“Realism allows me more than fantasy does“
Margot and Marguerite are both 12 years old, struggling with family, friends and other issues. But one lives in 1942 during the war, the other one in 2020. They tumble into each other’s lives via a magical trunk. One more thing they have in common: an absent father. Despite the 70 years that separate them, they embark together on an adventure on the edge of space and time.
“Like a rushed, energetic, pounding heartbeat”
In LA MIF (aka THE FAM), self-taught Swiss filmmaker Fred Baillif tells an impressive story about seven teenage girls with traumatic family experiences, living in a residential shelter in Geneva. Mif is a French slang word for family; although most of the girls have parents and siblings, public welfare has put them in a home.
“The golden rule of children’s cinema: get rid of the adults”
Creeping footsteps in the museum garden, skilful fingers fumbling on the frame of a painting… Not just any painting, but a masterpiece by Monet. The next day it turns out the painting has been stolen and Julka and Olek start their investigation. Since Julka’s aunt is falsely accused of theft, the duo quickly needs to reveal the true identity of the thief. They get unsolicited help from Felka, though with her comes trouble, jealousy and rivalry.
“Boys room or ladies room, it doesn’t matter for me”
Wen Long is neither a boy nor a girl… she is intersex; at her birth it was unclear whether she was a boy or girl. Her parents leave the choice up to her. As an intersex person, it is difficult to know where you’re standing in a world distinguished between men and women. During the JEF festival, we had a talk with director Lara Aerts, Wen Long and her parents.
“We found a small airfield that had a few old planes scattered around”
Anyone who gets a kick out of airplanes and aerobatics will certainly get their money’s worth in Lior Chefetz’ debut film. But SKY RAIDERS is not just about the roaring of engines. It is also the story of a boy learning to cope with his father’s death, an old man who sees the past revived, and a beautiful bond between a boy and a girl.
“On the list were wings, a cape and a unicorn”
Vega, 9 years old, sets off on a hiking trip through the wilderness with Dad and her little sister Billie. A blissful adventure, until Dad gets stuck in a rocky cleft. The sisters are sent off to seek help. Lost in the forest, left to their own devices, they discover powers they never imagined in themselves: the superpowers of … sisters!
“You can still recognise what is a Trabant, a Wartburg or a Skoda”
East Germany, 1989. Nothing foretells the socio-political revolution that is around the corner. Twelve-year-old Fritzi is occupied by more important matters, taking care of her best friend Sophie’s dog Sputnik, while Sophie’s family is on vacation. After the holidays, when Sophie still hasn’t returned, Fritzi and Sputnik set out in search of her. A postcard from West Germany puts her on the right track.
“It seems common for parents to shout at their children”
When making a film, you want it to be remembered for the right reasons, for being a good movie. With a popular football star like Alexis Sanchez in one of the main roles, there is a risk that the presence of such a persona might put the rest of the story into the shadows. MY HERO ALEXIS by Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Fernández Almendras avoids this trap by telling a vibrant story for soccer fans and sports haters alike.