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FESTIVALS France

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The Amiens Film Festival fosters diversity

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- Today marks the start of the 34th edition of the gathering in Picardy and the kick-off of the first Pygmalion programme, aimed at young European filmmakers

The Amiens Film Festival fosters diversity

True to its editorial policy, which hinges on promoting diversity and exploring various cultural identities, the Amiens International Film Festival (FIFAM), which kicks off today and runs until 12 November, will offer a very eclectic programme rich in new discoveries, rustled up by artistic director Fabien Gaffez. Featuring on the menu of the 34th edition of the gathering in Picardy are three competitions (international feature films, European shorts and French medium-length titles), among other highlights.

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Standing out among the eight films duking it out for the Golden Unicorn 2014 are The Shelter [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fernand Melgar
film profile
]
by Swiss director Fernand Melgar (revealed in competition at Locarno – read the review), Un jeune poète [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by France’s Damien Manivel (which snagged a Jury’s Special Mention in the Filmmakers of the Present section at Locarno), the Franco-Tunisian co-production Le Challat de Tunis [+see also:
trailer
interview: Kaouther Ben Hania
film profile
]
by Kaouther Ben Hania, the Canadian-Norwegian co-production Violent by Andrew Huculiak and Dust on the Tongue by Colombian filmmaker Ruben Mendoza (co-produced by Ciné-Sud Promotion).

This year, the FIFAM will also pay tribute to Chadian director Mahamat Saleh Haroun (who is also a sponsor of the festival and is chairing the International Competition Jury), Italian DoP Vittorio Storaro (who will be given an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Unicorn), German documentarian Volker Koepp, French actor Jean-Pierre Marielle and Congolese director Jean-Michel Kibushi. Interestingly, Haroun, Storaro and Koepp will be running a master class, as will French filmmaker Jean-Claude Brisseau, to whom the festival will dedicate a specific focus entitled “L'Ouvroir” (“The Workroom”).

The Avanti! section, which is entirely dedicated to premieres, will present such titles as the British feature 20,000 Days on Earth [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, the stunning Vincent [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Thomas Salvador, Gaby Baby Doll [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Sophie Letourneur, the Cannes titles Run [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Philippe Lacôte and Gente de bien [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Franco Lolli, L'antiquaire by François Margolin, and Master of the Universe [+see also:
trailer
festival scope
film profile
]
by German director Marc Bauder.

As well as the myriad other sections (retrospectives, a Panorama on European animated movies, “Le Monde comme il va” – “The World as It Is”, and others), the Amiens Festival really stands out because of its professional sidebar. In addition to its Screenplay Development Aid Fund (which already has 35 completed films under its belt and is now holding its 19th edition) and organising (together with the Venice Film Festival and the Fribourg International Film Festival) Final Cut in Venice (which supports the post-production of films made in Africa), Amiens is adding a new string to its bow this year: the Pygmalion support programme. With its inaugural edition featuring Portuguese director Carlos Conceição, this is a project that aims to showcase the work of a young European filmmaker on an annual basis, and give his or her films as wide a distribution as possible (short films screened during the festival, but also in theatres throughout the year and at a Special Screening at the Cinémathèque Française, as well as in other prestigious venues; a residence at the Villa Medici in Rome; the publishing of a DVD containing the filmmaker’s works; and arranging for him or her to meet with French distributors, and so on). All of this is in aid of lending the director a helping hand along the path towards making his or her first feature film.

(Translated from French)

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