Strong female appearances, good direction and serious weaknesses in terms of screenplay are the first indications at the International Competition of this year’s Thessaloniki festival. The most well-rounded film so far is Karim Ainouz’s «Suely in the Sky,» which comes after the Brazilian director’s critically acclaimed «Madame Sata.» The Walter Salles-produced film tells the story of a 21-year-old mother trying to ensure a better life for her child, while also trying to live her own life as a young woman. In «Day Night Day Night» by Julia Loktev, a young woman arrives in New York City by bus with plans to train as a suicide bomber. Who is behind the plot or what her motives are are never revealed. All we know is that she wants to die so that she may be reunited with a loved one. A third film, Gerardo Naranjo Gonzalez’s «Drama/Mex» stands out for staid directing and a rather chaotic screenplay. The Mexican director’s young woman leaves home to become a prostitute. Set in a decadent Acapulco, the characters, like the city, seem to be in search of a clear new role for their future. And while Gonzalez appears to know how to lead them, he doesn’t appear to know where to.