Frontlight

    • set 19 items

    The premiere-only section includes nineteen films—of which twelve are world premiering—that take an artistic approach to exploring the urgent issues of our time. This year, many films in the selection tend towards the experiential, transcending journalistic or explanatory labels. Explore the selection below.

    Selected for Frontlight

    The Case

    • Nina Guseva
    • 2021

      Lawyer Maria Eismont works to get the wrongly convicted activist Konstantiv Kotov released. All her media appearances come to nothing, and each appeal is rejected—until Putin suddenly appears on the scene.

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      The Facility

      • Seth Freed Wessler
      • 2021

        Urgent documentary investigation made up of webcam interviews with immigrants in a private detention centre in the U.S. Precisely how long they’ll stay locked up waiting to be processed or deported is unclear. When Covid strikes they rise up.

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        The Great Abandonment

        • Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya
        • 2021

          When Indian prime minister Narendra Modi announces the world’s biggest Covid lockdown, millions of domestic migrant workers are caught up an unprecedented exodus from cities. Can Modi's call to suffering ignite the spark of revolution?

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          The Home Front – A Journey in Italy with Domenico Quirico

          • Paola Piacenza
          • 2021

            Humans may have made great technological strides, but has humanity itself progressed? Journalist Domenico Quirico travels to various Italian cities to shine a light on modern poverty.

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            Homeroom

            • Peter Nicks
            • 2020

              The 2019-2020 academic year was one of great upheavals for final year students at Oakland High School. It was the year of the pandemic, George Floyd’s murder, and their battle to abolish the school police force.

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              Ironland

              • Lucas Bambozzi
              • 2021

                After an environmental disaster in Minas Gerais, a Brazilian geographer returns to show how mining has both shaped and harmed her native region and its inhabitants, in a road movie that is both activist and poetic.

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                Judges Under Pressure

                • Kacper Lisowski
                • 2021

                  In Poland, judicial independence is under serious pressure from the right-wing government: judges are being vilified, fired, or arrested. Judge Igor Tuleya becomes the face of the protest movement and fears for his job and his life.

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                  Lead Me Home

                  • Pedro Kos, Jon Shenk
                  • 2021

                    Compassionate account of life among the homeless in three major U.S. cities. Personal stories from several homeless people throw light on the underlying social issues.

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                    Letter to San Zaw Htway

                    • Petr Lom
                    • 2021

                      Deftly edited footage and letter excerpts tell the tragic story of artist and political activist San Zan Htway, and Myanmar in the grip of military juntas.

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                      A Marble Travelogue

                      • Sean Wang
                      • 2021

                        With a light touch and wry humor, A Marble Travelogue portrays the Greek and Chinese marble production chain. The film makes complex connections and highlights the European aspirations of the Chinese middle class in a visually seductive style.

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                        Name of the Game

                        • Håvard Bustnes
                        • 2021

                          The Norwegian Labor Party politician Trond Giske was for many years expected to become prime minister, until allegations of sexual abuse and assault brought about his downfall. Now he goes all out for a comeback.

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                          Nosema

                          • Etna Ozbek
                          • 2021

                            They had already fled their Turkish mountain village several times, but the Assyrian couple Hürmüz and Şimuni Diril kept coming back to resume their lives. Filmmaker Etna Özbek followed them three months before they vanished without a trace.

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                            Rebellion

                            • Maia Kenworthy, Elena Sanchez Bellot
                            • 2021

                              We follow Extinction Rebellion from its launch in 2018, as the movement calls for radical action on the climate emergency. Clashing with the authorities forms part of the strategy, but the members’ diverse backgrounds also cause internal collisions.

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                              Resources

                              • Hubert Caron-Guay, Serge-Olivier Rondeau
                              • 2021

                                An observational film about the meat industry in Quebec, where asylum seekers, mainly from Latin America, process a vast herd of livestock into meat. What is life like at various points along this chain?

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                                Sikelela Tapes

                                • Luke Johnstone, Tsogo Kupa, Djibril Cullis, Matthijs Vuijk, Alex Sono
                                • 2020

                                  A lively assemblage of fiction, animation, and YouTube videos about imperialism and the diffuse South African identity, in which five film students in Johannesburg examine their personal relationship with the national anthem.

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                                  The Treasures of Crimea

                                  • Oeke Hoogendijk
                                  • 2021

                                    Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum inadvertently finds itself involved in an international wrangle over a loaned collection of art. This multifaceted reconstruction sheds light on the affair from every angle: political, legal, and emotional.

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                                    Voice

                                    • Nadya Zaytseva
                                    • 2021

                                      A young woman on the run from the repressions in Belarus ends up in Saint Petersburg. Her story, told in an uninterrupted flow, offers a compelling picture of the aggression, absurdity, and threat of a dictatorship.

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                                      The Voice of the People

                                      • Andreas Wilcke
                                      • 2021

                                        Four MPs from the right-wing populist party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) are followed for three years. A close look on their communication strategies gives insight into the realism of their claim that they’re just an ultra-conservative party.

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                                        When We Were Them

                                        • Danis Tanović, Damir Šagolj
                                        • 2021

                                          A powerful indictment of the inhumane treatment of refugees in Bosnia. How can it be that people who in the recent past were themselves subjected to deadly hatred should now treat refugees as criminals?

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