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New Talents Competition

The New Talents Competition is back with our fourth edition! We invited young filmmakers from Eastern and Southern Europe to send us their graduating or debut films to compete for an Audience Award (€1000).

Yet again we were impressed by the emerging directors’ curiosity towards the world. In these changing and often dire times the young makers feel it like no one else. Through the lens of the camera and their personal film languages, these artists interact with the world, question their surroundings, reflect on their past and present lives, and dream about what can and should be different.

This year we selected 10 films from Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania and Croatia. 

The personal essay film The Trip takes us back to 1975 Lithuania where the fishermen kiss their wives goodbye as they prepare for their long journey. Still, thousands of kilometres away, they are followed by the shadows of the Iron Curtain. Travelling from Sarajevo to Dayton, Ohio, Hotel Hope Phantom shows the artist, equipped with a camera, roaming the same rooms and hallways where in 1995 the leaders of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia negotiated a peace agreement, ending the violent and bloody years in Bosnia & Herzegovina, shaping the future of the artist and generations to come. The extreme emotions and experience of her own daughter wanting to die, and the birth of a new love are held in their complexity and nuances through the intimate and honest testimony of Els in Falling. The ever-increasing isolation within these precarious and hyper-connected times, force the director of the personal documentary Avitaminosis, to take a job at a fraudulent call centre selling vitamins that promise magical results. While suffering from a vitamin deficiency herself, she turns the camera inward in the search for healing and love. Divided in three short stories, an 8-year-old girl guides us through feelings of awe, loneliness, curiosity and love. The three directors pay homage to the wisdom of children, to the ocean and to cinema itself in their sensitive and experimental film Tiny Summer Trilogy. The visually captivating and intimate Big Phat Party examines the fragile structures of friendship and how its bonds can fall apart. The stylized camera brings the sensitivities of the characters in a nuanced way to the foreground. Until All Is Resolved brings humour to an otherwise superficial encounter. The characters try to communicate, while their manners are tested. The dreamy characters and supposedly non-existent countries in the fairytale drama The Land of Aliens grasp our ever-changing and violent world through a beautifully constructed and visually capturing lens. The Most Beautiful Corner in the World functions as a type of mirror for contemporary Slovak society as, like in many other European countries, new forms of authoritarianism loom on the horizon. A trip to the countryside to celebrate the grandmother’s birthday carries with it the undertones of a recent marital affair. The characters of the genuine film Mammoth all look for healing and comprehension in a different corner of the landscape.

Stefan Pavlovic, Film Programmer NTC