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Nisimazine 1 Friday 16th May 2008

a magazine created by nisi masa European Network of Young Cinema

Das fremde in mir Skhizein Radu Muntean


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NISIMAZINE CANNES Friday 16 May 2008

Editorial Esra Demirkıran


very dialogue we have in our daily lives contains an element of storytelling. Films, in telling their particular stories, are also a dialogue between the audience and the filmmaker.

Some people - right after watching a film - like to comment and know others’ ideas on it. This motivation comes from both a pure passion for cinema and sensitivity towards the state of the world. Even fictions are a kind of document of their time. It is thus not only the films themselves which can be unforgettable. The point of view of a critic can also leave a lasting impression. Film enthusiasts gain ideas on how to feel an astonished admiration for a terrible film which has somehow managed to be successful; as well as how to perceive a great film which brings a breath of fresh air to the seventh art. The challenge of the Cannes festival this year, as in every year, is to include first and second works, notably from young filmmakers. In the next days, we will have a better idea of what stories these new faces have to tell us.

A magazine published by the NISI MASA association with the support of the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme of the EU and the French Ministry of Health, Sports, Youth and Associative life. EDITORIAL TEAM Editor-in-chief Matthieu Darras Secretaries of the editorial Jude Lister, Emilie Padellec English translations Jude Lister French translations + layout Emilie Padellec Contributors to this issue Esra Demirkiran, Johanna Kinnari, Maria Blanco, Thierry Lebas, Jude Lister, Mario Kozina, Laurentiu Bratan, Itxaso Ramirez, Maartje Alders, Joanna Gallardo Cover Picture: Skhizein, by Jérémy Clapin Dark Prince 2008

NISI MASA (European Office) 10 rue de l’Echiquier, 75010, Paris, France. + 33 (0)6 32 61 70 26

Film of the day Das fremde in mir By Emily Atef (Germany) In a low-key way, the film portrays her incapability to act with motherly tenderness, and how her illness captures her, leaving everything and everybody on the outside. Depression in a situation when life should be wonderful. Certain loved ones don’t seem to understand, instead recoiling in fear. The distance between Rebecca and those around her are infinite when she starts to wake up. Doors are closed, attitudes are mistrustful. How do we define the role of a mother? With rigid opinions about what the correct behaviour is. No missteps allowed.


he first glances, the first touches...

No banal storytelling in this film, whose atmosphere flows through the mind, letting us feel the hospital sheets and the branches in the forest. Sadly, seldom have we the possibility to © touch together with a protagonist on all the little details in their environment. The naturally lit images underline further the sense of reality.

The water is so clear in the tub where Rebecca is bathing her son. She feels an urge to let go of him, to let her newborn and helpless child sink into the bath. In a moment of silence, she might just sense something again. The curtains, unmoved by all this, stand up straight in her tasteful pastel-coloured apartment. My attitude will define me. I can’t act in this way, can I? Are all human emotions acceptable? The Stranger In Me follows Rebecca, who is suffering from post-natal depression. Her unwanted negative emotions and repulsion towards the innocent child, the shame of which haunts her already tired mind.

The Stranger In Me is director Emily Atef ’s second feature film. Her debut Molly’s Way (2005) was a success, garnering 11 international awards. A world citizen, she grew up with French and Iranian parents, and has since lived in Berlin, France, Los Angeles and London. Emotions don’t recognise borders… Plotting on the x-axis the time I spent watching this film, and on the y-axis the movement it provoked in me, the resulting shape, whilst hard to define, has left a lasting mark. Johanna Kinnari

Review Aanrijding In Moscou By Christophe Van Rompaey (Belgium)


Jude Lister

supermarket car park on the outskirts of Ghent, Belgium. No sooner has she started to pull out her car, than Matty, mother of two children, drives into the lorry of a certain Johnny. He gets angry. She shouts. They argue. Then the police arrive. The incident resolved, Matty must face another, rather more complex situation; her husband Werne, who left her five months before for one of his young students… As Matty’s life becomes a rapid chain of events, she is forced to weigh up the pros and cons between her desires and reality. The family life that she always dreamt of becomes a fragile ideal. Any unexpected event can turn your life upside down, even a car accident. All the more if you are not ready to face it. Carried along by scenes which are at once humorous and dramatic, this tragi-comedy with witty dialogues offers us a contemporary love story. A story with which we can easily identify; bitter-sweet, funny, contradictory, ephemeral. In short, real.

Moscow, Belgium is a fairy tale in which the prince is not always charming, and wherein an ex-alcoholic ogre can have a good heart, and/or the heart of princesses falling for slippers which are not necessarily a perfect fit. María Blanco

Review The 7 Days

By Ronit & Shlomi Elkabetz (Israel~France)


verything begins with a burial featuring gas masks. Maurice is dead. According to Jewish tradition the whole family must mourn for seven days in the house of their dear departed. The 7 Days is the follow-up of To Take a Wife (2005) by Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz. In it we catch up with Viviane (Ronit Elkabetz), who has still not obtained the divorce from her husband Eliahou (Simon Abkarian). The situation between the two forms just one of the intrigues of this film. We are thus ushered into the closed environment of the house, with certain rooms forbidden because of the mourning. All family members must live together, a situation which gives birth to a sort of micro-society – complete with its leaders, its policemen and its outcasts. © «Land of Plenty» by Win Wenders (2004) Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz film a societal nightmare: the disappearance of private lives in order to serve the group. One cannot cry alone, or smoke alone. Most of the discussions are interrupted by a door opening or the arrival of a character intruding into the field, ready to send you out of the forbidden room - a situation which has meaning in a country where the question of territory is problematic. In this spatial context, the toilets can become the location of amorous intrigue, the bathroom the site of a revelation.

Interview Duane Hopkins


The exchanges in the scenes in which everyone is seen together are reduced to a competition to see who is the most kosher. Those who have seen To Take a Wife will easily be able to guess who wins. What remains is a memorable sequence wherein the whole family has a nocturnal fit of hysterics. The editing is elegant without being virtuose, the rhythm wellmaintained and the direction of the cast exemplary. 7 Days is certainly not a film that will reconcile you with humankind, or even your family. It is however an example of what Israeli cinema does best. It also confirms, if it wasn’t already clear, that Ronit Elkabetz is one of the greatest actresses in the world.


hat was it that made you choose a multinarrative format for Better Things? I wanted to try to abandon plot and concentrate solely on theme. Working with a combination of storylines allowed me to use all the elements I was interested in: the individual’s need for security and safety, emotional stability and happiness - all the things we associate with companionship. Also, one of my original aims was to create something that gave an overall impression of an area and its inhabitants, a single story would have been too restrictive.

Duane Hopkins’ debut feature Better Things is a bleak yet poetic study of life, love, loss and intoxication set in rural England.

Thierry Lebas

Some may attempt to classify your work as British Social Realism. I grew up watching the movies of Loach, Clarke and Leigh, so that influence is always going to be buried in there. My story and character obsessions certainly come from what could be called classic social realist territory: working class, troubled, angry, and violent - at least from the

outside - but I think my use of them is different. Better Things attempts to move towards something more poetic or transcendental. I was more interested in the creation of an atmosphere than in realism. You have often emphasised the rural dimension of your films. Why is this particularly important for you? It is where I grew up [the Cotswolds], where my first obsessions were formed. I think I have always been motivated by a wish to create an honest depiction of rural England, to show that hard and intense subject matter exists there, to try and create a more authentic cinematic atmosphere of the area. To many of us who grew up there, the beauty and tourist ideal of the place is far removed from our own experiences.

Jude Lister

1 book, 1 film JosĂŠ Saramago vs. Fernando Meirelles: Blindness However, anyone who wanted to make a film about it was confronted with several problems - its brutal descriptions of physical and moral degradation, and the fact that the feeling of blindness should be expressed in an art form that mostly depends on visuals.


Photo: Ken Woroner Š Rhombus Media

n 1995 JosĂŠ Saramago wrote Ensaio sobre a cogueira, a novel which tells the story of a society faced with the loss of the one thing most precious to it - its sight. The unexpected and unexplainable epidemic of blindness soon leads to a breakdown of institutions and social norms, bringing the world into a state of absolute chaos and anarchy. Three years after the book was published in Portugal, Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize. It was only a question of time before his allegorical story found its way to the silver screen.

Fernando Meirelles has kept the dark tone of the novel, not avoiding the naturalism of the scenes depicted in the original. He has also accomplished something much more demanding - showing the white blindness by using a purely cinematic language. The art direction by TulÊ Peake complements CÊsar Charlone’s brilliant camera work and Danil Rezende’s editing. The light that fills the cinematic space creates a feeling of a world fading away, and together with the white fade-ins and fade-outs, blurred photography, double expositions and merging glass reflections, it mirrors Saramago’s writing style of long sentences without punctuation or question marks. Whilst the reader can’t be sure of who’s talking, the viewer’s faith in what they see is challenged. Although his film is sometimes too literal and its semantic charge becomes exhausted after the first half, Meirelles manages to deliver an interesting allegory of the human condition – its emotional, social and ideological blindness. Mario Kozina

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é le 8 juin 1971 à Bucarest, Radu Muntean y étudie le cinéma à l’Académie des Arts Dramatiques et Cinématographiques. Il réalise plusieurs courts métrages, dont The Tragic Story of the Two et La vie est ailleurs (1996), très vite récompensés dans les festivals internationaux. Il compte aussi à son actif plus de 200 films publicitaires. Ensuite en 2002, il se lance dans son premier long métrage de fiction : Joint.

Dans le contexte du début des années 2000, Joint (2002) fut l’un des premiers films à annoncer ce qu’on allait appeler « la nouvelle vague roumaine », avec des productions telles Le Matos et la thune (Cristi Puiu, 2001) ou Occident (Cristian Mungiu, 2002). L’action de Joint se situe dans une banlieue bucarestoise typique, peuplée de personnages donnant chair à autant de traits psychologiques propres à la société roumaine actuelle. Certaines scènes du film, brillamment ciselées (notamment la scène finale, remarquable en elle-même), prouvent que le réalisateur est un véritable espoir. Avec ce premier long, Radu Muntean révèle un réel talent pour la direction d’acteurs (chose peu commune chez ses compatriotes). Il sait de surcroit s’entourer de bons comédiens. Dragoş Bucur, par exemple, excelle dans son rôle. Ce dernier jouait déjà dans Le Matos et la thune un personnage du même genre, un jeune de quartier. Ce type de rôle lui va comme un gant, et c’est en grande partie le mérite du réalisateur d’avoir eu cette excellente intuition. Idem lorsque Muntean pensa à Adrian Copilu’ Minune pour jouer son propre rôle. Joint est un film bien « dosé », la succession des évènements menant graduellement à une fureur croissante (Furia étant le titre roumain du film) et à l’éclat de la fin, signé par la mort du protagoniste s’attirant sur lui toute la rage d’un jeune du quartier. Pour sûr, cet adolescent n’est pas un modèle à suivre mais il a, en tout cas, beaucoup de dignité. Car Radu Muntean a l’intelligence de ne jamais tomber dans le manichéisme (ni dans le kitsch). Ce jeune de quartier n’est pas érigé en modèle, mais il est dévoilé à la fois sous ses bonnes et ses mauvaises facettes.

© Photo by Johanna Kinnari

orn on the 8th of June 1971 in Bucharest, Radu Muntean studied cinema at the Academy of Dramatic and Cinematic Arts in the capital. He made several short films, amongst which The Tragic Story of the Two and La vie est ailleurs (1996) were quickly awarded prizes in international festivals. He also worked on more than 200 filmed advertisements. Then in 2002, he launched himself into his first feature film: Joint.

© Aujourd’hui Le Maroc 2008

Radu Muntean


Le condamner d’avance et en bloc, en ignorant le contexte dans lequel il évolue, serait aussi biaisé que de le transformer en victime de son milieu. Tout comme n’importe quelle personne de n’importe quel milieu, le jeune de Joint peut prendre ses responsabilités et choisir entre le bien et le mal. Avec Le Papier sera bleu (2006), Radu Muntean opère un changement complet de ton et de sujet, et se penche sur la Révolution de 1989. Le film radiographie un épisode particulier de ces jours tragiques et troubles – la fusillade de quelques soldats par leurs collègues d’une autre unité militaire. Le film est circulaire – commençant là où il se finit et finissant par la scène de début. L’action se passant dans la nuit du 22 au 23 décembre, elle se conclut donc sur l’événement tragique du matin. Ici, le style du réalisateur est brusque, l’approche distante, le ton, presque froid. Le Papier sera bleu est net, propre, sans digressions inutiles. Tout est basé sur l’histoire et le jeu des acteurs : Paul Ipate, Dragoş Bucur, Tudor Aron Istodor, Andi Vasluianu, Adi Carauleanu... Tous sont très bons. Radu Muntean a une prédilection pour les scénarios clairs et les histoires cohérentes. Son abord très direct donne de la force à ses films mais, tout comme dans le cas de Joint, le naturel des acteurs est essentiel. Ceci est d’ailleurs l’une des caractéristiques communes à la nouvelle génération de cinéastes roumains : en finir avec les dialogues artificiels et surtout, en finir avec les interprétations faussées de ces dialogues par les acteurs. Caméléon, Radu Muntean ? A nouveau film, nouveau style et nouveau thème. Pour son troisième opus, Boogie, sélectionné par la Quinzaine, Dragoş Bucur est de nouveau de la partie, dans la peau de Bogdan Ciocăzanu, dit Boogie, en vacances à la mer avec femme, enfant et vieux copains. L’enfant n’est autre que le petit Vlad Muntean, pour la première fois à l’écran. La relève de la relève du cinéma roumain serait-elle déjà assurée ?

In the context of the beginning of the new millennium, Joint (2002) was one of the first films to herald what would be later be named “the Romanian new wave”, alongside productions such as Stuff and Dough (Cristi Piuiu, 2001) and West (Cristian Mungiu, 2002). The action of Joint took place in a typical Bucharest suburb, inhabited by characters which personified certain psychological traits unique to contemporary Romanian society. Finely polished scenes from the film (notably the final scene, remarkable in itself ), were proof that the director was a real new hope. With this first feature, Muntean revealed a real talent for directing a cast (a skill not often noticeable amongst his compatriots). Moreover, he already knew how to surround himself with good actors. Dragoş Bucur, for example, excelled in his role. Bucur had already played a similar character in Stuff and Dough; a young guy from the neighbourhood. This kind of role fits him like a glove, and it’s to the credit of the director that he had such an excellent sense of intuition. It was likewise when Muntean thought of Adrian Copilu’ Minune to play his own role. Joint is a well-measured film, the succession of events leading up to an increasing fury (Furia was the Romanian title of the film) and the outburst at the end, marked by the death of the protagonist, who has managed to bring the anger of the young guy from the neighbourhood upon himself. Certainly, this adolescent is no role model, but he has much dignity. Muntean has the intelligence to avoid falling into Manichaeism (or kitsch). The character is never held up as a model; his good and bad sides are both revealed. Condemning him outright, ignoring the context in which he became what he is, would be just as biased as transforming him into a victim of his background. Like any person from any social milieu, the youngster in Joint is capable of taking responsibility for choosing between right and wrong. With The Paper Will be Blue (2006), Muntean undertook a complete change of tone and subject, delving into the Revolution of 1989. The film X-rays a particular episode of these tragic and troubled days – the gunning down of several soldiers by their comrades from another military unit. The film is circular – beginning with the end and ending with the beginning scene. The main action unravels during the night of the 22nd – 23rd December, and reaches it’s conclusion with the tragic event of the following morning. Here, the director’s style is brusque; the approach distant, the tone almost cold and unfeeling. The Paper Will be Blue is sparse, clean, and lacking unnecessary digressions. Everything rests on the story and the actors’ performances: Paul Ipate, Dragos Bucur, Tudor Aron Istodor, Andi Vasluianu, Adi Carauleanu… All are excellent. Muntean has a predilection for clear scripts and coherent stories. His direct approach gives strength to his films but, as is the case in Joint, the natural performances of the actors are essential. This is actually one of the common characteristics of the new generation of Romanian cineastes: no more artificial dialogue, and above all, no more distorted interpretations of these dialogues from the actors. Muntean the chameleon? A new film, a new style and a new theme. For this third opus, Boogie, selected in the Quinzaine, Dragoş Bucur is again on board, in the role of Bogdan Ciocăzanu, nicknamed Boogie, on holiday at the seaside with his wife, child and old friends. The child is none other than the little Vlad Muntean, appearing onscreen for the first time. Is the changing of the guard of new Romanian cinema already assured? Laurentiu Bratan

Coin du court Skhizein De Jérémy Clapin (France) © Dark Prince 2008


enry: 91 centimetres away from Henry.

As a story, it is both funny and tragic. As a real experience, it is simply something with which one has to find ways to deal with. And Henry is doing just that...

One day, he finds himself 91 centimetres away from his own self. He is able to catch things around him, but cannot reach his own thoughts, his mind, because of the separating space. “There were no actual damages after all, is that right?” asks his therapist, while he explains about the 150 tons of meteoroid that struck him. The “actual” damage he was talking about should be a physical problem like a wound; but actually Henry’s one is more physical than any scar. He decides to get on with his life by just accepting that he has slipped away from himself by around a metre. Even so, he tries all his chances. When he realises that he could be hit by another meteoroid, he tries hard to make this possibility real.

But unfortunately this time, his calculating is not precise enough, since now there is a new “75 centimetre” problem he has to consider… With his well-designed drawings, engaging storytelling and melancholic music, Jérémy Clapin, the director of Skhizen - which is his second short animation - tells us that Henry is still “there”, although he is not exactly at the point where he should be. Henry’s problem, which, as mentioned, can be experienced by 1% of people, is not only an unfortunate story about a meteoroid crashing onto somebody. It is also a nice metaphore of people who keep quiet and decide to get used to their new situation when there is no way out, even though making noise is sometimes more valuable. Esra Demirkıran

© Photo by Johanna Kinnari

picture of the day

Work in progress


okyo lives! It vibrant, energetic unpredictable….

Tokyo pulse

is and

…and it forms the décor for an amazing cooperation between directors Joon-ho Bong, Leos Carax and Michel Gondry for the triptych Tôkyô! (Shaking Tokyo, Merde and Interior Design) which premieres at Cannes in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ programme. Three completely different stories, but all situated in a city that is definitely a great subject, and background, for inspirational cinema.

Perhaps it’s the way the Japanese culture seems to cherish purity that we rugged westerners crave for depictions of it. In Wim Wenders’ Tokyo Ga, the director went in search of just that; to find pure images. Images that he so admired in the work of Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu. What he found was a much-changed society, where the mystique had been replaced by Pachinko arcades and wax effigies of restaurant food. However, in a way these images are as pure and nononsense as the ones he was searching for. The endless shots of trains, metal Pachinko balls and people among the cherry blossoms in a graveyard have an almost meditative quality to them. Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola has that same reflective atmosphere. It provides a view of Tokyo as seen by foreign visitors. Literally lost among the confusion of the vast city’s dynamics, the main characters search for some kind of peace of mind, in each other’s

© «Merde», Michel Gondry’s segment of Tokyo!

Ever since Venetian explorer Marco Polo mentioned a country the Mandarin Chinese called Cipangu in his 13th century account of his travels to the Far-East, Japan has intrigued westerners immensely. Nippon, The Land of the Rising Sun, draws us in with its mystique and doesn’t let go. No wonder then that Japan has been featured in western cinema from as early as 1901, when a short American documentary called Asakusa Temple, directed by Robert K. Bonine, depicted, among other things, some early tourists admiring the impressive temple in Tokyo. This silent film already showcased what would become a niche within western film; films about Japan, and especially about its capital. company. Peace of mind, it turns out, is hard to find. It’s not only foreigners who search for ways to connect within the city. The Japanese characters in Jean-Pierre Limosin’s Tokyo Eyes are also looking for a connection, albeit of a different kind. K tries to change wrongdoers by shooting at them with a rigged gun that (nearly) always misses, whilst 17-yearold Hinano searches for affection and adventure. The film contains many cinematic references, adding an extra dynamism, which makes one wonder how the film would have turned out had the director followed his initial idea to shoot it in Paris. In fact, Tokyo seems to fit the story like a glove - or put better, like a well-oiled train. Trains seem to be the common denominator in films shot by foreigners in Tokyo, even by those who originate from the

East. The simple voyage from ‘a’ to ‘b’ becomes a journey inward, an almost philosophical search for meaning. In Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Café Lumiere, the network of trains resembles arteries that feed the city, and the main characters’ activities. The films pulsates with the sound of metal wheels on the tracks, the movement of the wagons and the soundtrack of Taiwanese composer Jiang Wen-Ye. The city as a living, breathing organism; but still as pure as in the films of Ozu it was inspired by. Just as jazz musicians hear music in the heartbeats of cities like New York and Paris, filmmakers will keep finding rhythms in Tokyo’s pulse that drive their films, feed their narratives and give them a spirit that can’t be found anywhere else. Itxaso Elosua Ramírez

Reportage Hunger


he long and sad history of the conflict in Northern Ireland commonly known as ‘the Troubles’ - has often provided a rich source of material for British filmmakers. This year at Cannes, the opener of the ‘Un Certain Regard’ programme provides the latest contribution to this cinematic canon.

After the brutality of the ‘H’ block, the hospital ward where we follow Sands during his last months is a sharp contrast; rather than beaten, his fragile, emaciated body is now gently handled between calm and sterile white sheets as it wastes slowly away. These final sequences occasionally border on romanticism – particularly the poetic ending, in which we Hunger - the much-hyped debut see a flock of birds taking flight, feature from Turner-Prize symbolising his departure from winning artist Steve McQueen © Becker Films International the worldly realm. However, - recounts the last days of the film neither ignores nor Provisional IRA paramilitary Bobby Sands, who died after 66 simplifies the more complex moral dimension of his actions days on hunger strike in the infamous ‘Maze’ prison in 1981. (noble self-sacrifice, or desire for personal glory through The strike, which was led by Sands, was the culmination of an martyrdom?) extended protest against the removal of Republican prisoners’ Whilst on hunger strike, Sands was elected as a member of political status by the Thatcher government. parliament. His death provoked an international wave of In this beautifully composed film, the camera rarely ventures sympathy for the IRA’s agenda, and an intensification of the outside, offering an intense, intimate and disturbing violence between nationalists and unionists. Today he remains depiction of life within the prison’s walls; where inmates an iconic figure for Republicans. Hunger is not only a harrowing resist by refusing to wash and smearing their cell walls with evocation of a specific place and time; a reminder of one of the excrement, and the guards respond with routine beatings many dark moments in the history of Anglo-Irish relations. It and humiliations. It is a full 30 minutes into the film before is also a meditation on the act of sacrificing one’s own life for we first encounter Sands during one of these of horrifically a political cause – something which has a particular resonance © «Land of Plenty» by Win Wenders (2004) in today’s political climate. violent episodes. Jude Lister

Interview David Polonsky



ow did this project start for you? Ari (Folman, Director) introduced me to his idea. I was excited by the possibilities of an animated documentary that deals with memory; drawing people’s memories, manufacturing fictitious truths… and I was taken by the story, the unimaginable absurdity of what happened.

David Polonsky is Art Director of the fully animated documentary Waltz with Bashir (Official Competition), a film about witnessing the ’82 Beirut massacre.

Can you talk us through your work? My responsibility was to create the general aesthetic approach of the film, and to draw most of the frames, which were then dismantled for cut-out animation. I was assisted by 4 illustrators. My designs followed the story board, but I had much freedom in fashioning the atmosphere, characters and composition. Do you think animation can address reality with the same effect as a filmed documentary? As there is no filmed account of the personal stories told in the film, animation is as true, or may be truer, than a filmed re-enactment by actors, or some historic footage with VO narration. All documentaries use suggestive cinematic techniques. Some are successful in creating a guise of reality, in the same way that we come to believe the stories we choose to tell ourselves - our memories.

Maartje Alders


The Youth Prize


nitiated by the Ministry of Health, Youth and Sports, the Prix de la Jeunesse (‘Youth Prize’) allows young people to discover an international selection of films in exceptional conditions. The event was opened up to Europe in 2004, welcoming around 20 young Europeans, more than 40 French and 7 jury members. For 26 years, this Youth Jury awarded one French

film and one foreign film amongst the three parallel selections of the Cannes Festival: the Quinzaine des Realisateurs, the International Critic’s Week and Un Certain Regard. Since 2003, just one film has been chosen every year, without distinction based on nationality, amongst the Official Competition and Un Certain Regard.

The aim of the Prize is to allow young cinephiles to exercise their critical sense and their analytical capabilities, as well as expressing their tastes. Looking at the winners of previous years, you can really appreciate the diversity of the choices made. Joanna Gallardo

3 questions to

Helena Mielonen

Helena Mielonen (Finland), a graduate in cultural management, works at the Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival. Previously she has also worked at other film festivals in Finland and for other film industry and cultural events.


ne of those films that confirm common stereotypes about the kind of ‘pretentious nonsense’ that finds its way into festival selections, Soi Cowboy has a deliberately slow-moving and obscure plot which soon becomes infuriating. Whilst the mise en scene is accomplished, certain stylistic choices (a 20-minute opening sequence with no dialogue, a movement half-way through from black and white to colour) seem to be almost entirely pointless.


hat interested you most in participating in this project? I have to admit that to be able to experience the most remarkable film festival in Europe, in the whole world even, was itself a quite unrivalled opportunity. Of course I hope to gain a different perspective on my own work, and to exchange opinions and information with professionals and young people of different nationalities.

Worst of all, those optimistically persevering through the 2 hour run-time are rewarded by the film ending equivalent of a slap in the face, as crucial threads of the intrigue are left unexplained.

What kind of films do you hope to see during the festival? Small independent theatres have disappeared in Finland. This brings up the need to see films that you are not able to find at the multiplexes. It’s always interesting to discover what is happening abroad. Can you define the most important role provided by the Cannes film festival? To praise the art of cinema; putting it on the pedestal where it belongs. It acts as a forum for all who are interested in films.

By Johanna Kinnari

Soi Cowboy Thomas Clay (UK)

Jude Lister

© Jon Grönvall

c’est un choix

ByTheWayCreacom – Getty Images / Andreanna Seymore – Crédit Coopératif, SA coopérative de Banque Populaire à capital variable, BP 211, 92 Nanterre – RCS Nanterre B349974931.

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