Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2009 International Women’s Film Festival Dortmund/Cologne Award Winner

The fest will run from April 21 to 26 in Germany and here are the films in the International Feature Film Competition.

Alle Anderen (Everyone Else), Maren Ade, Germany, 2009
This is the story of Gitti and Chris, an odd couple who are battling their way through a holiday of secluded togetherness. We get to know two people as they really are when they are alone: secret rituals, silliness, unfulfilled wishes and power games. Triggered by a seemingly unimportant event – an encounter with another couple – their relationship begins to deteriorate. Alle Anderen, the winner of two awards at the Berlin Film Festival and directed by Maren Ade, narrates in a highly subtle way the story of a couple's relationship on holiday in Sardinia on the one hand. On the other, it calmly introduces broader social topics such as personal responsibility and the disorientation of a generation as a whole. A finely humorous but cruelly precise study of the contradictory desires of a couple searching for their own identity. An intimate love story that trawls the depths of an individual relationship and reflects the generic emotions. "I wanted to make a film about the convoluted yet unique entity that is represented by two people in a relationship. The main character of the film is not so much an individual as a couple", says Ms Ade.
Best Film Winner.
Jury Statement: A wonderfully staged film perfectly played and also entertaining how intelligent. The oldest of all topics - love - us is presented with huge honesty, with courage and passion. The film focuses a seemingly normal pair and gradually, in subtle plot introduction it allows the audience to question their own Liebesfähigkeit and the values of our society. We see our own world with new eyes.

To check the official annoucement go here.

Lio Lang Shen Go Ren (God Man Dog), Singing Chen, Taiwan, 2007

Niu Lang Zhi Nu (Knitting), Yin Lichuan, China, 2008
Daping hates Haili who arrives out of nowhere into her apartment, her life and her promising relationship with Chen Jin. Although Daping tries to be a nice, Haili is on her back all the time. Then one day, Chen Jin disappears, leaving Daping pregnant and with little notion of how to survive. But in her life Haili has also experienced many a hardship and might be just the right person to help out in this crisis. Despite Haili's tendency to mock, there's a good chance that the two women might bond ... In Knitting, director Yin Lichuan tells the story with wit and charm of a refreshingly absurd ménage a trois. The act of knitting seems to be the one constant factor in the daily fight for survival led by three drifters in the big city.

Les Bureaux de Dieu (God’s Offices), Claire Simon, France, 2008
Djamila wants to start taking the pill because things with her boyfriend are getting serious, Zoe's mother gives her condoms but treats her like a prostitute, Nedjma hides her pills outdoors because her mother searches her bag, Helen thinks she's too fertile, Clemence is afraid; Adeline and Margot want to keep it, Maria Angela would like to find out who got her pregnant and Ana Marie has chosen love and liberty — while Anne, Denise, Marta, Yasmine and Milena are the counsellors who listen to all the women and who wonder how sexual freedom will ever be possible. Claire Simon has gathered the crème de la crème of French cinema's leading ladies – Nathalie Baye, Isabelle Carré, Béatrice Dalle, Nicole Garcia and Rachida Brakni – as the counsellors at a family planning clinic in Paris faced with all kinds of fates based on one common denominator: the dream of self-determined female sexuality.

Maman est Chez le Coiffeur (Mommy is at the Hairdresser’s), Léa Pool, Canada, 2007

Deti Noci (Night Owls), Michaela Pavlátová, Czech Republic, 2008
Michaela Pavlátová's second feature film is a story about Ofka, a young girl from Prague caught between childhood and adulthood. When she splits up with her boyfriend and when her best girlfriend betrays her, she falls into a strange state of lethargy. Every night, she works behind the counter at a corner shop serving the night-owls and other lost souls. Best Actor Awards for Martha Issová and Jiri Mádl in Karlovy Vary 2008.

Stella, Sylvie Verheyde, France, 2008
It's the wild 1970s of her own childhood that Sylvie Verheyde evokes in Stella. The eponymous eleven-year-old protagonist is growing up in her parent's bar in a Parisian working class district. Since her parents are occupied with themselves, not too much value is placed on educational achievement — and Stella is instead expected to tap the beer. But then she gets a place at a prestigious school in Paris and becomes friends with the daughter of Argentinian-Jewish intellectuals. Stella's life is about to change.

Wendy and Lucy, Kelly Reichardt, USA, 2008

To read the complete press release go here.

Freedom is the central theme at the Dortmund/Cologne International Women's Film Festival taking place this year in Dortmund. With its trademark range of films, talks and workshops, the festival will be highlighting current work by selected women film directors as well as some classic film gems that deal with the subject of freedom. Over six whole days, audiences will be treated to 100 films from different genres and of various lengths. To check all the films it the Focus 2009 section go here. To browse the fest site go here.

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