Nisimazine SUNDAY 15 MAY 2011
cast from 17 Filles, photo by Martina Lang
A Magazine by Nisi Masa, European Network Of Young CinemA
17 filles Footnote Sundance Institute
Sunday 15 May 2011/# 3 A magazine published by the NISI MASA in the framework of a film journalism workshop for young Europeans with the support of the ‘Youth in Action’ programme of the EU
We are also the directors of this film. We can make decisions and change the course of actions. Some of us are having our directorial debuts; others are enjoying the routine of the 64th Cannes film directing. The film that we
Editor Jude Lister
by Ľuboš Bišto (Slovakia)
Tutor Paolo Bertolin Contributors to this issue
all co-create is actually made out of personal impressions captured by the eyes. They are the best cameras you can get anywhere. In this way you are the director of photography as well. But let’s not forget that you are the screenwriter, editor, and costume designer as well. If you thought you were not busy enough, then maybe you should reconsider. Anything is possible here. So there is just one thing to keep in mind. There would be no festival and no film if it weren’t for you. That is the reason why you should care about the looks of your own movie. And even if I am not sure what my part of the film will look like, I know I will try to make it as full as I can.
Ľuboš Bišto, Levente Czehelszki Andris Feldmanis Anne-Sophie Meusburger, Martina Lang Elisabeth Renault-Geslin Miklós Vargha, Patrícia Veszpremi Coordinators Jass Seljamaa, Merli Antsmaa Eva Ujlakyová, Jana Dandárová NISI MASA 99 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010, Paris, France. Phone: +33 (0)9 60 39 63 38 in Cannes: +33 (0) 6 32 61 70 26 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nisimasa.com
Let’s imagine that the Cannes Film Festival is a film. It is not a film featuring the stars, nor a documentary about what happens in Cannes. It is a multi-genre piece that can only be seen once in a lifetime. No reruns are possible. Everyone involved with the festival is a star in this movie. The old star system has to make way to the new rising stars of Cannes. We all have our parts and we all have to stage something during the course of the festival. Sooner or later, we all explore what it means to be an actor in Cannes. Maybe now, when realizing it, we can walk the red carpet better than the celebrities.
Editor-in-Chief/Layout Maartje Alders
BY MARTINA LANG (AUSTRIA)
EDITORIAL STAFF Director of Publication Matthieu Darras
picture of the day
film of the day
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17 Filles Delphine et Muriel Coulin (France) Critics’ Week
Inspired by real events, 17 Filles, the first feature film from sisters Muriel and Delphine Coulin, tells the story of a group of high school girls falling pregnant one after the other. The narration focuses on five of them, the inseparable hard core and its leader, the first to get pregnant. In a little French town by the sea, life is narrow and the girls are in conflict with their families. To find a way out, they decide to become pregnant all together. The mise en scène expresses a true and pure sensitivity towards the teenage years. Close-ups of skin and sounds of breathing bring the senses forward and
the audience is very close to the characters. The strong presence of landscapes – the beach, the sea and the cliffs – opposed with the geometry of the city drives the girls from the oppressive cage of their buildings to the promise of change and infinity. The accuracy of the five young main actresses adds to the emotion of their so-felt captivity and the urgent need to escape their fate. The film of course evokes the memory of a certain teenage movie with five young sisters committing suicide one after the other in order to escape their family and their depressing future: the voiceover beginning and ending the
Even though Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra’s Trabalhar Cansa competes for the Camera d’Or open to first features only, this is not the directors’ first time in Cannes. Their shorts O Lençol Branco and Um Ramo were screened respectively at the Cinefondation in 2004 and at the Critics’ Week in 2007. Mixing the social chronicle and the fantastic genre, Trabalhar Cansa portrays a family of three that is struggling with money. The husband Otávio has lost his job, whereas his wife Helena opens a grocery store that is not doing quite well. Helena hires a new maid, Paula, who similarly has a money problem. More importantly, all the characters keep their resentments hidden and that is what matters the most in the end.
By Elisabeth Renault-Geslin (France)
review © DEZENOVE SOM E IMAGENS
Marco Dutra, Juliana Rojas (Brazil) - UCR
film, the last travelling shot accompanying it, the girls motionless on their bed, looking to sleep with any average boy to evade their intransigent parents, the mystery of their acts… The directors seem to take their inspiration from The Virgin Suicides, adding their own personal takes on the theme. Between Sofia Coppola and Céline Sciamma (Water Lilies, Un Certain Regard, 2007), 17 Filles continues the tradition of young girls in distress in their not-so-golden cage, with grace and great talent.
There is literally a skeleton in the closet. Still the skeleton is not actually in a closet, but behind a crumbling wall in the grocery store. Once the monster is out, Trabalhar Cansa concludes with a bewildering shout of Otávio amongst a large assembly of unemployed shouting thirty something men. Whereas
Brazil is witnessing for some years now a rapid growth of its GDP, Rojas and Dutra clearly and cleverly state that the country’s middle class is still suffering. by Ľuboš Bišto (Slovakia)
© RECTANGLE PRODUCTIONS
reviews La Guerre est déclarée Valérie Donzelli (France) - Critics’ Week La guerre est déclarée truly begins with moments of magic and esprit. A young woman and a young man meet in a club and fall for each other. The perfect matching even shows in the pleasurable coincidence of their names as they are called Romeo and Juliette. Valérie Donzelli´s second feature then rapidly progresses with images full of vitality and joy until the day they learn about their son´s brain cancer. This could be the decisive moment for the plot to turn toward pain and resentfulness. But Donzelli manages to treat the subject in a non-dramatic, almost light-hearted way. A fact indeed impressing since Donzelli and her co-scriptwriter and actor Jérémie Elkaim are actually transferring their own stories onto the screen. What makes La guerre est déclarée exceptional and exhilarant is its mixture of authenticity and playful storytelling. The film comprises several years and shows how the Parisian couple adjusts to the serious illness of their child. But in the same way as Romeo and Juliette try to make the best out of the situation, Valérie Donzelli attaches to other aspects and outlines the importance of personal happiness, family bonds and love. Suffering and laughter naturally blend into each other and by the end a whole rollercoaster of emotions has been presented. La guerre est déclarée takes an often comical and strongly life-affirming perspective on how to cope with inevitable strokes of fate. by Anne-Sophie Meusburger (Austria)
Joseph Cedar (Israel) - Official Competition
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There is no way a movie about two researchers dedicating their lives to the Talmud, and competing with each other all the time, could be worth watching. This is exactly what I thought, before I went to the screening of Footnote. Luckily Joseph Sedar’s film belied my usual pessimism. The main conflict is that the two rivaling university professors happen to be father and son. The elder Eliezer Scholnik, whose work was never really appreciated, is quite jealous about his descendant’s success. Eventually it seems like Eliezer is about to receive the highest award from the Ministry of Education, but it turns out to be a tremendously stupid administration mistake; the jury actually dedicated the award to the son.
Dealing with the unpleasant topic of rivalry inside a family, and how this disturbance destroys relationships, Footnote succeeds in providing enough twist and emotion, maybe even some laughter. The intuitive editing by Einat Glaser-Zarhin strengthens the script fast-paced rhythm. Writer-director Joseph Sedar always carefully chooses where to put his camera, so the story is told through beautiful compositions, making its visual style appealing. Definitely an outstanding film. by Levente Czehelszki (Hungary)
interview interview Sundance Institute
Alesia Weston Photo by Miklós Vargha (HUNGARY)
Celebrating its 30th birthday, the Sundance Institute is strongly represented this year in Cannes with five films that benefited its Feature Film Program selected. Nisimazine met the Program’s associate director Alesia Weston. How does the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program work? The year-round Feature Film Program is designed to support emerging filmmakers working on their first or second features through Screenwriters Lab, Directors Lab, a Creative Producing Lab, as well as Awards or Grants (the Sundance Institute/NHK Filmmakers Award, the Sundance Institute l Mahindra Global Filmmakers Award). Beyond these, the support of the Sundance Institute continues throughout the life of the film from inception through completion. In the Screenwriters Lab, the fellows are mentored by veteran screenwriters. The month long Directors Lab provides an opportunity to work with a professional cast and crew on four, five scenes from the script under the guidance of creative mentors. The Sundance Institute is celebrating its 30th birthday. How have your operations changed since the beginning, three decades ago? The program has evolved a great deal since it began with the Directors and Screenwriters Labs. Over the years, under the leadership of Michelle Satter, it has become increasingly comprehensive, extending the support throughout the life of a project at key stages of the process. We have seen that our ongoing presence can make the difference between a film getting made or not, or encourage it to find its best form. So, we are always thinking of new ways to help the filmmakers move forward. What are the criteria for entering your feature film programme? The typical point of entry is the Screenwriters lab. We look for original voices, stories we haven’t seen before or, in some cases, familiar stories told in new ways. Filmmakers working on their first or second feature from the US and international ‘regions of focus’ are considered based on full length screenplays and their previous work (i.e short films, theatre pieces, visual art or other writing). Sundance is focused on independent films. Are they still ‘independent’? The term independent has obviously evolved and morphed over the years, and represents films made in a variety of ways. In almost all the cases of filmmakers we work with, there is very little real infrastructure to support them – their vision is their own (whether it is an original story, or requires them to forge a new technique, non traditional structure, or tone) while working within certain parameters of the form – and the producers are piecing it together in entrepreneurial ways. Even though there is a larger ‘independent film industry’, I don’t think there is any question that it is powered by an independent spirit and independently constructed films.
Five films of the Cannes film festival were supported by Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program: Porfirio, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Elena, The Slut, Return. Can you tell us something about them? They are all so different and individual to the filmmakers. But in all cases, there is an originality to the ideas or a new perspective on something we may already know. The filmmakers have been stubborn (in the best sense) about honoring their vision, which is increasingly difficult, given the collaborative nature of the medium and pressures facing them nowadays. The films are disquieting, thought provoking and risky and we are always proud to stand behind that. Does cinema matter? I think it does matter, more and more, given its reach and potential to broaden what we know and understand about the world. There is still nothing quite like the intimate access it gives us into the most unlikely places – be it to worlds away or the bedroom in the house next door or the mind of a teenager. And as pure entertainment or an art form, I can’t imagine a world without it.
By Ľuboš Bišto (Slovakia)
photos by Andris Feldmanis, Martina Lang and Mikl贸s Vargha
from top to bottom: Augustine, Khibula, The Train Station
in focus //
As Wide as the Web Amongst film professionals, the expression ‘new media’ tends to become the new lifeline –after the 3D- for attracting audiences. Nisimazine investigated on how the projects at this year’s L’Atelier face –and embrace- the challenges of online marketing. “Auteur cinema became disconnected with wide audiences”, so the disillusioned statement goes. Art house films are targeted at prestigious festivals and at the circles of professionals in order to win support for upcoming projects; just as most of the directors and producers selected in L’Atelier where they look for funding for their subsequent films. It is also common sense to say that internet connects people. Peo-
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ple living far away become inhabitants of a giant global village. But has the internet got the potential to connect movies with the audiences just as movie theatres used to do? The media consumption of the younger generations is radically different from that of the older filmgoers. They watch videos and films on YouTube, they blog, facebook or tweet their preferences. Could these platforms become a new channel between movies and the audiences? Producers, filmmakers all seem to be aware of the influence and impact of new media, yet the success at prestigious festivals still enjoys utmost priority. However, the spark is there; some projects are in full swing on the Internet. Online castings, aid campaigns, short films available in VOD: global marketing online is now fully available and more cost-effective.
An Iraqi multimedia campaign The selection of L’Atelier stretches from one end of the globe to the other: 15 projects, 15 countries, 15 patterns of a rich tapestry of themes and genres. From existentialist fantasies (Of Our Economic Situation), through the dissolution of identity in a virtual reality (Full Contact) to the violent immobility of youth (Luton); from a political thriller (El Mudo) to a coming-of-age youth drama (Il Sud è Niente), from suicide bombers (The Train Station) to quixotic patriarchs (Mr Kaplan). National identity is marketable in itself. Mohamed Al-Daradji, a rising Iraqi director - as his producer Isabelle Stead states - “resurrects Iraqi film industry from the brink of extinction”. He did it through a multimedia campaign exploiting all possible platforms, from social networking through radio and television to the wide screen, in order to bring relief and aid to the people of a shattered country. His film-to-be The Train Station will show a different side to the stereotypes connected to Iraq as a war-torn country, just like Al Daradji’s previous films did. Meanwhile, his production team showcases a new model of “engaging with audiences beyond the cinema”.
Online casting & gloomy prophecy A newcomer, Alice Winocour, posted online the call for casting for her first feature Augustine, thus opening up the world of acting to the less celebrated circles looking for talents still undiscovered. Among Cannes’ recurrent participants is David Verbeek, who premiered R U There last year in Un Certain Regard. His new project Full Contact further highlights his obsession of disconnectedness through technology as a gloomy prophecy for the new media. Certainly, using this mere technology for promoting the film is part of the whole project. Yet, many projects still rely on the prestige of festivals, which remain the most reliable ways of connecting with potential audiences. This is the case for example of Georgian filmmaker George Ovashvili, who comes to Cannes to develop his second feature, Khibula, after the success of The Other Bank. Of course, websites and other new media have long become channels of promotion for filmmakers. It is a widespread saying today that “if you do not have a profile on Facebook, it is as if you did not even exist”. Although there is no proof or guarantee that more people will turn up on cinema screenings, yet, it is already building a solid relationship with new audiences. This is one possible future of cinema. By Patricia Veszprémi (Hungary)
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF SHORTFILMS DOCUMENTARIES AND SCREENPLAYS 22-30 JULY 2011 | REVINE LAGO - ITALY