Sunday, April 19, 2015

47th Quinzaine des Réalisateurs News - Update 2

I'm glad that next Tuesday April 21st, la Quinzaine organizers will announce the full lineup as lately they have been announcing the films drop by drop. But at the same time I'm also glad that they are announcing films that I'm highly interested in watching. Late yesterday they announced another film this time by acclaimed Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes (remember outstanding Tabu?).

His latest film As Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights) will be part of the 2015 Quinzaine Selection and here is what Edouard Waintrop, Directors' Fortnight Artistic Director said.

“Arabian Nights, the film - or, even better, the three miraculous films - by Miguel Gomes, will be premiering at the Directors' Fortnight. The breath-taking triptych is inspired by the tales told by Scheherazade and by some events that occurred in Portugal between 2013 and 2014, while the country was subjected to a political power denying all forms of social justice. It will set the pace of our program. Each film, directed with a wild fantasy and a great freedom, will have its day.”

Some info about the triptych by Miguel Gomes.
In Portugal – one European country in crisis – a film director proposes to build fictional stories from the miserable reality he is immersed in. However, failing to find meaning in his work, he cowardly runs away and leaves the beautiful Scheherazade to stand in his shoes. She will require enthusiasm and courage so as not to bore the King with sad stories of this country! As nights go past, restlessness leads to desolation and in turn to enchantment. Therefore Scheherazade organizes the stories she tells the King in three volumes. She begins like this: “It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that in a sad country among all countries...”

Volume 1, the restless one
Volume 2, the desolate one
Volume 3, the enchanted one

No doubt that these films are must be seen for me as I'm absolutely curious how a classic tale is blended into Portugal's recent adversities.


Perhaps to quiet the loud not-positive buzz about much awaited Arnaud Desplechin latest film generated after the remarkable absence in the Cannes Official Selection, Édouard Waintrop, Artistic Director of the Directors' Fortnight announced today that Trois Souvenirs de ma Jeunesse (My Golden Years) by Arnaud Desplechin will be part of the Quinzaine selection this year and will be screened on May 15.

Here is what Wintrop said:

"With pride and enthousiasm, we are thrilled to announce the presentation of My Golden Days, the last feature directed by Arnaud Desplechin, maybe his best and most moving film. My Gloden Days will be presented the 15th of May 2015 in Cannes. Mathieu Amalric and the young Quentin Dolmaire and Lou Roy-Lecollinet delight us with their excruciating and glowing quest for time and lost loves... "

Here is a brief synopsis of the film Starring Mathiew Amalric and André Dussollier film plunges into the past of the characters that inspired his acclaimed 1996 Comment je me suis disputé... (ma vie sexuelle) (My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument) that opened in competition at 1996 Cannes and the film where Mathieu Amalric won the César for Most Promising Young Actor.

Paul Dedalus is going to leave Tadzhikistan. He remembers…
His childhood in Roubaix… His mother's insane outbursts... The bond between himself and his younger brother, Ivan, a pious and violent child...
He remembers…
When he was sixteen... His father, an inconsolable widower... This journey to the USSR on a clandestine mission, which led him to offer his own identity to a young Russian man...
He remembers when he was nineteen, his sister Delphine, his cousin Bob, the wild nights with Pénélope, Mehdi, and Kovalki, the friend who had to betray him...
His studies in Paris, his encounter with Dr. Béhanzin, his blossoming vocation for anthropology...
And above all, Paul remembers Esther. She was the center of his life.

Check trailer available only in French @MOC.

In other news, the Société des réalisateurs de films (SRF) released the poster for the 2015 Carrosse d'Or that this year pays tribute to none other than to one of my very favorite contemporary Chinese directors, Jia Zhanke.


A few hours ago organizers announced that the section opening film will be L’ombre des femmes (In the Shadow of Women) by Philippe Garrel. Perhaps the most interesting fact is that Philippe Garrel attended the very first edition of Cannes' Directors' Fortnight in 1969 with his film Le Lit de la Vierge and this is his fourth visit to la Quinzaine as he came back with Le Révélateur in 1970 and Le Berceau de Cristal in 1976.

Édouard Waintrop comments in English -according to one cinema site-: "In the Shadow of Women is a love story about love and how betrayals, both big and small, which like those in the story can poison life.It is an elegant film at once cruel and tender, about the everyday cowardice of men, the intelligence of women, the daily heroism of women in love and their lucidity.” But ALWAYS check the original in French as there are some not-so-subtle differences.

"L'Ombre des femmes est un film mis en scène par Philippe Garrel. Un film d'amour et sur l'amour, sur les trahisons, les grandes et les petites, celles qui prennent place dans l'histoire et celles qui nous empoisonnent la vie. Un film élégant, cruel et tendre sur la lâcheté ordinaire des hommes, l'intelligence des femmes, l'héroïsme quotidien des amoureuses, leur lucidité... Avec Clotilde Courau, éblouissante, Lena Paugam et Stanislas Merhar."

Édouard Waintrop, Délégué général de la Quinzaine des Réalisateurs

And here is the official film synopsis in French
Pierre et Manon sont pauvres. Ils font des documentaires avec rien et ils vivent en faisant des petits boulots. Pierre rencontre une jeune stagiaire, Elisabeth, et elle devient sa maîtresse. Mais Pierre ne veut pas quitter Manon pour Elisabeth, il veut garder les deux. Un jour Elisabeth, la jeune maîtresse de Pierre, découvre que Manon, la femme de Pierre, a un amant. Et elle le dit à Pierre…Pierre se retourne vers Manon parce que c’est elle qu’il aimait. Et comme il se sent trahi, il implore Manon et délaisse Elisabeth. Manon, elle, rompt tout de suite avec son amant. On peut supposer que c’est parce qu’elle aime Pierre.

The Cannes Film Festival parallel section will announce full line-up in Paris on April 21.


The Poster

Today la Quinzaine unveiled their 2015 poster with a theme that according to Edouard Waintrop, revolves around the turbulent times and celebrates women bold enough to confront this space (the ocean) so immense and turbulent... Below you will find the complete reason why to the poster in French; the complete message suggests to me that this year there will be at least half female directors in the selection. It is like if la Quinzaine will celebrate female directors. Still it is just a spontaneous first impression that I hope becomes truth when the selection is presented next month. Sigh.

Le cinéma est un océan et, en ces temps tumultueux, il n'est pas étonnant qu'il soit bouillonnant…
Il n'est pas plus surprenant que par cette image nous célébrions ces femmes suffisamment audacieuses ou téméraires pour affronter cet espace immense et turbulent…
Dans une Quinzaine où la moitié du ciel assurera sa présence comme protagoniste dans les films certes mais également comme réalisatrice, ces femmes sont à leur place, puisqu'elles se sont jetées à l'eau.  Que cette Quinzaine, aussi tourbillonnante soit-elle, vous soit favorable… Et régénérante.

Edouard Waintrop, Artistic Director of Directors' Fortnight

The poster for the 2013 Quinzaine des Réalisateurs was based on a photo by Cécile Burban. Michel Welfringer was in charge of the graphic conception.

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs Basic Info

Created by the French Directors Guild in the wake of the events of May ’68, the Directors’ Fortnight seeks to aid filmmakers and contribute to their discovery by the critics and audiences alike. From its initial program in 1969, it cast its lot with the avant-garde even as it created a breeding ground where the Cannes Festival would regularly find its prestigious auteurs.

Among the various sections at the Cannes Film Festival, the Directors' Fortnight is distinguished by its independent-mindedness, its non-competitive nature and its concern to cater to non-professional Cannes audiences. Striving to be eclectic and receptive to all forms of cinematic expression, the Directors' Fortnight pays particular attention to the annual production of fiction features, short films and documentaries, to the emergence of independent fringe filmmaking, and even to contemporary popular genres, provided these films are the expression of an individual talent and an original directorial style.

In July 2011, Edouard Waintrop has been appointed by the Société des Réalisateurs de Films as Artistic Director of the Directors' Fortnight. One of their most visible honors from this organization is the Carrosse d'Or that in 2015 goes to Jia Zhangke and because he is one of my most admired directors there is a post dedicated to the master filmmaker.

This year la Quinzaine will rum from May 14 to May 24.

The Factory

Another interesting annual event is The Factory that after the Taipei Factory in 2013 and the Nordic Factory in 2014, the Director's Fortnight is pleased to launch the Chile Factory for the 2015 edition.

Eight young directors are invited to work in tandem and during their residence each pair will write, shoot and edit a short film of 15 minutes.

This year four Chilean young directors are paired with four international young directors from different parts of the world. These are the teams.

Team #1
Chile: Ignacio Rodriguez
Ignacio Rodriguez (Antofagasta, 1989) has a degree in dramatic arts and Media . In 2007 he directed his first short film "Mi Mayor Sense". In 2009 he co-wrote and co-directed, with Sebastian Pose, the short "The Law of Ice", which was awarded in 8 national festivals and selected in international ones. In 2011 films his graduation project, the feature "La chupilca del Diablo, " won the Special Jury Prize in FIC Valdivia 2012, the FIPRESCI Prize at Rencontres CineLatino de Toulouse, France 2013, the Special Jury Prize at the Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema of Pesaro, Italy 2013 and the Best Actor Award for Jaime Vadells the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Greece 2013. The film opened in Chilean theaters in November 2013. He’s currently working on the editing of "La Conquista de lo Inutil" a short film shot in Peruvian Amazonia and writing his first feature film.

Iran: Sara Rastegar
Born in Iran in 1983, Sara Rastegar is a director and actress living and working both in Iran and in Paris. After studying architecture, she went to live in the Iranian desert with a shepherd singer where she shot his first feature documentary. The Friend (2005) has won numerous awards at international film festivals. In 2008, she returned to Iran for Seven Women, a feature documentary about women living and working in Iran today. With My Red Shoes (2013), Sara Rastegar signs a fable of life by focusing on the history of his own family. My Red Shoes won the Jury Prize at the Dubai IFF in December 2013 and was selected in festivals all around the world... Sara is currently preparing her feature film.

Team #2
Chile: Manuela Martelli
After studying Theatre and Arts at the Catholic University of Chile, Manuela received a scholarship to pursue a Masters in Film at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. She debuted as an actress at 18 in B-Happy, getting the Best Actress Award in La Havana 2004. Since then, she has participated in 14 feature films in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Italy, Germany and Spain. Machuca, directed by Andrés Wood premiered at the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes 2005 and won major awards including the National Award for Arts in Chile for Best Actress. Christmas, the 2nd film by Sebastián Lelio, was also selected at Fortnight in 2009. In 2013, Manuela won Columbus Gold for Best Actress in The Future by Alicia Scherson in Huelva. In 2013, she played in 4 films: Dos Shot, the new film from Argentine director Martin Rejtman (Competition Locarno); Il Mondo Fino In Fondo by Italian director Alessando Lunardelli, (Rome IFF); The Magnetic Tree by Spanish Isabel Aguayvives (San Sebastian) and Forgotten by Mexican Carlos Bolado. Apnea, her short film was premiered at 2014 FICValdivia. Manuela is currently writing his first feature film; 1976, produced by Dominga Sotomayor at Cinestacion. The project won CORFO Fund and was selected for 3 Ports for their developmental stage.

Kenya: Amirah Tadjin
Culturally disorganized Amirah Tajdin is an artist and filmmaker who confess to have an unhealthy love for anything remotely related to film, music, photography and art in general. She graduated from Rhodes University with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Photography) in South Africa. Amirah was born and brought up in Nairobi, spent her teenage years in Dubai and considers her ongoing romance with crazy cities and her mixed lineage as influences for most of her films, photography and drawings, as well as her choice to consider everywhere and nowhere home.

Team #3
Chile: Teresita Urgate
Born in Santiago de Chile in 1991, she currently resides in Valparaiso where she is part of the founding team and production Chacal Laboratory. Audiovisual producer and director has a degree in arts and humanities at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, with a focus on storytelling and double in Film Aesthetics and Visual Management. In 2014 she takes a documentary course in Massachusetts, USA, and participate in Kinomada laboratory in Quebec, Off-Courts Trouville, Kinoctambule Saint Etienne and Bordeaux Kino Kabaret. Currently working as a production assistant, executive producer with director Luis Cifuentes. She’s developing their first feature film.

Israel: Ofir Raul Grazier
Born in Israel in 1981. After working as graphic designer, textile shop manager, salesman and finally a cook, on 2005 he went do his B.F.A in the Film and Television School in Sapir College, Sderot. His first year's short film "A Prayer in January" participated in 20 film festivals and was sold to distribution. During his studies he was twice awarded as an editor of full-length documentaries, and worked A.D and executive producer. His graduation film "Dor" won first prize in Katowice Film Festival and participated in festivals such as Clermont Ferrand, Max Ophuls and more. After his graduation he participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus and received development funds from Cinema South Festival, The Nipkow Program and The Jerusalem Film Fund. Currently living on the line of Berlin-Jerusalem.

Team #4
Chile: Matias Rojas
Director and writer studied film at the Universidad Mayor (Santiago). He made short films, documentaries and experimental, with which he has participated in various film festivals. His first feature, ROOT, performed as titling project, was released internationally in 61 International Film Festival San Sebastian Festival winner int. Valdivia Film 2013 in the category Best Chilean film. Currently working on developing two feature films: "In the shadow of trees" and "Halloween". "In the shade of the trees" won Best Ibero project BolivaLab 2013 Berlinale Co-production market in 2014 and the Cinefondation L'Atelier Festival Cannes.

Japan: Mariko Saga
Mariko Saga was born in Japan, studied film directing in the Polish National Film School in Lodz. In 2011 she was selected for the Cinefondation Residency in Paris where she did develop her 1st feature film. She currently lives in Warsaw

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