The films in the category “Open Sea” are masterpieces that have attracted attention, been nominated and won awards at the largest film festivals in Europe, many of which are also shown at the big autumn festivals in Venice and Toronto.
This year, this category has probably never been more exciting, comedies mixed with drama. One masterpiece after another, brand new films and directors include Thomas Vinterberg, Magnus Von Horn, Amanda Kernell and Chloe Zhao.
In this year’s category you will find films that touch on all aspects of human life, such as a film about an attempt by life-weary friends to increase their happiness in life through moderate, daily drinking, a mother’s struggle for custody of her children, a tearful search for love and the darker sides of social media.
Director: Magnus von Horn
Sweat recounts three days in the life of fitness motivator Sylwia Zajac, whose presence on social media has made her a celebrity. Although she has hundreds of thousands of followers, is surrounded by loyal employees and admired by acquaintances, she is looking for true intimacy.
Another Round (Cannes)
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
There’s a theory that we should be born with a small amount of alcohol in our blood, and that modest inebriation opens our minds to the world around us, diminishing our problems and increasing our creativity. Heartened by that theory, Martin and three of his friends, all weary high school teachers, embark on an experiment to maintain a constant level of intoxication throughout the workday. If Churchill won WW2 in a heavy daze of alcohol, who knows what a few drops might do for them and their students? Initial results are positive, and the teachers’ little project turns into a genuine academic study. Both their classes and their results continue to improve, and the group feels alive again! As the units are knocked back, some of the participants see further improvement and others go off the rails. It becomes increasingly clear that while alcohol may have fueled great results in world history, some bold acts carry consequences.
Nomadland (Venice Film Festival)
Director: Chloé Zhao
Winner of the Golden Lion Award at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival, Nomadland is a gripping tale of a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
Director: Amanda Kernell
Alice hasn’t seen her two children in months. After a recent and difficult divorce, her ex-husband keeps them from her as they await the final custody verdict in Northern Sweden. But when her son calls her in the middle of the night weeping helplessly, Alice can wait no longer. In a last and desperate attempt, Alice arrives in the North, only to have her hopes of reconciliation with her children dashed upon arrival. Now just one path remains open to her: Alice abducts the children and heads to a charter resort in the Canary Islands. With the clock ticking, Alice does what she can to rekindle her children’s love and trust under the pressure of discovery and the risk of losing them completely.
Here we are
Director: Nir Bergman
Aharon has devoted his life to raising his son Uri. They live together in a gentle routine, away from the real world. But Uri is autistic, and now as a young adult it might be time for him to live in a specialized home. While on their way to the institution, Aharon decides to run away with his son and hits the road, knowing that Uri is not ready for this separation. Or is it, in fact, his father who is not ready?
Cat in the Wall
Directors: Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova
South-East London, in the multicultural neighborhood of Peckham, in a municipal building. A Bulgarian family goes into serious conflict with their neighbors due to an abandoned cat.
Director: Guillaume Brac
On a hot summer night in Paris, Félix meets a young woman, Alma, and falls in love. The next morning, Alma hops on a train to join her family in southern France. Félix, determined to follow his soulmate, embarks on a carpool ride with his best friend Chérif and their reluctant driver Edouard. When the car breaks down upon arrival, things turn sour: Alma doesn’t seem too pleased by this unexpected visit.
Director: Susanna Nicchiarelli
Bright, intelligent, passionate and free, Eleanor is Karl Marx’s youngest daughter. Among the first women to link the themes of feminism and socialism, she takes part in the workers’ battles and fights for women’s rights and the abolition of child labor. In 1883 she meets Edward Aveling and her life is crushed by a passionate but tragic love story.
The films of RIFF will be shown at Bíó Paradís, The Nordic House and online through RIFF’s official website. Tickets will be available from September 17th.