Visions du Réel 2021 Overview

The 52nd Visions du Réel

April 15-25

More than 70 new or recent feature docs are included in the lineup of this Nyon, Switzerland event, which will be presented primarily online.

Among the offerings:
National Feature Competition

Dreaming an Island
Director: Andrea Pellerani
Following the closure of a coal mine, the population of the small Japanese island of Ikeshima was decimated and, now, nature has begun to take over again.

Living Water
Director: Pavel Borecký
A discourse on the economic, political, and environmental issues related to water access and management in Jordan, one of the countries with the fewest water resources in the world.

The Lunar Course of My Life
Director: Valerie Bäuerlein
In Japan, 24-year-old Nanako, who has isolated herself from society, joins in the activities of an organization that helps other hikikomori to reintegrate.

The Mushroom Speaks
Director: Marion Neumann
Under each mushroom, there hides a fungal network that is invisible to the naked eye, evolves beneath our feet, and functions as the planet’s immune system.

Director: Fisnik Maxville
Frenchman Olivier lives isolated on a Canadian island lent to him by indigenous people, until three visitors disturb his solitude.

Director: Marina Belobrovaja
The filmmaker’s decision to use a sperm donor leads to an exploration of non-traditional parenthood.

Burning Lights Competition

The belly of the mountain
Director: Stephen Loye
An investigation into the March 2015 airplane crash in the Alps that was the result of the suicide of its pilot.

Director: Nikola Ilić, Corina Schwingruber Ilić
When Dida’s mother finds herself no longer able to take care of her special needs daughter, it falls to Dida’s son, Nikola, to take over.

The Great Void
Director: Sebastian Mez
A series of static shots emptied of all living presence provides a meditation on the agony of our civilization. 

Looking for Horses
Director: Stefan Pavlović
Traveling to Bosnia in search of his origins, a filmmaker with a language impairment meets a solitary fisherman who lost his hearing during the war.

Our silent place
Director: Elitza Gueorguieva
The director films the making of the novel that her Belarusian alter-ego Aliona begins about her father, a maritime adventurer, physicist and dreamer, who disappeared off the Turkish coast in 1995.

Soldier Ahmet
Director: Jannis Lenz
A young Turkish-Austrian champion boxer trains rigorously as a military paramedic to serve his country, but it is the world of theatre that has recently aroused his interest.

Way Beyond
Director: Pauline Julier
At CERN, an international commission of experts closely follows the Future Circular Collider project, the colossal and possible successor to the current particle accelerator.

International Feature Competition

Director: Tomasz Wolski
In 1970, striking workers in communist Poland demonstrate against price increases prompt tension and violent repression.

Bellum: The Daemon of War
Director: David Herdies, Georg Götmark
War has always been the lot of humanity, its form evolving over the ages with “progress,” but the advent of artificial intelligence and the hyper-digitalization of weapons are a game-changer.

Director: Liesbeth De Ceulaer
As the permafrost melts in the heart of the Siberian tundra, revealing the remains of mammoths, the dreams of a child join the obsessional hope of a scientist to one day clone extinct species. 

Les Enfants Terribles
Director: Ahmet Necdet Cupur
An immersion into the daily life of the director’s Turkish family, in which young adults fight every day to assert their freedom and independence in the face of a paternal authority anchored in traditional values.

Ostrov: Lost Island
Director: Svetlana Rodina, Laurent Stoop
On the desert island of Ostrov, out in the Caspian Sea, a handful of inhabitants live without roads, electricity or jobs, abandoned by the Russian state since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Director: Aicha Macky
In the town of Zinder, in the heart of the Sahel, young Nigerians form gangs compelled to deal with the lack of prospects.

International Medium Length Competition

Director: Isabel Vaca
A young boy, determined to become a cowboy when he grows up, learns from his grandfather and uncle on their ranch. 

Director: Kyle Davis
Stuck in a ghost town on the edge of the Australian Outback, Jake and Kelly, in their twenties, live on odd jobs until one decides to leave. 

Director: Nikita Yefimov
In a Russian high-security detention center, the head of the penitentiary department offers to stage moments of prison life.

Director: Alexis Jacquand
Bow in hand, an old hunter roams the mountain, tracking chamois, deer, and boar, while, not far away, children build a cabin and play at scaring each other with the threat of encountering a wild animal.

Big Angle

Lobster Soup
Director: Jose Andreu Ibarra, Rafa Molés
The lobster soup of Iceland’s Bryggjan Café, charms passing tourists and arouses the greed of investors, for whom authenticity must go hand in hand with profitability.

My Place Is Here
Director: Michele Aiello
A chronicle of collective tragedy in March 2020, when the public hospital of Brescia finds itself inundated with patients.


Director: Jessé Miceli
In this portrait of a young generation struggling with a society undergoing accelerated changes, Songsa is sent to Phnom Penh by his family to sell clothing in a rickshaw, Phearum goes into debt to buy a taxi, and Thy works in a gay club.

Director: Arfan Sabran
In the forests of Borneo, an aging villager faces the limits of his decades-long fight against the large-scale deforestation around his village.

Jack’s Ride
Director: Susana Nobre
A meditation on time and work focused on Joaquim Calçada, who looks like a Portuguese Elvis Presley on the verge of retirement, as he recalls his days as a chauffeur for Jackie Kennedy and Muhammad Ali in the US. 

Special Screenings

Director: Cécile Allegra
Composed of songs and memories, this musical film traces the traumatic experience of young survivors from different parts of Africa as they learn to overcome their past in a therapeutic space in France.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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