“A dirty T-shirt but a clean moustache”

Years after the death of his mother, 13 year old Karim has left Paris for Morocco with his father, who has remarried. Karim joins the newly blended family for a summer in Boujad. Muddled by the anxieties of adolescence, the “little Frenchman” struggles to adjust to his new surroundings until he meets the mysterious outsider Mehdi. Meanwhile, his father is finding it difficult to adjust and even more challenging to relate to a boy beginning to show signs of rebellion.

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Zara Dwinger about KIDDO

“They never arrive and they never stay long”

How cool can a youth film look? KIDDO explores the boundaries of the genre in a story about a mother and daughter on an adventurous road trip towards Poland, in a blue Chevrolet with a broken CD player that constantly plays the same song. Along the way, they stop at roadside restaurants and motels. Lu, growing up in a foster home, barely knows her mother Karina, and her loyalty is profoundly tested. But to make their dream come true, she is willing to do a lot.

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Sophie Farkas Bolla about ADVENTURES IN THE LAND OF ASHA

“The story might be completed, but not the mystery”

A children’s film from Quebec is currently on a successful European festival tour. The adventure of two children from different origins who find each other in a joint quest proves to be universally recognisable. Director Sophie Farkas Bolla tells her story in a park in Chemnitz, where autumn leaves spin in the wind. From there it is a short step to wintery Canada.

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Raymond Grimbergen about LIONESS

“You chase her into a tree and throw stones at her”

In Suriname, Rosi can be found every day on the football pitch with her friends, standing out in the game. But all that suddenly changes when her family moves to the Netherlands. Luckily she makes friends with Jitte and enrols in a local Dutch team. Talented as she is, Rosi quickly plays her way to the top of the team, which easily evokes envy in her teammates…

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Sepideh Farsi about THE SIREN

“This film took us longer than the first Gulf War”

Sepideh Farsi’s first animated film, in which 15 year old Omid rescues a group of Iranian civilians from the Iraqi attacks on the Abadan oil metropolis in 1980 during the 1st Gulf War, opened this year’s Panorama Section at the Berlinale and has been collecting awards and nominations ever since. The director, born in Tehran in 1965, left the country for Paris in 1984

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Nicole van Kilsdonk about OKTHANKSBYE

“What’s the use of sitting there all by yourself?”

Jamie is only just starting to get settled at the boarding school for deaf children when she gets an alarming message about her beloved grandmother being admitted to a hospital in Paris. When the family leaves for Paris in panic, Jamie stays behind, feeling powerless. Imane, the most rebellious girl in class, suggests they embark on the trip on their own. Such a journey can never be anything else than adventurous! After trekking for days through the rural Lowlands, will they finally make it to Paris?

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Ana Laura Calderón about UNDER THE SAME SKY

“I worked with what I had in my bubble”

Andrea and Marina become friends while playing on the rooftops of their adjacent buildings during the pandemic in Mexico City. In days of stress and loneliness, they cling on to this precious long distance bond. But for the survival of this friendship, the children depend on the decisions of their parents. As long as the story lasts, we tend to forget that there is life outside these rooftops; those terraces feel like the entire world.

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Pieter Van Eecke about PLANET B

“The life of an activist doesn’t have a ‘switch off’ button”

In the feature documentary PLANET B – that was the opening film of this year’s DOXS Ruhr festival, director Pieter Van Eecke follows two young activists. It is difficult to distinguish the real driving force behind the story: is it their commitment to the climate struggle or their friendship, because both elements are inextricably linked with one another.

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