In its third edition, Future Frames presents ten outstanding young directors and their latest work at the 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival from 2 to 5 July 2017. Future Frames is a platform that highlights new European Cinema and the promising directing talent behind it. The selection of these ten exceptional film students and recent graduates from Film Schools throughout Europe brings the next generation of European filmmakers to the attention of the industry and press during three days of events and meetings. The group is being mentored by the Canadian director Denis Coté who is teaching a masterclass titled “A Question of Independence”. Based on recommendations by the members of the European Film Promotion, and in cooperation with the institution, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (30 June – 8 July 2017) has chosen the following ten directors and their films for presentation in Future Frames 2017:
- Georgi Mukhadze (Georgia): He graduated in Film Direction from the Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film Georgia State University – TAFU. So far, he has worked as a director, assistant director and screenwriter for several production companies. The short film “Shabat”, which he wrote and directed for the Georgian Public Television was produced in 2016. He is currently working on his debut feature. “Waiting for Anna” is his graduation film and the one with which he was selected for Future Frames 2017.
“Waiting for Anna” tells the story of Ana and Niko, two estranged siblings, whose mother’s death becomes the grim pretext for them to reunite. Ana and Niko are having trouble reconnecting, and words just seem to get in the way. Then, something seemingly insignificant from the past helps them break down the barrier dividing them, and they remember how it was when each other’s presence brought them joy.
- Elsa María Jakobsdóttir (Iceland): She graduated from the National Film School of Denmark in 2017, becoming the first Icelandic woman to be accepted into the Film Directing program. She has a background in sociology and journalism. Her first short doc, “And Rolling”, premiered at the Reykjavik International Film Festival in 2008. Her first short, “Megaphone” (2013), was hailed Best Icelandic Short at the Northern Wave International Film Festival and was included in the program of Best Nordic Films at the Nordisk Panorama Film Festival. “Atelier” is her graduation film, and the short that got her selected for the 2017 Future Frames.
“Atelier” follows a young woman who comes to a remote island to get away from it all, taking refuge at a modern studio utopia. All she needs is restorative peace and quiet, but her stay is jarringly interrupted by an intruder: an artist whose acoustic installation disturbs everything that the starkly empty house has to offer. The tension between the two women rises and the motionless calm gives way to growing frustration and anger. Emerging from the wilds of nature, the house becomes the third character of the story – a labyrinth in which contrasting personalities meet and differing lifestyles and expectations clash.
- Michal Blaško (Slovakia): He studies Film and Television Directing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (VŠMU). His short film “Fear” (2015), a co-production with Prague’s FAMU, premiered at the San Sebastián International Film Festival and went on to win a number of international awards. He is currently preparing his M.A. Degree film, “Victims”, and is co-directing the short animation “Wild Beasts”. He is also developing a feature film with producer Jakub Viktorín. His Bachelor project “Atlantis, 2003” was selected for the Cinéfondation section at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and got him selected for the 2017 Future Frames.
“Atlantis, 2003” is the story of a young Ukrainian couple who plan their getaway to Germany. It’s 2003, four years before Slovakia integrates into the Schengen Area. The Slovak-Ukrainian border is controlled by smugglers and human traffickers – Martin and Denisija have no idea what traps await them. They only have each other but they are willing to sacrifice much to fulfill their dream.
- Joren Molter (The Netherlands): He started directing short films at an early age. At sixteen, he shot “Full of Life”, selected for the Debut Competition at the Nederlands Film Festival in Utrecht. A year later, he co-directed the film mosaic “Foreigners”. At eighteen, he began studying at the Netherlands Film Academy – AHK. He has been working as a commercial director and has been developing a film for Television. The Dutch Film Fund is backing his next short film, “Kind”, which he will shoot this fall. He is also developing a screenplay for his first feature together with his screenwriter and the production company Family Affair Films. He graduated in 2016 with “Greetings from Kropsdam”, the short with which he was selected to participate in the 2017 Future Frames.
“Greetings from Kropsdam” follows Lammert who lives in a village by the name of Kropsdam. Lammert raises pigeons and his best friend is Frieda. He doesn’t have much else, and as long as he avoids the misfortune of getting mixed up with a company that builds wind turbines, everybody likes him just fine. And then, no one does. Kropsdam doesn’t forgive and the inhabitants know how to make that abundantly clear.
- Katarina Morano (Slovenia): She is currently finishing her studies in Motion Picture Direction at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana. In 2013, her short film “Where to” was awarded by the jury of the Kinoproba International Film School Festival & Workshop, a year later took home a special award for Best Screenplay at the Herceg Novi Film Festival in Montenegro and was nominated for the Student Oscar. “Ljubljana – München 15:27” is her graduation film and the one with which she was selected to participate in the 2017 Future Frames.
“Ljubljana – München 15:27” is the story of Mala and Jure who live in Ljubljana and see their present existence as temporary. They’ll forget about work and their apartment when the longed-for moment arrives: the day they leave Slovenia and set out for Germany to find “something better.” But Mala is expecting a baby and it looks like it’s time to start realizing that the temporary may be permanent.
- Kirsikka Saari (Finland): She is the co-founder of Tuffi Films. Before becoming involved in Film, she graduated from the University of Helsinki and worked as a journalist. She wrote the script for the short film “Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?” (2012) which earned an Oscar nod. She penned the short “Girls’ Night” in 2008 and co-wrote the award-winning short film “Gorilla” (2009) as well as the feature “Korso” (2014). She also wrote the screenplay for Selma Vilhunen’s next feature, “Stupid Young Heart”. Her directorial debut came with the short “Boyfriend” in 2013. She was selected for Future Frames 2017 with the short “After the Reunion”.
“After the Reunion” follows fifty-year-old Saila who wakes up after a class reunion in the most comfortable position. A long-forgotten former classmate is in bed with her, and despite the fact that he’s enjoying their morning together, she’d rather suppress the entire situation. While toned with humor and tenderness, the encounter after so many years also reveals disappointment and a hangover of moral dimensions.
- Matei Lucaci-Grunberg (Romania): He is Film and Theater director, screenwriter and playwright. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Film Direction from the National University of Theatre and Film “I.L. Caragiale” in Bucharest. He completed his Master’s at the same University and is currently pursuing a PhD. His theater and film productions have earned him both national and international awards. He was selected to participate in this year’s Future Frames with his short film “Bones for Otto”.
“Bones for Otto” is the story of two prostitutes who meet on a deserted road. One is used to the nightly routine but is having trouble coming to terms with the competition – a naïve beginner who is just discovering what the oldest profession is all about. Time spent together gradually reveals that neither has anything to reproach the other for. They both need money, whether to feed their family or to fulfill a lifelong dream. With its comic tone, “Bones for Otto” doesn’t take aim at women on the streets, but presents them instead as strong individuals whose lives have taken an unexpected turn.
- Liene Line (Latvia): She is a director and film critic. She graduated from the Latvian Academy of Culture with the short film “Fake Me Happy New Year” (2013), which won prizes at several international film festivals and was awarded a Lielais Kristaps, the Latvian National Film Award. Her short film work includes “86 Fuckyous” (2011), “The Elevator” (2014) and “earth is the Loneliest Planet” (2015). She was selected for Future Frames 2017 with the short “Seven Awkward Sex Scenes. Part One”.
“Seven Awkward Sex Scenes. Part One” follows a young filmmaker who struggles to defend a film about her own life. Liene Linde plays a director who struggles for the right to shoot a film, screen it before an audience, and not back down even one inch when it comes to what she wants to express. Employing humor and understanding, she comments on the lives of contemporary young women, but also on the challenges of making a film.
- Maria Eriksson (Sweden): She completed he Master’s in Film Direction at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. In the past decade, she has shot several short films that have been selected at numerous film festival around the world. While still at school, she took up the challenge of working with child actors, thus gaining the knowledge she later used in her graduation short, “Schoolyard Blues” (2016) and her thesis titled “Directing Children”. She plans to move into features after another short film based on the same topics as “Schoolyard Blues”. The latter got her selected to participated in this year’s Future Frames.
“Schoolyard Blues” is the story of John, for whom the first day of school isn’t the same as for the other kids whose parents accompany them and arrange everything. The young boy’s only support is his 11-year-old brother Mika. He turns up unexpectedly with somewhat clinical “instructions for school” to help John overcome the challenges he’ll face in the coming years. Carefree childhood is ending and adult responsibilities are rushing in too fast. “Schoolyard Blues” ushers us into an environment where kids become little adults, and their world is much crueler and more complicated than we could ever imagine.
- Damián Vondrašek (Czech Republic): He studies Film Directing at Prague’s FAMU. He has already been making films before entering Film School. His short film “In the Rain” (2014), screened at the 10th edition of the Prague Short Film Festival. “Together” (2015) took home the Best Director Award at Famu Fest in 2015 and “Imprisoned” (2016) was nominated for the Magnesia Award for Best Student Film (presented during the Czech Lion Awards) and earned him a spot in the 2017 Future Frames.
“Imprisoned” follows Jakub who lost his job as a teacher. Unemployment only increases his nagging doubts of inadequacy, which are certainly not allayed by his father-in-law. The latter imagined someone better for his daughter, and he never lets an opportunity slip by to make this perfectly clear. A job offer as a prison educator may at least partially resolve existential and familial tensions, but Jakub must answer a fundamental question: Will he control others and be controlled by them? The claustrophobic feelings from the prison visit in no way differ from the hopelessness dominating his own life, and the decision isn’t easy…
The Sundance Channel and Nespresso are partners of Future Frames 2017.
The following EFP organization members support Future Frames: Czech Film Center, EYE International (The Netherlands), Finnish Film Foundation, Georgian National Film Center, Icelandic Film Centre, National Film Centre of Latvia, Romanian Film Promotion, Slovak Film Institute, Slovenian Film Centre, Swedish Film Institute.