New Directors Competition | 2018 | 102 minutes
SIFF Says:The fictional town of Lafors, Sweden is in a downward trend and unemployment is high. Known primarily for its leather, textiles, and its drunken western weekend fairs, it’s in desperate need of an economic boost. Enter Billytown, a German-owned brand of superstores, who wants to open their newest location in Sweden, and they’re looking for applicants. Lafors seems like the perfect place for a store that could bring in upwards of a thousand new jobs, and the town council decides to create a tourism video. But with little money at their disposal, they turn to a local high school and task the students with the filmmaking project. Teenagers film everything and always have their phones at the ready, they reason, so why not kill two birds with one stone? Enter Aida (Zahraa Aldoujaili) and Dana (Yara Aliadotter), teens of color from different classes, who take the project the most seriously, shooting footage from Aida’s motorbike and capturing snippets of real life. But their vision of their hometown is too real for the council, and when they hire an outside videographer to make what essentially amounts to a lie, the two projects vie for the community’s attention. AMATEURS is a gem of a movie, smartly weaving through its many themes—gentrification, industrial collapse, immigration, working class woes—without ever losing its charm.
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