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The Flahertiana announces the International Competition program of 2021.

International Documentary Film Festival Flahertiana presents the International film competition program. The Selection Committee received over a thousand submissions and also examined the programs of collaborating festivals. As a result, fifteen best films, created in 2020/2021 were chosen to take part in the competition. Some of them had already received the awards of the World Film Festivals in the USA, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and other countries.

There are a lot of new names in the program. Antonia Kilian, who is filming women with complicated destinies is one of them. Her directorial debut “The Other Side of the River” will be presented at the festival. The audience will see a story of a Syrian girl who rebelled against cruel family traditions and joined the police to save her sisters. Another new director is Moumouni Sanou whose film “Night Nursery”, delicately captures the stories of African mothers and sex workers who care for their children during the day and go to work in the evening, leaving their babies in the care of Ms Coda.

Traditionally there are several festival headliners in the program. “The Man Who Was Looking For His Son” took the Grand Prize of the Millenium Documentary Film Festival in Brussels. The film about two Egyptian female powerlifters “Lift Like a Girl'' already included in the program of New York and Leipzig Film Festivals and purchased by Netflix participates in the Flaheriana competition as well. “Les Enfants Terribles'' received the Special Jury Award at Visions du Réel in Switzerland. Russian documentary “Joy”, featuring the life of the residents of a travelling circus in the hinterland, that was reviewed at DOK Leipzig and Artdocfest is also a part of the International film competition program.

Marina Drozdova, film critic and a member of the Selection Committee, believes that this year’s international program is "reasonably eclectic" and reflects an important feature of the modern world:

“One can notice that fewer and fewer directors are “hiding behind the scenes”, in several films the authors are the active participants of the story. They do not lead the plot and do not provoke on purpose (which was typical in the classical documentary filmmaking). On the contrary, amazed, if not confused, they are swept by the vortex of spontaneous events. It seems that they intentionally put themselves in a subordinate position that can be compared with a “blade of grass in the wind”. Perhaps, being the directors, they plan to turn this situation around later in a brilliant way, or perhaps they just get used to going with the flow. In this sense, the boundaries of the auteur documentary are changing and expanding right in front of our eyes.


The winner of the International competition will be awarded with a "Big Golden Nanook" and a money prize. The Jury will also choose the best films in nominations "Discovery of New Subjects and New Heroes" and "Original Artistic Solution". XXI International Documentary Film Festival Flahertiana will take place in Perm on September 17-23, 2021 with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of Perm Krai.


To register for the events of the festival will be possible after the announcement of the shortlists of the National and Student Films competitions of the festival.

The complete list of the International competition program of Flahertiana 2021:


A Waste of Space

Noam Demsky, Ido Bahat, Israel, 2020



Daria Slusarenko, Russia, 2020


The Filmmaker’s House

Marc Isaacs Hamadi, UK, 2020


One More Day

Monika Melen, Poland, 2021


xABo: Father Boniecki

Aleksandra Potoczek, Poland, 2020


Cuban Dancer

Roberto Salinas, Italy, Canada, Chile, 2020


The Moon Represents My Heart

Juan Martin Hsu, Argentina, Taiwan, 2021


Silent Legacy

Petya Nakova, Bulgaria, 2021


Night Nursery

Moumouni Sanou, Burkina Faso, 2021


Lift Like a Girl

Mayye Zayed, Egypt, 2020


The Other Side of the River

Antonia Kilian, Germany, 2021


The Last One

Fariz Ahmedov, Azerbaijan, 2021


Les Enfants Terribles

Ahmet Necdet Cupur, France, Turkey, Germany, 2021



Timo Vergauwen, Belgium, 2020


The Man Who Was Looking For His Son

Delphine Deloget, Stephane Correa, France, 2020