Saturday, May 17, 2008

BPN 1101 Movie week in Cannes

It is movie time again in Cannes. And as usual the European Union will be present with 14 EU-funded films, representing in total over €900,000 of co-funding. On May 19 there will be a Europe Day at the 61st film festival at Cannes. Besides European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, EU Media Commissioner Viviane Reding, EU ministers for Audiovisual policy will discuss international film cooperation.

I have taken up more interest in movies since I was asked to be part of a film festival board and since I invested (a small sum) in the movie The Butterfly Tattoo. The movie has a fascinating history. A very young team of people wanted to make the movie, based on the book by Philip Pullman. This author is rather popular as his book the Golden Compass was filmed for 16 million euro. Yet the team was able to get permission from the author and went on to the next hurdle: money. They made a budget and started to solicit money from people. In no less than two days they had collected 200.000 euro.thanks to an interview in the Dutch financial daily, Het Financieele Dagblad. The movie has been completed and it has become a typical British movie (see trailer). Now distribution talks are being held with movie distributors; the team will also be active in Cannes.

President Barroso will open the Ministers' meeting on 19 May under the multilingual banner "Cinema, Dianying yan, Kino, Chalchitra, Cine: Building a world of exchanges". Ministers, filmmakers and film business participants will discuss how to intensify audiovisual exchanges between EU countries and take advantage of new cooperation and trade agreements between the EU and other regions of the world. They will also explore ways to stimulate joint initiatives between film distributors , cinema operators and training centres from Europe and other countries.

No less than 12 Ministers have already confirmed their participation, notably ministers from France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. Croatia, which became the first candidate country to join the MEDIA programme earlier this year, will send its Minister of Culture to the meeting.

In the evening of 19 May, the film "Douro, Faina, Fluvial" (1930) will be shown at the Croisette to honour the Portuguese film maker Manoel de Oliveira.

The 14 EU-Funded Films at Cannes 2008

Official Competition:
Gomorra directed by Matteo Garrone (EU funding from MEDIA: €45,000) – A Neapolitan mafia drama based on a novel by Roberto Saviano.
Delta directed by Kornél Mundruczó (€100,000) – Mihail comes home for his father's funeral. He meets his sister for the first time and they fall in love.
La frontière de l'Aube directed by Philippe Garrel (€50,000) – A young photographer sees a vision of his ex-lover, an actress who committed suicide after he cut her out from his life and who has now come back to haunt him.
Le silence de Lorna directed by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (€202,500) – An Albanian woman marries a drug addict in order to obtain Belgian residency.
The Palermo Shooting directed by Wim Wenders (€50,000) – A German photographer decides to take a break in Palermo where he meets a young woman and her completely different way of life.

Special Screenings:
Sangue pazzo directed by Marco Tullio Giordana (€111,600) – Renowned actors of Fascist cinema, who were part of the Salò Republic, were accused of collaborating and torturing and shot by the Partisans after the country was liberated.
Entre Les Murs directed by Laurent Cantet (€30,000) – The story of a French teacher at a secondary school in a difficult area.

Un Certain Regard:
Tulpan directed by Sergey Dvortsevoy (€40,000) – Bulat has done military service in the Russian Navy and returns to the Kazakh step to become a shepherd. For that, he has to learn the shepherding trade and get married.

Directors' Fortnight:
Eldorado (aka Léa) directed by Bouli Lanners (€51,500) – Yvan grows a strange affection for Elie, an adolescent who breaks into his house, and decides to drive the teenager back to his parents.
Elève libre directed by Joachim Lafosse (€82,500) – Jonas' dreams of becoming a professional tennis player are dashed when he fails his exams. He turns to Pierre for support. Their paternal, master-student relationship gradually becomes a complex and ambiguous one of dependence and manipulation.
Salamandra directed by Pablo Aguero (€26,000) – Six-year-old Inti has been living with his grandmother when Alba returns to drag him away on a crazy trip to a legendary valley in Patagonia.
Les Bureaux de Dieu directed by Claire Simon (€16,000) – Day-to-day functioning of the family planning centre where women come to inform themselves about a choice they have or want to make.

International Critics' Week:
Better Things directed by Duane Hopkins (€90,500) – A group of young people grow up together in a rural community in the Cotswolds, experiencing sexual awakening, boredom, and drug use.
Home directed by Ursula Meïer (€50,000) – The story of a handful of people gradually cut off and disconnected from the world, who end up shutting themselves in.

Update 25/05/2008: Entre les Murs has won the Golden Palm of the 61st fim festival in Cannes.

Blog Posting Number: 1101

Tags: film, movie

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