Bold, uncompromising films of artists seeking new forms of expression is the hallmark of the International New Horizons Competition. This years, 12 productions from around the world are vying for the Grand Prix with the winner to be selected by a jury featuring outstanding figures from the world of cinema: Isabella Eklöf, Johann Lurf, Rasha Salti, Agnieszka Smoczyńska and Kim Yutani. This year's winner will be announced on Saturday, August 3, during the Festival's Closing Gala.
Isabella Eklöf is a Swedish director and screenwriter, as well as a writer and translator. New Horizons audiences will be familiar with her film Holiday, which won the Festival's 2018 Grand Prix. Eklöf studied Film Studies in Gothenburg and Copenhagen. She has made a dozen or so short films. Her diploma film, Notes From Underground, brought her the prestigious Bisballeprisen prize in Denmark. She worked on the production of the acclaimed Let the Right One In and co-wrote Border, which won a FIPRESCI award at the Cannes Festival.
Johann Lurf is an artist and filmmaker who uses the moving image to analyse and restructure space and film. His Reconnaissance (2012) and ★ (2017) both screened at New Horizons. Lurf's practice involves observational and documentary filmmaking specializing in the field of structural film and includes an approach to found footage which is strongly focused on filmic language itself. Johann Lurf studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and the Slade School of Art in London. He graduated from Harun Farocki's Art and Film Studio in 2009.
Rasha Salti is a Lebanese curator, researcher, writer, and programmer of art and film, who works with, amongst other, the Toronto International Film Festival. She lives and works between Beirut and Berlin. Together with Kristine Khouri, she founded the History of Arab Modernities in Visual Arts Study Group, a research platform focused on the social history of art. in the Arab world. Since 2017, she is commissioning editor for La Lucarne, the experimental documentary slot at Arte France.
Agnieszka Smoczyńska, one of Poland's most talented young directors, is a native of Wrocław. She studied at the Faculty of Radio and Television at the University of Silesia, as well as the Wajda Film School. She first made short documentaries before earning wider acclaim through her collaboration with screenwriter Robert Bolesto, with whom she made The Lure. The film won awards at festivals in Nashville, Chicago, Vilnius, Sofia and Porto, as well as the Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Her latest film, Fugue, premiered during Critics' Week at Cannes.
Kim Yutani has been working for many years with the Sundance Film Festival, including as a short and feature film programmer. She was instrumental in the creation of Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong, which she also programs. For the past five years, Yutani has also overseen a new collaboration with the Berlinale's European Film Market - housed within the Sundance Film Festival at EFM program. She is currently a programming consultant for the Provincetown International Film Festival and was recently named an A100 Honoree on Gold House's list of the most influential Asian Americans in culture.