Sweetheart will be preceded by the short film Pitoc e Icinakosian and followed by Beyto.
As a moody teenager, is there anything worse than being dragged on vacation with your entire family? Doubtful.
A.J., a socially awkward teen, has just arrived at a coastal holiday park with her mom, her two sisters, and her older sister’s boyfriend. Their crime? Being painfully normal and having little to no understanding of how hard it is to be A.J. As she is dragged from beach day to magic show to family dinner, A.J.’s only respite is the occasional glimpse of Isla, the cute lifeguard patrolling the park. When Isla starts paying attention to A.J., A.J. has to deal with the potential of having her summer dreams come true.
As sun-soaked as one can get at a caravan park in Dorset, Sweetheart follows A.J. as she attempts to balance an embarrassing family vacation with the terrifying adventure of first love.
Presented in Swiss German and Turkish, with English subtitles.
Adapted from a novel by Swiss-Kurdish writer Yusuf Yesilöz, Beyto, which won the Prix du Public audience award at Switzerland’s Solothurn Film Festival, wrestles with the tension between cultures, and between a family’s sense of honour and a person’s need to be true to themselves.
Handsome Beyto (newcomer Burak Ates) is not simply a competitive swimmer, he’s the beloved son of Turkish immigrants who run a kebab shop that’s become something of a community hub in Zurich. Eyebrows are raised when Beyto’s coach, Mike (Dimitri Stapfer), appears unexpectedly at the shop one day. Beyto tries to be honest with his family, but coming out doesn’t get him very far. His parents hope a trip back to their village in Turkey will set Beyto straight.
While audiences will find themselves cheering for Beyto and Mike, director Gitta Gsell also sympathetically portrays the aspirations and feelings of other characters, including Beyto’s childhood friend Seher (Ecem Aydin), who might be hurt by what unfolds.
Gerry and their big brother Jos show us that there is more to being different than bullying, discrimination, and harassment.