Abbas Kiarostami – ABC Africa (2001)

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Plot
Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has often concerned himself with children striving to make the best of difficult circumstances, and this documentary finds him capturing a real-life corollary to the fictional tales of his best-known work. At the request of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development, Kiarostami traveled to Africa to make a film about the work of the Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans, a volunteer group established to provide food, shelter, and care for the more than one-and-a-half-million children left to fend for themselves in a nation torn apart by war, poverty, and the AIDS epidemic. While Kiarostami’s first visit was planned so he could see the country and map out what he would film, he brought along some digital video equipment, and upon arrival, he was so struck by what he saw that he immediately began to record the events around him, in which the tragedies of this struggling nation were contrasted with the warmth and boundless optimism of the children looking for a better life. (Mark Deming, All Movie Guide)
Continue reading Abbas Kiarostami – ABC Africa (2001)

Yôji Yamada – Otôto AKA About Her Brother (2010)

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Quote:
Ginko (Yoshinaga Sayuri) seems to be living the good life: She’s the respectable owner of a neighborhood drug store in Tokyo, and her daughter Kaharu (Aoi Yu) is about to get married to a doctor. However, Koharu’s wedding day also brings homes Ginko’s younger brother Tetsuro (Tsurube Shofukutei), a failed actor and a hard drinker who shows up causing trouble. Having covered for him all her life, Ginko is ready to disown her burdensome younger brother, but some things are easier said than done… Continue reading Yôji Yamada – Otôto AKA About Her Brother (2010)

Enrique Urbizu – 6 Películas para no dormir: Adivina quién soy aka 6 Films to Keep You Awake: A Real Friend (2006)

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Synopsis: “Estrella, a girl of ten, has lived alone with her mother Angela since her father died when she was very small. She is a lively and sociable child, but she spends a lot of time alone at home. Too much. Estrella enjoys fantasy and horror stories and, in order to exorcise the fear that the ‘big monsters’ cause her, she makes friends with them: she gives them a body, talks to them, they go to school with her, they protect her…. One day, Estrella makes friends with a new companion, a vampire. But could it be that this ‘friend’ is not merely a product of the girl’s imagination?” Continue reading Enrique Urbizu – 6 Películas para no dormir: Adivina quién soy aka 6 Films to Keep You Awake: A Real Friend (2006)

Merzak Allouache – Harragas AKA Burn (2009)

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Description from IMDB:
“Set in the northern Algerian port city of Mostaganem. The title refers to the hordes of refugees, the ‘Harragas’, who smuggle themselves out of the country via any means possible. Here we meet one such group, Rachid, Nasser and Imene who pay a smuggler, Hassan, to take them to Spain in his rickety boat. Along with a group of African and Arab migrants, they are risking all they have to cross the stormy Straits.” Continue reading Merzak Allouache – Harragas AKA Burn (2009)

Aleksei Fedorchenko – Ovsyanki aka Silent Souls (2010)

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Storyline
Present days. A man and his companion go on a journey to cremate the dead body of the former beloved wife, on a riverbank in the area where they spent their honeymoon.

From imdb:
typical festival
7 November 2010 | by Roman Pokrovskij

Started as typical Iranian movie, then forget to gain the momentum and after express straying finished as typical Scandinavian movie. It seems like an attempt to create the film about instinct tribe in the instinct or spoofed film-making tradition. But I think I can explain it’s festival popularity. Since those talks about sex are still considered as ambiguous and vulgar, “Sex in the city” have no perspective as festival movie, but when you have filmed the tribe that have such age-old tradition, and this tradition is also packed into sacramental funeral ritual, you get an highest level indulgence and also you can redistribute this indulgence between all those highbrowed festival critics. I want that the story would be continued and the Russian “central region” get such get deep developed mythology. More better then hobbit village in the NZ. Continue reading Aleksei Fedorchenko – Ovsyanki aka Silent Souls (2010)

Mika Ohmori – Pûru aka Pool (2009)

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Quote:
Love, that’s all it takes.
A story of 6 days with 5 Japanese gathered around a small sparkling pool at Chiang Mai in Thailand.
With the same staff of “Kamome Diner” and “MEGANE” that brought a new wave in Japanese movies, another inspiring film is coming. The new title “POOL” is a story about unique but ordinary people who live their lives the ways they believe.

4 years ago, Kyoko started to live alone in Thailand, leaving her mother and her daughter, Sayo, in Japan. Just before the graduation of University, Sayo sets foot on Thailand to visit her mother. However, contrary to her expectation, it was not her mother who came to pick up Sayo, but Ichio who works for Kyoko.
After 4 years, Sayo finds her mother not changed at all. Kyoko always lives her own way no matter where she lives or whom she lives with, and it perplexes Sayo though she knew it. Continue reading Mika Ohmori – Pûru aka Pool (2009)

Pedro Aguilera – Naufragio aka Wreckage (2010)

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Quote:
Illegal immigration is one of the most challenging problems facing Spain over these
last few years. From among the thousands of immigrants entering the country by
various means, there are hundreds and hundreds trying to reach Spanish territory on
rudimentary open-decked vessels, most of them setting out from along the African
coast. Many of these African immigrants fail to reach Spain and find their death in the
sea. Others reach the coast exhausted and dehydrated from days on the open sea and
yet still hoping to find a new future. For many, there is no future as they are promptly
returned to their land of origin and even those who are allowed remain for whatever
reason, find that things are much more difficult for them than they had ever expected. Continue reading Pedro Aguilera – Naufragio aka Wreckage (2010)