I Beyond Borders I

  • 1h 49 min
  • Animation, Documentary, Shorts

What comes to your mind when you think about community? Do you ever think about it? Do you consider yourself being part of one? If you consult a dictionary, you’ll find community referred to as people living in a particular area or different groups united by their nationalities, interests or social standings. However, it is far from just a word. A strong sense of community is a force to be reckoned with and has enormous power to connect, motivate and mobilise, or to simply bring joy. This programme focuses on short films that take you closer to what community feels like and the effects it can have, regardless of whether there are physical boundaries separating our heroes or not.

Trapped in the City of a Thousand Mountains

Director: David Verbeek


Year: 2018

Film duration: 00:22


A new phenomenon of authentic Chinese rap has taken theinternet by storm. But behind the unprecedented gains in popularity, there is a struggle for freedom of speech. Rappers are trying to figure out what they still can and cannot do after new censorship is announced.

My Dreams Rage

Director: Erich Steiner


Year: 2019

Film duration: 00:18

German, Uzbek

Jodgor Obid is one of the most famous poets in his homeland Uzbekistan. His poems are well known all over Central Asia and are recited during weddings, funerals and even when people argue with each other on the streets. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Islam Karimov came to power and established a brutal and ruthless dictatorship. Karimov made Obid an offer: to write in his favor and to support his rule, an offer for which he would have received a high post in the ministry, a private jet and many other amenities. Obid refused on the spot – a decision that changed his life dramatically: he was tortured by the KGB 13 times and later sent to a labour camp in Siberia. After four years in the camp, where he barely survived, Obid was finally released and able to flee the country. He first fled to Moscow and from there he came, by pure chance, to Austria. That was at the end of the 1990s. Obid has been living in a tiny apartment with almost no money ever since. He hasn't seen his wife, children and grandchildren for 26 years. “Sometimes, in my dreams, I go back to the ominous day when Karimov made me that offer. And then I think to myself 'why didn't you take him up on the offer?' I have lost everything. I have sacrificed my whole life because I refused to comply. But then, deep in my heart, I know that my decision was right. That I had no other choice.” MY DREAMS RAGE tells the extraordinary story of a humble man. A story about integrity, sacrifice and humanity. A story about the price of freedom.

All on a Mardi Gras Day

Director: Michal Pietrzyk


Year: 2019

Film duration: 00:22


In a gentrifying New Orleans, Demond makes sacrifices to be the Big Chief in a secret 200-year-old culture known as the Mardi Gras Indians: a collection of African-American men from the city’s roughest neighbourhoods who spend all year sewing feathered suits they’ll wear only once in a battle to decide who’s “the prettiest”.

Slow Burn

Director: Miguel Sánchez García


Year: 2019

Film duration: 00:24


Julio, 55, is a fireman who waits for his definitive retirement in a firemen's warehouse. Far from action and colleagues, he still hears the long-lasting voice of the fireman inside his chest, slowly burning.

Cheek to Cheek

Director: Bo van der Meer


Year: 2018

Film duration: 00:23


Just imagine: you’re in the middle of a hall in an old-age home which has been transformed into a ballroom with red velvet tablecloths and old vinyl records. A DJ plays nostalgic music from the ‘40s ‘till now. You are surrounded by cheerful, dancing people of all age groups, but especially the elderly. But on the dancefloor of The Dance Palace, age doesn’t matter.

In the short documentary Cheek to Cheek, four special elderly people swing by. Nellie, 94, has turned her mobility walker into her new dance partner. Carel, 91, a musician in heart and soul, forgets the silence at home when he starts playing along to Dutch classics on his keyboard. The super-fit Suze, 92, zooms past anybody half her age, whether she's on her bike or on the dance floor. The memory of Rene, 85, is not what it used to be, but as soon as he hears James Brown's music, everything suddenly comes back to him.

By presenting the magical experience of The Dance Palace on the one hand, and an intimate look into the lives of four of its visitors on the other, this film tells a story of the fragility and the power of ageing.