International Competition

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International Competition

Rival ◊ jp◊

9/25 (Sat) 10:00 - 10/3 (Sun) 23:00
Cinema Discoveries

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A young boy goes to visit his mother in a country where he does not know the language. But who is his true rival?

9-year-old Roman travels from Ukraine to Germany where his mother works illegally as the nurse of Gert, a widower suffering from diabetes. Gert tries to get along with Roman, but Roman cannot accept the closeness between Gert and his mother.


©Mila Teshaieva

Director: Marcus LENZ
Cast: Yelizar NAZARENKO, Maria BRUNI, Udo SAMEL

2020 / Germany, Ukraine / 96min.


The audience momentarily feels relief when the scenery Roman sees through a window opening of the van cargo area in which he's hiding changes from Ukrainian countryside to a German city after a tense border crossing. But for Roman, the move to Germany is the true battle, and the sense of tension does not let up until the last moments. The high quality of this film is a testament to noted German director Marcus Lenz who studied directing and cinematography at the prestigious German Film and Television Academy Berlin. This film is just his second feature film in 16 years since his 2004 debut film Close. After its premiere at the 2020 Busan International Film Festival, it won the German Cinema New Talent Award, the main prize at the 54th Hof International Film Festival. Yelizar Nazarenko, who gives an overwhelming performance playing Roman, is an experienced actor of many television series and commercials in his home country. In addition, Gert is played by famed German Udo Samel who has starred in The Piano Teacher (01) and My Best Enemy (11), among others.


監督:Marcus LENZ

Director: Marcus LENZ

Lenz grew up in the Ruhr area and studied communication design at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen and at the UIAH in Helsinki. After receiving his degree, he went to the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) and studied directing and cinematography under lecturers such as Bela Tarr, Wolfgang Becker, Slavomir Idziak, Michael Ballhous and Mike Leigh. After graduating from DFFB, he has been directing and/or shooting both documentaries and feature films.


With harshness, poetry and humor, Rival frames the intense interior view of a childlike soul that has lost its place in the world. A soul that is vulnerable, but which also grows to possess tremendous strength, because Roman will never lose faith that he will be able to live with his mother, come what may.