Monday, November 18

Oscar entries from various countries are part of the KIFF screening

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The 25th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) that will be inaugurated today will see some of the finest contemporary movies that have been acclaimed on premiere global platforms being screened in the city. Not only have the films been screened at Berlin, Venice, Cannes, Toronto, some are also this year’s Oscar nominations from the respective countries in the Best Foreign Film category.

THE PAINTED BIRD AND THE WEEPING WOMAN COMPETING AT KIFF

Take for example, the 2019 black-and-white war drama titled The Painted Bird. Directed by Vaclav Marhoul, the film is an adaptation of Jerzy Kosinski’s novel by the same name. This is the first movie to feature the Interslavic language. Incidentally, this film was in competition at the 76th Venice International Film Festival and was selected as the Czech entry at the 92nd Academy Awards. At Venice, this film competed in the main competition along with the likes of Todd Philipps’ Joker. The latter won the award in this section. “At KIFF, The Painted Bird is in competition for the International Competition: Innovation in Moving Images. We are so happy that KIFF is getting such entries for the competitive section. The Painted Bird is one of the 15 movies vying for the Royal Bengal Golden Trophy,” said KIFF chairperson Raj Chakrabarty, adding that he has been overwhelmed by The Painted Bird. “I saw it and was completely bowled over by the cinematography,” Raj added.

Another internationally acclaimed film competing in this section is the 2019 Guatemalan drama titled The Weeping Woman (La llorona) that has been directed by Jayro Bustamante. The film was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. The jury members for this section of KIFF include Dusan Hanak, Shaji N Karun, Intishal Al Timimi, Anan Urushadze and Bijaya Jena.

KIFF CANNES DO IT

The non-competitive Cinema International section of this festival also has quite a few interesting movies. Among them is the 2019 Cannes winner Bacurau. Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonca Filho’s film was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and won the Jury prize there. At least two other films that were screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival have also been selected for screening in the same section. Dylda (Beanpole) — a 2019 Russian historical drama directed by Kantemir Balagoy — won the Un Certain Regard Best Director Award and the FIPRESCI prize for Best Film in the Un Certain Regard section. It has been selected as the Russian entry for the Best Foreign Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. The Spanish drama titled Liberté was also screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival is also in the same KIFF segment.

SOURCING INTERNATIONAL CINEMA

Interestingly enough, KIFF has a rule that states only those films which will have their Indian premiere are eligible for competing in this festival. While some feel that this norm is limiting since many good movies also opt out because of this, there are others who believe that the huge prize money and the branding of the festival are now attracting very good films to KIFF’s competitive section. “Many other prominent Indian festivals also try to procure good contemporary movies for screening. It is quite a challenge to ensure that KIFF gets to screen the best foreign films that are made in 2019. The decision to allow only Indian premieres in the competitive section is also working in our favour,” Raj signed off.

 

DOLOR Y GLORIA (Pain And Glory)

Director: Pedro Almodovar
Plot: A film director reflects on the choices he’s made in life as the past and present come crashing down around him
It made its international debut at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where the film was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or, while Antonio Banderas won the award for Best Actor and Alberto Iglesias won for Best Soundtrack. It has been selected as the Spanish entry for Best Foreign Film at the 92nd Academy Awards

 

GUEST OF HONOUR

Director: Atom Egoyan
Plot: Jim and his daughter Veronica, a young high-school music teacher, attempt to unravel their complicated histories and intertwined secrets. After a hoax goes very wrong, Jim’s daughter is falsely convicted for abusing her position of authority over 17-year-old Clive. Veronica is nevertheless convinced she deserves to be punished, but for much earlier crimes. Confused and frustrated by Veronica’s intransigence, Jim’s anguish begins to impinge on his job as a food inspector. He wields great power over small family-owned restaurants; a power he doesn’t hesitate to use
It will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 3, 2019.

 

LA GOMERA (The Whistlers)

Director: Corneliu Porumboiu
Plot: A police officer comes to the Spanish island of La Gomera to learn the language of
El Silbo and to free Zsolt, a controversial
businessman arrested in Bucharest
It premiered in competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. It was selected as the Romanian entry for the Best Foreign Film at the 92nd Academy Awards

 

ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIERE (Oh Mercy)

Director: ARNAUD DESPLECHIN
Plot: One Christmas night in Roubaix, the local police chief Daoud, and Louis, a fresh recruit, are confronted with the violent murder of an elderly woman. The victim’s two young, female neighbours, Claude and Marie, are arrested It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival

 

IT MUST BE HEAVEN (It Must Be Heaven)

Director: ELIA SULEIMAN
Plot: A man escapes Palestine for a new beginning, only to encounter the same problems as back home
It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. It was also
chosen as the Palestinian entry for the Best Foreign Film at the 92nd Academy Awards

 

SORRY WE MISSED YOU

Director: Ken Loach
Plot: Hoping that self-employment through gig economy can solve their financial woes, a hard-up UK delivery driver and his wife struggling to raise a family end up trapped in the vicious circle of this modern-day form of labour exploitation It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. It received the audience award for best European film at the 2019 San Sebastian International Film Festival

 

ADULTS IN THE ROOM

Director: Costa Gavras
Plot: The economy is in tatters and the country is on the verge of bankruptcy. A new government rebels against the EU’s iron-fisted rule and inspires millions of Europeans The film was selected to play out of competition at the 76th Venice International Film Festival

 

JEANNE (Joan Of Arc)

Director: Bruno Dumont
Plot: After her triumph against the English army, Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians. She is put on trial for heresy. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival

 

GLORIA MUNDI

Director: Robert Guediguian
Plot: In Marseille, a family gathers for the birth of baby Gloria. But despite the joy, the young parents have fallen on tough times. As they try to make ends meet, they reconnect with Gloria’s ex-convict grandfather
It was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 76th Venice International Film Festival. There, Ariane Ascaride won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress

 

A VERITE (The Truth)

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Plot: A stormy reunion between a daughter and her actress mother, Catherine, against the backdrop of Catherine’s latest role in a sci-fi picture as a mother who never grows old It was selected as the opening film at the 76th Venice International Film Festival where it premiered on August 28

 

KIZ KARDESLER (A Tale Of Three Sisters)

Director: Emin Alper
Plot: Three young girls are sent back to their father in a poor village in central Anatolia, one after another, after failing in more affluent foster families It was selected to compete for the Golden Bear at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival

 

GRACE A DIEU (By The Grace Of God)

Director: Francois Ozon
Plot: The three men, friends of childhood, will cross, compare their personal experiences and question their life of couple, family and professional It premiered at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival and won the Jury Grand Prix

 

YOUNG AHMED

Director: JEAN PIERRE AND LUC
DARDENNE
Plot: The film revolves around a young Belgian boy who plots to murder his teacher in the name of his religion It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. At Cannes, the Dardenne brothers won the award for Best Director

 

ANG HUPA (The Halt)

Director: Lav Diaz                                                                                                                                                            Plot: Madmen control Manila in 2034 after massive volcanic eruptions have plunged Southeast Asia into darkness It was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival

 

Source: Times of India

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