The jury will be composed of the president Rutger Hauer and the jurors Philip Gröning, Ysé Brisson, Roberto Manassero and Veronica Raimo
All the films are in Italian premier and will compete for the first prize of 3,000 Euros.
In the 2019 edition of the Lucca Film Festival e Europa Cinema, the festival taking place from 13th to 21st April between Lucca and Viareggio, will participate 14 feature films, which will be shown in Italy for the first time on this occasion.
The films will compete for the “Best Film” prize (worth 3.000 euros to the director), which will be awarded by the jury composed of the president Rutger Hauer and the jurors Philip Gröning, Ysé Brisson, Roberto Manassero and Veronica Raimo. The films will also compete for the “Best feature film – student jury” award, judged by the university student jury, and the “Honourable Mention” award, elected by the people’s choice jury, in collaboration with Circolo del Cinema di Lucca e Cineforum Ezechiele 25,17
Once again, this year the films selected offer an extraordinary variety of genres, languages and contents, with works from the most interesting international festivals, including the most prestigious ones, such as Locarno, Berlin, Slamdance and Rotterdam. Among the artists participating in the competition there are some of the brightest talents in independent and experimental cinema.
The titles are: All the Gods in the Sky (Tous les dieux du ciel) by Quarxx (France, 2018), The Day After I’m Gone by Nimrod Eldar (Israel, 2019), Dollhouse: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture by Nicole Brending (USA, Canada, 2018), Those Who Work (Ceux qui travaillent) by Antoine Russbach (Switzerland, Belgium, 2018), This Teacher by Mark Jackson (USA, 2018), A Family Submerged (Familia sumergida) by María Alché (Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Norway, 2018), Ako by Nabi Gholizadeh (Iran, 2018), The Best of Dorien B. by Anke Blondé (Belgium, 2019), Killer Kate! by Elliot Feld (USA, 2018), Zero Impunity by Nicolas Blies and Stéphane Hueber-Blies (Luxembourg, France, 2018), Eternal Winter (Örök tél) by Attila Szász (Hungary, 2018), Bait by Mark Jenkin (UK, 2019), O Beautiful Night by Xaver Böhm (Germany, 2019) and Thirty (Dreissig) by Simona Kostova (Germany, 2019).
The official selection was made by Nicolas Condemi, Stefano Giorgi and Martino Martinelli, members of the festival’s artistic committee.
SYNOPSIS OF THE FILMS
The screening will take place at the Cinema Centrale of Lucca.
All the Gods in the Sky (Tous les dieux du ciel) by Quarxx (France, 2018)
Simon, a 30-year-old man, works at a factory and lives confined on a decrepit farm alone with his younger sister, Estelle, who is severely handicapped since a childhood game that took a disastrous turn. Despite his deep remorse and the violence of the world that surrounds him, Simon desperately hopes to save his sister by liberating her from the weight of the world. What if their salvation was coming from “them”?
International Sales: Films Boutique
The Day After I’m Gone by Nimrod Eldar (Israel, 2019)
YYoram, a 50-year-old veterinarian living in Tel Aviv, is forced to re-examine his relationship with his adolescent daughter Roni, after she wishes to end her life. He decides to take her on a journey to visit her mother’s family, a process of self and mutual discovery in a primordial desert land enveloping the Dead Sea.
International Sales: Luxbox Films
Dollhouse: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture by Nicole Brending (USA, Canada, 2018)
Fictional child pop star Junie Spoons just can’t get a break (and can’t even tell her own story) in this wild, demented romp into the psychology behind misogyny – the missing female subjective perspective. A puppet animation told à la VH1’s Behind the Music, this film charts the rise and fall of Junie’s career as her life is splashed all over the media and recounted by those who claim to know her – a greedy record producer, a narcissistic mother, an opportunistic friend, ex-boyfriends and the like – until she is inevitably eliminated from her own story.
International Sales: Nicole Brending
Those Who Work (Ceux qui travaillent) by Antoine Russbach (Switzerland, Belgium, 2018)
Frank, a man of action who worked his way up all by himself, dedicates his life to work. No matter the place or the circumstances, be it day or night, he’s on the phone, handling the cargo ships he charters for major companies. But when he has to deal with a crisis situation, Frank makes a brutal decision and gets fired. Profoundly shaken, betrayed by a system to which he gave his all, he has to progressively question himself to save the one connection that still matters to him: the bond he’s managed to maintain with his youngest daughter, Mathilde.
International Sales: Be For Films
This Teacher by Mark Jackson (USA, 2018)
This Teacher follows Hafsia, a French Muslim woman, as she travels to New York City to visit her childhood best friend from the rough neighborhoods outside of Paris. When the reunion proves disastrous, Hafsia steals her friend’s credit card and identity, and disappears to a remote cabin upstate. Deep in the woods and alone for the first time in her life, she experiences a divine revelation of an existence without borders. But when she discovers that she’s not alone on the property, Hafsia’s sojourn in nature gradually descends into a terrifying study of the intolerance and suspicion she encounters and reflects back to an Islamophobic America.
International Sales: Visit Films
A Family Submerged (Familia sumergida) by María Alché (Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Norway, 2018)
It’s summertime in Buenos Aires, and Marcela’s sister has suddenly passed away. As Marcela grieves, she must also face the painful process of purging her sister’s apartment of possessions, photographs, family heirlooms. When a young friend of her daughter’s, Nacho, offers to help her, she finds unexpected comfort and their relationship develops as they go on road trips and adventures together. During these difficult and confusing days, Marcela’s past and present become intertwined and she begins to question her sense of self, as the imminence of everyday life pushes in.
International Sales: Visit Films
Ako by Nabi Gholizadeh (Iran, 2018)
Tehran’s grand Bazaar. Every product has a story and every porter has a secret. Ako does not want anyone to know his secret.
The Best of Dorien B. by Anke Blondé (Belgium, 2019)
37-year-old Dorien has a flourishing veterinary practice, two sweet kids and a successful husband. Everything seems fine: on the outside. But there is something wrong. ‘Black hole of unknown size’ a newspaper headline says. This could apply to her life. When exactly it happened she doesn’t know, but somewhere along the way things went awry.
Bad news is followed by worse in The Best of Dorien B., a measured, human and dryly comedic drama: or is it a dramatic comedy about the opportunities created by misfortune? Her parents’ marital problems, a lingering affair and an unpleasant hospital visit shed different lights on Dorien’s life.
International Sales: Be For Films
Killer Kate! by Elliot Feld (USA, 2018)
Kate and her sister, Angie, haven’t spoken since Angie went to college and left Kate to care for their ailing father. In a show of reconciliation (seven years after moving out), Angie invites Kate to her bachelorette party – a weekend away at a remote mountainside house, booked on a new home-share app. The women are unaware that by booking this house, they’re walking into a trap set in motion by a disturbed family of amateur killers who are out for blood to right a cosmic wrong. They soon become unwitting participants in a savage and often ridiculous life-or-death struggle that pits family against family, and past against present.
International Sales: Devilworks
Zero Impunity by Nicolas Blies and Stéphane Hueber-Blies (Luxembourg, France, 2018)
An ambitious transmedia project that serves as centerpiece of a global campaign to put an end to the impunity for sexual violence in current armed conflicts. A combination of investigative journalism and activism, which goes through war zones, courtrooms and prison cells, shedding light on the obscure mechanisms used for silencing sex crimes and the survivors of sexual abuse. A documentary that cries out for justice, urging us to take action.
International Sales: Indie Sales
Eternal Winter (Örök tél) by Attila Szász (Hungary, 2018)
Christmas 1944. Soviet soldiers invade Hungary and drag every young ethnic German woman away from a small village and transport them to a Soviet labour camp where they are forced to work in the coal mines under inhuman conditions. This is where Irén meets fellow prisoner Rajmund who decides to teach her how to survive. While she is determined to return home to her little daughter and family, history and fate have a different plan: Irén and Rajmund fall in love. Based on a true story.
Eternal Winter is the very first feature film about the 700,000 Hungarian victims of the Soviet labour camps whose stories remained untold for over 70 years.
International Sales: Film Positive
Bait by Mark Jenkin (UK, 2019)
Martin Ward is a cove fisherman, without a boat. His brother Steven has re-purposed their father’s vessel as a tourist tripper, driving a wedge between the brothers. With their childhood home now a get-away for London money, Martin is displaced to the estate above the picturesque harbour.
As his struggle to restore the family to their traditional place creates increasing friction with tourist and locals alike, a tragedy at the heart of the family changes his world.
International Sales: The Festival Agency
O Beautiful Night by Xaver Böhm (Germany, 2019)
Although Juri is young, he lives in constant fear of dying. Nightly panic attacks for him are routine – but one night he meets a dark figure who claims to be Death incarnate. So begins a bizarro-Faustian trip together through the night, during which Juri meets Nina and falls in love with her. But come dawn, one of them must die.
International Sales: Match Factory
Thirty (Dreissig) by Simona Kostova (Germany, 2019)
24 hours in the life of a group of friends on a Friday in October in Berlin. The six friends are in their early thirties, unattached, they all live in Berlin-Neukölln. Author Övünç is in the middle of a writer’s block. Pascal, professionally successful, is haunted by the longing to ditch his current life for a new one – without really knowing what that new life would look like. Him and actress Raha just split up recently. She is hoping for a progress in her career, which is, day in and day out, long in coming. Kara rather likes crashing at some friend’s place than staying in her own apartment. Henner spends the day in a random bar and meets Anja, who is going to be part of the group later on.
That night, the friends celebrate Övünç’s birthday coming up. They exchange the constricting day for an emerging, exciting Berlin nightlife and wander the streets and bars of Neukölln – looking for a treat, a reward for all one had to bear with during the day.
International Sales: Stray Dogs