Series by Lars von Trier and Xavier Dolan, in the Coming Up Next section | TIFF

Series by Lars von Trier and Xavier Dolan, in the Coming Up Next section

05.06.2023 22:54

The Coming Up Next section of the Transilvania International Film Festival (June 9 – 18, 2023) offers viewers the opportunity to watch, for the first time in Romania, the first episodes or complete seasons of new series on the big screen. This year's selection features eight titles, including series directed by Lars von Trier and Xavier Dolan, award-winning series from Berlinale and Canneseries, as well as surprising titles from countries such as Iran and Lithuania.

The Kingdom Exodus (Denmark), the third part of the cult horror trilogy directed by Lars von Trier, premiered last year at the Venice Film Festival and follows the supernatural lives of patients and staff in the neurology ward of Copenhagen's Rigshospitalet. An enormous body of flesh and blood has materialised in the corridors and wards of the institution, interfering with the already bereft fates of those who populate it. In this final season of the phenomenon that debuted on TV 28 years ago (the first two seasons were also screened at Transilvania IFF in 2006), von Trier returns to some of the initial characters and stories, bringing them to present day with more humour, and even more grotesquery. All 5 episodes will be shown at Transilvania IFF in a unique marathon screening, part of Nordic Focus.

The Night Logan Woke Up (Canada) is the television debut of multi-award-winning Canadian director Xavier Dolan. In October 1991, an unspeakable event shakes a small Quebec town, haunting a family trying to hide dark secrets. Thirty years later, they begin to surface. The mini-series presented at Sundance is Dolan's sixth collaboration with actress Anne Dorval, and his first time working with composer Hans Zimmer. Audiences will be able to enjoy the first two of the miniseries' five episodes in a unique screening at Transilvania IFF.

In the science-fiction Souls (d. Alex Eslam, Germany), double award winner at Canneseries 2022, three women are facing the idea of reincarnation. Allie is trapped in a time loop that forces her to relive the worst day of her life over and over again. Hanna is dealing with the aftermath of a car accident when she and her son nearly drowned: her son later begins to have visions from a past life. As for Linn, she willingly ventures into a creepy afterlife cult. The first two episodes of the series will be screened.

Winner of a special mention in the newly inaugurated Berlinale Series section, The Architect (d. Kerren Lumer-Klabbers, Norway) sends us to a dystopian Oslo, where the city centre has become a desolate place due to unaffordable housing prices. When the firm she is interning for has to build a thousand apartments in the city centre, Julie has an idea - how about turning underground car parks into residential spaces? The four-episode miniseries stars Eili Harboe, an actress featured in the last season of HBO hit Succession, and can be seen in full at Transilvania IFF.

Last year's Icelandic hit series, Blackport (d. Gísli Örn Gardarsson, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Nina Dögg Filippusdóttir, Iceland) is inspired by real events that generated a shockwave in the Icelandic fishing industry when the government introduced fishing quotas in the mid-1980s. It stars the secretary of a local town hall named Harpa, who takes advantage of the new regulations and a tragic accident to save the town from bankruptcy and start a real empire. Blackport won the Grand Prize in the International Competition at Series Mania 2022, and the first two episodes can be seen at Transilvania IFF.

This year's big winner at Series Mania, The Actor (d. Nima Javidi, Iran), is presented at Transilvania IFF as well. The series undertakes a complex discourse reflecting, to some extent, the plight of artists in Iran who, due to the authoritarian ruling regime, are left without ways to make a decent living from their craft. Ali and Morteza are two talented actors who haven't been on stage for a while. They make their money performing skits at rich people's birthdays and parties, but their improvisations soon draw the attention of a mysterious agency. The first two episodes can be seen at Transilvania IFF.

Lithuania is represented by a recent release - Troll Farm (d. Gabija Siurbytė, Lithuania) telling the story of Ana, a corporate diva wrongfully fired from a big beauty company who wants to clear her name and prove to the world that she was nothing but a scapegoat. She declares war on the evil company, and she will stop at nothing to get her revenge. Two of the five episodes of the first season will premiere at Transilvania IFF.

In the Belgian black comedy Good People (d. Stéphane Bergmans, Benjamin D'aoust, Matthieu Donck, Belgium), Tom, a cop, and Linda, owner of a beauty salon, are both facing bankruptcy. Caught between a rock and a hard place, the two need to rapidly come up with some cash and the only solution seems to be a life insurance scam. Unsurprisingly, but gripping nonetheless, problems soon followed. Two episodes of the six of this series will be presented on the big screen.


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Transilvania International Film Festival is organized by the Association for the Promotion of Romanian Cinema and the Association Transilvania Film Festival.