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BRIFF 2024

The 7th Brussels International Film Festival boasts a significant number of female directors in its line-up

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- The latest edition of the event is unspooling between 25 June and 3 July, with forty or so feature films on the agenda

The 7th Brussels International Film Festival boasts a significant number of female directors in its line-up
Dog on Trial by Laetitia Dosch

In these early days of summer, the Brussels International Film Festival (BRIFF) is inviting Belgian film lovers to discover unmissable brand-new and classic films, shining a light on international arthouse cinema. The festival is notably organising three competitions, which achieve near gender parity overall, a feat rare enough to be mentioned here. In fact, this 7th edition of the event, unspooling between 25 June and 3 July, is set to open with the screening of Swiss filmmaker and actress Laetitia Dosch’s first feature film, Dog on Trial [+see also:
film review
interview: Laetitia Dosch
film profile
]
, which was presented in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section.

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First up, the International Competition will take us from Argentina to Denmark by way of Corsica, and conceals several high-calibre filmmakers within its ranks, such as Yorgos Lanthimos who’ll be sharing Kinds of Kindness [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the Larrieu brothers with their latest movie Jim’s Story [+see also:
film review
interview: Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu
film profile
]
- both of which were discovered in Cannes - and Michel Franco with Memory, which was presented in Venice last year. We’ll also see confirmed talent along the lines of Claire Burger, with her third feature film Foreign Tongue [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Claire Burger
film profile
]
, and Gustav Möller with Sons [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- two titles unveiled in competition in Berlin. Two directorial duos are also in on the action: Zar Amir Ebrahimi and Guy Nattiv who’ll be putting forth Tatami [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, and Maria Alché and Benjamin Naishtat presenting Puan [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Benjamín Naishtat and María…
film profile
]
. The final film competing in this section is In His Own Image [+see also:
film review
interview: Thierry de Peretti
film profile
]
by Thierry de Peretti, which screened in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight.

As for Director’s Week, a selection dedicated to European cinema which looks to shine a light on emerging talent, seven films are in the offing. Firstly, there’s the Danish documentary The Mountains [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Christian Einshøj, which revisits the director’s family’s trauma following the death of his brother 25 years earlier. Another family documentary comes in the form of Keeping Mum [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Emilie Brisavoine
film profile
]
by Emilie Brisavoine, exploring wounds which time has failed to heal. Fiction films likewise jostle on the agenda, namely The Permanent Picture [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laura Ferrés
film profile
]
by Spanish director Laura Ferrés, and family forms the focus once again in Je’vida [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Finland’s Katia Gauriloff, homing in on the coming together of an aunt and niece. There’s also the Hispanic-Italian co-production Animal/Humano [+see also:
trailer
interview: Alessandro Pugno
film profile
]
by Alessandro Pugno, and a third documentary entitled Riverboom by Swiss director Claude Baechtold, which looks back on the filmmaker’s experience as a young journalist who landed in Afghanistan the day after 11 September. A different tone is struck by the last film on the agenda of this particular line-up, Plastic Guns [+see also:
film review
interview: Jean-Christophe Meurisse
film profile
]
by iconic French filmmaker Jean-Christophe Meurisse, which recently closed the Directors’ Fortnight.

The festival is also hosting a National Competition gathering together 8 feature films. We have to remark upon the presence of three female-led documentaries in the first person in this line-up, all exploring the questions which three young women and children of exile ask themselves, in the form of D’Abdul à Leïla [+see also:
film review
interview: Leila Albayaty
film profile
]
by Leïla Albayaty, (Y)Our Mother [+see also:
film review
interview: Samira El Mouzghibati
film profile
]
by Samira El Mouzghibati and Yalla, Baba! [+see also:
film review
interview: Angie Obeid
film profile
]
 by Angie Obeid. A family of vampires is at the heart of Céline Rouzet’s fiction film, For Night Will Come [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Céline Rouzet
film profile
]
, meanwhile, whereas a group of siblings seek out the roots of evil in Michèle Jacob’s Lost Children [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michèle Jacob
film profile
]
, the documentary Stolen Life sees Daniel Lambo following the journey of adopted children torn from their parents in their birth country, and Who Cares? [+see also:
film review
interview: Alexe Poukine
film profile
]
sees Alexe Poukine examining public hospitals and asking how nurses can themselves be kind when they’re crushed by a hostile institution. Last but not least, in Katika Bluu [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, Stéphane Vuillet and Stéphane Xhroüet follow in the footsteps of Baraka, a former child-soldier who has just been extracted from an armed group and who tries to return to his childhood, his family and his place in Goma society in the Congo.

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(Translated from French)

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