Enjoy “Fantastic” Films in Forward Future Section for “Future” Feast
The 12th BJIFF Forward Future Section was officially launched on August 13, 2022.
With its inception at the 4th BJIFF in 2014, the Forward Future section aims to encourage the film industry to pursue innovation, energize the creativity of film art, discover and introduce new filmmakers, keep closer pace with the trend of the industry, showcase the rich and diversified cultural connotations of film art, and promote cooperation and exchanges among young filmmakers from all over the world. Young filmmakers from all over the world are invited to submit outstanding films with different subjects, genres, and styles. 
Laser-focused on the debut or second feature films of young filmmakers across the globle, Forward Future gives encouragement to innovation and diversity in cinema, and culminates in fitting innovation into the BJIFF and even the film industry worldwide. It can be linked to Un Certain Regard at the Festival de Cannes, Venice Horizons, and Berlinale Generation—all of which are sections that “solely focus on the film itself”. Here, not only can you watch the best, most cutting-edge, and personalized films, but also you can know what young filmmakers from all over the world are thinking, exploring and trying to express. Passionate and expressive, they as a new generation are breathing new life into the world cinema and shining in all their splendor.
This year’s 15 films shortlist in the Forward Future section are from 13 countries and regions, which set themselves apart from nearly 600 entries. Among them, 14 films will be screened at the event, including works by emerging directors from France, Italy, Turkey, Argentina, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Peru, Slovenia, Colombia, Japan, and the United States, as well as the highly anticipated new Chinese-language films Journey to the West and Love Found Love Lost. Each of the Nominees is full of surprises. Now let’s catch a sneak preview of what each young director thinks about the making.
  Somewhere Over the Chemtrails
  Director:Adam koloman Rybansk? 
  Synopsis:Standa and Bronya are volunteer firefighters in a small village where they enjoy a quiet and peaceful life. Clumsy Standa is looking forward to the early birth of his son, while his old friend Bronya loses his confidence to live since the death of his wife. Things begin to change when a van crashes into a crowd of people during the Easter Fair. Before anyone notices, the driver runs away from the car crash. People believe it is a terrorist attack and the festive mood is replaced by an atmosphere of fear, hatred, and misinformation. Bronya, who is convinced of terrorism, is trying to do something to improve the situation. The sense of danger pumps new blood into his veins, and the fire brigade becomes a militia.
  Festivals / Awards:
  Berlin International Film Festival, Panorama -- World Premiere
  Neisse Film Festival, Germany (shortlist) 
  Kino na hranici, Czech Republic (shortlist) 
  Riviera FF, Italy (shortlist) 
  FebioFest, Czech Republic (shortlist) 
  Olhar de Cinema - Curitiba IFF, Brazil (shortlist)
  Sprouts Film Festival, Netherlands (shortlist) 
  Tofifest, Poland (shortlist) 
  Taipei Film Festival, Taiwan, China (shortlist) 
  Festival of Tolerance, Croatia (shortlist) 
  Neisse Film Festival, Germany—Best Production Design Award / Best Screenplay Award
  Review:"It’s a film themed with racism. Director Adam koloman Rybansk? reviews the racism and exclusion mechanisms in the community of a small village through a subtle sense of rhythm in his debut feature film. At the same time, he reviews the weaknesses of human nature from a loving and humorous perspective with profound humanistic concern."
  Director: Matev? Luzar 
  Synopsis: The members of a brass band from Slovenia travel by bus to perform in a small Austrian town. They sing, cheer, and drink all the way there. Being part of a brass band is a joyful hobby for most orchestra members. However, not everything goes as planned. A first-time bus driver confesses his responsibility for an accident to his untrustworthy senior colleague; a brass band player cannot hide his shameful drinking to his kind Austrian host; a teenage band member on her first trip with dad on tour witnesses her father’s adultery; and back in Slovenia, a wife wishes she could brave such adultery. Five distinct stories tell us that hiding one’s actions and intentions are the best way to make them shameful! 
  Review:"It’s a fictional film based on the story of a real-life orchestra instead of a documentary.” "Luzar intends to capture the atmosphere of the orchestra on the tour: free, casual, and explore all aspects of the band on the tour—how do they rebuild their lives? How will the host Austria treat them? What’s the experience of the wives of the band members? The cultural clashes between two countries and the generational clashes within the orchestra are the focus of the film. The black-and-white film is not played in the dull black and white only; instead, it has displayed all the colors of real life with bittersweet taste.”
  The Absent Director
  Director:Arvand Dashtaray
  Synopsis: A young Iranian theater company is rehearsing Macbeth at the director's home in Tehran while the director works with them remotely from Paris via Skype. Their rehearsal is disturbed when the director’s body appears at the gate of his house. The complex layers of their reality are slowly unraveled as the film seamlessly fuses the past with the present, the fiction with the non-fiction, even crossing the bridge to reality with the actors performing as themselves.
  Festivals / Awards: 
  2021 Busan International Film Festival, New Currents Award, Best Film (Nominee) 
  2022 Sofia International Film Festival, Jury Award, International Competition Section (Nominee)
  Review: "The complex layers of their reality are slowly unraveled as the film seamlessly fuses the past with the present, the fiction with the non-fiction, even crossing the bridge to reality with the actors performing as themselves. Each character has its own plot hints with profound implications in the subtleties. In addition, as the theatre professionals in Iran, members of the performance troupe are not always accepted by the whole society. From a point of view in reality, how youth troupe position itself is a thought-provoking question."
  The Shape of Things to Come
  Director: Victor Checa 
  Synopsis:Teo, an intrepid child, lives with his father Luis in Lima, an electrician devoted to the creation of a strange machine. Lured by a feeling of independence, Teo joins a gang of young criminals, bringing turmoil to the relationship with his father.
  Festivals and Awards:
  2022, Malaga Int’l Film Festival, Best Spanish Film (Nominee) 
  2021, Tallin Black Nights “Rebels with a Cause” Section (Nominee) 
  D’A Film Festival Barcelona (Nominee) 
  Los Angeles Latino Int’l Film Festival (Nominee)
  Review:"Rookie director Checa defines it as a 'Peruvian dystopia'. As a film between neo-noir and sci-fi, it tells the father-son relationship by building a mysterious machine. They try to cause a flood in a city without rain for long. The father is obsessed with machine; and the 11-year-old son eventually joins in a young gang of thieves led by his twin brother. The fact will cause him to discover the hidden nature of machine. In the background of eternality and simplicity, the film presents Lima as a desolate and gray ghost town ruled by an invisible but autarchic government.” 
  Oliver and the Pool
  Director:Arcadi Palerm-Artis 
  Synopsis:Oliver’s parents announce their divorce and his father dies of aneurysm that night. The 13-year-old boy blames his mother and himself. All seems to have lost significance without any purpose. The reality is that a man can suddenly pass away. Oliver decides to stay in the reclining chair forever to show his protest and he has also brought the continuation of life to the pool. His friends and family bring him food and try to persuade him to leave; the uncle, his father's twin, Remus, also comes to visit him, and he is the only adult who does not try to persuade him to leave; his classmate Marianna also comes, and she used to be very reluctant to help Oliver with his homework at first. Nihilism, sense of loss and guilt make his psychotherapist mother, Lily, fully obsessed. Lily’s new boyfriend makes her feel to be blamed, but her sense of guilt is displayed in the form of cockroach apocalypse. In the intense pursuit of stillness, Oliver learns to forgive himself. He can understand his late father and starts to communicate with his mother. In the end, Oliver also falls in love, leaving the chairs and the pool behind. 
  Festivals and Awards: 
  2022, Guanajuato International Film Festival, Best Mexican Feature Film (Nominee) 
  2021, Uruguay International Film Festival (Best Feature Film) 
  2022, Beverly Hills Film Festival (Best Foreign Film / Best Director) 
  2022, WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival (Best Director / Best Film & Video Production / New Media) 
  Review: "The film tells a series of psychological struggles between Oliver and his mother after his father's death. According to the director, the idea for the story originates from the death of the director's father: I have never experienced the life without a father at 13 like Oliver (Alejandro AREAN). I experienced it in my adulthood. According to my own experience, a boy's adolescence is a very stressful period, and the death of his father makes him violate the natural rules and become mature immediately. This film explores life and death, family and youth. In the face of turmoil in life, some truths can never be ignored.” 
  Director:?a?il Bocut
  Synopsis:Just before her final exams, 19 years old Defne, has to return to her hometown after her father’s stroke. His rehabilitation sessions will give the pair a chance to heal their fragile relationship. Slowly drawn into a family drama in this beautiful Mediterranean town, she witnesses her aunt’s suicide by unprescribed pills she has provided. After the suicide, a jurisdiction process starts about the pills. Buried under her guilty conscience, she slowly finds herself losing her innocence and questioning her own notion of justice.

  Festivals and Awards:
  2022, International Film Festival of Valencia Cinema Jove / Best Film (Nominee) 
  2022, Cinequest Film Festival / Best Film (Nominee) 
  2021, Malatya International Film Festival / Best Film (Nominee) 
  2021, Singapore International Film Festival / Best Director, Asian Feature Film (Nominee) 
  2021, Ankara International Film Festival (Best First Film) 
  2021, Cottbus Film Festival (Best Debut Film)
  2022, International Frankfurt Turkish Film Festival (Best Actor—Ali Se?kiner Alici / Best Cinematography) 
  2021, Istanbul Film Festival (Best Actress / Best Director / Best Debut Film) 
  Review:"Although the pace in the film is unconventional, ?a?il Bocut’s first feature film, Geranium, manages to turn the risks into surprises to attract audiences from start to end. Based on the thread between a father and a daughter, the film unfolds the family tragedy we can imagine at different levels, and it successfully fuses the drama with the crime genre. This film can appeal to festival audiences as well as mainstream audiences. The film boldly focuses on a young heroine which opens a new door for Turkish films. Geranium will certainly bring us more than just a debut film.” 
  Girls Don’t Cry
  Director: Andre Zuliani
  Synopsis:Elle, a 19-year-old girl originally from northern Italy who had settled down with her mother in Basilicata, runs away with her father’s old camper van just before her high school graduation exam to save it from getting scrapped. But, in the camper van she finds Mia, a 21-year-old Romanian girl who had taken shelter in it the night before. The two girls’ runaway turns into a journey towards the border. The geographical border of the country, the border between friendship and love, between adolescence and adulthood. 
  Review:“Mia and Elle share an important trip that forces them both to deal with their souls and grow into a deep bond with each other. To some extent during the trip, Elle almost believes she has fallen in love with Mia. After Elle finds the truth, their relationship falls into crisis. However, as what they have promised, Elle and Mia always stay with each other until the end of the trip. The goal will be bigger and more important than the set one, a place in the soul. They will never achieve the goal without another person.”
  Director:Matthieu Rozé 
  Synopsis:It’s scorching hot summer and the weather is unbearable. A group of friends are spending their annual vacation in their favorite village between the mountain and the sea. As usual, they just eat and drink, living a boring life. They fail to notice the approaching wildfire, nor the situation around. This year, a mysterious man arrives from the other side of the sea on a golden yacht, which disrupts their supposed relationship...
  Review:"In the era of turbulence, the non-mainstream wandering seems to be more intense. Like the intense color composition, it has been amplified by director Matthieu Rozé. Red, yellow and blue colors radiate amazingly on the skin of the characters in the same way they do on the sky, from bright sunshine to velvety waves, from acidic aperitifs to flamboyant horizon. The humor is worth tasting, which has been subtly refined throughout the script.” 
  Machine for the Aura
  Director: Ana Laura Monserrat, Nahuel Srnec
  Synopsis:Valeria, a young woman scientist, seeks to demonstrate the existence of a type of energy typical of living beings, struggling with the rigid system of beliefs in a scientific world ruled by men. Older scientists underestimate her search and her discoveries, seeking to ruin her. A photographer comes to Valeria’s aid; together they will work on proving the existence of the unknown energy. The directorial debut of Ana Laura Monserrat, who obtained a PhD in biology at the University of Buenos Aires and is familiar with women’s struggles in the academic world from her own experience. 
  Festivals and Awards:
  2021, Warsaw Film Festival, Best Film (Nominee) 
  Review: “It was a pleasure to see this original story and the links between universal questions and local culture. I appreciate the kindness of the characters, the colors of the movie and the dialogues.”
  The Rust
  Director:Juan Sebastián Mesa 
  Synopsis: Jorge is a young farmer living on the top of the mountain. When all his friends have moved away to the city, he choose to stay to take care of his grandfather and the coffee plantation he inherited from his father. During the period, he has a sexual relationship with his cousin, Rosa. He anxiously awaits the village festivities with the hope of reuniting with his ex-girlfriend, Andrea, who he has not been able to forget despite the distance and time. Just as his expectations for reunion turn crazy, a disease sweeps the coffee plantation silently. In the midst of the celebrations, Jorge understands that everything that brought them together has disappeared and that remaining in his land is an act of love and resistance. 
  Festivals and Awards:
  2021, Zurich Film Festival (shortlist) 
  2021, San Sebastián International Film Festival, New Directors Section (Nominee) 
  2021, Festival Biarritz Amérique Latine (Nominee) 
  2021, Filmar en América Latina, Audience Prize Competition (Nominee) 
  2021, Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Human Values Prize)
  Review: “... Mesa's talent is reflected in a specific and very special place with a great work: an unusual protagonist, a universal and bright story, telling the story of millions of young people around the world. The struggle between tradition and modernity, the unrealized progress and the shackles in the new world, the film tries to find a force which can reconcile the two opposite aspects.” 
  "The Rust is a kind of unsolved mystery: a spirituality of the field, the posture and the disappearance of memory, just like the silent plague piercing the soul, a bird without wings, the leaves without tree and the memory without origin. At a time, Jorge betrays the heaven, and he will escape from the judgment."
  "With delicate visual and narrative metaphor, Juan Sebastián Mesa has launched a fierce struggle between the attraction of city or countryside to the protagonist (in general, this problem will sometimes cause great doubts in his generation). Maintain the origin or start and create a new reference from scratch -- it is a balanced game, a tension that can disturb the inner balance of the protagonist. Like the pests in the field, the chance of solution is very slim. The ending of this film is as beautiful as its exquisite rhythm of the photography and editing."
  “The film starts with a long take in the air to show the vast green in the valley, and finally ends at Jorge -- Mesa adopts a clear and controllable language; he observes with patience and always looks for a dynamic direction for the camera. The film, produced by Columbia Monociclo Cine and French Dublin Film Company, is an interesting portrait about a man and his residence, which can prove the growth of Columbia's film industry."
  Director:Takuya Kato 
  Synopsis: Yumi is a college student of design. One day she discovers she’s pregnant. Her boyfriend is Naoya. They fall in love during the design of drama leaflet. Naoya sometimes refuses to take contraceptive measures, but Yumi is not sure if he is the child's father, so she feels very annoyed. However, as Naoya gradually tries to accept reality, they decide to break up due to disagreement. The film directed by the rookie director Takuya Kato describes the dazzling daily life, focuses on the transformation of a girl growing into a woman, and tells the sweet and sorrowful love and the self-contradiction, so that the romance film which moves reality to the screen can touch the hearts of the audience all at once.
  Review: "The suspicion, anger and madness are nothing special because such a conflict is always rotating in this world. A world where two people are sitting side by side in a café is just the birth place of a new life." —Iwai Shunji. 
  "Sadness, frustration and calmness are mixed together. Adults do not look like what they should be. I think that people have not changed too much as they grow up, that’s really ridiculous and disappointing." 

  Journey to the West
  Director: Kong Dashan 
  Synopsis:It’s a fantasy film with great imagination about the aliens of the earthmen! Tang Zhijun (Yang Haoyu) is an editor-in-chief of a sci-fi magazine, Universe Exploration, which was established in 1980s. As the business of magazines has gradually declined, and Tang Zhijun feels very sad and depressed. However, he is still obsessed to look for alien’s civilizations as usual. One day, he unexpectedly receives an abnormal signal suspected of being sent from the depths of the universe, so he calls on his former partners to embark on the journey of looking for aliens once again with the doubt confusing him all the time.  
  Festivals and Awards:
  2021, Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival (Fei Mu Awards, Best Film)
  Youth Jury Awards (Best Film) 
  Cinephilia Critics’ Awards (Best Film) 
  People’s Choice Awards (Hidden Dragons, Best Popular Film) 
  2022, the 13th Youth Film Handbook Annual Ceremony (Annual Screenwriter)
  Review:"Journey to the West adopts the form of pseudo-documentary to tell the story of Tang Zhijun, a middle-aged editor-in-chief of a sci-fi magazine, who once again embarks on a journey to look for aliens with a doubt confusing him all the time. The film is directed by Kong Dashan and his pseudo-documentary short film Legal System in the Future produced in 2015 once became very popular on the Internet. Many netizens are greatly “shocked” at the ironic and excessively real images in the film. The director Kong Dashan under arrest, who is always obsessed with ‘self -expression’, also fully demonstrates his talent through this short film. Six years later, he produced the long film debut Journey to the West in the familiar pseudo-documentary form. After years of accumulation, Kong Dashan has more in-depth thinking about such a special type of film, so he feels it much easier to control the border between the real and fictional world. In the world of sci-fi, his sense of humor has been enhanced because in a seemingly farce story, the secrets of life and even the universe have been revealed in the absurdity." 
  Love Found Love Lost
  Director:Li Songming 
  Synopsis:Xing Gui who “falls ill at thirty” has to face endless troubles in his job and love, and he has even lost his health now. When he gets recovered, his perception is also returning. Looking back to the past, he unexpectedly finds that the real life in his grandmother's eyes is very different from what he has experienced for years. The gap in memory forces him to review the past. He gradually learns how to accept and he is looking for love but also losing love...
  Festivals and Awards: 
  Capri Hollywood International Film Festival (finalist) 
  2021, FIRST International Film Festival, Best Feature Film (Nominee) 
  The 8th Chongqing Youth Film Festival (Best Screenwriter) 
  Review: "With limited funds, personnel and resources, these young directors pour their personal experience and sincere emotions into the films after years of script modification, cinephotography and post-production. The final effects presented include highly experimental black and white images, ‘dog-perspective’ narratives, calm and restrained long takes, poetic images and realist perspectives with humanistic care. They are so emerging, amazing, rough, different…” 
  Actual People
  Director: Kit Zauhar 
  Synopsis: Riley, a girl in her final week of college, goes to great lengths to win the affections of a boy from her hometown of Philadelphia, and ends up having to confront her escalating anxieties about her love life, family, and future. 
  Festivals and Awards:
  2021, Locarno Film Festival, Concorso Cineasti del presente (Nominee) 
  2022, Sundance Film Festival, Best Feature Film, Jury Award (Nominee) 
  Review: "As her first work, Actual People can be regarded as a declaration so that we can continue to focus on Kit Zauhar’s emerging criticism in an independent film field. Its edge seems very rough, but at least it has a keen core."
  Third Time Lucky
  Director:Tadashi Nohara 
  Synopsis:Haru’s partner, a psychiatrist named Soichiro, leaves her. She happens to help a young man with amnesia named Naruto. Her brother Takashi is a rapper and his wife Mikako supports his career while raising their children. Mikako turns to Soichiro for treatment of her psychological disease. In a live performance of Takashi, Soichiro falls into a dispute with Takashi. Naruto leaves Haru while Mikako leaves Takashi… 
  Festivals and Awards: 
  2021, Tokyo International Film Festival, Best Film Section (Nominee) 
  Review:"I’d like to describe it as the light of hope and the shadow of spring. Those who throw a sorrowful flower in the dark waves calm down the roughness, and the drama is presented out of the restraint. It’s not only the co-writer of Third Time Lucky, the true charm of director Tadashi Nohara has also been fully reflected."
Ning Ying, a Chinese director, is invited to be served as the president, and Chui Mui Tan, a Malaysian director and Martti Helde, an Estonian director as members of the jury of the Forward Future section of the 12th BJIFF. 
The three world-renowned filmmakers will decide on seven honors from the 15 shortlisted films, namely the Most Popular Feature Picture, Most Popular Director, Most Popular Screenplay, Most Popular Actress, Most Popular Actor, Most Popular Artistic Contribution, and Special Mention Film by the Jury. The selection results will be announced at the 12th BJIFF Forward Future Honorary Award Ceremony & A.R.T. Night of Young Filmmakers on August 18, 2022. Let’s share the feast of youth at Forward Future section of the 12th BJIFF!