In 2002, a cautious young graphic designer is taken, against his will, on a complete tour of Afghanistan by two fearless reporters. With a video camera bought at the Kabul bazaar, he will follow them for two months on a wild journey. Or how to find one’s way in life when you’re fearful, anti-militarist and, after the death of your parents, you unwillingly become a war reporter just after 9/11.
A poor but prideful teenager, Ulzii, lives in the yurt area of Ulaanbaatar with his family. He is a physics genius and is determined to win a science competition to earn a scholarship. When his mother finds a job in the countryside, she leaves him and his younger siblings to face a harsh winter by themselves. Ulzii will have to take a risky job to look after them all and keep his home heated.
1980, Abadan. The capital of the Iranian oil industry is resisting an Iraqi siege. Fourteen-year-old Omid has braved the siege and stayed in the city with his grandfather, waiting for his elder brother to return from the front line. Along with Omid, a gallery of unusual characters have all remained in the city for their own reasons, and each resists in his or her own way. But the noose is tightening as Omid tries to save his loved ones, by embarking them on an abandoned boat he finds in Abadan’s port, that will become his ark.
Mesmerizing & Hypnotic – Sofilm
Visually stunning – The Guardian
A prodigious odyssey – Arte
Giacomo Abbruzzese’s hypnotic debut work was greeted as a breath of fresh air at the Berlinale and awarded the Silver Bear for Hélène Louvart’s cinematography. Franz Rogowski’s usual intense acting is in harmony with the examination of the simultaneity of different lifeworlds, blurred boundaries, and the demand for new, contemporary stories in this drama about a foreign legionnaire.
Aleksei is willing to do anything to escape Belarus. He travels to Paris and enlists in the Foreign Legion. He is sent to fight in the Niger Delta, where the young revolutionary Jomo is fighting the oil companies that have devastated his village. While Aleksei looks for a new family in the legion, Jomo imagines becoming a dancer, a disco boy. In the jungle, their dreams and destinies will cross.
Aleksei is a young Belarusian on the run from a past he must bury. In a kind of Faustian pact, he becomes a member of the French Foreign Legion and in return receives French citizenship. Far away, in the Niger Delta, Jomo is a revolutionary activist engaged in armed struggle to defend his community. Aleksei is a soldier, Jomo a guerrilla. Through another senseless war, their fates become intertwined.
What is “otherness” and can you integrate it into your own self as you go through life, crossing borders and being in an ever-changing space, both physically and mentally? Giacomo Abbruzzese’s unconventional thinking and inventiveness catches our eye as he explores such questions through an image-rich narrative and staging full of poetry and fertile tension. Bodies go through trance states that are both revealing and gifting as they create the possibility for communication. Electronic musician Vitalic’s powerful soundtrack accompanies this magical reverie, contributing to the idea that a nightclub is the closest you can get to transcendence, and the ultimate destination for people who point their compass towards the sacred horizon of utopia.
Hanka Nobis receives the Zurich Film Award for Best Director (30.10.2023). Excerpt from the jury statement: The debut film impressively shows, through the development of its young protagonist, that years of polarisation of the political landscape in Poland have led to a division in society. Thus the film becomes not only a sensitive mirror of a young generation, but also a portrait of an entire nation. With exceptional access, an empathetic camera, fluid editing and a musical concept that springs directly from within the youth movements, the filmmaker creates an uncompromising work that raises many questions and opens up a debate that needs to be conducted not only in Poland. Zurich Film Award
One of the most touching and hopeful documentaries in a long time! – ARTTV https://arttv.ch/film/polish-prayers/
A riveting debut – as illuminating as it is shocking. – FILMUFORIA
A powerful and uncompromising work – and a touching debut, intense and profound without being judgmental. – CINEUROPA
As a traditional Catholic in Poland, 22-year-old Antek holds deeply conservative views. But when he falls in love for the first time, he begins to have doubts – first about the prohibition of premarital sex and finally about the existence of God.
The 22-year-old Antek is destined to become the religious leader of the ultra-conservative Polish Brotherhood. The Brotherhood organises counter-demonstrations to LGBTQI+ events and meets for masculinity rituals in the forest. But when Antek is about to be promoted, he begins to question the moral principles he has spent years fighting for.
Over the course of four years, filmmaker Hanka Nobis accompanies the charismatic and sensitive young man, who identifies less and less with traditional values. In exchange with a constantly changing circle of friends, Antek develops his own opinion on what it means to be a good person.
Five senior citizens dare to step into the unknown. For 18 months, they will participate in a training based on mindfulness and altruism, which will be measured for a study. The aim is to evaluate the effects of meditation on ageing. The film tells their personal journey and mirrors it with scientific objectivity and the challenges of ageing well in our society. Living longer and longer – yes, but how?
Beyond the adventure of these seniors citizens, the film shows meditation as a way to connect with oneself and one’s surroundings. It illuminates the realities of this path with stumbling blocks, moments of doubt, gratitude, joy and sometimes relief.
In a near future, the Japanese government programme “Plan 75” encourages older people to die voluntarily in order to combat the ageing of society. A senior citizen who can no longer live independently, a pragmatic “Plan 75” salesman and a young Filipino caregiver face a life-or-death decision.
Chie Hayakawa’s PLAN 75 is a wonderfully humanistic story that imaginatively uses Japan’s ageing crisis as a template for a dystopian narrative. But PLAN 75 is not all gloom. By following Michiko, Maria and Hiromu on their journey, director Hayakawa celebrates life and all its everyday, small pleasures. The centrepiece within this triptych of stories is Michiko, embodied by the formidable Chieko Baisho, an independent senior citizen who turns to “Plan 75” as her last option.PLAN 75 reçoit les trois prix les plus importants au Festival du Film International de Fribourg : Grand Prix, the Critics’ Choice Award et Comundo Youth Jury Award
Our big partner: GINMAKU FILM FESTIVAL ZURICH
How can one talk about feminist struggles in a tender way with an enlightened patriarch?
Under the influence of a very personal poetic potion, Nadia Fares transforms the homage to her beloved Egyptian father into a chronicle of the situation of women in Egypt and in Switzerland. She explores the effects of patriarchal tradition as a mirror effect between Orient and Occident.
RECIF | Tea Room (Fribourg) | Gender Campus | Mampreneures (association suisse des mamans entrepreneurs) | Association suisse pour le droit de la femme | EPFelles | OSAR (Organisation Suisse d’Aide aux réfugiers) | ParMi (Fribourg) (MNA) (Fribourg) | BIF Bureau information Femmes (Lausanne) | CSP (centre social protestant) – Genève | Service jeunesse et cohésion sociale (Yverdon les Bains) | Business and Professional Women Club Genève | Business and Professional Women Club Fribourg | Bureau Lausannois pour les Immigrés Lausanne | Service de la sécurité sociale, secteur intégration (Renens) | Bureau de l’intégration (Vevey) | elisa-asile | Association AMIS (Aigle) | podcast tea-room | Association pour la Promotion des Droits Humains | ACES Association culturelle Egypto-Suisse | Defence for Children (impact days 2021) | Frauenstadtrundgang Zürich | Gosteli Stiftung Archiv zur Geschichte der schweizerischen Frauenbewegung | Männer.ch Schweizerisches Institut für Männer | Swonet Swiss Women Network | womenmatters Blogg Frauen und Karriere | Haus der Religionen – Dialog der Kulturen (Bern) | Die Feministen | Frauenzentrale Zürich | Human Rights Film Festival Zurich | Fem So – Feministischer Verein Kanton Solothurn | Frauenzentrale Aargau | Elisa-asile |
Spectacular costume drama from Algeria
Algeria, 1516. The pirate Aroudj Barbarossa, together with King Salim Toumi, drives the Spanish occupiers out of Algiers. But the peace is short-lived: rumour has it that Barbarossa has murdered the king and declared himself ruler. When everyone from the royal court flees, only Queen Zaphira stands up to him. Between history and legend, her rebellion tells of the personal and political turmoil she endures for the sake of Algiers.
The cinema spectacle from Algeria is the first of its kind and reproduces the multilingual and diverse world of the Maghreb at historical sites. Told for the first time from a female perspective, THE LAST QUEEN – EL AKHIRA breaks with tradition and creates space for a woman who becomes a heroine in adversity.
It is a story Algerians have never seen before and they need it to dig deep into their history and culture. – Cineuropa
The debut feature co-directed by Algerian director-actress Adila Bendimerad and French-Algerian director Damien Ounouri – immerses us, swinging between refined court life and bloody battles, royal splendour and fights to the last blood.
to the last blood. – Cineuropa
Co-director/co-writer Damien Ounouri described the film as
a costume drama, and he wasn’t lying. But it felt like so much more. It felt like a good episode of Game of Thrones. – Universal Cinema
The Last Queen (113 minutes) explores under-represented chapters of history and offers ample space for expurgated perspectives and voices. It is an intimate and beautifully shot period piece about a complicated female heroic figure. – High on Films
Ren, who is in her mid-twenties, goes on holiday with her Italian-Canadian parents and her younger sister Siena. Her family doesn’t know that she recently lost her job. Ren tries to find her way around the beach resort, which is geared towards retirees, and to escape her parents’ loving but overprotective ways, while her sister keeps the family on their toes with her rebellious outbursts. Knowing that Ren will be even more dependent on her parents’ support after the holidays, the resort house feels more and more confining.
In this refreshingly cliché-free film, writer-director Luis De Filippis tells of vibrant family dynamics and explores a Millennial’s conflicted desire to be independent yet cared for. While the film perfectly captures the tenor of a summer holiday where sunshine, watered-down booze, boredom and awkwardness are standard, there is an underlying sense of the slight unease that afflicts Ren as a trans woman in a conservative resort. Beyond melodramatic stereotypes, De Filippis and her team show us a world that authentically represents the trans experience.