What an huge pleasure to compose this program after all this emptiness and what another pleasure it will be to join you in theaters, for a collective experience, finally! We have redoubled our efforts to fill all the gaps of the last few months: crossing borders, going out to meet others, transforming individuality into collectiveness and reaffirming essential values. That’s the 8th edition of UBIFF program! We hope you are ready! Cinema has always been an invitation to travel, but this year we particularly dreamed of Elsewhere. Just like our characters. In the Bering Strait, Philipp Yuryev’s The Whaler Boy (17th Venice Days’ Director’s Award) looks for love behind his screen and jus across the sea. On the Turkish border, Panah Panahi’s crazy Iranien family invents a future in the stars and in the pop songs they listen to while they Hit The Road. When a young Finnish woman enters Compartment 6 of a very long-distance train, an unlikely encounter awaits her, one with otherness, in Juho Kuosmanen’s marvelous Cannes Grand Jury Award. When we know that director Kirill Serebrennikov is under house arrest, we understand better why his journey is an internal one. His fever catches us completely in his psychedelic trip Petrov’s Flu. And the great talent of Apichatpong Weerasethakul strikes again in Memoria (Jury Award in Cannes), between sleep, jungle sounds, transcendence and epiphany. But 2021 is also a world in struggle and fight. The Venice Golden Lion, Happening by Audrey Diwan reminds us how important it is to reaffirm fundamental human rights. Human Factors by Ronny Trocker is a fable about power and the limits we should set for ourselves in an election campaign. Elie Grappe’s Olga transforms an Olympic body into a political body with incredible grace and Payal Kapadia’s A Night of Knowing Nothing transforms intimacy into politics, when her starting point is a love letter, but her movie is about society. This film was awarded the Golden Eye for best documentary at Cannes. We hope you will share all our love and passion for these movies and we wish you a beautiful Festival.
Anne Delseth and Thibaut Bracq