International Competition

PUSHING BOUNDARIES accompanies athletes from the Ukrainian Paralympic National Team who have lost their training base in Crimea due to the Russian annexation. They try to adapt to the new historic conditions in their private as well as in their professional lives and to qualify for the next games.

– Visions du Réel

Asia Premiere
  • Director:Lesia Kordonets
  • Switzerland
  • 2021
  • 102min.
  • color
  • -
  • Ukraine
  • JPN & ENG Sub.


Screening Dates, Times, and Venues

Sep.22 (Thu.) 13:00-
Naramachi Center

Sep.23 (Fri.) 15:30-
Naramachi Center

* Only if there are vacant seats, tickets are available at the door.

Guest Talk

Sep.23 (Fri.) 15:30~
After screening

movie trailer
The film shows people who grow beyond their physical limits on a daily basis while around them political boundaries are pushed back and forth. And the country they represent at international competitions is invalided by the amputation of its territories.
Lesia Kordonets

Born in Ukraine in 1983. Growing up in the times of social turmoil in her homeland, she entered Theodor-Heuss College of Education. Since her graduation in German studies, she has written and directed various shortfilms and documentaries in Ukraine and Switzerland. In 2013 she obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the department of cinema at the Zurich Art Institute (ZHdK).

Recommendations from the NIFF Supporters

This film expresses the struggles of athletes caught up in political situations and national conflicts in all their glory. The director’s ability to continue to look through the athlete’s eyes and to depict the propositions of what a nation is and what the people living in a nation are, is paralleled. The camerawork is another element that enhances this film.


Jury President│Filmmaker

Billante Mendoza

Filipino film director and producer. Known as a Living National Treasure. His films
have been highly acclaimed and won awards at the world’s three major film festivals―the Cannes Film Festival,
the Venice International Film Festival, and the Berlin International Film Festival. After working in the advertising
industry, he became a production designer. He has served as juror and jury president at film festivals held in
Japan, Egypt, France, Malaysia, Singapore, and Belgium.



Momoko Ando

Born in Tokyo in 1982. She studied abroad in England since high school and
graduated from the University of London’s Faculty of Arts. After that, she studied filmmaking in New York, worked
as an assistant director, and made her debut as a director and screenwriter in 2010 with “A Piece of Our Life”. In
2011, she published her first full-length novel “0.5mm”, and in 2014 directed, wrote and made it into a movie. After
that, the movie “Utamonogatari CINEMA FIGHTERS project ‘Aeiou'”, which she directed and wrote, was released
in 2018.


Professor at Kyoto Seika University Faculty of Humanities

Dr. Oussouby SACKO

As a government-sponsored student, he studied at Beijing Language and Culture
University and Nanjing Southeast University. In 1990, he experienced a shortterm
homestay in Tokyo and was surprised by the downtown culture that was common to Mali. He came to
Japan in 1991, and in 1999 completed a doctoral course at the Department of Architecture, Graduate School
of Engineering, Kyoto University. Ph.D. (Engineering). Specialized in spatial anthropology. After working as a
faculty member and dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Kyoto Seika University, he was appointed president of
the university in April 2018 (until March 2022) before taking up his current position. He advocates a society that
recognizes diverse values from the perspective of everyday life.



Asian Film Programming Advisor

Asia│Film Programming Advisor

Jacob Wong

Jacob Wong has been a member of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society for over two decades, with double-barrel responsibilities as Curator and Director of HAF (Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum). He is currently Director of the Film Industry Office, overlooking HAF, HAF Goes to Cannes, the Film Lab, Co-productions and Foreign Sales. He is also the Berlin Film Festival’s delegate for Chinese-language cinemas.


Locarno IFF Selection Committee, Film Critique

Daniela Persico

Daniela Persico is part selection committee for Locarno Film Festival and Berlin Critics Week and
a curator for L’immagine e la parola, spin-off of the Locarno Festival. She’s founder and editor in chief of the online quarterly
Filmidee ( She has also devoted to help various young filmmakers in developing films. In 2022, she was
appointed artistic director of the Bellaria Film Festival.

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