Introducing New Competition Programme for European Debuts (photos)

After organising two competition programmes, New Europe – New Names for Central and Eastern European debuts, and Baltic Gaze for filmmakers from the Baltic region, Vilnius IFF has decided to combine them into one – Competition of European Debuts. 13 films have been selected to compete in this new programme.

The new competition programme pays special attention to bold choices and original content. “We wholeheartedly support the decision to have only debuting filmmakers from all over Europe compete. The programme will include directors’ first feature films in the documentary, narrative, animated and experimental genres,” said Saulius Jokubaitis, CEO of the festival‘s main partner ERGO Lithuania.

Credits: Gediminas Gražys

Many of the films in this programme address family relationships, show attempts to lead traditional lives, go on journeys of self-discovery and search for happiness. Kantemir Balagov’s “Closeness”, based on a true story of a Jewish family living in a Muslim city during the Chechen war, already won the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes. Ana Urushadze’s “Scary Mother” examines a woman’s familial duties. Jens Assur’s “Ravens” rebels against family tradition, while Hlynur Pálmason’s visually remarkable “Winter Brothers” portrays a troubled relationship between two brothers. Piotr Domalewski’s “Silent Night” shows distant relatives gather for an awkward dinner on Christmas Eve. Andrei Creţulescu’s darkly funny “Charleston” examines two men’s loss of a beloved woman. Michael Onder’s “Taksim Hold’em” ridicules people’s habit of holding political discussions without taking any action. Bertrand Mandico takes viewers on a surreal journey in “The Wild Boys”, and Pedro Cabeleira’s hedonistic film “Damned Summer” examines the lives of a generation who seem to never grow up.

Three of the films will be documentaries: Gustavo Salmerón’s “Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle”, Giovanni Totaro’s “Happy Winter” and the Marta Prus directed “Over the Limit”.

More about the films in the Competition of European Debuts here.