Luminous

    • set 21 items

    The premiere-only section’s 21-film lineup includes eleven world premieres. A wide range of styles and formalist approaches dot the Luminous selection, from observational to personal to experimental. Collectively, the selection expresses a highly intimate engagement with our fellow humans—those who resiliently strive to overcome adversity. Explore the titles below.

    Selected for Luminous

    Close to You

    • Cássio Kelm
    • 2021

      At the start of the corona pandemic, young transmasculine filmmaker Cássio Kelm ends up isolated in a small apartment with his father. Close to You subtly tells a layered story combining personal transition, unspoken tenderness, and Brazilian politics.

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      The End of Wonderland

      • Laurence Turcotte-Fraser
      • 2021

        Adult performer Tara Emory has been working for years on her “trans sci-fi porn epic” Up Uranus, featuring amazing design on a super-low budget—like everything in her life. A tender portrait of an intriguing transgender artist, auto mechanic, and hoarder.

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        Figure–Ground

        • Tal Elkayam
        • 2021

          A creative compilation of YouTube material brings together two parallel worlds—the beach of Tel Aviv and the hills of the West Bank—in a raw, associatively edited, unorthodox portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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          The Hostilities

          • Sebastián Molina
          • 2021

            Rural Mexico is in the grip of the drug cartels. In a once sleepy village, older residents look back nostalgically at more peaceful times, while young men are enticed by the money, drugs, and women.

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            Intensive Life Unit

            • Adéla Komrzý
            • 2021

              Ondřej and Kateřina's patients know they’re going to die, but their conversations are all about life. What is a good life? How do you want to approach the end of your life? Each patient has a different answer.

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              Jason

              • Maasja Ooms
              • 2021

                The final part of Maasja Ooms’ shocking trilogy about the failing Dutch youth welfare services. She follows 22-year-old Jason as he undergoes trauma therapy and pursues his mission to save others from suffering in the same way.

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                Lake Forest Park

                • Kersti Jan Werdal
                • 2021

                  An atmospheric portrait of a group of high school students in the American northwest who have been through a shocking experience. The camera observes from a distance and captures their inexpressible sadness in beautifully composed tableaux.

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                  The Last Chapter

                  • Gianluca Matarrese
                  • 2021

                    A tender and unabashed portrayal of the filmmaker’s older lover and BDSM master Bernard. In the run-up to the move to a new apartment, he looks back on his eventful life as he embarks on its last chapter.

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                    Lessons for Luca

                    • Salvador Gieling
                    • 2021

                      In Cuba—modern Cuba—a farmer gets a six-year sentence for selling his own cow. Like all the best family sagas, Lessons for Luca paints a picture that’s both about individuals and society as a whole.

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                      Mafifa

                      • Daniela Muñoz Barroso
                      • 2021

                        Filmmaker Daniela Muñoz Barroso, who is almost completely deaf, wants to discover the identity of the remarkable musician Mafifa. Her quest leads her on the trail of an enigmatic woman, and also makes her question her own head and heart.

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                        Makeup Artist

                        • Jafar Najafi
                        • 2021

                          Tradition and ambition clash when a young mother in rural Iran wants to train as a makeup artist in the city. She tries to break the deadlock with her loving but inflexible husband in this sometimes funny, sometimes painful film.

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                          Medusa

                          • Chloé Malcotti
                          • 2021

                            An unorthodox film about the ambivalent relationship between Italian coastal town Rosignano and the company that pollutes its beaches and sea, but has also brought prosperity and fame: the unnaturally white beaches and blue sea are a major attraction.

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                            The Moment of Transition

                            • Chiara Marotta
                            • 2021

                              Chiara Marotta returns to the Christian community she grew up in and to which her grandmother, mother, and sister still belong. She seeks explanations for their behavior, an understanding of her own situation, and, perhaps, reconciliation.

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                              Museum of the Revolution

                              • Srđan Keča
                              • 2021

                                A basement in Belgrade, the only remnant of a 1961 plan to build a grand Museum of the Revolution as a tribute to Socialist Yugoslavia, now houses the outcasts of Serbian society.

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                                Near and Dear

                                • María Alvarez
                                • 2021

                                  Cleverly structured portrait of elderly twin sisters in Buenos Aires who used to form a duo of professional pianists. Their artistic career brought fame and the world lay at their feet. In their small shared apartment, they look back on the glory years.

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                                  Now Is the Past – My Father, Java & the Phantom Films

                                  • Shin-ichi Ise
                                  • 2021

                                    Japanese filmmaker Shin-ichi Ise traces the route taken by his father, a film editor who made propaganda films in Indonesia during the Second World War, when Japan claimed to liberate Asian countries from colonialism. Eyewitnesses tell their stories.

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                                    On the Zenith’s Edge

                                    • Natyvel Pontalier
                                    • 2021

                                      “Who were we before we were discovered?” wonders filmmaker Natyvel Pontalier aloud. After centuries of colonization, the time has come to rediscover the culture of her Gabonese forebears.

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                                      Prince of Muck

                                      • Cindy Jansen
                                      • 2021

                                        A warm, observational portrait of Lawrence MacEwen, an amiable figure who for several decades ran the picturesque Scottish island of Muck. Now that he’s stepping aside for the next generation, his thoughts turn to the past. 

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                                        Tonight’s Homework

                                        • Ashkan Nejati, Mehran Nematollahi
                                        • 2021

                                          Repeating the questions that Abbas Kiarostami put to school children in Homework (1989), this film provides an indirect portrait of contemporary Iran, where poverty, illiteracy, and emotional neglect are more pressing issues than schoolwork.

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                                          Travesti Odyssey

                                          • Nicolas Videla
                                          • 2021

                                            The last ever performance of the highly entertaining activist transvestite show Cabaret Travesía Travesti, in October 2019, coincided with the Chilean uprising. Filmmaker Nicolás Videla was part of this vibrant troupe. Why did they stop performing?

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                                            Ultraviolette and the Blood-Spitters Gang

                                            • Robin Hunzinger
                                            • 2021

                                              The passionate letters that a girl called Marcelle wrote to her childhood sweetheart from a sanatorium during the interwar period evoke the image of a rebel, way ahead of her time, who goes her own way with a group of kindred spirits.

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