Films Programs

World Cinema Now

The films in our World Cinema Now section come in all shapes and sizes, both strange and familiar. Here, you’ll find coming-of-age dramas like "Harmony Lessons" and "Sarah Prefers to Run", captivating love stories in "Lootera" and "Paradise", engrossing thrillers in "Montage" and "Gaming Instinct", and even “westerns”, like Australia’s "Mystery Road", Japan’s samurai "Unforgiven", and "Gold", a German movie set in Canada during the Klondike.

You’ll also find enthralling stories about escape and discovery.

In Andrew Mudge’s "The Forgotten Kingdom", young Atang, mired in the bustle of Johannesburg, returns to his remote village in landlocked Lesotho to bury his father. During the journey, Atang explores both the metaphysical and geographic terrain of his ancestry. A sojourn of escape and discovery turns out to be exactly what he needs.

In our world, today, we’re bombarded with information from the moment we rise until the moment we sleep. We find ourselves craving escape –– just like "Atang". The films in our World Cinema Now section fill that universal need. In Wiebke von Carolsfeld’s "Stay", a pregnant woman leaves Ireland for Montreal, where she searches for answers about her future. In Uberto Pasolini’s "Still Life", a London council worker discovers the joy of life through investigating an unclaimed corpse. In Lisa Langseth’s "Hotell", a therapy group finds unorthodox (and un-prescribed) renewal in the anonymous confines of hotels.

The now, this moment, always demands attention, but for a few short hours, enveloped by the cinema’s calming dark, among the crowd’s hushed surprise and booming laughter, a portal into another world beckons, opens, swallows us whole. Down the rabbit hole we tumble. into and out of time we travel, far down, deep among the legends of our species, until we emerge, rejuvenated and reminded that these other worlds are also our own.


3 Nights in the Desert   

3 Nights in the Desert
USA, 2014, 90 min.
Three friends, former band mates, reunite in the high California desert for their collective 30th birthdays, forcing them to examine their fractured relationships and divergent pasts.... more



Age of Uprising:  The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas   

Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas
France, 2013, 122 min.
This epic, stunning historical drama starring Mads Mikkelsen ("Valhalla Rising", "The Hunt") tells the tale of an affluent horse dealer whose life takes a dramatic, violent turn when he is humiliated by a local nobleman.... more



Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa   

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
United Kingdom, 2013, 90 min.
UK legend Steve Coogan’s hilariously self-important DJ Alan Partridge turns hostage negotiator when a shotgun-wielding colleague (Colm Meaney) takes over the premises of Norfolk Digital Radio. A brilliantly funny satire, rife with characteristic Partridge non-sequiturs and a surprising amount of hea... more



Another House   

Another House
Canada, 2013, 105 min.
Two estranged brothers come together to deal with their father’s escalating descent into Alzheimer’s disease in this engrossing, exquisitely made tale of family dysfunction that won Best Canadian Film and Best Actor honors at the recent Montreal Film Festival.... more



The Auction   

The Auction
Canada, 2013, 111 min.
In this honest portrait of a family in the midst of change, Sebastien Pilote ("The Salesman") gives us a pastoral tale of love and quiet sacrifice in rural Quebec, featuring a powerful performance by Gabriel Arcand.... more



Bastardo   

Bastardo
Tunisia, 2013, 106 min.
An unsettling mix of magical realism and film noir, set in a poor neighborhood in Tunis, this striking fable about how power corrupts is also a scathing metaphor for the developmental travails of modern Tunisia.... more



Belle   

Belle
United Kingdom, 2013, 105 min.
The true story of a black woman who took her rightful place at the heart of the 18th century British aristocracy furnishes a fascinating film combining tart. Austen-like social comedy, romance and social criticism. Newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw heads a sterling cast.... more



Bicycling with Moliere   

Bicycling with Moliere
France, 2013, 104 min.
A classy and caustic comedy about the prickly relationship between a popular TV star and the esteemed theatre actor he wants to lure out of retirement to stage Moliere’s Le Misanthrope.... more



Blind Dates   

Blind Dates
Georgia, 2013, 95 min.
A 40-year-old teacher still living with his parents finally meets the right woman in this lovely, compassionate comedy from Georgia. Unfortunately, not only is she the mother of one of his students, she has a husband about to be released on probation.... more



Burkholder   

Burkholder
USA, 2013, 84 min.
A companion piece to Taylor Guterson’s last PSIFF favorite, "Old Goats", this reassembles the same cast for another quirky, low-key comedy about the joys of aging disgracefully.... more



Catch the Dream   

Catch the Dream
Denmark, 2013, 135 min.
From the muddy paddocks of rural Denmark to the Prix d’Amerique in Paris, the story of Denmark’s most famous racehorse Tarok, a legendary trotter, and his owners, the Laursen family. From the director of PSIFF13 favorite, "This Life".... more



Cupcakes   

Cupcakes
Israel, 2013, 90 min.
A charming confection about six friends – gay, straight, successful, not so successful – whose jokily written song is chosen as Israel’s entry in a Eurovision-like song contest, Cupcakes features a who’s who in Israel’s film, television and music industries, and is unabashed fun.... more



Days and Nights   

Days and Nights
USA, 2013, 92 min.
First-time director Camargo reworks and updates Chekhov’s The Seagull, transposing the action to present day New England and enlisting support from an exceptional cast.... more



Empire of Dirt   

Empire of Dirt
Canada, 2013, 99 min.
An honest and affecting portrait of three generations of Cree women caught up in a cycle of teenage pregnancy and mistrust finally beginning to put their past behind them and figure out a way forward together.... more



Five Dances   

Five Dances
USA, 2013, 83 min.
A coming out tale of an extraordinarily gifted young dancer recently arrived in the big city (Broadway star Ryan Steele: Newsies, West Side Story), Five Dances is a sensual glimpse of life and first love in New York’s downtown contemporary dance world.... more



A Five Star Life   

A Five Star Life
Italy, 2013, 86 min.
Margherita Buy is compelling as a solitary single woman in her 40s whose job consists of evaluating — and roundly criticizing — European five-star hotels and resorts. A sleeper hit in Italy, the film has been compared to both "Up in the Air" and "Eat Pray Love".... more



The Forgotten Kingdom   

The Forgotten Kingdom
Lesotho, 2013, 98 min.
An audience award winner at multiple festivals this fall, this visually mesmerizing tale follows the fortunes of a young man who strives to honor his father’s last wishes, returning his remains to the ancestral homeland of Lesotho – a land they left 15 years before in search of a better life in Joha... more



Gaming Instinct   

Gaming Instinct
Germany, 2013, 104 min.
A lovelorn prep school outcast indulges the iconoclastic new kid in a sordid psycho-sexual game to take down one of the school’s teachers, but who is playing whom? A brisk pace, strong performances, and intriguing philosophical undercurrents drive this dramatic thriller.... more



Generation War: Part 1   

Generation War: Part 1
Germany, 2013, 131 min.
This powerful, intelligent, big-budget WWII epic follows five German friends and the divergent paths they take between 1941 and 1945. A superb ensemble cast makes the fate of each of these characters essential, gripping drama -- as relevant today as 70 years ago.... more



Generation War: Part 2   

Generation War: Part 2
Germany, 2013, 148 min.
This powerful, intelligent, big-budget WWII epic follows five German friends and the divergent paths they take between 1941 and 1945 re-ignited the debate about responsibility for Nazi atrocities when it aired on German TV last year.... more



Gerontophilia   

Gerontophilia
Canada, 2013, 90 min.
An 18-year-old lad with a penchant for pensioners takes a job in a care home and falls for an 81-year-old man. Shocking? The big shock here is that director LaBruce eschews his usual hardcore style for a film that is positively gentle and pleasing.... more



Gold   

Gold
Germany, 2013, 113 min.
Inspired by period diaries and photographs, this is a German western, or something very like it, an astutely cast, beautifully crafted drama of romance and betrayal set during the 1890s Gold Rush.... more



Grand Central   

Grand Central
France, 2013, 94 min.
Incendiary French star Léa Seydoux (Blue is the Warmest Color) embarks on a risky affair with Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) in the nuclear power plant where they both work. “So intense it’s practically radioactive.” Variety... more



The Grand Seduction   

The Grand Seduction
Canada, 2013, 115 min.
Rollicking humor and quiet moments of whimsy anchor this droll comedy about some Newfoundland villagers, led by the great Brendan Gleeson’s wily fisherman, who use any means necessary to convince a big-city doctor (Taylor Kitsch) to save their community by settling in it.... more



Harmony Lessons   

Harmony Lessons
Kazakhstan, 2013, 115 min.
Humiliated by a school bully, Kazakh science whizz Aslan plots his revenge... “Rich and strange: an existential coming-of-age revenge movie. Intriguing, laconic, mysterious [Harmony Lessons] derives much of its impact from a script that keeps us guessing throughout.” Screen... more



Heart of a Lion   

Heart of a Lion
Finland, 2013, 99 min.
Teppo (the impressive Peter Franzen) hasn’t a shred of doubt about his neo-fascist, white supremacist beliefs. That is, until he falls for a waitress who turns out to have a young son of African heritage... A powerful human drama about bigotry and redemption.... more



Hidden Hills   

Hidden Hills
USA, 2013, 73 min.
Mimicking the style of ‘60s Rock Hudson-Doris Day movies and turning societal convention on its ear, this deeply demented, straight-faced comedy asks the question: “Can true love between two white men survive in a time and place where societal norms only tolerate interracial romance, and straight pe... more



Hotell   

Hotell
Sweden, 2013, 97 min.
This oddball Swedish drama is a guilty pleasure tale of a therapy group that starts its own unique course of treatment, in the well-appointed confines of anonymous hotels.... more



Hunting Elephants   

Hunting Elephants
Israel, 2013, 107 min.
The story of three old men, a clever kid and a bank that just had to be robbed. Nominated for 7 Israeli Film Academy Awards.... more



In Secret   

In Secret
USA, 2013, 102 min.
This intense, daring adaptation of Émile Zola’s 1860s Parisian drama Thérèse Raquin stars a remarkable Elizabeth Olsen as the scheming adulteress at the story’s center. Jessica Lange as Thérèse’s cold aunt and Oscar Issac as Thérèse’s lover are also superb.... more



The Invisible Woman   

The Invisible Woman
United Kingdom, 2013, 111 min.
“Period biographical dramas don’t come much better… an exceptionally involving and credible portrayal of the “whispered” relationship Charles Dickens maintained with a much younger woman over the last 13 years of his life. A career high point for Ralph Fiennes.” Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter... more



It’s All So Quiet   

It’s All So Quiet
Netherlands, 2013, 93 min.
This subtle portrait of rural loneliness follows a middle-aged farmer's quest to cast off the shackles of closeted emotional repression he’s worn all his life. “A poignant reflection on solitude, homosexual repression and aging.” The Hollywood Reporter... more



La Jaula de Oro   

La Jaula de Oro
Mexico, 2013, 110 min.
Teenage friends from Guatemala head north, hopping freight trains to get to the US. It’s a dangerous, brutal but also thrilling journey, with stark lessons for the migrants, and for us too. Impressive, award-winning debut. “Great compassion and urgency.” The Guardian... more



The Keeper of Lost Causes   

The Keeper of Lost Causes
Denmark, 2013, 97 min.
Enjoy a dose of Nordic noir! The Keeper of Lost Causes is the first in a series of adaptations centering on Danish crime writer Jussi Adler Olsen’s hardboiled detective Carl Morck. “A slickly made Danish suspenser.” Variety... more



King Ordinary   

King Ordinary
Germany, 2013, 97 min.
Thomas is hopelessly average – which makes him the perfect target for a duplicitous research company that’ll go to sinister depths to turn his opinions into big results for corporations and political candidates. A darkly allegorical comedy in the vein of "The Truman Show".... more



Lakshmi   

Lakshmi
India, 2013, 109 min.
Based on true events, Lakshmi is the heartwrenching story of a 13-year-old girl kidnapped and sold into prostitution; her refusal to give up hope, and her courageous stand against her oppressors.... more



Last Call   

Last Call
Mexico, 2013, 92 min.
A madcap comedy about a Mexican theater company rehearsing production of Caligula. The director is neurotic and depressed, and the cast and crew struggle with anger, anxiety and drug addiction.... more



Le Chef   

Le Chef
France, 2012, 84 min.
A lighthearted romp through the world of French cuisine that serves up equally healthy portions of belly laugh-inducing comedy and heart-warming drama.... more



Living is easy with eyes closed   

Living is easy with eyes closed
Spain, 2013, 108 min.
Antonio uses Beatles’ songs to teach English in Spain 1966. When he learns that John Lennon is making a film in Almería, he drops everything to meet his idol, picking up two young runaways on the way. “A small gem.” The Hollywood Reporter.... more



Longwave   

Longwave
France, 2013, 85 min.
In 1974, a trio of uptight Swiss radio reporters sent to cover a humdrum story in Lisbon are unwittingly swept up in Portugal’s Carnation Revolution. Valérie Donzelli, director/star of 2012 Festival favorite Declaration of War, and La Comédie-Française vet Michel Vuillermoz star in this delightful s... more



Lootera   

Lootera
India, 2013, 136 min.
Recreating the old world charm of the last days of the Bengali aristocracy and the early years of independence, this captivating, lyrical love story transposes O Henry’s story The Last Leaf to India in 1953.... more



Love and Lemons   

Love and Lemons
Sweden, 2013, 98 min.
Hey foodies! Here is a culinary comedy about love, friendship and the courage it takes to follow your dreams. “Sweet, funny… rousing. It all adds up to a flavorful repast.” The Hollywood Reporter... more



Lovely Louise   

Lovely Louise
Switzerland, 2013, 91 min.
In this feelgood comedy a timid fiftysomething taxi driver and model plane enthusiast has his life turned upside down (and not before time either) when an American turns up on his doorstep, intent on meeting his mother - who used to be a Hollywood starlet.... more



Lovers   

Lovers
France, 2013, 95 min.
Romantic melodrama in all its moody glory is the raison d'être for this sumptuous, South of France-set tale. A famous pianist (Jasmine Trinca) and her working class lover (Joey Starr) find the path to happiness blocked by the man’s unforgiving ex (Virginie Ledoyen).... more



Magic Men   

Magic Men
Israel, 2014, 100 min.
Nearly 70 years after WWII, an old Israeli embarks on a journey accompanied by his estranged, rapper son to find the Greek man who saved his life. This odyssey brings revelations and resentments out into the open, but redemption is also at hand.... more



Manuscripts Don't Burn   

Manuscripts Don't Burn
Iran, 2013, 127 min.
The means by which an authoritarian regime succeeds in silencing independent voices is the subject of this angry, clandestinely made drama from a director who still has an prison sentence hanging over his head. Winner: FIPRESCI prize, Cannes.... more



The Mercury Factor   

The Mercury Factor
Italy, 2013, 111 min.
A mob fix-it man working for a corrupt multinational firm that deals in adulterated food and a Chinese woman whose child is a victim of that same company’s product unwittingly fall in love in Hong Kong, a romance that will have fateful consequences in this exotic thriller about a wide-ranging – and ... more



Miele   

Miele
Italy, 2013, 96 min.
Italian actress Valeria Golina (Rain Man) makes an impressive directorial debut with this study of a committed, idealistic young woman (Trinca) who dedicates herself to the (illegal) cause of assisted suicide. The task takes a heavy toll on her personal relationships. Winner, Best First Film, Best A... more



Montage   

Montage
South Korea, 2013, 120 min.
For lovers of suspense, a clever captivating and poignant thriller about a mother’s frantic renewed search for her daughter’s killer five days before the statute of limitations runs out on the crime.... more



The Mute   

The Mute
Peru, 2013, 86 min.
In this dark comedy coproduced by Carlos Reygadas, a Peruvian judge is left without a voice after being shot in the neck. He’s determined to find and convict the shooter, but there seems to be no one he can rely on – perhaps not even himself.... more



My Sweet Pepper Land   

My Sweet Pepper Land
France, 2013, 86 min.
A delightful, poker-faced takeoff on the cowboy movie set on the Iraq-Turkish border where a Kurdish war hero accepts a position as chief of police in a lawless village. Winner, Best Film, Chicago Film Festival; Audience Award, Inverness Film Festival.... more



Mystery Road   

Mystery Road
Australia, 2013, 122 min.
When a teenage girl is found murdered beside a rural highway, aboriginal police detective Jay Swan has personal reasons to crack the case. Both western and police procedural, this mature and superbly controlled film features some of Australia’s best actors.... more



Nightingale   

Nightingale
France, 2013, 108 min.
In this ravishingly beautiful movie, Philippe Muyl takes us on a Chinese road trip through spectacular mountain villages to discover a bucolic existence. A grandfather travels towards his memories, while his granddaughter finds simple wonders she never knew existed.... more



Oh Boy   

Oh Boy
Germany, 2012, 86 min.
Twenty-something Niko wanders the streets of a black-and-white Berlin, searching for a perfect cup of coffee and a direction in life, in this spirited and very droll comedy. Winner of six German Film Awards, including Best Film.... more



Open Up To Me   

Open Up To Me
Finland, 2013, 95 min.
Maarit is a beautiful, intelligent and sexy woman – who used to be a man. When she meets and falls in love with Sami, she finally feels like she can fit in somewhere. But Sami’s tolerance is soon put to the test.... more



Party Central   

Party Central
USA, 2014, 6 min.
Filmmaker(s) attending: Director... more



A Place in Heaven   

A Place in Heaven
Israel, 2013, 117 min.
A probing fictional biography of a top Israeli general turned politician that encompasses 40 years of Israeli history while providing an intimate portrait of an obstinate man whose principles come before everything else. “Character-driven and allegorical… A complex, good-looking, epic drama.” Variet... more



Rabbit Woman   

Rabbit Woman
Argentina, 2013, 81 min.
A conspiracy thriller mixing live action with manga episodes, Chinese triads, and – yes! – genetically modified carnivorous rabbits, this audacious Argentine effort has “cult movie” stamped all over it.... more



Roa   

Roa
Colombia, 2013, 98 min.
The story of Juan Roa, a loving family man with a confused sense of reality and a burning aspiration to achieve greatness, who is thought to have murdered Colombian populist leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán in 1948.... more



Rosie   

Rosie
Switzerland, 2013, 106 min.
When Lorenz, a successful gay author suffering writer’s block, has to return to his small hometown in Switzerland to care for his aging mother long-buried family secrets and the chance for romance challenge his assumptions about himself.... more



Salvation Army   

Salvation Army
France, 2013, 84 min.
This milestone in the depiction of homosexuality in the Arab world follows Abdellah from his teenage years of furtive sex in Morocco to his time as a graduate student in Geneva, where being a gay Moroccan comes with a different set of obstacles.... more



Salvo   

Salvo
Italy, 2013, 104 min.
In this riveting, unorthodox and superbly choreographed thriller a mafia hitman spares the life of a blind young woman, the only “witness” to the murder of her brother. Winner, Critics’ Week, Cannes Film Festival.... more



Sarah Prefers to Run   

Sarah Prefers to Run
Canada, 2013, 96 min.
Robichaud’s debut feature is a highly assured, subtle, observational film about a young middle-distance runner making the leap to a big city university team, but stumbling in the adult world of relationships and responsibilities.... more



The Searches   

The Searches
Mexico, 2013, 77 min.
A woman is devastated when her husband suddenly, inexplicably commits suicide. A man sets out to kill the thief who stole his wallet, where he kept the only photo of his deceased wife and daughter. The two stories have an unexpected connection…... more



Siddharth   

Siddharth
India, 2013, 96 min.
A street merchant regrets sending away his 12-year-old son to work in a factory when the boy fails to return home for Diwali. Thus begins a desperate search, hindered by the man’s poverty, illiteracy, and the challenge of locating anyone in a country of a billion souls.... more



Standing Aside, Watching   

Standing Aside, Watching
Greece, 2013, 90 min.
Antigone returns from Athens to her troubled hometown determined to keep a low profile. But run-ins with the town’s brutish men set a startling series of events in motion. “A model of urgent, contemporary storytelling.” Indiewire... more



Stay   

Stay
Canada, 2013, 99 min.
"Orange Is the New Black"’s Taylor Schilling and Aidan Quinn do outstanding work in this appealing romantic drama, about a young woman – living in Ireland with an ex-professor – whose unplanned pregnancy causes her to question her future.... more



Still Life   

Still Life
United Kingdom, 2013, 87 min.
Meticulous and organized, John May (Eddie Marsan) is a council worker charged with finding the next of kin of those who have died alone. His final case takes him on a liberating journey that allows him to start living life at last.... more



The Summer of Flying Fish   

The Summer of Flying Fish
Chile, 2013, 87 min.
A wealthy Chilean landowner angers the indigenous Mapuche as he goes to extremes to cleanse the lake near his vacation home of unwanted carp. His teenage daughter becomes disturbed by his behavior, as she gets involved in a new romance.... more



Tangerines   

Tangerines
Estonia, 2013, 87 min.
1992. An Estonian village in Abkhazia. The approaching war scares off all but two villagers who remain to harvest the tangerines. This deeply pacifist chamber drama is as tense as a thriller. Winner, Best Director, Warsaw Film Festival.... more



Tattoo   

Tattoo
Brazil, 2013, 110 min.
A young soldier in the Brazilian military is drawn into the anarchic and uninhibited world of avant-garde cabaret in Hilton Lacerda’s award-winning debut, a lively period piece set in the mid 70s.... more



Those Happy Years   

Those Happy Years
Italy, 2013, 106 min.
An artist (Kim Rossi Stuart) sees his life turned upside down when his wife (Micaela Ramazzotti) goes on a feminist retreat… “A delicate, nuanced film that is unexpectedly moving in its portrait of a young Italian family living through the turbulent, freedom-loving '70s…” Variety... more



Traffic Department   

Traffic Department
Poland, 2013, 117 min.
This jet-black and breakneck Polish cop thriller has proved a box office sensation on home turf. “Strong meat indeed, its violently savage cynicism expertly marbled with a streak of ribald black humor.” The Hollywood Reporter.... more



Two Mothers   

Two Mothers
Germany, 2013, 75 min.
The German system makes it very difficult for lesbian couples to have a child, a fact explored with intelligence and depth in this deeply moving docudrama that shows the increasing strain put on one relationship by this profoundly unfair practice.... more



Under The Same Sun   

Under The Same Sun
Israel, 2012, 75 min.
This savvy drama follows two businessmen – one Palestinian and one Israeli – as they struggle to build a joint business venture in the face of political, cultural, and family opposition.... more



Unforgiven   

Unforgiven
Japan, 2013, 135 min.
A retired samurai takes up his sword against a sea of troubles in this gorgeously shot and impressively choreographed Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s classic western.... more



The Verdict   

The Verdict
Belgium, 2013, 110 min.
Exposing a serious flaw in the Belgian justice system, this gripping courtroom drama centers on a man’s horrific loss of family, the legal glitch that let the killer go free, and vigilante justice. Best Director, Montreal Film Festival.... more



Vic + Flo Saw a Bear   

Vic + Flo Saw a Bear
Canada, 2013, 95 min.
Acclaimed Quebecois filmmaker Denis Côté picked up a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for this jaggy, ominous, hypnotic piece about two lesbian ex-cons cohabiting uneasily out in the woods.... more



Walking with the Enemy   

Walking with the Enemy
USA, 2013, 126 min.
In 1944, as Germany turns on its ally Hungary, thousands of citizens are forced into ghettos. In this suspenseful and inspirational true story, one young man will summon incredible courage to rescue his family from the Nazis - by disguising himself as one of them.... more



Yozgat Blues   

Yozgat Blues
Turkey, 2013, 96 min.
This humanist heartbreaker is an exquisitely shot, superbly performed, realist – and humorous – drama that follows a gentlemanly Istanbul musician who takes a winter gig performing old fashioned French chansons at a run-down club with a much younger female backing singer.... more



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