Our next preview is a considerably smaller section of the festival programme, Telescope, which focuses on new talent from the European Union. Eleven films comprise the section, three of which played at SFF. Because of the smaller number of films, we’ll only be giving one pick per category. Nevertheless, we believe these are standouts that deserve a look.
Attenberg | dir. Athina Rachel Tsangari | GRE
Nominated for the Golden Lion and winning the Coppa Volpi Award for Best Actress at the 67th Venice International Film Festival, Attenberg was well-received at the Sydney Film Festival, where the film was naturally compared to Dogtooth (aided by the appearance of Yorgos Lanthimos). Anarchic, manic, frivolous and bold, this highly rated film is worthy of your attention.
KNOWN FILM YET TO SCREEN AT AN AUSTRALIAN FESTIVAL
Michael | dir. Markus Schleinzer | AUT
There are difficult films and there are difficult stories. Markus Schleinzer’s Michael contains both, describing the last five months of the involuntary relationship between an abducted 10-year-old boy and a 35-year-old pedophile. Generally splitting audiences into two camps, the film is drained of sensationalism, portraying this relationship in a haunting and lingering manner. This is not for everyone, nor is it for most, but those that brave the difficult storyline have been eerily affected by the feature.
THE DARK HORSE
Finisterrae | dir. Sergio Caballero | ESP
It may seem odd that my dark horse is a film that was chosen in the Artistic Director’s Top Five picks. Still, the surprise winner at the Rotterdam Film Festival, with its mix of high art and low-brow comedy, has been quickly forgotten. A distinctive narrative, the film is oddly fascinating. Even in the trailer, there is something truly endearing about seeing these ghostly characters travel along the Camino of Santiago. Shot by Eduard Grau (A Single Man, Buried), I predict this will be a (slightly) hidden gem.
THE MUST-SEE OF OUR FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
She Monkeys | dir. Lisa Aschan | SWE
Another forgotten feature at the festival, Lisa Aschan’s She Monkeys was named the World Narrative Competition Award Winner at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. A naturalistic look at girlhood, transition and sexuality, She Monkeys was praised for its evocative imagery and strong performances. An intriguing physical and psychological battle between two girls for control, we look forward to seeing this at MIFF.
Hopefully this list helps decide your picks in the section. If you have already bought tickets to Telescope films, we would love to know your choices and your most anticipated of the category!