AS FAR AS I CAN WALK Director: Stefan Arsenijević Cast: Ibrahim Koma, Nancy Mensah-Offei, Maxim Khalil Countries: Serbia/ France/ Luxembourg/ Bulgaria/ Lithuania 92 minutes – French, English and Serbian with English subtitles
A re-imagining of a traditional medieval epic in which contemporary African migrants take the place of Serbian national heroes. Strahinja and his wife Ababuo left Ghana with a dream of a better life in Europe. Strahinja has started to build a career as a footballer, while Ababuo is unable to fulfil her ambitions as an actress and she feels increasingly frustrated. When she disappears one day, Strahinya sets off along the Balkan migrant route for completely different reasons than anyone else: for love.
About the need to find one’s place in the world, this humanistic story raises questions about identity, tradition, race and love.
Man cannot survive on survival alone. Beyond a roof to sleep under what about other human needs, such as emotional or intellectual fulfilment?Guy Lodge, Variety
This striking, unforgettable migrant odyssey digs deep into the cultural divide, and tells a tale of survival, tenacity and compassion. Matthew Jenner, International Cinephile Society
All the extras you see in the film are real migrants from several refugee camps and this helped us to be as authentic as possible. If we were depicting something wrong, they were correcting us.Stefan Arsenijević, Director of As Far As I Can Walk
FRANCE Director: Bruno Dumont Cast: Léa Seydoux, Blanche Gardin, Benjamin Biolay, Emanuele Arioli, Juliane Köhler Countries: France, Italy, Germany, Belgium 134 minutes – French with English subtitles
France de Meurs is a star journalist at a private French television station. Her fame, her way of conceiving reports and programmes, as well as a chain of personal events, will cause a total questioning of her career in media and turn her life upside down. Starting out as a tragicomic satire of the news media, this provocative and amusing send-up of celebrity culture spirals into something darker as it examines the difficulty of maintaining one’s sense of self in a corrosive culture.
Amid the film’s riotous satire involving tricked-out news and political distortions, Dumont plants a melancholy melodrama of an identity crisis…Richard Brody, New Yorker
No other 2021 movie feels so eerily contemporary. France is a work of head-spinning mastery. Armond White, National Review
Gorgeously shot, wholeheartedly despairing and often extremely funny, it’s a slippery portrait of a modern professional losing control of both surfaces and depths.Ray Pride, Newcity
Actress Lea Seydoux goes all in bringing this narcissistic, magnetic newscaster to life for us to love, hate, or both.Leslie Combemale, AWFJ Women on Film
LIYANA Director: Aaron Kopp, Amanda Kopp Cast: Gcina Mhlophe 77 minutes – English
This genre-defying film follows five orphaned children in the Kingdom of Eswatini as they develop a story under the guidance of author and activist Gcina Mhlophe. They imaginatively transform past personal trauma into an original tale about a girl named Liyana who embarks on a perilous quest to save her young twin brothers. The film weaves Liyana’s brilliantly animated journey together with poetic documentary episodes to create an inspiring story of perseverance and hope.
LIYANA has played at major festivals around the world, and won more than 35 jury and audience awards so far.
A spirited testament to the power of creativity – not only as a source of strength and joy, but as a way to access buried emotions.Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
An unexpectedly joyous film about heavy subjects.Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
Liyana is a beautiful film about the way storytelling can empower, heal, and reveal truths.Sandie Angulo Chen. AWFJ Women on Film
Part documentary, part animation, and pure magic.Sunday Times
OSKAR AND LILLI: WHERE NO-ONE KNOWS US Director: Arash T. Riahi Cast: Leopold Pallua, Rosa Zant, Christine Ostermayer Country: Austria 102 minutes – German with English subtitles
Chechen refugee children, Oskar (8) and Lilli (13), have been living in Austria for six years. Their mother’s sudden attempted suicide results in the forced separation of the family. The children’s hope that they will be reunited with their mother is nourished by their love for each other in the face of many challenges.
This bittersweet odyssey about the many ways of perceiving the world around you in order to survive draws on the director’s own experiences of coming to Austria from Iran at the age of 10.
The special thing about this film is that it is completely portrayed from the point of view of the refugee children.Frank Brenner, Choices Cologne
Excellent characterizations and a welcome fairy-tale touch. Cinema Austriaco
The film has a keen eye for the hardships of reality, never kitschy, but always imbued with tenderness and immense sympathy. Joachim Kurz, Kino-Zeit
THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION Director: Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese Cast: Mary Twala Mhlongo, Jerry Mofokeng Wa, Makhaola Ndebele, Tseko Monaheng, Siphiwe Nzima-Ntskhe 120 minutes – Sotho with English subtitles
Mantoa, an 80-year old widow, is preparing for the end by arranging her own funeral and bidding farewell to worldly affairs. When her village is threatened with forced resettlement due to the building of a dam she finds a new will to live and ignites the spirit of resilience within her community.
Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s powerful film has won 30 international awards thus far – it is the only film ever to be submitted by Lesotho to the Academy Awards.
This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection stands in the fault line between the cradle of tradition and tomorrow, defiantly insisting that one need not exist at the expense of the other. Rotten Tomatoes
This is a gorgeous and quiet cry of protest for ensuing generations to heed before it’s too late. Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News
It’s a haunted hymn of grief, one that feels like a fable read from an old text. Jenny Nulf, Austin Chronicle
Mary Twala Mhlongo has died, at the age of eighty, since the movie was made. Let it stand as her memorial. It will not be washed away.Anthony Lane, New Yorker
SUPA MODO Director: Likarion Wainiana Cast: Stycie Waweru, Maryanne Nungo, Nyawara Ndambia Countries: Germany, Kenya 74 minutes – Swahili with English subtitles
Supa Modo is a heart-warming story of a young girl whose dream of becoming a superhero is threatened by terminal illness, inspiring her village to rally together to make her dream come true. A poignant tale about the power of dreams and community, Super Modo is very much a family film and will be of special interest for younger audiences.
An inspiring example of local creativity and accomplishment this outcome of filmmaking workshops in Kenya has notched up 44 festival wins and awards. Supa Modo was selected as Kenya’s submission to the 91st Academy Awards in 2019.
A love letter to the power of escapism, a devastating portrayal of grief and a Kenyan family drama that defies stereotypes, Supa Modo serves as an important reminder that even when heroes die, they can continue to inspire others long after they’re gone.David Opie, Little White Lies
Supa Modo is a well-written live-action film that will definitely tug at your heart. Lynnette Nicholas, Black Girl Nerds
One word to describe this movie: “SUPA”. It made me cry.Dark S
THE MAN WHO SOLD HIS SKIN Director: Kaouther Ben Hania Cast: Yahya Mahayni, Dea Liane, Koen De Bouw, Monica Bellucci Countries: Tunisia/ France/ Germany/ Belgium/ Sweden/ Turkey/ Cyprus 104 minutes – Arabic, English, French with English subtitles
A Syrian refugee in Lebanon allows his back to become a canvas for a famous tattoo artist. His body turned into a living work of art and he is put on exhibition in Europe. He will soon realize to have sold away more than just his skin.
The Man Who Sold His Skin uses the tension between art and commerce as powerful fuel for a sobering story about freedom and human dignity. This multi-awarding co-production between Tunisia/ France/ Germany/ Belgium/ Sweden/ Turkey/ Cyprus won an Oscar nomination in 2021.
A prickly cautionary tale of exploitation and commodification.Nicolas Rapold, New York Times
This is a highly original fable about art, privilege, freedom and identity.John Powers, NPR
A playful satire about the intersection of art and commerce collides with a thoughtful examination of immigration and human trafficking.Todd Jorgenson, Cinemalogue
Looks at the commoditization of suffering and the price of a human life through the eyes of a man who just wants to be with his love.Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia