East of the West - Competition 

  • Absence of Closeness Absence blízkosti / Absence blízkosti
    Directed by: Josef Tuka
    Czech Republic, 2017, 65 min

    After another failed relationship Hedvika takes her three-month-old daughter Adélka and her dog to stay with her mother and her mum’s boyfriend. Hedvika doesn’t get on all that well with her mother, nor are her feelings towards Adélka as maternal as they could be. One day she finds some diaries that her late father left behind… This small-scale psychological drama by debutant Josef Tuka is shored up by its realistic characters, an understated performance from Jana Plodková, and perceptive, discreet lensing.

  • Blue Silence Modré ticho / Blue Silence
    Directed by: Bülent Öztürk
    Turkey, Belgium, 2017, 93 min

    After his release from the military hospital where he was receiving treatment for a past trauma, Hakan tries to resume a normal life and form a proper relationship with his daughter. Excelling for its mature performances and its stylisation of image and sound, the film foregrounds Hakan’s wounded soul and underlines his vehement efforts to break free from his own private prison.

  • Dede Dede / Dede
    Directed by: Mariam Khatchvani
    Georgia, Qatar, Ireland, Netherlands, Croatia, 2017, 97 min

    It’s 1992. Young Dina lives in a remote mountain village where life is strictly governed by centuries of tradition. Is it possible to defy the firmly established order? And, if it is, what price must a person pay for doing so? Debut director Mariam Khatchvani set her first film in Svaneti, the stark mountainous region in northwestern Georgia where she herself was born, and she presents us with an authentic portrayal of a number of customs and traditions associated with this province.

  • The End of the Chain Konec řetězce / Keti lõpp
    Directed by: Priit Pääsuke
    Estonia, 2017, 81 min

    Have you ever had a bad day? Well, it would be difficult to top the catastrophe facing a waitress at a fast-food outlet, where people come not for a quick meal but simply to have a good cry. This high-spirited comedy, about the worst that can happen when you’re slaving from dawn to dusk, also examines existential dilemmas, unconcealed selfishness, and the essential desire for compassion.

  • Falling Střemhlav / Strimholov
    Directed by: Marina Stepanska
    Ukraine, 2017, 105 min

    Anton and Katia happen upon one another in night-time Kiev. Both are trying to find their bearings in life, and their encounter changes everything… This psychological drama by debuting Marina Stepanska offers up both a fragile love story and a strong statement on the current young generation as it searches for its place in post-revolutionary Ukraine.

  • How Viktor “the Garlic” Took Alexey “the Stud” to the Nursing Home Jak Víťa Česnek vezl Ljochu Vrtáka do důchoďáku / Kak Vitka Chesnok vez Lecha Shtyrya v dom invalidov
    Directed by: Alexander Hant
    Russia, 2017, 90 min

    This inventive road movie about a son and father finding their way to one another has none of the sentiment normally associated with this kind of subject matter. The film introduces an ensemble of wild characters from the lowest social strata, viewed through a lens that finds a balance between the work’s profoundly human dimension and its stylishly ironic commentary on contemporary society.

  • The Man Who Looks Like Me Muž, který vypadá jako já / Minu näoga onu
    Directed by: Katrin Maimik, Andres Maimik
    Estonia, 2017, 100 min

    Music critic Hugo is going through a post-divorce crisis and just wants some peace to finish writing his book. When his bohemian father suddenly appears on his doorstep, it becomes clear that the new life he has chosen for himself is about to go in quite a different direction. A tragicomic tale about parents and children and their shared mistakes and complexes.

  • Mariţa Mariţa / Mariţa
    Directed by: Cristi Iftime
    Romania, 2017, 100 min

    Thirty-year-old Costi decides to spend a few days with his family. His parents have long since divorced, but Costi thinks it would be a great idea to arrange a surprise reunion, and he persuades his father to travel with him to meet up with his mother and siblings. Taking the old family car, affectionately known as Mariţa, they head out on a journey that will ultimately help to heal past wounds and allow Costi to finally understand not only his parents, but also himself.

  • Nina Nina / Nina
    Directed by: Juraj Lehotský
    Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, 2017, 82 min

    Nina is twelve years old and her world has just been shattered to smithereens: Her parents’ marriage has broken down and they are getting a divorce. After his internationally successful feature debut Miracle Juraj Lehotský now brings us an intimate drama in which the viewer looks upon the world and the selfish, visionless behaviour of adults through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl. A girl who is resilient and belligerent, but also vulnerable and just as fragile as the miniature world she creates for herself in the garden shed.

  • Pomegranate Orchard Sad granátovníků / Nar baği
    Directed by: Ilgar Najaf
    Azerbaijan, 2017, 90 min

    Gabil returns home to the humble family farmstead, surrounded by an orchard of venerable pomegranate trees; since his sudden departure twelve years ago he was never once in contact. However, the deep emotional scars he left behind cannot be erased from one day to the next. A private drama set in a picturesque landscape which tells of wrongdoings simmering below the surface of seeming innocence.

  • The Stone Kámen / Taş
    Directed by: Orhan Eskiköy
    Turkey, 2017, 96 min

    Emete would swear that the young man seeking refuge in her home is the son she lost long ago. But in her isolated, wasteland village it’s almost impossible to differentiate real hope from self-delusion. Especially since the only way to survive is to throw in with the collective myths and seek comfort in cold stone.

  • Unwanted Nechtění / T’padashtun
    Directed by: Edon Rizvanolli
    Kosovo, Netherlands, 2017, 85 min

    Teenager Alban lives in Amsterdam with his mother Zana, who left Kosovo during the war in the Balkans. When he starts going out with the sensitive Ana, neither of them has any idea that unresolved injustices and shadows from the past will make their way to the surface. This insightful, mature debut by a Kosovan director reminds us how difficult forgiveness and reconciliation can be.


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