Again and again, people face challenges that life throws at them. They have to deal with destiny, often following a long path to self-realisation or finding a new place in the world. Filmmakers recount all this in their visual narratives. Sometimes, their approach is direct, almost taken from life – as if in a documentary – but it is also exciting, with self-confrontation in inner monologues as well as idiosyncratic formal experiments.
Direction: Niccolò Castelli (Switzerland, Belgium, Italy 2021)
Allegra, a climbing enthusiast, was the victim of a terrorist attack that killed three of her friends. Plagued by guilt and thoughts of revenge, she retreats into solitude. To come back and appreciate life again, she has to fight a long battle with herself.
With Matilda de Angelis, Helmi Dridi, Nicola Perot, Kevin Blaser, Irene Casagrande
Direction: Alfonso Quijada (Canada, El Salvador, Colombia 2021)After being raped, coffee picker Josefina Moreno seeks consolation from her godmother, but in vain. However, she does help Josefina, who has an outstanding sense of smell, to become a coffee taster. Then, her brother gets into trouble while trying to avenge his sister's rape. The plantation owner helps Josefina rescue her brother from this hopeless situation. But fate goes on to strike again.
Direction: Lukas Röder (Germany 2021)
Hans suffers from schizophrenia. He is convinced that a certain group of people intends to take control of all the water on Earth. He meets Marie and hopes that she will help him to uncover the supposed conspiracy. But Marie is pursuing a different goal.
With Benedikt Kosian, Lina Witte
Direction: Donato Rotunno (Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Belgium 2020)
Antonio has spent all his life outside his native Italy. By chance, he meets the young Italian artist, Leo. This young woman's fate is similar to that of the old man. Memories of the past are awakened and, in the end, offer a more peaceful future for both of them.
With Renato Carpentieri, Sara Serraiocco, Alessiopice Lapice, Marie Jung
Direction: Rachel Lang, Marine Dorville (France, Belgium 2021)
They come from everywhere, but they have one thing in common: the Foreign Legion is their new family. This film tells their stories: stories of women struggling to keep their love alive, of men fighting for France, and of couples who find each other again in hostile territory.
With Camille Cottin, Louis Garrel, Marija Bartaité, Alexandr Kuznetsov
Direction: Hugo Santa Cruz (United Kingdom 2021)
A young German actor, Helena Kutsche, has now completed her dramatic training in London. Her dream is to succeed on London's sophisticated theater scene. But the mood in Brexit England, hostile to Europeans, is making itself felt. The tide turns when she is invited to an audition by a well-known British filmmaker.
With Shirley Roth, Katharina Naumow, Hersha Verity
Direction: Oliver Kracht (Germany 2021)
Germany in 1946: hunger, ruins and returning soldiers. Charlotte enrolls in the "Fräulein Course" run by former Nazi film starlet Gloria Deven. Together with the many insecure women, she forms a collective that radically opposes patriarchy. A utopia seems conceivable, but the wounds of the past soon resurface.
With Laura Balzer, Valery Tscheplanowa, Katja Hutko
Direction: Nina Vukovic (Germany 2021)
After her training at the police academy, Laura begins to serve in Hamburg's riot police. Laura's immediate colleagues are becoming more and more radicalized in this hot spot. They and Laura make a serious mistake in the field and Laura needs to decide what kind of police officer she actually wants to be.
With Lisa Vicari, Ludwig Trepte, Meryem Ebru Öz, André M. Hennicke
Direction: David Preute (Germany 2021)
Ambitious investment banker Tom Walker is catapulted from his rather monotonous daily routine in the back office of a bank to its hectic trading floor, where from one moment to the next he is responsible for the most complex and important portfolio of the ailing financial institution.
With Ankie Beilke, Paulo Aragao, Tom Bowen, Oleg Kricunova
Direction: Alexej Hermann, Eike Weinreich (Germany 2021)
33-year-old Maria is young, attractive and self-determined, living her life according to her own ideas. She finally has to acknowledge that her promiscuity, her penchant for intoxication and nightlife, can do nothing to assuage the emptiness growing inside her.
With Sina Martens, Andreas Döhler, Katrin Wichmann, Julia Hartmann. Fritzi Bauer
Direction: Timo Jacobs (Germany 2021)
Charlie Schwarzer's planned career as a stand-up has fizzled out. His wife is not really successful, either. Both live with their failures. Charlie falls ill with dementia, but he embarks on an odyssey to get back on stage. "Stand up!" is a film about the beauty of failure and transience. In praise of languor.
With Timo Jacobs, Pegah Ferydoni, Katy Karrenbauer, Sandra von Ruffin, Alina Leshin, Oliver Korritke
Direction: Florian Anders (Germany 2020)
Sina needs money to fulfill her dream of a trip to the salt flats of Utah. But after a break-in at her apartment and her boyfriend's accident, she faces a mountain of growing debt. She takes a lucrative part-time job in an art project run by Laurenz, a corrupt artist. What feels amazing at first gradually develops into a manipulative game.
With Anna Hausburg, Constantin von Jascheroff, Samuel Koch, Holger Handtke
Direction: Olivier Peyon (France 2021)
Tokyo, March 11, 2011: a tsunami is ravaging the coast of Japan and threatens to destroy the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Alexandra, who has recently started working for a French bank in Tokyo, is torn between her superiors' orders and a desire to protect her family and co-workers. She tries to come to terms with the situation.
With Karin Viard, Stéphane Bak, Yumi Narita, Philippe Uchan
Direction: Tony Gatlif (France 2021)
Tom Medina is sent by a juvenile court judge to the Camargue to live with Ulysse, a warm-hearted man who lives in harmony with nature. Tom learns the shepherding profession and wants to become a different person. Outraged by the unchanged hostility towards him, Tom fights against his destiny and crosses the path of Suzanne...
With David Murgia, Slimane Dazi, Karoline Rose Sun, Suzanne Aubert
Direction: Mika'Ela Fisher (France, Germany, Austria 2021)
Allegory: Two hikers with opposing characters play with a nameless stranger, who bears in her something of each of them. This is the pivotal point of a remarkable drama leading its players to reveal their true nature. There is no winner.
With Laurens Walter, Aurélie Lamachère; Philippe Matic-Arnauld des Lions
Direction: Rosa von Praunheim (Germany 2021)
Rosa von Praunheim was inspired to make this film by his own radio play "Die Nachtigall" (The Nightingale) from 1986, when he improvised together with street singer Friedrich Steinhauer, who called himself "die Nachtigall vom Ramersdorf" (The Nightingale of Ramersdorf), and Luzi Kryn, who became famous for her role in Praunheim's film DIE BETTWURST. Now, more than 30 years later, Rosa von Praunheim has filmed his material with singer and actor Hubert Wild and an eccentric former teacher, Ellen Reichardt, who has appeared in several of his films already.
With Hubert Wild, Ellen Reichardt, Gerd and Conny Klauss, Ichgola Androgyn, Lisa-Kathrina Mayer
Direction: Nick Hartnagel (Germany 2021)
A one-hour sequence recording gives the audience frighteningly detailed insights into the lieutenant's desperate inner monologue. Karolina Horster plays the type of person obsessed with power, competition and megalomania, who sets out to find a lost soul in the hierarchical structure of society.
With Karolina Horster, Tim-Fabian Hoffmann
Direction: Jean-Christophe Meurisse (France 2021)
A retired couple mired in debt tries to win a rock contest, while at the same time a minister is suspected of tax evasion, and a young girl meets a sex maniac. It's going to be a long night. A restless night.
With Alexandre Steiger, Christophe Paou, Lilith Grasmug, Lorella Cravotta, Olivier Saladin, Denis Podalydès
Direction: Danielle Arbid (France, Belgium 2020)
“Since last September, I have done nothing but wait for a man - for him to call me or come to me. Everything about him meant so much to me, his eyes, his mouth, his penis, his childhood memories, his voice …”
With Letitia Dosch, Sergei Polunin, Lo-Teymour Thion, Caroline Ducey
Direction: Sabine Hiebler, Gerhard Ertl (Austria 2021)
For some time now, the Viennese poet, cartoonist and call center expert Stefanie Sargnagel, famous on Facebook, Instagram and among Bachmann Prize judges, has achieved cult status with bestsellers like FITNESS. In Germany, as well, she has already succeeded in filling large halls for her reading performances.
With Stefanie Sargnagel, Hilde Dalik, Michael Ostrowski, David Scheid, Thomas Gratzer, Voodoo Jürgens