Warsaw Film Festival announces the International Competition

Festivals 2019-09-25

It's time! After today's press conference at Kinoteka, we are happy to share the list of titles which will battle it out in this year's International Competition and Competition 1-2 of first and second films. As well as some other surprises including the special participation of Gérard Depardieu and the last King of the Belgians, or should we say the first Emperor of Europe?

The Opening Film

The Barefoot Emperor, dir. Jessica Woodworth, Belgium, Netherlands, Croatia, Bulgaria 2019, 99'

During an unfortunate incident in Sarajevo, the king of Belgians is shot in the ear. Meanwhile, the European Union is falling apart and rumors are beginning to circulate about the choice of the first nationalist emperor of Nova Europa. 

The Closing Film

Thalasso, dir. Guillaume Nicloux, France 2019, 93'

Michel Houellebecq and Gérard Depardieu meet at the seaside spa and try their best to survive, with predictably comedic results. Surprising continuation of the The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq from 2014. Well, kind of. 

 International Competition

To be decided by jurors directors Bujar Alimani and Hanna Slak, model and actress Małgorzata Bela-Pawlikowska, producer Oana Giurgiu and editor Michał Leszczyłowski.

5 Minutes Too Late / 5 Minute, dir. Dan Chișu, Romiania 2019, 103’

In 2013, far-right extremists began to protest during a cinema screening of a film about two lesbians. How did the authorities react? What happened there? Whose version of the events is real?

Diamond Soles, dir. Micael Preysler, United States 2019, 79’

Suspended between the past and the future, Cecilia is at the least certain point in her life. A perverse, a bit funny but also a dark tale about searching for yourself.

Dolina Bogów / Valley of the Gods, dir. Lech Majewski, Poland, Luxembourg, United States 2019, 131’

The Navajo legend, the story of the richest man affected by a tragedy (John Malkovich) and a copywriter (Josh Hartnett) writing his biography. Three intertwining threads courtesy of Lech Majewski.

I Will Cross Tomorrow / Demain, je traverse, dir. Sepideh Farsi, Netherlands, Luzembourg, Greece, France 2019, 81’

A Greek policewoman and a Syrian refugee meet right in a camp on the island of Lesbos. Who is more free? The one who escapes from the war, or the one who grows up in a free world?

A Hairy Tale / Maskharehbaz, dir. Homayoun Ghanizadeh, Iran 2019, 100’

Three hairdressers with different tastes, each of them crazy about their own interests. A black comedy with fantasy elements, awarded as the best Iranian debut at the Fajr Festival in Tehran.

Omar and Us / Omar ve biz, dir. Maryna Gorbach, Mehmet Bahadır Er, Turkey 2019, 104’

A retired Turkish Coast Guard commander must face his prejudices when a pair of refugees become his neighbors.

Proceder, dir. Michał Węgrzyn, Poland 2019, 137’  

Moving story of rapper Tomasz Chada (1978-2018) – a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, with the soul of a poet and a gift to get into serious trouble. 

Shindisi, dir. Dito Tsintsadze, Georgia 2019, 105’

Based on real events that took place during the Russian military intervention in Georgia in 2008. The story of a man unaware of his inner strength, who became a hero in every sense of the word. 

Listen to the Universe / 蜜蜂と遠雷, dir. Kei Ishikawa, Japan 2019, 119’

Four young pianists take part in the preliminary round of a competition. Each of them has a different, unique story. Fierce competition inspires them and changes who they are. 

What a Country! / Koja je ovo država!, dir. Vinko Brešan, Croatia, Serbia, Poland 2019, 118’

A surreal story about a suicidal general, a minister who voluntarily locks himself in a prison cell and pensioners who steal a casket with the remains of the deceased president of Croatia. 

U311 Cherkasy / U311 Черкаси, dir. Tymur Yashchenko, Ukraine, Poland 2019, 102’

During Russian invasion of Crimea, the minesweeper "Cherkasy" became the last vessel to sail under the Ukrainian flag. Sailors must decide whether to defend themselves at all costs.

Boi Atbaya, dir. Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Kazahstan 2019, 136’

Atbai can only fight. To change his life, he decides to take part in a mixed martial arts tournament. He doesn't know that before the tournament starts, the winners will be already chosen...

Great Poetry / Большая поэзия, dir. Alexander Lungin, Russia 2019, 123’

Two men, attending poetry classes, come to the conclusion that the only poetic action they can carry out in the world is to rob a bank. Awarded for directing at this year's festival in Sochi.

Winona, dir. Alexander Voulgaris, Greece 2019, 88’

A seemingly ordinary trip to a secluded beach. Four women enjoy the warmth of the sun and the cold of the sea. What secret do they hide in their games?

Wisdom Tooth / Ri Guang Zhi Xia, dir. Ming Liang, China 2019, 98’

In the cold winter of 1999, a teenage girl lives on the northern border of China. She is not allowed to be there, but there is another problem: she can't get along with her brother's new girlfriend.

Competition 1-2  

To be decided by jurors producer Anita Juka and directors Johan Karrento and Piotr Domalewski.

Brothers in Brothel / Haru wo Uruhito, dir. Jirō Satō, Japan 2019, 113’

Extreme love story about people trapped on a Japanese island isolated from the world.

Carturan / Cărturan, dir. Liviu Săndulescu, Romania 2019, 90’    

Cărturan is 65 years old and leads a peaceful life far away in a mountain village. One day his life turns upside down. Cărturan will have to take unexpected steps.

Chronology / Kronoloji, dir. Ali Aydın, Turkey, Germany 2019, 117’

When the wife finds out that she will never be able to have children, she disappears. The husband begins the search. A psychological thriller using an unconventional narrative structure.

Cat in the Wall, dir. Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova, Bulgaria, Great Britain, France, 2019, 92’

Based on real events, the film explores the topic of alienation of multicultural communities in the heart of London, the absurdities growing around the current political and social situation.

Curator / Куратор, dir. Petr Levchenko, Russia, Georgia 2019, 76’

The mayor of a small town on the outskirts of Moscow is shot dead in his office. The killer is a Georgian businessman. The story of the vicious circle driven by money and human indifference.

Magali, dir. Juan Pablo di Bitonto, Argentina 2019, 81’

After the death of her mother, Magali returns to her hometown in the mountains. Together with her 10-year-old son, she will have to fulfill her family duty and perform a ritual. 

Nuclear, dir. Catherine Linstrum, Great Britain 2019, 92’

After a brutal attack, Emma and her mother move out of their housing estate. They drive to a place that seems safe, near a dark lake and a nuclear power plant. 

Move the Grave / I-jang, dir. Seung-o Jeong, South Korea 2019, 94’

Four sisters go to their place of birth to move their father's grave. Intelligent critique of modern family ties. Funny and ironically ruthless in equal measure.

Sister / Sestra, dir. Svetla Tsotsorkova, Bulgaria, Qatar 2019, 97’

Lies of a teenager are ruining the life of her older sister. When the girls try to fix the whole situation, they learn the unknown truth about their mother. 

Valan, dir. Béla Bagota, Hungary 2019, 98’

In Valan, a Transylvanian mining town, a detective re-opens the case of his sister's disappearance 22 years ago. Suspenseful psychological thriller and a new voice of Hungarian cinematography.

Spring Follows Winter, dir. La Yue Zheng Yue, Junfeng Liu, China 2019, 90’

Grandpa finds a bag with money. Clueless, he gives it to a liar and now he must find him. A song of praise for human honesty...

Wszystko dla mojej matki / All for My Mother, dir. Małgorzata Imielska, Poland 2019, 103’        

Ola is 17 years old and is in high school. She believes that if she starts to succeed in competitions, her mother will eventually find her. A story of growing up, loneliness and violence. 

Relativity / Mein Ende. Dein Anfang, dir. Mariko Minoguchi, Germany 2019, 111’

The story of an extraordinary relationship in which the relativity of time and the fact that everything is related to everything plays an important role. A bit of a love story, a bit of a criminal drama. 

The Forgotten / Zabuti, dir. Daria Onyshchenko, Ukraine, Switzerland 2019, 105’

Ukrainian teacher from Lugansk is forced to teach Russian. A moving story about people who remained in the occupied regions, often against their will.

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Warsaw Film Foundation /35th Warsaw Film Festival, October 11-20, 2019


Last modified on 2019-09-25