Austria, 2006
90 minutes
written and directed by Arash

Exile Family Movie

An Iranian family living in political exile in Europe and America decides to organise a secret meeting with the rest of the family still living in Iran. They haven't seen each other for nearly two decades, but other than that they are a normal big family: sweet grandfather, smart grandmother, beautiful aunts, loud cousins. Despite all the dangers, the long awaited, tearful reunion takes place after 20 years of separation in Saudi Arabia, in a small hotel room. The family members living in exile pretend to be Muslim pilgrims in order to be allowed to enter the holy cities of Medina and Mecca. This is entirely personal story about the director himself and his family: “I had to make this film, despite the dangers involved with shooting, and regardless of the dangers the finished product would represent for me. The film is a product of the inner compulsion, born of a need to continue struggling for humanism, as my parents have done their entire lives, with the means available to me in order to honor them and others like them in the process.”


SELECTOR'S WORD: „Funny, touching and intelligent. Funny because of the diversity of individual personalities, believers or non-believers. Touching because they meet after a long time and maybe for the last time. Intelligent because Arash manages to put a personal story into a universal perspective. No wonder this courageous documentary is a hit in the cinemas!“


Arash T. Riahi

Born 1972 in Iran. Since 1982 he lives in Vienna, Austria. Studied Film and the Arts. Has been working for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, ORF, since 1995. Works as writer and director for the ORF youth and art departments. Founded the film and media production company "Golden Girls Filmproduction" in 1998. Has written, directed and edited several award-winning short and experimental films, music videos and commercials. Directed two cinema documentaries, and works now on the preproduction of his first feature fiction film.

Selected filmography

LET THE WORLD END (Eclipsa-n-am ce face), 1999


Slovakia, 2006
78 minutes
written and directed by Marko Škop

Other Worlds

Saris in the East of Slovakia is a very specific border region between Eastern and Western Europe. Borderline between rational individualism of the West and expressive emotionality of the East. The territory in the foothills of Eastern Carpathians has always been strongly traditional, but also a crazy mix, a „little Babylon“. Europe has started its transformation again and life is changing rapidly. This film is trying, by tracking down the traces of globalizing process, to reveal how it effects individual lives and stories of the people. Getting closer to six depicted characters, different by their origin and environment, we discover numerous unexpected, dramatic and often comic changes in small communities of Sarisans, Ruthenians, Jews, Romanies. Traditional diversities are vanishing among young people, but economic stratification shows drastic differences. A unique product with a label “made in Saris”.

SELECTOR'S WORD: “It’s fun, it’s about wonderful, warm and slightly crazy people. No wonder that Marko Skop receives audience prizes at festivals, we laugh with and at the characters because we can identify with them. The film proves that documentaries can be full of humour and at the same time bring us some ethno-social food for thought.”

Marko Škop

Marko Škop

Born in 1974 in Prešov, Slovakia. Graduated journalism in 1996 and documentary directing in 2001. Director of the company ARTILERIA specialized on documentary film production.

Selected filmography

ROMA HOUSE (Romsky dom), 2001
CHACHEEPEN (Čačipen), 2002
VIEWS ON THE FOLKLORE (Pohl'ady na folklór), 2004
CELEBRATION OF A LONELY PALM (Slávnost' osamelej palmy), 2005
OTHER WORLDS (Iné svety), 2006


France, 2005
84 minutes
written and directed by Chantal Briet

General Store

In a Paris suburb, Epinay-sur-Seine, in the neighborhood called “la Source”, Ali’s grocery store is the only shop still in business of the decayed shopping center. This small shop is like a haven where all the neighbours meet up. How customers arrive, one after the other, under the happy gaze of Ali, the charismatic owner, who sings once in a while, we see bits and pieces of their personal stories and everyday problems as signs of rough and grey life in the suburb. Mediterranian world, Africa and overseas countries, all that is represented through people of different races and origines in this neighborhood built of grey concrete buildings. That new world, with some of the French, tries to preserve the colourfulness and joy of life, The film shows us the importance of the small shop “around the corner”: a space, where you can find human warmth, laughter and conviviality in spite of the difficult conditions.


SELECTOR'S WORD: „There is the unemployed philosopher, the old lady with the dog, the youngster who dance hip hop, the kids who want candies... it’s a documentary equivalent to ”Smoke” but it’s also a classical French film. Full of Renoir characters with Ali at the focus. This is how the world could be, full of solidarity and compassion. Bravo!”

Chantal Briet

Chantal Briet

Born in 1961 in Roubaix, North of France. She first studied Mordern Litterature before going to film school. Between 1988 and 2002, she directed a dozen films, short and documentaries. She teaches documentary film directing.

Selected filmography

A CHILD NOW (Un enfant tout de suite), 2000
SPRINGTIME AT LA SOURCE (Printemps a la Source), 2001
GENERAL STORE (Alimentation générale), 2005


Denmark, 2004
88 minutes
directed by Lars Johansson

The German Secret

This is a story about the quest for one’s origin that turns into exciting “road movie” full of unexpected twists. Kirsten Blohm leaves Denmark traveling to the place of her birth – to the place where the American prison in post-war Germany was. This traveling takes us to the space of once torn and divided Europe just after the Word War II and this family story becomes universal. Series of dramatic events with unpredictable consequences builds this story that takes our breath away, as the most exciting thrillers. Turns and colourful details are interlaced in this investigation full of black holes and surprises, pleasant and unpleasant. This is the film that shows the heaviness of facing important questions that have no answers any more. Facing the emptiness and secret.

SELECTOR'S WORD: “This personal story is unbelievably strong and enigmatic – if it had been a fiction, you would have argued: this is too much. The use of archive material mixed with Kirsten’s journey towards the truth is elegantly structured in cinematically intense sequences carried by emotion. It is a universal story about the eternal questions: Where do I come from? Who am I?“

Lars Johansson

Lars Johansson

Born in 1949. Educated as photographer. Studied cinematography at National Danish Film School, Copenhagen, where he graduated in 1982. Since the beginning of the eighties he directed and shot numerous short and documentary films.

Selected filmography

HOJHOLT (Højholt), 1997
SIMONA (Simona), 1998
(Blod og håb), 2001


Holland, 2005
75 minutes
written and directed by Anna Maria Bucchetti

Brojevi za snove

A film about the Neapolitan belief in numbers. Naples is one of the places in the world where numbers have a different meaning, where they assume identites that are connected to the culture of a people and to ancient traditions. Up there, numbers are records of important events, ./prethodni_festivali/pages/2007/images that leave profound impressions. Numbers take the form of memories, people and become something intimate. Behind seemingly sterile and abstract numbers tragedies and dreams lie, and also everyday life, the struggle to survive under the most difficult circumstances. Numbers represent the conviction that things can change. When the lotto game became popular in Italy in the 17th century in Naples the occurrence of a special event, like a thunder in the summer storm, was interpreted as a sign of Fate and was translated into a number. During very long time fifty tousand words got unbreakable binding with numbers in the old dream-book La smorfia Napoletana. This book bacame a manual for lotto game, a game which with all its rituals is a paradoxical expression of the unfulfilled need for stability and protection, an escape from reality with all its cares and uncertainties.

SELECTOR'S WORD: “There is some cinematic magic attached to this film from colourful Naples. Yes, the characters are what we expect Italians to be: full of life and humour and stories, but Anna Bucchetti goes much further and succeeds wonderfully in giving us much more than surface and cliché. It is a multi-layered popular essay for everyone who loves gambling and enjoys and suffers from human Life.”

Anna Maria Bucchetti

Anna Maria Bucchetti

Born in 1963 in Milan, Italy. Graduated Film academy in Milan, in 1991. She has been working documentary projects as script writer and director for several televisions in Holland (VPRO, NPS). Since 2004 she works as chief editor for Educational television (Etv). Lives and works in Holland.

Selected filmography

AN ITALIAN STORY (Una storia Italiana), 2002
GENOA, THROUGH MY OWN EYES (Genua, met eigen ogen), 2003


Sweden, 2006
85 minutes
directed by Åsa Blanck & Johan Palmgren


Painful memories of the past and uncertainty for the future are parcels of the lives of young teenagers with foreign backgrounds. At a school where they are the majority a young teacher, Max tries without much success, to teach “New Swedes” who are more interested in their cell phones than their schoolbooks. That’s way he asks for the help his much older colleague, Folke, who prefers the old fashioned educational principals. Surprisingly, that old fashioned way has a positive effect on the class. This film deals with problems of people in political asylum thorn with the constant threat of deportation to countries of their origin; problems of different languages and cultures; problems of not belonging.

SELECTOR'S WORD: “A humorous film about a serious subject! We have all teased the teacher, some bringing him or her close to breakdown – and yet when you grow up you realise what a good teacher meant. This well structured character born docu-comedy makes you think, laugh, get angry and have a little tear in your eye. What else do you want?”

Ĺsa Blanck & Johan Palmgren

Åsa Blanck & Johan Palmgren

Åsa Blanck was born in 1970 and works as director and producer. Johan Palmgren, born in 1967, is a photographer and director.

Selected filmography

(Ebba & Torgny och kärlekens villovägar), 2003
SUBSTITUTE (Vikarien), 2006


Great Britain, 2005
82 minutes
written and directed by Gary Tarn

Black Sun

French painter and filmmaker Hugues de Montalembert had never even met a blind person when suddenly, violently, he became one. This artist living in New York, suffered vicious assault in his own apartment by two men looking for money. After one of the attackers threw a vial of paint thinner in his face, he could feel his sight fading almost at the same moment. “Black Sun” is a unique cinema experience, one that resonates long after viewing. As a film about loss, perception, memory and faith, its insights are offered with simplicity, lightness and beauty. Filmmaker Gary Tarn takes the notion that de Montalembert was making films in his mind. So Tarn spins these visions into a fluidly impressionistic flow of imagery, sometimes powerful, other times intentionally banal. The film is also an aural masterpiece. Since the director started as a composer “Black Sun” was also his sound experiment with integrating spoken word with orchestral scores. The problem of blindness is often depicted in the movies, but rarely in such poetic and truthful way.

SELECTOR'S WORD: “To be watched in many ways. As a story about a man’s coming back to the world after a brutal attack. About how a blind man is met by kindness and prejudices. But it’s also a blind artist’s philosophical reflection on what it means to see and perceive the world as he has done through numerous journeys around the world. The filmmaker interprets this vision with a superb and original meditative imagery that stays in your mind.”

Gary Tarn

Gary Tarn

A self-taught musician and film-maker, born in London, England. He started to play and write music aged 7, was performing in a punk band by 14, and by his 20's was an accomplished music producer and multi instrumentalist. He has studied the music of Indonesia, Africa and India, as well as the work of European composers. He has been working as a composer for film, television and commercials from the early nineties. He is the director, cinematographer, editor, composer and producer of the short film “Making Miyake” in 2004. “Black Sun” is his first feature documentary.