Section coordinated by Mariana Hristova

In a context such as the Social Sciences, where the dominant discourse is androcentric, and in the world of filmmaking, where the presence of women directors at festivals is still unequal, the organisation of MICE considers that it is necessary to reinforce the presence of films made and/or produced by women. The section is thus an open invitation to women professionals in the world of cinema and audiovisuals who programme films made by women directors. In this edition, our invitation has been accepted by Mariana Hristova, a Bulgarian film critic, cultural journalist and programmer, specialised in cinema from the Balkans and Eastern Europe, and also interested in amateur and underrepresented cinema. 

Mariana Hristova’s selection, made months before war was declared in Ukraine, takes us on a journey through former Soviet lands which are currently in different situations and with different borders but which are still connected by a common past that defined the social, working and personal lives of their inhabitants and which, as we can see in the current conflict, continues to be of profound importance. Through the subtle and penetrating gazes of four filmmakers, the programme will take the public to little-known corners of what was once the Soviet Union, with a focus on the multiculturalism of the territory, the everyday life after its disintegration, as well as the political and social perspectives that are now at the centre of attention. 


Wednesday, March 30 at 8.30 p.m. Teatro Principal

67′ | 2021 | Georgia

Keti Machavariani

In Tbilisi, a researcher conducts a social survey through the city’s neighbourhoods to offer a unique outlook from the inside of people’s homes. What first comes across as a simple story based on a series of questions and answers, quickly shapes into a film that powerfully resonates the voice of a society that is in transition. The disarming and patient approach of Sunny allows her to venture far into the country’s psyche, where she unravels the humanity that lies at the heart of this little-known South Caucasus nation. Subtle in tone yet distinctly stylized, Sunny intimately captures a post-Soviet Georgia breaking from its past and slowly coming into its own.

Heat Singers

Thursday, March 31 at 8.30 p.m. Teatro Principal

63′ | 2019 | Ucraine

Nadia Parfam

For many years, Ivan Vasyliovych was the union leader of IvanoFrankivskTeploKomunEnergo, a municipal heating company in western Ukraine. His masterpiece is the union choir of mechanics, repairmen, dispatchers, accountants, and other employees. Ivan Vasyliovych is very proud of his creative achievements, but he also remembers that “warm-up comes first, and only then do we sing!”. The rehearsal schedule should be organized around the “heating season”. While the collective is trying to repair the old pipes, customers are bombarding the direct care service. Is it possible to heat your radiators cold with the power of Ukrainian folk song?

the hope factory

Thurday, March 31 at 10 p.m. Teatro Principal

102′ | 2014 | Rusia

Natalia Meshchaninova

The north Siberian industrial city of Norilsk is one of the most polluted places on Earth. This is where young Russian director Natalia Meshchaninova set her ironically titled film, a work which reflects her honed skills as a documentarist. Life in this gritty town inside the Arctic Circle doesn’t have much to offer young people. The film’s heroine, Svyeta, is well aware of this. Her eighteenth birthday is coming up and the thought of spending the rest of her days in the city where she was born is unappealing to say the least. She and her mates hang out after work drinking vodka but, unlike them, Svyeta has a clear aim in life and she is determined to achieve it at any cost. The talented debuting director has turned out a compelling, realistic coming-of-age drama about the quest for love and the desire for a better life. Using a hand-held camera, the impressive script attains a documentarist’s authenticity and is well supported by meticulous performances from the young cast.e world.


Friday, April 1 at 6.30 p.m.Teatro Principal

93′ | 2019 | Sweden – Dinamarca – Belgium

Ana Eborn

A group of teenagers go from a sweltering, carefree summer to an unforgiving winter in the self-styled state of Transnistria, where the national flag still bears the hammer and sickle


Saturday, April 2 at 6.30 p.m. Teatro Principal

52′ | 2005 | Rusia

Marina Razbezhkina

The Mansi children at a boarding school in the small Russian village of Ivdel are looking forward to the winter holidays. They look forward to returning to their hometown, where there is no television or video games. It takes a whole day to get to their hometown, through forests and snowy fields, but there is no place like home. At home they can sled, jump off the roof into the snow and play cards with grandma. The winter holidays are a small change for the children from city life. Will some children decide to return?