Religion Today, 62 films in the official selection

Friday, 27 July, 2018

62 films from 28 countries in the world, selected from 450 submissions, will be part of the 21st Religion Today Film Festival. They explore beliefs, waits, and values of younger generations; histories of migration and interreligious dialogue, and the gaze "religions with women's eyes".

Youngsters and faith, faces of women in religions, experiences of interreligious dialogue, peace and rights, histories of migrations between identities, dialogue and conflict in plural societies. These are only a few of the deep and complex reflections at the centre of the 62 films (fiction, documentaries, and shorts) competing at the 21st Religion Today Film Festival, from the 4th to the 11th of October 2018 in Trento, Bolzano, Rovereto, Merano, Arco, Pergine and Borgo. After the stop-overs in Trentino Alto Adige/Suedtirol , Religion Today’s journey will continue in Italy and in the world> Rome, Nomadelfia, Jerusalem, Bangladesh, Nepal, to name but a few.

The three Selection Committees, united in a non-stop three-day selection session, have examined the films preselected among the 450 which were submitted. The films, coming from 28 countries from all over the world, are representative of a vast panorama of different faiths. A determining factor for the decision was the coherence with the theme of the 2018 edition, dedicated to ‘New generations’, which, through a reciprocal encounter, aims to  investigate and listen to the concrete experiences of the young, their dreams, hopes, disillusions, creativity, doubts and answers. “Young people will be active protagonists of the Festival, not only involved in the formation, but also as ‘authorised personnel’, starting from their presence in this selections phase, which has seen them working side by side with cinema experts, people of different ages, nationalities and religions”, says the artistic director Andrea Morghen.

The evaluation criteria of the films took into consideration the technical-artistic qualities, the research and innovation of the contents, the right balance between debuting filmmakers, religions and countries of origin.

“Putting the spotlight on young people becomes an important challenge to catch the rapid changes induced by new technologies in general, which require a greater effort of opening towards new narrative and audio-visual narratives”, highlights Gilli Mendel, former director for the special events of the Jerusalem Cinematheque. “Films now travel not only on big and small screens, but on many platforms, the internet, smartphones. Let’s think about the development of visual storytelling, webdoc … new expressive ways, to share contents, participation paths and encounter”. At the heart of this evolving process there are young interpreters of social change. “Cinema which embraces the existentialist dimension of religion, the search for the deep self and the true sense of life”, adds Gilli Mendel, “allows the carrying out of a spiritual journey in the understanding of ourselves and different cultures”.

Because, as Ingmar Bergman thought, “no art passes our conscience in the way film does”.

“A hundred years after his birth, the masterpieces of the great Swedish filmmakers still strike us for the depth of analysis with which he investigated the soul and probed some of the most fundamental questions of man”, observes film critic Armando Lostaglio. “They reflect the current questions of faith and spirituality, the necessity to find the straight bar in this time of absence of ideals, uncertainty, bewilderment. In this direction, Religion Today offers the opportunity to dig within ourselves. Watching a good film can help bring back lost time. Cinema is didactic knowledge and analysis, a tool which is both leisure and acquisition of new elements through cinematographic aesthetics, which other mediums of communication cannot transmit”.

“The selected films intertwine worlds which the spectator has only touched lightly”, says Davide Torri, responsible for the association “Gente di montagna” (Mountain people) and artistic director of Brescia Winter Film Festival. “With courtesy and lightness, they tell stories connected to conditions of degradation, sufferance, injustice, but brought together by the will to change and by hope, with an open look not only to interreligious dialogue, but also to the religious afflatus which lives in all of us”.

Films come from Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Palestine, Poland, Korea, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, the USA, the Ukraine.

The organisational machine of Religion Today continues full paced, defining the initiatives anticipating the ‘journey through the differences’. These weeks, we start from the Pietralba (BZ) with an important preview of the Festival, on Wednesday , 1st of August, 8:30pm, with the film Sermon on the mount from Korea, a Buddhist version of the Sermon on the Mount.

 

Fiction Films

  • Beneath the Silence, Erez Mizrahi & Sahar ShavitIsraele, Israel
  • Detainee X, Manee Osman, Canada
  • Haldaa, Tauquir Ahmed, Bangladesh
  • Halima, Iuliia Zakharova, Russia
  • Il mio nome è Thomas, Terence Hill, Italy
  • La Croce e la Stella, Salvatore Lo Piano, Italy
  • My Short Words, Bekir Bulbul, Turkey
  • Prodigy, Nathan Leon, United States
  • Resurrection, Kristof Hoornaert, Belgium
  • Sermon on the Mount, Yoo YoungUee, Korea
  • The Holy Fish, Sandeep Mishra, India
  • Until the End of Time, Chouikh Yasmine, Algeria
  • Where the Shadows Fall, Valentina Pedicini, Italy

Documentaries

 

  • An Extraordinay Mother, Patar Simatupang, Indonesia
  • Child Mother, Ronen Zaretzky, Yael Kipper, Israel
  • IL RISARCIMENTO mons. Romero, il suo popolo e papa Francesco, Gianni Beretta e Patrik Soergel, Switzerland
  • Land of the Homeless , Marcin Janos Krawczyk, Poland
  • Last Days. Last Shot, Sumira Roy, India
  • Liborio: An Artist of the Solomon Islands, Elliot Spencer, Australia
  • Reception, Lilla Zentai, Hungary
  • Remember Baghdad, Fiona Murphy, United Kingdom
  • Saving the Hermans, Gilard Goldschmidt, Israel
  • Seaman and 207, Sophia Tewa, United States
  • See you tomorrow, God Willing! , Ainara Vera, Spain, Norway
  • Singers of animas, David Delgado San Ginés, Spain
  • The Feast of St. John in Uzdol, Davor Borić, Croatia
  • The Field, Mordechai Vardi, Israel
  • The Great Beginning - 500 Years Reformation- Part 1: The Spark, Cross Media Medienproduktion GmbH, Andreas Sawall, Germany
  • The Human of Nature, Nver Hovhannisyan, Armenia
  • The Pillars of Heaven, Nicholas Rooney, Ukraine
  • The Poetess, S.A., Germany
  • Time to Die, Anne Christine Girardot, Holland
  • Two Schools, Srdjan Sarenac, Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Wajd: Songs of Separation, Amar Chebib, Canada
  • Walking for Genna, Furnelle Frédéric, Belgium
  • When Rumi meets Francis, Mohamed Kenawi, Italy
  • Women of Freedom, Abeer Zeibak Haddad, Palestina, Israel

Short films

 

  • 6 times human, Pourya Dailar, Iran
  • A Few Knots Away, Mansour Forouzesh, Iran
  • A Letter to God, Hemanta Sadeeq, Bangladesh
  • Across the Line, Nadav Shlomo Giladi, Israel
  • Clash of Morality, Vinay Pujara, United States
  • Ereignis, Pierfrancesco Gatto, Italy
  • Italian Miracle, Francesco Gabrile, Italy, England (not in competition)
  • Far From Home, Mayra Veliz, Mexico
  • Forouzan, Mirabbas Khosravinezhad, Iran
  • From On High, Dawn Westlake, United States, Spain
  • Genesis, Abtin Mozafari, Iran
  • I'm From the Jews, Aharon Shem Tov and Niv Hachlili, Israel
  • It rains slowly, Saeid Nejati, Iran
  • Keren Or (a ray of light), Lihi Sabag, Israel
  • La Deriva Dei Continenti, Pietro Novello, United Kingdom
  • Les vaillants, Martin Gunn, Canada
  • Open your eyes, Llay Mevorach, Israel
  • Prison Prayer, Miljan Gogic, Serbia
  • Return, Shahriar Pourseyedian, Iran
  • The Beekeeper, Mohammad Talebi, Iran
  • The End Of The Good Old Days, Mehmet Basak, Turkey
  • The Legend of Maiden Rock, Nataliia Lakhmitska, Poland
  • The youngest, Rachel Elitzur, Israel
  • The Violet, Baqer Al-Rubaie, Iraq
  • The World We Live in, Hanna Fischer, Sofiia Melnyk, Nina Prange, Germany
  • ZORN dem Volke, Lorenz Piehl, Germany