Official Selection - Competition 

  • The August Virgin Srpnová madona / La virgen de agosto
    Directed by: Jonás Trueba
    Spain, 2019, 129 min

    In the hot summer months, when Madrileños leave their homes in droves to escape the insufferable heat, the centre of Madrid is left abandoned. That is, except for the tourists and a handful of undaunted locals – and those who can’t see the way forward, like Eva, a charming thirty-something. Told with appealing finesse, the story unfolds during the city’s August festivals, when a person’s inner turmoil can be soothed by fleeting encounters and unexpected adventures.

  • The Father Otec / Bashtata
    Directed by: Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov
    Bulgaria, Greece, 2019, 90 min

    After losing his wife Ivanka, Vasil believes that she is using his phone to reach him from beyond the grave, so he enlists the services of a psychic to try to make contact with her. His son Pavel tries to bring him to his senses, but Vasil stubbornly insists on doing things his own way… This small-scale family drama, about the difficulties of connecting with those close to us, includes many of the carefully arranged absurd or comic situations typical for the Bulgarian filmmaking duo.

  • Half-Sister Nevlastní sestra / Polsestra
    Directed by: Damjan Kozole
    Slovenia, North Macedonia, Serbia, 2019, 105 min

    Half-sisters who were never that close are forced by circumstance to share a flat in Ljubljana... The leading Slovene director returns to Karlovy Vary with a remarkably precise study of alienation and the inability to communicate, in a film characterised by polished dialogue, plenty of black humour and entirely natural performances.

  • La Belle Indifference Maličkosti / Küçük şeyler
    Directed by: Kıvanç Sezer
    Turkey, 2019, 94 min

    Onur is sacked from his job as manager of a pharmaceutical company. He’s not too bothered about being unemployed, but the same cannot be said of his wife Bahar. Onur doesn’t listen to her and becomes indifferent not only to her anxieties but also to the world around him. He’d rather be surrounded by more zebras. A drama with dashes of absurd comedy about events that are no laughing matter: a personal crisis that impacts their marriage.

  • Lara Lara / Lara
    Directed by: Jan-Ole Gerster
    Germany, 2019, 96 min

    Lara has just turned sixty; it’s a very special day that will culminate in a career-defining piano concert given by her son. Viktor remains elusive, however, and his mother’s repeated attempts to get through to him come to nothing. German acting legend Corinna Harfouch stars in this precisely crafted psychological study by one of the most successful German filmmakers of his generation, Jan-Ole Gerster, who here takes up the thread of his critically acclaimed debut Oh Boy.

  • Let There Be Light Budiž světlo / Nech je svetlo
    Directed by: Marko Škop
    Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, 2019, 93 min

    A Slovak village is getting ready for Christmas. Forty-year-old Milan travels from Germany where he works to be home with his family. However, the serene and festive atmosphere is unsettled by the suspicion that his son, a member of a paramilitary youth organisation, might be involved in a harrowing event that stunned the local community. This compelling drama, about the strength and fragility of family ties, examines our sense of moral responsibility in a world where xenophobia takes precedence over compassion for those closest to us.

  • The Man of the Future Muž budoucnosti / El hombre del futuro
    Directed by: Felipe Ríos
    Chile, Argentina, 2019, 96 min

    Michelsen, an elderly truck driver, sets out on his last trip driving freight to the southern tip of Chilean Patagonia. The long and arduous drive through the magnificent, luxuriant natural landscape, past lakes and extensive glaciers, ultimately becomes a recapitulation of his life when he unexpectedly happens upon his adult daughter, whom he hasn’t seen since her childhood.

  • Monsoon Monzun / Monsoon
    Directed by: Hong Khaou
    United Kingdom, 2019, 85 min

    Kit can’t remember much of his native Vietnam. When he returns to the Land of the Golden Star for the first time in over thirty years, he takes in the local surroundings as any Western tourist would: everything seems remote and alien. A subtle film which records one man’s journey back to his roots as it evocatively mediates the (re)discovery of his identity.

  • Mosaic Portrait Portrét mozaikou / Ma sai ke shao nü
    Directed by: Zhai Yixiang
    China, 2019, 107 min

    A diaphanously hypnotic story conveyed more through contemplative silence than words, in which a pregnant 14-year-old makes a surprising revelation when asked to name the father of her child. The young Chinese director follows in the footsteps of the Sixth Generation filmmakers, taking fragments of impressions and moods to craft an unsettling image of the injured heroine, who remains proud and strong. Yet despite this – or perhaps for this reason – she finds herself mired in a deep chasm of alienation.

  • Ode to Nothing Óda na nicotu / Oda sa wala
    Directed by: Dwein Baltazar
    Philippines, 2018, 92 min

    It seems as if nothing can upset Sonya’s routine. No-one cares about the ageing funeral shop owner anymore, except when she provides discounts on flowers and coffins. One day a body belonging apparently to no-one finds its way to her shop, and Sonya develops a highly unusual relationship with it. An inscrutable, tender and bitterly comic film about the desire for companionship.

  • Patrick Patrick / De Patrick
    Directed by: Tim Mielants
    Belgium, 2019, 97 min

    Patrick is in charge of maintenance at a naturist campsite owned by his father. His workshop is as well-ordered as his life, but nothing lasts forever. The loss of Patrick’s favourite hammer has a profound effect on him and sets off a chain of events from which the pensive lad emerges as a new man. A tragicomedy about the importance of keeping an eye on your tools, about existential nudity, among other things, and about people for whom a trailer is their whole world.

  • To the Stars Ke hvězdám / To the Stars
    Directed by: Martha Stephens
    USA, 2019, 111 min

    Bullied by her classmates, reclusive Iris finds small-town life pure torment; for self-assured Maggie, however, moving to the provinces provides an opportunity to stand out from the rest. A film excelling in finely wrought detail that takes us back to the 1960s, a time when society, bound by gender prejudice, detested the idea of individuality in women.


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