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COTTBUS 2019

Cottbus begins its 29th edition by Smuggling Hendrix

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- The 29th edition of the German film festival will open with Marios Piperides’ feature debut about a dog named after a certain guitar legend

Cottbus begins its 29th edition by Smuggling Hendrix
Smuggling Hendrix by Marios Piperides

This year’s edition of FilmFestival Cottbus, starting on 5 November and accompanied by the industry event Connecting Cottbus, will immediately provide some laughs thanks to a dog that complicates its owner’s plans to leave Cyprus when it escapes to the Turkish side of the island. “Smuggling Hendrix [+see also:
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interview: Marios Piperides
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]
, set in Cyprus, is a mirror image of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall: while we have been celebrating the fall of the Iron Curtain, the island in the Eastern Mediterranean has been divided by a heavily guarded border since 1974,” explained programme director Bernd Buder about Marios Piperides’ opening film. “Co-produced by Greece, Cyprus and Germany, it symbolises the expansion of the territory covered by FilmFestival Cottbus, which this year will also show feature-length works from Finland, Turkey and Greece.”

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Les Arcs November Internal

In the Feature Film Competition, the feature debut by Bosnian director Nermin Hamzagić, about the struggles of a young policeman trying to break the vicious circle of corruption, Full Moon, will celebrate its world premiere – as will Giga Liklikadze’s Pig, portraying a reality that has nothing to do with tourist-trap Georgian trails. These will be joined by ten other titles from Central and Eastern Europe, all competing for the main prize of €25,000, to be awarded by jurors Sergey Dvortsevoy, Luli Bitri, Péter Muszatics, Peter Badel and Marija Perović. They include Štepán Altrichter’s National Street and Teodor Kuhn’s debut, By a Sharp Knife, inspired by a real-life crime that remains unsolved to this day. Ognjen Sviličić will show The Voice [+see also:
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interview: Ognjen Sviličić
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]
, about a boy who is rejected by his peers because of his refusal to follow everyone else’s beliefs.

Svetla Tsotsorkova will focus on women in her visually inventive Sister [+see also:
film review
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interview: Svetla Tsotsorkova
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]
, while in Love Cuts [+see also:
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, Kosta Đorđević proves that, indeed, hell hath no fury like a woman annoyed, with a girl making her way through Belgrade after being driven to the edge by everyone she considers close. Lendita Zeqiraj’s Aga’s House [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Lendita Zeqiraj
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]
and Piotr Ryczko’s sci-fi-flavoured I Am Ren will also get an airing, as will the crowd-pleasing My Thoughts Are Silent [+see also:
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]
by Antonio Lukich, about an exceptionally tall sound engineer recording Ukrainian animals. Finally, The Adventures of Sukran the Lame by Onur Ünlü and Lyubov Borisova’s Yakutian tale of friendship The Sun Above Me Never Sets will round off the selection.

“Thirty years after the fall of the Wall, our programme combines current and historical perspectives from Eastern Europe,” Buder told Cineuropa. “With stylistic diversity, unexpected twists and turns as well as analytical sharpness, these films reflect everyday life, history and political culture. It’s a biting and entertaining range of cinema that challenges its audience and, at the same time, offers them a home,” he said, before underlining that in four competition sections and 11 sections overall, the programme combines acclaimed films and complete newcomers. “A striking number of young people are standing in front of and behind the camera, filmmakers and protagonists who were only socialised after the fall of the Iron Curtain. They approach the present without nostalgia, national pathos or false visions, but with a pragmatic sense of the future.”

This year’s edition, composed of 210 films from 45 co-producing countries, will also organise the Spotlight: Montenegro strand, supported by the Ministry for Justice and Europe and Consumer Protection of the State of Brandenburg. “It’s a film country that is connected to the extraordinary work of directors like Živko Nikolić and Momir Matović,” explained Buder. “In the last few years, it has finally made its way onto the international festival stage, continuing its path between experimental approaches and poignant human stories.” Admirers of Hungarian cinema will get a chance to catch up on recent titles thanks to Close Up: Hungary, while 12 movies have been chosen to represent the Polish region of Silesia in Regio: Lower Silesia. Poland will also get a shout-out in the Polskie Horyzonty (“Polish Horizons”) section, which will play host to Jan Komasa’s latest achievement, Corpus Christi [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Jan Komasa
film profile
]
– also chosen as this year’s closing film.

The FilmFestival Cottbus will wrap on 10 November. This year’s patrons are Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz and Dietmar Woidke, Minister President of Brandenburg.

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