The 10th edition of the Luxembourg City Film Festival, also known as LuxFilmFest, will be showing close to 30 English-language productions; the film festival will run from 5 to 15 March 2020 across cinemas in Luxembourg City.
On the programme are the following English-language productions:
- Promising Young Woman (US 2020, 113 min)
English writer-director Emerald Fennell’s directorial debut “Promising Young Woman” will open this year’s LuxFilmFest. The drama thriller film stars Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Jennifer Coolidge and Laverne Cox. It will be screened in English (with French subtitles) on Thursday 5 March 2020 at 19:00 at Kinepolis Kirchberg. This screening follows the film’s world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on 25 January 2020. Its general release is scheduled for April 2020.
Synopsis: Cassie was a promising young woman until a mysterious event abruptly derailed her future. But nothing in Cassie’s life is what it appears to be: at night, she acts drunk to attract men who see her as easy prey. Those who go too far risk paying dearly for their predatory advances.
- Bait (UK 2019, 87 min)
Mark Jenkin’s drama film “Bait” stars Edward Rowe as a struggling fisherman in Cornwall. Other cast members include Giles King, Mary Woodvine, Simon Shepherd and Isaac Woodvine. The film was released in August 2019 and will be screened in English (with French subtitles), in the presence of actor Edward Rowe, as part of the LuxFilmFest official competition on three separate dates: on Friday 6 March at 18:30 at Cinémathèque; on Saturday 7 March at 18:30 at Ciné Utopia; and on Wednesday 11 March 2020 at 14:00 at Cinémathèque.
Synopsis: When his childhood home is transformed into a guest house for rich Londoners, a Cornish fisherman, Martin, declares war on the Leighs, the freshly arrived family that bought it. His struggle to restore his family to their traditional place creates increasing friction with tourists and locals alike.
- Downhill (US 2020, 86 min)
Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, “Downhill” (screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash) is a black comedy drama based on Ruben Östlund’s film “Force Majeure”. The main cast includes Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell. The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on 26 January ahead of its general release on 14 February 2020. It will be screened in English (subtitles to be confirmed) as part of LuxFilmFest’s official selection out-of-competition on Friday 6 March 2020 at 19:00 at Kinepolis Kirchberg.
Synopsis: On holiday in the Alps, a family barely escapes an avalanche. As Billie, the mother, dives to protect her sons, her husband Pete’s instinctual reaction is to grab his phone and run. In the aftermath, the couple is forced to re-evaluate their lives and how they feel about each other.
- Midnight Traveler (US, QA, UK, Canada 2019, 88 min)
Director Hassan Fazili stars in his own documentary “Midnight Traveler” (screenplay by Emelie Mahdavian), alongside Nargis Fazili, Zahra Fazili and Fatima Hussaini. The film will be screened in Persian and English (with French and English subtitles) as part of LuxFilmFest’s official selection out-of-competition on Friday 6 March at 14:00 at Ciné Utopia and on Monday 9 March 2020 at 14:00 at Cinémathèque.
Synopsis: When the Taliban put a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee the country with his wife and two young daughters. Documenting their uncertain journey, the director shows both the danger and desperation facing refugees seeking asylum, as well as the love shared between a family on the run.
- Overseas (Belgium, France 2019, 90 min)
A Belgian-French co-production by Sung-A Yoon, “Overseas” will be screened as part of the LuxFilmFest documentary competition, in collaboration with CID Fraen an Gender and in the presence of the director, on Friday 6 March at 18:30 at Ciné Utopia, on Saturday 7 March at 16:30 at Cinémathèque and on Tuesday 10 March 2020 at 16:30 at Ciné Utopia. The documentary will be screened in Filipino and English with French or English subtitles.
Synopsis: In the Philippines, women are encouraged by their government to go abroad and leave their families behind to work as domestic workers and nannies. In a specialised training centre, they are getting ready to plunge into the great unknown, face homesickness and the possible abuses lying ahead.
- Babyteeth (Australia 2019, 117 mins)
“Babyteeth” is a drama film directed by Shannon Murphy and written by Rita Kalnejais. Based on the latter’s eponymous play, the film stars Australian actors Ben Mendelsohn, Essie Davis, Eliza Scanlen, Toby Wallace and Andrea Demetriades. “Babyteeth” had its world premiere at the 76th Venice International Film Festival last September. It will be screened in English (with French and Dutch subtitles) as part of the LuxFilmFest official competition on three different dates: on Friday 6 March at 21:15 at Ciné Utopia; on Monday 9 March at 21:00 at Cinémathèque; and on Wednesday 11 March 2020 at 10:00 at Kinepolis Kirchberg.
Synopsis: When seriously ill teenager Milla falls madly in love with small-time drug dealer Moses, it's her parents' worst nightmare. What might have been a disaster for the Finlay family instead leads to letting go and finding grace in the glorious chaos of life.
- The Short History of the Long Road (US 2019, 93 min)
“The Short History of the Long Road” is a 2019 US drama film written and directed by Ani Simon-Kennedy. It stars Sabrina Carpenter, Steven Ogg, Danny Trejo, Maggie Siff and Rusty Schwimmer. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last April and is scheduled for general release in May 2020. It will be screened in English (subtitles to be confirmed) during LuxFilmFest on Saturday 7 March 2020 at 14:00 at Cinémathèque.
Synopsis: Teenage Nola grew up living out of a van with her beloved father Clint, two nomads against the world. When tragedy strikes, Nola is confronted by the reality that life as an outsider may not be her only choice.
- Dreamland (US 2019, 98 min)
Miles Joris-Peyrafitte’s 2019 drama thriller film “Dreamland” (screenplay by Nicolaas Zwart) stars Margot Robbie, Travis Fimmel, Garrett Hedlund, Kerry Condon and Finn Cole. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last April. “Dreamland” will be screened in English during the LuxFilmFest, as part of the official selection out-of-competition, on Saturday 7 March 2020 at 19:00 at Kinepolis Kirchberg.
Synopsis: In 1930s Texas, 17-year-old Eugene and his family live on a farm where they have to cope with dust storms and the Great Depression. His last bet to save the farm is the bounty on the head of a fugitive bank robber. But when he finds her hiding in their barn, he falls for her charms and together they go on the run.
- The American Sector (US 2020, 67 min)
Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez’s documentary “The American Sector” will be screened as part of the LuxFilmFest’s documentary competition, in the presence of director Courtney Stephens on three occasions: on Sunday 8 March at 12:30 at Cinémathèque; on Monday 9 March at 21:30 at Ciné Utopia; and on Tuesday 10 March 2020 at 16:30 at Cinémathèque. The film is in English with French subtitles.
Synopsis: 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, parts of it are on display across the United States, as monuments and symbols of national values. The film’s directors spent 18 months travelling the country to document the ways in which Americans appropriated the Wall’s panels and gave them new meaning.
- Greener Grass (US 2019, 101 min)
Written and directed by Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe in their feature directorial debuts, “Greener Grass” is a comedy film that also stars Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe, as well as Beck Bennett, Neil Casey, Mary Holland and D’Arcy Carden. The film had its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival ahead of its general release last October. “Greener Grass” will be screened in English (with French subtitles) during LuxFilmFest, as part of the official selection out-of-competition, on Sunday 8 March 2020 at 18:30 at Ciné Utopia.
Synopsis: In this deliciously twisted satire, two football mums, Jill and Lisa, politely compete for the best children, the best husband and, most importantly, the best smile. When Lisa begins systematically taking over every aspect of Jill’s life – starting with her newborn baby – things take a sinister turn.
- Wrinkles the Clown (US 2019, 78 min)
Michael Beach Nichols directed and co-wrote the screenplay (with Christopher R. Walker) for this documentary comedy horror film starring Christopher Barcia, Trevor J. Blank and Andrew Caldwell. The film was released in the United States last October and will now be screened in English as part of LuxFilmFest’s official selection out-of-competition, in collaboration with Luxembourg City Tourist Office (LCTO), on Sunday 8 March at 18:30 in a secret location and on Saturday 14 March 2020 at 21:15 at Ciné Utopia.
Synopsis: In 2014, an internet phenomenon took root in Florida before sweeping over the globe: a weird clown, Wrinkles, was scaring misbehaving children to teach them life lessons. With incredible access to the man behind the mask, Wrinkles the Clown uses the evil clown craze to explore myth-building in the digital age.
- Moffie (South Africa, UK 2019, 103 min)
Directed and co-written by Oliver Hermanus (with Jack Sidey), “Moffie” is a South African-British biographical drama film based on the eponymous book by André-Carl van der Merwe. A story of romance and war, “Moffie” stars Kai Luke Brummer, Ryan de Villiers, Matthew Vey and Stefan Vermaak. The film had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival last September. It will be screened twice in English and Afrikaans (with English subtitles) as part of LuxFilmFest’s official selection out-of-competition, on Monday 9 March at 16:30 at Ciné Utopia and on Saturday 14 March 2020 at 16:30 at Cinémathèque.
Synopsis: South Africa, 1981. Like all white boys of his age, Nicholas has to complete his military service to defend the Apartheid regime from the so-called “red and black danger”. In the army’s relentlessly macho and racist culture, Nicholas has to follow orders and keep his homosexuality hidden to survive.
- City Dreamers (Canada 2018, 81 min)
Joseph Hillel’s documentary “City Dreamers” (screenplay by Joseph Hillel and Bruno Baillargeon) will be screened in French and English (with French subtitles), in collaboration with Paperjam Architecture+Real Estate, on Monday 9 March 2020 at 18:30 at Ciné Utopia.The documentary stars Phyllis Lambert, Denise Scott Brown, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander and Blanche Lemco van Ginkel.
Synopsis: City Dreamers offers a glimpse into the life story of four trailblazing female architects of the 20th century boasting impressive and decades-long careers in shaping urban spaces. Throughout their work life, they were united by the dream of a fundamentally human and inclusive city.
- Chichinette – How I Accidentally Became a Spy (Germany, France 2019, 86 min)
Written and directed by Nicola Alice Hens, this documentary will be screened in French and English (with German subtitles), in the presence of the director and in collaboration with the Institut Pierre Werner (IPW) and the Representation of the European Commission in Luxembourg, on Tuesday 10 March 2020 at 12:20 at Cinémathèque.
Synopsis: Marthe Hoffnung is a young Jewish girl living in Nazi-occupied France. In 1945, she manages to cross into Nazi-Germany, working behind enemy lines as a spy under the alias of Chichinette, and passing critical information to the Allies. 74 years later, she tours the world to tell her story.
- I Am (Not) a Monster (UK 2019, 98 min)
Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian’s documentary “I Am (Not) a Monster” will be screened in English and Japanese (with English subtitles), in the presence of the director and in collaboration with Casino Luxembourg, on Tuesday 10 March 2020 at 18:30 at Ciné Utopia. The documentary stars Noam Chomsky, Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova and Magid Magid.
Synopsis: Inspired by Hannah Arendt’s theories, “I Am (Not) a Monster” takes viewers on an impossible journey searching for the origins of knowledge and reveals how our thinking and actions can render monsters. A most urgent film unravelling some of the reasons why Trump, Le Pen and others have captured people’s imaginations by reviving past ideologies.
- Radioactive (UK, Hungary 2019, 103 min)
Marjane Satrapi’s biographical drama film “Radioactive” (screenplay by Jack Thorne) is based on the graphic novel “Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie – A Tale of Love and Fallout” by Lauren Redniss. The film stars Rosamund Pike as Maria Sklodowska-Curie (Marie Curie) and Sam Riley as Pierre Curie. It premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and is scheduled for general release in April 2020. “Radioactive” will be screened in English (with French subtitles), in the presence of the director and producer, as part of LuxFilmFest’s official selection out-of-competition on Tuesday 10 March 2020 at 18:45 at Ciné Utopia.
Synopsis: In the male-dominated society of 19th century Paris, Marie is a fiercely passionate scientist, who struggles to progress her groundbreaking research, despite her obvious brilliance. The scientific breakthroughs she makes with her husband Pierre Curie will earn her a Nobel Prize and have dramatic consequences for the modern world.
- Design Canada (Canada 2018, 74 min)
Greg Durrell’s documentary “Design Canada” will be screened in English and French (with French subtitles), in collaboration with Design Friends, on Wednesday 11 March 2020 at 18:30 at Cinémathèque. The documentary stars Burton Kramer, Fritz Gottschalk, Hans Kleefeld and Heather Cooper.
Synopsis: Design Canada is the first documentary chronicling the history of Canadian graphic design and how it shaped and unified nation as well as its people. How do symbols define a national identity and mould us into who we are?
- The Singing Club (UK 2019, 112 min)
Peter Cattaneo’s comedy drama “The Singing Club” (screenplay by Rosanne Flynn and Rachel Tunnard) features on the LuxFilmFest programme as a “carte blanche” from Kinepolis. The film stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Sharon Horgan, Jason Flemyng and Greg Wise. It will be screened in English (with French and German subtitles) on Friday 13 March 2020 at 19:00 at Kinepolis Kirchberg.
Synopsis: While their partners serve on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, a group of ordinary women find an unexpected way to raise their spirits – by forming the first ever military wives’ choir. They quickly find themselves at the centre of a media sensation that takes them all the way to the Royal Albert Hall.
- Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway (Spain, Estonia, Ethiopia, Latvia, Romania, UK 2019, 82 min)
In collaboration with Cinélunatique, LuxFilmFest will screen Miguel Llansó’s sci-fi action comedy “Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway” on Friday 13 March 2020 at 22:30 at Cinémathèque. The film stars Daniel Tadesse Gagano, Agustín Mateo, Guiilermo Llansó and Gerda-Anette Allikas.
Synopsis: Two CIA agents are sent into a virtual reality to destroy a powerful computer virus. While the virus wreaks havoc on the real world, one of the agents gets trapped in the simulation. He must find a way to escape only to discover that nothing is what it seems.
- The County Fair and other Shorts (France, Belgium, Argentina, UK, Denmark 2017-2019, 71 min)
Featured as a “Carte Blanche” from Olivier Pesch, this anthology features seven animated short films including Anna Mantzaris’s English-language short “Enough” (UK 2018, 2’23”). The collection of short films will be screened in French and English on Saturday 14 March 2020 at 16:30 at Ciné Utopia.
Synopsis: This anthology of seven award-winning animated shorts assembled by Olivier Pesch is guaranteed to leave an impression on its viewers. Each short has its own very distinct style and will take the audience on an intense journey into diverse and colourful worlds.
- Rare Beasts (UK 2019, 87 min)
Written and directed by English actress Billie Piper, in her directorial debut, “Rare Beasts” is a British drama film starring Billie Piper herself, as well as Lily James, David Thewlis, Leo Bill and Kerry Fox. It had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in August 2019. The film will be screened in English as part of the LuxFilmFest official selection out-of-competition on Saturday 14 March 2020 at 18:30 at Cinémathèque.
Synopsis: Mandy is a modern woman in a crisis. The single mum has to raise a son in the midst of a female revolution and write professionally about a love which, in her cynical view on relationships, no longer exists. But then she falls for Pete, a misogynistic know-it-all.
- Freedom Fields (Libya, UK, Netherlands, Qatar, Lebanon, Canada 2018, 97 min)
A documentary by Naziha Arebi, “Freedom Fields” will be screened in Arabic and English (with English subtitles), in collaboration with Ciné-ONU, on Sunday 15 March 2020 at 14:00 at Ciné Utopia.
Synopsis: Emboldened by the Arab Spring, three Libyan women dream of becoming professional football players. Shot over a period of five years, from the Arab Spring’s beginning to its bloody aftermath, Freedom Fields chronicles these women’s struggle and takes an intimate look at post-revolution Libya.
- True History of the Kelly Gang (Australia, UK, France 2019, 124 min)
Justin Kurzel’s British-Australian biographical drama film “True History of the Kelly Gang” will close this year’s LuxFilmFestival. The film, based on Peter Carey’s eponymous novel, stars George MacKay, Russel Crowe, Nicholas Hoult and Essie Davis. It had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last September and is scheduled for general release in the coming months. The film will be screened in English (with French and Dutch subtitles) at LuxFilmFest on Sunday 15 March 2020 at 19:00 at Kinepolis Kirchberg.
Synopsis: Australia, 1867. Ned Kelly, one of the most iconic Australian outlaws, gathers a gang around him that repeatedly clashes with British colonial forces, looting and killing recklessly. In between his murderous assaults, he plots one of the most audacious attacks of anarchy the country has ever seen.
English-language Luxembourg (co-)productions on the LuxFilmFest programme include:
- I Will Cross Tomorrow (France, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands 2019, 90 min)
A drama film by Sepideh Farsi, “I Will Cross Tomorrow” (screenplay by Sepideh Farsi and Youla Boudali) stars Marisha Triantafyllidou, Hanna Issa, Lydia Fotopoulou, Alexandros Vardaxoglou and Vassilis Koukalani. The film will be screened in English, Greek and Arabic (with French subtitles), in the presence of the film crew, at the LuxFilmFest on Friday 6 March 2020 at 21:30 at Ciné Utopia.
Synopsis: In a Greek refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, the paths of Yussof, a Syrian refugee, and Maria, a Greek police officer cross. Their encounter will be brief but intense, and change the way they see this world.
- Tune into the Future (Luxembourg 2019, 80 min)
Luxembourg filmmaker Eric Schockmel’s documentary “Tune into the Future” will be screened in English and Luxembourgish (with French and English subtitles), in the presence of the director, during LuxFilmFest on Sunday 8 March 2020 at 18:30 at Ciné Utopia.
Synopsis: A documentary about Hugo Gernsback, the Luxembourgish writer and inventor who saw the world of tomorrow and wanted to teach people how to live in the Age of Science. His stories and his pioneering magazine Amazing Stories helped jumpstart a whole new literary genre: science fiction.
- Faleminderit (Luxembourg 2020, 13 min)
A short historical film by Nicolas Neuhold, starring Maximilien Jadin, Adrien Papritz and Denis Jousselin. The short film will be screened in English, in the presence of the director, on Monday 9 March a 18:30 at Kinepolis Kirchberg and on Tuesday 10 March 2020 at 21:00 at Ciné Utopia.
Synopsis: In 1921, a Luxembourgish cartographer is sent to Albania to study the topography and population of the recently independent country which still lacked clearly defined borders. When reporting back in Paris, he speaks up for the young nation and helps settle the question of where to draw its borders.
- Westwand (Luxembourg 2020, 14 min)
A short drama film by Philip Krieps, starring Daniel Omes and Alikhan. The short film will be screened in English (with French subtitles), in the presence of the director, on Monday 9 March at 18:30 at Kinepolis Kirchberg and on Tuesday 10 March 2020 at 21:00 at Ciné Utopia.
Synopsis: A young Luxembourgish postman heads to the forest to deliver a letter to an old Chechen man. As he ventures deeper into the woods, each step he takes leads to the fine line between reality and dream thinning out.
- Dreamland (Canada, Belgium, Luxembourg 2019, 92 min)
Bruce McDonald’s fantasy horror-thriller “Dreamland” will be screened in English (with French subtitles), in the presence of the film crew, on Wednesday 11 March 2020 at 21:00 at Ciné Utopia. The film stars Stephen McHattie, Henry Rollins, Juliette Lewis and Lisa Houle.
Synopsis: A darkly comedic tale about a reluctant hitman who chases his jazz legend doppelganger through a nightmarish city. His already shaky resolve is broken when he happens upon a sinister plot to marry off a young girl to a grotesque vampire.
- Skin Walker (Luxembourg, Belgium 2019, 89 min)
Written and directed by Luxembourg filmmaker Christian Neuman, “Skin Walker” is a psychodrama horror-thriller film starring British actors Amber Anderson and Jefferson Hall and German actor Udo Kier, as well as several Luxembourgish actors. The film will be screened in English (with French and Dutch subtitles), in the presence of the director, in a preview showing on Thursday 12 March 2020 at 19:00 at Kinepolis Kirchberg.
Synopsis: When her grandmother is brutally murdered, Regine, a fragile young woman, must return to the countryside of her traumatic childhood. After years of struggling to escape her past, she has to engage with the family guilt – and connect with a brother she has never known.