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Official Selection

Equality and community

Competition category

Life of Ivanna

Original title: Жизнь Иванны Яптунэ
80 min
Year: 2021
Countries of origin: Russia, Norway, Finland, Estonia
Direction: Renato Borrayo Serrano

Showing: 23. november, 20:45

Synopsis: Ivanna is a young woman who belongs to the indigenous people “Nenet” from the Russian Arctic. Motivated by the deteriorating living conditions in the tundra and climate change, she wants a fresh start. She leaves the traditional lifestyle of Nenet’s reindeer herding and emigrates to the city with her five children. An intimate depiction of a woman and her feelings in a violent transition of life.


Original title: AJAW Q’IJ
Duration: 14:30

Year: 2021
Countries of origin: Guatemala
Direction: Chiara Faggionato

Showing: 26. november, 20:20

Synopsis: The Council of Nicaea (325 AD) declared that the Christian Easter would be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon of spring. Spring begins between the 20th and the 21st of March, coinciding with the astronomical Equinox. Thus, in Guatemala, two festivities of two different cultures and spiritualties are celebrated at the same time. In the ritual centres of ancient Mayan cities, indigenous people celebrate the Equinox annually on the 21st of March to herald the rising of the sun and the beginning of a new period of fertility. A few days later, Christian Holy Week takes place, celebrated mainly in urban centres and especially in the city of Antigua, the former colonial capital. During Holy Week, Christians commemorate the last days of Jesus.


Original title: MARGOT
Duration: 72 min

Year: 2022
Countries of origin: Portugal and Mozambique
Direction: Catarina Alves Costa

Showing: 24. november, 19:20

Synopsis: Between 1958 and 1961, Margot Dias participated in four ethnographic missions to the northern end of Mozambique. She shot and taped hundreds of minutes—unique visual and sound recordings of Makonde culture. One seeks to portray the woman behind the records from those trips, from her youth in Germany in the 1920s, to meeting and marrying Portuguese ethnologist Jorge Dias, to the missions they made together to the then Portuguese colony. As she meets with Makonde people today and hands them back these images, the director seeks the gaze of the other director, whom she knew at the end of her life.

The Bird, The Priest and The Sixteen Millet thieves

Original title: Chidiya, Pujara aur Solah Rala Chor
Duration: 57:40

Year: 2022
Countries of origin: India
Direction: Milind Chhabra

Showing: 24. november, 20:50

Synopsis: Rala (Foxtail millet) is integral in the lives of the natives of central India, evident by its presence in their rituals, myths, legends and ballads; it’s fascinating that these stories even hint at the disappearance of Rala from the farm fields, diet and the people’s psyche. Oscillating between the ballads and the present times, The Bird, the Priest and The Sixteen Millet Thieves tells the story of grains and farm fields, rains and pests, market and diet, following the life cycle of Rala and the dwindling cultivation practice of this indigenous crop.

And then we were taken away

Original title: Und dann wurden wir weggenommen
Duration: 37 min

Year: 2023
Countries of origin: Switzerland
Direction: Jessica Bollag

Showing: 26. november, 18:30

Synopsis: In the 20th century, authorities in Switzerland placed over 100’000 children and adolescents in homes and foster families. The measures were implemented mainly for moral reasons and affected socially marginalised families in particular. The parents had hardly any success in legal proceedings against these decisions. In the participatory ethnographic documentary “And then we were taken away”, two men in their sixties talk about the administrative foster care they experienced as a child. They lead the audience to the homes, locations of their tumultuous youth and to their favourite places. Through their biographies, the men document how out-of-home placements shaped their childhood, youth and present.

Ivory Tower

Original title: Toreng Garing
Duration: 4 min

Year: 2018
Countries of origin: Philippines
Direction: Richard Soriano Legaspi

Showing: 25. november, 20:45

Synopsis: Ivory Tower is an experimental short documentary film of combined sound and images of labor protest of South-East Asian migrant workers in Taipei. The windows from the historical village of Taoyuan represent the realities and disconnection of some Taiwanese about labor rights issues today. As the resounding collective voices of the laborers transform into a solid force, there’s no reason not to act.

Voices – 6 fragments of humanity

Original title: Glasovi – 6 fragmenta ljudskosti
Duration: 37 min

Year: 2023
Countries of origin: Serbia
Direction: Uroš Lebar

Showing: 25. november, 21:10

Synopsis: The experimental documentary film Voices / 6 Fragments of Humanity is an omnibus of 6 situations through which the author depicts the collective consciousness of Serbian society and explores some of the key existential questions of contemporary life. He uses various experimental video techniques in order to bring forth specific emotions.

The sacred

Original title: Los Sagrados
Duration: 25 min

Year: 2022
Countries of origin: Chile
Direction: Miguel Rozas

Showing: 24. november, 21:55

Synopsis: “Los Sagrados” intimately portrays the humble existence of a Mapuche indigenous family in southern Chile. Elsa and Antonio (two Mapuche elders), live with their granddaughter in a modest house. The precarity of the terminally ill Antonio, leads his wife Elsa to seek the help of a Mapuche shaman, a Machi. Through an ancient ritual, the Machi tries to heal him from the unknown disease that will eventually cause his death. Antonio’s departure plunges Elsa into a state of despair and profound silence.


Original title: Bandhua
Duration: 56:19

Year: 2023
Countries of origin: India
Direction: Shobhit Jain

Showing: 25. november, 18:30

Synopsis: The film takes an ethnographic look into the life of a bonded labourer in a remote tribal village in central India.

Ecology and social activism

Informative category

From Trash To Treasure: Turning Negatives Into Positives

Original title: From Trash To Treasure: Turning Negatives Into Positives
24 min
Year: 2020
Countries of origin: Lesotho, Bulgary, USA
Direction: Iara Lee

Showing: 24. november, 16:40

Synopsis: In Lesotho—a highland country surrounded by South Africa—an artist named Nthabiseng TeReo Mohanela takes discarded materials and transforms them into unique clothing and accessories. Teaching young people the benefits of recycling and re-creation, she calls her project “From Trash to Treasure.”

Stalking Chernobyl: Exploration After Apocalypse

Original title: Сталкеры Чернобыля: Исследователи пост-апокалипсиса
58 min
Year: 2020
Countries of origin: Ukraine, USA, Bulgary
Direction: Iara Lee

Showing: 25. november, 22:00

Synopsis: A film that will examine the underground culture of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where–three decades after the world’s most infamous nuclear disaster- illegal hiking adventurers aka “stalkers”, extreme sports afficionados, artists, tour companies have begun to explore anew the mysterious, ghostly, post-apocalyptic landscape.

10 Letters to the Future

Original title: 10 kirjettä tulevaisuuteen
69 min
Year: 2023
Countries of origin: Finland
Direction: Poikkeustila Team

Showing: 23. november, 17:30

Synopsis: 10 Letters to the Future is a mosaic-like documentary film, born out of a collective effort in times when everything stopped. The global reality of state of emergencies penetrated everything we had taken for granted, and the era made many people take stock of their lives in a new light. What happened to us and what is the future we want to be heading to? As the virus controls the world, schoolchildren start collecting letters to be encapsulated in a wooden chest built by the students, to be opened in more than 50 years. The documentary is a time capsule in itself.

Women’s film

Informative category

To Mahsa

Original title: To Mahsa
Year: 2023
Countries of origin: Germany, Italy
Direction: Daniela Lucato 

Showing: 24. november, 21:50

Synopsis: “To Mahsa” is an experimental work made after the tragic death of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini. A tempt of solidarity with the women of Iran and with any woman who fights for freedom and human rights.

More than my Hair

Original title: More than my Hair
Duration: 10:25

Year: 2023
Countries of origin: Philippines
Direction: Nicole Vera Cruz

Showing: 23. november, 18:40

Synopsis: More than my Hair is a short documentary about a young girl who has had Alopecia since she was 2 years old up to the present time. This film aims to tell the narrative of a child growing up with Alopecia and the experiences and struggles that she and her family encountered. It also aims to raise awareness, break the stigma, and empower the Alopecia community.

Old Fashion, New Life

Original title: 女德
Duration: 140 min

Year: 2023
Countries of origin: Malaysia, China
Direction: Lam Can-zhao

Showing: 26. november, 16:00

Synopsis: “Female virtues” is the moral ethics of feudal China, which has been regulating women in marriage and family for thousands of years. Recently, with the revival of Chinese Traditional Culture, institutions specialized in traditional female ethics education have sprung up and spread all over the country. Female virtues became the recent spotlight in Chinese society.

No Winter Holidays

Original title: ढोरपाटन (Dhorpatan)
Duration: 79 min

Year: 2023
Countries of origin: Nepal, Romania, South Korea
Direction: Rajan Kathet, Sunir Pandey

Showing: 25. november, 19:30

Synopsis: Set amidst the high altitude of the Nepalese Himalayas, No Winter Holidays records life for Ratima and Kalima as they work to look after their village during a harsh and unforgiving season. Both in their seventies, they gradually come to accept each other’s presence, aware that surviving in this climate depends on their relying on each other

We are the houses we lived in

Original title: Είμαστε τα σπίτια που μέσα τους ζήσαμε
Duration: 15 min

Year: 2022
Countries of origin: Greece
Direction: Katerina Markoulaki

Showing: 23. november, 20:15

Synopsis: A photo album, mixed with blurred memories falsed impressions of people, relationships and of a whole social era, in Crete. We are the houses we lived in it’s a trip to the village my mother grew up. Through this film, i reflect on the family’s perception, my personal memory and on the boundries of gender structures. Α digging into the stories that are untold, a rite of passage to forgiveness, healing and acceptance. This is a very personal film about my mother’s family. In ”We are the houses we lived in” i tried to dig in the oral history of my family in order to discover the untold truths. To do this, i spend two months in the isolated village my mother grew up. After a month of engaging with the community there i came across with what i already knew. Some stories are narrated in the most powerfull way through silence. Sometimes a flower or a tree, a blanket or a notion, a building itself carries all the stories one need to listen.

Student film

Informative category

When a river Becomes a Border

Original title: Tchoua tchoua ns
36 min
Year: 2018
Countries of origin: Cameroon
Direction: Robi Layio

Showing: 24. november, 16:00

Synopsis: The film discusses the artificiality and the Fragility of the border between Cameroon and Chad, which is determined by the Chari river. The people residing around the riverbank go freely back and forth, and take advantage of these socio-ethnic corridors to sneak between the two nationalities in order to seize the opportunities presented to them. The film accompanies Waldiga, a university student in Chad, who as many others in this region has a life on both sides.

Analogue Practices in Digital Landscapes

Original title: Analogue Practices in Digital Landscapes
39 min
Year: 2023
Countries of origin: Austria, Germany, Turkey
Direction: Işıl Karataş

Showing: 26. november, 20:35

Synopsis: In an era defined by the rapid advancement of digital technologies, this film captures the daily lives of artists, retailers, and repairers who intimately engage with obsolete or discarded technologies. This experimental ethnographic film creatively explores audiovisual cultural research methods, portraying analogue film communities in Berlin and Vienna, as well as mechanical repair shops in Istanbul.

Harbouring Illness

Original title: Harbouring Illness
Year: 2023
Countries of origin: United Kingdom
Direction: Esca van Blarikom

Showing: 23. november, 17:00

Synopsis: “Harbouring Illness” is an intimate portrait of three women living with long-term health conditions in a socially vulnerable East London neighbourhood. Through their stories, the film offers a profound insight into the everyday challenges of living with chronic illness amidst an overstretched and underfunded healthcare system. It delves into the effects of social isolation and the struggles that come with maintaining a healthy life in the face of substandard living conditions. Through visceral close-up shots that trace the outlines of the women’s bodies and their living situations, the film offers an immersive experience of these stories, where social exclusion, illness, and inequality intersect. But “Harbouring Illness” is more than just a window into the lives of these women. It invites the viewer to contemplate new possibilities for living a flourishing life beyond the confines of conventional medical understandings of health and well-being.

The Visible Hand

Original title: The Visible Hand
6 min
Year: 2022
Countries of origin: Germany
Direction: Yusuf Ölmez

Showing: 25. november, 21:00

Synopsis: The frame is a limit on the screen. It creates boundaries that can traverse other boundaries of our imagination. Our hands are one of the most prominent body parts for the progression of homo sapiens. It also created other boundaries that distinguished us from non-human. Hereby, the digital eye allows us to progress the capabilities of surveillance by subverting it towards the hands of political leaders of the last decades. How can we mediate between the use of hands and power relations in the context of politics? What is the relationship between culture and body language from the perspective of politicians?


Original title: Ghosted
9 min
Year: 2022
Countries of origin: Switzerland
Direction: Nimal Bourloud, Filippo Bozzini, Paloma Gude

Showing: 23. november, 17:20

Synopsis: Collected, catalogued and categorized. Sorted and stored. To be displayed in a wooden cabinet or left in the dark to slumber. But can you really contain a spirit or ghost? The present will always be haunted. Produced during the CAV summer school Beyond Observational Cinema “Ghosted” explores the imaginaries around objects in the ethnographic museum of Neuchâtel as well as the haunting colonial past of the city in general.

In a White Room

Original title: В комнате белого цвета
50 min
Year: 2022
Countries of origin: Russia
Direction: Валерия Подбельцева

Showing: 25. november, 16:30

Synopsis: Platon spent the whole winter in an abandoned house. In the spring, he went outside with a small video camera in his hands, shooting himself and everything around. Suddenly, a girl appears in his life, and a war begins in his home country. Plato tries to cope with all this with the help of his art. But it doesn’t seem to matter anymore.

Entrance Exam

Original title: एंट्रेंस इग्जाम
60 min
Year: 2020
Countries of origin: India
Direction: Aditya Verma

Showing: 24. november, 17:05

Synopsis: In a remote village in central India, school teachers put their heart and soul to prepare a group of children for an entrance exam for admission in a Government-run School of Excellence (Utkrisht School). Public-funded, these schools take care of the complete expenses for the students and hence the admission for these children would ensure their continued studies as most of them are first-generation school-goers from underprivileged families. ‘Entrance Exam’ unfolds many layers of struggle in this intense journey as much as many pleasant surprises.