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KVIFF 2012: Competition

The eight world premieres in competiton include Greek debut Boy Eating The Bird’s Food [pictured0.

Camion/ Camion / Kamion
Director: Rafaël Ouellet
Canada, 2012, 95 min, World premiere
Widower Germain is an experienced truck driver. One day he becomes involved in an automobile accident that leaves an unknown woman dead. From that moment on he spirals into depression. The movie excels for captivating camerawork and formal and narrative purity. And although the protagonists rush into difficult situations, the film never stoops to false, pathetic sentiment, while still addressing life’s most basic issues.

Deine Schönheit ist nichts wert… / Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing… / Tvoje krása nemá cenu…
Director: Hüseyin Tabak
Austria, 2012, 81 min, World premiere
Twelve-year-old dreamer Veysel, who left Turkey with his parents to make a home in Vienna, falls in love for the first time. Talented debutant Hüseyin Tabak skilfully draws on the contrast between the idyllic notions that fill the boy’s head and the difficult living conditions within an immigrant community constantly under threat of deportation. Abdulkadir Tuncer (Kuma) is superb in the leading role.

Estrada de Palha / Hay Road / Na slaměné cestě
Director: Rodrigo Areias
Portugal, Finland, 2012, 95 min, International premiere
Not every avenger must set out on a journey with visions of bloody revenge, and not every journey takes place on a galloping horse. But each one offers a solution in the end. An enthralling, philosophizing Western that highlights the timelessness of its ideas as well as the lasting attractions of this versatile genre.

Henrik/ Henrik / Henrik
Director: Martin Lund
Norway, 2012, 80 min, World premiere
Despite the approaching birth of his first child, plain-looking, thirty-something Henrik does everything he can to maintain the illusion of youth by following its unbridled conventions. His inept banter, however, masks an insecure individual who escapes the surrounding world through irony. Laced with bitterness, this psychological study banks on authenticity and strong acting performances.

Kamihate shoten / Kamihate Store / Obchod na konci světa
Director: Tatsuya Yamamoto
Japan, 2012, 104 min, World premiere
People often buy a one-way ticket to the hamlet of Kamihate. The owner of a local shop too is seeking a way out of the sorrow she’s mired in, seeking to ’avoid’ that long walk to the cliffs from which there is no return. This powerful picture works with moods and with the unique location where it unfolds.

La lapidation de Saint Etienne / La lapidation de Saint Etienne / Ukamenování svatého Štěpána
Director: Pere Vilá Barceló
Spain, 2012, 84 min, World premiere
Etienne is a sick old man living alone in a cramped apartment full of stuff, and he refuses to leave it although it no longer belongs to him. Here, the topics of old age and loneliness are not conceived as a traditional psychological story. Instead, in the spirit of contemporary Catalan cinema, the filmmaker aims for the greatest concision, even to the point of abstraction.

Nos vemos, papá / Nos Vemos Papa / Na shledanou, tati
Director: Lucia Carreras
Mexico, 2011, 89 min, International premiere
Pilar loses the one thing in life that mattered to her and, from that moment on time stops. The present begins blending with the past, and the heroine withdraws into a world of her own. An intimate drama about the extreme emotions connected to the loss of someone on whom our lives depend.

Peleh akhar / The Last Step / Poslední krok
Director: Ali Mosaffa
Iran, 2012, 88 min, World premiere
In director Ali Mosaffa’s psychological story, his wife in real life, Leila Hatami, pretty much plays herself – a beautiful and gifted Iranian film star. But the male focus of the story is the heroine’s recently deceased husband Koshrow, who becomes the somewhat unreliable narrator of a playful and delicately ironic story about a complicated but loving marital relationship.

Polski film / Polski film / Polski film
Director: Marek Najbrt
Czech Republic, Poland, 2012, 113 min, World premiere
“The fact that I’m playing myself doesn’t mean that this is actually me.” Four old school friends, today well-known Czech actors, decided to fulfil a distant dream and make a movie together. In his film about friendship and the absurdities of acting, director Marek Najbrt (Champions, Protector) gives us a witty reflection on the border between reality and fiction, and a unique take on the reality film genre.

Romanzo di una strage / Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy / Román o jednom masakru
Director: Marco Tullio Giordana
Italy, 2012, 122 min, International premiere
The film tells the story of a huge bomb explosion which occurred on 12 December 1969 at a bank on Piazza Fontana in Milan. The background to the case, whose investigation was entrusted to police captain Luigi Calabresi, was so complex that the filmmakers didn’t have to romanticise any details in order to create both a compelling crime drama and a faithful image of Italy at that time.

To agori troi to fagito tou pouliou / Boy Eating the Bird’s Food / Chlapec pojídající ptačí zob
Director: Ektoras Lygizos
Greece, 2012, 85 min, World premiere
The original, keenly anticipated debut from one of the greatest talents of Greek film powerfully investigates three days in the life of an Athens boy who is without a job, a girlfriend, or anything to eat. This radically intimist, Bressonesque movie is a fascinating visual puzzle about a dogged endeavor to maintain human dignity during a time of crisis.

Zabić bobra / To Kill a Beaver / Zabít bobra
Director: Jan Jakub Kolski
Poland, 2012, 99 min, International premiere
Eryk, a man in his forties, arrives at an abandoned farm where he confronts old memories, starts up an unexpected relationship, and makes ready for an unexplained bout of revenge. The new picture from Jan Jakub Kolski, the master of Polish magical realism, offers a dramatic tale that ponders just how civilized humans really are.

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