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6 World Fiction Filmmakers to Watch, LA Film Festival 2017

LA Film Festival 2017 World Fiction Filmmakers to Watch
Directors, clockwise from top, Vashti Anderson, Kagiso Lediga, Rafael Kapelinski, Mascha Schilinski, Luis Ayhllón, Diego Ros

With the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival kicking off this week, New Machine profiles 6 directors to watch who are screening in the World Fiction competition.

1. Rafael Kapelinski – Butterfly Kisses

Poland’s Rafael Kapelinski is a former banker turned filmmaker screening his debut feature, Butterfly Kisses. The film follows Jake and his two best friends through a world distorted by sex and porn. Butterfly Kisses won the Crystal Bear Generation 14plus – Best Film, and was nominated for Best First Feature, both at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival. Rafael has been making short films since 2006, earning numerous nominations and awards along the way including at Austin Film Festival and the Breast European Short Film Festival.

Follow Rafael on Twitter or view his portfolio on Vimeo.

2. Kagiso Lediga – Catching Feelings

Catching Feelings is the feature debut comedy from South African filmmaker Kagiso Lediga. Catching Feelings is a dark romantic comedy which follows an urbane young academic and his beautiful wife, as their lives get turned upside down when a celebrated and hedonistic older writer moves into their Johannesburg home. Kagiso is notable in South Africa as a TV comedy writer, most recently as head writer on the 2015 series The Mayor.

Follow Kagiso on Twitter.

3. Mascha Schilinski – Dark Blue Girl

German filmmaker Mascha Schilinski is screening her debut feature Dark Blue Girl (Die Tochter), which was nominated as a Best First Feature at the Berlin International Film Festival this year. The drama also won the Flying Ox for Best Feature at the Schwerin Art of Film Festival. Dark Blue Girl is set two years after Hannah and Jimmy’s break up, the pair unexpectedly falls head over heels for each other again when selling their holiday home on a little volcanic island in the Aegean. Their seven-year-old daughter Luca does everything in her power to prevent this from happening.

View Mascha’s portfolio on Vimeo.

4. Vashti Anderson – Moko Jumbie

Trinidadian-American filmmaker Vashti Anderson is showing his first feature Moko Jumbie as part of the World Fiction competition. Moko Jumbie’s synopsis is ‘amidst the ruins of a coconut plantation in rural Trinidad, Asha, a displaced girl seeking her roots, is drawn to a young fisherman who shares her desire to look beyond.’ His previous shorts include Jeffrey’s Calypso (2005) and Zara Mirage (2002).

5. Diego Ros – The Nightguard

The Nightguard is the second feature from Mexican filmmaker Diego Ros. His debut El Vigilante was Best Film in 2016 at the Morelia International Film Festival. The Nightguard is about Salvador who works the night shift as a security guard for a remote construction site near the outskirts of Mexico City. One night, a van is abandoned across the street from the site and a body is found inside it the following day.

6. Luis Ayhllón – Nocturno

Mexican Filmmaker Luis Ayhllón is screening Nocturno, his second feature after the 2014 comedy thriller Dodo. Nocturno is an intense drama that tells the unexpected and ambiguous encounter of a sick father, in the last stage of his life, with his daughter, a nurse by profession, whom he presumably abandoned when he was a child. Luis was previously nominated for a Silver Ariel Award for Best Screenplay for the
TV movie La extinción de los dinosaurios (2014).