Program

Welcome to Films from the South 2020!

The 30th edition of Films from the South takes place in a year where nothing is predictable, and we have shuffled around to present a digital festival as a result of the new infection control measures in Oslo. This new reality helps reinforce the dream of the journey, which has never been more central as national borders — not to mention the four walls of our homes — separate us from the outside world. The comprehensive digital programme comprises nearly 70 films, and evokes experiences and discoveries from far away, and stories that will quicken the heart and engage the mind. In terms of suspense, drama and humour, hard-hitting documentaries and timeless classics, we bring the world into your living room, for much-needed breaks from the home office and the never-ending stream of anxiety-inducing news. Welcome aboard the 30th edition of Films from the South – make yourselves comfortable and enjoy the ride!

Festival programme
Festival programme
All films
Go to programme section
Main Competition
New Voices
Doc:South
Horizons
Director's Portrait: Bong Joon-ho
Director's Portrait: Naomi Kawase
Director's Portrait: Michel Franco
Focus:Mexico
Focus: Guatemala, Kenya, Mongolia
Arab Film days
Blockbuster from the South
Films from the Past
Sørfond
Audience Award

Opening Film

Main Competition

One thing that unites every single film in the main competition this year is rock solid quality. The films range widely in terms of geography and themes and discuss both historical issues and current affairs. Chilean western, prison drama from the Ivory Coast, forbidden love in war-torn Malaysia – these are films that challenge and surprise their audiences, each in a singular way. The winner of this competition receives the Silver Mirror, the esteemed main award of the festival.

New Voices

This is the place to discover the star directors of tomorrow! Some of the most exciting films of the festival tend to be found in the competition for first- and second-time directors, and this year we have a truly amazing assembly of talent in this section. They will no doubt and very soon make waves at the international festivals in Cannes, Berlin, and Venice – you can catch them here first!

Doc:South

This year’s documentary competition is bursting with tales from reality that far surpass the wildest imagination. Films that raise a critical lens to suppression and corruption are presented here – side by side with empathic human portraits. No film in this section will leave you feeling indifferent.

Horizons

Rambunctious action from Vietnam. Slapstick from the Kazakhstan steppe. Political thriller from Brazil. Horizons is the pick’n’mix of the festival, with something for everyone. Here, you can find gems from all corners of the world – and from every genre.

Director's Portrait: Bong Joon-ho

Get to know the man behind last year’s incredible hit movie Parasite! We dedicate an extensive strand to the South Korean maestro Bong Joon-ho and are proud to present to you the range of this exceptional director’s filmography. Parasite is the cherry on top of a career full of impeccable treats that few are well acquainted with.

Director's Portrait: Naomi Kawase

Naomi Kawase is known and valued as one of the great humanists of Japanese cinema, extraordinarily talented when it comes to portraying relationships between humans. True Mothers is the 32nd film of the ever-productive director, and alongside it we invite you to experience one of the biggest audience hits from her extensive career.

Director's Portrait: Michel Franco

Michel Franco is the man behind this year’s festival’s opening film New Order, a hard-hitting commentary on the political situation in Mexico. Hard-working and involved in countless exciting projects, Franco is a filmmaker concerned with the darker sides of human nature. His two former films screened in this portrait are classic examples of just that.

Focus:Mexico

Mexico – a popular holiday destination with a huge influence on Norwegians’ choice of weekend dinners… But behind the white beaches and Friday Tacos is a country which faces ingrained societal problems such as drug wars and corruption. At the same time, this is a great nation of cinema which has bred a number of internationally acclaimed filmmakers. Get better acquainted with Mexico through these seven films, a director portrait, and a talk.

Focus: Guatemala, Kenya, Mongolia

The concept of the journey is in focus at this year’s festival, as we invite our audiences to join us to the three continents that the film programme covers. The countries in focus here are Guatemala, Kenya and Mongolia – each in its own right a nation of cinema worth keeping your eye on.

Arab Film days

Our sister festival Arab Film Days was sadly cancelled in March, but fear not! Nine highlights from their programme are screened here, both fiction films and documentaries. These films each shed some light on the culture, politics, and history of the Arab world. Brace yourself for heart-warming, strong, and fun film experiences!

Blockbuster from the South

Popcorn buckets at the ready! This section is for blockbusters from distant lands – the fastest, most magnificent and expensive world cinema films, which have sold absolute heaps of tickets in their home markets. Whether you’re in the mood for some blood-curdling thrills in a Taiwanese boarding school, or for an Argentinian heist movie starring superstar Ricardo Darin, this section will keep you entertained on a late night at the cinema.

Films from the Past

The 30-year history of Films from the South has included many an audience hit, and with Films from the Past we dust off some treasures from previous editions of the festival. For this anniversary we are proud to present an earlier film from this year’s winner of the Golden Bear, Mohammad Rasoulof, as well as a rowdy and unpretentious zombie comedy from Cuba.

Sørfond

We are proud to present the very latest films to receive funding from The Norwegian South Film Fund – Sørfond. The fund is run by The Oslo Festival Agency in partnership with the Norwegian Film Institute and aims to support film projects from developing countries where film funding is hard to come by for political or economic reasons. The fund’s assets come from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Audience Award

Voice your opinion, and vote for the audience favourite at Films from the South 2020! You can rate all the films that are competing in the main competition, Doc:South and New Voices.