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Flahertiana-2019 Presents the Program of the International Competition

The IDFF Flahertiana-2019 presents the International Competition program — films about human stories from around the world. To assemble this program, selectors watched about a thousand applications, another part of the films were selected from the friendly festivals.

The program includes three films by Russian directors — Ksenia Elyan's “How Big Is the Galaxy?” about the sudden inclusion of modernity in the life of Siberian wilderness, “Quicksilver Chronicles” (with the participation of Russian director Sasha Kulak) about former residents of the abandoned mining town Novaya Idria and “Resuscitation” by Stanislav Stavinov and Andrey Timoshchenko about an amazing children resuscitator — the project of this film was presented at the Flahertiana Forum pitching last year.

Another competition film about the doctors — “Midnight Family” by Luke Lorentzen telling the story of a private ambulance in Mexico. The film has already received the Sundance Film Festival award for Best Cinematography and awards at international festivals in Mexico, China, Denmark and Russia.

On other injuries, moral ones are the film “The Magic Life of V” by Tonislav Hristov. This is a story about a girl who overcomes fears through role-playing games. “A Thousand Girls Like Me” by Sahra Mani is about an Afghan girl who opposes the will of her family and traditions of the country in order to achieve justice in the investigation of many years of sexual abuse by her father. This work won awards at festivals in France, Nepal, Sweden and Morocco.

This is a collective portrait of the world over the past year. Stories from Mexico to Siberia. As one viewer once said: “I came and saw normal people.” This is important because they can’t be found at home, on the street, or on TV — just vague shadows, and we show real people,” says Pavel Pechenkin, Flahertiana President.

This year we have tried to push the boundaries of the traditional Flahertiana program. We will have a chance to see the real life of not only people but also… of robots. The film “Hi, AI” by Isa Willinger tells about the ethics of the relationship between a machine and a person. Another relevant topic and a non-trivial approach to observation are in the film of Pawel Ziemilski “In Touch”. This is a very poetic film, with a subtle visual decision, about family intimacy in the era of Skype,” Alina Stabrovskaya, the main coordinator of the festival, shares her observations.

Comment of a member of the festival selection committee, film critic Marina Drozdova:

This year, the Flahertiana’s competition program, to a greater extent than ever, has become a detailed reflection of the psychological and mental problems of people living in different parts of the world — and the program is a kind of a “snapshot” of the global situation in the world. The situations are, of course, mosaic. Political manoeuvres, government or economic manipulation remain behind the scenes — let's say, in the depths and labyrinths of the Universe. Or they break through these “scenes” and directly influence what is happening with the heroes. But always in the foreground are the tragic, as well as the comic experiences of the characters in films, their struggle to follow their own values, their defeats and victories. Of course, “solitaires” of global causes and effects on the principle of “rebound” affect the private fates of the characters. But, perhaps, the distinctive feature of all competitive stories is that the context and content of each human destiny is presented as something obviously paramount and fundamentally more significant than any “higher powers”. In the new century, the time and burden of “big power” — whatever they may be — is a thing of the past: gradually, but this seems to be an indispensable vector. An independent person, whom a tolerant society supports in his independence, and new technologies in his daily needs, is the pillar of the Universe. About the desire for this are competitive films and their characters — 23-year-old Afghan girl Khatera from the film, “A Thousand Girls Like me”, and the Ochoa family from “Midnight Family” — and all the other main characters of the program”.

The winner of the international competition will receive the “Golden Nanook” and a prize of 250 thousand rubles. Also, the jury will select the best films in the nominations “For the original artistic solution” and “For the discovery of new subjects and new heroes”.

The shortlist of the International Competition program of the XIX International Documentary Film Festival Flahertiana:

A Thousand Girls Like Me 

dir. Sahra Mani, Afghanistan, France, 2018

Finding Farideh

dir. Kourosh Ataee, Azadeh Moussavi, Iran, 2018

Hi, AI

dir. Isa Willinger, Gernany, 2019

Honeyland

dir. Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, Macedonia, 2019

How Big Is the Galaxy?

dir. Ksenia Elyan, Russia, 2018

In Touch

dir. Pawel Ziemilski, Poland, Iceland, 2018

Midnight Family

dir. Luke Lorentzen, Mexico, USA, 2019

Quicksilver Chronicles

dir. Sasha Kulak, Ben Guez, USA, 2019

Resuscitation 

dir. Stanislav Stavinov, Andrey Timoshchenko, Russia, 2019

Scheme Birds

dir. Ellen Fiske, Ellinor Hallin, Sweden, Scotland, 2019

Sheep Hero

dir. Ton van Zantvoort, Netherlands, 2018

The Magic Life of V

dir. Tonislav Hristov, Finland, Denmark, Bulgaria, 2019

Toklomati

dir. David Ofek, Gad Aisen, Israel, 2018