New Waves break on other shores

This section of the Festival features 15 Spanish premieres that will bring to the screen subjects such as identity and roots, renewed classic genres and unusual locations in European cinema

Javier H. Estrada and Elena Duque, programmers of the Seville European Film Festival, have unveiled the titles that will star in the New Waves section, which this year will show 15 films that demonstrate how European cinema knows no formal or territorial limits, with productions that expand into countries such as Tunisia, Algeria, Mexico and Argentina.

As Estrada has pointed out, The New Waves is a section that dialogues with the Official Section to insist on the idea of a European cinema that exercises "very enjoyable fictions but with escape points capable of oxygenating subjects and ways of narrating". In addition, programmers have added, as well as in the films of the Official Section, spectators will find here a new light on classic genres such as melodrama, political thriller and fantasy. "Fresh and young glances meet acclaimed directors at the best festivals in the world", they added.

Identity, roots, gender

The Section welcomes the new talent of Spanish cinema Jaione Camborda, which will present 'Arima', the expected first feature of this basque filmmaker based in Galicia, whose previous works and collaborations ('Verengo', 'High pressures') have had a great tour at festivals. Two strangers break into a Galician village to disturb the existence of four women and a girl in this heterodox thriller where the atmospheres of Lynch and Cassavetes meet.

A twist on feminine identity and roots develops the multi award-winning 'Take Me Somewhere Nice' (Best Film Award in Sarajevo, Special Jury Prize in Rotterdam), in which director Ena Sendijarević ('Import') follows in the footsteps of Alma, a teenager who travels from Holland to her native Bosnia to meet her father.

Another return to the origins is the stinging point of 'Ivana the Terrible', in which her main character, an actress based in Romania, returns to her village in Serbia to spend the summer with her family. Inspired as a comedy by the personal crisis of its director and protagonist, Ivana Mladenović, it's produced by Ada Salomon, winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlinale and executive producer of 'Toni Erdmann'. Ivana the Terrible' won the Present Filmmakers Jury Prize in Locarno.

In her second feature film, Swiss-Peruvian Klaudia Reynicke focuses on the life-changing experience of Seconda, an agoraphobic woman, that when her mother dies, her father abandons her. ‘Love me Tender' tells the adventures of this character in search of freedom. A audacious film, selected in Toronto, in which the interpretation of Barbara Giordano ('Marvellous Boccaccio') shines.

Another female character in search of herself is in the center of 'A Voluntary Year', a film that competed in the Official Section of Locarno and is directed by two Germans, Ulrich Köhler (one of the top representatives of the prestigious Berlin School and Silver Bear) and Henner Winckler. In it, the young Jette hesitates between volunteering in Costa Rica or staying in Germany with her boyfriend. A story about the awakening to rebellion and the deconstruction of a certain idea of masculinity.

‘X&Y', a Swedish-Danish co-production directed by Anna Odell ('The Reunion', winner of the Critics' Prize in Venice), is a social experiment, a kind of autoparodic Big Brother and author who challenges gender roles through a series of situations that end up becoming absurd: sex, lies, discussions and video recordings, in an irreverent and amusing piece.

The Maghreb, Mexico and Argentina, a cinema that opens up to new territories

From Tunisia comes Ala Eddine Slim's second film, after his celebrated debut with 'The Last of Us' (Lion of the Future for Best Debut in Venice). ‘Tlamess' (Enchantment) immerses us in a tale close to the fantastic. Presented in the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes, it begins with a soldier who fled the army and took refuge in the mountains. After the kidnapping of a pregnant woman, a fascinating twist between the real and the imaginary is begins.

French-Algerian filmmaker RabahAmeur-Zaïmeche depicts in 'Terminal Sud' a story close to dystopian fiction. A country on its way to military conflict, where a doctor tries to do his duty. Everything changes when his brother-in-law, a journalist, is shot dead. In his sixth feature film, in competition at Locarno, Ameur-Zaïmeche evokes the recent history of his country and, at the same time, of the entire Mediterranean.   

TAlso in Algeria is Amin Sidi-Boumedine's debut, 'Abou Leila', the name of a dangerous terrorist whom two childhood friends are looking for, in the desert. Screened during the Critics' Week at the Cannes Film Festival, this psychological drama tackles violence in the so-called Black Decade - the 1990s - of the Algerian country. 

'Tijuana Bible' is the long-awaited return of Jean-Charles Hue ('Eat Your Bones', Jean Vigo Award, premiered in The New Waves Section in 2014). The nightmare of an Iraqi ex-combatant hooked on heroin and caught in a collision with the narcos after protecting a woman who has traveled to the border city in search of her brother. Starring Paul Anderson ('The Revenant', 'Brimstone', 'Peaky Blinders') and Adriana Paz ('The Motive').

Buenos Aires is the setting for 'Maternal', an Italian-Argentinean co-production that won four awards at Locarno. Maura Delpero debuts with this title about the arrival of a young Italian nun in a foster home for teenage mothers who have gone astray. A paradoxical world in which early motherhood and religious chastity coexist.

Classic genres, new lights

From Poland comes to the SEFF 'Bird Talk', Xawery Żuławski's third feature film. An imaginative screenplay by his father, cult filmmaker Andrzej Żuławski, is the basis of this film that begins when a gang of skin heads breaks into a History class and humiliates a young teacher. A lucid interpretation of the socio-political reality of Poland.

Produced by the acclaimed Alexander Sokurov, successfully screened at the last Berlinale 'A Russian Youth' presents us with an unusual situation in the context of the First World War: a Russian soldier who has lost his sight at the front uses his ear to warn of the arrival of enemy planes. Tribute to the disadvantaged young people who formed the army of the Russian Empire, using non-professional actors and putting fraternal feelings in the foreground in the middle of the war.

‘County lines' is the term by which crime is known beyond the big cities, where minors are used for drug trafficking, over 4,000 youth just around London. Henry Blake debuts in this feature film with this story based on real facts in which a mother attempts to get her 14-year-old son out of a life on the edge.

The New Waves, as in the Official Section, also features an animated film. It's 'The Prince's Voyage', the latest project by master Jean-François Laguionie ('Louise by the Shore'), who received a standing ovation and the Honorary Cristal award at this year's Annecy Festival. Co-directed by Xavier Picard, it tells the story of a monkey who goes to meet his parents, two scientists expelled from their community for defending the existence of a primate civilization in another dimension.