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ARRAS 2023

Nadia Paschetto • Direttrice Arras Film Festival

"Ciò che conta è il cinema che ci parla, che ci piace, che vogliamo sostenere e difendere"

di 

- La direttrice del festival parla della 24ma edizione, in particolare del concorso europeo e del focus, nonché dell'attuale situazione della distribuzione

Nadia Paschetto  • Direttrice Arras Film Festival

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Nadia Paschetto, the director of the Arras Film Festival, which she founded alongside Managing Director Éric Miot, chatted with us about the 24th edition of the event which is kicking off today (read our articles here and here).

Cineuropa: How would you describe the editorial line of your European competition?
Nadia Paschetto: We see a huge number of films, and the ones which prevail are cinematographic works, films which speak to us, which we like and which we want to carry forwards and champion. If they happen to be films by women directors (like this year’s movies Without Air [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Katalin Moldovai
scheda film
]
by Hungary’s Katalin Moldovai, Slow [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Marija Kavtaradze
scheda film
]
by Lithuania’s Marija Kavtaradze, Solitude [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Ninna Pálmadóttir
scheda film
]
by Iceland’s Ninna Pálmadottir and Holly [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Fien Troch
scheda film
]
by Belgian director Fien Troch) or first feature films (like the first three afore-mentioned movies), that’s great, but it’s not our priority. Whether young filmmakers or more established authors, all of the films in competition, from Stella. A Life [+leggi anche:
recensione
intervista: Kilian Riedhof
scheda film
]
by Germany’s Kilian Riedhof to Let the River Flow [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Ole Giæver
scheda film
]
by Norway’s Ole Giaever and Libertate [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Tudor Giurgiu e Cecilia St…
scheda film
]
by Romania’s Tudor Giurgiu, won unanimous approval from our selection committee.

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sunnysideofthedoc_call-for-projects_2024_innerMarch

But we also like to follow and support authors, and we make a point of it: when we discover a talent, an author whose universe and cinematography we like, we’re loyal to them. That’s the case with various filmmakers this year, two of which have been selected in competition. Bulgaria’s Stephan Komandarev, who we’d previously selected in competition with Rounds [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Stephan Komandarev
scheda film
]
and who won the Arras Days Development Grant for his project Blaga's Lessons [+leggi anche:
recensione
intervista: Stephan Komandarev
scheda film
]
, is now going to be presenting his film here (which triumphed in Karlovy Vary in July) and he’s also going to pitch his new project, Made in EU, in Arras Days. And Turkish director Selman Nacar previously competed in Arras in 2021 with his debut feature Between Two Dawns [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Selman Nacar
scheda film
]
, and he’d pitched Hesitation Wound [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Selman Nacar
scheda film
]
in Arras Days, won a grant for it and is now taking it into this year’s European competition.

This year’s Focus is dedicated to Croatia.
As of last year, we fleshed out the professional aspect of Arras Days by inviting a country. After Slovenia in 2022, it’s the turn of Croatia. Five Croatian projects (three in development and two works in progress) are set to be presented on Sunday 12 November. During our prep work we also discovered lots of really interesting, recent Croatian films and we decided to programme some really different works on the festival side, ranging from films about the after-effects of war to social or couples-based comedies.

Polish director Agnieszka Holland and Italy’s Matteo Garrone are the festival’s guests of honour and they’re scheduled to deliver masterclasses.
It’s something I’m incredibly proud of. And the Q&A session following the screening of Me Captain [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
scheda film
]
will be broadcast in thirty or so French and Italian cinemas within the context of the 8th European Arthouse Cinema Day (in partnership with CICAE and AFCAE). Agnieszka Holland and Matteo Garrone are two incredible and iconic filmmakers, and through a combination of circumstances and an alignment of the stars, Green Border [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
scheda film
]
and Me Captain are two very human films which complement each other, with their very different aesthetics and outlooks on the migrant theme.

Central and Eastern European films were hit really hard during the pandemic period, with French distributors becoming incredibly cautious with acquisitions. What’s the situation at present?
There’s been some improvement. Out of our titles from Visions de l’Est, Restore Point [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Robert Hloz
scheda film
]
by Czech director Robert Hloz, the animated Polish film The Peasants [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
scheda film
]
by DK and Hugh Welchman, and Phantom Youth [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
scheda film
]
by Luána Bajrami have already secured a French distributor; it shouldn’t take Guardians of the Formula [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Dragan Bjelogrlić
scheda film
]
by Serbia’s Dragan Bjelogrlic too long to find one, and I have high hopes for the documentary Photophobia [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Ivan Ostrochovský, Pavol P…
scheda film
]
by Slovakian directors Ivan Ostrochovsky and Pavol Pekarcik. Certain distributors are getting their appetites back; they might not release many films over the course of a year but they work hard on the ones they do commit to. But it’s not always easy, as we know only too well, and this is the case for films from the biggest countries too, because the general situation for distribution is a complicated one.

Arras has 43,000 inhabitants and the festival recorded over 45,000 admissions last year. Is this success with the public your biggest victory?
We have a fantastic audience who are incredibly curious and who trust us. When you have good films, you’re going to get admisions, and where there are admissions, you’ll get a good level of word-of-mouth which helps the films when they’re released in cinemas. It’s a virtuous circle.

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(Tradotto dal francese)

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