台北電影節的重頭戲單元之一便是號召世界各國新銳導演前來參賽的「國際新導演競賽」。2023 年第 25 屆台北電影節的「國新競賽」決選評審團陣容為陳湘琪（評審團主席）、韓國電影監製吳姃琓、香港資深導演趙良駿、台灣導演樓一安、及柏林影展選片人馬克培安森（Mark Peranson）共五位。而 12 部入選片單如下：
the finalist 5 jury of “International New Talent Competition” in 2023 Taipei Film Festival is Chen Shiang-Chyi (chairman of the jury), Korean film producer Jung-Wan Oh（from Bom Film Productions）, Hong Kong director Samson Chiu, Taiwanese director Lou Yian, and Mark Peranson from selection committee in Berlin Film Festival. The 12 selected films as follows:
→柯汶利導演的《默殺》A Place Called Silence
→突尼西亞女導演艾莉吉．舍希利的《無花果樹下》Under the Fig Trees
→摩洛哥裔導演菲札爾布利法的 《我要人生金包銀》The Damned Don’t Cry
→中美洲女導演卡蒂雅的《姊妹夏日絮語》Sister & Sister
入選為 2023 年第 25 屆台北電影節「國新競賽」的電影《無花果樹下》是拍攝紀錄片出身的突尼西亞女導演艾莉吉．舍希利 Erige SEHIRI 的首部劇情長片作品，第一部片就代表突尼西亞角逐奧斯卡最佳國際影片，自證導演潛力才華十足。且《無花果樹下》也歷經過入選過坎城影展導演雙週、多倫多影展與倫敦影展等多個電影獎入尾旅程，而台北電影節是該作品在國際影展的入圍之旅第十站。
The film “Under the Fig Trees” selected for the 25th Taipei Film Festival “International New Talent Competition” in 2023 is debut by Tunisian female director with a documentary background. Erige SEHIRI’s first feature film work, the film represented Tunisia to compete for Oscar (the best international film), which proves that the director has great potential and talent. In addition, “Under the Fig Trees” has also been selected for multiple film awards at the Cannes Film Festival (Quinzaine des cinéastes), Toronto Film Festival, and London Film Festival etc.
This film has several daily laborers busy picking fruits in a fig orchard in northern Tunisia. Under SEHIRI’s gaze, the light and shadows that shuttle between the branches and fruits reflect on the faces and bodies of the group performers, which not only imbues the bright color temperature of photography aesthetics, but also brings a documentary-style scenery, opening a new window for international movie fans. window to the world.
It’s uncommon for Urban people to enjoy the beauty of the agricultural world, “Under the Fig Trees” immerses you enough at once: the one and a half hour movie that shuttles under the fig trees along with the movie feels like a world away. And following that group of people and enjoying the sense of solidity of labor that is rewarded by heaven and earth, you can feel as if you were a simple fruit picker in your previous life. The miracle of Tunisia once made a great country in Africa. However, the epidemic and political situation have restricted its development today. But perhaps for ordinary people, basic livelihood is the eternal pursuit. The spirit of enlightenment seems to be the greatest expectation and most sincere blessing of Tunisian cultural creators for their homeland.
《無花果樹下》也擁有著 21 世紀電影將農務結合生活感、拍成醉人動態明信片的魔法，活像是北非版的河瀨直美電影，也令人想到了《橘子收成時》裡戰火未開前那一籃籃恬靜的橘子，並有如在《親密》裡孩子參與花田採收時能聞嗅到芬芳泥土味的清新；即便沒有《小森食光》中那樣呈現出慎重儀式感的烹食過程，然而《無花果樹下》群演在午休時分享食物與閒聊的聚會，仍是要比任何一齣韓劇在房前埕上擺席歡聚的戲碼，更具雋永之氣。
This movie also has the magic of 21st century movies combining farming with a sense of life and making it into an intoxicating dynamic postcard. It is like the North African version of Naomi Kawase’s movie. And this movie also reminds me of “Tangerines”(Georgian: მანდარინები, 2013) especially the scene Orange in the basket (before the war started); as in “Close”(2022) where children can smell the freshness of the fragrant earthy smell when they participate in the flower field harvest; “Under the Trees” group performers sharing food and chatting during lunch breaks is still more timeless than any other Korean drama where the party is held in front of the house.
電影裡不乏俊男美女的愛情故事，前男女友的意外重逢、主管與女工間的曖昧情愫流動、真正情侶之間卻不認識對方在社群平台上的「美豔人設」，還有伴侶間面對到殘酷經濟問題而鋌險走偏門的互相掩護情節、親戚爭產的難堪對質，甚至性騷擾的事發現場… … 這些小故事就這樣交錯落置在看來慵懶的行影時光流動之中，提醒著現實殘酷的魔鬼總伺機要暗湧流動、攪亂和諧。可是啊，這些劇情交付給素人演員們演起來似乎毫無演技門檻，自然到像是演員身上自帶的故事，不知道的人會以為自己根本是在看一部紀錄片。原來是編導早就在試鏡過程中與演員聊過太多人生，以至於電影裡頭有些事件還真的是演員群的真實經歷。
Love stories, handsome men and beautiful women included in the movie, the unexpected reunion of ex-girlfriends, the flow of ambiguous feelings between supervisors and female workers, the “beautiful persona” between real couples who don’t know each other on social platforms… cruel economic problems, the embarrassing confrontation between relatives over property, and even the scene of sexual harassment… These small stories are intertwined in this seemingly lazy way. In the flow of time, it reminds the cruel reality that the devil is always waiting for an opportunity to flow and disturb the harmony. But, these plots seem to have no threshold for acting skills when they are delivered to amateur actors. So natural that it seems the actors do have stories themselves. I think I am watching a documentary. It turned out that the director got some stories from actors during the audition process, so that some events in the movie were really the real experiences of the actors.
From early morning to sunset, this “experience camp” in a North African orchard is eye-catching without being funny, no need for a bloody plot. Roles are also charming enough. When the last few girls get off work together, get dressed up, get home, and get the last free sunset time in the day and sing, the picture is so beautiful, even if you have seen North Africa and other beautiful Tunisian scenery, You still want to put “Under the Fig Trees” in the List of “the most beautiful Tunisian scenery I have ever seen in my life”.
艾莉吉．舍希利 Erige SEHIRI
艾莉吉．舍希利，來自突尼西亞，導演暨製片。從紀錄片起家，靠己力成立Henia Production 製作公司，並協助突尼西亞創作者的紀錄片於多個國際紀錄片影展曝光。2018 年她以紀錄長片《Railway Men》驚豔國際影壇，該片除入選瑞士真實影展、阿姆斯特丹紀錄片影展外，更於突尼西亞當地戲院上映長達六週。《無花果樹下》為其首部劇情長片，亦由其擔任製片，獲得威尼斯影展FinalCut in Venice 後製贊助計畫獎項。
Erige SEHIRI is a French-Tunisian director and producer. In 2018, her breakout feature documentary, Railway Men, was screened in the cinemas in Tunisia for six weeks. In 2021, she wrote, directed and produced her first fiction feature, Under the Fig Trees, which won several post-production awards in Final Cut at Venice 2021 and premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes 2022.