After one year of movie research, Visionär Film Festival is back in town. With its selection of new talents from around the world, bear witness to daring, original and visionary debuts to full-length film.
The six-day festival will take place from the 2nd to the 7th of May 2018 and brings very interesting new auteurs to several cinemas and neighbourhoods of Berlin: City Kino Wedding, ACUDkino (Mitte) and Il Kino (Neukölln). The program offers a selection of nine first or second feature films in Competition for the Audience and Jury Awards – all Berlin or German premieres, one movie out of Competition and a selection of short films made by Berlin filmmakers.
Visionär will open with a homage to a great director who was recently awarded an Honorary Oscar and whose latest documentary was running to the Oscar: Agnès Varda. On the 2nd of May, we will screen her seminal film Cleo from 5 to 7. This real-time portrait of a singer (Corinne Marchand) as she awaits test results of a biopsy, captures Paris in the sixties. It’s the chronicle of the minutes of Cléo’s life, is a lively mix of vivid vérité and melodrama, featuring a score by Michel Legrand (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and cameos by Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina. Film historians have cited Varda’s work as central to the development of the French New Wave film movement.
First movies revealed!
In just two months, Visionär will bring to Berlin for the first time and make you discover new perks from India, Slovenia, Belgium, France, Spain, Greece, Germany, Brazil, Costa Rica, USA.
FILMS IN COMPETITION
1) AZOUGUE NAZARÉ by Tiago Melo (Brazil, 2018 – German Premiere)
In Nazaré da Mata, a small town near Recife in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, young people don’t hold rap battles, but samba battles. The maracatu culture, an Afro-Brazilian dance and music spectacle related to carnival with roots in the era of slavery, is in their blood. A local evangelical priest, himself an ex master of maracatu, is opposing to this cultural heritage regarded as inspired by the devil. Azougue Nazareth follows men and women taken from a real maracatu group, who set up the annual show of dance and music linked to the carnival. They live their everyday life, struggling with their problems, while supernatural presences appear in the sugarcane field. Thanks to Melo’s rural portrait, we experience an anthropological insight about costumes, tradition and self-expression. The characters depict an authentic, tormented humanity, which moves between joys and sorrows, keeping the yearning for self-determination that one’s own tradition claims. World Premiere in Rotterdam, winner of Bright Future.
2) THE FLOWER SHOP (LA FLEURIERE) by Ruben Desiere (Belgium, Slovakia, 2018 – German Premiere)
In the back room of a flower shop, Tomi, Rasto and Mizu are digging a tunnel in order to break into the safe of the National Bank. After heavy rainfall, the underground maze gets submerged by water and they are forced to stop working. The Flower Shop is a contemporary fable of redemption of young immigrants in search for identity, a life rooted in normality and a never achieved integration. Ruben Desiere touches on vital topics in outlining psychologies, hopes and disillusionments, within a visionary capacity full of promises.
3) MEDEA by Alexandra Latishev Salazar (Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, 2017 – Berlin premiere)
María Josés life moves back and forth between the monotony of classes at the university, her eternally distant parents, rugby training and dares with her gay friend. Emotionally disconnected from her environment, when she meets Javier, she tries to start a relationship with him. But all her efforts to live a “normal” life cannot succeed. She is carrying a secret that everybody avoids to notice: she is a few months into her pregnancy. A film about the body, about the decisions and freedoms that a woman can take with it (and also the problems and conflicts that entails), MEDEA is a powerful story and a disturbing film with a character as complex and contradictory as difficult to forget.
4) NOBLE EARTH by Ursula Grisham (USA, 2017 – Berlin Premiere)
Emma meets Tancredi in Florence, embarking on a love affair with the intoxicating cosmos he represents: endless days in the gauzy hills, the sun-blanched beaches. They become engaged. Soon, however, Emma becomes caught in family politics, learning what is expected of a woman in Florentine high society. The same beauty that intoxicated Emma reveals itself as superficial, and suffocates her. A study of ennui and female repression within a world rarely seen onscreen, NOBLE EARTH had its World Premiere at Raindance and won Best Film – Emergence at Oaxaca Film Fest.
5) THE FAMILY by Rok Bicek (Slovenia, Austria, 2017 – Berlin premiere)
At fourteen, Matej’s family confronts him with the world of mental disorders and he spends his time isolated from his peers. At 20, when he becomes a father himself, it looks as if he would be able to transcend his past and create a family of his own. His behaviour and personality, deeply affected by his history, disturbs his new-found peace – making it difficult for him to give a full sense to the relationship with his daughter. In this project, genuinely filmed for 10 years without a script, Rok Bicek observes what a family is – the inescapable bonds it generates, the thread of flesh and blood that will belong to us forever. The Family is a real time observation that transcends the work of fiction, keeping intact pathos and truth. It had its World Premiere at the Locarno International Film Festival.
6) JULIA IST by Elena Martín (Spain, 2017 – Berlin Premiere)
Júlia, an architecture student from Barcelona, decides to take an Erasmus year in Berlin. This is how, without much consideration and driven by her inertia, Júlia leaves her home for the first time in her life. Full of expectations and lacking life experience, Júlia finds herself lost in a cold and grey city, undergoing a student exchange year far from that adventure that she initially imagined. Little by little, she will build up her life in Berlin and get to know who she is in this new context. And while she gets to know the city from the inside and lets herself get carried away by its people, the end of this adventure is coming closer and closer. At the Malaga IFF it was awarded Best Film, Best Director, Movistar+ Award for Best film.
7) JUZE by Miransha Naik (India, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, 2017 – German Premiere)
The film is a dark exploration of the exploitation and abuse of immigrants in Goa, a tourist resort dear to Westerners, through the eyes of the teenage student-laborer Santosh. His attempt to escape his fate shows us the inhumane abuses of a system led by the cynical supervisor Juze. This ancestral microcosm of slaves who work for food and lodging still exists in the late 20th century. Santosh becomes a sacrificial lamb, humiliated by many fronts but determined to fight for his freedom.
8) PARK by Sofia Exarchou (Greece, Poland, 2016 – Berlin Premiere)
Athens Olympic Village, ten years after the 2004 Games: wild youths, injured retired athletes and stray dogs among ruins and decaying sports venues. The location is a potent symbol of the country’s economic, social and existential collapse. Within, a humanity without a goal is consuming its days in the flow of lazy hours, in a false movement that contains all the desperation of a Greek crisis – that is global. Harmony Korine and Larry Clark’s style looms large in the raw and poetic vision of Sofia Exarchou, in her drama about those who were sacrificed to the inhumane economic system.
9) THE PARK (LE PARC) by Damien Manivel (France, 2016 – Berlin Premiere)
Summer time. A teenage boy and girl have their first date in a park. Hesitant and shy at first, they soon discover each other, get closer as they wander, and end up falling in love. But as the sun goes down, it is time to part. He leaves, although she would like him to stay. Then, a dark night begins. Manivel’s film has the charm of traditional cinema while shining colourful lights, produced nowadays by digital technology. He gives life to a story that mixes Rohmerian atmospheres, dreams of illusion and awakening to reality. In this both naturalistic and unconscious vision, the park is the main character, a protective but potentially dangerous place. The dream purifies and gives meaning to the discovery of love and the small pains it feeds on. Presented at Cannes Acid 2016, The Park was awarded at the JeonJu International Film Festival 2017 as Best Feature Film.
FILM OUT OF COMPETITION
SARAH PLAYS A WEREWOLF (Sarah joue un loup-garou) by Kathrina Wyss (Switzerland, Germany, 2017)
On stage 17-year-old Sarah gives it all. When she performs, there is an instant of suspense, a moment in which she appears to transform completely into her character. What lies behind Sarah’s radical stage presence? A dark secret she is trying to express. A claustrophobic family environment, the longing for a boyfriend, a friend, someone she can confide in. The more Sarah expresses this desire, the more she ends up alienating the people willing to get close to her. A few days in the life of an outsider and her incessant struggle to escape solitude.
More details will be revealed soon, stay tuned!