Back for its third edition, Europe’s only dedicated Christmas-themed film fest specialises in offbeat Yuletide cinema. Programme highlight Merry Christmas Mr. Mo (photo) is a low-key, Jarmuschian drama from Korea that deals with grief in an unusual but satisfying way. Oh My God! gives us the Second Coming, Italian-style, offering a guerrilla mockumentary riff on what might happen if Jesus returned to earth in the present day. The economic woes of running a Christmas park all year round are deftly explored in North Pole, NY, which doubles up as an incisive commentary on how theme parks changed across America during the 20th century. It makes a great companion piece to Santa Lives in my Town, following professional Santas in Argentina as they go about their regular lives. If you’re looking for a post-Suspiria witchy-fix, The Night Sitter is a relentlessly silly giallo–tinged comedy horror. Or for something more relatable, the Newfoundland-set TV drama A Christmas Fury captures the spirit of festive family reunions in all their barmy, complicated glory. There are also eight themed shorts programmes – one highlight is Harry Lighton’s BAFTA-nominated Wren Boys, which dramatises the first gay marriage to take place in a prison in Ireland.
Weihnachtsfilmfestival, Dec 21-24 Moviemento, weihnachtsfilmfestival.de