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Narrowing Down the Pack: 9 Titles That Will Shake up the 2024 Best Intl. Film Race

Narrowing Down the Pack: 9 Titles That Will Shake up the 2024 Best Intl. Film Race

Today we insert Austria’s pick in Vera (the Best Director and Best Actress winner at last year’s Horizons Venice Film Festival) by tandem Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel and Vietnam’s pick in Glorious Ashes by Bùi Thạc Chuyên in the Best International Film nominations. While Cannes preemed Tran Anh Hung’s The Taste of Things, Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s About Dry Grasses, Aki Kaurismäki’s Fallen Leaves and Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days and Venice preemed Io capitano by Matteo Garrone could be considered the heavy favorites to grab a final five spot, we got nine-pack of titles that will certainly resonate with voters.

From the Berlinale we got a pair of titles that we feel are going to pick up a lot of fans. Lila Avilés‘ masterful sophomore film Tótem (Mexico’s entry) competed for the Golden Bear but this year’s jury’s choices were so baffling that its the numerous film fest circuit prizes (and there were tons) confirmed that this title in indeed a gem. This is a Sideshow & Janus Films title doesn;t have a release date yet, but they recently showcased the film at Telluride.

İlker Çatak‘s fourth feature The Teachers’ Lounge landed in the Panorama section at the Berlinale (Germany’s entry) but it left the fest with prizes galore. The Sony Picutres Classics title since been touring a bit everywhere with a recent stop at TIFF.

One of those titles that we complained about not being in the competition for the Palme, selected for the 2022 Un Certain Regard edition, Hlynur Pálmason‘s Godland (Iceland’s entry) is less of an audience pleaser type cinema (its truly is a meditation on mortality) and takes plenty of pot shots at its hapless protagonist with a cinematography and locations that are off the chart. The Janus Films film got its theatrical release early this year. Fast forward to this year’s Un Certain Regard section selections and the same visual immensity can be said for Felipe Gálvez‘s The Settlers (Chile’s entry) – an oblique journey into the country’s colonial past. The Settlers get a January release next year. It’ll play at NYFF shortly.

From this year’s Cannes, we got great storytelling in a hybrid format and coincidently they shared the 2023 Golden Eye honor and come from female filmmakers from North Africa. Moroccan filmmaker Asmae El Moudir won the Best Director Prize from the Un Certain Regard section for the brilliant The Mother of All Lies (we recently interviewed her in Toronto – that’ll be published soon) and Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania‘s Four Daughters – could tickle voters in the exact same way it did here. The Mother of All Lies surprisingly still does not have a distributor attached, while Four Daughters was picked up by

From Locarno, Radu Jude‘s Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World (Romania’s entry) might have only walked away with a Special Jury Prize but it was the talk of the fest. It recently preemed at TIFF and will be showcased at NYFF. The Mubi got heir paws on this one.

And finally two films that remain sight unseen by this critic is the Telluride preemed The Monk and the Gun by Pawo Choyning Dorji (Bhutan) and recent SPC pick-up The Peasants by DK Welchman & Hugh Welchman (Poland’s entry) will certainly be in the mix.

Albania: Alexander – Ardit Sadiku
Armenia: Amerikatsi – Michael A. Goorjian
Australia: Shayda – Noora Niasari
Austra: Vera – Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel
Bangladesh: No Ground Beneath the Feet – Mohammad Rabby Mridha
Belgium: Omen – Baloji
Bhutan: The Monk and the Gun – Pawo Choyning Dorji
Bolivia: The Visitor – Martín Boulocq
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Excursion – Una Gunjak
Brazil: Pictures of Ghosts – Kleber Mendonça Filho
Bulgaria: Blaga’s Lessons – Stephan Komandarev
Canada: Rojek – Zaynê Akyol
Chile: The Settlers – Felipe Gálvez Haberle
Colombia: A Male – Fabián Hernández Alvarado
Croatia: Traces – Dubravka Turic
Czech Republic: Brothers – Tomáš Mašín
Denmark – The Promised Man – Nikolaj Arcel
Egypt: Voy! Voy! Voy! – Omar Hilal
Estonia: Smoke Sauna Sisterhood – Anna Hints
Finland: Fallen Leaves – Aki Kaurismäki
France: The Taste of Things – Tran Anh Hung
Georgia: Citizen Saint – Tinatin Kajrishvili
Germany: The Teachers’ Lounge – İlker Çatak
Greece: Behind the Haystacks – Asimina Proedrou
Hong Kong: A Light Never Goes Out – Anastasia Tsang
Hungary: Four Souls of Coyote – Áron Gauder
Iceland: Godland – Hlynur Pálmason
India: 2018 – Jude Anthany Joseph
Indonesia: Autobiography – Makbul Mubarak
Iran: The Night Guardian – Reza Mirkarimi
Iraq: Hanging Gardens – Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji
Israel: Seven Blessings – Ayelet Menahemi
Italy: Io capitano – Matteo Garrone
Japan: Perfect Days – Wim Wenders
Jordan: Inshallah a Boy – Amjad Al-Rasheed
Kenya: Mvera – Daudi Anguka
Kyrgyzstan: This Is What I Remember – Aktan Abdykalykov
Latvia: My Freedom – Ilze Kunga-Melgaile
Lithuania: Slow – Marija Kavtaradzė
Luxembourg: The Last Ashes – Loïc Tanson
Mexico: Tótem – Lila Avilés
Moldova: Thunders – Ioane Bobeica
Montenegro: Sirin – Senad Šahmanović
Morocco: The Mother of All Lies – Asmae El Moudir
Nepal: Halkara – Bikram Sapkota
Netherlands: Sweet Dreams – Ena Sendijarević
North Macedonia: Housekeeping for Beginners – Goran Stolevski
Norway: Songs of Earth – Margreth Olin
Palestine: Bye Bye Tiberias – Lina Soualem
Panama: Tito, Margot & Me – Mercedes Arias & Delfina Vidal
Paraguay: The Last Runway 2, Commando Yaguarete – Armando Aquino & Mauricio Rial
Phillippines: The Missing – Carl Joseph Papa
Peru: The Erection of Toribio Bardelli – Adrián Saba
Poland: The Peasants – DK Welchman & Hugh Welchman
Portugal: Bad Living – João Canijo
Romania: Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World – Radu Jude
Serbia: Because My Thoughts Are Struggling – Milorad Milinković
Singapore: The Breaking ice – Anthony Chen
Slovakia: Photophobia – Ivan Ostrochovský & Pavol Pekarčík
Slovenia: Riders – Dominik Mencej
South Korea: Concrete Utopia – Um Tae-hwa
Spain: Society of the Snow – J.A. Bayona
Sweden: Opponent – Milad Alami
Switzerland: Foudre – Carmen Jaquier
Sudan: Goodbye Julia – Mohamed Kordofani
Taiwan: Marry My Dead Body – Cheng Wei-hao
Tajikistan: Melody – Behrouz Sebt Rasoul
Tunisia: Four Daughters – Kaouther Ben Hania
Turkey: About Dry Grasses – Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Ukraine: 20 Days in Mariupol – Mstyslav Chernov
United Kingdom: The Zone of Interest – Jonathan Glazer
Uruguay: Family Album – Guillermo Rocamora
Venezuela: The Shadow of the Sun – Miguel Ángel Ferrer
Vietnam: Glorious Ashes – Bùi Thạc Chuyên
Yemen: The Burdened – Amr Gamal

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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