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Flahertiana Festival Presents the International Program

The 23rd International Documentary Film Festival "Flahertiana" will take place in Perm from September 15th to 21st. Traditionally, the audience will see three competition programs: International, National, and Student.

The International Competition Program includes 13 films shot in 2022 and 2023 in China, Iran, Romania, Italy, Austria, Finland, the USA, South Africa, and Russia. The selection committee managed to gather stories about people who defend women's rights, find themselves in love entanglements, act in adult films, or engage in ordinary yet challenging work such as building houses, healing and saving lives, and achieving athletic heights.

Among the 13 films, three are produced by Russian filmmakers. In the film "Carmen, or an Unfortunate Love Story of Hanspeter from Oberkassel, that Made My Children Happy in a Foreign Country”, journalist Julia Vishnevets moves to Germany in search of a peaceful life but unexpectedly finds an adventure. A circus performer, who teaches her children, recalls the love of his youth – another circus performer named Carmen. Julia sets out on a search to reunite them after 20 years, unaware of the consequences. Another unconventional love story is depicted in the film "Artem and Eva" where Evgeny Milykh observes the lives and careers of actors in the porn industry, which critics have already dubbed a "portrait of a generation". The idea for this film was presented to film industry professionals at the "Flahertiana Forum" pitching several years ago. The film "Tanya. Summer. Winter" is a classic Flahertiana observation of a huntress named Tanya, who lives with her family in the forest wilderness.

Audiences will witness inspiring stories of people from around the world who care deeply. In the film "Adventures of Gigi, the Law", a police officer investigates the suicide of a young woman in a small Italian village and becomes an example of kindness and openness to the neighbors. "The Only Doctor" is dedicated to volunteer doctor Karen Kinsell, who has been treating the most vulnerable in a small village in the state of Georgia for over 20 years, without receiving any salary while her clinic is falling apart. Continuing like this is becoming impossible, and the COVID-19 outbreak and elections only add to the difficulties. Will she be able to continue helping those who cannot afford expensive treatment?

Not all campaigns to defend values and rights are overt; sometimes people have to provide covert resistance for centuries. For instance, "Hidden Letters" tells the story of Chinese women connected by the encrypted language of Nushu. This centuries-old hidden language united generations in a secret system of sisterhood support, hope, and survival within a cruel patriarchal world. A similar story is portrayed in the film "Q" where three generations of women find themselves bound by a mystical support community in a challenging life where hope seems lost. And in the film "The Football Affictionado", the protagonist, 27-year-old Iranian girl Zahra, passionately desires to watch football, but local rules prevent women from entering stadiums. So, she decides to disguise herself as a man, unaware that her desire to watch the game will inspire many other women.

There will also be an unexpected political satire called "Whose Dog Am I?" The film's director, a representative of the Hungarian minority, searches for a "purebred" bride for his dog and gets involved in the politics of dog breeding. In this film, the cultivation of perfect dogs serves as a metaphor for cultivating ideal people. Another social story, "Good Life Deal" focuses on an Austrian man who believed he found love and a new home in Thailand, only to discover that he has fallen into a typical tale of deceit targeting wealthy European tourists on vacation.

The winner of the International Competition will receive the Golden Nanook and a cash prize. This year, the jury will also select films in the categories of "Best Direction" and "Best Screenplay". The festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of Perm Krai.

Short-list of the IDFF Flahertiana 2023 International Competition:

Artem & Eva

Evgeniy Milykh, France, Georgia, Estonia, 2023

Carmen, or an Unfortunate Love Story of Hanspeter from Oberkassel, that Made My Children Happy in a Foreign Country

Yulia Vishnevets, Germany, Georgia, Russia, 2022

Eat Bitter

Ningyi Sun, Pascale Appora-Gnekindy, Central African Republic, China, 2023

Good Life Deal

Samira Ghahremani, Austria, 2022

Hidden Letters

Violet Du Feng, Zhao Qing, China, Germany, Norway, USA, 2022


Jude Chehab, USA, Lebanon, 2023

STAMS – Dreaming Of Gold

Bernhard Braunstein, Austria, 2023

Tanya. Summer. Winter

Aleksandr Avilov, Russia, 2023

The Adventures of Gigi the Law

Alessandro Comodin, Italy, France, Belgium, 2022

The Football Aficionado

Paliz Khoshdel & Sharmin Mojtahed Zadeh, Iran, 2022

The One I love…

Livia Anna Emilia Berger, Finland, Russia, 2023

The Only Doctor

Matthew Hashiguchi, USA, 2022

Whose Dog Am I?

Robert Lakatos, Hungary, Romania, 2022