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In their signature realistic style, the Dardenne brothers relate a touching story about the exploitation of young African migrants arriving in Europe.
The Belgian authorities are grilling Lokita, a young African woman, over the details of how she supposedly found her brother Tori in a West African orphanage when he was eight years old, despite not having seen him since he was a baby. She can’t answer because it is indeed a lie. The two children, biologically unrelated and actually from two different countries, met while traveling to Europe together and became firm friends. They work together by night at a nearby Italian restaurant. But the kids have been drawn reluctantly into the criminal underworld to pay debts and send desperately needed money back home.
Our film tells the story of a friendship, a beautiful and intense friendship. It wasn’t until we imagined such a friendship as the core of our film that we felt that our two main characters, Lokita and Tori, were coming to life as unique human beings, that they were moving beyond the media-defined image of those young migrants known as ‘unaccompanied foreign minors’.
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Brothers Jean-Pierre (b. 1951) and Luc (b. 1954) are an acclaimed Belgian filmmaking duo. In 1975, they established the Dérives production company, and in 1981 the Films Dérives Production. Together, they have produced over fifty TV documentaries. Jean-Pierre works at the Audio Visual Department of the Liege University, and Luc teaches at the Free University of Brussels. Two of their films, Rosetta and The Child, won the Palme d’Or Award at Cannes.
Cast: Pablo Schils (Tori), Joely Mbundu (Lokita), Alban Ukaj (Betim), Tijmen Govaerts (Luckas), Charlotte De Bruyne (Margot), Nadege Ouedraogo (Justine), Marc Zinga (Firmin), Amel Benaissa, El Alami Bilel, Claire Bodson, Annette Closset, Adrienne D'Anna, Sandrine Desmet, Ngindu Tshimpanga Dieudonné, Thomas Doret, Monia Douieb, Frédéric Dussenne, Cohen-Hadria Emma
Producent: Les Films du Fleuve, Archipel 35; distribucija: Fivia
Rather than a mystical land of fantastic tales, Cristian Mungiu's Transylvania is a cauldron of xenophobic anxieties echoing modern Europe’s ongoing problems.
A few days before Christmas, having quit his job in Germany, Matthias returns to his multi-ethnic Transylvanian village. He wishes to involve himself more in the education of his son, Rudi, left for too long in the care of his mother, Ana, and to rid the boy of the unresolved fears that have taken hold of him. He’s preoccupied with his father, Otto, and also eager to see his ex-lover, Csilla. When a few new workers are hired at the small factory that Csilla manages, the peace of the community is disturbed. Underlying frustrations, conflicts and passions erupt through the thin veneer of apparent understanding.
The film is not about a situation in Transylvania and not even about Romanians, Hungarians and Germans sharing the same territory. It is set there but it’s also about Russians and Ukrainians, whites and blacks, Sunni and Shia, rich and poor, even tall and short. Whenever there’s a second person in the room, they will be perceived as being from another tribe and therefore a potential enemy.
Born in 1968 in Romania. After studying English literature he worked as a teacher and journalist for a few years. He then obtained a BA in film directing in Bucharest. Mungiu first made several short films, and in 2002 debuted with his feature film, Occident, which won several international awards. In 2007, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days won the Palme d’Or, marking the first time this coveted prize was awarded to a Romanian filmmaker.
Cast: Marin Grigore, Judith State, Macrina Barladeanu, Orsolya Moldován, Rácz Endre (Tibi), József Bíró, Ovidiu Crisan
Producent: Mobra Film, Why Not Productions, Filmgate Films, France 3 Cinéma, Les Films du Fleuve, Wild Bunch, Film i väst
A tribute to fading traditions, Alcarras tells a heartfelt story about a family of peach growers whose livelihood is threatened by the new socio-economic realities. Berlinale 2022 Golden Bear for Best Film.
For as long as they can remember, the Solé family have spent every summer picking the peaches in their orchard in Alcarras, a small village in Spain’s Catalonia region. But this year’s crop may well be their last, as they face eviction. The new plans for the land, which include cutting down the peach trees and installing solar panels, cause a rift in this large, tight-knit family. For the first time, they face an uncertain future and risk losing more than their orchard.
My family grows peaches and they’re still doing it. When we started this project, I said: “We need a happy ending.” But then we talked to other farming families and saw that they had no hope. So many people are leaving their land – there is no generational takeover. Not because the kids don’t want to do it, they just don’t get paid properly. There are protests every year, but they don’t get much out of it. I needed to show what agriculture is today, not what is used to be.
Born in Barcelona, in 1986. After studying audio-visual communication in Barcelona, she directed TV series for the Catalan television and then attended the London Film School.
An acclaimed screenwriter and director, Simón actively participates in the Cinema en Curs, a film education project. In 2013, she founded Young For Film!, an organisation that fosters young audiences’ appreciation of cinema.
Screenplay: Arnau Vilaró, Carla Simón
Cast: Jordi Pujol Dolcet (Qumet), Anna Otin (Dolors), Xenia Roset (Mariona), Albert Bosch (Roger), Ainet Jounou (Iris), Josep Abad (Rogelio), Montse Oró (Nati), Carles Cabós (Cisco), Berta Pipó (Gloria)
Producent: Elastica Films, Avalon Productora Cinematográfica, Vilaüt Film
The Bhutan nominee for the 2022 Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom is a visually elaborate meditation on a sense of purpose and happiness found in the least expected places.
Ugyen is a disillusioned schoolteacher and aspiring musician in Bhutan’s capital city, Thimphu. With one year left under his current teaching contract, he is eager to cut out for Australia in pursuit of a singing career when he is abruptly reassigned to the village of Lunana, and the most remote school in the country. With no electricity let alone a blackboard to work with, Ugyen is nonetheless presented with the chance for a new connection to music, and an unexpected sense of purpose within the community’s embrace.
I wanted to explore the question: “Is Bhutan really the happiest place in the world?” But rather than providing one answer, I put across this notion that happiness is not what we ultimately seek in life, but it’s the journey we go through to search for what we think we are seeking.
Pawo Choyning Dorji
Born in 1983 in Darjeeling, India. After studying in the United States, he first pursued a career in photography. Returning to India, Dorji met filmmaker Khyentse Norbu and worked with him as director's assistant and producer. His feature-length debut, Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film.
Screenplay: Pawo Choyning Dorji
Cinematography: Jigme Tenzing
Music: Hu Shuai
Cast: Sherab Dorji (Ugyen Dorji), Ugyen Norbu Lhendup (Michen), Kelden Lhamo Gurung (Saldon), Pem Zam (Pem Zam), Sangay Lham (Kencho), Chimi Dem (Pema)
Producent: Dangphu Dingphu: a 3 pigs production
Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson reunite after more than a decade for another triumph by Irish director Martin McDonagh. Farrell won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival.
1923. Civil war is raging in mainland Ireland. Just a stone’s throw away from the tumult of war, on a remote island off the west Irish coast, life runs its usual course. Pádraic lives with his sister in a humble cottage and makes a living as a dairy farmer. He and his friend, an aging musician Colm, spend their afternoons at the local pub. Padraic and Colm find themselves at an impasse when Colm unexpectedly puts an end to their friendship. A stunned Padraic, aided by his sister Siobhan and troubled young islander Dominic, endeavours to repair the relationship, refusing to take no for an answer. But Padraic’s repeated efforts only strengthen his former friend’s resolve and when Colm delivers a desperate ultimatum, events swiftly escalate, with shocking consequences.
I just wanted to tell a very simple breakup story. And to see how far a simple comedic and dark plot could go. Bringing back Colin and Brendan after 14 years was of the utmost importance in my mind—they were always going to be those two friends falling out. That was the original germ of the idea.
Born into an Irish family in 1970 in London. He left school when he was 16 to pursue his love of playwriting. It was already his first play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1996), that won a number of awards. Since then McDonagh has gone on to write multiple smash-hit shows and films and win multiple awards, including an Academy Award for Live Action Short Film for Six Shooter. He made his first feature film, In Bruges, in 2008.
Screenplay: Martin McDonagh
Cinematography: Ben DavisCarter Burwell
Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan, Pat Shortt, Gary Lydon, David Pearse, Sheila Flitton, Jon Kenny, Bríd Ní Neachtain
The latest offering from Park Chan-wook, one of South Korea’s most prominent filmmakers, pays a tribute to the legacy of film noir. Best Director Award at Cannes 2022.
A man falls from a mountain peak to his death. The detective in charge, Hae-joon, comes to meet the dead man’s wife Seo-rae. Seo-rae does not show any signs of agitation at her husband’s death. With her behaviour so unlike that of a grieving relative, the police consider her a suspect. Hae-joon interrogates Seo-rae, and while observing her on stakeout, feels himself slowly developing an interest in her. Meanwhile the difficult-to-read Seo-rae, despite being suspected of a crime, acts boldly towards Hae-joon. A suspect who is hiding her true feelings. A detective who suspects and desires his suspect.
Decision to Leave is a story for adults. It’s a love story, and also a detective drama. But what I really want to emphasize is that it’s a story about loss, that anyone will be able to relate to. Rather than treat it as a solid tragedy, I tried to express it with subtlety, elegance and humor.
Born in 1963 in Seoul, South Korea. An ardent cinephile, Park juggled film directing and criticism in the 1990s before his commercial breakthrough, Joint Security Area, which broke local box-office records. However, it was his follow-up, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, that formulated Park’s intense, signature cinematic style. Winner of the Cannes Grand Prix for Oldboy and the Jury Prize for Thirst, Park-Chan Wook stands at the forefront of Korean cinema renaissance.
Park Chan-wook, Seo-kyeong Jeong
Cinematography: Kim Ji-yong
Music: Cho Young-wuk
Cast: Tang Wei (Seo-rae), Park Hae-il (Hae-jun), Go Kyung-Pyo (Soo-wan), Lee Jung-hyun, Jeong Min Park, Teo Yoo (Lee Joo Im), Jung Yi-seo, Hak-joo Lee, Seo Hyun-woo, Yong-woo Park (Ho-shin), Seung-mok Yoo, Jeong Ha-dam, Yeong-suk Jeong
Directed by Sander Joon; creenplay Sander Joon; animaton Henri Veermäe, Valya Paneva, Teresa Baroet, Sander Joon
format DCP, colour, running time 16'
A father and his son are losing the folkrace. In order to win, the boy turns himself into a car tire.
Directed by: Juraj Lerotić
Croatia, 2022, 102'
Screenplay: Lukas Dhont, Angelo Tijssens
Cast: Snježana Sinovčić Šiškov (mama/mother), Goran Marković (Damir), Juraj Lerotić (Bruno)
A traumatic event creates a rift in a family’s everyday existence. The autobiographical aspect of the story is highlighted by the fact that the author/director plays himself.
Damir and Bruno are brothers. Damir has just committed a failed suicide attempt. Bruno and their mother seek to protect Damir not just from himself, but also from the unsympathetic system consisting of rude and suspicious members of the police and the robotic, sometimes even arrogant medical personnel.
I based the film on a personal experience. As a filmmaker, I even find some fascination in the fact that the atrocity I lived through was even possible. Until this incident, I hadn’t realised that things could get out of control so quickly, so radically, without any warning or explanation. Slavoj Žižek was once asked why he published so extensively. He replied that in the process of writing he kept saying to himself he’d never publish it. I think I wrote this film in a similar way – I was telling myself I'd never shoot it. I even ended up acting in it. Juraj Lerotić
A heart-rending coming-of-age film. With his second feature, Belgian director Lukas Dhont has once again demonstrated his remarkable talent for working with non-professional actors. Grand Prix at Cannes 2022.
The friendship between two thirteen-year-old boys, Léo and Rémi, suddenly gets disrupted as schoolmates become aware of the intensity of their relationship. Girls – who are perhaps honest, or perhaps malicious – ask Léo if he and Rémi are a couple. Soon the boys are starting to make mean remarks to Léo, who is angry, scared and humiliated. He withdraws from Rémi, blanks him in the playground, goes in for macho ice hockey. Rémi is deeply baffled and wounded; Léo can hardly bear Rémi’s mute reproach, and being confronted with his own fickle dishonesty.
As a kid, I often denied myself an intimate relationship with another boy, because I feared that relationship. I read research by an American psychologist who followed around 100 boys between the ages of 13 and 18. At 13, she saw how those boys describe their friendships as being incredibly important to them. Their friends were the people they trusted, shared their secrets with, whom they loved. They weren’t afraid to express the love they felt for their friends. Then she re-interviewed them at 15, 16, 17 and 18. And with a lot of them, she saw how performance masculinity intervened. The intimacy those boys had with each other was interrupted. Lukas Dhont
Screenplay: Lukas Dhont, Angelo Tijssens
Cinematography: Frank van den Eeden
Music: Valentin Hadjadj
Cast: Eden Dambrine (Léo), Gustav De Waele (Rémi), Émilie Dequenne (Sophie), Léa Drucker (Nathalie), Léon Bataille (Baptiste), Kevin Janssens (Peter), Igor van Dessel (Charlie), Marc Weiss (Yves)
Igrajo: Eden Dambrine (Léo), Gustav De Waele (Rémi), Émilie Dequenne (Sophie), Léa Drucker (Nathalie), Léon Bataille (Baptiste), Kevin Janssens (Peter), Igor van Dessel (Charlie), Marc Weiss (Yves)
Screenplay: Emanuele Crialese, Francesca Manieri, Vittorio Moroni
Cinematography: Gergely Pohárnok
Penélope Cruz (Clara), Vincenzo Amato (Felice), Elena Arvigo (Patrizia), Aurora Quattrocchi (Clarina mama), Filippo Pucillo (Andrea), Luana Giuliani (Adriana), Alvia Reale (Adriana), Carlo Gallo (Alberto), Rita De Donato (Marina), Laura Nardi (Serena)
A family drama based on the director’s personal experience transitioning, Emanuele Crialese's film focuses on the troubled relationship between a powerful female character and her family.
Rome, 1970s: a world suspended between neighbourhoods under construction, black and white TV shows, and social achievements and family models that are now outdated.
Clara and Felice have just moved into a new apartment. Their marriage is over: they no longer love each other but can’t break up. Only their children, on whom Clara pours all her desire for freedom, keep them together. Adriana, her eldest, has just turned 12 and is the most attentive witness to Clara’s moods and the growing tensions between her parents. Adriana rejects her name and identity and wants to convince everyone that she is a boy. Her obstinacy brings the already fragile family balance to breaking point. While the children are waiting for a sign that might guide them – a voice from above or a song on the TV maybe – everything changes both around and inside them.
L’Immensita is the film that I’ve always been trying to make /.../. It’s a film about memory that needed a greater distance, a different consciousness. Like all my works, it is at bottom primarily a film on the family: on the innocence of the children, and on their relationship with a mother that could come to life only in the artistic and human encounter with Penélope Cruz, with her sensitivity and her extraordinary ability to interact with three very young people who had never acted before.
Born in Rome in 1965. He studied film direction at New York University. His first feature-length movie, Once We Were Strangers, was an American-Italian co-production. Crialese later returned to Italy, where he is currently based. The director has Sicilian roots, to which he pays tribute in film after film.
A contemporary music-dance performance inspired by the motives of Slovenian folklore and mythology
Kristijan Krajnčan (SI), director, composer, drums, cello; Tomaž Gajšt (SI), trumpet, flugelhorn; Boštjan Simon (SI); tenor saxophone; Robert Jukič (SI), double bass; Žigan Krajnčan (SI), choreography, dance; Katja Legin (SI), dance; Bor Prokofjev (SI)
Dance: Kristyna Šajtošova (CZ), dance; Borut Bučinel (SI)
The performance Honey Sparks in the Dark seeks to bring back from the darkness values that have long been forgotten in today's fast-paced life. Hence the idea for the title; honey as a symbol of human connectedness and interdependence with nature and is like a buried, old folk treasure worth bringing to the surface.
The content of the performance, which ranges from traditional themes to contemporary media, appeals to a broad spectrum of audiences; both older audiences, who are closer to the traditionality of folk dance and music, and the younger generation, who are in touch with the contemporary. The diversity of audience appeal in terms of sound, visuals, and genre allows for an organic fusion of traditional and modern elements and serves to bridge the generations.
The author of the performance, Kristijan Krajnčan (Kranj, 1986), established himself as one of his generation's most prolific and distinctive European artists. A virtuoso on drums and violoncello, composer and filmmaker has long moved away from fitting into a single labelled drawer. On a constant exploration of new paradigms, his ambition is to weave ancient storytelling with modern creative techniques. He is the receiver of numerous awards in all fields of his work.
After his first interdisciplinary Hidden Myth (2015), he returns to his Slovenian roots with Honey Sparks in the Dark. In the process of creation, he and his brother, choreographer and dance concept leader Žigan Krajnčan, were interested in everything that could inspire the process of composition and choreography, such as unusual customs, mystical rituals, ancient religion, folk mythology and musically not so well-known areas.
The performance was presented to the audience for the first time on 16 June 2022 at Cankarjev dom as part of the Ljubljana Jazz Festival.
The project was a feast for the ears and the eyes. The musical performers coexisted on stage with four dancers, including Žigan Krajnčan, the choreographer and Kristijan's brother. The brothers based the movement-sound performance on a concept derived from Slovenian folklore and mythology but updated and transformed it in a contemporary way. Music and movement creatively followed each other, leaving space for each other in the sense that the music could also be heard or the dancers could come to the fore when the music stopped.”
Brigita Gračner and Jan Kopač, Radio študent review of the Ljubljana Jazz Festival 2022
Then came one of the unexpected highlights of the festival. The performance with two male and two female dancers completely mesmerised me. I devoured every note and movement on the stage—an exceptional fusion of modern jazz with modern dance that drew from and referenced folklore.
Michal Kratochvíl, JAZZPORT (11.06.2022)
It is a fascinating piece of music, tastefully performed by the band and strongly translated into dance. Krajnčan is an exceptional musician and composer. He draws on many musical sources for his music, and new classical (read: contemporary) elements predominate in this particular composition. He builds up his musical story with the dancers so beautifully that, after the unexpected ending, you suddenly realise that you have heard more than an hour of music and
seen more than an hour of dance.
- Dick Hovenga, WRITTEN IN MUSIC (01.07.2022)
This was a show that you could not take your eyes off. Music and dance were so well brought together in this show which took place outdoors under one of the numerous mountains that define this area.
- Tim Dickeson, JAZZWISE (05.07.2022)
Light design; Nina Kuclar Stiković (SI)
Dramaturge; Nataša Zavolovšek (SI), producer
Production: Zavod Exodos Ljubljana
Coprodaction: Cankarjev dom
Partners: Ustvarjalni center Krušče, Pekinpah
With support Mestne občine Ljubljana