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COTTBUS 2021

All aboard! FilmFestival Cottbus to open with Compartment No. 6

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- The 31st edition of the event will welcome 32 films across its three competitions, including the world premiere of Orchestra by Matevž Luzar

All aboard! FilmFestival Cottbus to open with Compartment No. 6
Orchestra by Matevž Luzar

Set to return to cinemas from 2-7 November, as well as online – and open with Juho Kuosmanen’s Compartment No. 6 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile
]
(Finland/Germany/Estonia/Russia), already shaping up to be one of the breakout titles of the year – FilmFestival Cottbus will have 12 titles competing in its Feature Film Competition for the Main Prize of €25,000 from the Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film-und Fernsehrechten (GWFF), the Special Prize for Best Director (€7,500, courtesy of Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg) and the Prize for an Outstanding Acting Performance (€5,000, courtesy of Sparkasse Spree-Neiße).

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As promised by the organisers, the competition presents all of the cultural diversity of Eastern Europe. “With its artistic range between ironically fractured observation of the present, investigative reappraisal of history and contemplative family study, it shows the genre diversity of current Eastern European cinema – personal and political, hopeful and melancholic,” it was stated.

Female-centred stories will also be in the spotlight, thanks to films by Sonja Tarokić (The Staffroom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sonja Tarokić
film profile
]
Croatia/France) and Zrinko Ogresta’s A Blue Flower [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Zrinko Ogresta
film profile
]
(Croatia), while in 107 Mothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Peter Kerekes
film profile
]
(Slovakia/Czech Republic/Ukraine), Peter Kerekes will follow a new mum into a women’s prison in Odessa. Some of the festival’s regulars, from Poland’s Jan P Matuszyński (Leave No Traces [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jan P Matuszyński
film profile
]
) to Ilgar Najaf (Sughra and her Sons - Azerbaijan/France/Germany), will also get some attention, joined by Alexander Hant’s In Limbo, a Russian road movie about two rebellious teenagers, Norika Sefa’s Looking for Venera [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Norika Sefa
film profile
]
(Kosovo/North Macedonia), the Tribeca winner Brighton 4th [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Levan Koguashvili
film profile
]
by Levan Koguashvili (Georgia/Russia/Bulgaria/Monaco/USA), Saving One Who Was Dead [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Václav Kadrnka
film profile
]
by Václav Kadrnka (Czech Republic/Slovakia) and Cecília Felméri’s Spiral [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Hungary/Romania). Matevž Luzar’s Orchestra [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
(Slovenia), showing a culture clash and generational conflict during a visit by a Slovenian brass band to Austria, will celebrate its world premiere during the event.

In the Short Film Competition, 11 films are competing for the main prize, with seven movies selected for the U18 Youth Film Competition and thus in the running for the title of Best Youth Film, endowed with €5,000 by the City of Cottbus. “The films describe very different aspects of the 'coming-of-age process': from fragile friendships, via bullying problems, to the struggle with the algorithms that increasingly penetrate our everyday life, thus giving an overview of the different and yet so similar lives and worlds of young people in different countries in Eastern Europe,” the festival team shared in the statement.

Dennis Stormer’s Youth Topia [+see also:
film review
interview: Dennis Stormer, Marisa Meier
film profile
]
(Switzerland/Germany), the Audience Award winner at Zurich, will show a world in which an algorithm calculates who you are and what you are allowed to do, while Dawid Nickel’s Love Tasting [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
(Poland) will explore a closeted gay existence in an “LGBT-free zone” in Poland. Two best friends will drift apart in Dina Duma’s Sisterhood [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dina Duma, Antonia Belazelk…
film profile
]
(North Macedonia/Kosovo/Montenegro), and in Mariya Tumova’s Leave the Group (Russia), an internet mob incites a teenager to commit murder. Çağil Bocut’s Geranium (Turkey/Germany), Christian Schäfer’s In Trube Wolken (Germany) and Jan Foukal’s Two Ships [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jan Foukal
film profile
]
(Czech Republic/Norway), about “a romance under pressure”, will round off the selection.

This year’s edition will also highlight Slovakian cinema, the Turkish film landscape and the transformation processes after the collapse of the Soviet Union with separate sections, entitled Spotlight Slovensko, Close Up Turkey and Much New in the East.

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