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CINÉMA DU RÉEL 2020

Cinéma du réel shows documentaries are still going strong and are adapting to the current climate

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- The event’s 42nd edition is kicking off (and closing to the public) at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, notably offering 13 feature films in the international competition and celebrating Pedro Costa

Cinéma du réel shows documentaries are still going strong and are adapting to the current climate
The Year of the Discovery by Luis López Carrasco

UPDATE: Following the announcement made by the Prime Minister at midday regarding the ban on gatherings of upwards of 100 people, all public screenings and meetings linked with the Cinéma du réel Festival are now cancelled. Badgeholders can, however, watch the competition films via the event's online videotheque at Festival Scope, Tënk, Mediapart and UniversCiné (read about the details here).

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Last night saw Babette Mangolte’s French-American co-production Calamity Jane & Delphine Seyrig, A Story open (as a prologue) the 42nd Cinéma du Réel Festival (scheduled to unspool in Paris’s Pompidou Centre from 13 to 22 March) against the rather peculiar backdrop of the Coronavirus epidemic and the progressive strengthening of precautionary measures adopted by the French government (namely the closure of schools and universities as of this Monday, even though gatherings of upwards of 1,000 people are still the only events to be cancelled for now). It would seem, therefore, as the festival’s director general Catherine Bizern emphasised last night at the event, that "Cinéma du réel is withstanding reality, but it’s withstanding through adaptation".

Standing out on the agenda is an international competition section consisting of 13 feature films, including six productions or co-productions of European origin: The Year of the Discovery [+see also:
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]
by Spaniard Luis López Carrasco (discovered in competition in Rotterdam), Carrousel [+see also:
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by the Netherlands’ Marina Meijer, the German-American production Bring Down The Walls [+see also:
film review
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 by Phil Collins, Makongo [+see also:
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by Elvis Sabin Ngaibino (uniting the Central African Republic, Argentina and Italy), Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another [+see also:
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by Jessica Sarah Rinland (the recipient of a Moving Ahead Special Mention in Locarno – produced by the UK, Argentina and Spain) and The Two Sights [+see also:
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by Joshua Bonnetta (UK/Canada). They’ll be up against films from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Azerbaijan, the Philippines, America and China.

The French selection, meanwhile, will offer up 12 feature films: There Will Be No More Night [+see also:
film review
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by Éléonore Weber, Seekers by Aurore Vullierme, J.A by Gaëlle Boucand, Chronicle of the Stolen Land [+see also:
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by Marie Dault, My Dear Spies by Vladimir Léon, Golden Age by Jean-Baptiste Alazard, The Missing One by Rares Ienasoaie, The Man Leaning by Marie-Violaine Brincard and Olivier Dury, Ahlan Wa Sahlan by Lucas Vernier, Talking with the Dead by Taina Tervonen, Gevar's Land by Qutaiba Barhamji and the French-Swiss co-production A House by Judith Auffray.

Eleven international feature films, and eight of French origin, are also in the offing, as are a number of titles which were recently well received in Berlin and are set to be treated to Special Screenings: Irradiated [+see also:
film review
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interview: Rithy Panh
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by Rithy Panh (crowned Best Documentary at the afore-mentioned German festival), Austrian production Notes from the Underworld [+see also:
film review
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interview: Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel
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]
by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel (awarded a Special Mention in Berlin’s Best Documentary category), Golda Maria [+see also:
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interview: Patrick Sobelman and Hugo S…
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by Patrick and Hugo Sobelman (which will close this year’s edition of the Cinéma du reel Festival), The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) [+see also:
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by Sweden’s Anders Edström and American director C.W. Winter, and the French-Brazilian co-production Divinely Evil by Gustave Vinagre. Likewise gracing the agenda is a screening of the Italian film I Diari di Angela - Noi due cineasti. Capitolo secondo [+see also:
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by Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi (discovered out of competition in Venice), as well as that of the four films shot in the slums of Fontainhas by Portuguese director Pedro Costa (not least Vitalina Varela [+see also:
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, last year’s Golden Leopard winner in Locarno), a spotlight on the works of Mosco Boucault, a Focus on Fernand Deligny (including Monsieur Deligny, vagabond efficace by Richard Copans) and the themed programmes "Face to Face with Power", and "Popular Front(s)" which will be opened by Tu crois que la terre est une chose de morte by Florence Lazar. And that’s not to mention the professional sidebar ParisDOC, running 19-22 March (featuring the 7th edition of the work-in-progress session, which will offer up 8 feature films, round tables, debates and explanations of various matters).

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(Translated from French)

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