International Competition

A dive into the frames of the self: ten life stories told through their sharp edges, their lights and shadows, an invitation to discover and travel together with these pioneers and trailblazers; ten portraits that shine with pulsating authenticity, that scream desire to grab happiness. Palestine, Germany, Bhutan, Argentina, Netherlands, Nagorno-Karabakh, Belgium, India, Hungary, Denmark, Sri Lanka: landscapes of life, of souls, in the urgency to resist, in the tension of being. Of existing. Uniquely and preciously, while being embraced by us, thanks to the power of documentary storytelling.

Agent of Happiness

by Arun Bhattarai, Dorottya Zurbó

Italian Premiere, Second Film
(Doc / Bhutan, Hungary / 2024 / 94’)

How can you measure happiness? The country of Bhutan invented Gross National Happiness to do just that, and Amber is one of the agents who travels door to door to meet people and measure how happy they really are. He is still living with his elderly mother at the age of 40, but is nevertheless a hopeless romantic who dreams of finding love: a happiness agent who is in search of his own happiness. We embark with Amber on a cross-country road trip meeting citizens from all walks of life, reminding us of the fragility and beauty of our own happiness. No matter where we live.


by Aliona van der Horst, Luuk Bouwman

Italian Premiere
(Doc / Netherlands / 2023 / 77’)


Gerlach is a loving and humorous portrait of Gerlach, who has been growing vegetables in the shadow of Amsterdam Airport for sixty years. Around him, he has seen everything change. His simple wooden house is now wedged in between a Shell petrol station, a McDonalds outlet and various distribution centers. With great dedication he cares for his beets and grains, while property developers eye his land and climate change disrupts his harvest. Despite everything that comes his way, Gerlach stands tall with his humor, helped by his loving brothers and friends. His little house is the raindrop in which our absurdist world is reflected.

Helke Sander: Cleaning House

by Claudia Richarz

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

Filmmaker Helke Sander is cleaning house and reflects on her life. She is one of the central protagonists of the new German cinema and takes a radical look at society in her numerous films. In 1977 she chose a single mom as main character for her radically personal film The All-Around Reduced Personality – REDUPERS. In her 1991 documentary Liberator and Liberties, she violates the taboo around discussing post-World War II rapes. In 1968, she initiated, via her now-legendary “tomato speech,” the New German Women’s Movement. In her feature films, she often plays the main role. How fortuitous for a documentary film to revolve around her eventful life. 

Isabelle Stengers: fabriquer de l'espoir au bord du gouffre

by Fabrizio Terranova

Italian Premiere
(Doc / Belgium / 2023 / 75’)


In a setting where a mysterious house and a magical forest intertwine, the turbulent Belgian philosopher Isabelle Stengers will unfold the thread of her thought, which is now recognized worldwide. A thought filled with resistance to the established order, with fierce stubbornness to give back its vigor to democracy, and with narratives that obstinately recompose a common world. A thought whose goal is to produce knowledge that excludes no one. The film will therefore take the form of a small manual of unblinding, with an astonishing form accessible to all, in order to manufacture, together, hope on the edge of the abyss! 

Jardin noir

by Alexis Pazoumian

Italian Premiere, First Film
(Doc / Belgium, France / 2024 / 80’)

Samvel and Avo, Erik and Karen live in the land of a century-old conflict, rooted in the rubble of the Russian Empire. In Nagorno-Karabakh, people live, dream and prepare for a tragedy that is always on the horizon. Over 3 years, Alexis Pazoumian films the epilogue of the black garden, a land where war waits for no one.

Life Is Beautiful

by Mohamed Jabaly

Italian Premiere, Second Film
(Doc / Norway, Palestine, Qatar / 2023 / 93’)

Life is Beautiful tells the story of how director Mohamed Jabaly fought for his rights as a Palestinian and a filmmaker, when stranded in Norway due to circumstances beyond his control. Through his personal archive and video calls, he shares his love and longing for his hometown, friends and family, as he tries to make a new life for himself in the arctic. The film is a love letter to Gaza, to his adopted hometown in Tromsø, and to the empowering force of storytelling. Life is Beautiful is a story of overcoming a life put on hold by international politics and rigid bureaucracy, told from the inside by a director who uses all his creativity to connect with the world and forge a way forward.

The Lost Notebook

by Ida Marie Gedbjerg Sørensen

International Premiere, Second Film
(Doc / Hungary, Denmark / 2024 / 80’)

An anonymous worker in communist Hungary meticulously records in his diary the 2158 films he saw at the cinema from 1942 to 1994. In the present day, Danish filmmaker Ida Sørensen finds the diary in an attic in Budapest and embarks on a journey into the paths of deep passion for cinema. Her path meets that of a family divided by secrets and hidden traumas and united by a passion for cinema - in particular, action cinema. With the use of clips from the titles recorded in the diary, the film illustrates the secret dreams and desires of the Hungarian family and composes a tribute to the thaumaturgic power of cinema: a tool for traveling, finding justice and holding a family together.

Marching in the Dark

by Kinshuk Surjan

Italian Premiere, First Film
(Doc / Netherlands, Belgium, India / 2024 / 111’)

Sanjivani is intent on providing a better existence for herself and her children after her farmer-husband’s suicide, one of thousands of suicides that occur each year in India's agricultural sector. The young woman struggles against a culture that traditionally abandons widows and joins a local support group for widows. Through shared stories of resilience and unexpected solidarity, Sanjivani finds her voice again and cautiously paves her way to the future.

Mixtape La Pampa

by Andrés Di Tella

Italian Premiere
(Doc / Argentina, Chile / 2023 / 100’)

This is the cinematographic diary of an extended trip through the Pampas, on the trail of Guillermo Enrique Hudson, aka William Henry Hudson. Hudson is an enigmatic figure, full of contradictions: he was an Argentine gaucho who became an English writer. He fought in the army against the “savages” but also defended them. He wrote obsessively about his native land, but never returned. In the twists and turns of the road, a combination emerges of documentary speculation, personal memory… and dreams.

The Monk

by Mira Jargil, Christian Sønderby Jepsen

Italian Premiere
(Doc / Netherlands, Denmark / 2023 / 90’)

Can you find happiness in solitude? When filmmakers Mira Jargil and Christian Sønderby Jepsen try to find a balance in their stressful lives, they look for guidance from a renowned Danish HIV researcher turned monk deep in the mountains of Sri Lanka. What starts as a film about enlightenment turns into an existential investigation and moving family drama about control, mental health and reconciliation. The Monk sifts through the impossible questions of identity, transcendence, and the pursuit of happiness.


concorso internazionale
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