Festival: Camerimage International Film Festival

Festival information

Who? Camerimage International Film Festival

What? A festival that focuses on the art of cinematography

When? 11 – 18 November 2017

Where? Bydgoszcz, Poland

Festival website: http://camerimage.pl/

To learn more about the films, including trailers, interviews, reviews and where to watch them, please click on the film title.


Winter Brothers [+]

Directed by Hlynur Pálmason [+]

Two brothers live in a mining community in the middle of a snow-covered forest somewhere on the edge of Western civilisation. Their life is filled with the hard work of a Danish limestone mine. Day after day they go down into the Earth’s rocky bowels with a group of similarly rough men. There in the darkness lit only by their headlamps, they do their tedious labour and provide new material for the nearby limestone plant. They endure the rigours of this lifestyle through their camaraderie, but also the little pleasures of everyday life. For some of them this means hard liquor that sets both the stomach and imagination on fire, for others it is enough to fantasise about being better versions of themselves, whether in bed with a woman or in the woods with a military rifle. One day, when one of the brothers is ostracised by the group, a tragedy begins to unfold, setting in motion events that will put to the test all the relationships in this world at the world’s end.

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Last Men in Aleppo

Directed by Feras Fayyad

After five years of war in Syria, Aleppo’s remaining residents prepare themselves for a siege. The main characters of the film – Khalid, Subhi, and Mahmoud – are members of the White Helmets, also called the Syrian Civil Defence, which consists of common people that decided to stay in the city to help the victims of bombing. Until now, they have managed to save over 60,000 lives, often by pulling them from debris with their bare hands. The film, directed by Feras Fayyad, makes us experience not only the huge devastation of war, but also the personal story of everyday people that became real heroes in the face of a mass tragedy playing out in front of the eyes of the entire world.

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Darkland [+]

Directed by Fenar Ahmad [+]

Zaid, a famous heart surgeon and immigrant from Iraq, lives in a luxurious apartment in the centre of Copenhagen. When his younger brother, Yasin, a small-time drug dealer, is killed in gang conflict, Zaid decides to abandon his settled life and avenge his brother. As a masked warrior, he fights to bring justice to the streets. A crime story with a psychological (revenge) and social (immigrant problems) background.

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The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+]

Directed by Juho Kuosmanen [+]

They say all’s fair in love and war. That seems right in the experience of young Finnish boxer Olli Mäki. You see, fate has smiled upon him – he has a shot at the world featherweight title. It’s just that… he’s fallen in love. Inconvenient as the situation may be, to make matters worse, the whole nation seems to have high hopes for his upcoming bout with the American champion. In other words, everyone expects Olli to win and bring Finland its deserved glory. His coach has big ambitions and even bigger dreams, the sponsors are queuing up for a photo with the future champ, and there’s even a two-person crew shooting a documentary about him. Every day the fervour increases, but the only thing Olli wants to think about is the lovely Raija, dancing through the night, late-night bicycle escapades, and skipping stones at dawn on a nearby lake. How can he forge his body, lose weight, and say smart, national-hero-sounding things when what it means to be a winner suddenly has more than one definition?

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The Good Postman

Directed by Tonislav Hristov

A small Bulgarian village just by the Turkish border has found itself in the middle of a European crisis – at night asylum seekers sneak past the border. The forgotten village has become the most important secret loophole of Europe. Ivan, the local postman, has a vision. He decides to run for mayor and bring the dying village back to life by welcoming refugees. His opponents want to close their eyes, close down the border, and reintroduce communism.

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Law of the Land [+]

Directed by Jussi Hiltunen [+]

A remote Finnish village in Lapland next to the Swedish border. A retiring police officer learns that his illegitimate son has been released from prison and is terrorising the area. The young man has discovered the big family secret and is seeking revenge by assaulting people close to the police officer – including his other legitimate son. The hatred between the two brothers leaves the area in a state of vengeance and violence, forcing the villagers to take the law in their own hands. While trying to prevent the brothers from killing each other, the police officer is forced to face his past mistakes. The final showdown takes place in the Arctic desert of the North.

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Heartstone [+]

Directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson [+]

During an exciting and emotional summer, two teenage friends – Thór and Kristján – discover new feelings. While Thór tries to win the heart of his dream girl, Kristján begins to realise that he wishes for a more intimate relationship with his friend. Once the summer break is over, the astonishing but cruel nature of Iceland takes back its rights and the boys have to bid farewell to their childhood.

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The King’s Choice [+]

Directed by Erik Poppe [+]

The King’s Choice is based on the true story of three dramatic days in April 1940 when the king of Norway is presented with an unimaginable ultimatum from the German armed forces: surrender or die. With the German air force and soldiers hunting them, the royal family is forced to flee from the capital. They decide to part ways without knowing if they’ll ever see each other again. Crown Princess Märtha leaves Norway with the children to seek refuge in Sweden, while King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav stay to fight the Germans. After three days of desperately trying to evade the Germans, King Haakon makes his final decision. He refuses to capitulate, even if it costs him, his family, and many Norwegians their lives.

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Borg/McEnroe [+]

Directed by Janus Metz [+]

The second half of the 1970s saw the Swedish athlete Björn Borg reach the dizzy heights of the world of professional tennis. Cool, calm, methodical, he was at the top of his game, with no one being able to reach his level. But with each subsequent victory, especially at the prestigious Wimbledon which he won four times in a row, Borg felt the increasing societal pressure of being the best. American player John McEnroe, a few years younger than the Swede, was a rock star of the tennis world. Arrogant, impetuous, spontaneous, often vulgar, he was enfant terrible, a person the audiences loved to hate. When he tried to change this image, he only made it worse. Before the two met on a tennis court at the 1980 Wimbledon final, often considered to be one of the greatest matches in the history of the sport, they first had to conquer their inner demons and many external obstacles as well. The film tells the story of how both became who they were and how they played in the famous match.

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The Garbage Helicopter [+]

Directed by Jonas Selberg Augustsén [+]

A huge dumpster suddenly plummets to earth after breaking loose from a helicopter. Meanwhile an elderly Romani woman wakes up with a pervasive longing for a wall clock from her past. Those two seemingly trivial events lead to the woman’s three grandchildren setting off on a long journey through the windy highways of Sweden, determined to find the clock and bring it back to their grandma. But many more unexpected discoveries await.

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Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.