Sundance ’17 | World Cinema Dramatic

The 12 films in this section are world premieres unless otherwise specified.

Axolotl Overkill
(Germany / Director and screenwriter: Helene Hegemann)
 — Mifti, age 16, lives in Berlin with a cast of characters including her half-siblings; their rich, self-involved father; and her junkie friend Ophelia. As she mourns her recently deceased mother, she begins to develop an obsession with Alice, an enigmatic, and much older, white-collar criminal.
Cast: Jasna Fritzi Bauer, Arly Jover, Mavie Hörbiger, Laura Tonke, Hans Löw, Bernhard Schütz.

Berlin Syndrome
(Australia / Director: Cate Shortland, Screenwriter: Shaun Grant)
 — A passionate holiday romance takes an unexpected and sinister turn when an Australian photographer wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave.
Cast: Teresa Palmer, Max Riemelt.

Carpinteros (Woodpeckers)
(Dominican Republic / Director and screenwriter: José María Cabral)
 — Julián finds love and a reason for living in the last place imaginable: the Dominican Republic’s Najayo Prison. His romance with fellow prisoner Yanelly must develop through sign language and without tipping off the dozens of guards.
Cast: Jean Jean, Judith Rodriguez Perez, Ramón Emilio Candelario.

Don’t Swallow My Heart, Alligator Girl!
(Brazil-Netherlands-France-Paraguay / Director and screenwriter: Felipe Bragança)
 — In this fable about love and memories, Joca is a 13-year-old Brazilian boy in love with an indigenous Paraguayan girl. To win her love, he must face the violent region’s war-torn past and the secrets of his elder brother, Fernando, a motorcycle cowboy.
Cast: Cauã Reymond, Eduardo Macedo, Adeli Gonzales, Zahy Guajajara, Claudia Assunção, Ney Matogrosso.

Family Life
(Chile / Directors: Alicia Scherson, Cristián Jiménez, Screenwriter: Alejandro Zambra)
 — While house-sitting for a distant cousin, a lonely man fabricates the existence of a vindictive ex-wife withholding his daughter, in order to gain the sympathy of the single mother he has just met.
Cast: Jorge Becker, Gabriela Arancibia, Blanca Lewin, Cristián Carvajal.

Free and Easy
(Hong Kong / Director: Jun Geng, Screenwriters: Jun Geng, Yuhua Feng, Bing Liu)
 — When a traveling soap salesman arrives in a desolate Chinese town, a crime occurs, and sets the strange residents against each other with tragicomic results.
Cast: Gang Xu, Zhiyong Zhang, Baohe Xue, Benshan Gu, Xun Zhang.

DRAMAS | DOCUMENTARIES | WORLD DOCUMENTARIES
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| DOCUMENTARY PREMIERES | SPOTLIGHT
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VIRTUAL / AUGMENTED REALITY | MIDNIGHT MIDNIGHT SHORTS | ANIMATED SHORTS
FILMS AND PERFORMANCES | GALLERY

God’s Own Country
(U.K. / Director and screenwriter: Francis Lee)
 — Springtime in Yorkshire: Isolated young sheep farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker, employed for the lambing season, ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.
Cast: Josh O’Connor, Alec Secareanu, Ian Hart, Gemma Jones.

My Happy Family
(Georgia / Directors: Nana & Simon, Screenwriter: Nana Ekvtimishvili)
 — Tbilisi, Georgia, 2016: In a patriarchal society, an ordinary Georgian family lives with three generations under one roof. All are shocked when 52-year-old Manana decides to move out from her parents’ home and live alone. Without her family and her husband, a journey into the unknown begins.
Cast: Ia Shugliashvili, Merab Ninidze, Berta Khapava, Tsisia Qumsishvili, Giorgi Tabidze, Dimitri Oragvelidze.

The Nile Hilton Incident
(Sweden / Director and screenwriter: Tarik Saleh)
 — In Cairo, weeks before the 2011 revolution, Police Detective Noredin is working in the infamous Kasr el-Nil Police Station when he is handed the case of a murdered singer. He soon realizes that the investigation concerns the power elite, close to the president’s inner circle.
Cast: Fares Fares, Mari Malek, Mohamed Yousry, Yasser Ali Maher, Ahmed Selim, Hania Amar.

Pop Aye
(Singapore-Thailand / Director and screenwriter: Kirsten Tan)
 — On a chance encounter, a disenchanted architect bumps into his long-lost elephant on the streets of Bangkok. Excited, he takes the elephant on a journey across Thailand in search of the farm where they grew up together.
Cast: Thaneth Warakulnukroh, Penpak Sirikul, Bong.

Sueño en otro idioma (I Dream in Another Language)
(Mexico / Director: Ernesto Contreras, Screenwriter: Carlos Contreras)
 — The last two speakers of a millennia-old language haven’t spoken in 50 years, when a young linguist tries to bring them together. Yet hidden in the past, in the heart of the jungle, lies a secret concerning the fate of the Zikril language.
Cast: Fernando Álvarez Rebeil, Eligio Meléndez, Manuel Poncelis, Fátima Molina, Juan Pablo de Santiago, Hoze Meléndez.

The Wound
(South Africa / Director: John Trengove, Screenwriters: Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana, Malusi Bengu) — Xolani, a lonely factory worker, travels to the rural mountains with the men of his community to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best-kept secret, a forbidden love, Xolani’s entire existence begins to unravel.
Cast: Nakhane Touré, Bongile Mantsai, Niza Jay Ncoyini.

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