9 films are nominated for our new award for emerging filmmakers

Take a walk on the wild side! Our brand new Next:Wave Award is dedicated to emerging filmmakers with the courage to take chances.

1996 Lucy and the Corpses in the Pool

Marcos Migliavacca & Nahuel Lahora | Argentina

The ideal way to experience ‘1996 Lucy’ is not to know anything about it in advance. But either way, this insane and playful Argentinian lo-fi hybrid about a young woman’s weekend trip to a small music festival is one of the most surprising, quirky and (behind the analogue Hi-8 video images) originally directed films you can get for the not very many pesos it must have cost to make. Young Lucy is tired of her job. Her boss is an idiot. She joins a friend for a music festival in someone or other’s house. Lucy has found most of her furniture on the street. And this could be the world’s best home movie found at a flea market. But the duo Marcos Migliavacca and Nahuel Lahora know what they are doing, and they have created a titillating film that plays its games according to its own rules. The fact that it is recorded on analogue Hi-8 video places Lucy’s adventure in a strange time warp, where the sight of a flock of swans that waddle through a garden could have been a happy snapshot from a time before the internet and mobile phones. But ‘Lucy’ is ultimately a film dedicated to (artistic) freedom, friendship – and to Lucy herself.

World Premiere

A Variety of Shows for Various Events, Part I

Daniela Delgado Viteri | Ecuador, France

The news reports of massive earthquake is announced over the radio, and resonates with the listeners who in turn call in during the rest of the day to share their stories and experiences. An invisible (but no less real) event narrated by invisible voices to beautiful panoramic images from the modern cityscapes of Ecuador which still stands and where youths meet in the parks. Daniela Delgado Viteri inserts a simple, but very efficient split between sound and image, an intervention that underlines how our perception of the world around us is nonetheless shaped by the authority of media and narration.

International Premiere

I Promise You Never to Come Back

Pepe Gutiérrez | Mexico

‘The teachers at film school were right. I am a lousy filmmaker,’ is one of the many delightful one-liners in the Mexican filmmaker Pepe Guttiérez’s poetic and picturesque travel diary, which proves that they were wrong at his film school. Pepe has heartaches, is haunted by the travel bug and embarks on a several month long road trip, which is portrayed with sensual images and self-mocking thoughts. Will Pepe find love? Is there a happy ending at the end of the trip? And who is he, this young man behind the camera? ‘I Promise You Not To Come Back’ is filmed like a moving Polaroid snapshot, which together with Pepe’s notes and observations contains an entire world in its square aspect ratio. And if you are one of those people who appreciates seeing the cats sleeping in the sun under the lines of washing in a narrow and dusty street in a foreign city, or simply enjoy poetical life – well, then Pepe Guttiérez is a bit of a find.

World Premiere

Janbal

Mina Bozorgmehr & Hadi Kamali Moghadam | Iran

Fables, folklore and Persian mythology meet in the adventurous Iranian docu-fiction ‘Janbal’, which takes place on the island of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf – and in the artist Mousa’s wild, inner fantasy world. A world where everything is possible, and where the boundaries between reality and dream are blurred. Mousa makes his art from old clothes found on the beach, where legend says that the islanders sacrificed the clothes of the deceased to the sea goddess, so that she could cleanse their souls. A story from which a new story about love soon grows. The romance between Mousa and the female djinn (spirit) which emanates before him ties together the many golden threads in the rich tapestry of mythical references, in a film that goes full out when it comes to the Persian culture’s rich symbolic world. And at the same time, the directing duo Mina Bozorgmehr and Hadi Kamali Moghadam unite the ancient myths with a cinematic expression that is both contemporary and deeply personal.

World Premiere

Next Sommer

Alexander Lind | Denmark

Nebulas, self-hypnosis and Bornholm’s caves bathed in red light and drone bass. A documentary about the painful relationship between parents and children are not a rarity – but Alexander Lind’s first feature film is. Rasmus and his father live on the Danish island of Bornholm. The father, who is trying to move on from a searching and tumultuous life, is suffering from depression, which the son is afraid of inheriting. Unless he reconciles himself with his father, who himself never did the same with his own father. Worn VHS tapes from the family’s past bear witness to the fact that weltschmerz is passed on from generation, unless you break the vicious circle in good time. ‘Next Summer’ combines the Nordic tradition of harsh family portraits with an expressive cinematic originality, which rather than distancing itself from the story demonstrates that it is possible to relate both in a human and artistic way to the people whose lives you have taken on the responsibility of portraying.

World Premiere

Phantom of Illumination

wattanapume laisuwanchai | Thailand

A dream caught in the light of a film projector is literally an out-of-body experience that awaits you in this melancholy and hypnotically beautiful Thai film about a cinema’s last days. Rit has been a projectionist for 25 years, and when the cinema closes he stays on in the increasingly dilapidated premises. The heavy and humid Asian climate and the suggestions of something supernatural, together with its Buddhist philosophy about decay and transformation, makes ‘Phantom of Illumination’ an extraordinary film about film. And about a man whose wife and children are waiting for him on the other side of a veil of alcohol and scorched film reels. In spite of his obvious references to the great heroes of Asian cinema such as Tsai Ming-Liang and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Wattanapume Laisuwanchai has nonetheless charted his own territory on the cinematic map, right from the very start. A must for anyone with a penchant for cinephilia.

World Premiere

Spin

Ginan Seidl | Germany

Thumbs up to the young German filmmaker Ginan Seidl for having created a film that is as visually and philosophically original as ‘Spin’. A work where images and thoughts are linked in rich and unpredictable patterns, where rotation itself is the focal point. From a Sufi’s whirling dance to micro-studies in a high-tech physics laboratory, and from a salt desert to a mosque. Religion and science are not each other’s opposites, however, but rather two variations of truth on a cosmic scale, which has its third dimension in art itself. The images speak, and if you listen carefully, a thought journey of the rarest kind awaits you. With experimental science as his method, Seidl uses his film as an artistic test tube, which mixes together different elements (philosophy, fiction, research and Sufi mysticism) in order to study their unpredictable chemistry. And the experiment succeeds. ‘Spin’ reinvents the essay film in a contemporary form, which actually deserves to be called innovative.

International Premiere

Tarrafal

Pedro Neves | Portugal

Decades of conflict, gang dominance and violent clashes with the police have taken their toll on bodies, faces and buildings in S. João de Deus – a neighbourhood on the wrong side of the train tracks in the part of Porto where tourists never go. But the residents of the dilapidated neighbourhood have defended their homes and special community for just as long. Pedro Neves continues and renews the Portuguese tradition of investigating the origins of melancholy in madness, and has created his very own variation of hard and dark social realism with an almost supernatural edge of something threatening and inexplicable. An atmosphere, which has a historical foundation in grainy VHS images of hot-tempered women who swear at the police from the windows of a dilapidated apartment block, but which in today’s moment meet us like a silent and bare-chested man on horseback. If ‘gentrification blues’ was a genre, ‘Tarrafal’ would be the sound of a hoarse voice singing at night. And as a film, it is an unmistakably Portuguese and strangely haunting experience.

International Premiere

You Are Still Somebody’s Someone

Esther Wellejus | Denmark

In abstract 8mm images and through old cassette recordings, we are told the story about a strange and magical childhood universe, where the filmmaker Esther Wellejus today confronts her father’s religiosity and the growing darkness which descended upon him as a result of an undiagnosed mental illness, before he disappeared in a neo-religious awakening and withdrew entirely from her life while she was still a child. The family’s past weaves in and out of the present, as the now adult daughter tells her story. Images of nature and its wealth of detail are the porous substance that remembrance is made of in Wellejus’s sensual and deeply personal film. A film about memory and loss, but also a film about the love for the man behind the diagnosis.

World Premiere

See the trailer for the NEXT:WAVE Award 2017.