Gudjon Ragnarsson about RAISE THE BAR

“I felt like walking into an NBA game”

If controversy is the mother of a good documentary, RAISE THE BAR is of good breeding, burdening you with sky high dilemmas. Whichever side you choose, you never know whether you have chosen well. RAISE THE BAR may disguise itself as a sports movie, but constantly tests your guilty conscience as we follow the development of an Icelandic girls’ basketball team. Their training programme is intense, and they are led by an overqualified coach who constantly raises the bar. This team is ready to change the world, but is the world ready for them?

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Lee Ji Won about KIDS ARE FINE

“When the fence is broken, kids can grow up”

Da-yi’s mother is in the hospital. But why? Da-yi doesn’t know, as his father didn’t say, in fact, he doesn’t say much at all. But when mom is transferred to another hospital, Da-yi is determined to go and visit her, even if he has to head out on a trip to an unknown destination, in the company of some new friends and classmates.  

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Anouk Fortunier about MY DAD IS A SAUSAGE

“With a silly title like this, the content had to be extra strong”

When dad decides to give up his steady job as a banker to become an actor, the family is perplexed and not exactly pleased. Is it a burnout? A midlife crisis? His youngest daughter Zoë is the only one who believes her dad is an aspiring star, and joins him in his quest. Even if that makes her skip school. While father and daughter are constantly out and about together, the confusion about their role and responsibilities in the family grows out of hand.

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Majid Majidi about SUN CHILDREN

“Dreams flying up in the sky like pigeons”

12 year old Ali is handling his business in the streets of Tehran, walking and talking like a grown man. With his nose in so many (slightly criminal) cases, he is like a juggler keeping too many balls up in the air. One day he and his friends are hired for a mission: it is said that a treasure is hidden in the underground river, underneath a school building. Only by enrolling into that school, they might have a chance of getting their hands on the valuable goods. For a boy like Ali, school might be an even more challenging environment than the city streets.

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Arvin Kananian about I, JULIA

“Don’t talk about it to others; this is a family matter”

In the Swedish short film I, JULIA, a 14 year old girl seems to be living a normal life, but there is a darkness growing, as her father controls the family with physical and mental abuse. What enabled director Arvin Kananian to capture so precisely the mechanisms behind that suffocating terror?

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Marta Elīna Martinsone & Asnāte Sofija Rožkalne about LAME-OS

“Dumb jokes are the answer to everything ”

If the world were full of 100% reasonable people, LAME-OS would probably never have been made. Even if that film offers you the chance to see – amidst a stream of fluorescent colours and kooky nineties fashion references – many things that you’ve never seen before on the white screen. And I mean: never!

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“Classic fairy tales contain crucial information about growing up”

This summer, city boy Martin is sent to a forest camp. Sleeping in tents, eating from a field kitchen, daily morning gymnastics… life couldn’t get more terrible than this! Oh yes, it could. The forest has secrets to hide, and Martin is the first one to discover the mysterious creatures that dwell here by night: elves, squeaking branches, fighting cones all willing to leave their hiding places and pick a fight as they prepare an uprising against the mining company taking over the forest. 

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Cássio P. Santos about VALENTINA

“She’s just a girl trying to fully live her life”

Tonight Valentina wants to party until she drops, as tomorrow she’ll be leaving the city. Maybe moving to the countryside will help her escape from the obstacles she is facing everywhere as a transgender teen in Brazil. In her new town, she builds a loyal network around her, only trusting her mother and two dear friends. But when information about her gender identity is leaking, trouble might start all over again. Unless Valentina can firmly look her haters in the eye.

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