Cutting edge technology has made it easier than ever to make a feature film. But it is still as hard as ever to make a really good one. The Pioneer strand is a showcase for filmmakers at the start of what promise to be glittering careers. Every film in this strand is a first or second-time feature from someone who possesses the power to make them stand out from the crowd. They all have that little something special. Just imagine what it must have been like to see a first film from Agnes Varda or Martin Scorsese and know you’d want to watch everything else they would ever make. Among the highlights in this year’s Pioneer you will find Carmel Winters’ knockout coming-of-age tale Float Like a Butterfly; Fugue, a suspenseful return from The Lure director Agnieszka Smoczyńska; actor turned director Hugh O’Conor’s delightful, irresistible charmer Metal Heart; and Ali Abbasi’s stunning, one-of-a-kind Border. The future is bright and it starts right here.

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