International Competition 5

As always, this year’s international competition offers a diverse range of films – twenty-seven entrants from around the world, divided into five blocks. Besides live-action and animated works, new this year is the inclusion of documentary films. As at past editions, audiences can expect a strong Czech contender.

The visually sophisticated Mexican drama Sweatshop Girl engages in a suspenseful game of mystery in which an unusually important role is played by a cola can. If you think that green screens and visual effects are only for Marvel movies, you’ll be disabused of your errors by one of last year’s most original films, Neighbour Abdi. In the subtly playful Shooting Watermelons, the holiday atmosphere of Italy’s Sardinia forms the backdrop for teenage insecurities. Another film set by the seaside is the slightly Kafkaesque Lebanese bitter comedy If the Sun Drowned into an Ocean of Clouds. The animated madcap comedy Sandwich Cat takes a somewhat unexpected approach to answering a question to which everybody wants to know the answer: if an alien civilization has a bad experience with humanity and decides to wipe us out, might they at least leave one of us alive?

The international jury will present one award for Best Film, which comes with a financial prize of 3,000 euros; it will also name two Special Mentions.