Film Guide 2021


GOOD GRIEF

2021 Shorts Program | narrative short | 11 min East Coast Premiere On a road trip to scatter her father’s ashes, Nora’s (Stella Baker) family does a substandard job of paying their respects.

Directed by Nastasya Popov

GOOD MOTHER “BONNE MÈRE”

2021 Narrative Competition | narrative feature | 99 min North American Premiere Hafsia Herzi’s sophomore feature is a tender character study of matriarch Nora (Halima Benhamed), a caretaker in her fifties who also looks after her multigenerational family, struggling to make e …

Directed by Hafsia Herzi

GREAT FREEDOM “GROSSE FREIHEIT”

2021 Narrative Competition | narrative feature | 117 min North American Premiere In postwar Germany, the Allies’ liberation does not mean freedom for everyone. Under Paragraph 175, Hans (Franz Rogowski, TRANSIT) is spied on and imprisoned again and again, solely because of his …

Directed by Sebastian Meise

THE HAND OF GOD “È STATA LA MANO DI DIO”

2021 World Cinema Narrative | narrative feature | 130 min East Coast Premiere In his stunning new feature, Academy Award® winner Paolo Sorrentino (THE GREAT BEAUTY, YOUTH, and The Young Pope) returns to his hometown to tell his most personal story yet. Inspired by events of …

Directed by Paolo Sorrentino

HAPPINESS IS A JOURNEY

2021 Shorts Program | documentary short | 12 min US Premiere On the night before Christmas, a warehouse of workers in Austin, TX, rush to process newspapers for delivery.

Directed by Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan

A HERO “GHAHREMAN”

2021 World Cinema Narrative | narrative feature | 127 min East Coast Premiere Celebrated filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (A SEPARATION, THE SALESMAN) returns to HIFF with his latest film, the winner of the Cannes 2021 Grand Prix. Rahim (Amir Jadidi), separated from his wife and chil …

Directed by Asghar Farhadi

IN FLOW OF WORDS

2021 Shorts Program | documentary short | 22 min Three interpreters of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia reflect back on when they were tasked with translating the shocking testimonies from witnesses, victims, and perpe …

Directed by Eliane Esther Bots

INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR

2021 World Cinema Documentary | documentary feature | 89 min East Coast Premiere Startlingly honest and candid, INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR offers the viewer an unprecedented glimpse into the life of the celebrated actress and activist. Following Blair as she reckons with the next …

Directed by Rachel Fleit

JOCKEY

2021 Spotlight | narrative feature | 95 min East Coast Premiere ​​Despite his age and deteriorating health, veteran jockey Jackson (Clifton Collins Jr.) stubbornly decides to train for what is likely to be his final season on the circuit, hoping to win one l …

Directed by Clint Bentley

JULIA

2021 World Cinema Documentary | documentary feature | 95 min JULIA brings to life the legendary cookbook author and television superstar who changed the way Americans think about food, television, and even about women. Using never-before-seen archival footage …

Directed by Julie Cohen, Betsy West

THE LAST HORNS OF AFRICA

2021 Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights | documentary feature | 98 min East Coast Premiere Every 24 hours a rhinoceros is illegally killed in South Africa. With unprecedented access to the realities of both the conservationists who put their lives on the line and the organized poachers th …

Directed by Garth de Bruno Austin

LIKE THE ONES I USED TO KNOW “Les Grandes Claques”

2021 Shorts Program | narrative short | 18 min New York Premiere It’s Christmas Eve: Julie (Lilou Roy-Lanouette) and her cousins have eaten too much sugar, Santa Claus is late, and Denis (Steve Laplante), alone in his car, is anxious at the idea of setting foot …

Directed by Annie St-Pierre

LISTENING TO KENNY G

2021 World Cinema Documentary | documentary feature | 97 min New York Premiere LISTENING TO KENNY G explores why some people hate Kenny G’s music and why so many more people can’t get enough. With her signature wit and provocative flair, documentary filmmaker Penny Lane (H …

Directed by Penny Lane

THE LOST DAUGHTER

2021 Spotlight | narrative feature | 121 min Adapted from Elena Ferrante’s novel, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s extraordinary directorial debut follows celebrated academic Leda (Olivia Colman), whose seaside holiday takes a sinister turn upon the ar …

Directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal

LOVE, DAD

2021 Shorts Program | documentary short | 13 min East Coast Premiere When a filmmaker rediscovers the letters her dad used to write her from prison, she decides to write back in hope to find connection once again.

Directed by Diana Cam Van Nguyen

THE MOHEL

2021 Shorts Program | narrative short | 14 min Following the birth of his first son, a young father arranges to have a Mohel to perform the circumcision—forcing him to confront his faith and the realities of maintaining old traditions in a mod …

Directed by Charles Wahl

MOTHERING SUNDAY

2021 Opening, Closing, Centerpiece | narrative feature | 104 min US Premiere SUNDAY CENTERPIECE In this vibrant, lush romance, orphaned housemaid-turned-writer Jane (played by Odessa Young and the legendary Glenda Jackson, respectively) reflects back on a particular warm spr …

Directed by Eva Husson

MURINA

2021 Narrative Competition | narrative feature | 95 min US Premiere On an exquisite Croatian island, tensions rise between father Ante (Leon Lučev) and daughter Julija (Gracija Filipović), as Ante’s verbally abusive patriarchal ways become too much for Julija to …

Directed by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović

NEURIM “נעורים”

2021 Shorts Program | narrative short | 31 min A young wheelchair user’s daily routine of physical therapy becomes her unique source of excitement after a relationship develops between her and the new physiotherapist.

Directed by Shaylee Atary

NOIR-SOLEIL

2021 Shorts Program | narrative short | 20 min East Coast Premiere Following an earthquake in Naples Bay, the body of a man who disappeared 40 years ago is discovered. To confirm his identity, authorities summon Dino (Marc Barbé) and his daughter Victoria (Clémen …

Directed by Marie Larrivé

PAPER & GLUE

2021 Conflict & Resolution | documentary feature | 94 min From acclaimed French street artist JR (FACES PLACES, co-directed with the iconic Agnès Varda), and featuring collaborator Ladj Ly (director of the HIFF 2019 Oscar®-nominated film LES MISÉRABLES) …

Directed by A JR Project

PARALLEL MOTHERS “MADRES PARALELAS”

2021 Spotlight | narrative feature | 123 min The latest from Academy Award-winning auteur Pedro Almodóvar (PAIN AND GLORY, ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER) is an arresting melodrama following the lives of successful, middle-aged photographer Janis (Pené …

Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

PASSING

2021 Spotlight | narrative feature | 98 min Rebecca Hall’s stunning directorial debut follows two Black women, Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson) and Clare Kendry (Academy Award® nominee Ruth Negga), who can “pass” as white, but choose to …

Directed by Rebecca Hall

PETITE MAMAN

2021 World Cinema Narrative | narrative feature | 70 min After the passing of her grandmother, 8-year-old Nelly (Joséphine Sanz) returns with her parents to her mother’s childhood home to begin clearing out the house. While wandering the surrounding wo …

Directed by Céline Sciamma

THE POWER OF THE DOG

2021 Spotlight | narrative feature | 127 min Set in majestic rural Montana in the early 20th century, Jane Campion’s highly anticipated new film follows the successful cattle-ranching Burbank brothers—brutal and beguiling Phil (Benedict Cu …

Directed by Jane Campion