Contemporary Lives

Who are we, together? Political, aware bodies that fight, resist, breathe, dance, exist and coexist. Across present, past and future, from Vienna to North Korea, through Zagreb, Lampedusa, Latin America, New Zealand and Europe: twelve journeys through geopolitics, human rights, climate urgency, gender inequality, scars of colonialism, humanity, memory, search for identity, right to identity. Contemporary and universal themes as always presented through the precious lens of life stories, reflecting sparks of solidarity and community responsibility. What can we become, together?

27 Storeys

by Bianca Gleissinger

Italian Premiere, First Film
(Doc / Germany, Austria / 2023 / 82’)

The largest social housing park in Austria, called Alterlaa, and its former promise of happiness to its residents is the subject of the humorous debut documentary 27 STOREYS by Bianca Gleissinger. “Living like the rich for everyone“ was the utopian premise in 1970 of the architect with the sonorous name Harry Glück (in German, Glück means happiness). But what is left of that pioneering spirit? The director, who herself grew up there, meets its eccentric residents and provides deep insights into a social biotope. A witty, very personal approach to an obscure place and at the same time a confrontation with one‘s own roots.

Another Body

by Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn

Italian Premiere, First Film
(Doc / USA, UK / 2023 / 80’)

The film follows a college student's search for answers and justice after she discovers deepfake pornography on herself circulating online. Through candid video diaries, synthetic media, and 2D and 3D animation, the film takes you into Taylor's online and offline worlds, humanizing a vast social issue in a compelling personal story.

Being Ola

by Ragnhild Nøst Bergem

Italian Premiere, Second Film
(Doc / Norway / 2023 / 71’)

Ola is an engaged guy with a mild intellectual disability. He lives in a small village in Norway with a very diverse group of people. They live life at a slower pace in harmony with nature, and their community is founded on empathy and respect. Ola generally enjoys his life and his a sincere individual. When an important piece in his life is lost, he wonders how he can become more independent. Being Ola is an endearing portrait of an exceptional young man who puts his heart into striving for equality, acceptance, and independence. The film helps bridge the gap between 'us' and ‘them’. It’s coming of age story, far away from the wars and conflicts of this time, and with a massive heart.

L'Évangile de la révolution

by François-Xavier Drouet

Italian Premiere
(Doc / France / 2024 / 115’)

The revolutionary fervor that swept through Latin America in the 20th century owes much to the participation of millions of Christians who engaged in political struggles in the name of their faith. Driven by liberation theology, they challenged military regimes and oligarchies, risking their lives. Reversing Marx's idea that religion is the opium of the people, the film explores the experiences of men and women who believed that the revolution was the advent of God’s Kingdom on earth, rather than in heaven.

Fighting Demons with Dragons

by Camilla Magid

Italian Premiere, Second Film
(Doc / Denmark, Sweden / 2024 / 93’)

Luca, Ask, and Josefine have all experienced being outsiders at their old schools. They've struggled to make friends and fit in, but at Østerskov Efterskole in Hobro, there's plenty of room to be different. It's Denmark's only role-playing school, and the role-playing games helps students figure out who they are in their own way. Over two years, we follow the students as they battle insecurity and anxiety dressed in costumes and wielding swords. It's a journey away from childhood towards independence, filled with vulnerability, courage, and the wildness of youth. Can Ask learn that he doesn't have to be good at everything all the time to be good enough? Can Josefine dare to be herself, even when she's not playing someone else? Will Luca's newfound confidence hold up when she moves into her own apartment outside the school's safe confines?

I Am the River, the River Is Me

by Petr Lom

Italian Premiere
(Doc / Netherlands, Norway / 2024 / 88’)

the whanganui river3

For the Māori, the Whanganui is a living being – their ancestor. This belief has been institutionalized by New Zealand law as of 2017 - the first river in the world to be recognized as a legal person, as a living and indivisible being, ad as so, to be protected. In order to make the life of the sacred river known, Māori river guardian Ned Tapa assembles a crew and sets off on a five-day canoe trip down the river. Made over a three-year period, the film takes the audience on a journey that is the discovery of an intimate relationship with nature and an urgent invitation to reflect on humanity's place on the planet it inhabits.

... ned, tassot, yossot ... 

by Brigitte Weich

Italian Premiere, Second Film
(Doc / Austria / 2023 / 99’)

Five years after her film Hana, dul, sed... (2009), filmmaker Brigitte Weich returns to North Korea and talks with the women of the national soccer team about their sporting adventures and subsequent lives. The female athletes are strikingly candid as they speak about their families, friendships and their unconditional love for their country. In addition to the former female soccer players, the film involves the female director of a television series about the team, made at the same time as Weich's first documentary. The documentary discreetly examines the structures of control in a dictatorship like North Korea, while adding depth to the often somewhat grotesque image of North Korea.

Selling a Colonial War

by In-Soo Radstake

Italian Premiere
(Doc / Netherlands / 2023 / 132’)

In the Netherlands, colonial history is slowly but surely being rewritten. It has long been clear that what the Dutch government at the time described as “police actions”—the deployment of the army in response to Indonesia’s declaration of independence in 1945—was in fact an unlawful war. Through interviews with international experts, In-Soo Radstake’s documentary reveals how far the Dutch rulers went in selling the war as a domestic affair, intended to restore peace among the population. Under international pressure, the Dutch government gave up its colonial war, but the propaganda from the past still hangs over the current public debate.

Stray Bodies - Corpi erranti

by Elina Psykou

Italian Premiere
(Doc / Greece, Switzerland, Italy, Bulgaria / 2024 / 109’)

stray still 7

Robin is pregnant but doesn't want to be a mother. Caterina and Gaia are single but want a child. Kiki suffers from an incurable disease and wants her life to end with dignity. The procedure they hope to get access to – abortion, IVF and euthanasia – is available and legal in neighboring countries but not theirs. Stray Bodies takes you on a road trip through Europe, by meeting opponents, doctors, advocates in surreal settings that often blends the limits between logic and absurdity, the film opens a reflection on bodily autonomy in a continent where Christian heritage and conservatism are obstacles to the freedom of choice and science has pushed further humanity’s power over life and death. 

They and Them

by Ingrid Kamerling

International Premiere
(Doc / Netherlands / 2023 / 78’)

The gender clinic in Zaandam counsels youngsters who struggle with their gender identity.
The advice of the gender clinic is considered the prelude to a change of sex in the passport, or a major medical treatment. We get acquainted with practitioners and all their dilemmas. How do you give proper advice concerning irreversible choices that will mark the rest of people’s lives, while the outpatient clinic is st
ruggling with its finances and the waiting list keeps getting longer? How do you deal with a low-IQ adolescent who wants to transition? What to do with doubt? And is there also room within the team for a conservative voice?

L’ultima isola

by Davide Lomma

World Premiere, Second Film
(Doc / Italy / 2024 / 74’)

L ultimaIsola Still10

Eight friends each have a small business in Lampedusa. At midnight, after work, they go out on a boat to eat something together and wake up at dawn to fish for tuna. They reach the lovely “Tabaccara” area and fall asleep in the boat. At first light they wake up because they hear strange sounds, turn on the engines and start sailing; it is October 3, 2013, a day that will go down in history for one of the greatest tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea. The group will raise the alarm first, and find themselves on a small nine-meter boat with more than three hundred people at sea. They will manage to save 47 of them. A dramatic story intertwined with a visceral friendship.

Vitic Dances

by Boris Bakal

Italian Premiere, First Film
(Doc / Croatia / 2023 / 90’)

The story of artist Boris Bakal's love for a masterpiece of modernist architecture: an apartment complex designed by Ivan Vitić in Zagreb, Croatia. For 20 years, the filmmaker's gaze follows the odyssey of the building's restoration process, records frustrated attempts, and intervenes in the lives of the apartment building community, filming daily lives and conflicts. The efforts to bring the building back to life become a reflection of a geographical and social context, that of Croatia and the Balkan area, but also of a humanity poised between conflict and cooperation, prejudice and hope. And they testify to the power of passion and perseverance.

contemporary lives
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