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International Feature Film Competition 2023

Golden Land

Director: Inka Achte
Country: Finland

When Finnish-Somalian Mustafe discovers his ancestors' land in the horn of Africa is full of copper and gold, he decides to swap his family’s safe but boring life in Finland -the country hailed as the happiest and most equal in the world- for Somaliland, a self-declared state in East Africa. As Mustafe struggles to lift the treasures from underground, his children embark on a bumpy journey to uncover where they really belong.

Wise Donkey

Director: Francesco De Giorgi, Giovanni Iavarone
Country: Italy

Puglia, May 2021. A group of folk music artists decides to make a 200-km journey on foot from Torre Guaceto (Brindisi) to Santa Maria di Leuca (Lecce) along the ancient roads of the Via Francigena. A young farmer and his donkey named Bartolo join the group, creating the "Company of Wise Donkeys." The documentary is the story of a musical journey into the memory, traditions, and popular culture of Salento.


Director: Filipa Cardoso
Country: Belgium

To hear the sound of the ocean in the Himalayas... This unlikely wish takes a film director and her three girls to Gyütö, where a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, perched high, echoes day and night the sound of sacred tantric chants of meditation, «which sound like the waves of the ocean». Wandering freely about wherever their curiosity leads them, they discover the daily life of 400 monks living there. Over time, a dialogue develops and a growing complicity emerges. From this intimate immersion, a film takes form, unfolding like a wave both visually and in sound. The reality of Buddhism is revealed in a way that is unprecedented, in the spontaneity of the questions asked, as well as with the sensitive understanding of a child’s point of view and with no proselytization at all.

The Order of Things

Director: Ramona Badescu, Jeff Silva
Country: Romania

At the ripe age of 90 years old, Alexandru gardens, jokes, and continues to repair watches in the workshop opened by his father in 1909, somewhere in southern Romania. But what is invisible to everyone, and what has changed his life forever, is his past as a political prisoner. The Order of Things is an attempt to record the fragmented memory of one of the last direct witnesses of the Romanian forced labor camps and political prisons as well as an ode to resilience.


Director: Aitor Sánchez Smith, Lander Ibarretxe
Country: Spain

Balika tells the story of Dipendra and Sushmita, two teenagers living in an orphanage in Kathmandu. The protagonists, like all his friends, were abandoned by their families.

Only Roundup Remains

Director: Brian Liu
Country: USA

In central Montana, the Highwood Cattle Roundup has been happening exactly this same way since 1912. As the world changes and modernizes, this proud iconic American culture struggles to preserve its way of life. Through the perspective of an aging father, his two sons, and their extended family of Montana cowboys, Only Roundup Remains provides a rare and intimate glimpse into the disappearing lifestyle of proud generational ranching families, their tradition, hard work, honor, and what might be their final roundup.

Arkadaşloch - Nobody's Problem

Director: Nilay Kılınç, Markus Bauer, Alexander Brugger
Country: Turkey

“Arkadaşloch – Nobody’s Problem” is an essay documentary film that tells the story of Özgür Kal who was deported from Germany to Turkey, and depicts his self-transformation from being the poster-child of failed integration to becoming a family-oriented business owner in Antalya. Based on Nilay Kılınç’s Ph.D. research, the documentary offers a closer look at the lives of second-generation Turkish-German migrants who have to deal with the precariousness of existence without a fixed abode and economic prospects, even after ‘returning’ to Turkey – their so-called “homeland”.

The Samaritans: A Biblical People

Director: Moshe Alafi
Country: Israel

The biblical Samaritan community is fighting for its life and to save its language and faith from extinction.

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

Director: Bojan Dakić
Country: Serbia

In the attics of Roma houses throughout Vojvodina, we found about a hundred VHS tapes showing the most important event in the life of the Roma, the wedding and wedding customs. The recordings were made at the end of the 1980s and during the 1990s. Some of the wedding customs have been preserved and are practiced today, others have experienced a transformation, and others were on the verge of being forgotten and were finally remembered in this film. Early and arranged marriages and the cult of virginity are an integral part of the Roma tradition. The older and younger generations talk about those customs that were dictated by their wandering past and to what extent these customs are desirable today.

In the hearts of the living

Director: Marielle Duclos
Country: France

Exclusion is a long journey that continues into death. Over the seasons, volunteers organize the burial of people who have experienced living on the street, trying to bring together their families and loved ones so that they do not leave alone, in oblivion and indifference. Each year, about twenty ceremonies are held in the cemetery of Cornebarrieu on the outskirts of Toulouse. A presence, gestures, songs, and stories accompany these deceased. Through their presence, which might seem vain, at the funerals of strangers, these volunteers question the scope and meaning of such a commitment beyond religious beliefs. By offering a dignified ceremony to the most precarious, they contribute, in a spirit of brotherhood, to honoring their memory. For the true tomb of the dead is the heart of the living.

Siren Lullabies

Director: Kristina Atovska
Country: North Macedonia

The film “Siren Lulbabies” is an independent feature length documentary about the war in Ukraine in 2022, covering the first four months of the war. It’s a personalized story narrated by the director Kristina Atovska, who was the only journalist from her country in Ukraine… and went there alone. 
This movie is made mainly by Kristina’s passion for journalism and giving voice to the people that can’t be heard, in this case because of a war in their yards. That's why the main focus in this film is on the people who remained to live in war. Through their stories we see all the faces of war, from crimes against civilians to solidarity as a form of resistance, all of which are covered with exclusive footages. 
Kristina's journey starts in Lviv, goes through occupied Kyiv, the battlefield on the Zhytomyr highway, the Bucha and Irpin massacre and ends in the everyday bombing in Kharkiv. This is the movie that shows the feeling of having to change everyday routines in order to survive at least one more day under the rain of bombs and constant threat.

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