By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 15, 2013 at 1:59PM
AFI FEST 2013 has made an international selection of films for the New Auteurs and Shorts sections at this year’s festival (November 7 through 14). The fest takes place at the TCL Chinese Theatre complex as well as the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
The New Auteurs section highlights first and second-time international feature film directors and the shorts are a diverse program from around the world. Both sections are juried and eligible for Grand Jury Awards. This year’s New Auteurs jury features Peter DeBruge (Variety), Karina Longworth (author and critic), Amy Nicholson (LA Weekly) and Betsy Sharkey (Los Angeles Times). The Shorts jury features Alejandro De Leon (producer), Kitao Sakurai (filmmaker), Jordan Vogt-Roberts (filmmaker) and Heidi Zwicker (shorts programmer).
NEW AUTEURS SELECTIONS (10 titles)
THE FAKE – In this controversial animated drama from South Korea, a rural village in danger of a flood turns to a church that promises salvation. DIR Yeon Sang-ho. SCR Yeon Sang-ho. CAST Yang Ikjune, Oh Jungse, Kwon Haehyo, Park Heevon. South Korea.
HARMONY LESSONS – This captivating Kazakh drama follows an adolescent boy who faces schoolyard bullying – part of a hierarchy of village corruption – who resolves to plot revenge. DIR Emir Baigazin. SCR Emir Baigazin. CAST Timur Aidarbekov, Aslan Anarbayev, Mukhtar Anadassov, Anelya Adilbekova. Kazakhstan, Germany, France.
￼￼￼￼IN BLOOM – A powerful story about two 14-year-old girls who challenge patriarchal expectations in 1992 Tbilisi, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. DIR Nana Ekvtimishvili & Simon Gross. SCR Nana Ekvtimishvili. CAST Lika Babluani, Mariam Bokeria, Zurab Gogaladze. Georgia, Germany, France.
MY DOG KILLER – This simmering drama follows a lonely young adult living in rural Slovakia, where bubbling ethnic tensions and inner turmoil lead to dark consequences. DIR Mira Fornay. SCR Mira Fornay. CAST Adam Mihal, Marian Kuruc, Irena Bendova, Libor Filo. Slovakia, Czech Republic.
NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN – A new member of a fundamentalist Christian group moves in with a family, but soon descends into a vortex of dogmatism, heresy and violence. DIR Katrin Gebbe. SCR Katrin Gebbe. CAST Julius Feldmeier, Sascha Gersak, Swantje Kohlhof, Annika Kuhl. Germany.
THE OWNERS – A comic look at class struggle, this Argentine tale of estate workers and their employers makes full use of its ensemble cast to explore the difficulty of sustaining a lie. DIR Agustín Toscano & Ezequiel Radusky. SCR Agustín Toscano & Ezequiel Radusky. CAST Rosario Blefari, Germán De Silva, Sergio Prina, Cynthia Avellaneda. Argentina.
THE SELFISH GIANT – In this memorable example of British realism, feisty menace Arbor and his friend Swifty are expelled from school and turn to illegal means of making money. DIR Clio Barnard. SCR Clio Barnard. CAST Connor Chapman, Shaun Thomas, Sean Gilder, Rebecca Manley. United Kingdom.
A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS – Filmmakers Ben Russell and Ben Rivers team up for the first time to create this experimental triptych of stories revolving around a silent protagonist. DIR Ben Rivers & Ben Russell. SCR Ben Rivers & Ben Russell. CAST Robert A.A Lowe, Taraka Larson, Nimai Larson, Nick Turvey. France, Estoria.
THE STRANGE LITTLE CAT – A whimsical exploration of the tensions and pleasures of everyday life is made in a cramped Berlin apartment overflowing with adults, children and pets. DIR Ramon Zürcher. SCR Ramon Zürcher. Jenny Schily, Anjorka Strechel, Mia Kasalo, Luk Pfaff. Germany.
WE ARE MARI PEPA – This comic love letter to the loss of innocence follows a Guadalajara teenager with fun summer expectations who must come to terms with growing responsibilities. DIR Samuel Isamu Kishi Leopo. SCR Samuel Isamu Kishi Leopo & Sofía Gómez Córdova. CAST Alejandro Gallardo, Arnold Ramírez, Jaime Miranda, Moisés Galindo. Mexico.
SHORTS SELECTIONS (36 titles)