The International competition
Turkey, 2012, 75 min.
At the end of every summer, Hasanpasa, a village in the Burdur district of southwestern Turkey, holds a traditional shepherding contest. The contest involves shepherds herding their entire herd of sheep, one by one, through a pool of water. An elderly shepherd, known by the nickname ‘Takmaz’, has been reigning champion for the last eight years. Takmaz and the village’s younger shepherds are sifting fragments of local red rock to obtain a powder dye which they use to mark the fleece of the sheep for the contest. But they have problems obtaining the red rock, when a mining company opens a vast marble quarry on the site of the rock deposits. One of the younger shepherds, Ali, buys some readymade dye from the city and the villagers use this to colour their sheep. But Ali fails yet again to win the contest. Fed up with shepherding, he finds a job as a driver in the marble quarry. With his new boss Ali goes deer stalking. His boss shoots a deer and takes away the antlers as his trophy. Ali makes a pair of wooden antlers, believing that this will allow the animal to be reborn and takes them to the animal’s carcass. On his way back, he stumbles across an undiscovered bed of red rock. This rock will provide the dye to colour the village’s sheep in future contests.
Russia, 2013, 90 min.
Between the numerous fjords of the Kola Peninsula there lies a remote settlement where the families of submariners and border guards live. The base is about to be closed down, and all the inhabitants worry about their future. In the settlement there is a young woman, Lena, who has just married the submarine captain Lieutenant Pavel Komlev. She has married not out of love, but wishing to change her life. During the last journey the submarine suffers an accident.
Kyrgyzstan, 2013, 84 min.
A young girl has a rich, elderly lover, who has a wife and grown-up children. One day she leaves him for a young man. But, disappointed in the young guy, she soon comes back. The elderly man is glad about her return. The girl is pregnant. The girl’s mother comes to find out about the situation. The girl does not want to talk to her mother. The mother turns to her former lover, the girl’s father, to take care of his daughter. The girl’s father only now finds out that he has a daughter.
Iran, 2013, 84 min.
The film deals with Elaheh, who is filming a day before her marriage for her friend, Sara, who is based abroad. She’s filming her family, friends and even neighbors. Elaheh believes this the last day of her difficult life and that after the marriage all her wishes would come true; however, an incident changes her fate.
Germany, France 2013, 88 min.
How should you spend your time if your days are numbered? This is the question facing Linda, a young woman suffering from a congenital heart defect. Contrary to her doctors’ expectations she has managed to survive and celebrate her thirtieth birthday, but with an operation looming, Linda nonetheless feels a deep need to spend what might be her last weekend with her two sisters: Katharina who is older, and Clara who is younger than her. Linda must use their journey, which begins at their family’s weekend house and ends in Paris, to examine the ways in which her family has been fundamentally affected by her illness; she must also consider how much she can expect from herself and her sisters – faced as they are with the possibility of her death.