< Back to Festival Program List
57th Chicago International Film Festival banner

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.


In-Person
Virtual

Amparo

Simón Mesa Soto  |   Colombia, Sweden, Qatar
Spanish  
Drama, Thriller, Women Centered
Colombia, 1998. Single mother Amparo returns home after a night shift to discover her 18-year-old son Elias has gone missing. She soon learns he has been forcibly conscripted into the [...]
In-Person
Virtual

Brother’s Keeper (Okul Tirasi)

Ferit Karahan  |   Turkey, Romania
Turkish  
Drama, Social Commentary
At a remote boarding school for Kurdish boys in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia, close friends Yusuf and Memo make the best of difficult conditions: freezing temperatures, unappetizing meals, callous [...]
In-Person
Virtual

Costa Brava, Lebanon

Mounia Akl  |   Lebanon, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Qatar
Arabic  
Drama, Environmental, Political

The idyllic life of the free-spirited Badri family comes abruptly to a halt when, unexpectedly, the neighboring land on their utopic mountain home is requisitioned and an illegal landfill is built just beyond their fence.

In-Person
Virtual

The Gravedigger’s Wife

Khadar Ayderus Ahmed  |   France, Somalia, Germany, Finland
Somali  
Drama, Family Affairs, Social Commentary
In Djibouti City in the Horn of Africa, Guled (Omar Abdi) is among a group of men who eke out a meager living burying the bodies that are delivered to [...]
In-Person
Virtual

The Last Execution (Nahschuss)

Franziska Stüenkel  |   Germany
German  
Historical, Political, Thriller
East Berlin, 1981. Tempted by the offer of a prestigious professorship, ambitious scientist Franz Walter (Lars Eidinger) is convinced to go to work for the GDR’s Stasi. Blackmail, coercion, surveillance, [...]
In-Person
Virtual

My Brothers Dream Awake (Mis Hermanos Sueñan Despiertos)

Claudia Huaiquimilla  |   Chile
Spanish  
Crime, Drama, Social Commentary
Intelligent and thoughtful Ángel is fiercely protective of his younger, more fragile brother Franco. The two have already been incarcerated for a year at a provincial juvenile detention center. They [...]
In-Person
Virtual

Robust

Constance Meyer  |   France
French  
Drama, Film on Film
Legendary French actor Gerard Depardieu shines as idiosyncratic film star Georges, despondent over the prospect of his trusted bodyguard taking leave for a few weeks. When substitute Aïssa, an amateur [...]
In-Person

Shankar’s Fairies

Irfana Majumdar  |   India
Hindi  
Drama, Family Affairs, Social Commentary
In 1960s India, Shankar is an indispensable servant working in the house of a wealthy family. Despite their class differences, he shares a close bond with the family’s young daughter [...]
In-Person
Virtual

Silent Land (Cicha ziemia)

Aga Woszczyńska  |   Poland, Italy
English, French, Italian, Polish  
Drama, Family Affairs, Thriller
In this tense, resonant interrogation of a relationship on the brink, a wealthy Polish couple arrives at a palatial Italian seaside vacation home, sanguine about the days ahead. The inconvenience [...]
In-Person
Virtual

Whether the Weather is Fine (Kun maupay man it panahon)

Carlo Francisco Manatad  |   Philippines, France, Singapore, Indonesia, Germany, Qatar
Waray-Waray  
Drama, Environmental, Sex and Sexuality

After a typhoon devastates the Filipino city of Tacloban, young and resourceful Miguel must navigate the storm’s aftermath, along with his mother and friend Andrea.

In-Person
Virtual

White Building (Bodeng Sar)

Kavich Neang  |   Cambodia, France, China
Khmer  
Coming of Age, Drama
In the rapidly changing urban landscape of Phnom Penh, 20-year-old Samnang (Piseth Chhun, winner of the best actor prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival) spends his days with friends [...]
In-Person
Virtual

Yuni

Kamila Andini  |   Indonesia, Singapore, France
Serang-Javanese  
Coming of Age, Drama, Women Centered
Yuni (Arawinda Kirana) is a bright, audacious teenager who loves singing and practicing martial arts, is passionate about the color purple, and has ambitions of attending university. But her plans [...]