72SSIFF - 20/28 September 2024
New Directors
New Directors
Judith Colell
91 min.
Three people waiting for a bus one winter?s night look on as a dog is abandoned. Mila, a teacher on a year?s leave of absence after having been attacked by one of her students; Celso, a security guard, married, father of a son, who has serious trouble making ends meet, and who is on the point of learning that he?s about to be a father again, but this time to twins; and Valeria, a cello student with a murky family/love relationship. All three set out on a voyage leading them to confront their fears and frustrations and each of them to take an extreme, life-changing decision.
Mes de Guzman
The Philippines 
89 min.
For Jinky and Potpot, life in Benguet (North Philippines) is simply a trek to and from school. Every day, together with other children, they have to cross mountains, rivers and hanging bridges to get to their destination. They survive thanks to the work of their elder brothers, Manong Ramil and Manong Ronaldo, who inherited the task of looking after their siblings and grandfather on their parents? death. Both work for a mining company, leaving the younger brothers in their grandfather?s care. But the elder brothers haven?t been back for months. The neighbours think they may have been buried in a mine landslide. While waiting for news, the kids and their grandfather try to subsist on the herbs growing in their backyard. Meanwhile, they continue to pray for their brothers? safety and their own salvation.
Ragnar Bragason
93 min.
Karitas, a single mother of four, is desperately trying to make ends meet. Fighting a losing battle for custody of her three daughters, she's oblivious to what's going on with her twelve year old son Gudmund, a victim of school bullying. Gudmund's only friend is the schizophrenic Marinó, a child trapped in a grown man's body. When Marinó, who still lives with his mother, finds out she has secretly been dating a stranger, his grip on reality starts to slip. Meanwhile, Gardar, a hard-man debt collector, has been exiled both from the criminal underworld and from his family. Looking to make a fresh start in life, he decides to seek out his son Gudmund whom he has never seen. But his unexpected arrival in the boy's life proves to be the catalyst for a chain-reaction of dramatic events.
Koldo Serra
Spain - UK - France 
98 min.
The late 70s. An English couple travels to Spain in the hottest summer of the decade. What starts out as an idyllic holiday during which to try and solve their problems in the company of a couple of friends degenerates into a spiral of violence caused by the cultural shock and simple lack of communication.
Sean Ellis
90 min.
When art student Ben Willis is dumped by his girlfriend Suzy, he develops insomnia. To pass the long hours of the night, he starts working the late night shift at the local supermarket. There he meets a colourful cast of characters, all of whom have their own ?art? in dealing with the boredom of an eight-hour-shift. Ben?s art is that he imagines himself stopping time. This way, he can appreciate the artistic beauty of the frozen world and the people inside it - especially Sharon, the quiet checkout girl, who perhaps holds the answer to solving the problem of Ben?s insomnia.
Iñaki Dorronsoro
105 min.
Daniel, a young boxer on the point of winning the title several times, is beaten yet again and commits a robbery that lands him in jail. Guillermo, a self-destructive policeman tormented by his latent homosexuality, blackmails Daniel into committing a murder behind bars. In exchange, Daniel gains his freedom and returns to the only thing he knows how to do: box. But this time the search for pain to relieve the guilt has made his conservative style more aggressive. He remembers the last conversation he had with the man he killed, when he talked about his wife, just another whore in the club he ran, and goes to meet her. Seeing danger in the relationship between the victim?s murderer and his widow, Guillermo tries to stop it.
Sven Taddicken
99 min.
A mediocre car salesman, Max suddenly learns that he?s soon to die of pancreatic cancer. Stealing money from his boss, his plans to spend the last days of his life in a Mexican paradise are foiled when a sudden car accident leads him to Emma, a surly, lonely and hopelessly indebted pig breeder. Emma slaughters the animals her own way, holding them gently until they cease bleeding. She?s delighted at Max?s arrival: he?s the kind of man she?s always dreamt of and he?s brought cash with him to boot. Max finally falls under the spell of the woman?s ways, even forgetting the illness inexorably advancing upon him.
Lionel Bailliu
99 min.
When ambition, jealousy and lust are transported out of the workplace, the results can be fatal... Driven by their bitter determination to rise to the top, four executives and their boss face off in a breathtaking psychological and sports-action thriller. Rowing, squash, an adventure trail, golf and canyoning are the settings for the most extreme forms of harassment and emotional blackmail where all the players will use any means, fair or foul, to achieve victory. Who will be the winner? Who will survive the most dangerous and thrilling challenge ever faced?
Rubén Imaz Castro
129 min.
On the eve of a special day, family ties show themselves to be fragile before the shared feeling of tremendous loss. Uncle Manuel, a very special man, raises his teenage nephews and helps his brother-in-law, an unemployed trade unionist. Mum?s house will be the heart of this evening in which the family can delve into a world of lost dreams.
Peter Schønau Fog
100 min.
South Jutland, the early 1970s. Life isn?t easy for 11-year-old Allan. His father has ?psychic nerves? and regularly threatens to kill himself. His mother has given up, his older brother has moved out and the family?s small dairy store isn?t doing well. When his older sister stops spending the night on the couch with her father, it?s up to Allan to keep the family together. His father lives for the times he gets to recite his famously eloquent eulogies and make the mourners weep in chorus. Soon, Allan is lending a hand to make sure there are enough funerals to keep his father happy.
Fernando Bernués, Mireia Gabilondo
97 min.
Juan Martin, a young boy from San Sebastian, decides to spend the summer in a remote hillside farmhouse to improve his Basque. But there he discovers that the language they use has little in common with his classroom learnings. The family consists of the father, the grandmother and four children. On the one hand are the linguistic problems, and on the other our star?s lack of savvy in this new rural world. Although the sensual Ixabel, the youngest daughter in the family, awakens feelings previously unknown to him, she already has a partner in Anjel Mari, a handsome pelota ace. The climax arrives at the village celebrations where we are treated to a magnificent pelota game, bets, dances, and the way personal relations take shape; or in other words, who goes out with who.
Yen Yen Woo, Colin Goh
105 min.
Heavily in debt, patriarch Loh Poh Huat can?t help but feel bitter irony whenever he has to perform his job as a lawyer?s clerk, seizing goods from the homes of credit card debtors. At the end of his career, and frustrated by the gulf between his middle class dreams and his working class reality, he takes his feelings of failure and envy out on his family. So when Poh Huat suddenly wins two million dollars in the lottery, the Lohs start believing that maybe this windfall will deliver them from their struggles. But something happens which pitches the family into a battle where the stakes are the very meaning of life itself...
Chen Daming
A traditional opera company folds due to money problems and its members have to start over in new jobs. One of them sells faked ?pedigree? dogs, another tries his hand at shady dealing, observing how his wife longs for a new life in France, and a third works as a photographer, while their true dream is for the opera company to get back on its feet. When the bag of money reappears in the hands of a conman peddling easy success and false hope, their lives are thrown into chaos once more.
Jorge Durán
103 min.
Proibido proibir is the story of Leon, a sociology undergraduate, his girlfriend Leticia, an architecture student who falls in love with Paulo, a medicine student and Leon?s best friend and roommate. For this reason the triangle never consummates, causing tension between them. Colleagues at the Federal University, they get to know Rosalina, a terminal patient at the University Hospital where Paulo is doing his internship. Trying to find information about her two sons, the students discover the city violence. Leon is shot when trying to save the younger of Rosalina?s sons as he flees from the policemen who had killed his brother, a street vendor, and Leticia brings him home for Paulo to remove the bullet. This tragic experience strengthens Paulo and Leticia?s love, while binding the friendship between all three.
Aaron J. Wiederspahn
134 min.
Finn, a middle-aged English teacher entering a mid-life crisis impelled by a recent tragedy for which he counts himself responsible, decides to abandon his routine life and sell encyclopedias to the town locals. But Finn?s anxieties begin to consume him as he finds himself pursued by an unrelenting ghost. Circling through sleepless nights and desperate days, The Sensation of Sight intertwines lives of loneliness and disconnection, fatefully leading him towards an unexpected, sublime awakening.
Erik Richter Strand
99 min.
Lars, 25, has a temper that?s always gotten him into trouble. Learning that an elderly man is fooling around with the teenage boys in his suburb triggers a terrible rage in him and he embarks on a crusade to stop the hypothetical pervert. But things soon spin out of control, endangering those he set out to protect.
Daniela Goggi
85 min.
Life is a long path of adapting to fear. Monica, 33 years old and recently separated, waits for the results of a medical examination; the uncertainties deriving from the meaning of life are the secrets Monica keeps from her family. Maybe she doesn?t have the courage to tell them what she?s waiting for or she doesn?t have the patience to withstand the attitudes of her self-centred family or, perhaps, she doesn?t want to ruin the forthcoming family birthday. Monica tries to ignore the wait, continuing with her routine and her family; a charming family with the ability to deny all problems. For how long will she be able to keep her fear quiet?
Oliver Paulus, Stefan Hillebrand
Switzerland - Germany 
90 min.
Set in an old folks? home, Wir werden uns wiederseh?n takes us to a place only entered by those who have a good reason to do so: to visit a patient, work, or receive care if needed: a nursing home confronting residents and visitors alike with age, illness and death, issues that can lead to heights of love or the depths of depression. The three heroes work at the centre and, like many of the patients, have to face their fears if they want to live. The idea behind the film is that anyone who?s afraid to die is afraid to live.
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