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The diversified collection of films selected for the symbolically named Upstream section, which has been a permanent fixture of Febiofest for several years, bend genres and filming conventions and provoke audience's expectations. A novel form combined with a poignant topic is presented by London Road, a documentary musical reconstructing the reactions of a British small town community to a series of murders. Menandros & Thaïs also radically plays with the possibilities of film narration. The Czech representative in this section was made by young filmmakers from the Prague Film Academy in cooperation with Die Gruppe, an art group from Vienna. The adaptation of a novel by Ondrej Cikan, who is also one of the two directors of the experimental “antique road-movie”, combines performances with a Surrealist approach with fantasy full of mythical beasts and fight scenes on Menandros' quest to rescue his fiancée who was kidnapped by pirates. Epitaph from Mexico also offers an adventurous yet pensive journey to worlds half-forgotten. The story takes place in the 16th century when a Spanish conquistador sets off on an expedition to Popocatépetl. A Corner of Heaven, a trek along the Yellow River through desolate Chinese landscape marred by industrial scars, presented through breathtaking black-and-white image composition, is the latest feature by Miaoyan Zhang, an acclaimed Chinese auteur director. The critical view of today's China through the eyes of a child on a journey to find his lost mother reminds us of Béla Tarr's later films with its tempo and visual style. Specific, ambient topography is also essential for the Scandinavian enigmatic story of The Disappearing Illusionist, which was inspired by a real unexplained mystery. Visually powerful and imaginative blurring of the edges of reality and magical inner world anchors Eini, a girl who reconstructs her grandmother's life in animated sequences contrasted with her isolation deep in the woods under the watchful eyes of her despotic father in a Swedish debut called Granny's Dancing on the Table. The last part of the section consists of Wonderland, a post-apocalyptic vision of Switzerland threatened by a mysterious cloud, a study of a military-drone pilot's psyche in David Lynch style offered by Full Contact, and James White, a drama about a son coming to terms with his mother's cancer, which was produced by the American independent company, Borderline.
A Corner of Heaven / Tiantang jiaoluo / Nebeský koutek (China, France) Director: Miaoyan Zhang (Upstream )
Epitaph / Epitafio / Epitaf (Mexico) Director: Yulene Olaizola, Rubén Imaz (Upstream )
Full Contact / Full Contact / Full Contact (Netherlands, Croatia) Director: David Verbeek (Upstream )
James White / James White / James White (USA) Director: Josh Mond (Upstream )
London Road / London Road / London Road (United Kingdom) Director: Rufus Norris (Upstream )
Menandros & Thaïs / Menandros & Thaïs / Menandros & Thaïs (Czech Republic, Austria) Director: Antonín Šilar, Ondřej Cikán (Upstream )
Wonderland / Heimatland / Domovina (Switzerland, Germany) Director: Lisa Blatter, Gregor Frei, Jan Gassmann, Benny Jaberg, Carmen Jaquier, Michael Krummenacher, Jonas Meier, Tobias Nölle, Lionel Rupp, Mike Scheiwiller (Upstream )
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