The Association for Independent Film Distribution, known to most as L’ACID, claims that its “strength… is its founding principle: the support brought by filmmakers to other filmmakers, French or foreign.” L’ACID’s announced that it’ll be screening nine features from May 13 through 23 in Cannes, five of them world premieres (WP).
Lionel Baier’s La vanité. A man planning suicide discovers that it’s not all that easy to pull off. With Carmen Maura and Patrick Lapp. WP.
Emilie Brisavoine’s Pauline s’arrache. A documentary about an unusual family. WP.
Philippe Fernandez’s Cosmodrama. From the International Film Festival Rotterdam: “Maybe the 1960s, maybe the future. Seven astronauts wake up in a spaceship, not knowing where they have come from nor where they are heading. As the ship operates by itself, they have ample time to meditate, rather scientifically, on matter, life and the universe.”
Benoît Forgeard’s Gaz de France. Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa: “Dubbed by the director as a kind of contemporary version of Dr. Strangelove and focusing on a secret reunion at the Elysée Presidential palace to avoid the imminent fall of the regime, the film brings together singer Philippe Katerine, Olivier Rabourdin, Alka Balbir, Jean-Luc Vincent and Antoine Gouy.” WP.
Julia Kowalski’s Crache coeur. Once again, Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa: “The story sees a Polish laborer called Jozef arrive in Brittany in search of his son, Roman, who he walked out on 15 years ago. He tries to find him again with the help of Rose, his boss’s daughter, unaware that he is about to unleash a fair bit of disruption in the lives of these two highly strung adolescents.” With Liv Henneguier, Yoann Zimmer, Andrzej Chyra and Artur Steranko. WP.
Nathan Nicholovitch’s De l’ombre il y a. From Cineuropa: “Ben is a 45-year-old Frenchman living in Phnom Penh. He’s a transvestite and works at the Blue Bar, where he’s known as Mirinda. But financial difficulties and the encounter with a young girl will lead him to Cambodia to take the girl back to her family.” WP.
João Pedro Plácido’s Volta a terra. Focuses on Daniel, a shepherd in the Portuguese countryside who dreams of love.
Anna Roussillon’s I Am the People. From Cineuropa: “January 2011 in Egypt was marked by anti-government demonstrations. While tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo, poor villagers in the country’s south followed the tense situation on Tahrir Square on their TV screens and in the daily newspapers. It is from their perspective that this documentary captures the political changes in Egypt, from the toppling of President Mubarak to the election of Mohamed Morsi. The film reveals the villagers’ hopes and disappointments, and shows that despite the wild events, very little has actually changed in their lives.”
Patrick Wang’s The Grief of Others. Variety‘s Justin Chang calls it “a delicate, elliptically structured portrait of six wounded souls coping with the aftermath of tragedy. More experimental in form and wobbly in execution than its predecessor [In the Family, 2011], this searching adaptation of Leah Hager Cohen’s 2011 novel nonetheless evokes a family’s fragile inner life in ineffably moving fashion, capturing how distant and isolated parents and children can feel from one another even when living under the same roof.”
MORE FESTIVAL NEWS
Over 200 filmmakers, including Ken Loach, Mira Nair, Palestinian directors Annemarie Jacir, Elia Suleiman and Hany Abu-Assad as well as Israeli filmmakers Simone Bitton, Rachel Leah Jones and Eyal Sivan, have signed a petition protesting the Locarno Film Festival’s to partner with the Israeli Film Fund, an Israeli government-funded agency, on the Carte Blanche program dedicated to Israeli cinema in its 2015 edition (August 5 through 15). The petition points out that “Israel has not just continued, but intensified its decades-old occupation, colonization, and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people” and that “Locarno’s decision also follows the election of the most racist, far-right government in Israel’s history.”
For its part, Locarno has released a statement emphasizing that the festival “has always been a place of freedom of expression for filmmakers, producers and actors from all over the world, without distinction of ethnicity, religion or nationality.” Locarno points out that, in the past, it’s dedicated programs to “the Mashrek countries (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, the Palestinian territories and Egypt),” to Syrian cinema and so on and that this year’s focus “will represent an important opportunity for debate and dialogue.”
Meantime, Etan Vlessing for the Hollywood Reporter: “The Toronto Film Festival is bringing an improbable breakout sensation to its upcoming 40th edition: TV. With indie filmmakers increasingly directing edgy cable dramas, the Canadian festival [has] unveiled plans for an inaugural Primetime sidebar in September 2015 to feature six top international dramas.”