Burning Lights CompetitionSOLDAT AHMET by Jannis Lenz
produced by Panama Film (A)
Ahmet, a champion boxer with Turkish roots and a professional soldier in the Austrian Army, starts taking acting lessons. On stage he comes face to face with his own internal battles.
Jannis Lenz: Ahmet is someone who theoretically fits into many boxes: as a Turkish immigrant and as a Soldier. But he actively tries to subvert these labels. I wanted to play with the viewer’s initial expectations, which are further put into perspective by Ahmet’s position as a Muslim in the Austrian Federal Army. The title challenges the viewer to confront their own prejudices. We get to know Ahmet as a real person and not as a fictional character who is easily classified.
THE BUBBLE by Valerie Blankenbyl
International Feature Film Competition
a Swiss-Austrian co-production by Austrian director Valerie Blankenbyl
produced by Catpics (CH) with Golden Girls Filmproduction (A)
International sales: Deckert Distribution
THE BUBBLE examines often-surreal senior citizen life within the The Villages, America’s largest retirement community. Leisurely retired life beneath the year-round Floridian sunshine however, is not perhaps as idyllic, or as welcomed, as viewers may imagine.
Valerie Blankenbyl: When I first went there, I was overwhelmed by how impeccable everything looked. No blade of grass was out of place. Everything was clean and neat, and well: repetitive. I was surprised at how friendly and inviting and also happy and healthy everyone was. Yet, I started wondering at what cost this perfection came. To the surrounding communities, that were there before The Villages came. To the environment, and also to society as a whole.