Küstendorf: Emir Kusturica presents the tenth edition of his film and music festival
by Bénédicte Prot
- The event, which takes place in the traditional mountain village constructed for Life Is a Miracle, will offer movies, concerts and workshops with big names such as Lav Diaz and Virginie Efira
Emir Kusturica had a multitude of reasons for building the charming traditional mountain hamlet of Küstendorf from scratch near the Serbian village of Mokra Gora, not far from the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina: his town had been destroyed during the war, he wanted to foster creative international exchanges while also highlighting local traditions and landscapes, he wanted to shoot Life Is a Miracle (2004) there, and he also had a vision of creating a true meeting place where seminars could take place and people could make new discoveries. “I have a dream that this place will be open to cultural diversity and erected against globalisation,” he said. For this very purpose, he soon founded a film school there, in addition to the Küstendorf International Film and Music Festival, which is celebrating its tenth edition next week, from 14-19 January.
The sheer commitment of the director of Underground is reflected in the gathering's programme: he will be up on stage with his group during the opening concert on 14 January, will lead a workshop and will present his new film, On the Milky Road [+see also:
film profile], which stars himself and Monica Bellucci, and which was awarded at the most recent Venice Film Festival.
Another big name at this edition is Filipino director Lav Diaz, who will lead a workshop with festivalgoers as well as showing his epic, 485-minute cinematic odyssey A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery and his new “baby”, The Woman Who Left (a mere 227 minutes long), which will have the honour of opening the event.
Some tasty retrospective screenings are also on the agenda, but attendees' attention is strongly drawn to "new authors" and "contemporary trends", to quote the names of two major sections of the programme. The latter will allow audiences to discover the acclaimed French title In Bed with Victoria [+see also:
interview: Justine Triet
film profile] by Justine Triet, which opened the Critics' Week at the most recent Cannes Film Festival. Actress Virginie Efira, whose talent is very much on display in the film, will be in attendance at Küstendorf to head up a workshop.
Among the new names in cinema who have been invited, we could mention Finland's Antti Jokinen, who will be presenting Flowers of Evil [+see also:
film profile] and will also be there to teach a class, and young Bosnian filmmker Dane Komljen, recently praised for his feature debut, All the Cities of the North [+see also:
interview: Dane Komljen
film profile], which is simultaneously documentary-like and conceptual.
Every evening will be dedicated to the international short-film competition, which will serve as a prelude to the midnight concert. The winners will be announced during the closing-night gala on Thursday 19 January.
(Translated from French)
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