Discovering the most distinctive new directors in world cinema, the festival champions the filmmakers making great work now, and who will be creating important cinema for decades to come. The EEFF Best Film Award is reserved for first and second features and documentaries. Five of the eight shortlisted films in competition are first features, and five are by female directors. An invitation to experience the best and most exciting voices of independent world cinema.
Authentic performances from non-actors, understated direction and a subtle script characterise The Bangle Seller, Ere Gowda’s absolutely delightful first feature. When he isn’t travelling around his South Indian village selling women bangles and other beauty products, Kempana spends his time with his best friend, Hanuma. At home, Kempana’s wife is frustrated over their inability to conceive. The villagers, naturally, gossip, while the neighbours’ teenage son helps Kempana’s wife with domestic—and other—duties. Will the couple’s secret ever come out?
Ere Gowda was born to a farming family in the Mandya District of Karnataka in 1981, and came to filmmaking only much later in life. hE rose to fame with the film ‘Thithi’, directed by Raam Reddy – for which he is credited as the Script Writer. For his contribution to the film, Ere Gowda won the Asia New Talent Award 2016 at the Shanghai International Film Festival for ‘Best Screenplay’. Balekempa is Ere Gowda’s directorial debut.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF RAIN, Germany
A teenager locks himself in his room, deliberately withdrawing from the world and refusing any contact with his confused and despairing family. As the weeks turn into months, his mother, father and sister each respond to this act of rejection in complex and surprising ways. Isabel Prahl’s impressive debut feature is an astute and nuanced portrait of a family in crisis, from a filmmaker in complete command of her material.
Isabel Prahl’s first social advert won the Young Director Award in Cannes. Her short film Ausreichend won the First Steps Award in Germany. Since then, she has directed numerous ads with her production company The Beauty Within, one of which, Armut Kennt Viele Geschichten, won the 2010 Young Directors Award in Cannes. Different Kinds of Rain is her first feature film, with which she won the Best First Feature award at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.
HIGH FANTASY, South Africa
Part comedy, part drama, part body-swap thriller, Jenna Bass’ second feature is a daringly inventive and enthralling dive into contemporary South Africa. Lexi, Xoli, Tatiana and Thami set out on a camping trip with gusto, filming every moment with their camera phones. Yet cracks in their camaraderie soon develop. And when the young friends awaken one morning to a horrific discovery, the cozy myth of the Rainbow Nation is set to explode.
Jenna Bass is a South African writer, filmmaker and former magician. Her multi-award winning films – Zimbabwe-set short, The Tunnel, and entirely-improvised debut feature, Love The One You Love – have screened around the world, including Sundance, Berlinale, Göteborg, Busan and Durban International Film Festivals, where she has been heralded as ushering in a ‘New Wave’ of South African cinema. High Fantasy is her second feature.
I AM ANOTHER YOU, USA
When Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang (Hooligan Sparrow) first came to America, Florida seemed like an exotic frontier full of theme parks, prehistoric swamp creatures, and sunburned denizens. As she travels wide-eyed through this dusty landscape, her fascination with the notion of a free American attaches itself to Dylan, a charismatic young drifter. They embark on a journey that spans years but there is a reality just beneath the surface of this dream world that gradually Nanfu must confront, leaving her questioning the nature of freedom and filmmaking, and the limitations of both.
Nanfu Wang is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York City. Wang was honored by the International Documentary Association with the 2016 Emerging Filmmaker Award. Originally from a remote village in China, Wang overcame poverty and lack of access to formal secondary education and went on to earn three master’s degrees from Shanghai University, Ohio University, and New York University in English Literature, Media Studies, and Documentary respectively.
The smuggling of refugees from the war-torn Middle East into economically ravaged Greece is the backdrop to actor turned first-time director Onar Saylak’s impressive screen adaptation of Hakan Günday’s award-winning thriller. Quiet teenager Gaza (Hayat Van Eck) follows dad (Legendary Once Upon a Time in Anatolia star Ahmet Mumtaz Taylan) into the family transport business. An able apprentice, Gaza rises quickly as he witnesses the dark harrowing despair of those fleeing war.
Onur Saylak was born in Ankara at 1977. He graduated from Bilkent University Performing Arts Department ‘Skill of Acting’. He also studied Physics and Political Science. After he graduated from university he performed theatre and cinema. Daha is his directorial debut.
TEAM HURRICANE, Denmark
An exciting, radical punk film about eight eclectic and colourful teenage girls with a unique aesthetic and tone. Team Hurricane mixes the realism of handheld documentary footage with the colour palate of a Snapchat makeover to give a unique insight into millennial teen life. Imagine Jean Luc Godard collaborator Anne-Marie Miéville editing a mash-up of Harmony Korine’s Gummo with Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo and you’re in the Milky Way of Berg’s fantastic debut.
Since she was a teenager Annika Berg (1987, Denmark) has been making films aiming to excite and challenge the audience with their innovative style, experiments and unusual narrative form. In 2011 she was accepted to the highly appraised National Film School of Denmark. She graduated in 2015 to critical acclaim for her graduation film Sia, which also won best short film at the Danish Robert (Academy) Awards 2017. Team Hurricane is her first feature.
After a long absence, Rina (Marilú Marini) returns to the old family home deep in Argentina’s Tigre delta hoping to reconnect with her adult son and thwart the developers who threaten to repossess the land. Family tensions simmer in the sweltering heat and the past looms large in this atmospheric and supremely assured drama from first-time filmmakers Silvina Schnicer and Ulises Porra Guardiola, which has earned comparisons to the early work of fellow Argentinian Lucretia Martel.
Silvina Schnicer & Ulises Guardiola
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Silvina studied Social Communication at the University o Buenos Aires. Ulises Porra Guardiola was born in Barcelona, Spain, and studied Philosophy at the Universidad de Barcelona. Together they wrote and directed the short films La Bicha and Destello. Tigre is their first feature film, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2017.
TIME SHARE, Mexico
Pedro and Eva are a stressed-out couple desperate for a break. They book a vacation at the all-inclusive Vistamar resort, yet paradise isn’t everything it seems. Meanwhile another married couple, Gloria and Andres, who work at the resort, find themselves moving in worryingly opposite directions. Winner of the prize for best film at EEFF 2012 for his Cronenbergian debut Halley, Sebastián Hoffman takes David Lynch as his stylistic lodestar in this riveting follow-up, a brilliantly disturbing and surreal black comedy.
Sebastián Hofmann is a Mexican visual artist and filmmaker whose productions have been presented in the film festivals of Rotterdam, Locarno, and Sundance. His first film Halley won the Best Film Award at EEFF 2013. He return to the festival the year after as the Director In Residence, to present the EEFF 2014 Mexican Focus. Time Share is his second feature.