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Cineuropa News - Festival Premi

Argomento: Cinema

di Giorgio Mancinelli
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Pubblicato il 18/02/2024 17:04:32


CINEUROPA NEWS
PREMI FESTIVAL

Regno Unito

BFI Flare svela la line-up della sua 38ma edizione - di Elena Lazic
15/02/2024 - Diverse anteprime europee figurano nel ricco programma dell'evento londinese che celebra il cinema queer
Following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Layla, the debut feature from British-Iraqi director and writer Amrou Al-Kadhi, will open the 38th edition of BFI Flare. The queer cinema event, taking place at the BFI Southbank in London from 13 to 24 March, will feature 33 world premieres (across features and shorts) across its programme, divided into three thematic strands called Hearts, Bodies and Minds.
Among the European world premieres, we can count UK title Lady Like, directed by Luke Willis and billed as a docu-fiction telling the rags-to-riches story of London-born, San Francisco-based drag queen Lady Camden, aka Rex Wheeler, as she is catapulted into the spotlight on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14. Also from the UK, Jasmine Johnson’s debut feature What’s Safe, What’s Gross, What’s Selfish And What’s Stupid centres on members of the London queer community talking in depth about “what it means to create a family.” From Austria, Kat Rohrer’s What a Feeling centres on two women who meet in a lesbian bar and is described as a romantic comedy exploring migration, class and sexuality in Austria. Meanwhile the Greek documentary Lesvia, directed by Tzeli Hadjidimitriou, focuses on the island of Lesbos, birthplace of Sappho and meeting place for lesbians since the 1970s.
The programme also presents a selection of films that will first be seen at other festivals, such as Crossing by Swedish-Georgian director Levan Akin and Baldiga - Unlocked Heart, Markus Stein’s documentary about German photographer Jürgen Baldiga, illuminating the AIDS crisis in 1980s underground Berlin, both opening in Berlinale’s Panorama. Coming straight from the Berlinale Forum will be Reas [+], the documentary-musical hybrid by Argentinian filmmaker Lola Arias centred on a group of female inmates singing and dancing about their lives and sentences.
British director Rose Glass will be coming home with her Sundance and Berlinale selection Love Lies Bleeding [+], a body-building love story starring Kristen Stewart. Additionally, the BFI Flare programme includes two European-backed titles first unveiled at Toronto: Carolina Markowicz’s Rome Film Fest winner Toll [+], and Sally El Hosaini and James Krishna Floyd’s Unicorns. From last year’s Venice, we find Malgorzata Szumowska’s Woman Of [+], Zacharias Mavroeidis’ The Summer with Carmen [+] and Julia Fuhr Mann’s Life Is Not a Competition, But I’m Winning [+]; and from last year’s Berlinale, Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s 20,000 Species of Bees [+], Sacha Polak’s Silver Haze [+]; and Paul B. Preciado’s Orlando, My Political Biography [+].
Also among the European titles playing at the festival are Andrew Haigh’s All of Us Strangers [+], which will be making an appearance alongside other acclaimed queer films released in the UK over the past year; and Apollo Bakopoulos’ Aligned, centred on two male dancers who forge an artistic and sexual bond while training in Greece. Worth pointing out as well are three documentaries: Polish director Marek Kozakiewicz’s We Are Perfect, which follows an open audition for a rare trans masculine role in a Netflix film; Code of Fear, in which Appolain Siewe returns to his home country of Cameroon to investigate the roots of homophobia; and Stuart Pollit’s Don’t Ever Stop, which tells the story of Tony de Vit, a DJ and record producer who kept people dancing during the AIDS epidemic.
In the festival’s series offering, we find Tops by Amy Pennington, which captures the spirit of 90s British television while focusing on four trans interviewees; and French series Split by Iris Brey, which stars Alma Jodorowsky as a stunt-woman who falls in love with the actress she’s a stand-in for.

The festival’s star event will be the European Premiere of Close To You, directed by Dominic Savage and starring trans actor and activist Elliot Page, who will be at BFI Southbank on 15 March for a Screen Talk discussing his career.
Regarding the industry side of the event, the festival will also see the 10th edition of BFI Flare x BAFTA in partnership with BFI NETWORK, a professional development programme for LGBTQIA+ UK filmmakers returning this year with a new cohort of six participants. The BFI Flare Industry Day on Saturday 16 March will include panel discussions and industry networking events for professionals working in film production, distribution or exhibition.

BERLINALE 2024 EFM
Dennis Ruh • Direttore, European Film Market
"Noi, come EFM, vogliamo riunire l'intero settore" - di Birgit Heidsiek
13/02/2024 - Il responsabile dell'EFM ci parla dell'impatto dell'intelligenza artificiale e delle nuove tendenze del mercato
The European Film Market (EFM, 15-21 February) is the first market of the year to come after the strikes, which buyers will attend clutching their fresh annual budgets. This year, the Berlinale Series Market and the EFM Startups initiative are celebrating their tenth anniversary. For his last edition as EFM director, Dennis Ruh has centralised the event venues more around the Potsdamer Platz. He discusses this and more in our interview.
Cineuropa: At this year’s EFM Industry Sessions, artificial intelligence (AI) will be a key topic. Where is the industry heading, and what kind of impact are these developments having on creative filmmaking?
Dennis Ruh: AI will be a special focus at this year’s EFM Industry Sessions. AI will undoubtedly start to gain more and more traction in the various areas of the film value chain – from script development to practical issues of production and post-production, distribution and marketing. It has the potential to influence all aspects of filmmaking. It is not surprising that AI is one of the key talking points in the film and media business, and beyond. We therefore examine the topic from different perspectives, including interdisciplinary ones.
In the EFM Industry Sessions, we will explore how AI is changing the way we conceptualise films through worldbuilding, the experiences producers have had in their first encounters with AI, and how such tools can be used in practice. What impact do the rapid developments in AI have on film creation, and what will this mean for the role of human intelligence in the film ecosystem in the future? What skills do we need to develop in order to exploit the potential of collaboration between humans and machines?
How does AI affect creativity?
These questions need to be addressed and clarified, especially since AI raises issues in the ethical and creative fields. The potential of artificial intelligence is high, but the way to strike the right balance between human creativity and automation definitely needs to be taken into account. Filmmaking is a deeply creative process, and while some technical aspects can be more easily automated and can support filmmaking in a positive way, other aspects, such as overall artistic vision and emotional depth, are not that easily replaced and should not carelessly be done by an automated process. We want to shed light on all of these developments and take a more balanced and informative look at the current and predicted roles of AI.
What are the new challenges and trends that productions and sales agents are facing?
The landscape of the film and media industry has changed, and is constantly changing. This year, sales and theatrical distribution are also very much being influenced by last year’s strike in the USA and the resulting loss of 50% of production time. Forecasts predict a slight decline in the global box office, as big distribution companies have postponed the releases of some major productions until 2025, owing to the production delay that has occurred. But this also makes room in the release schedules for independently produced and non-US films. And it’s exactly these films that are widely sold at the EFM. This can have a positive effect on sales activities in Berlin.
Do you see any changes in acquisition practices?
Another recent trend in the sales business is that the selling window of films, related to their production status, is becoming narrower. There are fewer pre-sales activities. Buyers want to see first images and are increasingly interested in buying all rights, to generate revenue through all different forms of distribution and not rely on a single method of distribution.
The rise of digital technologies and streaming platforms has changed the market fundamentally. New, powerful competitors are present. Now, the aforementioned AI is another technological development that has entered the market, but it has taken a significant leap forward within the last couple of years and will probably shape the industry even more. AI is both a new challenge and a trend. It’s on us to set the course for it if we want it to head in the right direction. While it might be disruptive at first glance, and there are legitimate concerns, the shift can be enriching as well and could open up new opportunities and possibilities that have not been available before.
While the Berlinale Series festival programme won’t be continued any longer, the Berlinale Series Market is celebrating is tenth anniversary. What kind of role do series play ten years after the huge hype formed around them?
Serial content is hugely significant for the market. Ten years ago, when the European Film Market introduced a platform for high-quality drama series, there was certainly doubt as to whether serial TV content should be part of a film market. Streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon had only just begun their international expansion at the time, strong high-end serial productions from broadcasters or streamers were the big exception, and film actors were often more hesitant to sign up for TV or VoD productions.
Why is Italy this year’s “Country in Focus” at the EFM?
We will be able to shine a spotlight on the multi-faceted and outstanding Italian film industry – especially since Italy was already supposed to be the Country in Focus in 2021, but with the exceptional formats during the pandemic, the focus section was suspended. The Italian film and media industry is a permanent fixture at the EFM. In 2023, we had over 1,000 accredited participants from the country, as well as over 60 exhibiting Italian companies, and almost 80 films as market screenings. This places Italy in one of the leading positions. It provides an exciting, traditional, modern and diverse production and distribution landscape. There are a lot of opportunities for cooperation with Italian professionals, and we like to foster international collaboration through this programme.
The EFM offers a huge variety of training programmes for startups. How is the EFM changing in terms of demographic trends?
We are proud that the EFM Startups initiative is also celebrating its tenth anniversary. We can look back at a network that has grown to include 100 international young and innovative entrepreneurs showcasing an array of tools and services for the film and media industry. Many have won awards and honours worldwide. The initiative is a wonderful tool that, on the one hand, fosters and trains young creatives by giving them the platform to present their ideas and find partners, while on the other hand, it enriches our market participants with useful ideas, technologies and developments from the film industry and neighbouring sectors. This year, ten hand-picked startups from seven countries will once again present a diverse range of tools for producers in the fields of pre-production/development, production, marketing and distribution. Six of the ten startups are (co-)founded by women.
Regarding demographic trends, we, as the EFM, want to bring together the entire industry – the experienced professionals and the up-and-coming, younger generation alike. And not only from our core industry – the audiovisual content industry – but also professionals from other fields that can inspire with innovative ideas or technology.
This year’s EFM is your last edition as market director. What have the most important developments been at the EFM in the last few years, and what have your biggest accomplishments been?
Looking back, the last couple of years were probably the most unusual in the market’s history. When I started as EFM director, for the first time ever, the market took place in a virtual format. The two pandemic years were a challenge for everyone in the industry, the EFM included. A marketplace needs to be developed constantly. Meeting the demands of the industry is the core business of a successful international market like this. That’s why my approach was always to listen to our exhibitors and participants in order to learn about their needs. Looking at the dynamic and positive development of the market today, I think the past few years under my direction were very successful, despite the challenging pandemic-related, political and organisational circumstances. Together with my highly professional team, we stayed in close contact with the industry, met their needs and were able to create important momentum year by year.
What kind of mark do you leave behind at the EFM?
Under my direction, we launched a podcast series, merged the conference programmes of the former platform into the comprehensive joint EFM Industry Sessions, increased the accessibility of the marketplace and programmes for marginalised, underrepresented and disabled industry professionals, secured the financing of innovative development, diversity and inclusion projects like the expanded Toolbox programmes, and launched the Equity and Inclusion Pathways Seminar as an industry-wide consultation forum. We centralised all of the market activities at Potsdamer Platz, gained new venues, increased the physical and digital market infrastructure, and consolidated the market’s financing. And we supported, and still support, the Ukrainian film industry with different programmed, as well as independent Iranian and Belarusian film professionals.

GOYA 2024
La società della neve vola ancora più in alto vincendo dodici Goya - di Alfonso Rivera
12/02/2024 - Il film di successo di Netflix, diretto da J.A. Bayona, è il grande vincitore della 38ma edizione dei premi dell'Accademia del cinema spagnolo
The new drama about the Andes air disaster Society of the Snow [+] has been nominated for the upcoming Oscars in two categories: Best Make-up and Hairstyling and Best International Film. In recent months it has been one of the most watched films on the Netflix platform, won two European Film Awards (for its special effects and make-up and hairstyling), and last Saturday took home no less than twelve Goya Awards (out of the thirteen it was nominated for). These include Best Film, Director (Juan Antonio Bayona, who already won in these categories twice before, for A Monster Calls [+] and The Impossible [+], after winning Best New Director for The Orphanage [+]), Special Effects, Production Supervision, Editing, Sound and Newcomer for the Argentinian Matías Recalt.
As well as the success of this 60 million euro blockbuster, in acting the actress Malena Alterio (a favourite in all the pools for her work in the leading role of Something Is About to Happen [+]), David Verdaguer (another unsurprising award, Best Leading Actor, after impressing us with his reincarnation of the comedian Eugenio in Jokes & Cigarettes), Ane Gabarain (magnificent and sensitive as a supporting actor in 20,000 Species of Bees [+]) and José Coronado (another magnetic presence in Close Your Eyes [+], the film by the master Víctor Erice that would have deserved more recognition, as it had eleven nominations). Janet Novás won a well-deserved Goya for her stunning debut in The Rye Horn.
Aside from JA Bayona’s film, the other two films that attracted the most attention were Pablo Berger’s Robot Dreams [+], which won the Goya for Best Animated Film (also an Oscar nominee and won the European Film Award in the same category) and Adapted Screenplay, and 20,000 Species of Bees, which won Best New Director and Original Screenplay, both by Estíbaliz Urresola.
There were also no surprises in the categories for Best European Film, which went to the globally acclaimed Anatomy of a Fall [+], by French director Justine Triet, and Best Ibero-American Film, for La memoria infinita, by Chilean director Maite Alberdi. Another title that also addresses, like the latter, the ravages of Alzheimer's While You're Still You [+], by Claudia Pinto, received the Goya for Best Documentary.
This 38th awards ceremony, held on Saturday 10 February in Valladolid, took place during a rather long ceremony that paid tribute to the 25th anniversary of Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother, with the filmmaker and his actresses presenting the most coveted award of the evening. The International Goya was also presented to the American actress Sigourney Weaver, presented by the actress and singer Ana Belén and the filmmakers Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo, directors of the popular Spanish series of the moment, La Mesías [+].

The award winners:
Best Film
Society of the Snow [+] – Juan Antonio Bayona (Spain/USA)
Best Director
Juan Antonio Bayona – Society of the Snow
Best New Director
Estíbaliz Urresola – 20,000 Species of Bees [+]
Best Leading Actress
Malena Alterio – Something Is About to Happen [+] (Spain/Romania)
Best Leading Actor
David Verdaguer – Jokes & Cigarettes
Best Supporting Actress
Ane Gabarain – 20,000 Species of Bees
Best Supporting Actor
José Coronado – Close Your Eyes [+] (Spain/Argentina)
Best New Actress
Janet Novás – The Rye Horn [+] (Spain/Portugal/Belgium)
Best New Actor
Matías Recalt – Society of the Snow
Best Original Screenplay
Estíbaliz Urresola – 20,000 Species of Bees
Best Adapted Screenplay
Pablo Berger – Robot Dreams [+] (Spain/France)
Best Documentary Film
While You're Still You [+] – Claudia Pinto
Best Animated Film
Robot Dreams – Pablo Berger
Best Cinematography
Pedro Luque – Society of the Snow
Best Editing
Andrés Gil and Jaume Martí – Society of the Snow
Best Production Supervision
Margarita Hugue – Society of the Snow
Best Art Direction
Alain Bainée – Society of the Snow
Best Costume Design
Julio Suárez – Society of the Snow
Best Make-up and Hairstyling
Ana López-Puigcerver, Belén López-Puigcerver and Montse Ribé – Society of the Snow
Best Special Effects
Pau Costa, Félix Bergés and Laura Pedro – Society of the Snow
Best Sound
Jorge Adrados, Oriol Tarra and Marc Orts – Society of the Snow
Best Original Music
Michael Giacchino – Society of the Snow
Best Original Song
Yo solo quiero amor– Rigoberta Bandini (Love and Revolution [+])
Best Fiction Short Film
Aunque es de noche - Guillermo García López
Best Short Documentary Film
Ava – Mabel Lozano
Best Animated Short Film
To Bird or Not to Bird - Martín Romero
Best Ibero-American film
La memoria infinita – Maite Alberdi (Chile)
Best European Film
Anatomy of a Fall [+] - Justine Triet (France)
Honorary Goya
Juan Mariné
International Goya
Sigourney Weaver


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