Change of date: The film screen­ing will take place on Sunday, 21. May at 11:30 AM (not at 10:30 AM)


Witch­craft is a social real­i­ty in Sub-Sahara Africa. In Braz­zav­ille, the courts are full of cases involv­ing voodoo rit­u­als, sor­cer­ers, ghosts and other invis­i­ble evil forces. The film doc­u­ments the work of a tra­di­tion­al court, which sees itself pri­mar­i­ly as a court of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. To con­vict the guilty, the judges may con­sult ” the invis­i­ble” - clair­voy­ants who reveal the iden­ti­ty of the sor­cer­er. After that, the judges decide which ritual to per­form to resolve the con­flict. This phase of the spirit ver­dict is called ordalie by the judges. In the times of the Euro­pean Inqui­si­tion, an ordalie was used to hand over the judge­ment of a person to the divine.

Hadrien La Vapeur, After assist­ing the direc­tor Philippe Garrel for ten years, he turns to the real­iza­tion of exper­i­men­tal films and pho­to­graph­ic work. In 2009, as he pur­sued a quest for uncul­ti­vat­ed build­ings in Rio de Janeiro, he landed by mis­take in a pos­ses­sion ritual. This encounter with the spir­its upsets his vision of the world and urges La Vapeur to inves­ti­gate the rela­tion­ships that humans can main­tain with the invis­i­ble entities.

Corto Vaclav,  stud­ied anthro­pol­o­gy at Uni­ver­sité Paris Nan­terre. He dis­cov­ered the work of Jean Rouch and worked for the Ethno­graph­ic Film Com­mit­tee. There he met Hadrien La Vapeur, who was seek­ing a sound­man to go to the Congo. Very quick­ly, their jour­ney was trans­formed into an ini­tia­to­ry and pro­tean explo­ration. Since then the two are col­lab­o­rat­ing on their films.  Films: L’ÉTRANGE HISTOIRE DE PRINCE DETHMER (2018, 23 min), KONGO (2019).

Direc­tors: Hadrien La Vapeur, Corto Vaclav
Cin­e­matog­ra­phy: H. La Vapeur, C. Vaclav, Y. Schreck
Pro­duc­tion: Broth­er Films, Expédi­tion Invisible


Three rooms in a narrow labyrinthine apart­ment next to Mar­seille St Charles train sta­tion that belong to a Chi­nese family: Yuan, her broth­er Bin and their father. The two sib­lings work irreg­u­lar hours in Mar­seille. In the lim­it­ed rest­ing times between their stren­u­ous work, the two sib­lings con­tem­plate about stay­ing in Mar­seille and their long­ing to return to China. In the enclosed spaces of their small apart­ment, Yuan and Bin imag­ine anoth­er life through the dig­i­tal. Is “not so bad” all you can ask for as a migrant living a for­eign coun­try? 


The vil­lage of Shol­o­gon is locat­ed in the taiga in north­east­ern Siberia. An extreme heat wave ignit­ed fierce forest fires in the remote region two years ago. At first, res­i­dents remained calm, but the con­fla­gra­tion was get­ting closer and closer. No help could be expect­ed from the state, because the vil­lage lies on the edge of a con­trol zone - too few people settle there for it to be worth the effort to save their homes. The pop­u­la­tion has no choice but to orga­nize itself and hold back the fire as much as pos­si­ble until it rains again. Dif­fer­ent squads, always in con­tact with each other, mon­i­tor the fires, all men and also women fight with the sim­plest means against the “dragon” of the flames.   

The cam­era­man Paul Guil­haume right­ly received an award for his work. The burn­ing land­scape becomes a vivid paint­ing of the threat of cli­mate change. Through the dense smoke, a spec­ta­cle of colors from yellow to red, one fol­lows human sil­hou­ettes and fears and won­ders how they can bear the heat and smoke at all. An intense­ly obser­va­tion­al doc­u­men­tary trans­fers the entire drama to the viewer. 

Alexan­der Abatur­ov is born in Novosi­birsk in 1984. After study­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion sci­ence he worked as jour­nal­ist for the Fed­er­al press agency. In 2010 he obtained an MA in cre­ative doc­u­men­tary film­mak­ing from the Doc­u­men­tary School of Lussas in France. Films: SLEEPING SOULS (2013, 53 min); THE SON (2018, 71 min). 

Direc­tor: Alexan­der Abaturov
Cin­e­matog­ra­phy: Paul Guilhaume
Edit­ing: Luc For­veille, Alexan­der Abaturov
Sound: Myriam René, Sorin Apos­tol, Frédéric Buy
Pro­duc­tion: Petit à Petit Production
Dis­tri­b­u­tion: The Party Film Sales


Toly­at­ti is the Russ­ian Detroit. Toly­at­ti used to be con­sid­ered the center of the Soviet auto­mo­tive indus­try, with full employ­ment for all and modest pros­per­i­ty. But today, the almost-metrop­o­lis lags behind the former glory of AwtoWAS, the Volga Auto­mo­bile Plant, and is the city with the high­est youth unem­ploy­ment in Russia. Slava, Misha and Lera keep their heads above water with bad jobs. Misha has done an intern­ship in West­ern Europe and would also have the prospect of a good job in Russia - but not in Toly­at­ti. Lera is also think­ing of leav­ing her home­town. Final­ly, Slava audi­tions a lot, but hardly finds work. More­over, he is to be draft­ed into the army. But he is too short of money to pay the bribe for exemp­tion from mil­i­tary ser­vice. So the young people look for anoth­er daring pas­time. With tuned old Ladas - what else? - in winter, they drive across the frozen Volga River, which is par­tic­u­lar­ly wide in Toly­at­ti. Youth­ful daring defies ice and police checks, and an escapist verve beats real­i­ty for a moment. (Kira Tasz­man) 

Laura Sis­teró, born in Barcelona in 1986. In 2012 she obtained a bachelor’s degree in film at the ESCAC school in Barcelona, spe­cial­iz­ing in doc­u­men­tary direc­tion. She cur­rent­ly com­bines her work as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er, adver­tis­ing and tele­vi­sion direc­tor, with more per­son­al fic­tion and doc­u­men­tary film projects. TOLYATTI ADRIFT is her first fea­ture-length doc­u­men­tary and gained a.o. an award at Krakow Film Fes­ti­val as Best Film on Social Issues. 


Nestor, Aaron and Ben­jamin are Rafiki’s clos­est friends. They are all study­ing eco­nom­ics at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bangui. But Rafiki wants to make films and starts doc­u­ment­ing their lives with his camera. After lec­tures, they hang out in front of the uni­ver­si­ty or in their stu­dent accom­mo­da­tion and exchange ideas: about the future of their Cen­tral African Repub­lic home­land, but also about things that imme­di­ate­ly pre­oc­cu­py them in their lives, such as dating and work. They ask them­selves how things are sup­posed to con­tin­ue. As young people with access to edu­ca­tion, they see them­selves as the ones who will shape the coun­try in the coming decades. But how can you manage to reshape a system when so much of your energy goes into your own needs and sur­vival? In his fea­ture-length debut, direc­tor Rafiki Far­i­ala takes us into the circle of his friends, pro­vid­ing an imme­di­ate, poetic and at the same time undis­guised look at the real­i­ty of mil­len­ni­als in Bangui. (Berli­nale) 

Rafiki Far­i­ala, born in 1997 in Uvira, Congo, grew up in the Cen­tral African Repub­lic. In 2013 he pub­lished the piece WHY WAR, which made him known as a musi­cian. In 2017, he par­tic­i­pat­ed in the doc­u­men­tary work­shop of Ate­liers Varan in Bangui and real­ized his first short film Mbi na mo (You and Me) in this framework.

*12.05. on-site, 20.05. via Zoom


Tripoli, North Lebanon. At 64, Maha has just taken her retire­ment from teach­ing. This new life puts her in the face of her lone­li­ness as a divorced woman, whose chil­dren have left their home to live abroad for years now. The sole com­pa­ny of her faith­ful neigh­bors is no longer enough for Maha to fight the ter­ri­ble feel­ing of empti­ness and bore­dom in which she now finds her­self. But had not she always dreamed of being an astro­naut? And what if she lets her­self drift to this promise of escape? 

Hadi Mous­sal­ly was born in Lebanon in 1987. He stud­ied film direc­tion and “Doc­u­men­tary and Anthro­po­log­i­cal Cinema” in Paris. Since 2012 he has real­ized sev­er­al films and photo projects of dif­fer­ent genres. In 2015 he found­ed the pro­duc­tion unit H7O7 whose main objec­tive is the making and pro­mo­tion of films and photos with “hybrid” voca­tion - the mix­ture of genres between exper­i­men­tal, doc­u­men­tary, fash­ion and fic­tion. www.hadimoussally.com 

Direc­tor, Script: Hadi Moussally
Music: Loopstache


Even though China does not cel­e­brate Christ­mas, there are over 600 Christ­mas-dec­o­ra­tion fac­to­ries in Yiwu, China. They are often run as a family busi­ness and man­u­fac­ture year round, employ­ing people from across the coun­try. This obser­va­tion­al doc­u­men­tary focus­es on sev­er­al of them, locat­ed in and around Yiwu. There are no high-tech machines, just people work­ing really hard putting glit­ter on baubles, pom poms on Christ­mas hats and assem­bling Father Christmases.
The camera trails the work­ers at the fac­to­ry and else­where – their con­ver­sa­tions, love issues, a game of pool, shop­ping and eating, and the calls home, far away from Yiwu’s pros­per­i­ty. People joke about child labour in China, com­plain about the heat, but basi­cal­ly every­one seems to accept this arti­fi­cial, sur­re­al soci­ety where your col­leagues are your new family and the fac­to­ry is home. A por­trait with­out voice-over of a place cre­at­ed where com­mu­nism and glob­al­ism inter­sect and trans­form one anoth­er. (IFFRot­ter­dam)

Best Doc­u­men­tary, Sara­je­vo Film Fes­ti­val 2020

Mladen Kovače­vić, born 1979. Ser­bian film­mak­er and founder of Horopter Film Pro­duc­tion. He stud­ied fic­tion film­mak­ing in London and Cape Town, but ded­i­cat­ed him­self to doc­u­men­taries in past years. His films UNPLUGGED (2013, about a musi­cal tra­di­tion of blow­ing on tree leaves) and WALL OF DEATH, AND ALL THAT (2016, about a nomadic fair­ground artist) were multi-award­ed in fes­ti­vals as Hot­Docs, CPH:DOX, FID­Mar­seille, DOK Leipzig. The essay­is­tic por­trait of a moun­taineer 4 YEARS IN 10 MINUTES (2018) received the Spe­cial Men­tion at Visions du Réel, Grand Prix at Bel­docs and was fea­tured at IDFA Best of Fests. Eurodoc alumni, his fourth film MERRY CHRISTMAS, YIWU was made in copro­duc­tion with ARTE and Doha Film Institute.

Direc­tor: Mladen Kovačević
Cin­e­matog­ra­phy: Marko Milovanović
Edit­ing: Jelena Maksimović
Com­pos­er: Olof Dreijer
Sound­de­sign: Patrik Strömdahl
Pro­duc­tion: Horopter Film Production
Dis­tri­b­u­tion: Deck­ert Dis­tri­b­u­tion, Hanne Bier­mann info@deckert-distribution.com


A tiny café on the Trans-Saha­ran High­way, a counter, a table, win­dows, the open door. As if for a short per­for­mance, a wide vari­ety of trav­el­ers appear on this sparse stage, strangers and reg­u­lars, for a coffee on the side and some­times ambigu­ous con­ver­sa­tion. Only her cat keeps Malika, the oper­a­tor, con­stant com­pa­ny. Out­side, there is sand and heavy traf­fic thun­ders by; next door, a huge gas sta­tion is being built.
Actu­al­ly, the direc­tor wanted to make a road movie, but his film turned out to be the opposite.
With Malika, the world comes to a stand­still. She is the unshake­able rest­ing place where the guests from far away get strand­ed, rest for a moment, com­ment on every­day life, get into con­tem­pla­tion. Although cre­at­ed as a doc­u­men­tary, the chance encoun­ters seem staged. With the eye of the camera, we follow, spell­bound, a sus­pend­ed time between close­ness and strangeness.

Best emerg­ing direc­tor, Locarno Int. Film Fes­ti­val 2019 

Spe­cial jury mention, Mon­tréal Int. Doc­u­men­tary Fes­ti­val RIDM 2019 

Price of the city of Torino, Torino Film Fes­ti­val 2019 

Hassen Fer­hani, born 1986 in Algiers. Fer­hani became active in the cinema while still a teenag­er by work­ing with the ciné-club of the Alger­ian arts orga­ni­za­tion Asso­ci­a­tion Chrysalide. He worked as script trainee, assis­tant direc­tor and in 2008 he par­tic­i­pat­ed in work­shops at the FEMIS in Paris. His first short films LES BAIES D’ALGER (2006), AFRIC HOTEL (2011), TARZAN, DON QUICHOTTE ET NOUS (2013) were exhib­it­ed inter­na­tion­al­ly. His debut fea­ture film DANS MA TÊTE UN ROND-POINT (2015) has won acclaim at sev­er­al fes­ti­vals (Freiburg­er Film­fo­rum 2017).

Direc­tor, Cin­e­matog­ra­phy: Hassen Ferhani
Edit­ing: Nadia Ben Rachid, Hassen Fer­hani, Nina Khada, Stéphanie Sicard
Sound: Mohamed Ilyas Guetal
Sound­de­sign: Antoine Morin
With Malika, Chawki Amari, Samir Elhakim
Pro­duc­tion: Allers Retours Films
Dis­tri­b­u­tion: Pas­cale Ramon­da pascale@pascaleramonda.com


It starts with sand, the basics of glass and con­crete, and unfolds into a med­i­ta­tion on urban infra­struc­ture, build­ings and sur­faces. Sur­re­al and sen­so­ry images are con­fronting us with a city´s com­po­nents. Although TENACE does not dis­play any life, it still talks about urban societies.

A calm cam­er­a­work and unique rhythm invite us to reflect upon our embed­ded­ness in the mate­ri­al­i­ty of cities and its impact on human experience.

When the city is ever final­ly built, cleared and cleansed of all forms of dis­tur­bance, what will be left?

Direc­tor, cin­e­matog­ra­phy, script, sound: Jean Bap­tiste Barra, Tim­o­th­ée Engasser
Edit­ing, sound: Théo Peruchon
Con­tact: t.engasser@hotmail.fr

Be’ Jam Be - the Never Ending Song

The Mutan tree, well we say tree, but orig­i­nal­ly it’s a liana that uses the tree to climb. And its grasp ends up killing the tree.” In Sarawak, one of the two Malaysian states on Borneo, the Penan who not that long ago were nomads, are among the first to be affect­ed by defor­esta­tion. The film, car­ried by the song of those who refuse to give in, cap­tures the dif­fer­ent ways of resis­tance of each one in this deadly fight. A doc­u­men­tary thriller, BE’JAM BE et cela n’aura pas de fin. is a tes­ta­ment to modern forest guer­ril­las fight­ing bull­doz­ers with blowpipes.