Marine de Contes (The Game, FoR18) returns to themes of landscape and tradition with an entrancingly beautiful work about the quiet resurgence of a forgotten language. Amid the stunning, seemingly unspoilt landscapes of La Gomera in the Canary Islands, ghostly apparitions commune with the birds by way of silbo – a language exclusively based on whistling. Unfolding as a poetic dream of a world not yet damned, Silabario portrays an ecological utopia where human beings surrender to nature, resisting any pernicious urge to mould it in their image. This quiet, hopeful plea implores us to listen to the world around us.
Hotel Royal follows a hotel chambermaid as she conducts her daily cleaning duties – and while moving from room to room, director Salomé Lamas (Eldorado XII, FoR16; Extinction, FoR18) and her protagonist construct the stories of the rooms’ absent occupants from what they’ve left behind. Hotel Royal feels like a voyeuristic yet deeply humanistic peering-in at unmade beds, unfinished breakfast trays and traces of reality. Complicity becomes a companion piece, adding to the disquieting mood – a familiar trope in Lamas’s cinematic gaze. This short film builds through evocative sound design and haunting imagery, blending factual accounts with imaginary storytelling as it directly questions the subjectivity that we bring to images and objects.
Canada-based Colombian filmmaker Felipe López Gómez returns to his isolated familial home in the Andes – which has laid abandoned for two decades. Through family photos, contemporary footage and the memories of his beloved grandparents, López Gómez weaves a melancholic and intimate portrait of his upbringing. La Cumbre is not only a compassionate look at the passing of time and the impact of familial roots on each of us, but also a testament to an idyllic youth.
These screenings are UK premieres, followed by an online Q&A with directors Marine de Contes, Felipe López Gómez, and Salomé Lamas, hosted by film producer and film curator Luke Moody.