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Birds of Passage (Opening Night Film)
Birds of Passage charts the origins of the Colombian drug trade, through the epic story of an indigenous Wayuu family that becomes involved in the booming business of selling marijuana to American youths during the 1970s. When greed, passion and honor collide, a fratricidal war breaks out that will put their lives, their culture and their ancestral traditions at stake.
Co-directed by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra, producer and director behind the acclaimed The Embrace of the Serpent presented at GEMS 2015, is Colombia’s entry for the 2019 Foreign-Language Academy Award.
When Tina, a highly-skilled customs officer with a keen ability to identify smugglers through her senses, crosses paths with Vor, she is surprised to realize that she is unable to properly assess his intentions. This moment of confusion paves the path for Tina’s brash journey into self-discovery as she gradually becomes more intrigued by Val’s enigmatic presence.
Winner of the Uncertain Regard Program at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and chosen as Sweden’s entry for the 2019 Foreign-Language Academy Award, Ali Abbasi’s bold and cleverly-crafted film beautifully overlaps genres to create a relatable and moving tale.
Martina, a once-famous singer living in Argentina, has apparently lost her libido. Her vocal talent seems to have faded alongside her ability to enjoy sex. All of this changes, however, with the arrival of Francisca, a Chilean fan who claims to be Martina’s sister, and her boyfriend Cesar. Suddenly, Martina is compelled to travel to Chile where she may receive a second chance at love and family.
Che Sandoval’s third feature film is a realistic, sensitive and hilarious comedy that premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival International Narrative Competition.
Upon traveling back to her hometown near Madrid, Laura, a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, seems pleased to be reuniting with old friends and family members as they prepare for a wedding. However, the joyful ambiance quickly dissipates following the unexpected chain of events which includes the sudden disappearance of Laura’s daughter and the unveiling of some dark secrets. Directed by two-time Academy Award winner Asghar Farhadi, Everybody Knows marks his first time directing in Spain and working with real-life couple and giants of Spanish (and international) Cinema, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, as well as the incredible Ricardo Darín.
Selected as the opening film of the Cannes Film Festival, this psychological thriller lives up to its suggestive title as a result of Farhadi’s masterful direction and an all-star cast who deliver superb performances.
A chance encounter morphs into a mystery in Lee Chang-dong’s Burning, a slow-burn examination of anger and obsession where everything is questioned, and little is answered.
When Jongsu reconnects with childhood friend Haemi, it seems like things are finally looking up for him. But as soon as she enters his life, so does a mysterious man named Ben, a man who’s confident, charismatic and wealthy – everything the hapless Jongsu isn’t. Then, things take a turn for the strange when Ben confesses a dark secret hobby, one that Jongsu can’t ignore…
With Burning, Korean auteur Lee Chang-dong has crafted a mesmerizing narrative about what happens when class conflict and toxic masculinity fuse together. A cinematic puzzle that has transfixed audiences, Burning became the highest rated film ever on Screen International’s Cannes critics grid, marking it as one of the most enthusiastically loved films of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.