Sections of 51st KVIFF
- Official Selection - Competition
- Official Selection - Out of Competition
- East of the West - Competition
- Documentary Films - Competition
- Special Events
- Another View
- Future Frames: Ten New Filmmakers To Follow
- Variety Critics' Choice
- Midnight Screenings
- Czech Films 2015–2016
- A Female Take on Mexico
- Tribute to Otto Preminger
- People Next Door
- Seven Close Encounters
- Out of the Past
- Prague Short Film Festival Presents
Directed by: Tobias Nölle
Switzerland, France, 2016, 91 min
The sheltered existence of private detective Aloys starts to fall apart when his father dies. When someone takes his prized collection of video tapes, he realises he will have to abandon his secluded world. Thus begins a convincing debut, a romance hovering between reality and fantasy.
Directed by: Michal Vinik
Israel, 2015, 85 min
The arrival of a new girl at school turns teenager Naama’s life upside down. The time they spend together allows her to escape her family and home commitments, and also to discover her awakening sexuality. A portrait of rebellious youth and the perennially bittersweet experience of first love.
Communication & Lies
Komunikace & lži /
Directed by: Lee Seung-won
South Korea, 2015, 104 min
One of the top Korean directorial debuts of the year, this meticulous character study focuses on a man and a woman trying to come to terms with hardship in differing extreme situations. While she is inclined towards excessive lies and behavior, he withdraws into himself. The lead actress’s exceptional performance was deservedly awarded at the Busan IFF.
Directed by: Houda Benyamina
France, Qatar, 2016, 106 min
In a grim Parisian ghetto where religion battles drug dealers for dominance, young Dounia is just trying to find a wee bit of happiness. She has big plans and she has no intention of giving them up.
Directed by: Rithy Panh
Cambodia, France, 2016, 78 min
After The Missing Picture (2013), Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh has returned to considerations of revolutions in general and, in particular, the one he experienced in 1975 when the Khmer Rouge took power. His new film is more abstract, but the combination of archive material and staged scenes achieves a similar level of informative value.
The First, the Last
První, poslední /
Les premiers, les derniers
Directed by: Bouli Lanners
France, Belgium, 2016, 98 min
A forlorn and desolate landscape is the place where mentally challenged Esther and Willy meet two hirsute guys in biker jackets who are looking for a stolen phone. Excelling for its melancholy atmosphere and surprising reversals, director Bouli Lanners takes one of the leads in a movie that tips its hat to the Western. Jiří Kylián’ s short film Schwarzfahrer will be screened before the feature.
Cválající mysl /
Directed by: Wim Vandekeybus
Belgium, Hungary, Netherlands, 2015, 120 min
Twins Pancho and Rasha, the children of a shadowy love triangle, found themselves separated and living with different families immediately after birth. Their paths cross once again twelve years later when both join a street gang and subconsciously realize they have a hidden bond. A movie about the desire for independence, whose attainment is impeded by life itself.
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki
Nejšťastnější den v životě Olliho Mäkiho /
Directed by: Juho Kuosmanen
Finland, Germany, Sweden, 2016, 92 min
Finland 1962. 25-year old Olli Mäki, a European amateur boxing champion, is training for the match of a lifetime for the title of world champion. As it’s the first time ever for his country, unassuming Olli is a sudden celebrity who is pressured mercilessly on all sides. Employing modesty, gentle humor, and uncommonly mature skill, newcomer Juho Kuosmanen has turned in a subtle drama that significantly enriches the boxing film genre – and it earned him a win in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes.
Island City /
Directed by: Ruchika Oberoi
India, 2015, 111 min
The director uses contemporary Bombay as a backdrop for three stories evoking a range of moods. Anything can happen here – first, there’s an ordeal involving a dark vision of the future, then a naïve fad breaks out over a TV soap opera featuring Bollywood-style romance, and, finally, a young woman’s wistful disappointment, so reminiscent of the unhappy seamstresses of old melodramas.
Kaili blues /
Lu Bian Ye Can
Directed by: Gan Bi
China, 2015, 110 min
A doctor with a dark past sets out on a journey to his native region to fulfil his promises. As he arrives in a small town swathed in mist rising from the river, his stifled memory starts to live its own life and mysteriously melds with the destiny of the rural inhabitants. The creator of this mesmeric snapshot wrenched from the relentless course of time was the discovery of last year’s festival in Locarno.
Directed by: Reza Dormishian
Iran, 2016, 115 min
At first glance the fictional documentary Lantouri may seem to tell the story of a heroic gang that steals from Tehran’s nouveau riche and gives to the poor. This is, however, not the case. Lantouri turns in a disturbing report on the frustrations eating at Iran’s contemporary young generation, while also serving as an unorthodox investigation into the age-old law of “an eye for an eye,” a principle still firmly entrenched in Islamic law.
Lost and Beautiful
Krásná a ztracená /
Bella e perduta
Directed by: Pietro Marcello
Italy, 2015, 87 min
Messenger from the grave Pulcinella is sent to Campania to grant Tommaso's dying wish – to lead a young buffalo named Sarchiapone to safety... They travel together to the north through the once idyllic countryside where herds of buffalo used to roam, but at the end of their journey through a lost and beautiful Italy, they do not find what they had expected.
A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery
Ukolébavka pro bolestné tajemství /
Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis
Directed by: Lav Diaz
Philippines, Singapore, 2016, 480 min
This eight-hour black-and-white epic by a renowned Philippine auteur is a historical portrait of the Philippines in the late 19th century, a land caught up in a war to end Spanish rule. One of the most distinctive and original artistic films of the year, the work is fascinating for its aesthetics but it is also a historical, philosophical, and social tour de force.
Vábení sirén /
Directed by: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
Poland, 2015, 92 min
An unconventional romance plays out in a bizarre late 1980s night club; at its centre, two mermaids and a bass guitarist. This Polish directorial debut is a tale of first love and disenchantment in a novel blend of genres: musical, fairy tale and horror movie.
Directed by: Oliver Laxe
Spain, Morocco, France, Qatar, 2016, 93 min
The Moroccan-based Spanish director calls his film a religious Western, a hypnotic odyssey undertaken by a curiously incongruous group of pilgrims transporting the body of a deceased sheikh across the Atlas Mountains to the place where he was born. Winner of the main prize from Cannes’ Critics’ Week, the mysterious story asserts that one can believe in many a thing besides God.
Directed by: Senem Tüzen
Turkey, Greece, 2015, 94 min
Recovering from a divorce and fed up with her job, Nesrin leaves Istanbul and returns to her native village to finish the book she is writing. Instead of being able to collect her thoughts, however, she faces prejudice and injustices dredged up from the past. This debut feature presents a psychologically devastating portrait of contemporary Turkish society, which acknowledges emancipation but will not tolerate it.
One Week and a Day
Týden a den /
Shavua Ve Yom
Directed by: Asaph Polonsky
Israel, 2016, 98 min
In contrast to dramas focusing on protagonists who succumb to an illness, here the main characters are people who must come to terms with such a tragedy – an aging couple who have lost their only son. Initially, carrying on seems impossible but humorous moments crop up at even the toughest of times, making it thinkable to take the first step toward regaining their equilibrium.
Temné stvoření /
Directed by: Felipe Guerrero
Colombia, Argentina, Netherlands, Germany, Greece, 2016, 107 min
In the depths of the Colombian jungle, a region governed by cold-blooded paramilitary units, three women have been subjected to physical and psychological abuse which has deprived them of their human dignity. One day, however, they decide to destroy the dark animal devouring them from within and set out on a symbolic journey from the darkness into the light. On the surface a tranquil film, but underneath a harrowing viewing experience resonating in an entirely different key.
Písečná bouře /
Directed by: Elite Zexer
Israel, 2016, 87 min
It seems life in a Bedouin village in Southern Israel is still governed by the same age-old rules. Jalila is suffering the indignity of her husband’s forthcoming marriage to a second, much younger woman, but she also wants to put a stop to a relationship her daughter Layla is having with someone unsuitable. Except that Layla sees the world differently and wants to make her own decisions regarding her future.
Directed by: Kirill Serebrennikov
Russia, 2016, 118 min
Schoolboy Veniamin is convinced that the world is stuck fast in a mire of lies and depravity and that he alone knows how to make things right. Armed with quotations from the Bible and an awareness of his role as the Chosen One, he sets out to discipline a humanity that has gone astray. Created by a distinguished theatre and film director, this Russian picture examining the birth of ideological extremism was shown at Cannes.
Directed by: Vatche Boulghourjian
Lebanon, France, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, 2016, 105 min
While searching for his roots across his native Lebanon, a young blind musician and singer named Rabih must struggle through an unexpectedly thick web of half-truths, disinformation, and lies. Composed with sensitivity and imbued with tenderness, this debut from a talented filmmaker offers an unforced invitation to contemplate the identity of the individual within a socio-geographical context. The film premiered in the Critics’ Week at Cannes.
Vůně podzemí /
Directed by: Pengfei
France, China, 2015, 76 min
Yong Le has arrived in Beijing from the south, as has Xiao Yun, whom he encounters in the Underground City, a former air-raid shelter that floods every time it rains and is home to impoverished immigrants. The two newcomers, and old Lao Jin as well, dream of a better life, but the megalopolis – China’s symbol of economic development – takes no pity on them.
Wolf and Sheep
Vlk a ovce /
Wolf and Sheep
Directed by: Shahrbanoo Sadat
Denmark, France, Sweden, Afghanistan, 2016, 86 min
In a village in a remote part of Afghanistan, a community of people live according to their own strict laws and rules. Influenced by personal experience, the talented young director employs sensitivity to investigate life in a faraway corner of the world. Her feature debut was presented in Directors’ Fortnight at this year’s Cannes IFF.
You'll Never Be Alone
Nikdy nebudeš sám /
Nunca vas a estar solo
Directed by: Alex Anwandter
Chile, 2016, 81 min
While a resigned father works in the same job he’s had for the past 25 years, his adolescent son is completely immersed in his own world, exploring his gay identity. The boy’s fragility and eccentricities, however, provoke a gang of local youths who won’t tolerate people who are different in their neighbourhood. A powerful debut which reflects on the values of human freedom and justice.