Thirty (Dreissig) by Simona Kostova
Thirty (Dreissig) by Simona Kostova

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) revealed the first films for in the 2019 Bright Future program that spotlights upcoming filmmakers with their own style and vision. The Bright Future section comprises features, mid-lengths and shorts, and includes the feature film debuts competing for the Bright Future Award worth €10,000.

Among the films selected so far are the world premieres of Viktor van der Valk’s neo-noir Nocturne (the Netherlands); Argentinian actress Romina Paula’s directing debut De nuevo otra vez; Ico Costa’s debut feature Alva (from the producers of Djon África, which was in IFFR 2018’s Tiger Competition); and Dreissig by Berlin-based filmmaker Simona Kostova. The international premiere of Fabiana, Brunna Laboissière’s portrait of a transgender truck driver, also screens in the Bright Future Competition.

In addition to feature films, IFFR’s Bright Future section devotes plenty of space to mid-length and short films. Titles confirmed for Bright Future Mid-length include Derrière les volets by Messaline Raverdy and the world premiere of L’inconnu de Collegno by Maïder Fortuné. Stefano Canapa’s The Sound Drifts and Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s Walled Unwalled will both world premiere in Bright Future Short.

The full Bright Future line-up will consist of approximately 50 feature films. The eight films in Tiger Competition, which is also part of the Bright Future section, will be announced early January 2019.

Bright Future Competition

Algiers By Night, Yanis Koussim, 2019, Algeria/France/Norway/Qatar, world premiere. As the sun sets over Algiers, a young photographer and various creatures of the night start to emerge.

Alva, Ico Costa, 2019, Portugal/France/Argentina, world premiere. After his children are taken away by social services, a troubled loner seeks revenge and flees into the inhospitable forest.

De nuevo otra vez/Again Once Again, Romina Paula, 2019, Argentina, world premiere. A delicate self-portrait about aging, maternity and sexuality. Romina Paula fictionalizes reality and explores being a daughter and new mother.

Dreissig/Thirty, Simona Kostova, 2019, Germany, world premiere. Twenty-four hours in the lives of a group of colorful Berliners in their late twenties/early thirties, oscillating between a carefree existence and emptiness.

Fabiana, Brunna Laboissière, 2018, Brazil, international premiere. As she approaches retirement, a transgender truck driver looks back on her life on the road, with a different sweetheart in every town

Nocturne, Viktor van der Valk, 2019, Netherlands, world premiere. Lyrical film noir about two producers, an investor, a deadline, a woman, a gun and a hopelessly romantic boy.

A volta ao mundo quando tinhas 30 anos/Around the World When You Were My Age, Aya Koretzky, 2018, Portugal, international premiere. Loving, captivating portrait of the director’s father based on the latter’s 1970 round the world journey.

Bright Future

Black Mother, Khalik Allah, 2018, Jamaica/USA Life’s key elements come together in this visual film symphony and ode to today’s colorful Jamaica.

Core of the World, Natalya Meshchaninova, 2018, Russia/Lithuania Compassion and cruelty are not far apart in the work of a shy vet at a Russian stock farm.

The Day I Lost My Shadow, Soudade Kaadan, 2018, Lebanon A young Syrian mother’s search for bottled gas ends in a panic-stricken journey. Awarded Best Debut in Venice.

Introduzione all’oscuro, Gastón Solnicki, 2018, Argentina/Austria A personal, cinematic gesture born of sadness over the death of a friend. It’s also a unique guide to Viennese culture.

The Load, Ognjen Glavonić, 2018, Serbia/France/Croatia/Iran/Qatar During the NATO bombardments of 1999, a truck driver has to take a mysterious load to Belgrade. Subtle narrative bursting with menace.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Bi Gan, 2018, China/France Past and present intertwine in this visually stunning, partially 3D second film by Chinese talent Bi Gan.

The Man Who Surprised Everyone, Aleksey Chupov/Natasha Merkulova, 2018, Russia/Estonia/France A terminally ill forest ranger wants to live out his final months as a woman. In a remote Siberian community he pays dearly.

Nona. If They Soak Me, I’ll Burn Them, Camila José Donoso, 2019, Chile, world premiere.  A hybrid fiction featuring the director’s intriguing grandmother as an anarchist warrior in a Chilean town ravaged by forest fires.

The Proposal, Jill Magid, 2018, USA Strange things happen in the struggle to make the hidden archives of architect Luis Barragán public again.

The Seven Last Words, Kaveh Nabatian/Ariane Lorrain/Sophie Goyette/Juan Andrés Arango/Sophie Deraspe/Karl Lemieux/Caroline Monnet, 2019, Canada, world premiere.  Challenging and varied omnibus film by seven Canadian filmmakers, inspired by Joseph Haydn’s composition around the last words of Jesus.

Sophia Antipolis, Virgil Vernier, 2018, France In southern France, mysterious links appear in the fortunes of five people connected to an elusive young woman called Sophia.

Tarde para morir joven/Too Late to Die Young, Dominga Sotomayor, 2018, Chile/Brazil/Argentina/Netherlands/Qatar Coming-of-age story about three Chilean teenagers reflects the growing pains of Chile’s new democracy in the early 1990s.

Bright Future Mid-length

Derrière les volets, Messaline Raverdy, 2018, Belgium Poetic research into the Raverdy coffee plant as a record for the next generation. The filmmaker searches for her past and the women in the factory.

L’inconnu de Collegno, Maïder Fortuné, 2019, France, world premiere.  In an attempt to reveal his past, a man is interrogated in an empty room. Several characters are brought in to solve the mystery.

Bright Future Short

Fog, Inger Lise Hansen, 2018, Norway The spectacle of fog appearing in Oslo, the Azores, Beijing and Newfoundland, beautifully captured in various film formats.

The Sound Drifts, Stefano Canapa, 2019, France, world premiere.  Hypnotizing audio tracks dance to the soundtrack of Canapa’s previous film about Jérôme Noetinger, Metamkine’s sound artist. Cinema for your ears!

Van ver staat het stil/Still from afar, Eva van Tongeren, 2018, Belgium, international premiere.  An exchange of letters between the filmmaker and a pedophile evokes powerful emotions. But she wants to understand his motives.

Walled Unwalled, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, 2019, Lebanon, world premiere.  A monologue staged inside a trio of Cold War Era sound effect studios in East Berlin unfolding a narrative derived from legal cases that revolve around evidence heard or experienced through walls.

what remains, belit sağ, 2019, Netherlands, world premiere Many people in the Kurdish city of Cizre are trapped between life and death. belit sağ conjures up apparitions in her images.

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