Ewan McGregor’s Directorial Debut Included in the Discoveries Programme

The Discoveries programme focuses on promising new directors and their well-received debut films. Jim Jarmusch, Ewan McGregor, the Dardenne brothers, and Lav Diaz have all worked on these exceptional debuts, whether as directors, producers or actors.

The always surprising and innovative programme includes first-time filmmakers whose works have already received glowing reviews in the biggest festivals around the world. Viewers will be transported to Jordan, Afghanistan, romantic Porto portrayed on 35mm film and an abandoned Olympics village in Athens. An evocative search for love, lyrical loneliness and the magical connection between humans and animals unites the Discoveries films. 

Programme trailer: 

First-time director Ewan McGregor adapts Philip Roth’s novel American Pastoral, portraying the political and social upheavals of 1960s America. The story follows Seymour, played by McGregor, who finds out how fleeting happiness is when his teenage daughter joins a group of radical protesters, breaking down the façade of his family’s perfect life. 

“American Pastoral” trailer:

Former film critic Gabe Klinger’s first narrative feature Portohas already received high praise from Jim Jarmusch, who executive produced the romantic drama. Shot in the beautiful Portuguese capital, the film follows Jake (played by the tragically departed Anton Yelchin) and Mati (Lucie Lucas) as they connect during one special night. 

“Porto” trailer:

Maysaloun Hamoud’s In Betweenchallenges preconceived notions of how young Palestinian women lead their lives in Israel. The film portrays the daily routines of three strong and independent Arab women living in Tel Aviv, away from their families, traditions and constraints. 

“In Between” trailer: 

Hadas Ben Aroya directs and stars in her debut feature People That Are Not Me. After a painful break-up, the 25-yer-old Joy has a hard time being alone, filling up her time with failed sexual encounters. Hadas Ben Aroya masterfully depicts the reality of Millennial life in Israel.  

“People That Are Not Me” trailer:

Stéphanie Di Giusto‘s The Danceralso boasts influential producers in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. French musician-actress Soko and Lily-Rose Depp star in the biopic of modern dance pioneer Loie Fuller. This enchanting film is full of beautiful dance sequences that made Paris fall in love with the brave and exceptionally creative Belle Epoque dancer. 

“The Dancer” trailer:

Bradley Liew’s debut Singing in Graveyardsfollows musician Pepe, a loner who spent 30 years impersonating Filipino rock legend Joey Smith. But Pepe is ready to make a comeback and attain his own fame. Director Lav Diaz makes a surprise appearance. 

“Singing in Graveyards” trailer:

In Kirsten Tan’s Pop Aye, Thana, a middle-aged architect disappointed with life and work, encounters his childhood elephant on the streets of Bangkok. Feeling underappreciated both by his wife and his boss, he decides to take a road-trip back to his hometown, elephant in tow. 

“Pop Aye” trailer:

Knife in the Clear Water,Wang Xuebo‘s directorial debut, was filmed in a small Chinese village populated by a Chinese-speaking Muslim community – the Hui, whose agrarian lifestyle is in danger of disappearing. The poetic and deliberately slow film follows an old farmer who struggles to save his beloved bull from sacrifice. 

“Knife in the Clear Water” trailer:

The 2017 film programme: http://kinopavasaris.lt/en/programa