East of the West - Competition 

  • Amir Amir / Amir
    Directed by: Nima Eghlima
    Iran, 2018, 106 min

    Now in his thirties, Amir is beleaguered by other peoples’ problems. His friend Ali’s ex-wife and son have gone missing, his sister is desperately trying to break away from the family, and his parents are trying to keep the family together. Amir is a film about contemporary Iran, about a generation whose private lives are determined more by the rules of society than by their own will.

  • Bear with Us Chata na prodej / Chata na prodej
    Directed by: Tomáš Pavlíček
    Czech Republic, 2018, 77 min

    A family has decided to sell their lovely cottage as none of them has visited it for some time. Yet it holds so many nostalgic memories that the mother suggests they all spend one last day there before the sale takes place. This deliberately paced comedy, whose protagonists often remind the viewer of characters from a Jaroslav Papoušek screenplay, takes an agreeably detached view of the Czech phenomenon of weekending in the country.

  • Blossom Valley Rozkvetlé údolí / Virágvölgy
    Directed by: László Csuja
    Hungary, 2018, 83 min

    Who are the real crazies in an unhinged world? An ironic, punkily brash road movie about young lovers on the run, interwoven with poetic and realistic images. Fed-up Bianka kidnaps a child and dupes the trusting Laci into thinking it’s his. Together they form an instant family who set off in a caravan, fleeing the law and a bunch of crooks.

  • Breathing into Marble Dýchat do mramoru / Kvėpavimas į marmurą
    Directed by: Giedrė Beinoriūtė
    Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia, 2018, 97 min

    The life of a three-member, middle-class family fundamentally changes with the arrival of six-year-old Ilja, a withdrawn little boy adopted from a children’s home… Displaying mise-en-scène mastery, debuting Lithuanian director Giedrė Beinoriūtė brings us a taut psychological drama adapted from the award-winning novel of the same name, in which she ramps up the tension in an economical yet highly effective way.

  • Crystal Swan Křišťálová labuť / Khrustal
    Directed by: Darya Zhuk
    Belarus, Germany, USA, Russia, 2018, 95 min

    Young Evelina has a law degree, but her dream is to travel to the USA and earn a living as a professional DJ. It’s 1996, however, and the girl is living in post-Soviet Minsk... This energetic debut from Belarusian director Darya Zhuk, pulsating to the rhythm of 90s house, is the opening film of this year’s East of the West competition.

  • Deep Rivers Hluboké řeky / Glubokie reki
    Directed by: Vladimir Bitokov
    Russia, 2018, 75 min

    A stark landscape, unforgiving surroundings, gruelling work, and intense conflicts within the family circle – a vicious cycle, the burden of which is only accentuated by the return of the youngest brother, who is to take the place of his sick father in this family of lumberjacks. Under the watchful eye of Aleksandr Sokurov comes another searingly vivid and visually remarkable debut with profound humanistic appeal.

  • Moments Chvilky / Chvilky
    Directed by: Beata Parkanová
    Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, 2018, 95 min

    It might seem that Anežka’s life is not her own – her entire family want to get involved in every aspect of it. The young woman tries to please everyone, but she is gradually losing what is most important – herself. This confident debut deftly captures the pitfalls of family life, which are interpreted with humour, understanding and a remarkably mature sense of situations we experience so often that we aren’t even conscious of them.

  • Pause Pauza / Pafsi
    Directed by: Tonia Mishiali
    Cyprus, Greece, 2018, 96 min

    Elpida is a housewife confronted with the first signs of menopause while trapped in a loveless marriage to a heartless, despotic man. Together with the physical changes she experiences, however, her mind and her perception of reality are also gradually affected… A formally mature, muted psychological drama addressing the issues surrounding the position of women in a patriarchal society.

  • Suleiman Mountain Šalamounova hora / Suleiman gora
    Directed by: Elizaveta Stishova
    Kyrgyzstan, Russia, 2017, 101 min

    Karabas is a man who has never really grown up. He drinks too much, and he and his young pregnant wife just scrape by. When his first wife Zhipara arrives with the news that she’s found their long-lost son Uluk, a question arises: Could the fractured foursome all live together? A distinctive debut which dexterously combines a road movie with a family drama and an original comedy, thereby painting a vivid portrait of life in Kyrgyzstan.

  • Via Carpatia Via Carpatia / Via Carpatia
    Directed by: Klara Kochańska, Kasper Bajon
    Poland, Czech Republic, North Macedonia, 2018, 75 min

    Julia and Piotr are a well-situated, middle-class married couple entertaining the idea of a dream holiday. At the request of Piotr’s mother, however, the pair set out instead on a trip across the Balkans, heading for a refugee camp on the Macedonian-Greek border. Student Academy Award holder Klara Kochańska makes her debut with an intimate, independent road movie which stands out for its subtle performances and quasi-documentary authenticity. The film was co-directed by Kasper Bajon.

  • Volcano Vulkán / Vulkan
    Directed by: Roman Bondarchuk
    Ukraine, Germany, 2018, 106 min

    One day Lukas, employed as an interpreter for an OSCE mission, becomes lost in the middle of the steppe in southern Ukraine. His journey towards self-recognition and happiness will be flanked by a series of strange encounters and bizarre situations… Roman Bondarchuk’s novel feature debut is a tragicomedy whose striking visuals aid him in fleshing out the colorful world of southern Ukraine, a place which still bears unmistakable traces of the distant and not-too-distant past.

  • 53 Wars 53 válek / 53 wojny
    Directed by: Ewa Bukowska
    Poland, 2018, 79 min

    Anka is becoming extremely anxious about her beloved husband Witek, a war correspondent. But where does the border lie between reality and catastrophic visions? An evocative psychological drama adapted from the autobiographical novel by Grażyna Jagielska about experiencing war second-hand: we don’t have to be there for it to have a destructive influence on our lives.


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