Saturday, September 09, 2017

2017 Giornate degli Autori Award Winners

A Colombian film wins Biennale section top award. To read jury statement go official site here.

Winners are below in (*)BLUE.

There is one quite big surprise this year as seems organizers retired the section English name to left only the Italian name.  In my opinion is for the best as the English name, Venice Days, had no relation to the Italian name nor what the section is all about; the literal translation from Italian to English is "Days of the Authors" which at least mention something related to this film director's competition.  Well, let's see if soon there is an official press release about the name, if they give an official English translation or they simply go on as nothing happened with the belief nobody notices.  Sigh.

This year, the fourteenth edition of the Giornate degli Autori is devoted to seeking out originality and diversity. Not to astonish, or provoke by riding the wave of easy titles, but to share the delight of discovery. Of celebrating difference. Of finding the ones who march to the beat of a different drummer.

The Giornate's General Delegate, Giorgio Gosetti, has this to say: "Our experience of viewing the films, which we shared this year with a group of programmers and experts whom we truly cannot thank enough, has taught us that there is an abundance of films out there that are very well made and thoroughly professional, but all too often fail to strike a chord with audiences. Surprise them. The fact that we select a handful of titles from all over the world allows us the privilege - and the challenge - of placing our bets on each filmmaker and each work as if it were unique, and all the more precious for that reason. We don't aspire to offering solely masterpieces in our official selection and special events; we do want audiences to be able to say after each viewing, Well, it was well worth it, flying on the wings of this story. I'm glad I've made this filmmaker's acquaintance."

The Giornate degli Autori has always been much more than just a showcase of films yet to be released. "Ever since our debut," recalls Giornate President Roberto Barzanti, "we have stayed true to the mandate handed us by the film associations promoting us, now ANAC and 100autori. The essence of our event lies in the art of bringing people together, comparing notes, sparking discussions and experimentation. And our Villa degli Autori does just that. It's hosting a packed program of events again this year, thanks in large part to long-standing projects like 28 Times Cinema, promoted by the European Parliament's LUX Film Prize; Women's Tales, the film showcase we share with Miu Miu, and its conversations with filmmakers; and our ongoing investigation into the diverse transformations of the film medium in the digital age."

A look at the lineup for our 2017 official selection reveals a well-deserved attention to Italian films, at a vibrant and courageous time in the industry; as well as important new works by Giornate alumni such as China's Pengfei, Morocco's Faouzi Bensaïdi, Italy's Vincenzo Marra, Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini; not to mention hotly-awaited titles by Canada's Kim Nguyen, Iran's Shirin Neshat, and Thailand's Pen-ek Ratanaruang.

We think it all makes for eleven days of great film and great film personalities, too, talks with the public and entertainment. 

Official Selection
(*) Candelaria, Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza, Colombia, Germany, Norway and Argentina - Winner of Best Film
Dove cado no le ombre (Where the Shadows Fall), Valentina Pedicini, Italy
Eye on Juliet, Kim Nguyen, Canada
געגוע Ga'agua (Longing), Savi Gabizon, Israel
Il Contagio (The Contagion), Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini, Italy
L'equilibrio, Vincenzo Marra, Italy
Life Guidance, Ruth Mader, Austria
Looking for Oum Kulthum, Shirin Neshat, Germany, Austria, Italy and Morocco
(*) M, Sara Forestier, France - Finalist
Mai Mee Samui Samrab Ter (Samui Song), Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Thailand, Germany and Norway
(*) Mi Hua Zhi Wei (The Taste of Rice Flower), Pengfei, China - Finalist
Volubilis, Faouzi Bensaïdi, Morocco and France

President: Samira Makhmalbaf, actress and director, Iran

Special Events
Agnelli, Nick Hooker, USA (documentary)
Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story, James Lester, USA (documentary)
Il tentato suicidio nell'adolescenza (T.S. Giovanile), Ermanno Olmi, Italy, 1968 (documentary)
La legge del numero uno, Alessandro D'Alari, Italy (documentary)
Il Risoluto (The Resolute), Giovanni Donfrancesco, Italy and France (documentary)
Thrist Street, Nathan Silver, USA and France

Special Screenigs
I'm (Endless Like the Space), Anne-Riitta Ciccone, Italy
Raccontare Venezia, Wilma Labate
The Millionairs, Claudio Santamaria, Italy, 14'

Miu Miu Women's Tales
#13 Carmen, Chloë Sevigny, USA, 8'
#14 (The [End) of History Illusion], Celia Rowinson-Hall, USA, 13'

Lux Prize Finalists
120 battements par minute (Beats per Minute), Robin Campillo, France
Sameblod (Sami Blood), Amanda Kernell, Sweden, Denmark and Norway
Western, Valeska Grisebach, Germany, Bulgaria and Austria

To read about each film at official site go here.

From the competition there are some films that seem interesting but not many well-known directors are competing which I believe is good as gives opportunities to new generations.  Most interested with Kim Nguyen latest opus but can't deny my surprise when he ended in Venice and in this section; still, of course will watch.

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