Friday's PÖFF is full of great film experiences

The opening weekend of PÖFF will see a cat on the verge of becoming a hip-hop artist, a couple trying to escape a car crash in a marital crisis, and a series of hellishly powerful socially critical films.

Talking to cats is a perfectly normal way to live well. But things get dodgy when the cat starts talking back. And not just for the fun of it, but with the express purpose of seduction. "The Cat Universe is hilarious, but at the same time a reflection of society's expectations and norms, to which women in particular must conform. In 'The Good Savage', a young American couple go to Mexico in search of freedom, where the life that unfolds pulsates with the same dynamism as the local jarabe dance.

In the deeper currents, however, stories unfold in which schoolteachers play a vulnerable role. "Amal" tells the story of a teacher in a public school in Brussels who, in addition to learning French, must help children with radically different beliefs and convictions to replace their hatred of foreigners with a sense of belonging. Named this year's best film, Clara, the protagonist of The Teachers' Room, finds herself in a difficult situation where she has to deal not only with the students' quarrels but also with parents and colleagues.

Today, a number of artistically outstanding films are captivating. "The Giant's Cradle follows in the footsteps of the best in cinematography, with its finely composed shots, not to be outdone by The White Flag, where the landscape becomes its own eloquent storytelling device.

See the full PÖFF cinema programme from Friday here!


Cat Call

Director: Rozália Szeleczki, Country: Hungary
17 Nov, Friday at 21:15 Apollo Cinema Coca-Cola Plaza
International premiere with filmmakers

It's always worth taking a purr-fectly wayward cat with you when you go hunting for true love! Fáni is a 30-year-old architect. More precisely, a 30-year-old single architect whose daily self-fulfillment is accompanied by hints of the ticking of a clock and the hopes of his old aunts that he will finally get a trunk. "The Cat Universe creates an engrossing layered world filled with humour, the beauty and pain of love, and a peerlessly original absurdity.


White Flag

Director: Batbayar Chogsom; Countries: Mongolia, Switzerland, Japan
17 Nov, Friday at 21.45 Apollo Kino Coca-Cola Plaza

Saran and Naran are young women in their twenties trying to start a new life as nomads in the steppe. Despite a close bond, both are plagued by the pressures of the past. As they try to move on with their lives, they meet Zorig, an investigator from the city who questions them about a missing man. "White Flag is a bold, detailed and artistic film. A haunting melancholy saga of a woman's heart.


The Teachers' Lounge

Director: İlker Çatak; Country: Germany
17 Nov, Friday at 17:30 Apollo Cinema Solaris.

Clara is a young teacher who wants to do everything right. Everything seems to be going according to plan. Teaching a seventh grade class is very rewarding and she has a good rapport with the students. Things go downhill, however, when a series of thefts occur at the school and Clara's student is suspected. Çatak has succeeded brilliantly in portraying the school as a minimal model of society. "The Teachers' Room has been hailed as one of the best films of the year and has already won several major awards. Germany also nominated the film for an Oscar.


Giant's Kettle

Director: Markku Hakala, Mari Käki; country: Finland
17 Nov, Friday at 19 Apollo Kino Coca-Cola Plaza
International premiere with filmmakers

An uncompromisingly visual and visionary science fiction film that is mysterious, gorgeous, sonic, bizarre, humorous, dreamlike, shadowy and inexplicable. "The Giant's Pot takes us into an inhuman, black-and-white, bureaucratic, ultra-secret world where no one uses words and everyone willingly submits to routine. An unforgettably enchanting and chilling cinematic experience that can be interpreted by all attentive viewers through an unspoken silence.



Director: Jawad Rhalib; countries: Belgium, France
17 Nov, Friday at 18.30 Apollo Cinema in Coca-Cola Plaza.
International premiere with filmmakers

Amal is a French language teacher in a general school in Brussels, appreciated by colleagues and students alike, who, in addition to classical education, wants to instil a sense of social belonging in schoolchildren, breaking down barriers between children from different religions with radically different views on life. Director Jawad Rhalib's film is a story of courage and daring in the face of the radicalisation that is increasingly taking hold of society.


Good Savage

Director: Santiago Mohar Volkow, Country: Mexico
17 Nov, Friday at 20:45 Apollo Cinema Coca-Cola Plaza.

A newlywed couple in marriage trouble in the US decide to move to Mexico. As liberal artists, they seek inspiration and freedom in a new country waiting to be discovered. But the reality is far from their imagination. Crime, comedy and a love of underground cinema mix in an unusual story that offers a sharp and satirical perspective on contemporary cultural dynamics. No problemo, Mexico has it all.


Your Mother's Son

Director: Jun Robles Lana, Country: Filipiinid
17 Nov, Friday at 22 Apollo Cinema in Coca-Cola Plaza.

We are delighted to present the latest work by Jun Robles Lana, winner of last year's Critics' Choice, 'Your Mother's Son'. The multi-faceted director uses the family of Libya to reflect on the political changes under the ruthless President Rodrigo Duterte, specifically with regard to drugs and destroyed families. Don't expect a dry political treatment. Lana presents a unique artistic vision of a violent and troubled family.