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FESTIVALS / AWARDS France

War on Screen gets to the heart of conflict

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- Over 100 feature films and shorts, including 10 titles in competition, are set to be showcased in the 9th edition of the French festival, unspooling 28 September - 3 October

War on Screen gets to the heart of conflict
Our Men by Rachel Lang

Tomorrow will see the opening, in Châlons-en-Champagne, of the 9th War on Screen Festival (running 28 September – 3 October), an event which is gaining increasing notoriety and whose high-quality programme is likewise growing in size at a time when cinema is reflecting the fiery nature of our world, now more than ever before.

The international competition jury (which notably includes French producer Patrick Sobelman and the Netherlands’ Bianca Stigter) will have to decide between ten feature films, six of which having already received Cannes’ stamp of approval. Jostling among them are two titles unveiled in the Directors’ Fortnight - the French-Belgian co-production Our Men [+see also:
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interview: Rachel Lang
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by Rachel Lang (to be released in France on 6 October via Bac Films) and Europa [+see also:
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by the Italian-Iraqi filmmaker Haider Rashid - another work awarded the SACD Prize at Critics’ Week (Swiss-French production Olga [+see also:
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interview: Elie Grappe
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by Elie Grappe – due for release in France on 17 November via ARP Sélection) and a further film screened in the Un Certain Regard section (Israeli-French title Let It Be Morning [+see also:
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by Eran Kolirin – which Pyramide will distribute in France in March). This flurry of films “made on the Croisette” also boasts two documentaries in the form of Lebanese-French title Little Palestine (Diary of a Siege) [+see also:
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by Abdallah Al-Khatib (selected for the ACID line-up following its premiere at the Visions du Réel Festival) and Downstream to Kinshasa [+see also:
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by Dieudo Hamadi (awarded Cannes’ Official Selection Label in 2020 and hitting screens on Wednesday courtesy of Laterit Productions).

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Rounding off this particular line-up are three films discovered in Venice (the Italian-Polish co-production Thou Shalt Not Hate [+see also:
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interview: Mauro Mancini
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by Italy’s Mauro Mancini, Gaza My Love [+see also:
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by Tarzan and Arab Nasser – in cinemas on 6 October via Dulac Distribution – and the Oscar-nominated work The Man Who Sold His Skin [+see also:
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interview: Kaouther Ben Hania
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]
by Tunisia’s Kaouther Ben Hania) and former Berlin competitor Memory Box [+see also:
film review
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interview: Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil J…
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by Lebanese directors Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (due for release in France on 19 January courtesy of Haut et Court).

Stealing similar focus on the festival programme is a new “Perspectives” section showcasing 11 films, which include Cannes-award-winner Ahed’s Knee [+see also:
film review
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interview: Nadav Lapid
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]
by Israel’s Nadav Lapid, animated feature The Crossing [+see also:
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by Florence Miailhe, Cœurs vaillants by Mona Achache, the Oscar-nominated Venetian competitor Quo Vadis, Aida? [+see also:
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interview: Jasmila Žbanić
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by Bosnia’s Jasmila Zbanic, the remarkable Onoda – 10,000 Nights in the Jungle [+see also:
film review
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interview: Arthur Harari
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]
by Arthur Harari (which opened Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section), the documentaries There Will Be No More Light [+see also:
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by Eléonore Weber and Notturno [+see also:
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interview: Gianfranco Rosi
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by Italian director Gianfranco Rosi, Faithful [+see also:
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by Helier Cisterne, and the two titles scheduled to open and close the festival: A Radiant Girl [+see also:
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by Sandrine Kiberlain (Cannes’ Critics’ Week) and Secret Name [+see also:
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interview: Aurélia Georges
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]
by Aurélia Georges (which competed in Locarno).

A very wide range of films featuring in the "Rock’n’War", "Surveillance, Manipulation, Sabotage", "War As Seen By…", "Cinema, A Fragile Resistance", "The Unknown" and "Shared Recollections" sections are also well worth a mention, without forgetting the festival’s young audiences line-up and guest of honour, the composer Michel Portal.

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(Translated from French)

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