World Premieres Dominate as Oldenburg Honors Discoveries Amidst Crisis while Hosting “Living Room Gala” Premieres and pays homage to film fans.
The 27th Oldenburg International Film Festival announces first program highlights. This year's program features an record number of world premieres by exciting filmmakers.
First highlights of this year’s program
World premieres and debut films dominate the program of the 27th Oldenburg International Film Festival. Six world premieres are represented in the international competition alone , as Oldenburg reinforces its reputation as a discovery platform for emerging filmmakers worldwide.
AMERICAN THIEF, USA 20, by Miguel Silveira (International Premiere)
A secret plot to derail the 2016 presidential election connects a teen hacker seeking revenge, a rogue conspiracy vlogger searching for truth, and a mysterious artificial intelligence programmer who knows too much. Filmed and scripted around true events in New York City from 2015 through 2018, the fictional world collides with the real, as actors witness and participate in real events as their fictional characters, attending rallies and marches with anxious New Yorkers right up to election night. The result is an electrifying thriller; a true hybrid film that offers a look at a polarizing moment in American History.
BLACK JADE, USA 20, by Guy Longstreet (World Premiere)
Exploring white fear, paranoia, insecurity, and gender roles, America’s highest ideals and deepest terrors intertwine in the debut feature of Guy Longstreet. Gareth Koorzen stars as Raymond Sykes, a writer with dreams of grandeur, who has moved to Los Angeles for a fresh start with his wife Dorothy, a Jamaican immigrant and household breadwinner. But old wounds and resentments are re-ignited when Dorothy’s sister, Adel, pays an unexpected visit. A descent into Ray’s inner world of fear, fantasy, and paranoia takes hold, and he finds himself in a place where the line between dreams and reality evaporate.
BUCK ALAMO or (A PHANTASMAGORICAL BALLAD), USA 20, by Ben Epstein (World Premiere)
A modern day outlaw duels with Death in the debut feature of Ben Epstein. It's a slice of life film told like a ballad; with real people and situations. Narrated by Bruce Dern, and featuring Lorelei Linklater (the daughter of Richard Linklater), Sonny Carl Davis stars as Buck Alamo in this musical-acid western which unloads its existential chamber like a Texas folk song.
FULL OF FIRE, GER 20, by Dennis Stormer (World Premiere)
In the debut feature of Dennis Stormer, a young musician leaves life as she knows it to follow her dream to become a musician. Hitchhiking through Europe, the film team follows Moa (played by Swedish musician Moa Nilsson), as she finds herself on the road with no destination, and journeys into the cars and homes of strangers whose lives confront her own. In this character driven work that transcends between fiction, musical and documentary, the poetic diary of Moa captures a longing for more, a longing for freedom, and a longing to live in the moment in a Europe without borders at all.
SHORTA, DEN 20, by Frederik Louis Hviid & Anders Ølholm (German Premiere)
Following its world premiere in Venice days, the Danish filmmaking duo bring their debut feature, a riveting political crime thriller, to Oldenburg. The exact details of what took place while Talib Ben Hassi was in police custody remain unclear. Police officers Jens and Mike are on routine patrol in Svalegården's ghetto when news of Talib's death comes in over the radio, igniting uncontrollable, pent-up rage in the ghetto's youth, who seek revenge. Suddenly, the two officers find themselves fair game and must fight tooth and claw to find a way out.
SUBMISSION, PRT 20, by Leonardo António (World Premiere)
Director Leonardo António ventures into too rarely explored territory in his portrait of domestic violence. Iolanda Laranjeiro stars as Lucia, a woman who flees her husband of four years after a night of sex which she defines as rape. Choosing to press charges against him, while fighting the Portuguese legal system to get her husband in court, she finds out she is pregnant. The case takes place in closed session wherein Lucia represents the woman in a man's world. Both men and women are victims in different manners, as we observe an issue that tragically still exists in a world where feminism is finally threading the political world.
SUMMER WHITE, MEX 20, by Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson (European Premiere)
Following its world premiere in Sundance, Mexican director, Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson, brings his debut feature to Oldenburg. 13 year-old Rodrigo is a solitary teenager who finds solace in his intimate relationship with his mother, Valeria. She is his best friend, his protector, and his entire world. When her new boyfriend comes to live in their small house on the outskirts of Mexico City, however, Rodrigo finds his domain completely disrupted. He must decide if he should accept his new family or fight back and hurt the person he loves most. A poignant and powerful portrait of the end of childhood.
THE LONGEST NIGHT, ARG 20, by Moroco Colman (World Premiere)
Moroco Colman returns to Oldenburg to present the world premiere of his gut-wrenching second feature. Inspired by true events, the film recounts the story of the most notorious serial rapist in the history of Argentina, who lived in the college city of Córdoba, where he attacked more than 90 young women between 1985 and 2004 while he led a parallel life as a dedicated husband and father. Hidden in plain sight for 20 years, the bravery of one young woman will catch a predator that evaded police and inspired a revolution.
UNTIMELY, IRN 20, by Pouya Eshtehardi (European Premiere)
Inspired by true events, the debut feature of Iranian musician and novelist, Pouya Eshtehardi, follows a young private during his military service on a watchtower on the border of Iran and Pakistan. Impatient for a day off to attend his sister’s wedding ceremony, Hamin gets into a fight with his commander, and finds himself reflecting upon the events of his childhood and the social constructs that have led to the fates of he and his child-bride sister. A visually stunning epic and moral meditation- not just about social issues in a specific part of Iran, but applicable to any human anywhere in the world.
LA HAINE, FRA 95, by Mathieu Kassovitz (German Premiere)
Oldenburg presents the remastered 25th Anniversay version of this classic film that launched the career of Vincent Cassel. Vinz, Hubert and Said live in the poorer part of Paris and have to use all their street smarts to get by. After an incident in which the police assaulted a friend of theirs, tensions between police and the young working-class men escalate. Incensed at the potential death of his friend, Vinz is out for revenge.
LEAP OF FAITH: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON THE EXORCIST, USA 19, by Alexandre O. Philippe (German Premiere)
This lyrical and spiritual cinematic essay on William Friedkin’s classic »The Exorcist«, »Leap of Faith« explores the uncharted depths of the director’s mind’s eye, the nuances of his filmmaking process, and the mysteries of faith and fate that have shaped his life and filmography.
SAVAGE STATE, FRA 19, by David Perrault (German Premiere)
After winning his first Best Film Award in 2013 in Oldenburg, David Perrault returns with his followup - an epic feminist Western. As the American Civil War breaks out, a family of French colonists settled in Missouri decide to return to France. Edmond, Madeleine, and their three daughters have to traverse threatening country to reach New York, where a ship home to safety awaits. Escorted by a mysterious and dangerous mercenary, Victor, their journey to the shores will risk and forever change the lives of all.
Traditionally, the official Filmfest trailer celebrates its world premiere at the press conference. This year's festival trailer is a co-production of Filmfest fans from Oldenburg and around the world, who celebrate the unifying power of cinema.
You can watch the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/451261260