New Visions

New Visions is RIFF’s main competition section, and winners are awarded the Golden Puffin.

In New Visions thirteen up and coming directors present their first or second feature film and compete for our main prize, the Golden Puffin. These films challenge cinematic conventions and pave the way for tomorrow’s cinema. This year we are particularly proud to present the Icelandic award winning film, Winter Brothers, by director Hlynur Pálmason. Winter Brothers will be our opening film this year.


God’s Own Country
Francis Lee / GBR 2017 / 104 min
Screenings: HB3, Sept. 29, 20:15 / HB1, Oct. 5, 19:30 / HB1, Oct. 7, 20:15
Young Johnny is running his father’s farm in Yorkshire, England. In order to escape the harsh daily grind, he has casual sex with men, or gets drunk at the local pub. In the spring, the Romanian Gheorghe starts working on the farm. The initial tension between the two men soon gives way to an intense relationship. A prize-winner at Berlin and Sundance.


The Rider
Chloé Zhao / USA 2017 / 102min
Screenings: HB2, Sept. 29, 17:30 / HB1, Oct. 6, 21:45
Young cowboy Brady finds himself at a crossroads after a tragic riding accident that has made him incapable of doing the things that give him a sense of purpose: riding and competing. In an attempt to regain control over his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and tries to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America. Prize-winner at Cannes.


Gabriel and the mountain
Fellipe Gamarano Barbosa / BRA, FRA 2017 / 130 min
Screenings: HB1, Sept. 28, 22:00 / HB3, Oct. 3, 19:00 / HB4, Oct. 8, 20:45
Before entering a prestigious American university, Gabriel decides to travel the world. After ten months on the road, he arrives in Kenya. But discovering Africa as a tourist is not enough for him. He leaves on his own for a journey across several countries until he reaches Mount Mulanje in Malawi, his final destination. Based on a true story. A prize-winner at Cannes.


Júlia Ist
Elena Martín / ESP 2017 / 96 min
Screenings: HB2, Oct. 1, 20:15 (Q&A) / HB2, Oct. 3, 17:30 (Q&A) / HB3, Oct. 7, 13:15
Architecture student Júlia decides to do an Erasmus semester in Berlin. She leaves her home in Barcelona for the first time, full of expectations. But life in Berlin is far from the adventure she initially imagined. Little by little Julia will build up her life there and get to know who she is in this new context. Awarded best film and best director in Malaga.


Where the Shadows Fall
Valentina Pedi / ITA 2017 / 95 min
Screenings: HB2, Sept. 29, 23:15 / HB1, Oct. 6, 17:15 (Q&A) / HB3, Oct. 8, 19:00 (Q&A)
Nurse Anna and her assistant Hans work in an old folks’ home that was once the orphanage where they were imprisoned as children, and they still seem trapped in time and space. Based on a true story, this film was in competition at Venice Days, a parallel section of the 74th Venice International Film Festival.


Winter Brothers
Hlynur Pálmason / DNK, ISL 2017 / 94 min
Screenings: HB1, Sept. 28, 18:00 / HB3, Sept. 28, 19:30
A brother odyssey set in a worker environment during a cold winter. We follow two brothers, their routines, habits, rituals and a violent feud that erupts between them and another family. A lack of love story focusing on the younger brother Emil and his need to be loved and desired. Won six awards at Locarno.


3/4 (Three quarters)
Ilian Metev / BGR, DEU 2017 / 82 min
Screenings: HB4, Sept. 29, 17:30 / HB3, Oct. 1, 21:15 / HB3, Oct. 7, 15:15 (Q&A)
Young pianist Mila prepares for an audition abroad. Her brother Niki distracts her with his unwanted talent for the absurd. Their astrophysicist father Todor seems incapable of dealing with his children’s anxieties. A portrait of a family during their last summer together. The film won a Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival.


Soldiers. A Story from Ferentari
Ivana Mladenović / ROU 2017 / 119 min
Screenings: HB2, Sept. 30, 21:30 / HB3, Oct. 5, 20:15 (Q&A) / HB1, Oct. 7, 15.00 (Q&A)
Adi, an anthropologist recently left by his girlfriend, moves to Ferentari (the poorest neighborhood in Bucharest), to write about manele music, the pop music of the Roma community. He meets Alberto, a Roma ex-convict, and soon the two men start a love affair. What seems for Adi at the beginning a simple matter of having fun slowly becomes a nightmare.


Sara Forestier / FRA 2017 / 100 min
Screenings: HB2, Sept. 29, 21:15 / HB2, Oct. 5, 20:45 / HB3, Oct. 7, 23:00
Lila and Mo meet at a bus stop. Lila is preparing for her exams. Mo illegally races cars for a living. Opposites attract, and they fall in love. But Mo carries a secret burden.


Ali Asgari / IRN 2017 / 88 min
Screenings: HB2, Sept. 30, 17:30 (Q&A) / HB3, Oct. 2, 17:30 (Q&A) / HB1, Oct. 7, 13:15
In the course of one cold night in Tehran, two young lovers go from hospital to hospital in search of help. Soon they will have to face the tragic consequences of their youthful naivety. Premiered at The Venice Film Festival in 2017.


Egle Vertelyte / LTU, BGR, POL / 91 min
Screenings: HB4, Oct. 1, 16:30 / HB1, Oct. 3, 21:00 (Q&A) / HB1, Oct. 5, 17:15 (Q&A)
Close to bankruptcy, Irena, the owner of a struggling pig farm in a tiny post-Communist town, finds a surprising benefactor in a handsome American man who appears to be the answer to all her prayers.


Dreams by the Sea 
Sakaris Friði Stórá / FRO, DNK 2017 / 80 min
Screenings: HB1, Oct. 1, 18:30 / HB1, Oct. 3, 19:00 (Q&A) / HB2, Oct. 6, 17:30 (Q&A)
On an isolated island, Ester goes about her mundane life, quietly obeying her religious parents. One day the rebellious Ragna moves to town, and together they enjoy the summer nights, dreaming about something different, something better.


Distant Constellation
Shevaun Mizrahi / USA, TUR, NLD 2017 / 80 min
Screenings: HB3, Sept. 28, 23:15 / HB1, Oct. 2, 17:15 (Q&A) / HB2, Oct. 4, 19:30
This haunted reverie drops us inside an Istanbul retirement home, where the battle-scarred residents bask in the camera’s attention. They are pranksters, historians, artists and would-be Casanovas. While the residents are in a limbo-like state, outside, ominous construction equipment transforms the land. Special mention at the Locarno Film Festival.