After a rigorous selection process, the programming team choose the films of the official International Competition section. Each film should be the debut or the second work of its director. Its screening should also be a Greek premiere. This section aims to shine a light on new talents on their way to becoming the most soughtafter artists of tomorrow.
A shy young man who realizes he fancies boys, a wise hamster with Isabella Rossellini's voice, a night that promises to change everything, a coming-of-age story that has to go through a sexual awakening. All this from a talented 26-year-old director in his dreamy, beautiful directorial debut who swears to not fall into any typical gay movie tropes. Best Canadian Feature of the Toronto International Film Festival.
A remote island inhabited only by young boys and women is hiding heinous secrets about their fate. The macabre answers are waiting on the other side of the city. Science fiction, gothic tale tropes and horror are immersed in this hallucinogenic visual ocean that the marvelous director of "Innocence" shoots like a freaky alluring nightmare from which you don't want to wake up. Special Jury Prize and Cinematography award at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
The Academy Award-nominated screenwriter of "Brokeback Mountain" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" takes on directing duties for the first time and presents the best cinematic adaptation of a Philip Roth novel so far. A young man experiences a rude awakening in the ultra-conservative America of the `50s, as he clashes with the merciless university system in which he's studying, and Logan Lerman ("The Perks of Being a Wallflower") condenses his meteoric rise in an emotionally disarming performance.
Just before he gets married to some girl his parents chose for him and he hasn't even met, Hedi meets and falls in love with outspoken Rim, which drastically changes everything he believes about life. A disarming story of a personal revolution, which justly won the Best First Feature and Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin Film Festival.
When the Academy Award-winning Michael Dudok de Wit decided to work with the legendary animation studio Ghibli, the result couldn't have been anything less than magical. In this visual masterpiece, which would have made Hayao Miyazaki proud, a man shipwrecked in a deserted island is taught all about love by a sea turtle. Special Jury Prize of the "Un Certain Regard" section of the Cannes Film Festival.
The most famous conspiracy theory in the history of space exploration comes to life in this ingenious mockumentary by Matthew Johnson, which, in its mere 90 minutes, manages to implicate Stanley Kubrick and complete the trajectory from vitriolic comedy to breath-catching spy thriller. Back in 1967, CIA suspects that someone within NASA acts as informant to the Soviets and sends over a team of agents to solve the case. What they end up discoverig will change US history forever.
After a mysterious accident, a young Londoner loses his memory and employs strangers to recreate moments from his past in order to help him remember. He hasn't thought through all the (dangerous) factors in his weird plan, though. Adapted from the notorious novel of the same name, established video artist Omer Fast's first feature walks in the footsteps of films such as "Memento" and "Primer", offering up a filmic Rubik's cube which you'll be struggling to solve for days after the screening.
A father discovers the beneficial qualities of marijuana and the wild company of the young man next door, while trying to get over the death of his son. Both a painkiller and an antidote to sadness, this already acclaimed and promising debut comes up with a comforting, deeply human way to talk about life, death and the need to make peace, even with the things that scare you most.
For a mother and a little girl left alone in an empty flat in 1988 Tehran, the air raid sirens are the last thing that should scare them: an eerie entity wants to drag them into the primordial darkness from where it came. Imagine if Asghar Farhadi made a purebred horror movie, which also worked as a political allegory, and you'll realise why this admirable debut takes flight, escaping the narrow genre confines and becoming high art.
Watch one of the award-winning films of the Festival's International Competition section!