New Directors Competition

This year, seven new international voices have been selected for SIFF's New Directors Competition. To qualify, the films must be dramatic features, a director's debut or second feature, and without U.S. distribution at the time of SIFF selection. The films are chosen for their original scripts, innovative cinematography, and unique insights. From Bangladesh to New Zealand, from Canada to China, from Georgia to Nigeria, these are films that expand the cinematic palette in inventive ways.

The New Directors jury comprises film industry professionals and journalists who will choose the winning filmmaker, which will be announced at the Closing Night Awards Celebration and receive a cash prize of $1,500.

Beans

Canada | 2020 | 92 minutes | Tracey Deer (Mohawk)

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

A 12-year-old Mohawk girl’s coming of age story and political awakening during the Oka Crisis. Deer’s fresh voice reminds us of the importance of authentic representation and culturally-specific storytelling in cinema. Drawing upon her documentary roots, and her experience growing up in the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, Tracey Deer delivers a timely film grounded in authentic history.

More Details

Bebia, á mon seul désir

Georgia | 2021 | 118 minutes | Juja Dobrachkous

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

In this beautifully composed black-and-white drama out of Georgia, an estranged teenager returns to her rural village to perform an ancient burial tradition for her late grandmother, in which she must string a thread through sixteen miles of forest.

More Details

Charter

Sweden | 2019 | 94 minutes | Amanda Kernell (Sami)

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

A complex and empathetic portrayal of motherhood in conflict with self-preservation, a recent divorcée kidnaps her estranged children and spirits them away to the Canary Islands. From the director of Sami Blood, SIFF 2017 Grand Jury Prize winner.

More Details

The Salt In Our Waters

Bangladesh | 2020 | 106 minutes | Rezwan Shahriar Sumit

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

A warm and charming tale of an affluent and idealistic sculptor who leaves the city to find inspiration in a beautiful coastal village on the Bangladeshi delta, leading to a culture clash between traditional and modern values.

More Details

This Is My Desire

Nigeria | 2020 | 116 minutes | Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

In this tender and compassionate drama elegantly captured in 35mm, two modern Nigerians, grappling with their everyday lives and the compromises they make to help their families, dream of leaving the hectic streets of Lagos for a new life abroad.

More Details

This Town

New Zealand | 2020 | 86 minutes | David White

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

In this touchingly twisted comedy that recalls the mockumentaries of Christopher Guest, a young man accused of murdering his entire family tries to reenter the dating scene, only to run afoul of suspicious townsfolk and a retired cop.

More Details

Wisdom Tooth

China | 2019 | 104 minutes | Liang MING

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

An undocumented maid, her fishmonger half-brother, and a glamorous, mob-affiliated outsider lead this seductive, textured relationship drama/crime thriller set in a poor Chinese fishing village near the Korean border in the dead of winter.

More Details