My Sunny Maad

When Herra, a Czech woman, falls in love with Nazir, an Afghan, she has no idea about the life that awaits her in post-Taliban Afghanistan, nor about the family she is about to join. A grandfather who is a feminist, an adopted young boy who astounds with his intellect, and Freshta who will do anything to run away from her abusive husband. Like the other women in the family, Herra wears a burka and hides in a closet when guests arrive. Soon she starts a new job with American woman, Heidi, who has little understanding of the way women live in Afghanistan, and even less that not everybody wants to be saved by Westerners.

My Sunny Maad is the feature animated debut directed by Michaela Pavlátová.

My Sunny Maad / Moje Slunce Maad

Directed by: Michaela Pavlátová
Production: Negativ Film Productions, Sacrebleu Productions, Bfilm, Czech TV
Country: Czech Republic, France, Slovakia
Year: 2021
Running time: 80 min.

Even Mice Belong to Heaven

A story about two mortal enemies – a little mouse and a fox, who after an unfortunate accident, meet in animal heaven. They lose their natural instincts and become best friends. Their wish to stay together after they return to earth comes true, but they are reborn into opposite roles. The film is about hope, a quest for love and courage, and about overcoming prejudices and old pains. Thanks to the power of friendship they can even overcome what seems to be impossible.

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Even Mice Belong to Heaven / Nawet myszy idą do nieba

Directed by: Jan Bubeniček, Denisa Grimmova
Production: Les films du Cygne, CinemArt, Animoon, Łódź Miasto Kultury, CANAL +
Country: Czech Republic, Poland, France, Slovakia
Year: 2021
Running time: 87 min.

The nose or the conspiracy of mavericks

Nose by Nikolai Gogol. And an Opera The Nose upon Gogol’s novel, that was created in 1930 by the great Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. This film is dedicated to the pioneers, the groundbreakers in art. To the people who were ahead of their time. And who were, most importantly, brave enough to go against the current. For this, they had to pay the price of their own welfare, and often even their life. The main characters of the film are writers Nikolai Gogol and Mikhail Bulgakov, director Vsevolod Meyerhold and composer Dmitry Shostakovich.

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The nose or the conspiracy of mavericks / Nos lub spisek odmieńców

Directed by: Andrey Khrzhanovsky
Screenplay: Yury Arabov, Andrey Khrzhanovsky
Photos: Jürgen Jürges
Art-director Marina Azizyan, Alexandra Pavlova, Alexander Khramtsov, VaryaYakovleva
Production: Andrey Khrzhanovsky, Shar Studio
Technique: drawing, cut-outs, live-action, documentary
Country: Poland
Year: 2020
Running time: 89 min.

DAU. Natasha

The first part of the monumental, total work by Ilya Khrzhanovsky is an introduction to the DAU world constructed with incredible scale while also being precise in the tiniest of details. The shocking and entrancing film traps characters and audiences in its protracted shots to tell the story of a lonely canteen manager in a city-sized institution sealed off to the outside world. The plot runs its course over several days in 1952 during which Khrzhanovsky makes us witness the dramatic entanglements of the titular heroine. The camera (shot on 35mm film!) is akin to a spy, never taking its eyes off Natasha, as she slings food, flirts, holds drunken conversations, is stabbed by a young assistant, or has sex. She is totally unaware that her banal dreams of love and her minor transgressions in the canteen are being consumed by absolute totalitarian power. DAU reveals that power's mechanisms.

Berlin IFF 2020 - Silver Berlin Bear - Outstanding Artistic Contribution (Jürgen Jürges)

DAU. Natasha / DAU. Natasza

Directed by: Ilya Khrzhanovskiy, Jekaterina Oertel
Screenplay: Ilya Khrzhanovskiy
Photos: Jürgen Jürges
Cast: Natalia Berezhnaya, Olga Shkabarnya, Vladimir Azhippo, Alexei Blinov
Production: Phenomen Ukraine, Phenomen Films, Phenomen Berlin, Filmproduktions
Country: Germany, Ukraine, UK, Russia
Year: 2020
Running time: 138 min.