Films Programs

World Cinema

This is the main body of the Festival, its core and its heart: 78 films from every corner of the globe, ranging from traditional cinematic power bases like the USA, Western Europe, India and China to extraordinary movies from much smaller industrie­s - Estonia, Albania, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Colombia, and Pakistan, for example.

Increasingly over the past decade, we have all been compelled to think more closely about ourselves in relation to the world at large, sometimes in mostly positive terms (the vast increases of trade and communication that are part and parcel of Globalization); sometimes less so (planetary environmental concerns; international terrorism; recession). The status “citizen of the world” has more meaning now than ever before. But if the world seems a smaller place, religious and social differences may be even more acute, and the artist’s mission to express and to share resonates more profoundly.

Our selections reflect on our national and international identities in myriad ways. They include an autobiographical Israeli film about Polish siblings titled My Australia (for reasons too complicated to explain here); an Italian film about a Greek family coping with a German officer in their home, based on a novel by an American (Glenway Westcott’s Apartment in Athens); a Franco-Finnish Jewish comedy (Let My People Go!); and American Joshua Marston’s follow-up to Maria Full of Grace, The Forgiveness of Blood, which is to all intents and purposes an Albanian film and North Sea Texas hails from Belgium.

These films are all over the map in other ways too: the Spanish Wrinkles is a poignant but often very funny animation set in a senior citizen’s home. Johnny Rotten pops up in the infectious Scandinavian coming of age comedy Sons of Norway; A Jewish German Stalin impersonator is mistaken for Hitler’s astrologer and ushered into Uncle Joe’s presence in Hotel Lux, while Ewan McGregor and Eva Green embark on a sensual love affair in David Mckenzie’s original and erotic take on the imminent apocalypse, Perfect Sense. In short: there is much to see, to discover and experience. Let these movies expand your cinematic horizons.


Albert Nobbs   

Albert Nobbs
Ireland, 2011, 114 min.
In her most demanding big screen role in years, Glenn Close brings real delicacy and feeling to this tragic-comic vignette about a nineteenth century Dublin butler who has passed herself off as a man for decades, but never given up on her dream of domestic bliss. ... more



All Your Dead Ones   

All Your Dead Ones
Colombia, 2011, 88 min.
A suspenseful social thriller in which a Colombian farmer finds a pile of dead bodies in his cornfield. When no one wants to go to the trouble of conducting a serious investigation, his predicament becomes increasingly absurd.... more



Apartment in Athens   

Apartment in Athens
Italy, 2011, 95 min.
Based on a 1945 novel, this unusual war story explores the strange power dynamics between a German officer and the Greek family whose apartment he commandeers, and who he treats like indentured servants. Winner: Young Italian Filmmaker Award, Rome Film Festival.... more



A Thousand Cuts   

A Thousand Cuts
USA, 2012, 85 min.
A successful horror film director is treated to some of his own medicine when he’s held captive in his own home by a man whose daughter was killed in a copycat crime inspired by the director’s work.... more



August   

August
USA, 2011, 100 min.
Two years after a painful break up, Troy returns to LA and invites his ex lover Jonathan for coffee. Jonathan is in a new relationship now, but he finds Troy hard to resist – and very persistent. A probing, sensual tug of war ensues….... more



Baikonur   

Baikonur
Kazakhstan, 2011, 95 min.
“Whatever falls from heaven, you may keep,” says the Kazakh proverb. Living downwind from the Baikonur space center means collecting space debris—including an amnesiac female French astronaut—for young Kazakh Iskander. A charming and funny modern fairytale.... more



Blood of My Blood   

Blood of My Blood
Portugal, 2011, 140 min.
Two sisters living in a working class neighborhood of Lisbon fight heroically for the future of their family when their children threaten to go off the rails in this striking drama, at once fiercely naturalistic and highly stylized.... more



Bol   

Bol
Pakistan, 2011, 165 min.
The gripping story of a large, predominantly female family controlled by a domineering Muslim father, while an enlightened doctor played by local “King of Pop” Atif Aslam shows a different, more positive side of life in Pakistan.... more



By the Fire   

By the Fire
Chile, 2011, 95 min.
A Chilean couple, Daniel and Alejandra, decide to buy a piece of land and move out to the country. But they must fight all manner of adversities to make their dream of a new life together come true.... more



Cafe de Flore   

Cafe de Flore
Canada, 2011, 120 min.
Returning to the flamboyant, pop-driven style of his debut hit C.R.A.Z.Y., Jean-Marc Vallée fashions twin love stories-one in Paris in the 60s, one in present-day Montreal-that bounce off each other in unexpected and sometimes devastating ways.... more



Cloudburst   

Cloudburst
Canada, 2011, 93 min.
Oscar-winning actresses Brenda Fricker and Olympia Dukakis play aging lovers forced to go on the run in order to stay together in this uproarious dramedy which has much to say about the true nature of love and commitment.... more



Cold Steel   

Cold Steel
China, 2011, 101 min.
John Woo protege David Wu weaves a touching love story against the intense conflict of the second Sino-Japanese War in this compelling adaptation of the bestselling novel by Xio Min Lee.... more



Come As You Are   

Come As You Are
Belgium, 2011, 115 min.
Three guys in their early twenties embark on a journey to Spain hoping to have their first sexual experiences. Nothing will stop them. Not even their disabilities…. A must-see comic drama from the director of The Over The Hill Band.... more



Corpo celeste   

Corpo celeste
France, 2011, 100 min.
Having returned to tradition-bound Reggio di Calabria after a decade in Switzerland, withdrawn 13-year-old Marta (Yle Vianello, perfect) finds her adolescent feelings of isolation enhanced by her strange surroundings. Rohrwacher’s naturalistic feature debut is emotionally honest and bracingly immedi... more



Cousinhood   

Cousinhood
Spain, 2011, 98 min.
A raucous romantic comedy in which Diego, a handsome but immature Spaniard, gets dumped by his fiancée a few days before his wedding. His best friends take him on an alternately sweet and hilarious road trip to reconnect with Martina, his first love.... more



Cracks in the Shell   

Cracks in the Shell
Germany, 2011, 113 min.
A drama student is as surprised as her classmates to be picked for the lead role by a renowned but manipulative theatre director. The daunting task of embodying a self destructive, sexually adventurous character launches Josephine on a dark and troubled journey.... more



David   

David
USA, 2011, 80 min.
A charming coming of age tale promoting tolerance and cross-cultural understanding, David bridges one of the world's defining sociopolitical rifts when a young Muslim Brooklynite semi-accidentally passes as Jewish.... more



Edwin Boyd   

Edwin Boyd
Canada, 2011, 105 min.
Canada’s very own “public enemy number one”, Boyd was a WWII vet who turned to bank robbery when all else failed. Morlando’s debut film is a spry, energetic entertainment and not unsympathetic to its antihero’s plight. Winner: Best Canadian First Feature, Toronto.... more



Eliminate: Archie Cookson   

Eliminate: Archie Cookson
United Kingdom, 2011, 91 min.
This dry-as-Melba Toast, droll British meta-thriller is a wry delight, boasting a fabulously spot-on performance from British character actor Rhys as a washed up spy who comes into possession of a life-threatening secret, and is granted 48 hours to put his house in order.... more



Escort in Love   

Escort in Love
Italy, 2011, 95 min.
A spoiled rich bitch left in straitened circumstances by her husband's death turns to the world's oldest profession to earn some necessary dough in this cheerfully non-PC sex comedy brimming with witty dialogue, funny sight-gags and savvy comic performances. ... more



Expiration Date   

Expiration Date
Mexico, 2011, 100 min.
When Ramona’s adult son disappears, she believes her new neighbor Mariana will lead her to him, but Mariana has a secret….This macabre black comedy offers three conflicting perspectives on a tragic tale. Winner: Audience Award, Morelia Film Festival.... more



Foreverland   

Foreverland
Canada, 2011, 95 min.
Twenty-one-year-old Will is doing his best to cope with his Cystic Fibrosis, but it’s only when he’s tasked with transporting a friend’s ashes 2000 miles down the West Coast to a shrine in Baja that he learns to really live.... more



The Forgiveness of Blood   

The Forgiveness of Blood
Albania, 2011, 109 min.
Tradition and modernity collide in this inexorable drama filmed in Albania from the director of Maria Full of Grace. A blood feud forces teenager Nik to remain hidden in the family home—something a young man experiencing first love finds impossible to do.... more



Goodbye First Love   

Goodbye First Love
France, 2011, 110 min.
Exploring themes of loss, the passage of time, and emotional unrest, Goodbye First Love begins with a passionate romance between 15-year-old Camille and Sullivan, a free-spirited older boy. But eight years after he left her for Argentina, what remains of their love? ... more



The Good Son   

The Good Son
Finland, 2011, 88 min.
The destructive relationship between a profoundly narcissistic film star mother and her teenage son is at the center of Zaisa Bergroth’s striking combination of blackly comic showbiz satire and serious psychological drama.... more



The Graveyard Keeper’s Daughter   

The Graveyard Keeper’s Daughter
Estonia, 2011, 100 min.
A child's gaze anchors this gentle, lyrical tale. Eight-year-old Lucia may qualify as a child at risk, with a largely absent father and chronically drunken mother, yet she fashions a satisfying existence from the cards dealt her. ... more



Guilty   

Guilty
France, 2011, 101 min.
In 2001 Alain Marecaux (Philippe Torreton) and his wife are arrested as part of a child sex ring. His protestations of innocence count for nothing. This gripping true story show how his life is torn apart in a scandalous miscarriage of justice. ... more



Happy New Year, Grandma!   

Happy New Year, Grandma!
Spain, 2011, 107 min.
In this hilarious Spanish black comedy, a family conspires to put an increasingly demanding grandma in a nursing home against her daughter’s wishes– but the old lady uses her ruthless skills of manipulation to unimaginable extremes. ... more



Headhunters   

Headhunters
Norway, 2011, 100 min.
A stylish, pacy and sometimes blackly funny adaptation of Jo Nesbo's bestselling Norwegian thriller. When a successful headhunter with a duplicitous life as a con artist seizes on agreat opportunity, nothing goes quite according to plan. ... more



Holidays By the Sea   

Holidays By the Sea
France, 2011, 77 min.
A tribute to Jacques Tati’s classic Mr. Hulot’s Holiday, this laugh-out-loud comedy offers a mix of skillful physical playing, judicious comic timing and absurd situations as it follows a cross-section of French types as their paths intersect during a weekend at the coast.... more



Hotel Lux   

Hotel Lux
Germany, 2011, 110 min.
A charming womanizer who makes a living impersonating Stalin flees Nazi Germany and lands at the famous Hotel Lux in Moscow, where he is mistaken for Hitler’s astrologist. The real Stalin is very keen to hear what may lie ahead… ... more



If I Were You   

If I Were You
Canada, 2011, 115 min.
When Madelyn discovers her husband is having an affair, her attempts to stalk his young mistress take a surprising turn and the two wind up forming a rather unconventional pact. A charming, very funny look at the unexpected places life can take us.... more



If Not Us, Who?   

If Not Us, Who?
Germany, 2011, 124 min.
The rise of the radical left in 1960s Germany is captured through the relationship between writer/publisher Bernward Vesper and future terrorist Gudrun Ensslin (part of the Baader-Meinhoff Group) in this sweeping yet intimate drama.... more



Innocence   

Innocence
Czech Republic, 2011, 101 min.
When a respected physician is accused of sexually assaulting a teenaged patient, his once-enviable professional and personal lives are plunged into chaos. More than just a guilty pleasure, this is an unsettling and propulsive thriller from the director of Divided We Fall.... more



Kiss Me   

Kiss Me
Sweden, 2011, 107 min.
Love blossoms when two professional women meet at their parents’ engagement party in this nuanced and deeply felt drama that does not avoid confronting the barriers—both personal and social—faced by the same-sex couple.... more



Land of Oblivion   

Land of Oblivion
France, 2011, 115 min.
A powerful recreation of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster anchors the first half of Boganim’s timely drama. But it is in the second half, ten years later, that the profound and heartbreaking implications hit home for survivor Anya (Olga Kuylenko). ... more



Lena   

Lena
Netherlands, 2011, 119 min.
This emotionally engaging coming-of-age tale features one of the most complex and endearing teen heroines of recent years. Christophe van Rompaey (Moscow, Belgium) directs with tenderness and empathy.... more



Let My People Go!   

Let My People Go!
France, 2011, 86 min.
In Finland, a few days before Passover, a series of misunderstandings result in the breakup of a Frenchman and his hunky Finnish lover, sending the former reeling back to Paris and his dysfunctional family just in time for the Jewish holiday. An inspired marriage of camp and farce.... more



Lovely Man   

Lovely Man
Indonesia, 2011, 76 min.
A nineteen-year-old girl with strong Islamic values gets a rude awakening when she discovers that her long-lost father is a transvestite working the streets of Jakarta. Despite everything, father and daughter seek reconciliation and understanding.... more



Lucky   

Lucky
South Africa, 2011, 100 min.
Although they do not speak the same language, a South African AIDS orphan learns about life and love through an unlikely bond with an elderly Indian lady with a pathological fear of Africans.... more



Michael   

Michael
Austria, 2011, 96 min.
Illustrating the banality of evil in an impressively controlled and sometimes darkly humorous fashion, Michael follows a thirtyish pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement. Creepy, suspenseful and provocative. ... more



The Monk   

The Monk
France, 2011, 101 min.
A splendid 17th-century gothic period piece featuring Vincent Cassel (Black Swan) as a devoted monk whose piety is destroyed when a woman infiltrates his monastery, a minion from Satan disguised as a man. ... more



My Australia   

My Australia
Israel, 2011, 100 min.
In the mid-1960s, two young Polish brothers involved in an anti-Semitic crime receive a rude awakening when they learn that they are actually Jewish and their mother is moving them to Israel (or “Australia”, as she tells the younger sibling).... more



My Best Enemy   

My Best Enemy
Austria, 2011, 109 min.
When the Nazis confiscate his family’s Michelangelo sketch, Victor Kaufmann (Mauritz Bleibtreu) is set on a twist-filled World War II odyssey. An audaciously entertaining picaresque from the producers of The Counterfeiters.... more



My Father Baryshnikov   

My Father Baryshnikov
Russia, 2011, 88 min.
Set circa 1986, this charming end-of-Soviet-era tale– a sort of Russian Billy Elliot meets Goodbye Lenin! –follows an irrepressible youth enrolled at a strict dance academy who pretends that his father is the famous dissident dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. ... more



Niño   

Niño
Philippines, 2011, 100 min.
The decaying mansion of the Lopez-Aranzas is the only remaining emblem of past glory. When the patriarch slips into a coma, his sister Celia, a former Opera star, dresses her grandson as Santo Niño and hopes for a miracle.... more



North Sea Texas   

North Sea Texas
Belgium, 2011, 96 min.
A lonely gay adolescent suffers the pangs of unrequited love in this poignantly rendered coming-of-ager that delicately capture the ecstasy of first love and the heartache of frustrated desire. Winner: Alice in the City Award, Rome Film Festival; FIPRESCI Award and Best Feature Debut, Montreal Film... more



Nuit #1   

Nuit #1
Canada, 2011, 91 min.
A one-night stand veers from casual sex to something more intimate and revealing in Anne Émond’s bold debut feature, a candid two-hander with a stellar performance by Catherine de Léan). Winner: Best Canadian Feature, Vancouver International Film Festival.... more



P-047   

P-047
Thailand, 2011, 98 min.
Two lonely men, Lek and Kong, break into houses¬–not to steal, but to take away ideas of possible alternate lives. One adventure goes awry and Lek wakes up in a hospital where everyone calls him “Kong”…. A fascinating meditation on the fluidity of identity.... more



Pariah   

Pariah
USA, 2006, 29 min.
Winner of the L. A. FilmFest Audience Prize for Best Short Film, ‘Pariah’ tells the story of a 17-year-old black student who is grappling with the conflicting pressures placed upon her by her family, her schoolmates and her best friend, an ‘out’ butch lesbian who chides her for trying to hide her se... more



Perfect Sense   

Perfect Sense
United Kingdom, 2011, 88 min.
A passionate, carnal love story set against the ominous backdrop of what may be the apocalypse. Just as a chef (McGregor) falls for a medical scientist (Green) the world succumbs to a global virus that causes them to lose their sensory perceptions.... more



The Perfect Stranger   

The Perfect Stranger
Spain, 2011, 94 min.
Baleful Irish character actor Colm Meaney (Star Trek: Generations; The Van) gets a rare leading role in this sly comedy. He’s the eponymous stranger, a non-Spanish speaker whose silent stares are enough to galvanize the inhabitants of a sleepy little Catalan village.... more



Pig   

Pig
USA, 2011, 90 min.
A man wakes up alone in the desert with a hood over his head, no memory to speak of, and a piece of paper in his pocket bearing the name Manny Elder. So begins this tantalizing scifi thriller, a brain-teaser in the Memento mold.... more



Real Truths. The Life of Estela   

Real Truths. The Life of Estela
Argentina, 2011, 99 min.
Like too many others, Estela’s daughter was arrested by the Argentinian junta in the late 70s, held until she gave birth, and then executed. This is the true story of a grandmother’s determination to reunite those orphaned children with their biological families.... more



Restoration   

Restoration
Israel, 2011, 105 min.
In this bittersweet drama, an antiques restorer is forced to face up to uncomfortable home truths when his lifelong business partner dies, leaving unpaid bills that go beyond the financial variety. Best Film: Jerusalem & Karlovy Vary Film Festivals.... more



Return   

Return
USA, 2011, 97 min.
Linda Cardellini (ER) gives a beautifully observed performance as an Afghan War veteran who comes home to find husband Michael Shannon has had an affair and her life in a small Ohio town no longer means what it did to her.... more



Return to Murder   

Return to Murder
Malaysia, 2011, 97 min.
Kickboxing mixes with family drama, blood, and mysticism in this revenge tale with echoes of King Lear. Although it contains scenes of disturbing violence, it also serves up a feast of haunting archetypes amid gorgeous natural scenery. ... more



Rose   

Rose
Poland, 2011, 94 min.
A riveting period drama revealing a little-known chapter of Polish history: the post-WWII persecution of the Mazurians, in northeastern Poland. It’s a tragic tale of war and survival that bears comparison to masterworks such as Elem Klimov’s Come And See.... more



Sal   

Sal
USA, 2011, 90 min.
Hollywood heartthrob James Franco directs this microbudget portrait of the last hours of Sal Mineo (the charismatic Val Lauren), the talented gay actor who costarred with James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause but then fell on hard times and was killed by a robber in 1976.... more



The Salesman   

The Salesman
Canada, 2011, 107 min.
One of Canada’s Top Ten films of the year and winner of numerous International awards, this debut feature is a subtle, assured, psychologically acute character study about a veteran car salesman who lives for the deal. ... more



The Salt of Life   

The Salt of Life
Italy, 2011, 90 min.
A warm and witty follow-up to PSIFF favorite Mid-August Lunch, this sparkling comedy follows a middle-aged Roman retiree who tries his polite, utterly gracious best to generate some kind of extracurricular love life—with both hilarious and poignant results.... more



The Sandman   

The Sandman
Switzerland, 2011, 88 min.
One morning, Benno finds sand in his bed. Soon it becomes obvious that it is coming from him... So begins this surreal modern fairytale, part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, part Kafka and wholly unique.... more



The Silver Cliff   

The Silver Cliff
Brazil, 2011, 85 min.
Violeta is determined to track down the husband who just left her. But after missing her plane, she takes time to regroup, wandering through Rio de Janeiro, dancing by herself in a club, and bonding with a handsome stranger and his daughter on the beach.... more



Simon and the Oaks   

Simon and the Oaks
Sweden, 2011, 122 min.
An epic drama spanning the years 1939–1955. Working class Simon befriends Isak, the son of a wealthy Jewish bookseller who has fled Nazi persecution. Their families connect in unexpected ways as war rages across Europe.... more



Sons of Norway   

Sons of Norway
Norway, 2011, 80 min.
Is it possible to rebel when your free spirit father supports you unconditionally? This bittersweet coming-of-age tale, well directed by Jens Lien (The Bothersome Man), is the funniest, most poignant Scandinavian dramedy since My Life As A Dog.... more



Sound of My Voice   

Sound of My Voice
USA, 2011, 86 min.
Gripping mind games come into play when two documentary filmmakers infiltrate a cult and find themselves drawn in by the charismatic leader—a woman (co-writer Brit Marling, of Another Earth fame) who purports to be from the future. Smart, compelling science fiction.... more



The Squad   

The Squad
Colombia, 2011, 90 min.
When a commando squad reaches an outpost in the mountains of Colombia they find signs of a bloody massacre and evidence of witchcraft. As violence and confusion mount, the men fear a supernatural force is at work.... more



Starbuck   

Starbuck
Canada, 2011, 109 min.
The past comes back with a vengeance in this Canadian comedy about a class action suit against prolific sperm donor David Wozniak, aka Starbuck. Twenty years after his successful moneymaking scheme, all David’s 142 children want to know is, “Who’s my Daddy?”... more



The Student   

The Student
Argentina, 2011, 110 min.
Roque, a new student at the University of Buenos Aires, meets and beds a pretty but tough young adjunct professor. She introduces him to the campus’ vibrant political life, and his ambition quickly propels him into power skirmishes.... more



Thin Ice   

Thin Ice
USA, 2011, 114 min.
Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, and Billy Crudup are all superb in Sprecher’s ingeniously structured film noir-slash-black comedy, about a sleazy insurance salesman (Kinnear) and the scam he runs to acquire a $25,000 violin from a lonely Midwest farmer (Arkin).... more



Three Quarter Moon   

Three Quarter Moon
Germany, 2010, 94 min.
A precocious Turkish girl helps a grumpy German taxi driver see that change is possible in this endearing dramedy. A heartwarming tale about the things that make life worth living.... more



Time to Spare   

Time to Spare
Netherlands, 2011, 93 min.
True love seems awfully complicated in this droll Dutch tragi-comedy about a gay middle-aged music teacher who finds a boyfriend when the kid sister he’s looked after since childhood finally flies the nest. Neither of their new partners entirely passes muster, then fate takes a hand…... more



Turn Me On, Dammit!   

Turn Me On, Dammit!
Norway, 2011, 76 min.
This debut feature tells a story that is rarely if ever explored in films: the unbridled sexual appetite of a teenage girl.Certainly this subject has never been approached in such a candid and wryly comic way. Winner of the Best Screenplay award at the Tribeca Film Festival and Best Debut Film at th... more



Watch Indian Circus   

Watch Indian Circus
India, 2011, 101 min.
An impoverished family’s efforts to scrape together enough money to take their children to see a visiting circus are rewarded when a local politician offers money for votes. This light Indian satire has serious concerns at heart.... more



When The Night   

When The Night
Italy, 2011, 116 min.
A troubled, unhappy young mother bonds with an Alpine mountain guide after an accident (or was it?) befalls her infant son while they are on vacation awaiting the woman’s husband. A searching film from the writer/director of the Oscar-nominated Don’t Tell. ... more



Wrinkles   

Wrinkles
Spain, 2011, 89 min.
Increasingly lost in his own memories, Emilio finds himself set adrift in the new world of a facilitated care unit. There his fast-talking roommate introduces him to a fantastical, surrealistic world in this bold, moving animated feature. ... more



Wunderkinder   

Wunderkinder
Germany, 2011, 96 min.
A moving tribute to innocence, Rosenmüller’s drama focuses on three gifted child musicians—two Jewish and one German—in 1941 Ukraine whose friendship is torn apart when the Nazis invade the Soviet Union.... more



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