Films in competition of the 9th Beyond Borders

Under the patronage of H.E. of the President of the Hellenic Republic,

Katerina Sakellaropoulou

Meet the exciting films that will compete at the 9th Beyond Borders

The Beyond Borders Kastellorizo | International Documentary Festival ​​will take place for the 9th year in the beautiful, unspoiled Kastellorizo, from August 25 to September 1, 2024.

In its program it will host three different screening stages: The Main Competition Section, which includes 18 medium and feature-length documentary films and the μicro Competition Section, which includes 23 short documentary films, while as a third screening stage – outside the competition program – there will be the Panorama stage, which will host different film specials every day.

Strategic Partner of Beyond Borders is PPC, the leading energy company in Southeast Europe that actively supports arts and culture. As an integral part of the social and economic fabric of the country, PPC strengthens the dialogue with culture and art, supporting everyone and what leads us to the future, a better future for everyone, where culture has the first say.

Beyond Borders focuses on documentaries dealing with historical events and personalities and socio-political issues. This year festival goers will have the opportunity to see bold, compelling documentaries on issues such as the collateral damage of wars and conflicts, illegal work, immigration and refugee, addictions, the environmental crisis, colonialism, power, gender and ethnic identity, human exploitation, disability, family relationships. Many of the documentaries have traveled to the biggest film festivals in the world, such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Locarno, Karlovy Vary, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, etc. In its program of screenings, the festival included 37 world, international and Greek premieres.

See the Festival programme here.

Below you will find the summaries of the films that will compete in the Main & μicro Competition section, as well as information about their creators.

Main Competition section

2G by Karim Sayad, Switzerland, 2024, 77′ Greek Premiere

Agadez, 2021. After the Niger government bans migrant smuggling, four former traffickers try to make a living. Faced with a lack of prospects, Ibrahim, Abdelsalam, Daouda and El Bak embark on a journey to the Sahara to meet dozens of gold diggers who are lost in the middle of the desert. Between hope and despair, these men struggle to survive in an increasingly hostile and unstable environment.

Karim Sayad was born in 1984 in Lausanne, Switzerland and holds dual Swiss and Algerian citizenship. After obtaining a master’s degree in international relations at IHEID, Geneva, he directed his first documentary short, Babor Casanova (2015). It was awarded, among others, at Doclisboa, the Festival dei Popoli and the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. His first feature film Of sheep and men (2017) premiered at TIFF DOCS and won the Prix de Soleure 2018. My english cousin (2019) also premiered at TIFF DOCS.

Anna and the Egyptian Doctorby Taliya Finkel, Israel, 2022, 76′ Greek Premiere

The story of Dr Helmy, an Arab doctor who poses as a Nazi sympathizer to save a Jewish woman disguised as a Muslim in Nazi Berlin.

Taliya Finkel is an award-winning independent filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist. Her films have won international awards and have been screened at dozens of festivals in Israel and abroad. They have also been broadcast by many different television channels. More specifically, her films have been included in the curricula of many high schools and universities in Israel and Germany. Finkel believes that art is a powerful tool for social change and in her work she strives to bring to light important issues that touch on history, diversity and sustainability.

Bangarangby Giulio Mastromauro, Italy, 2023, 73′ Greek Premiere

Children can be loud, carefree, playful, abstract, violent. This is also the case in Taranto, an industrial city in southern Italy which, since the 1960s, has been home to Europe’s largest steelworks. Observing their movements and listening to their emotions, we enter the world of childhood, simultaneously losing ourselves in the present of this region, site of one of the most serious health and environmental disasters in Italian and European history. Bangarang is a Jamaican word meaning turmoil, disorder, chaos.

Giulio Mastromauro is an Italian director and screenwriter. He obtained a law degree at a very young age, despite his strong passion for cinema. Together with Virginia Gherardini he founded Zen Movie, a production and distribution company. He has written and directed several short films, including “Inverno” (2020), which won the David di Donatello Award and was nominated for the Nastri d’Argento Award. The short film, selected at more than 200 international festivals, was eligible for an Oscar and was longlisted in the live-action short film category. In 2021, he was awarded the Medal of Honor of the César Academy (France), an award given annually by the Monnaie de Paris to the world’s best emerging directors. He is currently working on his first feature film “Paradiso”, an international co-production between Italy and Slovenia, produced by the companies Dispàrte, Indaco Film and Vertigo.

Grandmother’s footstepsby Lola Peploe, France, 2023, 64′ Greek Premiere

Expecting her first child and wondering how to combine motherhood with being an artist, Lola Peploe begins a dialogue with her grandmother Cloclo, landscape painter, aesthetic nomad and free spirit. Lola decides to follow in her footsteps and return to Greece, to the Cycladic islands, where Cloclo spent the last twenty years of her life painting. She begins talking to Cloclo in her mind, reconstructing Cloclo’s life as she wanders the streets of Amorgos in search of her old painting studio.

A navigation between the past and the present, alternating between unexpected encounters, Super 8 video shot by her father and voice recordings of Cloclo telling her own life story. The film features the voice of Charlotte Rampling and marks Bernardo Bertolucci’s final film appearance.

I shall not hateby Tal Barda, Canada, 2024, 90′ Greek Premiere

From the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza to the University of Toronto and Israel’s Supreme Court, “‘I shall not hate” follows the uncharted path of Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, the first Palestinian doctor to work in an Israeli hospital and deliver babies, whose ethos of forgiveness and reconciliation is put to the ultimate test when an Israeli tank bombs his home, killing his three daughters. Despite adversity, he turns his tragedy into a global campaign to eradicate hate. After the October 7 attack by Hamas and the subsequent war in Gaza, the doctor’s journey becomes even more fateful for the possibility of imagining a future for Palestinians and Israelis. “I shall not hate” is a letter of tolerance from a deeply inspired man with a message as urgent as ever.

Tal Barda is a French-American documentary maker and producer, born and raised in Jerusalem. Tal is a Greenhouse Film Program and SIMA (Global impact media awards) winner, Tribeca Film Fund Fellow for her films. Her diverse repertoire of film works has been screened at international festivals and cinemas around the world. Tal has worked with international broadcasters including: HBO, ARTE, BBC, CBC, ZDF and IKON. Tal’s most recent work is a 3-part documentary series entitled Criminal file 512, which became the most popular documentary series on Israeli TV in 2022. Tal’s films include the following films: Woman of Valor (award-nominated of the Israeli Academy 2022), 100 million views (YesDocu/ZDF), Family in Transition which won the best film award at the Doc Aviv Film Festival 2019, The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev (ARTE, CNC, IKON, Chanel 8, Greenhouse, Tribeca Film Fund).

In the sky of nothing with the leas tby Christos Andrianopoulos, Greece, 2023, 71′

” In the sky of nothing with the least ” follows the life of Nota and Ilias, an elderly couple who have been living in different worlds under the same roof for 43 years. When the pandemic forces them to stay indoors, their daily lives become repetitive and trivial. The film strips away the idealized view of a perfect, eternal love and instead focuses on the reality of aging and the gradual decline of their bodies and minds. The title “In the sky of nothing with minimal” reflects the feeling of emptiness and the acceptance of minimal. It serves as a reminder to cherish our memories and experiences while we still can and face the future with humility. All in all, Into the Sky of Nothing with Minimal is a poignant depiction of the challenges of aging and the importance of coming to terms with its realities.

Christos Adrianopoulos was born in Athens in 1996. He moved to New York in 2014, where he studied film at SUNY Purchase. His graduation film, “The Big Tomato”, was screened at various Greek festivals. His latest film and first feature film, “In the sky of nothing with the least”, premiered in the International Competition Program for Debut Films at the 25th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival. The film won the Silver Alexander Award, the Hellenic Cinema Center Award and the Special Award of the Youth Jury.

Kix by Dávid Mikulán, Bálint Révész, Hungary, 2024, 90′ Greek Premiere

Kix follows an active 8-year-old, Sanyi, as he wanders the streets of Budapest, staying as far away from his family’s cramped one-bedroom apartment as possible. On the streets, the world is his playground, where he hangs out with a handful of friends and filmmakers David and Balint – only a decade older than him, but like surrogate siblings to him. Kix unfolds countless days of Sanyi’s childhood like a fever dream. A few days after his 16th birthday, Sanyi and his friends set a mattress on fire, the fire spreads and kills a father of four. The tragic news reaches the national media and the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, visits the crime scene. Sanyi and his friends are declared enemies of the state. By the end of the film, Sanyi is both a symbol of ruthless criminality and a victim of profound state indifference.

Dávid MIKULÁN is an intermediate media artist who graduated from the Budapest Academy of Fine Arts. In addition to numerous group and solo exhibitions, he has collaborated with Conceptual Soundproductions Budapest, the Kolibri Theater and the Hungarian State Opera. His interdisciplinary works reflect the impact of public spaces on social structures.

Bálint Révész is a young director/producer who works on the border between documentary and fiction. He graduated from the University of Brighton in 2012. His first feature documentary as a director, Granny Project, 7 years in the making, won the MDR Award at Dok Leipzig, the Next Generation Award at IDFF Taiwan, a nomination for the Doc Alliance and screened at Hot Docs, CPH:Dox and other major festivals. He is the founder of the London-based Gallivant Film collective and producer of the documentary Another News Story.

Koka by Aliaksandr Tsymbaliuk, Poland, 2024, 47′ Greek Premiere

An intimate story of the relationship between father and son, living on the edge of the world near the Bering Sea, imbued with the harshness of local reality and the simplicity of childhood, the strictness of paternal upbringing and the love that always finds a place in every part of the planet and in every heart, even the one that seems harder than stone.

Aliaksandr Tsymbaliuk, 34, was born and raised in Pinsk, Belarus. At the age of 24, after a long period of inner wandering (then he managed to finish the School of Sound Engineering), he felt a strong need to devote himself to cinema and enrolled in the film department of the Lodz Film School, from which he successfully graduated. During and after his studies he took part in various projects, both fiction and documentary (among them “The Whaler Boy” dir. Philipp Yuryev 2020, “Draw for Change!” dir. Anna Moiseenko 2020, “Sunburned” dir. Carolina Hellsgård 2019), but as it turned out, his inner preference was in documentaries and he decided to focus on developing himself as a filmmaker and documentary director. His last major work as a filmmaker was “Queendom” dir. Agnia Galdanova, which premiered at SXSW 2023 and won the NEXT:WAVE award at the CPHDOX festival.

Loxy by Dimitris Zachos, Thanasis Kafetzi, Greece, 2024, 87′

Loxandra, a young woman with Down syndrome, becomes the first disabled person to sign an acting contract with the National Theater of Greece. She leaves the city and her familiar everyday life and travels to Athens to become a member of the professional troupe of Ethnikos. For the next 6 months Loxi rehearses and makes friends, falls in love, has fun, gets frustrated and continues to claim accessibility in practice over and over again, overturning one stereotype at a time.

Dimitris Zachos – Director: He studied Cinema at AUTH, with his graduation film “Penguins” being distinguished in Greece and abroad, while in 2020 his film entitled “Vouta” was awarded at the 43rd Short Drama Film Festival. The film “Loxi” is his first feature-length documentary, co-directed with Th. Kafetzis. He has designed video projections for theatrical performances, has taught directing at the Dept. AUTH Cinema and acting in drama schools.

Thanasis Kafetzis – Director: He was born in Thessaloniki and is a graduate of the Film Department of AUTH. In recent years he has been living and working as a cinematographer in Athens. He worked as a cinematographer and assistant director on the documentary “Next stop: Utopia”, which premiered as an official selection at IDFA and won several awards worldwide. “Loxi” is the second feature-length documentary.

My Place Ozernaby Karina Będkowska, Poland, 2022, 59′ Greek Premiere

“I don’t want to live either,” Karina confesses to her aunt Slava, sparking a deep search for meaning between two distant relatives. For Karina, the journey from London to Ozerna, a small village in Ukraine, unexpectedly becomes the beginning of a journey to regain her vitality: in Ozerna she meets her 84-year-old aunt Slava, who has been a widow for many years. Both women have lost their will to live, but a mutual bond of love restores meaning to their lives. Beautifully shot, this tender documentary is a testament to the importance of intergenerational connection and the shared discovery of vitality and purpose.

He graduated with honors in documentary production from Goldsmiths University, London and in photography from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań. He participated in the international film workshops Film Spring Open in Krakow and INTERDOC in Serbia, as well as in Doc Development and DOC LAB in Poland, while the short film Tutka was screened in the international festivals Benicia FF in California and Short to the Point in Romania in 2017. Her debut documentary My Place Ozerna premiered at the 62nd Krakow Film Festival and the Canadian Hot Docs Film Festival. He has held photography exhibitions in England, Denmark and Poland. Her solo photography exhibition was held at the opening of the 62nd Krakow Film Festival. He was a member of the jury at the 8th Ukraina Film Festival in Warsaw.

Reset by Min Bae, Canada, 2023, 89′ Greek Premiere

On April 16, 2014, the ferry Sewol sank in South Korea, taking with it 304 people, mostly high school students, who had been asked to remain in their cabins. The disaster deeply wounded the nation and crushed its spirit. Three years later, passionate protests and political changes led to Sewol being towed from the West Sea. “Reset” asks why they neglected to save these children and others on that tragic day.

Min Bae is a distinguished professor of film production at the University of Windsor and the visionary founder of Cactus Pictures®. With over three decades of experience, he has made significant contributions to cinematography and film production since 1990. Min Bae’s expertise in film production, cinematography and visual arts is based on his extensive training in Montreal, France and Korea. His diverse skills and global perspective enrich every project he undertakes.

Samuel and the light by Vinícius Girnys, Brazil, 2023, 71′ Greek Premiere

Samuel lives in Ponta Negra, a small village on the coast of Paraty, Brazil. Initially, the idyllic everyday life that follows the rhythm of nature and the development of the boy’s identity set the tone of the film. We have been accompanying the boy and his family for six years. Gradually, a more complex reality emerges, with its contradictions between modernity and tradition, nature and technology. The arrival of electricity and tourism in the village crystallizes the deconstruction of an idealized paradise and paints a portrait of contemporary Brazil.

Vinícius Girnys is a 34-year-old director. His short films have won awards at various international festivals. “Samuel and the Light” is his first feature film, which was completed in March 2023. It premiered in April at Visions du Réel (Nyon), in May at Hot Docs (Toronto) and in June at FICG (Guadalajara ), all in the official competition section. At the FICG, ” Samuel and the Light ” received the FEISAL Award for Best Film and the Award for Best Ibero-American Documentary, an award that qualifies for the 2024 Oscars. In October 2023, at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival, ” Samuel and the Light” received the Jury Prize for Best Documentary.

Searching for Rodakis by Saim Kerem Soyyilmaz, Turkey, 2023, 57′

Chrysoula, who died in 1887 at the age of 17, was buried under the floor of her family’s house in a small village 100 kilometers from Constantinople. Thirty-seven years later, due to a population exchange, Chrysoula’s family was forced to leave her buried under the floor when they were displaced to northern Greece. A hundred years later, during the renovation of this old house, the family of a cinematographer who lived there discovered Chrysoula’s tombstone. This film, directed by Kerem Soyyılmaz, is a story about the discovery of the tombstone in 2016, the search for the family that belonged to it and the search that ended up in Thessaloniki in 2022, told through the experiences of the director and his family .

Kerem Soyyilmaz (1984) was born and raised in Besiktas, Istanbul. With a background in commercial films, Searching for Rodakis is his first documentary. Searching for Rodakis won 4 awards, including the Best Film Award at the 30th Adana Golden Boll Film Festival. Today he lives in Copenhagen and works on film and cross-cultural projects between Denmark and Turkey.

The land of forgotten songs by Vladimir Nikolouzos, Greece, 2023, 93′

The documentary was created through a collaborative creative partnership between the Deep Forest Foundation and the indigenous communities of the Amazon forest. It captures important moments in the lives of the Kaxinawa Huni Kuin, Awa, Kayapo, Matis, Enawene Nawe and Shipibo, who live by wide rivers and huge trees. With the recurring motif of an ancient myth, we immerse ourselves in their culture, their cosmological vision and their daily lives, while connecting their past and present through rare photographic archival material from the 20th century.

Vladimir Nikolouzos was born in Greece in 1979. He is a poet, theater director and independent filmmaker. He has published two poetry collections, “Flowers in the iron night (2015)” and “Aurora (2017)”. In 2014, he was awarded the FIPRESCI Special Mention at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival for Polk’s first feature film. In the same year, he was also nominated for the best debut of an independent director at the Hellenic Film Academy. In the theater, he has collaborated as a playwright and director with the National Theater and the Athens Festival, as well as with independent theaters in Athens and New York. The Land of Forgotten Songs (2024), which premiered at the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival, is his second feature film and the first of a series of documentaries he plans to film around the world.

The Parallel Currents by Pablo Chavanel, France, 2024, 68′, Greek Premiere

The proliferation of hydroelectric dams on the Mekong River, designed to supply energy to neighboring megacities, forces Samnang, the leader of an indigenous community, to fight for his survival and the survival of nature. Faced with pressure from the authorities, Samnang is ready to take any risk. Meanwhile, in the Cambodian capital, Sothy, a painter and survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide, has committed himself to a duty of remembrance, revealing through his art a violence that seems to be repeating itself. A dialogue through space and time is thus created.

Born in 1983, Pablo studied analog photography, art history and photojournalism at university. He then perfected his skills with a BTS in audiovisual studies and began his career as a cameraman and video editor in news agencies in Paris. He worked in various television reports. Fascinated by documentaries, he moved to Cambodia in 2015 and shot his first short documentaries along the Mekong River. As a director, he made several short and medium-length documentaries before The Parallel Currents, his first feature-length documentary, shot over a period of 7 years (2016-2022). In this film, he explores issues close to his heart: social and environmental justice.

The Pickers by Elke Sasse, Germany, 2024, 80′

Seydou from Mali picks oranges in southern Italy. He has no contract and is paid by the box – just like all other collectors. He lives in a makeshift hut in a settlement without running water or electricity. A million migrants pick fruit and vegetables in Europe’s fields every day. Most of them are undocumented and exploitation is the rule rather than the exception.

Pickers are the mobile workforce that fills our supermarket baskets. They move from one field to another, without claiming their rights. Navid from Pakistan has been picking olives in Greece illegally for 8 years. Kostas in Greece is forced to hire undocumented workers, and Nello, an Italian orange grower, sits at his desk with a calculator – farmers tend to try to cut their workers if they don’t earn enough for their production. In Nepal, Avinash discusses the price of a “visa” to Portugal, where Kirti is already picking blueberries with a €14,000 loan on her back. At least Bahija came to Spain from Morocco under contract. But there’s still a way they won’t pay her minimum wage. While exploitation in supply chains, such as chocolate or coffee, is already discussed, the fair production of fruit and vegetables is not yet an issue. Exploitation is something “distant”. The Pickers is a journey through the European fields where our everyday fruits and vegetables are harvested. What we see adds a bitter taste to what we eat every day. Is there no way out of this system? There is one: Pape from Senegal produces fair trade oranges in southern Italy: “We don’t want to be seen as revolutionaries, we want to be the new normal!”.

Elke Sasse’s films focus on people from all walks of life. He has documented the daily lives of garlic farmers in China and retired dancers in Berlin. He has accompanied homeless people on their journey to Germany, former slave laborers from Eastern Europe awaiting justice and scoured the world for remnants of the Berlin Wall. She often finds the “big” in the “small” – her documentary “Babske Radio” takes place on a bench in a Ukrainian village, where women discuss their lives and big politics. “Worldwide Berlin” captures a day in Berlin – a place with the same name in seven different parts of the world. Her films often deal with global and socio-political issues, such as refugee journeys to Europe (#MyEscape), the situation of refugees torn between seeking safety and the situation at home (The War on my Phone), the impact of international investment in the Global South (Oil Promises) or the relationship between trade policy and immigration (Tomatoes and Greed). Elke has won several international awards, including the Prix Europa in 2016 for her film #MyEscape.

The Three Fatalities of Teofilo Del Valle by Manuel De Juan Navarro, Spain, 48′, Greek Premiere

Teófilo del Valle’s life intersected with the workers’ demonstration in Elda on February 24, 1976. An armed policeman killed the young worker Teófilo del Valle. It was the first death caused by armed police since Juan Carlos I became head of state. The presiding judge tried to bring the perpetrator to justice, despite enormous pressure to suppress incriminating evidence against the accused. The tragic events of that night and the details of the trial that followed remained hidden for decades. This documentary sheds light on an important part of our history and highlights a time when many fought to ensure we enjoy the rights we have today.

Manuel De Juan, (Elda, 1951) is a screenwriter and director. He investigated the tragic events of February 1976 in Elda and Petrer. He saw some of the events firsthand, participating in the struggle for workers’ rights. For this documentary, he conducted numerous interviews and delved into court and military records, shedding light where there were shadows, concealment and silence. The film demands justice and reparations for Teófilo del Valle and other victims of the dictatorship. De Juan worked for several decades as a public administration technician and director in the field of management and institutional communication.

Who, If Not Us? – The Fight for Democracy in Belarus by Juliane Tutein, Germany/Belarus, 2023, 77′ Greek Premiere

The documentary provides a unique insight into the struggle for democracy in Belarus and the lives of three women after the great protests of 2020. These protests were the largest in history, but the Lukashenko regime violently suppressed them. Over the course of a year, the film follows these extraordinary women from different generations as they continue to tirelessly fight for a democratic Belarus.

Juliane Tutein studied anthropology, specializing in Eastern Europe, before enrolling at the prestigious Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Germany to pursue a career in filmmaking and television journalism. He graduated from directing and television journalism with the film “Colours in the Snow”, which was nominated for the Roman Brodmann Award and the MedienLÖWIN Silber and won the Juliane Bartel Media Award in 2022. ” Who, If Not Us? – The Fight for Democracy in Belarus ” is her first feature-length documentary. In addition to her work as a director, Juliane has established herself as a versatile freelance writer and director, working on a variety of documentary formats. Her deep passion for culture and stories led her to immerse herself in the rich diversity of Ukraine and other Eastern European countries during her graduate studies, which sparked her interest in the region. Today, Eastern Europe is one of its main areas of focus.

μicro Competition section

Between the fields by Gretel Ribka & Jonas Riedinger, Germany, 2023, 29′ Greek Premiere

When you sit on a tractor all day, you have a lot of time to think. When Jürgen took over the farm from his father, he gave up bull breeding and set up a contracting business. Agricultural machines are now in the place of animals. Worn down by financial constraints, social expectations and the harsh blows of fate, the single father continues to work – day in and day out. He says: “Every farmer father wants his son to take over the job one day.” But what if the son’s health is at stake?

Gretel Ribka was born in 2002 in Landsberg am Lech, Germany. From autumn 2021, Gretel Ribka studies film and television documentary at the University of Television and Film in Munich. Before her studies, she acted and directed in various theater groups and developed her own small video projects.

Jonas Riedinger successfully completed a voluntary social year after school before starting to study editing and digital postproduction at BAF in 2015, where he had his first professional exposure to TV and film production. In the following years, he delved deeper into the filmmaking process by completing an apprenticeship as an audiovisual designer at a Munich-based production company. He worked on several short films, both documentaries and fiction. From 2021 he studies Film and TV Documentary at the University of Television and Film in Munich. Metamorphon is his first documentary short as a director.

Crazy Love by Martyna Peszko, Poland, 2023, 28′ Greek Premiere

Magda (36 years old) and Michał (40 years old) met many years ago in a theater workshop. Today they are professional actors in the famous Theater 21, created by people with Down syndrome. They have been a couple for several years and want to get married, but their families and friends find it difficult to accept it.

Martyna Peszko is a documentary filmmaker, film, television and theater actor. He is the author of several short documentaries. Her first film Tell me more (2022) was screened at Krakow Film Festival, Warsaw Film Festival, New Horizons in Wroclaw, MiradasDoc in Tenerife and Hot Docs in Canada. Her second film Revolution 21 (2022) premiered at Dok Leipzig last year.

A beautiful day by Stefano Obino, Germany, 2023 19′ Greek Premiere

The end of a war is never the end. A mother’s personal diary takes us on a poetic journey through the lives of the many children who escaped the ISIS war and whom the world has forgotten.

After years of working for various international networks, in 2014 Stefano Obino decided to focus on projects that felt more personal, moving from a journalistic approach to a more artistic narrative. First he made ‘Bare-Handed’, a short documentary published by the Guardian, and then in 2021, ‘War is over’ (73′), which premiered at the 2021 Rome International Film Festival. “War is over”, assessed as “a cinematic poem about the universal resilience of the human spirit”, was awarded the Nastri d’Argento 2022 – Italian Critics’ National Award.

Dipped in Black by Matthew Thorne and Derik Lynch, Australia, 2023, 24′

Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black) follows Yankunytjatjara man Derik Lynch’s journey back to the Country for spiritual healing as memories of his childhood return. A journey from the oppression of white city life in Adelaide, back home to the remote Anangu community of Aputula to perform on sacred Inma ground. Inma is a traditional form of storytelling that uses visual, verbal and physical narration. It is how Anangu Tjukurpa (land-linked story / dream / myth / tradition) has been passed down from generation to generation for over 60,000 years.

Derik Lynch (born 1986, Alice Springs) is a Yankunytjatjara male initiate. He is a performer, director and artist who grew up between Alice Springs and remote communities in the Northern Territory and South Australia. He has worked both nationally and internationally in theatre, film and television, including performances at the Sydney Opera House (Australia) and the Southbank Theater (UK), where he was invited to an audition by Queen Elizabeth II. Marungka tjalatjunu is Derik’s first film as a writer/director and tells part of his own story. Today Derik splits his time between his remote community and Adelaide, working as an artist, educator and health professional.

Matthew Thorne (b. 1993, Adelaide) is a South Australian filmmaker and artist whose work uses film, photography and representation to explore contemporary ‘Australian identity, spirituality, connection to the land and masculinity. . His recent docufiction short Marungka Tjalatjunu (2023), made with Yankunytjatjara man Derik Lynch, won the Silver Bear Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival and the Australian Documentary Award at the Sydney Film Festival. Matthew also contributed photography to Nick Cave and The Badseed’s album Ghosteen (2019), Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang (2019), and Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant. Matthew currently lives between Athens and Adelaide.

Anima by Kristin Ivanova, Bulgaria, 2024, 23′ International Premiere

The film weaves together the stories of three seemingly different women linked by a common trauma: domestic violence. They are exposed to the camera to show the audience what it is like to deal with this problem of culture. Their revelations speak of the strength of their spirit, of shattered dreams and coming to terms with them, of the courage to face their fears and, above all, of redemption.

Kristin Ivanova is in her third year of studying film and television directing at NATFA “Krastyo Sarafov”. Born and raised in Sofia, she grew up learning German from an early age. She aspires to continue her studies and career abroad, where she can become familiar with different cultures and be a part of women in film and the entertainment industry as a whole.

For here am I sitting in a tin can far above the world by Gala Hernández López, France, 2023 18′

A woman dreams of American cryptographer Hal Finney. A major financial crisis hits the cryptocurrency market, tens of thousands of people freeze, waiting for better times. Will they float or fall into the void? What strange relationship do we have with the future?

Gala Hernández López is an artist-researcher and filmmaker. Her work articulates interdisciplinary research with the production of essay films, video installations and performances on the new modes of subjectification specifically produced by computational digital capitalism. Through a feminist and critical lens, she examines the discourses and imaginaries that circulate in virtual communities as incidental fictions of a state of the world. Her work has been screened at the Berlinale, DOK Leipzig, Cinéma du Réel, IndieLisboa, Transmediale and Salon de Montrouge, and has won the César 2024 Award for Best Documentary Short.

El Kala by Diego Pérez González, Spain, 2023, 19′ Greek Premiere

Juan Carlos Estavillo “El Kala” is a fighter for life. He’s one of those people who became invisible in our society because of heroin addiction, who fights pain every day to keep doing the one thing that makes him happy: Going to Laurel Street to wash dishes and he takes the trash out of bars, in exchange for the will and ability to interact with people.

Diego Perez Gonzalez. 1977 Logroño (La Rioja). His filmography of 10 short films has collected more than 500 selections at national and international festivals, with more than 50 awards and well-known titles such as “El Casco de Júpiter”, “La mujer de mi vida”, “Ventura”, “Love lasts 27 shots’ or ‘Vico Bergman’, among others. This includes selling rights to broadcasters in countries such as Japan, China, Argentina, the US and others.

Enemy Aliens by Gabriel Murphy, Australia, 2022, 12′ Greek Premiere

Enemy Alien is a poetic account of the experiences of Joseph Murakami, a fourteen-year-old boy from Darwin who was summarily imprisoned by the government because of his nationality. Enemy Alien explores his memory and the loss left by this traumatic event.

Gabriel is a director, producer and writer based in Eora, Sydney. He is a graduate of the Master in Documentary Filmmaking program at AFTRS, where he created his thesis “Enemy Alien”, about a survivor of Australia’s World War II-era concentration camps, which premiered domestically at the Antenna Documentary Festival in Sydney and internationally at DOC NYC in November 2023. For his work on the film, Gabriel won the Australian Director’s Guild Award for Best Direction of a Student Film in December 2023.

Gabriel is currently in post-production on his first feature-length documentary, “Councilor,” which is expected to be completed in late 2024, as well as developing a follow-up installation to “Enemy Alien” and several feature-length documentaries and narratives. Gabriel is also an Associate Producer on “The Real Meaning of Pleasure”, one of the documentary shorts to receive $30,000 in development support from Screen Australia and AIDC through the Fresh Cuts slate.

Live-In by Laura Maragoudakis & Tatiana Mavromati, Greece, 2022, 12′

A portrait of the “invisible” labor of Georgian women working as domestic domestic workers in Greek households. The monotonous and demanding nature of care work highlights the isolation of women who live a life of service to others. Twenty-four hours a day, six days a week, with only one day off on Sunday.

Lora Maragoudaki is a visual artist and director. Her work combines documentary with visual and visual research. She is interested in the collective and individual narratives that make up the stories of communities. Her visual practice combines elements of oral history, the use of archives, and collaboration with communities that claim visibility on issues such as immigration, women’s work, and violent transformations in urban space through gentrification and “regeneration” programs. She studied and worked as a visual artist, director and curator for years in England and now lives and works permanently in Athens.

Tatiana Mavromati lives in Athens, where she works as a photographer and photography teacher. Her practice is related to documentary photography and chronic research, and has recently incorporated video production into her method. Her topics concern immigrant communities and cultures in Athens, as well as issues of gender segregation and women’s work. She has been photographing Georgian women since 2014 in an effort to make visible the aspects of Georgian women’s lives that are omitted from mainstream narratives about immigrant communities. Her photos have been published in Greek and international websites and newspapers, as well as in photographic publications. He has organized and participated in many collective and individual exhibitions in Greece and abroad.

Keeping Country Strong by Bettina Catherine Richter, Australia, 2023, 29′ World Premiere

From the heart of the desert to the islands and estuaries of the Sea Country, indigenous protected areas cover 93 million hectares of land and sea and now represent more than 50% of Australia’s land reserves. Indigenous rangers are on the front lines. Working in some of the most remote corners of the planet, they protect endangered species, fight bushfires and invasive species, and preserve their culture in the face of climate change.

Bettina Richter has worked in various roles in documentaries, TV series, radio documentaries and film festivals for over 25 years. She began her career at ABC TV, working with director Claude Gonzalez on the documentaries John Farrow: Hollywood’s Man in the Shadows (Sydney Film Festival, Fox TV), Global Haywire (Sydney Film Festival, ABC TV) and Utopia (Sydney Film Festival, Fox TV of Sydney). She has also worked on social impact documentaries – as producer of the film AQUA on the Great Barrier Reef (United Nations Climate Change Conference, Copenhagen) and PR manager for the films Namatjira (Melbourne Film Festival, ABC TV, Netflix) and Alexandra Seddon: Being Change (ABC TV). He was also the writer/director/producer of the ABC Radio National documentaries Ocean Road and An A to Z of My Grandmother. Bettina is the Communications Director for Country Needs People, an Indigenous-led NGO working with Indigenous rangers across Australia. Keeping Country Strong is her first film as a director/writer.

The Board by Carmen Tortosa, Spain, 2023, 19′ International Premiere

The documentary presents the reality of workers who are on extended sick leave or seeking certification of permanent disability. Resolution depends on the opinion of the Medical Board. The procedure is not popular, but unfortunately it is more common than we think.

Carmen Tortosa is a director, screenwriter, doctor and artist who is passionate about sharing her work. After participating in a film workshop taught by Pedro Costa, he decided to pursue a career in short social documentaries. This short film was awarded the Best Documentary Short Award at the Sophia Awards 2021 of the Portuguese Academy. Her next projects are La Rotonda (2022) and El Tribunal (2023).

Sala 5 by Stefano Santamato, Italy, 2022, 15′ Greek Premiere

“Room 5, Raphael’s Carton Room” offers an immersive experience at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan, one of the oldest and most renowned museum institutions in the world. The film crosses the threshold of the imposing entrance of the museum to discover a precious and unique work of art: the “Cartone di Raffaello”, a huge preparatory drawing for the “School of Athens”, a fresco created by Raphael Sanzio for the Signatura room of the Vatican palaces (today the Vatican Museums). Among the numerous rooms containing important works of art and historical artefacts, Room 5 stands out for exhibiting Raphael’s impressive painting. The film chronicles the renovation of the hall, a project by Stefano Boeri Architetti, which was completed thanks to the skills of companies and workers that represent the excellence of international technique and work.

Stefano Santamato was born in 1989 and graduated with a master’s degree in architecture from the Polytechnic University of Milan in 2014. He then trained at Cfp Bauer in Milan as a documentary filmmaker. Since 2018 he has been working as a freelance filmmaker for the Milanese video production company The Blink Fish and Stefano Boeri Architetti, while producing a comprehensive study on the relationship between architecture and audiovisual media. His short film Troiane (2020) is a documentary drawing a parallel between Euripides’ tragedy and the Vaia storm of 2018. It has been screened and awarded at several international film festivals. He is currently working on his first feature film, Basilico, L’infinito è là in fondo (2023), a documentary about the work of leading architectural photographer Gabriele Basilico.

Sister of Mine by Mariusz Rusinski, Poland, 2023, 30′ Greek Premiere

Zuzia, an extremely sensitive and artistically gifted teenager, is currently struggling with drug addiction. Her brother, who is also the film’s director, tries to ascertain the circumstances that led to Zuzia’s descent into addiction.

Mariusz Rusinski is a graduate of the Wajda School and the screenwriting program of PWSFTviT in Łódź. He is currently enrolled in the directing program at the Film School in Łódź. His debut feature, “Julia at the Seaside”, premiered at the 60th Krakow Film Festival and was shown at several other festivals, including the New Horizons IFF and the Parnos Film Festival. Additionally, the film was nominated for the Jan Machulski Award in the Best Documentary category. Mariusz Rusiński is currently developing his feature film as part of the screenwriting course “Screenwriting Atelier” and is also working on a short film at the Film School in Lodz.

The Meatseller by Margherita Giusti, Italy, 2023, 17′ Greek Premiere

The Meatseller is the true story of Selinna Ajamikoko, a young Nigerian girl who aspires to become a butcher like her mother. In order to achieve her goal, she embarks on a journey to Italy, where she faces a series of challenges and difficulties. Narrated by Selinna herself, this animated journey takes us through the universal search for identity that characterizes every human being.

Margherita Giusti started her career as a storyboard artist and assistant director in Rome. In 2020 he graduated from the animation department of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Turin with the animated documentary En Rang Par Deux, which he co-directed with Elisabetta Bosco and Viola Mancini. She is the co-founder of the Muta Animation collective.

Old Summer by Maria Wider, Poland, 2023, 25′ Greek Premiere

Krystyna is 72 years old, but she has never known true love. To change this, he signs up with a housing agency. New acquaintances bring her only disappointment. When she meets older men, she realizes that a relationship might not be what she needs in life.

Maria Wider studied psychology at the Jagiellonian University, directing at the Gdynia Film School and the Wajda School. Her short films “We mnie” (2019) and “Gęś” (2021) won several awards at festivals. She is currently working on her first feature film, which received project development funding from the Polish Film Institute.

Los Sandy’s by Jaime Puerta, USA, 2024, 27′ International Premiere

Julia, a Mexican immigrant and widow with seven children, must leave her family home, where she has lived for 18 years. Despite the uncertainty that awaits her, her children offer her hope with their unique musical talent. A poignant documentary short that explores the sacrifices and creative resilience of a Mexican immigrant family in the US.

Jaime Puerta is a creative director, producer and founder of the New York-based production company A FILMS. His portfolio includes work with brands such as Vogue, Carolina Herrera, Marriott, Desigual, Sorel and TAG-Heuer, including the award-winning ‘TAG-morphosis’ ad. He has directed music videos for Husbandry (USA), Jean-Paul (Spain) and Nung Nung (Taiwan). Jaime was also the creative assistant to the director of the Ecuadorian film “A Son of Man”, which represented Ecuador at the 91st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film and received six nominations for the Platino Awards of Ibero-American Cinema.

Reem Al Shammary – The Bedouin Boxeur by Mattia Ramberti, Italy, 2023 15′ Greek Premiere

In a stylized cinematic portrait, Bedouin boxer Reem Al Shammary is driven by her desire to reach the Olympics and inspire a younger generation of women to fight against gender inequality in Jordan.

Mattia Ramberti, born in Rome in 1990, is an Italian director. After several years as a screenwriter and creative producer for VICE and FremantleMedia, Mattia made his directorial debut in 2021 with his video debut ‘Yoshi Funabashi’, which attracted the attention of international festivals and was included in the 1.4 New Directors Showcase, garnering awards such as Best Portrait Film at the Berlin Fashion Film Festival and 30+ selections. His latest short film ‘Reem Al Shammary – The Bedouin Boxeur’ (2023) had its international premiere at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 2024 which was shortlisted for the Oscars.

Monument by Maksim Avdeev, Russia, 2024, 15′ World Premiere

In a reflection on family, identity and the abyss of ideology, director Maksim Avdeev confronts the stark parallels and unbridgeable differences with his father. United by blood but divided by differing beliefs, their relationship exists only within the confines of archival material. Forced into exile because of his homosexuality, Maksim breaks his silence and calls his father on the phone after 1.5 years. The film emerges as a raw and intimate exploration of the rifts within a family, as Maksim grapples with the painful realization that his father’s belief in Russian propaganda is overshadowing their bond as parent and child. Through this distant dialogue, Maksim embarks on a soul-searching journey to bridge the gap between them, navigating the complexities of love, acceptance, and the inexorable pull of conflicting truths.

Maksim Avdeev was born in the small Russian town of Agryz. Living in St. Petersburg, Maksim graduated from acting school, and after moving to Berlin due to the growing danger for queer people to remain in their homeland, Maksim began his film career as a screenwriter and director. Monument is his first film.

The Most Beautiful Corner in the World by Robo Mihály, Slovakia, 2022, 25′ Greek Premiere

The essay-documentary sheds light on contemporary Slovak society by revealing the challenges in reflecting language and history, which has the potential to lead to the emergence of a new authoritarianism. The film follows a young Ukrainian woman who is chosen in a fictional competition to choose a TV journalist. He observes various events, people and public protests in order to gain a deeper understanding of the Slovak social and political reality. While the war in Ukraine is largely overshadowed by the global focus on other events, it also has a significant impact on current mood, social tensions, language and the emergence of new forms of populism in the country.

Robo Mihály has a degree in philosophy from Comenius University and is currently continuing his studies at the Documentary Department of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. He is involved in film directing, documentary photography, occasional journalism and community organizing. In his professional and artistic endeavors he deals with philosophical issues related to democracy, social struggles, radicalism and nationalism.

The Moon Will Contain Us by Kim Torres, Costa Rica, 2023, 18′

As the magical moon pierces the twilight, different times become entangled in the town of Manzanillo, located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The city’s young and old come together and collide in a story where the city is able to exist as it is: beautiful and forgotten, mysterious and monotonous. The film uses a documentary style and science fiction elements to explore the complexities of growing up in a place like Manzanillo.

Kim Torres is a Costa Rican screenwriter and director born in 1993. Her work focuses on investigations of identity and the experience of inhabiting a body and a place, exploring narratives that play with a free and experimental cinema. Her short films have been presented at important international film festivals, such as Cannes, Locarno, MoMa and Lincoln Center.

Uapishka by Marie France L’Ecuyer, Canada, 2023 27′, International Premiere

The Uapishka Mountains, located north of the 51st parallel, form the natural border between the boreal forest and the arctic island of Nitassinan. In the depths of winter, a group of Innu and non-native adventurers attempt to cross this mountain range on snowshoes, unaided. Faced with the immensity of the area, the hardships of the northern climate and the rushing breath of the tundra, they discover new ways of cooperation, create alliances and chart a path to success. As the journey unfolds, the adventure reveals a space for encounter, exchange and reconciliation.

Marie-France L’Ecuyer, photographer and documentary maker, is particularly interested in the relationship between man and his environment. Her work challenges viewers to consider the relationship between humans and the natural world, prompting them to reflect on the inner dimension of adventure and the beauty of wilderness. He has produced and directed several short films, including Territoire intérieur (2021) and Uapishka (2023), which have been selected in various film festivals. He has also directed the web documentary series La Virée du Saint-Laurent (2022). Her first feature film, Marche au pays réel, will also be released soon.

When a Rocket Sits on the Launch Pad by Bohao Liu, China, 2023, 12′

At the basketball sports camp, 15-year-old Fang talks about her dreams. But life never stops, it moves very fast. Her cell phone fell into the water. There are too many steps to climb. Adults seem to be deciding her future. And the rocket is launched every month.

Born in 1992 in Sichuan, China, Bohao Liu studied directing and screenwriting at New York University and the London Film School. His graduation film, the short documentary Eagles Rest in Liangshan, won the 2021 Student Academy Award. He is currently working towards a PhD in film studies in Paris.

The Town Crier by Vaggelis Pirpilis, Greece, 2024, 20′

The actor Tasos Korozis lives in the provincial town of Agrinio. After the economic crisis, the few opportunities to work as an actor are no longer enough to make a living. So he is professionally active in the announcement of events and events through loudspeakers placed in his retro car, advertising events and fairs.

Vangelis Pyrpilis is a filmmaker and graphic designer with a Master of Arts in visual communication & interactive media.

You will find photos of the Festival here and stills from the films..

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Organization: Hellenic History Foundation (IDISME) in collaboration with the French Ecrans des Mondes.

Co-organization: Region of South Aegean with the support of the Hellenic Parliament, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of National Defense, the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, the National Center of Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME), Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, the Greek Film Centre, the Embassy of Australia in Athens, the Embassy of Germany in Athens, the Embassy of Austria in Athens, and the Embassy of Spain in Athens.

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