Screening for a hearing-impaired audience

It was a remarkable moment during the BUFF Festival: the enthusiasm for OKTHANKSBYE (Nicole van Kilsdonk, the Netherlands) concerned not only the film, but especially the Q&A. The audience, which mainly consisted of deaf and hearing-impaired youngsters, made clear to screenwriter Lilian Sijbesma how delighted they felt to recognise themselves in the main characters. According to festival programmer Daniel Lundquist, this special screening was no coincidence.

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Joya Thome about ONE IN A MILLION

“My aim is to be a small, friendly fly”

More than a talented gymnast, Whitney is a popular YouTube star with a million followers. Among them is Yara from Germany, one of her biggest fans. The two girls – one seemingly unreachable, the other one in devoted idolatry – live in different continents but are connected by their screens. Joya Thome brings them together in a documentary about teenagers finding out who they are and what they want from life. 

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Jub Clerc about SWEET AS

“Highlighting the generational trauma of my people”

Jub Clerc is a Nyulnyul and Yawuru film director and screenwriter from Australia. This year, her feature film debut SWEET AS won the Crystal Bear for Best Film in the Generation KPlus section at the Berlinale. “A film that touched us by virtue of the personal stories of the characters and its impressive backdrops. You can see how various characters grow together“, according to the jury’s citations.

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Inês T. Alves about WATERS OF PASTAZA

“Not showing any adults insinuates some kind of utopia”

A group of Achuar children roam the rainforest along the boards of the Pastaza river, on the Ecuador–Peru border. Nature is their habitat, playground and workshop. They harvest vegetables and fruit, go out fishing in a small boat, they hunt forest animals, play at a waterfall, and watch videos on their smartphones. These kids run their daily lives almost autonomously. Portuguese filmmaker Inês T. Alves, stranded in this isolated community, observed them with a camera, catching glimpses of their daily lives that unfold on the rhythm of the floating of the river.

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Diana Cam Van Nguyen about LOVE, DAD

“We still don’t talk about it”

When Diana Cam Van Nguyen rediscovered the letters her dad wrote her from prison, she was surprised about the loving tone. That tone seemed to have disappeared now – where has it gone? She decides to write him back, in the form of a short film, that is not only stunningly honest, but also astonishing on a graphic level. 

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Milou Gevers about SUMMER WITHOUT YOU

“I still know all the steps by heart”

Milou Gevers, who received an ECFA Doc Award for WHY DIDN’T YOU STAY FOR ME? now presents her next film. SUMMER WITHOUT YOU is part of a series of short documentaries for Dutch television on the theme of ‘divorce’ and tells about children who meet each other at a camping site for single-parent families. Between Quinn and Julie, two visitors to the campsite, conversations about their parents’ divorce get going smoothly. 

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Engeli Broberg & Gabi about GABI, BETWEEN AGES 8 AND 13

“She took a sip from her coco and started talking…”

Gabi is only 8 years old and wrestles with society’s stereotypes about boys and girls. When her family moves from Stockholm to a rural town, and as puberty kicks in, Gabi must decide whether she wants to fit in with the crowd or chart her own path. Director Engeli Bromberg follows this remarkable personality over the course of five years, creating a moving portrait of a child, averse to gender norms, who’s seeking her place in the world.

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Simon Lereng Wilmont about A HOUSE MADE OF SPLINTERS

“They turned their anger and aggression against themselves”

In his documentary feature A HOUSE MADE OF SPLINTERS, Danish director Simon Lereng Wilmont leads us into everyday life in a Ukrainian children’s home in the city of Lysychansk, about 15 kilometres from the front line, into the separatist regions. Here, a small group of strong-willed social workers work tirelessly in a special orphanage, to create an almost magical safe space for kids to live.

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