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New Europe Competition
Every year, we strive to choose first or second films of European directors with a distinctive style, radical approach, strong story or relevant issue for the New Europe Competition. Outsiders and social outcasts – films revolving around this topic appear in the competition almost every year. This year, there are also several films whose protagonists appeared on the fringe, at an age when it's almost impossible to start anew. Homeless Hector, who's trying to reconcile with his family, Herbert, a former boxer struggling with loneliness and a serious illness, and a former actress whose career and personal life have been ruined by alcohol. The films boast amazing performances by the actors in lead roles, Peter Mullan as Hector, Peter Kurth as Herbert, and Eva the alcoholic played by Emilia Vasaryova, who will receive the Kristian for Contribution to World Cinema at this year's Febiofest. An excellent acting performance also adorns the Italian The Wait wherein Juliette Binoche portrays a mother who has to deal with a family tragedy. While the protagonist of the Swedish The Yard is slightly younger, he must accept a much worse job in order to secure his son economically. The protagonist of the first story in the Austrian Thank You for Bombing! is also old and worn-out: it's because he lives under constant threats and stress as a war correspondent. The topic of Problemski Hotel is also highly relevant as its protagonists wait in a Belgian hotel for asylum approval or the verdict of deportation from Europe. There are other young outsiders as well, and it is their age which puts them in opposition to society. This was probably the case of Olga Hepnarova, the last woman sentenced to death and executed for mass murder in socialist Czechoslovakia, as depicted in one of the most radical Czech films of the last decade. On the other hand, Mara, a single young lady in Romania, is pushed to the outskirts of society for mysteriously getting pregnant in a Romanian-Swiss co-production, The Miracle of Tekir. The main character of Sparrows, an Icelandic-Danish drama, is dealing with teenage crises, including a conflict with his father and the first touches of love. Life is difficult also for the duo of young people from Pikadero, a Spanish-British minimalist comedy which depicts the woes of lacking a place for intimate moments. In a French comedy with the spirit of American independent cinema called Stubborn, dogged love for one woman completely changes the life of a young man who becomes a lonely outsider in New York.
Eva Nová / Eva Nová / Eva Nová (Slovakia, Czech Republic) Director: Marko Škop (New Europe Competition )
A Heavy Heart / Herbert / Herbert (Germany) Director: Thomas Stuber (New Europe Competition )
Hector / Hector / Hector (United Kingdom) Director: Jake Gavin (New Europe Competition )
I, Olga Hepnarova / Já, Olga Hepnarová / Já, Olga Hepnarová (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, France) Director: Petr Kazda, Tomáš Weinreb (New Europe Competition )
Pikadero / Pikadero / Pikadero (Spain, United Kingdom) Director: Ben Sharrock (New Europe Competition )
Sparrows / Þrestir / Vrabčáci (Iceland, Denmark) Director: Rúnar Rúnarsson (New Europe Competition )
The Wait / L’ attesa / Čekání (Italy) Director: Piero Messina (New Europe Competition )
The Yard / Yarden / Přístaviště (Sweden, Germany) Director: Måns Månsson (New Europe Competition )
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