THE FESTIVAL - OFFICIAL SELECTION

Welcome to Mediterrane’s Official Selection for 2024.

MAIN COMPETITION

BACKSTAGE

Dir. Afef Ben Mahmoud / Khalil Benkirane

Morocco; Tunisia; Belgium; France; Norway; Qatar; Saudi Arabia

Aida, member of a contemporary dance troupe touring Morocco, provokes during a representation in a small Middle Atlas town, her life and stage partner Hedi, who injures her onstage triggering a series of events through a long night across a forest, on the way to the next village’s doctor.

HAYAT

Dir. Zeki Demirkubuz

Turkey

Forced to get engaged by her father, Hicran runs away from home. Riza, who thinks that Hicran does not want him, does not care much about this situation, but it becomes increasingly difficult for him and he decides to confront Hicran.

KINDS OF KINDNESS

Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos

Greece

A triptych fable, following a man without choice who tries to take control of his own life; a policeman who is alarmed that his wife who was missing-at-sea has returned and seems a different person; and a woman determined to find a specific someone with a special ability, who is destined to become a prodigious spiritual leader.

THE STRANGERS' CASE

Dir. Brandt Andersen

Jordan

Aleppo, in the midst of the Syrian civil war. Amira, a paediatric surgeon, performs a life-saving operation during the darkest days of the conflict. Through an unexpected twist of fate, she and her daughter become central characters in a dangerous tale that intricately interweaves the lives of five families spanning four continents and redefines all of their existences.

TUESDAY

Dir. Daina O. Pusić

Croatia

A mother and her teenage daughter must confront Death when it arrives in the form of an astonishing talking bird. From debut filmmaker Daina O. Pusić, Tuesday is a heart-rending fairy tale about the echoes of loss and finding resilience in the unexpected.

SWEET DREAMS

Dir. Ena Sendijarević

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Tumultuous events triggered by the death of a Dutch sugar plantation owner who ends up leaving his Indian Ocean island estate to his young illegitimate son – the child of his Indonesian housemaid.

WHO DO I BELONG TO

Dir. Meryam Joobeur

Tunisia; France; Canada

Aicha lives in the isolated north of Tunisia with her husband and youngest son. The family lives in anguish after the departure of the eldest sons Mehdi and Amine to the violent embrace of war. When Mehdi unexpectedly returns home with a mysterious pregnant wife, a darkness emerges, threatening to consume the entire village. Aicha is caught between her maternal love and her search for the truth.

THE DAMNED

Dir. Roberto Minvervini

Italy

Winter 1862. In the midst of the Civil War, the US Army sends a company of volunteer soldiers to the western territories, with the task of patrolling the unchartered borderlands. As their mission ultimately changes course, the meaning behind their engagement begins to elude them.

THE SUBSTANCE

Dir. Coralie Fargeat

France

Have you ever dreamt of a better version of yourself?
You. Only better in every way.
Seriously.
You’ve got to try this new product. It’s called The Substance.
IT CHANGED MY LIFE.
It generates another you.
A new, younger, more beautiful, more perfect, you.
And there’s only one rule: You share time.
One week for you. One week for the new you.
Seven days each. A perfect balance.
Easy. Right?
If you respect the balance… what could possibly go wrong?

NEGU HURBILAK

Dir. Negu Collective

Spain

In 2011, the prolonged armed conflict in the Basque Country appears to come to an end. A young woman flees with a clear goal: to cross the border. She arrives in Zubieta, a village where ancient myths and modern conflicts seem to converge. Time passes — a hazy, indefinite passage in which days blur into nights and nights into days. Her escape becomes increasingly complicated and labyrinthine.

RYE HORN

Dir. Jaione Camborda

Spain; Portugal

1971, Francoist Spain. In the Galician countryside María assists women in childbirth. After an attempt to help a young woman in trouble, she suddenly has to hide from the authorities, leave everything behind and flee the country.
On her perilous journey to Portugal, María encounters female solidarity and realizes that she is not alone and that, thanks to the help of others, she might finally find her freedom.

HORS-SAISON

Dir. Stéphane Brizé

France

Mathieu lives in Paris, Alice in a small seaside resort in Western France. He is a famous actor, about to turn fifty. She is a piano teacher in her forties. They were in love fifteen years ago, then separated. Time has passed. They each went their ways and slowly healed.
When Mathieu goes try to overcome his melancholia in a thermal spa, he stumbles upon Alice.

RENDEZ-VOUS AVEC LE POL POT

Dir. Rithy Panh

France; Cambodia

Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia) – 1978. Three French journalists are invited by the Khmer Rouge to conduct an exclusive interview of the regime’s leader, Pol Pot. The country seems ideal. But behind the Potemkin village, the Khmer Rouge regime is declining and the war with Vietnam threatens to invade the country. The regime is looking for culprits, secretly carrying out a large scale genocide. Under the eyes of the journalists, the beautiful picture cracks, revealing the horror. Their journey progressively turns into a nightmare. Freely inspired by journalist Elizabeth Becker’s account in When The War Was Over.

PALAZZINA LAF

Dir. Michele Riondino

Italy

Taranto, 1997. Caterino, a simple workman at Ilva industrial complex, is secretly recruited as whistle-blower by the company’s top management in order to check on the employees and workers who are disliked by the new business administration. During his spying activities, incapable of feeling his role as unethical, Caterino asks to be relocated at Palazzina Laf, where some workers are punished by being devoid of any duties and responsibilities. Even if it looks live heaven, Caterino will find out for himself that it is a perverse strategy applied by the company’s management to psychologically bend troublesome workers, pushing them to resign or demote. In short time, the man will have to choose between the obedience to the factory and the relations of friendship that he has established with people he has to control. Based on a true story, it is the first official case of mobbing and bossing in Italy.

TO A LAND UNKNOWN

Dir. Mahdi Fleifel

Palestine; France

Chatila and Reda are saving to pay for fake passports to get out of Athens. But when Reda loses their hard-earned cash to his dangerous drug addiction, Chatila hatches an extreme plan, which involves them posing as smugglers and taking hostages in an effort to get him and his best friend out of their hopeless environment before it is too late.

OUT OF COMPETITION

DEAR JASSI

Dir. Tarsem Singh Dhandwar

India

In 1996 Punjab, India, Canadian-born Indian girl Jassi falls in love with Mithu, a rickshaw driver who is beneath her social status. Their attraction is pure and unconditional, but is it strong enough to fight the dictates imposed by Jassi’s family and Punjabi society?

I SAW THE TV GLOW

Dir. Jane Schoenbrun

United States

Teenager Owen is just trying to make it through life in the suburbs when his classmate introduces him to a mysterious late-night TV show — a vision of a supernatural world beneath their own. In the pale glow of the television, Owen’s view of reality begins to crack.

THE DEVIL’S BATH

Dir. Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz

Austria, Germany

18th century Austria. Villages surrounded by deep forests. A woman is sentenced to death after killing a baby. Agnes is marrying her loved one and candidly prepares herself for a spouse life. Soon after, her head and heart start to feel heavy. Day after day, she is increasingly trapped in a murky and lonely path leading to evil thoughts. Maybe not just thoughts.

VIET AND NAM

Dir. Truong Minh Quy

Vietnam

Nam and Viet love each other. Both are miners, working 1000 meters below ground where danger awaits and darkness prevails. Coal earns them a living, while polluting the land and the sea. Black sea. Black coal. Burnt coal. Wet coal. Dusty coal. When Nam decides to leave the country via an agent who smuggles people in shipping containers, it causes a rift between his love for Viet and the desires for his own future.

HUNTERS ON A WHITE FIELD

Dir. Sarah Gyllenstierna

Sweden

In this mysterious suspense drama, three men go on an extended weekend hunting trip. An initial spell of hunting success sharpens their instincts and stirs a sense of rivalry. But one day all animals vanish without a trace and the forest turns eerily quiet. The men become obsessed with the idea that the hunt must continue.

THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO

Dir. Alexandre de La Patellière, Matthieu Delaporte

France

Marseille, 1815. All of young Edmond Dantès’ dreams are about to come true – promoted to ship’s captain he can finally marry the love of his life, Mercedes. But his success inspires jealousy from various quarters. Betrayed by his rivals and denounced as a member of a pro-Bonaparte conspiracy, he is imprisoned without trial at the Château d’If, with no hope of return. After fourteen years of secret instruction by fellow inmate Abbé Faria, Dantès manages to escape and to get hold of the legendary treasure hidden on the isle of Monte Cristo. Now with a huge fortune, he hatches an extraordinary plan to exact the vengeance he craves. Assuming multiple identitities – “the Count of Monte Cristo” among them – Dantès first courts his enemies, now highly placed dignitaries, the better to strike them down. But the price of revenge is heavy for one’s soul …

LA BELLE DE GAZA

Dir. Yolande ZAUBERMAN

France

They were a fleeting vision in the night. I was told that one of them had walked from Gaza to Tel Aviv. In my head I called her The belle from Gaza.

MARE NOSTRUM

LOS ULTIMOS

Dir. Sebastian Peña Escobar

Paraguay

The vast Gran Chaco natural region in Paraguay is under serious threat from large-scale deforestation and wildfires. Filmmaker Sebastian Peña Escobar travels with the German entomologist Ulf Drechsel and the Paraguayan ornithologist Jota Escobar to this vulnerable, flammable area, which looks like an apocalyptic landscape with red dirt roads and dry thorny trees.

ONE NEEDS A TOWN - ZAVATTINI, LUZZARA AND THE PO RIVER

Dir. Francesco Conversano / Nene Grignaffini

Italy

A reading about the poetry of Zavattini, the father of Italian Neorealism, the town of Luzzara photographed by Paul Strand 70 years ago and the biggest Italian river, The Po River, without water, fragile and wounded due to the global warming.

SHAMBHALA

Dir. Min Bahadur Bham

Nepal; France; Norway; Hong Kong; Türkiye; Taiwan; United States; Qatar

In a Himalayan polyandrous village in Nepal, newly married and pregnant Pema tries to make the best of her new life. But soon, her first husband Tashi vanishes on the trade route to Lhasa. Accompanied by her monk de facto husband, Karma, she embarks on a journey into the unforgiving wilderness to find him, evolving into a quest of self-discovery and liberation.

A NEW KIND OF WILDERNESS

Dir. Silje Evensmo Jacobsen

Norway

On a small farm in a Norwegian forest, the Paynes live a purposefully isolated life, aiming to be wild and free. Maria and Nik, along with their four children Ulv, Falk, Freja, and Ronja are self-sufficient. They practice home-schooling and strive for a closely-knit family dynamic in harmony with nature. However, when tragedy strikes the family, it upends their idyllic world and forces them to forge a new path into modern society.

THE HUMAN HIBERNATION

Dir. Anna Cordunella Castro

Spain

The Human Hibernation is a film about human nature if it had been different.
Starting from the disappearance of Erin, a child who wakes up prematurely from hibernation, Clara, her older sister, will take us on a journey of searching for answers and confronting the narratives pre-established by the society in which she lives. One that hibernates during the coldest months of the year.
A reflection on the human being, contradiction and the animal condition.

LIFE AND OTHER PROBLEMS

Dir. Max Kestner

Denmark

10 years ago, the news that Marius the giraffe was put down by the Copenhagen Zoo went viral all the way from Hollywood to Chechnya. But it was also the first domino to fall in the wild thicket of existential questions asked by Max Kestner in his new, joyously adventurous film. What is life? Does consciousness exist? Where does love come from? And not least: How is everything connected – like, really?

NOCTURNES

Dir. Anirban Dutta, Anupama Srinivasan

India

Amidst the lush Eastern Himalayan forests, moths convey a mysterious message. Under the cover of night, two inquisitive observers illuminate this clandestine universe, unraveling the secrets whispered by these enigmatic creatures.

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