Sections of 54th KVIFF
- Official Selection - Competition
- Official Selection - Out of Competition
- East of the West - Competition
- Special Events
- Documentary Films - Competition
- Another View
- Future Frames: Generation NEXT of European Cinema
- Midnight Screenings
- Czech Films 2018–2019
- Tribute to Youssef Chahine
- People Next Door
- Out of the Past
- Prague Short Film Festival Presents
Apollo 11 /
Directed by: Todd Douglas Miller
USA, 2019, 93 min
Fifty years after the first lunar landing, NASA has opened up its extensive archives and released previously unseen material of amazing audiovisual quality, including a 70mm film of the launch from Cape Canaveral and intimate footage of the otherworldly calm that prevailed in the lunar module. The nine-day mission becomes more than just Armstrong’s iconic “giant leap for mankind,” growing instead into a fascinating space odyssey.
Directed by: Federico Bondi
Italy, 2019, 94 min
Dafne is a young woman who is a constant source of positive energy for those around her. And when tragedy strikes her family, Dafne is the one left in charge of the healing process. Nevertheless, there’s an obstacle on her path to independence: she has Down syndrome. Focusing on a gentle power capable of overcoming anything, the movie first enchanted audiences at this year’s Berlinale.
Die Kinder der Toten
Děti mrtvých /
Die Kinder der Toten
Directed by: Kelly Copper, Pavol Liška
Austria, 2018, 90 min
A bloody car crash, undead doppelgängers, a grand feast at a Styrian pub, and a group of starving Syrians at death’s door… Thanks to such unforgettable scenes, directing duo Kelly Copper and Pavol Liška have succeeded in transforming Elfriede Jelinek’s magnum opus into an over-the-top, silent 8 mm horror movie that shines for its one-of-a-kind cinematic style and ruthless irony.
A Dog Called Money
A Dog Called Money /
A Dog Called Money
Directed by: Seamus Murphy
Ireland, United Kingdom, 2019, 90 min
PJ Harvey, a seminal author and singer of her generation, travels through Kosovo and other areas marked by social crisis in search of ways to use popular music as a journalistic medium. Along the way we get a close-up look at the creative, focused, and witty artist writing songs in a glass studio visible to the public.
Dogs Don’t Wear Pants
Psi nenosí kalhoty /
Koirat eivät käytä housuja
Directed by: Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää
Finland, Latvia, 2019, 105 min
The years are flying by, his daughter is growing up, but Juha still mourns his drowned wife. Everything changes the moment he meets Mona – a mysterious dominatrix who makes him feel that intimacy is still a possibility and that the experience might help him see his deceased love again.
Fire Will Come
Až přijde oheň /
O que arde
Directed by: Oliver Laxe
France, Luxembourg, Spain, 2019, 85 min
Amador Coro returns home, but nobody welcomes him, not even his own mother, who responds with a frosty calmness. Years ago he started a devastating fire for which he deservedly spent time in the slammer. He is gradually readjusting to the slow pace of life on the family’s small farm in the wild Galician countryside, but one day flames rise again… Winner of the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at this year’s Cannes IFF.
Gold Is All There Is
Všechno zlato světa /
Tutto l'oro che c'è
Directed by: Andrea Caccia
Italy, Switzerland, France, 2019, 100 min
Ticino, the azure river. Born in the mountains, it flows through fertile plains and on to a lake. It is a world in and of itself. Its banks provide shelter for insects, animals, and solitary gold prospectors. It gives life to the surrounding landscape and to people that never meet.
Takové krásné šaty /
Directed by: Peter Strickland
United Kingdom, 2018, 118 min
The January sales at a slightly bizarre boutique go somewhat awry. While a bank clerk has problems with a cursed dress she’s just bought (you can’t just stick it in the washing machine, we’ll tell you that much), the boutique staff perform esoteric rituals after closing time… This wild assemblage by Peter Strickland is as much a tribute to the cult giallo film genre as it is an expression of deference towards fabric itself, the star of the show.
Introduzione all'oscuro /
Directed by: Gastón Solnicki
Argentina, Austria, 2018, 67 min
Gastón Solnicki and Hans Hurch – the nonconformist Argentine filmmaker and the respected head of the cult Viennale festival. A little big film about a friendship that continues even beyond death, presented in the form of Solnicki’s cinematic declaration to his deceased pal. About mourning that is both playful and provocative without being any less real. About Vienna as you’ve never seen it before.
Koko-di koko-da /
Directed by: Johannes Nyholm
Sweden, Denmark, 2019, 84 min
Elin and her husband Tobias’s camping trip becomes a nightmare when they are terrorized by a trio of right shady characters who suddenly emerge from the depths of the forest. What is it like to be stuck in a horrible dream? And even worse, to have to relive it over and over again? Believe it: the song that lent its name to this perversely humorous picture will be stuck in your head for a long time.
Directed by: Andreas Horvath
Austria, 2019, 128 min
After missing her chance to leave the United States in the proper manner, Lillian decides to return to her native Russia on foot – from New York, across the entire continent. This remarkable observational piece, which lulls the audience like a slowly advancing horizon, dispenses with the usual dramatic approaches in order to sketch a pilgrimage across the vast landscape. And the mere absence of society’s watchful eye can lead to happiness.
The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea
Zázrak Sargasového moře /
To thávma tis thálassas ton Sargassón
Directed by: Syllas Tzoumerkas
Greece, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, 2019, 121 min
Directed by Greek New Wave director Syllas Tzoumerkas, this thriller maintains its grip on the audience as it cloaks its realistic, socially-critical intent in a tale at once disturbing, eerie, dreamlike, and spiritual, benefitting greatly from its ensemble cast of charismatic individuals.
Directed by: Alejandro Landes
Colombia, Argentina, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Uruguay, USA, 2018, 102 min
A bizarre paramilitary unit is encamped among ruins on a hill, but their mission is as unclear as their view into the surrounding fog-shrouded jungle. One of the most remarkable Latin American films of the current festival season presents a formally jarring fable about the struggle for freedom, which in some parts of the world can simply mean survival.
Directed by: Marius Olteanu
Romania, 2019, 116 min
Dana and Arthur, a seemingly perfect couple, have been married for almost ten years. But as we follow them through the streets of Bucharest over the course of 24 hours, doubts, divergent needs, and struggles with inner demons persistently bubble to the surface. Directed with ample empathy, this relationship study touching on social taboos was one of the most distinctive debuts at this year’s Berlinale.
Out of Tune
Directed by: Frederikke Aspöck
Denmark, 2019, 93 min
Perhaps multimillionaire Markus realized that his investment fraud against the state would one day land him behind bars, but he definitely never imagined he’d be joining the prison choir. A darkly humorous tragicomedy in which arguments over who’s keeping time and who isn’t take on absurd dimensions.
Tohle je láska /
C'est ça l'amour
Directed by: Claire Burger
France, 2018, 98 min
When Mario’s wife leaves him, he is left to look after their two adolescent daughters by himself. While 14-year-old Frida blames her father for the break-up of their family, 17-year-old Niki just wants to leave home. A multi-layered drama about the fragility of human bonds which examines the possibility that loss emboldens us to discover who we really are. The picture won the Giornate degli Autori Director’s Award at the Venice IFF.
Directed by: Lucía Garibaldi
Uruguay, Argentina, Spain, 2019, 80 min
Fourteen-year-old Rosina circles the slightly older Joselo like a clumsy baby shark. Although she hides it well, the hormonal chaos she is experiencing expresses itself in risky flirtation and outright malice. Debuting Uruguayan director Lucía Garibaldi’s award-winning study of romantic fumbling and youthful obsession leaves itself open to interpretation.
Sick, Sick, Sick
Bez krve /
Sem seu sangue
Directed by: Alice Furtado
Brazil, France, Netherlands, 2019, 100 min
When Silvia and Artur meet in high school, it’s love at first sight. But a hereditary disease takes Artur soon after, and Silvia, mourning, leaves for the seaside with her family. After coming across a book on Haitian rituals, she decides to bring Artur back to life … because with love it’s either all or nothing.
Sons of Denmark
Synové Dánska /
Directed by: Ulaa Salim
Denmark, 2019, 123 min
The immigration crisis has heightened tensions in Danish society. As nationalist voices gain in intensity and openly foment animosity towards ethnic minorities, 19-year-old Zakaria finds himself obliged to defend his Arab family. A highly topical look at current events in Europe, presented in the form of a dark psychological drama.
Directed by: Miroslav Terzić
Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2019, 97 min
Ana’s son died soon after childbirth … or at least that’s what her doctors told her. Today, twenty years later, she still won’t give up hope that he’s alive somewhere. And according to certain indications, he may well be. Based on true events, the film sensitively explores the consequences of a dark chapter in modern Serbian history.
Directed by: Ala Eddine Slim
Tunisia, France, 2019, 120 min
A magical allegory of our politically chaotic present … or perhaps just an elusive fantasy. Soldier S is given leave to attend his mother’s funeral, but he never returns to his unit. Young F learns she is pregnant and a few days later disappears into the woods. A fragile mystery about individuals who find themselves in a world not subject to the usual rules.
Directed by: Abel Ferrara
Italy, 2019, 115 min
The titular hero of the latest offering from ex-bad boy Abel Ferrara, played impeccably by Willem Dafoe, feels at home in Rome, and he even enjoys struggling to learn Italian. But he also sees a change in outlook overtaking his young wife Nikki, with whom he has a little girl, the apple of his eye. Ferrara continues his probe into the unsettlingly dark side of our existence in a supremely unexpected fashion, via a film so intense it takes your breath away.
Directed by: Sergei Loznitsa
Netherlands, 2018, 128 min
Stalin’s show trials paved the way for the Great Terror. The court proceedings against members of the so-called Industrial Party were staged on camera as a spectacle designed to intimidate. Thanks to Sergei Loznitsa, even ninety years on the archive footage still speaks of the unchanging principles of totalitarian mechanisms and of the manipulative force of demagogy and film.
The Unknown Saint
Zázrak neznámého světce /
Le miracle du Saint Inconnu
Directed by: Alaa Eddine Aljem
Morocco, France, Qatar, 2019, 100 min
Just before being caught by the police, a fleeing thief buries his loot in the sand and disguises the hiding place as a grave. When he’s released from prison several years later, he discovers that the grave has become a shrine to an unknown saint, and that it is surrounded by a village that lives off his veneration. A Moroccan comedy about faith, mammon, and miraculous healing.