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New Directors Competition

Screening for the first time in the U.S., these bold works from emerging talents represent the most exciting new voices in international cinema.


Any Crybabies Around? Naku Ko wa Ineega

Sato Takuma  |   Japan
Coming of Age, Drama
Japanese  

In this sensitive, assured drama, rising star Taiga Nakano plays young parent Tasuku, who flees to Tokyo in shame after being caught drunk and naked on national TV during a local festival. After years of rock-bottom city living, he returns home, ready to embrace adulthood. But will the town and his family have him back?

Becoming Mona Kom hier dat ik u kus

Sabine Lubbe Bakker, Niels van Koevorden  |  The Netherlands, Belgium
Coming of Age, Drama, Family Affairs
Dutch  
Life is what happens when you stop living for others and start living for yourself. This poignant tragicomic journey of courage follows Mona from early childhood, when she is inculcated to be a quiet, obedient presence in the world. She blossoms into a talented young artist, but years of repressing her feelings have impaired her [...]

Gaza Mon Amour

Tarzan & Arab Nasser  |  Palestine, France, Germany, Portugal, Qatar
Comedy, Romance, Social Commentary
Arabic  
Sixty-year-old Palestinian fisherman and lifelong bachelor Issa (Salim Daw) holds a secret torch for Siham (Hiam Abbas), a dressmaker at the market. Just as he is getting up the courage to propose to her, Issa nets an ancient statue of a well-endowed, larger-than-life-sized Apollo. When the Hamas authorities get wind of the existence of this [...]

Memory House Casa de Antiguidades

João Paulo Miranda Maria  |  Brazil, France
Drama, Mystery, Social Commentary
German, Portuguese  
In southern Brazil—in a strange Austrian colony of sorts lost in time—indigenous-Black man Cristovam has arrived from the north to take a job at a milk factory. In the face of unrelenting xenophobia and racism, he finds refuge in an abandoned house filled with art objects and folkloric memorabilia that connect him back to his [...]

Of Fish and Men Von Fischen und Menschen

Stefanie Klemm  |   Switzerland
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Swiss-German  

In this taut thriller set in the idyllic Swiss countryside, a single mom is raising her young daughter and running the family fish farm with the help of a farmhand-turned-friend. When his brother unexpectedly appears in search of debts owed, the specter of impending disaster looms large.

Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time Felkészülés meghatározatlan ideig tartó együttlétre

Lili Horvát  |   Hungary
Drama, Romance
English, Hungarian  

After building a successful career in the U.S., gifted neurosurgeon Márta impulsively returns home to Hungary in pursuit of the man of her dreams, but when she tracks him down in Budapest, he claims they’ve never met. Is he spinning an elaborate deception or has her obsession trapped her in a world of illusions?

Schoolgirls Las Niñas

Pilar Palomero  |   Spain
Coming of Age, Drama, Family Affairs
Spanish  
Growing up in small-town Spain in the early '90s, 11-year-old Celia is ever the responsible student and considerate daughter. When impossibly cool Brisa storms in from Barcelona, she upsets the order of the girls’ strict Catholic school, run by nuns with a stern disposition and an iron fist. Unexpectedly, the two girls become fast friends, [...]

Sleep Schlaf

Michael Venus  |   Germany
Family Affairs, Horror
German  

After a woman’s recurring nightmares send her on a search for answers, both she and her daughter find themselves drawn to a hotel where they become trapped in a web of unsettling visions as dreams and reality collide. A horror-tinged thriller that channels Grimms’ Fairy Tales by way of David Lynch.

The Special Especial

Ignacio Márquez  |  Venezuela, United States
Coming of Age, Drama, Family Affairs, Social Commentary
Spanish  

In this deftly told and uplifting debut, a profoundly charming young man must navigate the challenges of early adulthood with Down Syndrome as he seeks to build a life of independence from his troubled father. Long separated by an ocean of silence and shame, will the two men be able to assemble a common future?

Spring Blossom 16 Printemps

Suzanne Lindon  |   France
Coming of Age, Drama, Romance, Sex and Sexuality
French  

Writer-director Suzanne Lindon delivers an astonishingly assured turn as a restless Parisian teen bored by her peers and confronting her burgeoning sexuality. She embarks on a love affair with an actor 20 years her senior—only to wonder if the more innocent pleasures of youth are passing her by.

Striding into the Wind Ye Ma Fen Zong

Wei Shujun  |   China
Coming of Age, Drama
Mandarin  

Fed up with his final year at film school, skilled sound recordist Kun takes up with a student production and embarks on a journey of self-discovery across China’s lush, varied landscape. Featuring winning performances and directed with a wry emotional clarity, Striding into the Wind is a keenly-observed meditation on movies, modern China, and the meandering restlessness of youth.