Ken Loach, Mads Matthiesen, and Lorraine Levy compete at the 9th Amazonas Film Festival
by Vitor Pinto
- At the Brazilian event, a parallel section for Polish films and another for Portuguese films and Brazilian-Portuguese co-productions
Ken Loach's The Angels' Share [+see also:
interview: Ken Loach
film profile] from England, Mads Matthiesen's Teddy Bear [+see also:
film profile] from Denmark, and Lorraine Levy's The Other Son [+see also:
film profile] from France are three European films in the international competition at the 9th Amazonas Film Festival now in full swing in Manaos, Brazil. The event kicked off last Saturday with Brazilian filmmaker Marcelo Galvãon's Colegas and is to close on Friday, November 9 with a ceremony to award 20,000 Brazilian Reals (a little less than €7,700) to the winner of the "vôo na floresta" (lit. "flight over the jungle") trophy.
The jury is presided by Romanian director and producer Tudor Giurgiu (Of Snails and Men [+see also:
interview: Tudor Giurgiu
film profile]), who is seconded by Argentinian actress Eva Bianco (awarded at Cannes' Un Certain Regard in 2010 for her performance in The Lips), Brazilian actor Leonardo Medeiros, Chicago International Film Festival director of programming Mimi Plauché, and Brazilian director Sérgio Machado.
At a festival where Brazilian -- and in particular Amazonas state -- film productions largely dominate the programme, Patricia Martín, assistant programmer for the festival, told Cineuropa the reasons why the previously mentioned European films were selected this year: "At the festival we always try to mix established directors with others who are less well known. The idea is to programme quality films that can reach people here. One of the festival's aims is to create audiences and this is very complicated if you choose films that, despite their quality as auteur films, are hermetic. Loach make films that are accessible to everyone. The Angels' Share is about that Scottish youth in which no one believes and shows you a United Kingdom that is different from what you might have imagined. The Other Son shows a human, family side to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while Teddy Bear addresses universal themes such as love and loneliness, and also touches on the theme of sex tourism, which is an important issue in Brazil."
Will European cinema receive a warm welcome from the Amazonas audience? "I think so. last year, we programmed Radu Mihaileanu's The Source [+see also:
film profile] and it won the Audience Award. Let's see what happens this year!"
As well as enjoying great presence in the festival's international competition, films from the Old Continent are also to screen in two parallel sections, one dedicated to Polish cinema and and the other to Portuguese films and Brazilian-Portuguese co-productions. From Poland, the following titles are screening: Waldemar Krzystek's The Little Moscow [+see also:
film profile], Jan Kidawa-Blonski's Little Rose, Jacek Borcuch's All That I Love [+see also:
film profile], Jan Jakub Kolski's Venice [+see also:
film profile], and Pawel Borrowski's Zero. The Portuguese-Brazilian selection goes from super-veteran director Manoel de Oliveira's classic Aniki Bobo to more recent titles including Victor Lopes's Língua - vidas em Português, Manuel Arouca's documentary Fátima e Europa, Carlos Coelho da Silva's biography of the fado singer Amalia, and Miguel Gomes's brilliant Tabu [+see also:
interview: Miguel Gomes
interview: Miguel Gomes
film profile], the winner of two awards at the last Berlinale and a finalist for the European Parliament's LUX Prize (read more).
The festival is organised by the Secretariat of State for Culture of the Amazonas State, that, contrary to what is now happening in Europe, has erased the word "austerity" from its cultural policies: Not only are all its activities free, but there is a drive for their decentralisation. Beyond the mythic Teatro Amazonas (immortalised on the big screen by Werner Herzog in Fitzcarraldo) that is hosting the event's main screenings and ceremonies, the festival is also organising a series of initiatives to create audiences, notably by bringing films to schools, halls of residence, hospitals, and other public places (including bus stops!) not only in Manaos but also in other communities along the Negro river.
(Translated from Spanish)
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