'Discovery' is a new competition section of SIWFF that showcases the first or second feature films of women filmmakers from Korea and abroad. A combination of the Korean and International Competitions from previous years, this section introduces the latest women's films from the wider cinematic sphere. This year's program features 12 new works from 10 countries around the world—Korea, Denmark, Germany, USA, Brazil, Sweden, Argentina, China, Canada and Panama—with unique features ranging from genre-defying, daring cinematic approaches to elegant narrative structures.
Seven of the selected works will be screened as Asian premieres. Brazilian director Moara PASSONI's Ecstasy (2020) depicts a world steeped in uncertainty and the inner turmoil of an anorexic girl against the backdrop of the political upheaval of Brazil in the 1990s—a bold masterpiece that stands out for its delicate cinematography, surreal and dreamlike nonfiction structure. PASSONI is also a talented documentary screenwriter, who co-wrote Petra COSTA's The Edge of Democracy, which was nominated for this year's Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Eva Marie RØDBRO's adventurous documentary I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die (2019) had its world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) last year. The film's depiction of the complex inner longing of a poverty-stricken woman in suburban Colorado Springs reminds us that love and dependency go hand in hand in family. In the Swedish film Always Amber (2020) by Lia HIETALA and Hannah REINIKAINEN, which was invited to this year's Berlinale (Panorama), several open-minded teenagers overcome the society's rigid spectrum of sexual identities and let their hearts guide them. Bulgarian director Eliza PETKOVA's A Fish Swimming Upside Down (2020), which was screened at this year's Berlinale (Perspektive Deutsches Kino) is a provocative work that pushes women's desires to the limit—far beyond things considered as taboos in the name of morality and ethics. Born in 1996 in Argentina, Sol BERRUEZO PICHON-RIVIÈRE received a special mention at this year's Berlinale (Generation Kplus) for her work Mum, Mum, Mum (2020); in the film, three generations of women staying in a confined space form a community of sorrow and comfort on one summer day. Panquiaco (2020) by Ana Elena TEJERA competed in the Bright Future Competition at this year's Rotterdam International Film Festival; it explores the issues of nostalgia, memory and identity in the form of an essay film—a rare chance to encounter a film from Panama that leads us into the world of cinema through an exquisite mixture of the history of imperialist colonialism and the mythology of the native community. The program includes Canadian director Heather YOUNG's Murmur (2019), whose previous short films Fish (2016) and Milk (2017) shed light on women weighed down by burdens of life. This documentary-fiction charts how a middle-aged woman suffering from an extreme sense of isolation and loneliness, coming to depend on animals.
In addition, Summer is the Coldest Season (2019) by Chinese director ZHOU Sun is the story of a young girl who struggles not to disregard the origin of suffering. A graduate of the Beijing Film Academy (master's degree in film directing), ZHOU unravels a solid narrative arc. The winner of the Tiger Award at this year's IFFR, ZHENG LU Xinyuan's The Cloud in Her Room (2020) turns into a piece of film poetry as the images of dilapidated spaces of the past, desolate streets, and a lonely girl, come together across the black and white screen. Also included in the program are three powerful Korean films. JEONG Jeeyeong's Eunmi takes a close look at one woman who has a series of relationships— almost as an addiction—and the relentless chain of events they lead to. In WellTempered by SON Moa and AHN Jungyeon we witness someone who retains her dignity even after her dream falls apart. KANG Yeeun's The Quiet Noise traces the cause of pain and reconstructs the world through the collision and overlapping of sounds and images. We look forward to sharing all 12 films, all of which knock on the doors of the world examining urgent questions. JEONG Jihye / Programmer
Brazil, United States2020Asian Premiere75DCPcolor
Eva Marie RØDBRO
Sol BERRUEZO PICHON-RIVIÈRE