71SSIFF - 22/30 September 2023
Official Selection
Official Selection
Anahí Berneri
82 min.
Alanis works as a prostitute. She has a baby and, with her friend Gisela, shares the flat in which she lives and attends to her clients, until two municipal inspectors close down her home and arrest Gisela, accused of procurement. Let down by everybody, Alanis heads for her aunt’s place, across from the Plaza Miserere. From this mixed race and violent neighbourhood, Alanis struggles to recover her dignity, help her friend and take care of her son. She offers her services in the street, but even that has its own rules and Alanis must fight for her place.
Fernando Franco
104 min.
The lives of Luis and Marta are abruptly paralysed. Lies, guilt and fear put the couple’s stability and love to the test.
Special Screenings
Opening Film (In competition)
Wim Wenders
Germany - France - Spain 
110 min.
Submergence is a love story that takes us into the extremely different worlds of our two protagonists, Danielle Flinders and James More. They meet by chance in a remote hotel in Normandy where they both prepare for a dangerous mission. They fall in love almost against their will, but soon recognize in each other the love of their lives. When they have to separate, we find out that James works for the British Secret Service. He’s involved in a mission in Somalia to track down a source for suicide bombers infiltrating Europe. Danielle ‘Danny’ Flinders is a bio-mathematician working on a deep sea diving project to support her theory about the origin of life on our planet. Soon, they are worlds apart. James is taken hostage by Jihadist fighters and has no way of contacting Danny, and she has to go down to the bottom of the ocean in her submersible, not even knowing if James is still alive…
Closing film out of competition
Björn Runge
Sweden - UK  
99 min.
Behind any great man, there’s always a greater woman … and you’re about to meet her. It is crucial you get to know this woman – many of us already do and don't even realise it. Joan Castleman: a highly intelligent and still-striking beauty - the perfect devoted wife. Forty years spent sacrificing her own talent, dreams and ambitions to fan the flames of her charismatic husband Joe and his skyrocketing literary career. Ignoring his infidelities and excuses because of his 'art' with grace and humour. Their fateful pact has built a marriage upon uneven compromises. And Joan’s reached her breaking point. On the eve of Joe’s Nobel Prize for Literature, the crown jewel in a spectacular body of work, Joan's coup de grace is to confront the biggest sacrifice of her life and secret of his career. The Wife is a poignant, funny and emotional journey; a celebration of womanhood, self-discovery and liberation.
Global Screen
© Global Screen
Urszula Antoniak
Poland - Netherlands 
85 min.
Michael and his boss and best friend Franz feel at home in Berlin’s hip restaurants, bars and clubs. There is seemingly no difference between them, but Michael, who emigrated from Poland after the death of his mother several years ago, still pays extra attention to his accent. Michael is thrown into turmoil when a run-down Polish bohemian shows up on his doorstep and claims to be his father. Father and son, two complete strangers spend a weekend together, torn between empathy, rejection and mistrust. As Michael’s roots catch up with him, a painful crisis seems inevitable...
Robert Schwentke
Germany - France - Poland 
118 min.
In the last moments of World War II, a 19 year old private, ragged and starving, steals a captain's uniform. Impersonating an officer he gathers a group of deserters and proceeds to kill and plunder his way through a beaten Nazi Germany. The Captain marks writer/director Robert Schwentke's return to Germany.
© JulioVergne
Manuel Martín Cuenca
Spain - Mexico 
112 min.
Álvaro wants to be an author, but everything he puts down on paper rings false, pretentious and insipid. He works as a clerk at a notary’s office in Seville and his life is dull, only coloured by his dreams. His wife, Amanda, is quite the opposite. She’s always had her feet firmly on the ground and has never dreamt of becoming an author. However, she sets out to write and produces a bestseller. The ironies of life. Separation is inevitable. Just then, Álvaro decides to fulfil his dream: to write a great novel. But he can’t; he has neither the talent nor the imagination. Guided by Juan, his writing teacher, he studies the fundamentals of the novel, until discovering one day that fiction is in fact based on reality. Álvaro starts manipulating his neighbours and friends to create a story, a real story bigger than fiction.
Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño
114 min.
Having fought in the First Carlist War, Martin returns to his family farm in Gipuzkoa only to find that his younger brother, Joaquín, towers over him in height. Convinced that everyone will want to pay to see the tallest man on Earth, the siblings set out on a long trip all over Europe, during which ambition, money and fame will forever change the family’s fate. A story based on true events.
Les Films du Poisson
© Les Films du Poisson
Emmanuel Finkiel
126 min.
When she finds two old notebooks in a forgotten box, Marguerite Duras remembers her past and the unbearable pain of waiting. In the 1944 Nazi-occupied France, the young and brilliant author is an active Resistance member with her husband Robert Antelme. When he is deported by the Gestapo, she throws herself into a desperate struggle to get him back. She develops a chilling relationship with local Vichy collaborator Rabier and takes terrible risks to save Robert, playing a cat-and-mouse game of unpredictable meetings all over Paris. Does he really want to help her? Or is he trying to dig up information about the anti-Nazi underground movement? Finally the war ends and camp victims return, an excruciating period for her, a long and silent agony after the chaos of the Liberation of Paris. But she continues to wait, bound to the torment of absence even beyond hope.
Nobuhiro Suwa
France - Japan 
103 min.
South of France. Present day. Jean, an actor caught up in the past, learns that his current film shoot is unexpectedly suspended for an indefinite period. He takes this opportunity to visit an old friend and settles, clandestinely, into an abandoned house where it happened that Juliette, the great love of his life, once lived. A group of young friends, novice filmmakers, stumble upon the same house and decide it’s the perfect location for their next home-made horror movie. Jean and the kids will meet face to face, sooner or later.
Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano
115 min.
For the happy couple this is the biggest night of their lives. But it’s just another of many for Max, from the catering company, Guy the photographer, James the singer, and everyone else working at the event. Pierre and Hélène have decided to celebrate their marriage in a beautiful 18th century castle on the outskirts of Paris. We follow the occasion from its preparation until the sun comes up, almost in real time, but only seen through the eyes of those working at the marriage. This will be a night full of surprises.
Christian SchulzNGFLOOKS
© Christian SchulzNGFLOOKS
Barbara Albert
Austria - Germany 
97 min.
Vienna, 1777. The blind 18-year-old 'Wunderkind' pianist Maria Theresia Paradis lost her eyesight overnight when she was three years old. After countless failed medical experiments, her parents take her to the estate of controversial 'miracle doctor' Franz Anton Mesmer, where she joins a group of outlandish patients. She enjoys the liberal household in a Rococo world and tastes freedom for the first time, but begins to notice that as Mesmer's treatment brings back her eyesight, she is losing her cherished musical virtuosity...
Antonio Méndez Esparza
Spain - USA 
114 min.
On the edge of adulthood, Andrew yearns to find his purpose as a young African-American in today's America. With his mother longing to find more to her life than parenting, Andrew is forced to take on the mounting pressure of family responsibility. His search for connection with an absent father, leads him to a dangerous crossroads.
Alexandros Avranas
Greece - France 
99 min.
A couple hires a young migrant to be their surrogate mother and moves her to their beautiful villa. While the man is away for work, the woman and the girl start to bond and enjoy the couple's wealthy way of life. But behind her forced cheerfulness, the woman seems more and more depressed. After a few drinks with the girl, she goes for a drive. The next morning, her husband gets a call: his wife is dead, her burned body was found in her wrecked car.
Jean Libon, Yves Hinant
France - Belgium 
99 min.
The extraordinary, offbeat judge Anne Gruwez takes us behind the scenes of real life criminal investigations. For three years the satirical team behind the cult TV series Strip-Tease captured what no one had dared film before. Unapologetic and politically incorrect. You won't believe your eyes. It's not cinema: it's worse!
Constantin Popescu
Romania - France 
152 min.
Cristina and Tudor Ionescu have founded a happy family with their two children, Maria and Ilie. He works for a phone company and she is an accountant. They are in their thirties and live in a nice apartment in a Romanian town. They live the life of an ordinary couple with their children. But one Sunday morning when Tudor takes his kids to the park, Maria disappears. Their lives abruptly change forever.
Ivana Mladenovic
Romania - Serbia - Belgium 
119 min.
Adi, a young anthropologist recently left by his girlfriend, moves to Ferentari (the poorest neighborhood in Bucharest)  to write a study on manele music (the pop music of the Roma community). While researching his subject, he meets Alberto, a Roma ex-convict who promises to help him. Soon, the two begin a romance in which Adi feeds Alberto improbable plans to escape poverty while Alberto reciprocates with well-concocted phrases of love. When the money runs out, both find themselves trapped in an apartment where they love and use each other, in a game of need and power that has no winners.
Matthew Porterfield
USA - France 
101 min.
On probation and living in his father's house after a year of incarceration, 24-year-old Keith navigates his deeply stratified Baltimore neighborhood in search of work and something to give his life new meaning. Though the outside world provides its own share of threats, Keith's greatest enemies are the demons he harbors within.
James Franco
103 min.
James Franco’s The Disaster Artist is the true story of the making of the film The Room, which has been called "the Citizen Kane of bad movies". Tommy Wiseau’s cult classic has been screening to sold-out audiences nationwide for more than a decade. The Disaster Artist is a buddy comedy about two outsiders chasing a dream. When the world rejects them, they decide to make their own movie – and it’s a movie so wonderfully awful due to its unintentional hilarious moments, meandering plots and terrible acting.
Diego Lerman
Argentina - Brazil - Poland - France 
96 min.
Malena is a middle-class doctor in Buenos Aires. One afternoon she receives a call from Dr Costas, telling her she must leave immediately for the north of the country: the baby she was expecting is about to be born. Suddenly and almost without a thought, Malena decides to set out on an uncertain voyage, packed with crossroads at which she has to deal with all sorts of legal and moral obstacles to the extent that she constantly asks herself to what limits she is prepared to go to get the thing she wants most.  
Julio Vergne/Movistar+
© Julio Vergne/Movistar+
Alberto Rodríguez
102 min.
During an outbreak of the bubonic plague in the magnificent Seville of 1587, Mateo, a former soldier, returns, honouring his word to find and rescue a dead friend’s son from the city. Previously, Mateo had been forced to flee the city to save his life, having been sentenced to death by the Inquisition for printing forbidden books. Before he can complete his task, Mateo is arrested by the Inquisitor’s bailiffs, who promise to pardon his life in exchange for solving a series of crimes of diabolic overtones being committed in Seville. Premiere of the first two episodes of the new TV series directed by Alberto Rodríguez.
Not in competition
Sergio G. Sánchez
110 min.
Jack and his three siblings struggle to survive at the rundown Marrowbone farm. Despite the blow of their mother’s early death, the four brothers have created in this remote and labyrinthine spot a refuge suited to their needs, safe from the outside world and with no adult help whatsoever. They stay together, observing their mother’s last wish; but the danger closing in around them isn’t to be found outside the farm. Strange noises and occurrences start shaking Marrowbone’s old walls, as if haunted by an ancient curse. With no other option but to stay in the mansion, the four brothers will have to find a way to overcome the threatening ominous presence.
Not in competition
Albert Dupontel
114 min.
November 1919. Two survivors of the trenches set up a scam based on war memorials. One is a brilliant illustrator, the other an unassuming accountant. In the France of the Roaring Twenties, their operation becomes as dangerous as it is spectacular... Adaptation of Pierre Lemaitre’s novel The Big Swindle, winner of the Prix Goncourt.  
Special Screenings
Akiyuki Shinbo, Nobuyuki Takeuchi
90 min.
Summer break in a town by the sea. One day before a firework festival, classmates excitedly discuss whether fireworks are round or flat when they're viewed from the side. Their classmate Nazuna, who Norimichi has a crush on, is lost in her own thoughts after learning that her mother, who is getting remarried, is making her transfer schools. Nazuna asks Norimichi to run away with her but gets caught by her mother, who drags her home. Norimichi can’t do anything but watch helplessly.  Norimichi, frustrated with himself for not helping Nazuna, throws a mysterious ball Nazuna found on the beach. Then suddenly, time gets rewound to the moment before Nazuna is forced to go home… What does fate have in store for Nazuna and Norimichi  at the end of the day that keeps repeating itself? When fireworks light up the sky, a miracle of love occurs.
Special Screenings
Jean-Michel Cousteau, Jean-Jacques Mantello
UK - France 
82 min.
Shot in 3D over three years in locations ranging from Fiji to the Bahamas, the film takes us underwater on a thrilling submarine voyage beneath the seas that cover 71% of our planet’s surface. Spectacular documentary produced and narrated by Arnold Schwarzenegger, mythical star of The Terminator and Total Recall. A film with the mission to raise awareness on the treasures of the sea and the need to preserve them. Co-directed by the son of the emblematic pioneer of scientific dissemination Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Special Screenings
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