and shake with post-traumatic stress but still pick up their cameras. At the same time, a mirror is being held up to the West’s response: to our turning a blind eye, to our tendency to regard official recognition (journalistic awards, for example) as a sufficient (ultimately self-congratulatory) reaction, to our own extremism. “Bombs will not stop ISIS, ISIS is an idea”, says one of the protagonists. As these brave individuals show us, an idea to be fought by keeping one’s humanity. ...

  • City of the Sun

    Slow motion drone shots display the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural landscape as a deep voice talks about creationist myths of man being made to the likeliness of God. None of this initial magic persists in the post-industrial urban landscape of a small Georgian town, where its few inhabitants live like scavengers off the corpse of its former communist glory. “City of the Sun” focuses on a miner/ actor, a music teacher living off of iron girdles dismantled from old buildings, and an emblematic pair of pre-teen runners in order to create the portrait of a socially malnourished, yet enduring community. Stoic wide shots alternate with more contemplative ones as filmmaker Rati Oneli masterfully creates an atmosphere of disenchanting surrealism, directing the camera as if some presence were lurking in the air. Light conceals or reveals parts of the frame while carefully constructed visual parallelisms tie everything together. Everything is a stage. Everything is an underworld. All is weighed down by the decrepit remnants of a by-gone era. ...

  • Civilians

    Civillians shows us New York City not as the temple of prosperity and glamour the media often promotes, but primarily as the shelter of several distinctive communities, who lead their normal lives in the metropolis. Compiling everyday moments in the lives of five neighborhood communities, the film captures the ‘civilians’ over one Thanksgiving weekend. We are offered brief glances at the people’s lives, being allowed to see mothers helping their children on the school bus, some Chinese girls selling pastries on the street or two artists painting a building’s enormous wall. In static shots, Civilians compiles moments of everyday life, turning into an important documentation of New York as it is today, of “the other New York”, which the mainstream cinema rarely shows. At the same time, the film states that neither life nor cinema are made solely of high-pitched moments. ...

  • Close ties

    Close ties is the bitter-sweet portrait of an elderly couple who have been married for 45 years. It is a thoughtful study of the challenges of marriage through the personal experiences of a pair who has endured despite several setbacks. After an eight-year extramarital affair, the husband is forced return to his wife for shelter, and accept her constant scolding over his indiscretion. Like all longstanding couples their daily habits and interactions revolve to bickering over trivial aspects, such as whether to rearrange the furniture or who is responsible for paying the house bills. In essence, Close ties observes the difficulties of cohabitating, yet despite filming in the familial space the camera always maintains its distance, as it nostalgically looks towards an imperfect past. ...

  • Collisions

    Indigenous Nyarri Morgan’s first contact with the Western culture came in the 1950’s via a dramatic collision between his traditional world view and the cutting edge of Western technology, when he witnessed in the remote Western Australian desert an atomic test. ...

  • Communion

    At once intimate and solemn, Communion illustrates the struggle of a young girl to keep together a dysfunctional family. Mature beyond her years, 14 year old Ola cooks, cleans, takes care of her autistic brother, while the father is useless and the mother is absent altogether. On top of everything, she must do her best to help her brother be accepted for his religious communion. In catholic Poland, the communion is an important step in every person's life and an occasion for the entire family to come together. Thus, Ola sees in this an opportunity to convince her mother to return home. The film captures in muted colors a delicate and intimate portrait of an exceptional young girl and her moving efforts to mend relationships within her disintegrating family. ...

  • Convictions

    In the re-militarized society of today's Russia, the film offers a rare glimpse inside the guts of the bureaucratic machine through which every young man must pass, as all of them are considered suitable for military service by default. When the conscripts happen to be conscience objectors, their encounter with the recruitment committee take a dramatic turn. Ardent pacifist Roman is sent through a series of humiliating court trials. Losha and Viktor endure long and condescending deliberations that undermine their personalities. LGBT movement veteran, Johnny is bluntly rebuked and handcuffed. While obviously siding with the four characters, the director cleverly balances the points of view between the objective observer and the sympathetic viewer. There are no good guys and bad guys in these stories. The officials, frightening as they look, are full of good intentions, but they are captives of obsolete social norms. Eventually, they too experience a kind of pressure, as well as the conscripts. ...

  • CounterAction

    Opinion polls in Ukraine show that corruption is a main issue. New state bodies are being created to fight corruption at highest levels. A year and half after the Revolution, The Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office is founded. For the first time, the Head of the office is to be appointed through open competition. And as another first, the hearings are public so that activists, revolutionaries and representatives of the general public are free to attend. The film observes the rising tension during the hearings, both candidates and committee members acting under the pressure of the high level of public expectation. ...

  • Couz

    A vivacious portrait of a group of teenage Marseillaise friends, Couz plunges us into the summertime activities of the creative youngsters, accompanying them while composing rap songs, sitting on a bench for hours, partying on the beach or filling walls with graffiti. As if absorbing/assuming the teenagers' own aesthetic inclinations, Couz encompasses an introduction of the characters through flickering neon colored titles, a music video and a colorful display sequence of objects cherished by the group: graffiti sprays, wireless speakers, used sneakers. The film portrays the teens as they themselves wish to be seen. Couz captures its protagonists at an age when they start to assume a distinctive role inside their clique (the funny one, the show-off one), at the same time slowly assuming and acknowledging their distinctive roles in society. ...

  • Death of Mr. Lazarescu, The

    Mr. Lazarescu, a 63 year old man living with his cats feels sick and calls the ambulance. When it arrives, the paramedic decides she should take him to the hospital but, once there, the doctors decide to send him to another hospital. From there the old man is sent to yet another one... As the night unfolds and they can't find a hospital for Mr. Lazarescu, his health deteriorates fast. ...

  • Deportation Class

    It is 3:AM, and the staircase of a Hamburg block resounds with knocking sounds. "Police," says a voice, "don’t be afraid." Deportation Class is a documentary about difficult choices, about how and under what conditions they can be made. After choosing to leave their native Albania to escape death threats, and to look for a better future in Germany, two families are sent back, during a large-scale deportation action. On-site filming, interviews with the police, the families, and their new acquaintances in Germany present the development of events from the moment the operation itself is organized to a few weeks after returning to their country. Perceptive and careful to not pass simplistic judgements, the film presents the complex cobweb of ramifications, giving each person the occasion to present their part of the story. In the negotiations between law enforcement and humanity, these people are trapped in a twilight area of migration led by a fate they are largely incapable of influencing. ...

  • Deprogrammed

    Take a virtual walk through the mental landscape of a former member of the Unification Church, a skinhead and a jihadist. They are your guides as they explain in their own words how brainwashing and group pressure made them adopt extremist ideologies. ...

  • Dum Spiro Spero

    Pero Kvesić is very ill; after many years of heavy smoking, only twenty percent of his lungs have remained functional and every breath is a painful effort to survive. Yet, as the title suggests ‘while I breathe, I hope’. A subjective, immersive experience, seen through the eyes of the ailing protagonist, Dum Spiro Spero uses a dark, deadpan sense of humor, with which people in the Balkans tackle the idea of death or horrifying disease. Kvesić - an example of perseverance in maintaining his dignity and self-determination - presents his shrinking world, through his wheezing breaths and his slow progress through the house. ...

  • Education

    In one elementary school children are told to learn Julian Tuwim’s poem “Science” by heart as homework. The poetic phrase is sometimes incomprehensible, some words require explanation, but parents come to their aid. Unfortunately, not all metaphors can be explained in an unambiguous way and poetry clashes with the prose of life, in particular when a football match of Legia Warszawa is broadcast on television. Some will get Bs, some will fail, but everyone will learn something from this lesson. ...

  • Erwin For Mayor

    The highly entertaining documentary Erwin for Mayor follows the charismatic political activist Erwin Albu during his election campaign for the office of mayor of a Transylvanian town. An allegedly well intentioned man, Erwin is also a slippery character, of whose intentions we cannot fully be convinced. The film shows the ups and downs of the election campaign with its moments of dry humor, such as the turning of a strip club into the party's headquarter, and the more serious episodes, with Erwin getting into a physical fight with a group of street workers. This engaged and engaging documentary works very well both as a dark comedy and as portrait of an individual eager to achieve his goals defying the skepticism of both his supporters and opponents. ...

  • Esmeralda

    As the camera pans across the sweeping plains of Dobruja, a man narrates his biography in voice over. He is Mr. Diniță, a former librarian who has been working for the past 16 years on the archaeological site of the ancient city of Histria. An exercise in cinematography, the film is the portrait of a man who is fascinated by history, as he ponders significant moments of his life in candid interviews and chronicles some significant memories. Part farmer, part amateur archaeologist, Mr. Diniță travels from place to place on his reliable bicycle Esmeralda. ...

  • Exit Through The Gift Shop: A Banksy Film

    This is the inside story of Street Art – a brutal and revealing account of what happens when fame, money and vandalism collide. Exit Through the Gift Shop follows an eccentric shop-keeper turned amateur film-maker as he attempts to capture many of the world's most infamous vandals on camera, only to have a British stencil artist named Banksy turn the camcorder back on its owner with wildly unexpected results. One of the most provocative films about art ever made, the film is a fascinating study of low-level criminality, comradeship and incompetence. By turns shocking, hilarious and absurd, this is an enthralling modern-day fairytale... with bolt cutters. ...

  • Expired

    ”Waste is a resource”: this seems to be the spring of action: four young men decide to do something to raise awareness of the issue and initiate social change and political will to do something about this. They plan a five-week long bike tour from the north of Norway to the south - approximately 3000 kilometers - a huge effort which will require them to eat a lot of nutritious food along the way. The only problem is their one, strict rule: All meals have to origin from food waste. Though the task seems hard, there are many helpers along the way who are fed up with seeing good food in dumpsters. Exploiting the expired has never tasted this good. ...

  • Extended Family

    With Swiss law denying access to parenthood to LGBT couples by banning adoption and the use of assisted reproductive medicine, same-sex partners are forced to find alternative solutions. The two couples that are the focus of Extended Family decide to use men they know as sperm donors, thus bypassing the legal limitations through a technicality. Challenging the perceived status quo of the idealized, nuclear family, the film positions family relations in an alternative, gray area, that contains besides two mothers, a father, aunts, grandmothers and several friends, confirming, thus, the accuracy of the African proverb which states that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. ...

  • Famous In Ahmedabad

    Set during the kaleidoscopic backdrop of the biggest kite-flying festival in India, ‘Amdavad Ma Famous’, witnesses the transformation of an 11-year-old Zaid from a boy next door to an aggressive and a passionate kite-runner, till he comes across a challenge that threatens to keep him away from the one thing he loves. ...

  • Fatema, The Surfer of Cox's Bazar

    Fatema is 10 years old and comes from Cox's Bazar, the largest city by the seashore in Bangladesh. She loves the sea and she’s one of the few girls from Bangladesh who surfs. Even if people tell her she’s a girl and that surfing is a sin, she keeps on doing this relatively new sport, being passionate about it. She enjoys it and her family supports her. Every day, Fatema goes to “Wavefighter Surfclub” in order to train with her group. The president of the club tries to convince the parents that surfing adds to the girls’ self-confidence. ...

  • Finn loves the speed

    Chill and just hang out - Finn has no time for that. His calendar is full of appointments. After all, the 11-year-old wants to become a racing driver. And he needs to train a lot. He usually spends the weekend on the track and after school he always sits fast in his own racing simulator in the basement. He only has to take his time for homework. His father does not know a pardon. Only when he is good at school can he go karting. Fortunately, Finn has already written many singles this year. For him, his family means everything. Because his father has to work a lot, Finn always looks forward to spending time together with the family. His parents have a holiday home in Bavaria and they spend three or four times a year there. Finn and his sister Lenya then play with their dog Houston, go skiing or prepare breakfast for their parents. Finn makes then for all omelettes. Finn loves to sing with his sister Lenya. Most popular pop songs from the charts. Sometimes the family also visits a racetrack. Finn's father is also a good racing driver and can teach Finn a lot. At 11, Finn has now moved to the new age class of "Minis". There is already driving with large karts, which are fast over 100 km / h. He wants to be among the top three, so he is sitting in his kart at the moment, doing cornering, real braking and tricky overtaking maneuvers. In a few weeks the first preparatory race of the season takes place. Whether Finn can keep up front? ...

  • Gaza Surf Club

    Trapped in “the world’s largest open-air prison” and ruled by war, a new generation is drawn to the beaches. Sick of occupation and political gridlock, they find their own personal freedom in the waves of the Mediterranean - they are the surfers of Gaza. ...

  • Gopal, Prince of the Cow's Planet

    This story is based upon ancient Indian poetic legends and is the first educational animated movie in a series of shows about the history of nations. On one beautiful planet Goloka on the slopes of the sacred Govardhan Hill, a little Prince Gopal together with his friends grazes herds of cattle. Breaking an annual tradition of giving honors to Lord Indra and treating Govardhan instead, Gopal angered Indra very much so Indra decided to avenge himself with the villagers and Gopal. Who will help Gopal and his friends and stop ruthless Lord Indra? ...

  • Gora

    A melancholy voice resounds with flute-like tonalities as the camera sweeps in a deliberate, meditative pace along the Shar Mountains. A soulful ethnographic documentary, “Gora” opens a window to a remote village and its Slavic minority of Muslim creed. Observing the mundane rituals of the men in the village, director Stefan Malešević proves to have an eye for naturally self-occurring beauty, instead of coercing beauty into expression: the framing lets life seep in and out of the confines of the screen, embracing the unexpected. The patch-work of roofs, the sheep’s tails kept as a good luck token, the Coca-Cola bottles filled with milk, sat on decoloured window-sills are candid details that flesh out the lives of the characters. There is a constant sense of heartbreak in the film, as the men sing of loves lost and homes left behind, of the life of an expat and its struggles. Yet, the camera doesn’t glamorize or victimize, but gives space for representation, attentive to the nuances of emotion that bubble out to the rhythm of traditional folk songs. ...

  • Grizzly Man

    In this award-winning documentary, German director Werner Herzog recounts the story of Timothy Treadwell, a charming idealist who fancied himself the lone guardian of the grizzly bear. Eighty-five hours of film footage, much of it actually shot by Treadwell himself (covering his continuing interaction with the bears) including many interviews with people who knew him well or were actually involved in the annual summertime adventures, were condensed and edited by Herzog into a compelling true-life adventure that ended tragically. For more than a decade, Treadwell filmed and lived among grizzlies in the wilds of Alaska, a reckless intimacy that inevitably ended when he and his girlfriend were killed and eaten by a bear in 2003. ...

  • Habitat Earth

    What does it means to live in today's connected world? Can we visualize the intersection between human and ecological networks by diving below the ocean and travelling beneath the Earth’s tallest forests to explore the dynamic relationships in the ecosystems seen there? ...

  • He She I

    He She I addresses candidly the idea of subjective interpretation, and highlights Nietzsche’s statement ‘facts do not exist, there are only interpretations’. Carlotta Kittel interviews her parents, who had broken up before her birth, and attempts to reconstruct through their separate viewpoints a history of their failed romance. At times funny, at others wistful or even bitter, the two parents relate in intertwined progression their own perspective of the story. Creating a conversation between the two through an intelligent use of parallel editing, the film reveals a desire by each parent to manipulate the narrative and in the end a failure to do so. In search of the truth, the film highlights the difficulties of open communication and acceptance in the midst of family dynamics. ...

  • Hello Earth

    What are the origins of speech? Is it possible to find everything we need on the Internet? Will we ever be able to communicate with other civilizations? The show leads the audience through centuries of human communication and tells about the changes that have taken place in our world and our lives. ...

  • Homecoming

    Family and community ties can be burdensome to the point that some people choose to run as far away as possible in search of their identity. 'Homecoming', Noam Sobovitz's debut film, is a documentary about his own brother and his metamorphosis from a religious boy raised in a Jewish West Bank settlement to an EU citizen, speechwriter of the Vice president of the European Commission. ''It is the personal story of someone who is looking for a home – far away from his (highly-politicised) home'' - says Noam. '' It is a story of pain in a world that doesn't want or isn't able to understand him. It is also a story of hope; of people's attempt to love each other despite their differences. I believe it is important to raise such questions even if they are often difficult to answer.'' ...

  • Homo Sapiens

    "Homo Sapiens" is a film about the finiteness and fragility of human existence and about the remains of the days of our lives after we’re gone. Homo sapiens is conspicuous by its absence – there are no apparent human beings – or rather by the stunningly fragile, impermanent and weirdly irrelevant constructs which, without their human use, look like mysterious, surreal sculptures or giant machineries left here by aliens. The documentary has a kind of fictional dimension: Geyrhalter projects a dystopian future of mankind, reminding eco-futurist art by putting together awesome images of forgotten places, buildings we constructed and then left, a spectacle of what a post-human world could look like. „For its sheer visual exaltation, this is the most extraordinary documentary I have seen in years.” (Peter Bradshaw for The Guardian) ...

  • Hum

    An intimate portrait of singer-songwriter Kevin Nolan, Hum deals with the ways in which mental illness can work both as an inspiration for the artist and as a relief in someone’s struggle with oneself. Suffering from schizoaffective disorder - an illness the protagonist himself describes as the 'unhappy marriage of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder’ since his late adolescence, Kevin has soon learned to simultaneously express and tame his tormented state of mind by recording bizarre sound (such as a blowing hairdryer) that he then incorporates in his gloomy music, which brings to mind the tunes of Tom Waits. In an attempt to portray the world as seen through the eyes of a man suffering from schizo-affective disorder, Hum finds in the motif of spinning objects and a fast paced montage a cinematic equivalent for racing uncontrollable thoughts, one of the most poignant symptoms of the illness. ...

  • I am Hercules

    Nostalgia overtakes reality in “I am Hercules” a dry-witted documentary with a fine eye for everyday absurdities set in a lost Paradise of ideals. Once a luxurious spa for European royal families, where Hercules himself is said to have reinvigorated his powers, Băile Herculane is a baffling bazaar of incongruities where it’s easier to believe in myths than in what is right in front of you. Decaying yet still charming baroque architecture serves as backdrop for the makeshift massage “salons” of the three septagenerian protagonists: the now overweight Mitică, once a barbershop model for a small mining town, Relu, amateur snake tamer fond of cardboard cut-outs of male fitness models and Gelu, a divorcé hobby taxidermist and believer in the woman-as-goddess ideal. These self-made men represent not only the best modern-day equivalent of Hercules that is to be found but also a representation of a larger mentality. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and sometimes to our own eyes we are demigods. ...

  • I made you, I kill you

    I made you, I kill you is a personal confession of a traumatic childhood, dominated by domestic violence, a common recurrence in certain structures of Romanian society. With help from multiple voice-over accounts and memory interpretations through drawings, animations and family photos, the film weaves together a narrative that highlights that in this realm domestic violence represents the standard rather than an anomaly. Rooted in a deep-seated order, this attitude of child beatings is a perpetuation of learned behavior, as the father-figure recounts similar beatings and abuse suffered as a child. In looking to overcome the past, Alexandru Petru Bădeliță finds redemption through emotional catharsis, as art becomes a form of creative unburdening. ...

  • Incoming!

    The past, present, and future of our Solar System is explored by scientists through spacecraft sent to visit these worlds. Get an up close look at the most advanced technologies that allow scientists to detect asteroids before they reach Earth, and visualize historic space events billions of years in the making. ...

  • Inside Auschwitz

    More than 70 years have passed since the liberation of Auschwitz. Three Holocaust survivors will directly transmit their personal experiences to the young generations with the aid of VR technology. ...

  • Ionaș Dreams of Rain

    Out in a field, somewhere in Romania, Ionaș spends his summer nights guarding his cornfields against wild boars. Fighting not only wild beasts but also sleep, he tries to stay awake by checking the homemade contraptions he has scattered on the field perimeters. Sometimes he is in luck to get company in the person of a friend with whom he talks about the Bible and the way things have changed. His fight against sleep stems from his belief that in that state he dreams of his father, a dream which is bound to bring the rain, and as a consequence wild boars in the field. Through inspired lighting and framing, the film succeeds in highlighting certain details which outline the ordinary existence of an unusual man. ...

  • Journey to a Billion Suns

    The show aims at triggering the interest in science by inviting the public to be part of a space mission never achieved before: a thrilling journey through the Milky Way to map our Galaxy with extreme precision, discovering countless new celestial bodies, and perhaps even the distribution of dark matter itself. ...

  • Jules Verne's Voyages

    The fantastic adventures of Jules Verne have fascinated generations ever since. Based on the novels “The Journey to the Moon” and “Journey around the Moon”, three musical episodes are created bringing the ideas and visions of Jules Verne to life. ...

  • Keet's skate

    Skatekeet is a youth documentary about Keet, a 10-year-old girl who stands out with her talent in a boy-dominated skate world. In addition to admiration, this leads to incomprehension. On her skateboard, Keet pays herself a way through the opinions of others or how a girl should be, as she increasingly finds her own place, both on her skateboard and in life. ...

  • Khrumka’s Adventures in the Winter Forest

    Even in winter, the forest where little Khrumka lives is beautiful and there are things just waiting to be discovered: the Northern Lights, constellations or an asteroid’s path close to the earth. Throughout his journey, despite potential threats, such as the snowstorm or the Snow Witch, Khrumka and his friends enjoy the magic and surprises of the Winter Forest, a fairylike land, covered in a thick blanket of snow. Through his thirst for knowledge, Khrumka urges us to discover as many things as we can about the world around us. ...

  • Let This Be A Warning

    A group of Africans have left the Earth to create a colony on a distant planet. They respond uneasily to the arrival of an uninvited guest through repetitive sequences and long forgotten rituals. ...

  • Libera Nos

    A thrilling observational documentary that looks at exorcism, revealing the surprising fact that the practice has become increasingly popular lately, so much so that the Catholic Church had to organize trainings for priests, since exorcists are very much in demand. Father Cataldo, Southern Italy’s most famous exorcist, is already a notable figure - one that draws people from all over Italy to his weekly exorcism ceremonies in the hope that they can be cured. Due to a thorough three years long work on this documentary, the director succeeded to capture and convey in a disturbing yet humorous way a paradox of today’s Western society, where sacred beliefs coexist with science, and centuries-old practices with modern technology. ...

  • Long Echo

    70 kilometres away from the Ukrainian separatist border where war is raging full-on lies the town of Dobropolye, caught between the echoes of a communist past, its revolutionary present and its Western-oriented ideals for the future. Subversive through its deadpan humour, “Long Echo” assembles individual portraits of the citizens into wider patterns of beliefs, behaviours and coping mechanisms. Living in a makeshift world, the townspeople hail their mention in the Guinness records book for the world’s shortest tramline, run backyard zoos and wellness centres and praise children’s play-doh figurines as proofs of uncontested future artistic genius. Astute framing alternates between the insider and the outsider’s perspective, between raw emotionality and perceptive observation. But as soon as you’re ready to engage with the characters, something breaks the rhythm, throws you off your footing. As such, we get trapped in a pervasive state of emotional paralysis, a mirror image of the town’s own temporal and ideological paralysis. ...

  • Long grass

    With an extreme delicacy of observation, Long grass captures the imprecise slippery moments when childhood ends, prompting a brother and a sister to start perceiving themselves as separate distinctive beings. Disparate glimpses of the children engaged in activities only they themselves can understand give place to something slightly more reminiscent of narration as the girls enters school and her concerns drift away from the fairy tale world world she shares with her brother. As she steps away from the camera, entering the blurriness and gloominess of the forest alone, seemingly deep in her solitary thoughts, the director leaves the viewer to understand that she has abandoned the warm safety of brotherly shared childhood, heading towards the unpredictable future. ...

  • Lotumi and the red dance

    Lotumi is 13 years old and spends most of his time with his best friend, Ales. The two young boys belong to the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania. For a long time now, Lotumi can’t think of anything else but becoming a warrior, a Moran that is! “This is the best time in life! When you become a warrior, you get to dance all night, grow your hair long, wear jewelry and paint your skin with ochre. The girls find it very attractive!”, Lotumi perks up. The warriors are dressed-up in red and dance with high jumps, and Lotumi would love to be part of it. But he’s still a child and has to do chores around the village. In order to join the warriors’ brotherhood, first he must pass the tests to which he’s put by the elders of the village. ...

  • Magic Tree House: Space Mission

    Travel with brother-and-sister duo Jack and Annie as they proceed to answer questions left for them in a mysterious note signed "-M." They first wish themselves to an observatory where they meet an astronomer who helps them answer the first few questions on the note. With the help of the astronomer, the Internet, an astronaut, books, and the note's author, Jack and Annie are then taken on a wondrous journey to the planets and far out into the universe where the duo nearly... well, you'll have to find out yourself! ...

  • Magnus

    In 2004, when Magnus was 13 years old he made a decision: He would become the World Chess Champion. The coming-of-age story unfolds as we follow the prodigy battling his way through the ranks of chess, with personal sacrifices, special friendships and a caring family. MAGNUS is a character driven drama that is bound to engage the non-chess players, as well as the over 600 million people who play chess all over the world. ...

  • Mrs. Fang

    A deeply affecting visual document about a dying elderly woman, Wang Bing's Mrs. Fang is a disturbing, alternative look at contemporary China's cultural upheaval. [...] Weaving sharp political awareness into the emotional fabric created by the image of a person lying on their deathbed, Wang zeroes the distance between his camera, his subject, and his aesthetic. What results is something other than just the chronicle of a death. Surrounded by the careless chatter of family and neighbours, Fang Xiuying is slowly dying in a modest room, somewhere in a village in Southern China. [...] Around her, the living are busy making money, talking of making more money, smoking, playing on their phones, or fishing in shallow waters. Only Wang's camera seems to care about Xiuying. Probing her innocent expressions, searching for a trace of humanity, Wang pushes the limits of his filmmaking. He produces a haunting image, the reflection of a shattered millenary culture swallowed by bulimic capitalism, where memory loss is a common condition and the attitude towards life and death has been radically transformed. (Giovanna Fulvi, Toronto International Film Festival) ...

  • Music from the Cosmos - a Visual Concert

    The Visual Concert inspired by the 80´s TV series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” reconnect us with the most intimate of our essence: the Cosmos. The themes of Newton, Vivaldi, Bach, Einstein will be linked in a visual concert where the aesthetics of synthesizer sounds are combined with violins. ...

  • Muzeon: Ștefan Râmniceanu

    ”Muzeon may be the very island that I have been searching for a long time, in the midst of which there is the labyrinth, the space of an assumed exile”- it is the mode to be of a metaphorical locus, invented and inhabited by the post-modern artist Ștefan Râmniceanu that the artist finds himself, as a mirrored reflexion at the end of the labyrinth. A portrait of the artist as an eternally young man through his art, the film is a double invitation: inside the artist’s baroque island full to the brink of forms, chimeras, and colors, but also towards an infinity of rhythms and pulsations of Nature, in which the spectator might discover his own possible island, breathing, and freedom. ...

  • Nairobi Berries

    Two women and one man are struggling to get the fruits promised to each other. "Nairoberry" refers to the high rate of crimes and robberies, and "Nairobi Berries" is the dream that one day we will live generously by collecting the fruits that the city offers: the Nairobi Berries. ...

  • Notes to My Father

    Overwhelmed by memories of the Indian brothel where she was into sexual slavery, Ramadevi writes a letter to her father, who married her off to a man she didn’t know. ...

  • Nothing but lies - Fighting Fake News

    For many people the Fake News phenomenon has come from nowhere to dominate the airwaves, column inches and internet. But it hasn’t. Now a new documentary traces the roots of fake news, from the second world war, via Estonia, the war in Ukraine, and MH17 through to President Donald Trump. World renowned experts explain what is Fake News, how it succeeds, and how to tackle the growing problem. ...

  • Nothingwood

    About a hundred kilometers away from Kabul, Salim Shaheen, the most popular and prolific actor-director-producer in Afghanistan, comes to show some of his 110 films and to shoot the 111th in the process. He has brought with him his regular troupe of actors, each more eccentric and out of control than the next. That trip is an opportunity for us to get to know Shaheen, a real movie buff who has been making Z movies tirelessly for more than thirty years in a country at war. “[C]inematographer Alexander Nanau brings the impressive fly-on-the-wall camerawork he showcased in his self-helmed “Toto and His Sisters” to the Afghan countryside […]. There’s an inescapable irony in having someone with a fine eye for framing documenting a man with little understanding of composition.” (Jay Weissberg, Variety). ...

  • Ocean Hill Drive

    In eerie static shots and focusing on pulsating shadows whose source the film chooses not to reveal, but merely suggest, Ocean Hill Drive focuses on a little known Boston suburb phenomena called “shadowflicker”. The calm images of diners and empty livingrooms suffer slight, unsettling disruptions provoked by a recurrent, barely perceptible shading. The threat the images suggest is increased by the female voiceover compiling interviews with the inhabitants of these -for us humanless- places. They talk about the fear of living in an environment suddenly turned hostile. Ocean Hill Drive is simultaneously accomplished as a horror story, a cinematic gimmick (could it not all be a special effect?) and a documentary about a badly installed wind turbine. ...

  • Off the beaten path

    Ulrika's desire to become a priest met the rejection of the bishop. The reason was not related to her faith, Ulrika being a strong believer, but rather to her behaviour, sanctioned as unsuitable for the Church. Suffering from Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), she is visibly more outgoing than her would-be colleagues. Strongly frustrated by the rejection, she finds lively and original alternative ways to spread God's words. Through voice over and carefully employed stylistic devices, Off the beaten path brings us close to her perception of the world as a fast spinning circle performance which only comes to a solacing halt when she feels in the service of God. Courageously defying all impediments, Ulrika continues pursuing her dream and doing what she feels she was meant to do. ...

  • Oh Brother Octopus

    Living with the belief that, at birth, every newborn child has a spiritual twin in the body of an octopus, and that all the bad things happening in people’s lives are surely signs of the octopus’s revenge, the sea nomads of Indonesia carry out rituals in order to live in peace with their acquatic twins. Pondering over traditional rituals and the permutations of metropolitan life, the film suggests that problems arise from the expansion of the man-made world into the untouched natural world. A hybrid documentary, which combines observations with interviews, subjective shots, the film is a roving tour above and below the water for human and mollusk alike. ...

  • Out of the Blue

    Cabo Pulmo's fishermen's family, Castro takes a revolutionary decision to save the reef on the brink of extinction because of overfishing: they sacrifice their income and food, forbidding fishing on their own island to encourage the life of the navy to come back to life. ...

  • Permutations

    A small coastal town presents itself through static shots and cinematic gimmicks. A scene showing some children playing football in a courtyard is disrupted by the ball breaking a window placed in front of the camera. As a bus leaves the station, the same people remain awaiting the next bus. The source of the music that starts at some point in the film becomes apparent under the form of a trumpeter riding a bike across the set. Permutations jokingly points out that there is plenty of irony to be found in everyday life, and it is up to us and/or our camera to discover it. Before attempting to examine reality, cinema might as well take a look at its own instruments, the director seems to suggest, while the trumpet sounds at the same volume long after the bicycle had left the frame. ...

  • Phoenixxx

    When life offers no options, what can one do to make a living? Georgiana and Mona, two young women who arrived in Bucharest with the desire to make something of themselves, end up working in the live sex chat industry. For Mona, this work is rapidly becoming impractical, as her daughter is growing up and shielding the child from her double life becomes increasingly problematic. Despite the fact that the two portraits emphasize very different personalities - with the explicitly candid Georgiana and the more gentle Mona - the two women share an almost sisterly bond, an exception in such a ruthless industry. Granting unprecedented access into their world, the two women allow for an up-close depiction of their lives and work, bringing the viewer into an environment that they would rarely be able to glimpse. ...

  • Pia's cakes

    Pia is eleven years old and lives with her parents and her 15-year-old sister Mara in Berlin. For about one and a half years Pia passionately likes to bake pies. She was inspired by Sally, who cooks and cooks very successfully in "Sally Welt" on You Tube. Pia has already baked much of Sally, but also changed the recipes over and over again and is increasingly thinking of his own backyards. Meanwhile, Pia is also baking for friends or acquaintances, for parties and parties. Pia's dream would be to bake once on You Tube like Sally. Pia likes to bake very different things, but also likes fondant. In those cases, the cakes are covered with a sugar mixture, the fondant. On this fondant you can then decorate very different ideas and different. But with these fondanttorten one has to work very exactly as the fondant tear, have dents or can dissolve. ...

  • Planeta Petrila

    “To them, people are only numbers in a table”, says one of the few workers left in the Petrila coal-mine, shortly before its closure, a sentence all the more potent in the historical context of miners used as political pawns in the years following the ’89 Revolution. In a post-industrial, post-communist Romania still trying to find its footing in the EU, “Planet Petrila” observes the awakening of individual agency in a small mining town. In this cultural wasteland, the irreverent artist Ion Barbu engages in guerrilla activism, organizing happenings, performances and a theatre festival to almost surrealistic results. At the same time, miner Cătălin Cenuşă unionizes the workers, determined not become another “sacrificed generation” in history’s dicer. The documentary attentively observes the divide between the flamboyant artistic activism and the subtler endurance of the workers, only to watch them seamlessly merge in a joint effort of not only preserving, but also redefining personal and local identity. ...

  • Rocknrollers

    Sia (15), Bas (14) and Vince (13) are three best friends who’ve been playing for years in the psychedelic rock band Morgana’s Illusion. When Sia ends up in a depression the future of the band is at stake. ROCKNROLLERS is a lively youth rockumentary about friendship, growing up and the power of music. ...

  • Romania, Spring Cleaning

    When it comes to corruption, Romania is perceived as a laggard of the European Union. A quarter of a century since the fall of the communist dictatorship, the country remains sapped by endemic and organised corruption that concerns almost all the political class and affects the daily lives of the whole population. Recently, however, Romania has become the centre stage of one of the most ferocious anti-corruption battles on the planet, which is shaking up the society outright. How is one of the most corrupt states of Europe managing this amazing feat? ''A new wind is blowing on Romania, the country of my childhood.'' - notes director Ruxandra Medrea Annonier. ''I have been following its evolution for 25 years. This time I want to have a closer look of this budding generation which is revolutionising Romanian society.'' ...

  • Samskara

    Samskara is a unique combination of digital technology and modern art, a spiritual experience, a journey of mind and imagination along the daily banal, an invitation to a higher level of consciousness. ...

  • School Life

    A totally charming and heartwarming film,“School Life” is an inspiring, high-spirited observational documentary no one would ever like to miss. Called "In Loco Parentis" when it captivated audiences at Sundance,"School Life" takes us as straightforward as its new title, through Headfort School, the only primary-age boarding establishment in Ireland. But the film is more than a year in the life of an unusual educational institution located in an enormous 18th century mansion surrounded by lush greenery near the town of Kells, a massive place that was once, like Downton Abbey, the heart of a great estate. Providing a sympathetic instance of what it takes to enable children to learn and flourish, as well as an up-close illustration of some exceptional teachers, and just how it is they do what they do so well , ”School Life” is one of those movies that leave a smile on your face and in your heart as well. ...

  • Shindy Music

    A bitter-sweet symphonic composition is what the stories of three Roma children growing up in three different Romanian counties sound like. They all share the same goals: learning to perform Romany party music, becoming rich and famous musicians, and being able to support their families and to offer them “a future”. The film follows each of them into their day-to-day life: at school, at home with their families, on the playing ground and during rehearsals. By putting them against various backdrops, the director outlines three complex portraits of children whose childhood develops in the rhythm of music. ...

  • Sibiu 825

    Sibiu is a city in the heart of Transylvania. This film tells the (short) story of the place from its birth 825 years ago up to our present days. The storyline meanders through the centuries spotlighting in turn troubled and perilous times which threatened the very existence of the city, and episodes of prosperity that show a thriving Sibiu growing wealthier and more and more and powerful and gaining a dominant position in Transylvania as a respected commercial, military, administrative and cultural centre. The aerial shots of the mountains surrounding the city, of picturesque villages, of fortified churches, where the villagers would find refuge in the case of an attack, images of chic little streets and mysterious passages from the lower town, with the vent holes in the roofs seeming like watchful eyes, that combine perfectly with fragments of classical music and the narration of the city, and constructing a remarkable cinematographic experience, an audio-visual metamorphosis of Sibiu. Join in to watch and further discover the rich history nine centuries old and full of twists and turns of the Transylvanian urban experience called Sibiu a.k.a (over the years) Cibinium, Hermannstadt, and Nagyszeben. ...

  • Solar Superstorms

    On the surface of the Sun a tornado that releases electricity, electrified gas, auroras and other shimmering particles arises. The show features one of the most intensive efforts ever made to visualize the inner workings of our star including a series of groundbreaking scientific visualizations. ...

  • Solar Superstorms (narration in EN)

    Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. On the surface of the Sun a tornado that releases electricity, electrified gas, auroras and other shimmering particles arises. The show features one of the most intensive efforts ever made to visualize the inner workings of our star including a series of groundbreaking scientific visualizations. ...

  • Soul Exodus

    They call themselves the Nazaroff Brothers, after Prince Nazaroff, klezmer singer and storyteller who allegedly lived in the early 20th century, although nobody knows for sure if this person ever existed beyond the collective imagination. They are five American-born musicians, who embark on a discovery voyage in search of their roots, tracing back their grandparents' Eastern European past. This journey, which could be described as a reverse exodus, takes them from Montreal to Romania's Moldova, passing through New York, Paris, Berlin, Budapest and Transylvania. Under the deceiving form of a musical travelogue, the documentary tells emotional and personal stories about religion and belief, and about identity searched and found. ...

  • Spirit Robot

    Chate Wote Street Art Festival is the event that refreshes the city and presents the contemporary artists of the city of Accra. Graffiti, theater, extreme sports all performed on the musical refrain Africa is the Future! ...

  • Story of Fatat

    Fatat spends her days and nights caring for her bed-confined husband. Then he dies, and she must struggle for her and her son's survival. After living for a while in extreme poverty and deprived of any help from her family, she decides to leave Lebanon for Europe. The story of Fatat is just as much the story of the terrible war, which takes place exclusively offscreen. Thus the extreme narrow shots in which we see Fatat after her husband’s death serve not only as a means to express her suffocating despair, they also draw attention to the horrors of war happening around her, which we can not see but only hear. As the shots get wider, we see the protagonist and her son embarking on a boat with the destination Europe, in a last attempt to escape a disastruous situation and find happiness against all odds. ...

  • Supervolcanoes

    Can a supervolcano erupt in our time? Land on the island of Sumatra, go round Neptune's or Jupiter's moons in an immersive show that looks back at rare classes of eruptions in a tremendous quest. ...

  • Supervolcanoes (narration in EN)

    Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. Can a supervolcano erupt in our time? Land on the island of Sumatra, go round Neptune's or Jupiter's moon in a show that looks back at rare classes of eruptions in a tremendous quest. ...

  • Tango 360

    The animated show reveals dazzling images of the city of Buenos Aires and the world-famous dance of porteños. The unique experience is enhanced by the music of the famous Astor Piazzolla who revolutionized the traditional tango incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. ...

  • Tarzan’s Testicles

    In a state unrecognized as such, a Paradise in ruin, in an experimental medical institute with creationist employees, the documentary "Ouăle lui Tarzan" captures a microcosm of paradoxes. Abkhazia, a region part of Georgia, has a history of civil wars with the “motherland”. Laboratories where important medical breakthroughs were made are the same place where a crossover between monkey and man was attempted. Endearing shots of baby monkeys are followed by shots in which they are experimented on. This space of contradictions also proves to be a reminder of the failure of the previous century’s utopian ideals: communism, mastery of nature, and especially man as a good and rational being. Significantly so, the documentary does not assert, but cleverly observes. Contradictions usually overlooked are unveiled as is the baffling normality of their simultaneous existence. Guided through this difficult analytical and self-analytical process, the spectator understands that horror and pleasure come from the same place. ...

  • Taste of Cement

    You may leave the warzone but you are never truly away from it. Singularly poetic, Taste of Cement challenges the notion that a refugee’s journey ends as soon as he reaches safety. Adopting a stylized take on a group of Syrian construction workers in Beirut, the grind of daily routine becomes the mental grind under war’s psychological weight. They work to build a city that is inaccessible to them while their own towns come down in piles. They live below ground, under a curfew, watching with furrowed brows the latest news from home. Voice over narration and an immersive soundscape ushers us inside their mindscapes. Each strike of the hammer booms like a tank fire, each new layer of cement flows like the waves of the sea, each thunder resounds like a machine gun. Life takes on a shine of unreality, as if actually a dream. In the spinning of a cement mixer up where up becomes down and down becomes up, war becomes an endless experience that permanently infiltrates the mind. ...

  • Testimony

    The interactive investigation seeks to address the obstacles women and men need to overcome in order to report assault and confront the legal system. The goal of the project is to inspire those who have been silenced to speak out, while building courage amongst survivors. ...

  • The AI Comrade

    The AI Comrade is the first robot spy created in the Communist Era, Romania 1979. Trained to listen and to record, he is discovered after 50 years and challenged by the citizens of the “Brave New World”. What would you ask The AI Comrade? ...

  • The Applause Man

    Antoon De Pauw was known for his attempts to steal applause on public occasions. Fully dressed-up in tuxedo, he used to jump on stage to receive the applause from the audience. His purpose has always remained a mystery. Was it rebellion against the media? Or a cry for attention? Was he simply mad? Addicted to the rush and trapped in a controversial media storm, he eventually lost it. His sudden death in 2009 left a lot of questions unanswered. The film shines a new light on the life and story of this forgotten cult-celebrity. ...

  • The Art Of Moving

    In an onslaught of daily information on the developments in Syria it is easy to become accustomed to the atrocities reported; to become jaded to what happens in a corner of the world which is not our own and to start thinking, “that’s just the way it is in that country”. A group of four friends, video-activists, have set out to shake-up responses to this matter of fact and decided to fight fire with laughter. Capturing the pressure of being a moving target, The Art of Moving uses personal diary and on-site footage to follow the group Daya Al-Taseh and their process of producing political satire sketches against ISIS. Constantly needing to change houses and even cities, always on high-alert, being conned by charlatans steadily eats away at inner resources and even relationships. Yet they do not give up. Humorous without being dismissive, the film challenges the media-painted image of Syrian refugees. They are not merely helpless victims but individuals – scared, yet treading forward. ...

  • The Bad Kids

    The observational documentary The Bad Kids follows some students and the highly supportive and motivated mistress of the Californian Black Rock Continuation High School, an alternative school for students at risk of dropping out, during an entire school year. Focusing on an angry young musician from a troubled home, a young woman raped by her grandfather and a new dad who can’t support his family, The Bad Kids captures the teenagers as the frightening moment of entering adulthood, with its burdening responsibilities vertiginously approaches. The school life is observed with its tiny moments of success and failure, and the directors skilfully convey the increasing pressure that feels almost palpable as the end of the school year comes near and teachers and students, together with the viewer, will finally find out which of the ‘’bad kids’’ have made it. ...

  • The Beast is still alive

    Nothing changes because everything stays the same. As redundant an argument as it might sound, it perfectly encapsulates the absurd vicious circle in which many of the countries from the ex-soviet bloc are stuck. Adamant to challenge this redundancy, “The Beast is Still Alive” explores the evolution and effectiveness of civil revolt, as seen through the sharp, yet sensitive gaze of a Bulgarian émigré’s attempt to understand the failures of a largely absent dissident grandfather. Animation and an imaginary voice-over dialogue with the deceased try to reconcile clashing feelings and mentalities. Archive materials and extensive documentation spanning over years and continents question the recent rise in popularity of Marx’s ideas, put in the context of ex-communist countries’ struggle to break from the past’s consequences. Individual and collective history collide in this emotional documentary, unafraid to dive into the depths of difficult questions of both personal and shared responsibility. ...

  • The Brotherhood

    In a Bucharest neighbourhood, a singular fifth division football team trains hard on an improvised field which seems to be in the way of some sheep who stroll across it every now and then. Since race, age or physical disability are of no importance in the selection of the players, The Brotherhood counts among its components a single-armed goalkeeper, a musician with a PhD, marginalized people of Romany origin and some others of all ages and sizes. Under the protection of a dedicated patron who sold his house to sponsor the team and who washes the players' shorts and t-shirts by hand, the Brotherhood project is a timely lesson in tolerance and equality of opportunity. ...

  • The Challenge

    Wealthy Qatary sheikhs descend on a small patch of desert to attend a remote falconry tournament. A visual exploration from Italian visual artist Yuri Ancarani, The Challenge is a study in contradictions, as culture and tradition clash against modernity and technology. Though the film does not veer into details, and gives little context to what is happening, the information-filled images construct a narrative of extreme wealth - as we see falcons being brought in to the tournament on a private jet, or a man, wearing a the long white Arabian clothing called thawb, who drives a Lamborghini while his cheetah pet sits next to him. The director artfully puts cruelty and solid gold against the backdrop of the desert to create a lavish cinematic experience. ...

  • The Circles of Time

    The animation is an adaptation of twelve abstract paintings representing the months of the year, a colorful interpretation of the time and the changing seasons inspired by the Mandala structure. ...

  • The Contestant

    Francesca, 40, divorced and a mother of three, is a freelance gym teacher. As her financial troubles get worse and the fear of not being able to provide for her three children takes over her, she decides to take part in a TV quiz show. The documentary follows with observational persistence her frantic preparations for the show, outlining the portrait of a strong woman who chooses to confront life rather than be overwhelmed by it with defiant courage and making use of all means, no matter how silly or embarrassing to achieve her goals. ...

  • The Dead Nation

    Questioning the view of archive material as an accurate representation of the past, “Dead Nation” calls for a shift of focus from what an image shows to all that it omits. A hybrid between documentary and essay, it mixes three different archival sources from the 1930s-1940s, each fictional to a greater or lesser degree: time-worn studio-set photographs of regular folk posing for the camera, the diary of a Jewish doctor and writer, and audio snippets of propaganda catering to three different regimes. The diary tells us of unimaginable horrors, yet the photographs show no sign of them. Only the pictures decayed to the point of abstraction can sometimes be interpreted as a silent confirmation. All the others depict an eerie compliance with photographer’s stage directions. And it is exactly here, in this eerie consent to the artificial, almost absurd puppet show that we see history for what it is, one of the biggest distortions we choose to conform to. ...

  • The Displaced

    War has driven 30 million children from their homes. Their limited options and also their extraordinary resilience are the common elements found in their stories, even if they are in different geographic locations - South Sudan, Syria and Ukraine. ...

  • The Game

    A man tries to find his happiness and fulfilment in the casino. By throwing a coin into a slot machine he activates the game and sets the ball that from now on will decide his fate. The animation is inspired by a true story. ...

  • The Girl of 672 K

    The Girl of 672k is a coming of age film about the imaginative 15-year-old Annegien from Utrecht, the Netherlands, whose creative talents draw ample attention in the virtual landscape of YouTube and Instagram. Her personal and artistic photographs on her Instagram account Fetching_tigerss reach over 672,000 followers, something most Youtubers can only dream of. ...

  • The Girl Who Walked Upside Down

    This is the tale of a special girl who takes delight in the world around her by looking at it from a different perspective. She came to us one spring day after a storm, walking upside down by the rainbow, and she has a very special point of view of everything, trying to show it to those who need it. Walking upside down has many advantages, the best one being that she has the sky at her feet. The girl who walks upside down is committed to restoring starry nights to everyone, saving electricity at the same time and revealing the hidden treasures of the sky. ...

  • The Hunt for Transylvanian Gold

    This is a thriller of a tale - by turns suspenseful, humorous, and tragic - about the looting and illicit trafficking of archaeological artefacts, and specially the investigation that lasted more than ten years and developed on two continents: Europe and North America. The investigation was coordinated by the general prosecutor of Romania, at that time a local prosecutor in Alba Iulia, and it followed the mysterious golden spirals found by a forester in the Transylvanian Carpathians, in a Dacian site famous for its conquest by the Romans in 106 AD. ...

  • The Jilava Massacre

    Rabbi Guttman is one of the few survivors of the massive execution led by Iron Guard members in Jilava Forest during the Pogrom in Bucharest. His testimony about the loss of his sons and his miraculous survival is mediated by the voice of an actor that surrounds you in the artificial space generated by the computer. ...

  • The Last Kalderash

    The Kalderash are a distinct group among the Gypsies. Their trade used to provide them with the daily bread as well as something of a social status. Recently, their manufactured copper items are less in demand and they must find other ways to subsist. Western countries are an option, but there's no bed of roses awaiting them there. Employing remarkable visual images that carry the touch of the artist photographer and set on the foundation of a thorough, journalistic-like documentation, the team Bumbuț-Stancu make their debut as documentary makers with a comprehensive story about a community which, besides being marginalized already, is now in danger of losing its occupational identity. ...

  • The Man Who Knew 75 Languages

    A full length animated documentary, the film tells the emotional story of the language genius Georg Julius Justus Sauerwein, who generously sacrificed an academic career to live among linguistic minorities, defending people’s right to education and culture in their mother tongue. Owing to his great linguistic talent, he was invited to be the tutor of the beautiful and gifted Princess Elisabeth of Wied in Germany, the later writer and artist Queen Carmen Sylva of Romania. He became her tutor, her inspiration, and a lifelong friend, the two following the same guiding star in defending those who were vulnerable and to champion for peace. Based on Sauerwein's letters, the film merges the classic fairytale with documentary realism, both in script and visual design, pushing the boundaries of the documentary style. ...

  • The Other Dakar

    The reconnection of Dakar's urban space with the mythology, design and creativity of the place becomes the manifestation of transforming the daily experience of an underrated city to express the uniqueness of the "Other Dakar." ...

  • The side street of Europe

    Seasoned with daily absurdities and humor, “The Side Street of Europe” feels as much a road-movie as it does a documentary. It follows Zenobia on her seemingly endless tour from one town to the next. Attempting to balance her career and life as a single mother, she performs for the Hungarian diaspora in Romania, she herself of Hungarian descent. Misunderstandings of greater or lesser proportions seem to be the norm, caused not just by language barriers but a general lack of communication. Steadily, a feeling of isolation and competitiveness emerges and the experience of disorientation and difficulty in finding one’s way become emblematic for the larger diaspora community. Touching on broader themes of identity and belonging, in this documentary the endless roads in a search for financial autonomy take on the symbolic dimension of a journey of self-affirmation. In the end, in this whirlwind of confusion, a desire to stand out arises, rooted in a yearning of having one’s efforts and, ultimately one’s self recognized. ...

  • The Trial

    The film documents the case of Mihai Moldoveanu, a former Romanian army officer sentenced to 25 years in prison for a crime he claims he did not commit. After a long series of attempts to prove his innocence, in June 2012 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that in the case of Moldoveanu vs. Romania there had been a violation of the right to a fair trial, namely the defendant had not been represented by a lawyer, his testimony had not been heard and the prosecution had no direct evidence against him. The documentary follows Mihai Moldoveanu after his provisional release and focuses on re-examining the case and the consequences of the new sentence, giving the spectator the role of juror in a complicated and controversial case. ...

  • The Venerable W.

    In Burma, the “Venerable Wirathu” is a highly respected and influential Buddhist monk. Meeting him amounts to traveling to the heart of everyday racism and observing how Islamophobia and hate speech lead to violence and destruction. Yet this is a country in which 90% of the population has adopted Buddhism as a faith: a religion based on a peaceful, tolerant and non-violent way of life. “It’s the shocking disjunct between his religion and the rabid nationalism of his sermons, writings and declarations that powers Schroeder’s conventional but nevertheless effective long hard stare into the eyes of intolerance. […] In the era of Trump (Wirathu is a fan), Farage and Le Pen, it also shines timely light on the mechanisms of nationalistic rhetoric.” (Lee Marshall, Screen Daily) ...

  • The Zula Patrol: Down to Earth

    The Zula Patrollers must find the villainous Deliria Delight before her actions cause catastrophic consequences. In the process, our heroes learn all about the formation and development of Earth, and the life forms who call it home. ...

  • To be a teacher

    To Be a Teacher is the emotional and humorous story of three young teachers and their first years in school, comparable to a leap into icy waters when prospective teachers start working in the field, in the tension between grading and being graded, educating and being educated themselves. From the very first day, they live under the pressure of being permanently tested. They soon come to realize that their theoretical studies did not prepare them at all for what it means to work in one of the most responsible and important jobs, which reads education. A sensitive insight behind the scenes into the lives of the three referendariats and their ’beginning of a beautiful friendship’ with the school system in their country, Zwischen den Stühlen is a coming-of-age story about their idealism that clashes with a harsh reality. ...

  • Tzina: symphony of longing

    Tel Aviv's emblematic space, the Tzina Dizengoff market no longer exists. And yet, it can be explored in the virtual world, on a journey that combines fantastic elements and the reality of the place, captured at different moments of the day. ...

  • Urban Cowboys

    In empowering music video shots, teenage boys riding horses suddenly invade the monotonous evening traffic of Dublin in the film's opening scene. Subsequently, Urban Cowboys will allow us to take a close look at an awkward phenomenon taking place in an ill-famed suburb of Dublin: some teenagers are encouraged to capture and tame wild horses in order to keep them away from drugs and as a way to deal with aggressive urges and family problems. The film follows the developing friendship between the 14-year-old Dylan, troubled by a family drama, and his white mare Shelly. Among sunset lit shaky shots, Urban Cowboys finds the means to portray a frail teenager who, like a few others, finds a unique way to manage his anger and affection urges, taming a horse in order to tame his emotions. ...

  • Vasile

    Vasile dreams of the day when his life’s work - a thorough and conscientiously collected documentation about the community he has been part of all his life - will be preserved in a museum created for the purpose. Vasile is a poet, a writer, and a photographer, and his work commends him as a chronicler of the traditional Romanian village. His life is a combination of artistic pursuit and mundane farm chores. The film casts a warm look at this peasant who has dedicated his life to capturing in words and visual images instances of the rural world. ...

  • West of the Jordan River

    West of the Jordan River is structured like a road trip. In the absence of any high-level political push for reconciliation, ordinary citizens must seek solutions on the local level. With that in mind, the director travels around with a very light crew (a cameraman and a sound engineer), posing simple, direct questions to the inhabitants of various cities and small villages: How do they live? What do they hope for? What do they fear? How to they feel toward their neighbors? Despite Gitai’s clear anti-government position, the director goes out of his way to grant some space to the other side. And despite the violence of some reactions, he also uncovers surprising bursts of hope. “The camera strengthened me. … It’s like having a gun in my hands,” says one of the apprentice reporters, though the idea may just as well have been spoken by Gitai himself. ...

  • When the Ground Talks

    Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going to? Starting from these fundamental questions, the documentary proposes an exercise of reconstitution of our history as Romanians, Europeans, and living human beings, starting with the oldest material proofs of civilization and culture in this geographical area, and coming down to the present day. The project is built on a highly professional documentation and the research work of the last half of century, of relevant historical and archaeological evidence, aiming at rendering history without “make-up”, by taking into account various points of view and reference:„We believe that an unclear and misty past, “dressed” in fairy-tales and fantasies, is unable to generate a solid present day, and much less a sustainable future.” ...

  • Who is your grandfather?

    During a Mossi ritual in Burkina Faso, drum language is used to trace the history and ancestry of the tribe and its leader. In this instance, oral history and the language of drums is how their rituals and identity are transmitted from one generation to the next. Here, the cinematography accompanies and highlights the ritualistic Mossi tradition, as the language and rhythm of drums reverberates in film framing and editing, resulting in a sensorial experience that emphasizes the exploratory nature of the film. Venturing into observing the rites of this clan, Who is your grandfather? merges tradition with modern technology and spoken historical recollection with engaging visual compositions. ...

  • Win by Fall

    Janny, Lisa, Debby and Michelle are 12 years old when they leave home. The "Elite School of Sport" at Frankfurt/Oder, a boarding school in East German tradition is where they move to. They grow up in a strict corset of training schedules, weight classes and pressure to perform. Being wrestlers, they all dream of a championship title, though off the mat, each girl fights her very own battle: Janny is searching for her standing within the group, Debby fights her own expectations, Lisa is homesick and Michelle quarrels with her weight. The documentary "Win by Fall" follows the wrestlers trying to find their place, as well as away from competitive rankings. ...

  • Women on the Move

    A grandmother's life in rural Niger changes when she enters a women's savings group. Will her granddaughter take the next step out of poverty? ...

  • You Are Still Somebody's Someone

    A visual essay about a father-daughter relationship, You Are Still Somebody’s Someone is the construction of an image of the estranged father, an attempt to fill a paternal void. Through the use of 8mm archival film and a subjective voice-over narration, it formulates a sensory, mnemonic familial identity, dominated by absence and loss. The narrative transitions between past and present, and the film oscillates between understanding and condemning a father who had perennially dealt with mental illness and eventually left his family to pursue a religious calling. You Are Still Somebody’s Someone underlines how even the most deeply-rooted emotional connections – those between parents and children – are subject to erosion and deprivation which leave behind only fragmentary memories of a strange and magical childhood. ...