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Films in First Feature Competition

The Sutherland Award recognises the most original and imaginative directorial debut.


First Feature Competition supported by


  • The Chambermaid

    Dir Lila Avilés | Mexico-USA

    Actor-turned-director Lila Avilés provides an engaging, behind-closed-doors look at the working environment of a chambermaid in one of Mexico City’s most luxurious hotels.

    Read more about The Chambermaid

  • The Day I Lost My Shadow

    Dir-Scr Soudade Kaadan | Syria-Lebanon-France-Qatar

    Soudade Kaadan’s moving drama unfolds in war-torn Syria, where a woman travels to the outskirts of Damascus and witnesses the fate of her countrypeople.

    Read more about The Day I Lost My Shadow

  • Dead Pigs

    Dir-Scr Cathy Yan | China

    Cathy Yan’s freewheeling, mosaic-like multicultural comedy charts the misadventures of diverse Shanghai denizens, linked by a mysterious epidemic of porcine carcasses drifting towards the city’s harbour.

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  • Girl

    Dir Lukas Dhont | Belgium

    A transgender teenager dreams of becoming a ballet dancer in this extraordinary coming-of-age story, which won the Queer Palm at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

    Read more about Girl

  • Holiday

    Dir Isabella Eklöf | Denmark-Netherlands-Sweden-Turkey

    A lavish trip to the Turkish Riviera goes horribly awry in this disturbing tale of power, exploitation and complicity.

    Read more about Holiday

  • Journey to a Mother’s Room

    Dir-Scr Celia Rico Clavellino | Spain-France

    The sense of loss experienced by a mother and daughter is thoughtfully conveyed in this intimate, tender drama from first-time director Celia Rico Clavellino.

    Read more about Journey to a Mother’s Room

  • Only You

    Dir-Scr Harry Wootliff | UK

    Rising stars Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country) and Laia Costa (Victoria) sizzle in this refreshingly honest romantic drama.

    Read more about Only You

  • Ray & Liz

    Dir-Scr Richard Billingham | UK

    In this astonishingly personal film, Richard Billingham delves into his Black Country upbringing to recreate visceral family memories and desperate living in Thatcher’s Britain.

    Read more about Ray & Liz

  • Soni

    Dir Ivan Ayr | India

    Feminist policing, Indian style: Ivan Ayr’s refreshing, class-conscious debut considers the solidarity between a fiery female officer and her superior.

    Read more about Soni

  • Wildlife

    Dir Paul Dano | USA

    Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal play a couple on the rocks in Paul Dano’s directorial debut, an elegant 1950s-set melodrama.

    Read more about Wildlife


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