An award - winning film, recognised both domestically and internationally, produced by Piotr Stasik. The film is a visual masterpiece. Its action shots presenting the lives of citizens of this famous city (portrayed in cinema i.a. by Woody Allen) were perfectly tuned with mesmerizing music and emotions of 21 characters that travel by subway. The film managed to convey the genius loci of this place and helps experience the life rhythm of New Yorkers that come from all over the world, their loneliness, troubles, dreams and transgressions. 21 x New York then portrays a collective consciousness (or even subconsciousness) of the 21st century people.
A film depicting the experiences of a three-year-old refugee Lean who, along with adults, travels a long way to the promised land - Sweden. Each day brings her closer to the longed - for meeting with her grandfather who lives there. Adventure? The first painful experience? The authors of this observational documentary excellently contrast a child's world - slow and full of wonder at the surrounding reality - with that of her parents' - nervous and unsure of the immediate future.
Eastern Ukraine. A small village called Hnutove is located in the war zone. The inhabitants are leaving their houses. Some of the few who have remained in the village are: a ten-year-old boy, Oleg, and his grandmother Aleksandra. The authors of this film accompany the protagonists for a year, showing that close family bonds are fragile but necessary for survival in extreme conditions. A film about growing up near a front line.
This touching film by Maasja Ooms about the need for love. It shows three years from the life of a homeless girl that is on the verge of depravity. The history of this character is tragic. She was only one year old when she lost her home. At five, she ended up in an orphanage because the family taking care of her gave her up. At nine, she is still waiting to be adopted. Thanks to the constant presence of camera following the daily life of this desperate girl, feeling an increasing rejection of the whole world, the viewer can sense that the frustration, helplessness, lack of prospects and a feeling of existential homelessness are almost tangible. Are we witnesses of an inevitable tragedy which happens in front of us and will keep happening in this world?
Głuchołazy - a small town which used to be brimming with life in the nineties but now it is dying out. A flood has destroyed health resorts and factories. The town is faced with a high unemployment rate and some of its citizens have left. In this dead - end place, a teenage Szymon decides to make his big dream come true. He wants to become a wrestler. Can he fulfil his American Dream?
The director uses unpublished archival audio and visual materials to reconstruct the complex history of the Beksiński family. Viewers become acquainted with the story of Zdzisław, Zofia and Tomasz from the inside - thanks to their normal lives, the space they share, long talks, and small conflicts. The script is based on the book Beksińscy. Portret podwójny by Magdalena Grzebałkowska.
After fourteen years, Daniel leaves prison. He wants to once again become an exemplary citizen and to start a new life. However, this proves not to be so easy as certain people - even his family - reject him. He wants to find his long-lost daughter Sandra but he needs help to believe that he can accomplish his goal.
Every year runners from all over the world decide to take part in the famous Spartathlon, an ultramarathon from Athens to Sparta, organized since 1983. Each character has specific reasons to participate in this project. Even though the runners are not confident of covering the whole distance, they know that they have to try. The film portrays the human fight against one's weaknesses and limitations, either that of body or mind.
A retired anthropologist devotes her entire free time to her passion - she is a triple world champion in weightlifting. Even though the woman suffers from salivary gland cancer, she does not give up - she decides to once again compete for the first place. In her fight against herself she is supported by her close ones and her trusted trainer, Pat.
The director and cosplayer of the cyber diva Hatsune Miku moves to Tokio to be closer to her fans. Hatsune Miku is a "vocaliod" - a software voice bank. To produce it, its makers created a cute manga character that has become a collective fantasy and the star of the "otaku", a Japanese subculture. Miku's whole personality, her lines, music, and animation have been created by fans. The film shows a journey to the world in which fantasy is more real than the reality itself and explores the process of discovering identity through cosplay and fandom of the cyber diva. In this creative documentary (faux-documentary) that mirrors everything happening in Miku's world, the director acts as the main cosplayer and is assisted by the most hardcore fans.
Both the title character and his grandfather, Zdzisław Misiak, earn the viewers' favour from the very first moments. The film by Wojciech Klimala, recognised at the Warsaw Film Festival, shows a touching story of bonds forming between a grandfather and his 7-year-old grandson, of whom he takes care after his mother's death. Hugo was born in Spain and his Chinese father is in prison. We watch the daily lives of Hugo and his grandfather who live in a barrack located in an old amusement park in the centre of the city, but at the same time somehow outside of it. They feel that the most important thing in life is the closeness of another human being. In the background we can observe the crisis of interpersonal relations, decline of family bonds and oppression of the social system.
Influenced by the terrorist attacks of 9/11, young Joe Boots enrolls in the army right after graduating from secondary school. Shortly after he is sent to war in Iraq. After returning to his home city, Pittsburgh, he realizes that the war experiences have permanently changed him. Joe presents a story of a gradually growing trauma and tells us about living with unhealing wounds that are invisible to others. The film is an attempt to shed some light on the internal conflicts that war veterans experience, having the audience recall the best American war films. A documentary by Florian Baron, the author of a couple of documentaries and video art pieces, which was awarded in Duisburg.
A personal documentary telling the story of a young couple facing a difficult choice. When Martyna accidentally gets pregnant, she and her boyfriend come to the conclusion that they are not ready to be parents and decide to give the child up for adoption. They hide the truth for a long time because they fear the reaction of their close ones. But as the delivery is nearing, it is hard for them to make definite decisions about the future of their relationship and of the child.
An extraordinary beauty pageant in Israel. Women who survived the Holocaust come to Haifa. They prepare for the contest. They receive professional advice from an instructor on how to walk, how to wear the numbers and how to go through the selection process. The participants of such contests usually dream of fame and a crown. This time it is different: they only want a minute of attention.
The story of sixty-year-old Roberto who thinks outside the box. In the film we learn about his approach to the concepts of family, religion and human existence. Old video tapes from the 80s and 90s become a pretext for those reflections and a peculiar dialogue with pictures. Those amateur and somewhat eccentric recordings were found in an abandoned warehouse in the Italian province Bergamo.
The characters, children and teenagers suffering from Asperger syndrome, have problems communicating with others due to their inability to express themselves accurately. The director gives them space to articulate their emotions - they can freely talk about their relation with the environment and about the way they see reality. We get to know a group of special young people who suffer when they are judged solely by their handicap.
Piotr Pavlensky is the most radical artist in Russia and he commits to political protests against the repressive policy of the government. The photo of him with his lips stitched together, a symbol of protest against the incarceration of Pussy Riot, was one of those recognised by the Reuters agency. Pavlensky's dramatic performances show self-mutilation - cutting of an ear, wrapping his body in barbed wire in front of prosecutor's office and nailing down his genitals to the pavement on the Red Square. The message is extremely clear - but is it effective? Pavlensky's work poses a problem to the authorities - it does not break the law, but it disturbs the order and no one knows how to restore it. The film raises a question about the lines between life, politics, art, and madness.
A story about the daily lives of two soldiers who suffered permanent damage to their health during the mission in Afghanistan. Every day is a challenge for 27-year-old Tomek who has lost his arm. And Franek, who suffers from PTSD after losing his leg, tries not to give up for the sake of his children. Through the film we become acquainted with the veterans' point of view, as well as Franek's wife's standpoint. They speak about the ups and downs of a life marked by war traumas.
This computer animation created in 2D and 3D technology by an Iranian director, producer, and screenwriter Ali Zare Ghanatnowi is the story of a mother who awaits the return of her son from the war. Similar to the mythical Penelope, she is knitting him a pair of gloves because she remembers the winter morning when he was leaving and got frostbitten. The war continues. The mother is waiting. She unravels the gloves and begins knitting again. After her house is bombed, she is sitting on its ruins and knitting the gloves out of her own grey hair. At the very end she hears the sound of footsteps in heavy army boots.
The film by Reber Dosky is an extremely touching documentary. It depicts the slow process of revival of life that takes place in a previously bombed Koban, a Kurdish city in Syria. A 20-year-old woman named Dilovan decides to start a radio station in this ruined by war, deserted city where the living try to bury the dead whose bodies they dig out daily from the ruins. The images terrify with their realism but at the same time are uniquely poetic. Radio Kobani is a bitter and intimate story about war trauma and the effort that has to be made in order to return to normal life. The film is also surprisingly optimistic, as it shows people to whom the reconstruction of the city and future planning are basic needs. It also shows that nothing can destroy people's faith, hope, and love.
A shocking image of the work done by a Kurdish colonel Fakhir who risks his life daily to help people by demining dozens of car bombs and roadside mines left by IS troops in the area of Mosul, Iraq. Armed only with a pocket knife, wire cutters and his courage, he risks his own safety to save innocent civilians. In 2014 he loses a leg but does not stop his work. Everything is recorded by cameras. Hundreds of hours of the recordings are a special keepsake for his family.
It is the first in history full-length feature film in Strip-Tease poetics (a Belgium TV documentary running on RTBF since 1985). The main character, judge Anne Gruwez, for three years allowed the producers of this documentary to observe her work and exposed the whole truth behind criminal investigations. It bore fruits of numerous (but not always politically correct) humorous scenes showing the ups and downs of this eccentric individual's life.
The title of the film is the motto of the employees of the Swedish employment office. "It's simple, we do as we're told" - replies an employee of the country's least popular government agency. In this film, officials and psychologists reveal the failures of Swedish employment system. Their anonymity is assured by cardboard puppets that substitute for the real speakers. A strikingly unique, socially significant documentary showing the irrational bureaucracy.
A sport drama about the hard and ruthless rules that govern sport. The film is also a universal story about dreams and dreamers, about outsiders who never give up as well as friendship and solidarity. "The Dragon Spring" is a film depicting passion and struggle against all odds. Paweł, the protagonist, dreams of coaching his favourite team - Arsenal F.C. However, for now he has to work with the worst football - playing eleven in Poland. It will be an educational experience, and not only for him.
A discovered old family film has become the starting point for this cinematic essay about coincidences, wasted human fates and posthumous fame. The Sun Island was made by one of the most brilliant contemporary film experts, professor Thomas Elsaesser. His grandfather, Martin Elsaesser, a well - known architect and the main city planner of the city Frankfurt in years 1925-32 is the protagonist of this documentary. Apart from designing schools, churches and other public buildings, he was also the main architect of the Central Market Hall, the future residence of the European Central Bank considered to be a masterpiece.
For the last 23 years of his life the main character has been doing a very unique job. He accompanies people in their last moments with harp playing. He is the only Australian thanatologist that helps people die in peace when everyone around is stricken with grief and wants the dying ones to keep on living. Peter's job reminds us of the once - existing culture of ars moriendi. With the spirit of a Persian poet Rumi, whose blood flows in his veins, the protagonist still has one job to do before he retires.