I, Daniel Blake: Teaser Trailer

I,Daniel Blake PosterVeteran British filmmaker Ken Loach‘s latest film I,Daniel Blake has just won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Written by his frequent collaborator Paul Laverty, the film is a joint British, French and Belgium co-production.

Synopsis- Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) is a 59-year-old joiner in the North-East of England who falls ill with heart disease and so applies for the out-of-work sickness benefit Employment and Support Allowance. While he endeavours to overcome the red tape involved in getting this assistance, he meets single mother Katie (Hayley Squires) who, in order to escape a homeless persons’ hostel, must take up residence in a flat 300 miles (480 km) away. Continue reading “I, Daniel Blake: Teaser Trailer”

Best English Films Of 2014

As the year comes to an end, movie buffs every year are tempted to come out with their different best movie lists and we are no different. Every year we publish a couple of such posts written by individual authors which talk about some of the best films from India and globally, leading to several intense and passionate debates, discussions and arguments among fellow movie buffs.

But this year we decided to do something different. We asked some of our authors to individually list down English films they enjoyed watching this year.

While Boyhood and Gone Girl seem to be the universal favourites with Nightcrawler coming a close second, there are quite a few interesting recommendations by our authors that deserve to be seen by all and warrant a debate.

So which are the English films our authors enjoyed watching this year the most? Scroll down to know more.Continue reading “Best English Films Of 2014”

16th Mumbai Film Festival Diary: Day 5

We continue our coverage of the 16th Mumbai Film Festival with the update from day 5.

(For updates on days 1 & 2 click here, and for updates on days 3 & 4 click here).

Sunrise (Arunoday)

SunriseArunoday tells the story of a cop named Joshi ( Adil Hussain) who desperately tries to track down his kidnapped daughter. The film is shot mostly in a dark light and rains begin an integral part of almost every scene. The dark lighting is used as a metaphor to describe the crisis going on in the protagonists life. Arunoday is a slow leisurely paced dark film, which may or may not appeal to you in its entirety. But the film is definitely worth a watch.

The Ambassador To Bern

The Ambassador to Bern PosterOn August 16, 1958 two Hungarian immigrants broke into the Hungarian embassy in Bern and took the ambassador hostage. As the Swiss police surround the building and a group of Hungarian immigrants turn up on the street to protest, Tension mounts behind the closed doors of the embassy. Based on a true story, The Ambassador To Bern is a taut and engaging political thriller, that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout its entire duration. The Ambassador To Bern is one of the best films we watched this year at MAMI and is a highly recommended movie.

 Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears

Moscow Does Not Believe in TearsI guess this is the first Russian film I have ever watched. The film traces the lives of three female friends over a period of 40 years in Moscow. At 2 hours 30 Minutes, the film could have been a drag, but it is not. The production values I guess given the budget are satisfactory. I was more interested to see Russian society at the height of its communist propaganda and guess what; the problem faced by females all over the world remains the same.  The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign language film in 1980. The film also boasts of some wonderful acting, even though I could not recognise the actors by the name. Director Vladimir Menshov manages to grip your attention for entire span of the film, thankfully without going overboard with melodrama. 

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

The Umbrellas of CherbourgThis was my first musical, I was glad to watch the restored version of this film at fest. It is such a pleasure to see one of the most beautiful women in the world of Catherine Deneuve. Initially I thought it would be an ordinary love story, but I was proven wrong. The film talks about how people make decisions in life which are more to do with practicality and survival. One of the best scenes of the film is the climax.

Pride

Pride PosterIndia remains one of those countries which treats homosexuality as a crime, probably the influence of Victorian morality.  I was interested to know how gay rights moment started in UK and how it succeeds. Set in early 1980’s in the U.K. the film talks about a group of youngsters who start a gay & lesbian group  who go on to support a mining community out on strike for their rights. In the process there’s friendship, humanity, values, pride and joy which are all looked at from a new angle. Pride is one of those movies which makes you laugh, think and cry at the same time. It is easily one of the best films at MAMI this year.

Girlhood

Girlhood PosterA tender and loving film about the transition to adulthood of a teenage black girl who would like to go to school and get a good job but is denied the opportunity. While the emotional transition to adulthood is well-represented in fiction, the actual logistical pains of the transition are not. This film is distinguished mostly by the fact that the heroine doesn’t really change that much during its course, even while she tries on different identities to see what fits. This in itself is enough to make it interesting and worth watching. As a bonus, it’s also extremely  well-observed and engrossing.

Goodbye to Language

TGoodbye to Language Posterhis is Godard being full-on Godard. Esoteric and symbolic to the extreme and throwing out so much information that it’s hard to see how anyone without a PhD in criticism is supposed to follow it, it would be intellectually dishonest to try to judge its effectiveness.
This film seeks to speak about the logistical necessity of language in communication and human connection. Which makes a dog the obvious recurring motif. It’s definitely an experience. Shot after shot of motif and symbol followed by a seemingly unrelated one and often even two different shots on two different eyes, it’s impossible to really understand but may well stay with you and even inspire some interesting thoughts.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

A Girl Walks Home Alone At NightA black-and-white Iranian vampire western love story, it’s definitely interesting as hell and a rather enjoyable watch. It’s soundtrack, especially, is marvellous. However, its success as a film is far less clear. The direction and tone are extremely uneven, there seems to be a fundamental gap between the bleak  western tone it wants to have and the tone it actually has, and the decision to create momentum using dramatic irony as much as tension often falls flat.

Chauranga

ChaurangaWhile obviously made by someone with a great appreciation of the visual aspects of movies, it’s also obviously made by someone without much appreciation of the flow of story. But while that would make it merely bad, it is actually memetic poison, since its surface qualities may make you actually take its representation of village life and oppression seriously and that would be Bad for your mind.

Amar, Akbar and Tony

Amar Akbar and TonyDirected by Atul Malhotra, AA&T is like a Bollywood film made the way a Bollywood film ought to be made. Funny at one instance and sentimental at another, it goes from emotion to emotion, never bogging you down with heavy duty drama. Despite having cliched plot points and a predictable looking setup, the director turns these cliches on its head, giving us a few surprises and an enjoyable film in the process. With uniformly good performances by the cast, its the perfect break for festival audiences feeling low after experiencing an overdose of dirge.

Life Of Riley

Life of Riley PosterAmidst rehearsals for a new play, amateur dramatics proponents Colin and Kathryn receive a disturbing news about their friend George being fatally ill and only having a few months to live. The entire film is shot on a single set and reminds you of a stage play. The film uses the illness of a character to bring out the complex relationships and equations the characters of the film share with each other. Filled with subtle yet hilarious moments, the film in spirit is much closer to traditional British comedies with regards to the nature of its humour.

Jimmy’s Hall

Jimmy's HallVeteran English filmmaker Ken Loach’s latest film Jimmy’s Hall talks about the life and times of  Jimmy Gralton, a 1930s Irish political activist. Jimmy and his friends re-open a dance hall which also acts as a community centre for the youth. Unfortunately the establishment and the Church see the hall & Jimmy Gralton as an Anti National communist and thus it becomes difficult for both Jimmy and the hall to survive. A true life story, the film virtually transports us to Ireland in the 1930’s as we see a plethora of fine performances, lovely visuals and strong moments in the film. Definitely among the best films of the festival this year.

Dombivli Return

Dombivli ReturnFirst things first this is not a sequel to the very popular Marathi film, Dombivli Fast (2005). This is actually a Hindi movie directed by debutant filmmaker Mahendra Teredesai and features Sandeep Kulkarni in the lead along with Rajeshwari Sachdev and Hrishikesh Joshi. Sandeep Kulkarni is the only common link between both these films and here too he plays a simple middle class character, who is a harmless soul basically. The film tries hard to be a realistic gritty film but fails majorly due to various comprises done with a commercial viewpoint. Also considering the setting and the actors involved the film would have probably looked better if made and treated as a Marathi movie rather than as a Hindi movie.

Blind Massage (Tui Na)

Blind Massage PosterLou Ye’s film is based on a novel and talks about the employees of a Nanjing massage parlor who share a common trait: they are all blind. The film has quite a few interesting characters, all of them with their own quirkiness and intrigue in a way. The film is extremely well shot and makes us almost feel that it was shot on real locations and with real characters. At the end of the film you are affected in a way and that shows that the film has worked to a large extent.

Nymphomaniac (Volume 2)

Nymphomaniac Vol 2This takes off from virtually where Volume 1 stops as Joe continues to narrate her tale to Seligman even as he continues bringing out various parallels and references in between. A little more bold and lot more tougher to stomach in terms of moments, the film is easily an interesting experiment in many ways.

Coming Soon- 16th Mumbai Film Festival Diary: Day 6 & Day 7

 

10th Chennai International Film Festival Reccos

The 10th Chennai International Film Festival has already started and we thought of recommending some unmissable films for you from the festival. Here’s a list of International films that you shouldn’t miss:-

 


Holy Motors
The most strange movie of the year. Most likely, you wouldn’t get all of what is being said in the film. Neither does Carax make much of an effort to help you solve the puzzle. But, be rest assured, you are sure to get blown away by the film and Denis Lavant‘s epic performance. The expansiveness of Holy Motors is summed up quite perfectly by this gif image. These lines from the New York Times review also give you a good idea about the film:

” Holy Motors, from the French filmmaker Leos Carax, is a dream of the movies that looks like a movie of dreams.”

“You want three acts? How dull. A pretty protagonist? Oh, please. The triumph of the human spirit? Go away.”

One episode after another, the film just keeps sweeping you off your feet. Sure, there will be quite a few who won’t like the film but no self-respecting film buff should miss an opportunity to watch this crazy piece of art on the big screen.

Rust and Bone
Jacques Audiard wowed everybody with his last film Un prophète (A Prophet) that won the Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes in 2009. His latest venture Rust and Bone is based on a short story collection of the same name written by Craig Davidson. It tells the story of an unemployed, destitute single father who falls in love with a killer whale trainer and how their relationship and personalities evolve as they face adversities with each others support. Though it doesn’t match the excellence of Un prophète, Rust and Bone, with a searing performance by the lovely Marion Cotillard, is a powerful romantic drama that shouldn’t be missed.

 

 

 

Reality
Gangster film Gommora which explored crime in Naples, Italy was one of the most acclaimed movies of 2008. Matteo Garrone, the director, this year again comes up with a film based in the same city but with a plot that explores the effect of Reality TV on the Italian middle class. It is a darkly humourous film that has Luciano, a charming and affable fishmonger whose unexpected and sudden obsession with being a contestant on the reality show “Big Brother” leads him down a rabbit hole of skewed perceptions and paranoia. So overcome by his dream of being on reality TV, Luciano’s own reality begins to spiral out of control. The film might seem predictable and hasn’t garnered rave reviews, but it is the affable performance of Aniello Arena, who lends the character of Luciano just the perfect pitch, that mainly makes the film a memorable watch.

Outrage Beyond
The film accounts the struggle between the Sanno of the East and Hanabishi of the West when the police launches a full-scale crackdown on organized crime and ignites a national yakuza struggle. It is a sequel to Takeshi Kitano‘s Outrage (2010). If you are a fan of Kitano and have liked Outrage there is no reason why you won’t like this too.

Beyond The Hill
This Romanian drama premiered at Cannes this year where Mungiu won the Best Screenplay Award and the 2 actresses Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan who play the main leads, shared the Best Actress Award.The film is also the Romanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013. Based on the 2 nonfiction books written by Tatiana NiculescuDeadly Confession and Judges’ Book, the films talks about two young women-Alina and Voichita who grew up together in the same orphanage and drew close to each other. At the age of 18 both of them have to leave the orphanage and while Alina goes to Germany and takes up a job there Voichita is taken in by a monastery and becomes a nun. Things turn around when Alina comes back and asks Voichita to come along with her to Germany whereas Voichita doesn’t seem to be keen to do so. It is an intense drama that’s more or less multilayered, there’s an undercurrent of thrill throughout the film.

It’s not very difficult to figure out why Mungiu won the Best Screenplay Award at Cannes as the narrative is kept simple yet effective. While some people might wonder why the film drags for 150 minutes, we can surely say that every single minute spent watching the film is well spent. The film also exposes some harsh realities of society and asks some poignant questions as well. This is definitely one of the best films of the this year. Must Watch!

Angel’s Share
Veteran filmmaker Ken Loach comes up with a bittersweet comedy of a young Glaswegian father, Robbie who narrowly avoids a prison sentence. Along with a few others he is sentenced to few hours of community service and becomes friends with that group. Promising his new born baby a better life than his, Robbie is determined to turn over a new leaf and is aided by Harry, the guide to the group. Harry takes Robbie and his friends from the same community payback group to visit a whisky distillery and unexpectedly a route to a new life becomes apparent for Robbie.

The film takes some time to get adjusted to thanks to the Scottish accent that a lot of the characters sport but you get hooked on to the tale, slowly but surely. The actors are all wonderful and the film is high on humour but not of the slapstick variety. Whether you are onto whisky or not, this is a film which will work for one and all and would also be a refreshing change from the usually heave dose of films on offer at a festival.

Beast of the Southern Wild
Hushpuppy, a fearless six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in a bayou community on an island surrounded by rising waters. Wink teaches her to survive on her own, preparing her for a time when he’s no longer there to protect her. Hushpuppy’s strength is tested when Wink contracts a mysterious illness and a massive storm floods the community. The film is a visual delight and the way it literally transports you to a different world is easily the best part about the film. No wonder the film won the Camera d’Or at Cannes 2012 and also the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2012 in addition to other awards. It won’t be surprising if the toddler Lucy Alibar earns a Nomination at the Oscars, if not the coveted award itself.  This one is a must watch friends, you won’t regret it.

 

 

Amour
Michael Haneke has become popular over the years for exploring the violence in modern urban society. This film, though, is unlike any film Haneke has made before. In Amour, Georges and Anne are retired music teachers who live a contented life by themselves. Their only daughter is married & lives abroad. One fine day Anne suffers an attack which paralyses her and slowly but surely things are never the same for the couple. An intense emotional tale, Amour works and works well primarily aided by the lead actors who do a stellar job. The film moves along at a very leisurely pace and is almost lifelike. But therein also lies the strength of the movie. It has won the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year. Need we say anything more?

Pieta
This is prolific South Korean director Kim Ki Duk’s 18th film and the acclaim it has garnered clearly shows that he is not going to fade away any time soon. Pieta depicts the mysterious relationship between a brutal man who works for loan sharks and a middle-aged woman who claims that she is his mother, mixing Christian symbolism and highly sexual content. It has won the Golden Lion at Venice this year and seems to be totally simply unmissable.

 

Melancholia
Lars Von Trier is a maverick director who many describe as a sadist. His last year’s film Melancholia  does live up to his reputation. It is about two sisters who find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with the Earth. If you still haven’t watched it go for it but be ready to feel depressed. Kirsten Dunst won the Best Actress at Cannes last year for her performance.

Once Upon A Time in Anatolia
This one is a beautifully shot crime drama that tells us a lot about modern Turkey too. Leisurely paced with a 157 minutes running time this one by Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan does test your patience. But it is that kind of a film that will stay with you for long.

Departures
The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “A moving celebration of life through showing reverence for death. “, an apt description of the film. It is about a newly unemployed cellist who takes a job preparing the dead for funerals. Might be a little too sentimental for some but this one did win the Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2009.

14th Mumbai Film Festival Diary- Day 4, 5 & 6 Stories

And finally we bring to you the last of the articles on the recently concluded 14th Mumbai Film Festival by looking at some of the films screened on the 4th, 5th and 6th Day of the festival.

I.D

Director – Kamal K.M

A young woman named Charu (Geetanjali Thapa) stays in a rented apartment with her friends in Mumbai. One day an unnamed labourer who is doing the painting job at her home becomes unconscious . She rushes him to the hospital , however he dies sometime later . And her search for discovering the deceased man’s identity leads her through the dark underbelly of Mumbai.Continue reading “14th Mumbai Film Festival Diary- Day 4, 5 & 6 Stories”

Top 20 Films to watch out at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival

Come October and film enthusiasts in Mumbai and elsewhere know that its time to look forward to Mumbai Film Festival and this year the 14th chapter of the same, scheduled from 18-25 Oct seems to be very promising indeed. One of the most important things that bother delegates is to understand and choose the top films. Though a lot of people end up making their own lists, its heartening to see the organizers themselves come up this time with their recommendation of top 20 films to watch out for this year.

So without much ado here we go with the list-

Love (Amour) is a 2012 French-language drama film written and directed by legendary filmmaker Michael Haneke. It narrates the story of an octogenarian couple Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges ( Jean-Louis Trintignan ), both cultivated, retired music teachers whose bond of love is severely tested when one day Anne suffers a stroke which paralyses her on one side of the body and confines her to their Paris apartment.Co-produced by companies in Austria, France, and Germany, the film was screened at Cannes 2012, where it won the Palme d’Or making it Haneke’s second in a span of three years, The White Ribbon winning him the first in 2009. The film has also been selected as the Austrian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards.

 

Rust and Bone (De rouille et d’os), is a 2012 French-Belgian film based on a short story collection of the same name written by Craig Davidson. It tells the story of an unemployed, destitute single father who falls in love with a killer whale trainer and how their relationship and personalities evolve as they face adversities with each other’s support. Directed by two-time Cannes Film Festival award winner (Best Screenplay in 1996 with A Self-Made Hero and Grand Prize in 2009 for A Prophet) Jacques Audiard, the film received rave reviews when it competed for the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2012 and won the Golden Swan for Best Film at the Cabourg Romantic Film Festival 2012.

 

Acclaimed Canadian writer/director/actress Sarah Polley weaves together a beautifully assembled tapestry of home movies, interviews, and narration in Stories We Tell to examine the repercussions of long-held family secrets finally coming to light, allowing the audience to reflect on each of their own family histories, both real and fabricated.

Renowned Danish director Thomas Vinterberg returned to his trademark brand of intense cinema with The Hunt, a film about the life of Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), a primary school teacher accused of sexual inappropriateness and the situation escalates out of control. The film takes a close look at how family and community, supposedly the bulwarks against chaos and unhappiness, can turn in on themselves through group hysteria and remorseless anti-logic.

Having premiered in competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Cosmopolis a film by David Cronenberg, tells the story of billionaire asset manager Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) who trudges slowly across Manhattan in his stretch limousine that he uses as his office while on his way to his preferred barber, and how his day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.

 

The Angels’ Share a British comedy-drama film directed by Ken Loach  tells the story of a young father who narrowly avoids a prison sentence and is determined to turn over a new leaf, discovering a route to his life he aspires when he and his friends from the same community payback group visit a whisky distillery. Starring Paul Brannigan, Johan Henshaw, William Ruane, Gary Maitland, Jasmin Riggins, and Siobhan Reilly, the film won the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival 2012 and was nominated for the Palme d’Or.

 

A masterpiece by Cristian Mungiu, Romania’s first Director to be awarded the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, Beyond The Hills (Dupa Dealuri) is a drama film centered on the friendship between two young women who grew up in the same orphanage; one has found refuge at a convent in Romania and refuses to leave with her friend, who now lives in Germany. The film starring Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan  premiered at Cannes 2012, where Mungiu won the award for Best Screenplay, and Flutur and Stratan shared the award for Best Actress. It has been selected as the Romanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards.

On the Road (Sur la route) is a 2012 film adaptation of the Jack Kerouac cult classic  novel of the same name directed by Walter Salles  narrates the story of Sal Paradise, a struggling young writer whose life is shaken following the death of his father and ultimately redefined when he embarks upon a journey across America with his friend and hero, Dean Moriarty, a free-spirited, fearless, traveler and mystic and his girlfriend Marylou. Boasting of executive production by Francis Ford Coppola, the film was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2012 and for the Official Competition Award at the Sidney Film Festival 2012.

 

A prominent figure in the contemporary Iranian cinema, Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami takes another trip abroad to explore the depths of unrequited desire in the Japanese language drama, Like Someone in Love. The film trails the life of a young Japanese woman Akiko (Rin Takanashi) who finances her studies through prostitution and her enchanting affair (of sorts) with a retired, elderly sociologist, Takashi (Tadashi Okuno).  A play between what’s seen, what’s heard and what’s really happening becomes the modus operandi for their relationship, and the film constantly toys with the expectations of both its characters and the audience, transforming a classic three-way tale of mistaken identities into something much more mysterious and troubling.

 

Privileged with a special jury mention at Cannes Film Festival where it was screened in the Un Certain Regard Section, Children of Sarajevo (Djeca) is a 2012 Bosnian drama film written, produced and directed by former Cannes Critics Week Grand Prix award recipient, Aida Begic. The film follows the lives of orphans of the 90’s Bosnian war, Rahima (Marija Pikic) a Muslim woman who after her crime-prone adolescent years has found solace in Islam and works long hours in a restaurant kitchen to provide for her teenage brother Nedim (Ismir Gagula) who lives with her, but is drifting into bad ways. Set in the present-day city, the film conveys a sense of tension and fear, echoes, and re-echoes, of the terrible detonations that have not entirely died away. The film won two awards, Best Actress and Cineuropa Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival 2012 and is the official Bosnian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013.

Credited as one of the founding fathers of French New Wave and still creating cinematic magic at the ripe age of 90 with his latest film You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet is veteran French – German film maker Alain Resnais. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes  2012, the film is based on two plays by Jean Anouilh. The film’s protagonist Antoine d’Anthac gathers together all his friends who have appeared over the years in his play ‘Eurydice’. These actors watch a recording of the work performed by a young acting company, La Compagnie de la Colombe. During the screening, Antoine’s friends are so overwhelmed by their memories of the play that they start performing it together, despite no longer being the appropriate age for their various roles.

Ace Filipino film director Brillante Mendoza presents yet another riveting drama film with Captive, a film recreating the 2001 kidnapping and torturous life of hostages during their 377 day ordeal, focusing on Therese Burgeoine (Isabelle Huppert), a Christian missionary, by the Abu Sayyaf. The multi-national production was nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival 2012.

Me and You (Io e Te) the latest film by Italian cinematic genius and maker of cinematic gems such as Last Tango in Paris, The Last Emperor, Little Buddha, Besieged, The Conformist goes to establish that Bernardo Bertolucci is still a force to reckon with.  The film is the story of an introvert teenager Lorenzo (Jacopo Olmo Antinori), a disturbed 14-year-old boy who hates school, and whose mother Arianna (Sonia Bergamasco) sends him to a psychotherapist and is relieved when Lorenzo shows an interest in going on a week’s skiing trip organized by his school. Instead of getting on the bus, Lorenzo sneaks back and hides out in the house’s manky basement to which he has the separate entrance key, glad of the chance to be on his own for a week but is horrified when his twenty something half-sister, Olivia (Tea Falco) shows up, needing a place to stay. During their week long confinement in the basement, Olivia fascinates and horrifies Lorenzo with her attitude problem, her smack addiction, her artistic aspirations, and some dark hints about her (and Lorenzo’s) father.

 

In competition for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, Outrage Beyond is a 2012 Japanese yakuza film  directed by  Takeshi Kitano and sequel of Kitano’s 2010 film Outrage . The film accounts the struggle between the Sanno of the East and Hanabishi of the West when the police launches a full-scale crackdown on organized crime and ignites a national yakuza struggle.

 

Based on a play by Raul Brandão, Gebo And The Shadow (Gebo et l’ombre) is a film by Manoel de Oliveira, who at 103 is the oldest active filmmaker in the world. Set in the late 19th century, the film is about an honoured but poor patriarch who sacrifices himself to protect his fugitive son. With a film career that began in the 1920s, the celebrated Portuguese filmmaker has won 43 awards and 23 nominations at film festivals across the globe and been at the helm of films such as Voyage to the Beginning of the World (1997), Os Canibais(1988), La Lettre (1999), Je Rentre à la Maison (2001) and the Magic Mirror (2005).

 

Exiled from his homeland, Iranian New Wave director Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s film The Gardener explores how different generations view religion and peace. Filmed in Israel in collaboration with his son Maysam, the film adopts an experimental approach of both father and son conversing while filming each other.

 

Writer-Director Olivier Assayas‘ French drama film Something in the Air (Après mai) will enthrall audiences with its depiction of Paris in the early 1970s. The movie narrates the story of a young high school student completely swept up in the political and creative effervescence at the time and the oscillation of his beliefs between radical commitment to the leftist cause and the pursuit of more personal aspirations, a conundrum not understood by his girlfriend or schoolmates. The film was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival where Assayas won the Ostella for Best Screenplay.

Blancanieves a film by Spanish director, publicist and professor of management at NYFA (New York Film Academy) Pablo Berger chronicles the story of Carmen, a beautiful young woman with a childhood tormented by her terrible stepmother, Encarna. Running from her past, Carmen, will undertake an exciting journey accompanied by her new friends: a troupe of dwarves Toreros. The film is the official Spanish entry for the the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013.

 

Having competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival 2012, Renoir by distinguished filmmaker Gilles Bourdos is about the twilight years of illustrious painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir who is tormented by the loss of his wife, the pains of arthritic old age and the terrible news that his son Jean has been wounded in action. But when a young girl miraculously enters his world, the old painter is filled with a new, wholly unexpected energy.

 

Alex de la Iglesia returns with As Luck Would Have It, yet another darkly comic exercise in capricious causality about an out-of-work publicist Roberto Goméz (José Mota) who suffers an accident looks to sell the exclusive interview rights to the highest bidder in an attempt to provide for his family. The film also features Mexican screen scorcher Salma Hayek.

 

The list of the promising documentaries at the festival along with their trailers can be found here.