Brigitta Portier

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Your answer to International Press at Film Festivals

National Press of Films Released in Belgium 

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Venice - Toronto - San Sebastian - Cairo

Our line-up

Bright Future Main Programme

World Premiere

Merry Christmas, Yiwu

by Mladen Kovacevic

Sweden, Serbia, France, Germany, Belgium & Qatar - 94’ - 2020

Even though China does not celebrate Christmas, there are over 600 Christmas-decoration factories in Yiwu, China. They are often run as a family business and manufacture year round, employing people from across the country. This observational documentary focuses on several of them, located in and around Yiwu. There are no high-tech machines, just people working really hard putting glitter on baubles, pom poms on Christmas hats and assembling Father Christmases. 

The camera trails the workers at the factory and elsewhere–their conversations, love issues, a game of pool, shopping and eating, and the calls home, far away from Yiwu's prosperity. People joke about child labour in China, complain about the heat, but basically everyone seems to accept this artificial, surreal society where your colleagues are your new family and the factory is home. A portrait without voice-over of a place created where communism and globalism intersect and transform one another.


24 Jan at 19:15 in Pathé 3 

25 Jan at 09:15 in Cinerama 3 - Press & Industry Screening

25 Jan at 12:30 in Lantaren Venster 3 

30 Jan at 09:30 in Cinerama 4

Interviews with Director Mladen Kovacevic will be possible on 25 Jan from 16:00 to 17:30 and 26 Jan from 11:30 to 13:00

Press Material Link

Sales: Deckert Distribution 

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Bright Future Main Programme

World Premiere

Phases of Matter

(Maddenin Halleri)

by Deniz Tortum

Turkey - 71’ - 2020

The professor strides resolutely through the old Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Hospital. She stops next to a patient. Having professionally exchanged some medical data, she interestedly asks the elderly woman on the bed what book she is reading. The professor picks it up and reads a love poem aloud – an unexpected contrast in Deniz Tortum's depiction of the parallel world of doctors and other workers in the hospital where he was born and where his father is a doctor.

A human, curious look at a place where life and death, levity and severity, poetry and confrontation go side by side. Roaming freely, the observational style of this documentary flows into more free-spirited impressions, including of medical equipment, preserved body parts, medical dummies and a comforting reflection from the imam of the mortuary. The ancient hospital itself heightens further the growing sense of impermanence. It is also under threat of demolition.


25 Jan at 21:00 in Cinerama 4 - Press & Industry Screening 

26 Jan at 18:45 in Pathé 6

27 Jan at 22:15 in Cinerama 7

28 Jan at 09:15 in Lantaren Venster 2

Interviews with Director Deniz Tortum will be possible on 26 Jan from 11:30 to 13:00 and 27 Jan from 16:00 to 17:30

Press Material Link

Sales: Istos Film

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Deep Focus

International Premiere

Il était un petit navire

(There Was a Little Ship)

by Marion Hänsel

Belgium - 65’ - 2019

A two-month hospital stay marks the start of a journey through the memories of a woman, the filmmaker. Invisibly providing voiceover, she returns to 1949, to the staircase she would take down to the water as a child in Marseille, where she was born. This leads her to Antwerp, England, New York, Paris and other places she visited as a child, teen or adult.

Images of cities and landscapes interlarded with archival footage of playing children, ships and ports are animated by memories of precious moments, joy and pain, her first steps as an artist and the people important to her, including her grandfather, her older sister and mainly her son Jan, with whom Hänsel, a familiar name at IFFR, is still really close. Il était un petit navire, after a French nursery rhyme, is a poetic, candid reflection; an ode to life.


26 Jan at 16:45 in Lantaren Venster 6

27 Jan at 17:15 in Lantaren Venster 6

28 Jan at 18:15 in Cinerama 3 - Press & Industry Screening

01 Feb at 13:15 in Lantaren Venster 2 

Interviews with Director Marion Hänsel will be possible on Jan 29 from 11:30 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 17:30

Press Material Link

In response to her recent autobiographical film, IFFR’s retrospective of Director’s Marion Hänsel’s films completes the portrait of a singular voice in filmmaking, writing, producing and acting. More info about this can be found here

Sales: Doc & Film International & Jour2Fête

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Big Screen Competition (Voices)

World Premiere

A Perfectly Normal Family

(En helt almindelig familie)

by Malou Reymann

Denmark - 93’ - 2020

When Emma’s father says he wants to live the rest of his life as a woman, Emma is thrown completely off kilter. Thomas makes a rapid transition into Agnete: a woman in stylish dresses who suddenly has no more interest in football. Who is this new father? Can Emma even call Agnete that?

As first-time feature maker, Malou Reymann herself grew up with a father who became a woman, she knows first-hand how children can experience such a complex change. Safe family life is disturbed and the close father-daughter relationship irrevocably transformed. This is why she chose to present this drama from the perspective of pre-teen Emma. How will this sensitive girl deal with her confusion, sorrow and anger? And how can you, as a family, come up with new ways of relating to one another, while the outside world looks on askance? Between intimate, tender and heart-rending moments, recognisable old home videos show the young family in seemingly simpler times.


26 Jan at 15:15 in Cinerama 3 - Press & Industry Screening

27 Jan at 19:00 in Oude Luxor

28 Jan at 13:30 in Pathé 7

29 Jan at 09:15 in Pathé 1

31 Jan at 09:30 in Pathé 5

Interviews with Director Malou Reymann will be possible on 27 Jan from 11:30 to 13:00 and 28 Jan from 16:00 to 17:30

Press Material Link

Sales: New Europe Film Sales

Please send your interview requests to garywalsh@alibicommunications.be

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