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FESTIVALS Serbia

A "perfect 12" for Küstendorf

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- The 12th Küstendorf Festival opens today with a workshop by Emir Kusturica; amongst this year's special guests are actors Matt Dillon, Sergi López and Marcello Fonte

A "perfect 12" for Küstendorf
El Pepe, a Supreme Life by Emir Kusturica

The 12th edition of the Küstendorf International Film and Music Festival (11-16 January 2019), held in the charming traditional Serbian hamlet of Mećavnik, originally built for Emir Kusturica's Life Is a Miracle and located close to the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina, will be marked by the meeting of two years, as the Orthodox New Year's Eve will be celebrated there on the night of 13 January. But it will also, as usual, offer a selection of aspiring filmmakers the chance to meet established directors keen on sharing their experience with the next generation.

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The short-film competition showing off these young talents' works, which the festival programme is mainly built around (read our interview with Kusturica, published for the 10th edition), comprises 21 short films (selected from among a total of 718 submissions) hailing from Serbia, Macedonia, Russia, Poland (the most strongly represented country, with three contenders), Switzerland, Spain, Germany, France, Norway, Turkey, Israel, Canada, the USA, Australia, Cuba, Syria, Iran and the Philippines. The three-member jury that will bestow the Golden, Silver and Bronze Eggs upon its favourite shorts consists of Canadian-American actress Stana Katic, Serbian publisher and writer Slobodan Despot, and French documentary director and audiovisual producer Tancrède Ramonet. French DoP Michel Amathieu (who has worked with Kusturica, Volker Schlöndorff and Agnieszka Holland, amongst others) will choose the winner of the Vilko Filač Cinematography Award.

The first workshop will be held by the director of Underground after the screening of his documentary El Pepe, a Supreme Life [+see also:
film review
interview: Emir Kusturica
film profile
]
, while the second will be dedicated to Alice Rohrwacher's Cannes-awarded Happy as Lazzaro [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alice Rohrwacher
film profile
]
, represented by the film's cast, including Sergi López. French director David Oelhoffen will then talk about Close Enemies [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: David Oelhoffen
film profile
]
, and the same day, months after the world premiere of his The Gentle Indifference of the World [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Adilkhan Yerzhanov
film profile
]
in competition at Cannes, Kazakh filmmaker Adilkhan Yerzhanov will be present in Mećavnik for the fourth class, followed by this year's guest star, Matt Dillon, and then by another Croisette winner from Italy, Marcello Fonte, who gave a heart-rending performance in Matteo Garrone's Dogman [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Matteo Garrone
film profile
]
. The last two workshops will also have an Italian flavour: producer Andrea Gambetta, known for his work with Wim Wenders on The Salt of the Earth [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and the recent Pope Francis: A Man of His Word [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, will proffer advice to the young talents after the screening of the latter film in the Damned Yard Theatre. Then, brothers Damiano and Fabio D'Innocenzo will close the series with a talk on their dark debut feature, Boys Cry [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo
film profile
]
.

Most of the films accompanying the workshops form the Contemporary Trends section. Matt Dillon will speak after a screening of Gus Van Sant's 1989 title Drugstore Cowboy as part of the Retrospective of Greatness section, which also includes Miloš Forman's Taking Off and Bernardo Bertolucci's five-and-a-half-hour masterpiece 1900. Amongst the more recent movies in the programme, it is also worth mentioning Ivan Salatić's Montenegrin story You Have the Night [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ivan Salatić
film profile
]
(New Authors) and Alina Skrzeszewska's Game Girls [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Küstendorf Presents).

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