Home Movie Awards Guillermo del Toro + Alain Resnais + Korean Monster: International Film Awards

Guillermo del Toro + Alain Resnais + Korean Monster: International Film Awards

Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro at Mexico’s Ariel Awards. © Academia Mexicana de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas.

Guillermo del Toro’s dark fairy-tale Pan’s Labyrinth/ El laberinto del fauno was the big winner at the Mexican Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (website)’ 49th Ariel Awards ceremony held at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City on March 20.

Set in the 1940s, the Mexican-Spanish co-production about a young girl’s entry into a fantastic world – so as to escape from the oppressive reality of General Franco’s Fascist Spain – won a total of 9 awards (out of 12 nominations), including best film and Best Director.

As a steely houseworker who befriends the young girl, Maribel Verdú shared the Best Actress award with Elizabeth Cervantes, who plays a businesswoman and mother with little luck in love in the drama More Than Anything in the World / Más que a nada en el mundo.

Other Pan’s Labyrinth Ariel winners were cinematographer Guillermo Navarro; composer Javier Navarrete; and production designers Eugenio Caballero, Pilar Revuelta, and Ramón Moya. (Surprisingly, actor Sergi López and del Toro’s original screenplay weren’t even nominated.)

Earlier this year, Pan’s Labyrinth won 7 Goyas (including one for del Toro’s screenplay) and 3 Academy Awards. In one of those inane Academy twists, Laberinto lost the best foreign-language film Oscar to the much inferior Das Leben der Anderen / The Lives of Others.

Among the other top Ariel winners were Isabel Coixet’s psychological drama The Secret Life of Words / La Vida secreta de las palabras as best Ibero-American film; Juan Carlos Rulfo’s In the Pit / En el hoyo as best documentary (in addition to awards for best editing and best sound); and Francisco Vargas’ sociopolitical drama El Violín / The Violin (left) as best first film (plus awards for best original screenplay and for best supporting actor Gerardo Taracena).

Damián Alcázar received the best actor award for Sebastián Cordero’s Chronicles / Crónicas, in which Alcázar plays a mysterious man who claims to understand the mindset of a serial killer in Ecuador. Crónicas was nominated for five other Ariels, including best film, best director, and best original screenplay (Cordero).

Honorary awards were given to actor Ignacio López Tarso, 82, who played the title role in Roberto Gavaldón’s Academy Award-nominated drama Macario (1960), and to cinematographer Rosalío Solano, 92, who shot nearly 180 films, including the Miroslava Stern vehicle Streetwalker / Trotacalles (1951) and Jaime Humberto Hermosillo’s drama Shipwreck / Naufragio (1978).

Ariel Awards

2007 Ariel winners were announced at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

Best Film / Mejor película
Crónicas / Chronicles by Producciones Anhelo
* El laberinto del fauno / Pan’s Labyrinth by Tequila Gang, Estudios Picasso and Fábrica de Ficción.
El violín / The Violin by the Fondo de Inversión y Estímulos al Cine (Fidecine), Cámara Carnal Films and Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC).

Best Ibero-American Film / Mejor película iberoamericana
En la cama / In Bed by Matías Bize (Chile)
* La vida secreta de las palabras / The Secret Life of Words by Isabel Coixet (Spain)
Alice by Marco Martins (Portugal)

Best First Film / Mejor ópera prima
* El violín / The Violin by Francisco Vargas
Fuera del cielo / Beyond the Sky by Javier Patrón Fox
Más que a nada en el mundo / More Than Anything in the Worldby Andrés León Becker and Javier Solar

Best Animated Feature / Mejor largometraje de animación
* Una película de huevos by Rodolfo Riva Palacio Alatriste and Gabriel Riva Palacio Alatriste

Best Documentary / Mejor largometraje documental
* En el hoyo / In the Pit by Juan Carlos Rulfo

Best Director / Mejor dirección
Sebastián Cordero for Crónicas / Chronicles
* Guillermo del Toro for Pan’s Labyrinth
Francisco Vargas for El violín / The Violin

Best Actor / Mejor actor
* Damián Alcázar for Crónicas / Chronicles
Armando Hernández for Fuera del cielo / Beyond the Sky
Gabino Rodríguez for La niña en la piedra (nadie te ve)

Best Actress / Mejor actriz (tie)
* Maribel Verdú for Pan’s Labyrinth
Sofía Espinosa for La niña en la piedra (nadie te ve)
* Elizabeth Cervantes for Más que a nada en el mundo / More Than Anything in the World

Best Supporting Actor / Mejor coactuación masculina
Carlos Cobos for Carnaval de Sodoma
Alex Angulo for Pan’s Labyrinth
* Gerardo Taracena for El violín / The Violin
Juan Carlos Colombo for Más que a nada en el mundo / More Than Anything in the World

Best Supporting Actress / Mejor coactuación femenina
Alejandra Gollás for Efectos secundarios / Side Effects
* Isela Vega for Fuera del cielo / Beyond the Sky
Martha Higareda for Fuera del cielo / Beyond the Sky

Best Original Screenplay / Mejor guión original
Sebastián Cordero for Crónicas / Chronicles
* Francisco Vargas for El violín / The Violin
Andrés León Becker and Javier Solar for Más que a nada en el mundo / More Than Anything in the World

Best Adapted Screenplay / Mejor guión adaptado
None given

Best Cinematography / Mejor fotografía
* Guillermo Navarro for Pan’s Labyrinth
Martín Boege for El violín / The Violin
Damián García for Más que a nada en el mundo / More Than Anything in the World

Best Editing / Mejor edición
Luis Carballar e Iván Mora for Crónicas / Chronicles
Bernat Vilaplana for Pan’s Labyrinth
Francisco Vargas and Ricardo Garfias for El violín / The Violin
* Valentina Leduc for En el hoyo / In the Pit

Best Score / Mejor música compuesta
* Javier Navarrete for Pan’s Labyrinth
Leonardo Heiblum for En el hoyo / In the Pit
Eduardo Gamboa for La niña en la piedra (nadie te ve)

Best Production Design / Mejor diseño de arte
Sandra Cabriada, Maria Luisa Guala and Darío Ramos for Carnaval de Sodoma
* Eugenio Caballero, Pilar Revuelta and Ramón Moya for Pan’s Labyrinth
Gilda Navarro for Eréndira Ikikunari
Salvador Parra, María José Pizarro and Jon Solaun for Un mundo maravilloso / A Wonderful World

Best Costume Design / Mejor vestuario
* Lala Huete for Pan’s Labyrinth
Saúl Hernández Liera for Eróndira Ikikunari
Mariestela Fernández for Un mundo maravilloso / A Wonderful World

Best Visual Effects / Mejores efectos especiales
Alejandro Vázquez and Salvador Servín for Efectos secundarios / Side Effects
* Reyes Abades, Ángel Alonso, David Martí and Montse Ribe for Pan’s Labyrinth
Juan Roberto Mora Catlett for Eréndira Ikikunari

Best Sound / Mejor sonido
Martín Hernández, Jaime Baksht and Santiago Nuñez for Crónicas / Chronicles
Martín Hernández, Jaime Baksht and Miguel Polo for Pan’s Labyrinth
* Samuel Larson, Jaime Baksht, Natalia Bruschtein, Mauricio Santos and Jesús Sánchez for En el hoyo / In the Pit

Best Make-Up / Mejor maquillaje
* José Quetglas and Blanca Sánchez for Pan’s Labyrinth
Julián Pizá for Eréndira Ikikunari
Felipe Salazar for Un mundo maravilloso / A Wonderful World

Best Narrative Short / Mejor cortometraje de ficción
* Dime lo que sientes / Tell Me What You Feel by Iria Gómez
El otro cuarto by Acán Coen
Rojo eterno by Pablo Mendoza

Best Documentary Short / Mejor cortometraje documental
El organillero by Enrique Vázquez Sánchez
La palomilla salvaje by Gustavo Gamou
* Ser isla by Eun-Hee Ihm

Best Animated Short / Mejor cortometraje de animación
* Berlitad by Pablo Ángeles Zuman
Calaverita by Rafael Cárdenas and Raúl Cárdenas
Sheep poem (Poema ovejuno) by Álvaro Zendejas

Golden Ariel / Ariel de Oro: Ignacio López Tarso and Rosalío Solano

Salvador Toscano Medal / Medalla Salvador Toscano: Felipe Cazals

Étoiles d’Or winners: Alain Resnais & Cécile de France + Jean Dujardin

This year’s Étoile d’Or for Best (French) Film was given to two productions: Pascale Ferran’s new look at D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley (which went on to win the best film César), and to Rachid Bouchareb’s socially significant – but dramatically routine – Indigènes / Days of Glory, about North Africans fighting for France during World War II.

The best director prize, however, went to 82-year-old veteran Alain Resnais for – you guessed it – Coeurs, a beautifully made adaptation of Alan Ayckbourn’s play in which six different people interact – or at least try to interact – in a snowy, dreamlike Paris.

The French critics also failed to decide who should take home the best actor prize. As a result, both Jean Dujardin and François Cluzet went on stage to receive their Étoiles: Dujardin for his suave James Bond-like spy in the highly successful comedy-adventure flick OSS 117 - Le Caire nid d’espions / OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, and Cluzet – who went on to win a best actor César – for his doctor-in-distress in the thriller Ne le dis à personne / Tell No One.

Cécile De France was the best actress for both Quand j’étais chanteur / The Singerand Mauvaise foi (above)- though surprisingly not for her charmingly gauche waitress in Fauteuils d’orchestre / Avenue Montaigne.

The best first film was Mauvaise foi by Roschdy Zem (one of the stars of Indigènes), about how parental prejudices affect the relationship between a pregnant Jewish woman and her Muslim Moroccan boyfriend, while British director Anthony Minghella received the Honorary Étoile d’Or.

French Film Critics’ 2007 Étoiles d’Or

Espace Pierre Cardin in Paris on January 22, 2007.

Best French Film / Etoile dOr du Meilleur film français (ex-aequo):
* Lady Chatterley by Pascale Ferran
* Indigènes / Days of Glory by Rachid Bouchareb
Coeurs / Private Fears in Public Places by Alain Resnais

Best First French Film / Etoile dOr du Premier film français:
* Mauvaise foi by Roschdy Zem
Pardonnez-moi / Forgive Me by Maïwenn
Le Pressentiment by Jean-Pierre Darroussin

Best Documentary / Etoile dOr du Documentaire français:
*Kigali, des images contre un massacre / Kigali, Images Against a Massacre by Jean-Christophe Klotz
Dans la peau de Jacques Chirac / Inside the Skin of Jacques Chirac, by Karl Zéro and Michel Royer
La Citadelle assiégée, by Philippe Calderon

Best Director / Etoile dOr du Réalisateur français:
* Alain Resnais, Coeurs / Private Fears in Public Places 
Pascale Ferran, Lady Chatterley
Guillaume CanetNe le dis à personne / Tell No One

Best Actor / Etoile dOr du Premier Rôle Masculin (ex-aequo):
*Jean Dujardin, OSS 117 - Le Caire nid despions / OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
Gérard DepardieuQuand jétais chanteur / The Singer
*François Cluzet, Ne le dis à personne / Tell No One

Best Actress / Etoile dOr du Premier Rôle Féminin:
*Cécile de France, Quand jétais chanteur / The Singer and Mauvaise foi 
Marina Hands, Lady Chatterley
Charlotte GainsbourgPrête-moi ta main / I Do

Best Screenplay / Etoile dOr du scénario français:
*Philippe Lioret and Olivier Adam, Je vais bien, ne ten fais pas / Dont Worry, Im Fine
Christophe Turpin, Jean-Philippe
Guillaume Canet and Philippe Lefebvre, Ne le dis à personne / Tell No One

Best Female Newcomer / Etoile dOr de la Révélation Féminine:
*Mélanie Laurent, Je vais bien, ne ten fais pas / Dont Worry, Im Fine
Marina Hands, Lady Chatterley
Frédérique Bel, Changement dadresse / Change of Address

Best Male Newcomer / Etoile dOr de la Révélation Masculine:
*Thibault Vinçon, Les Amitiés maléfiques / Malevolent Friendships
Kad Merad, Je vais bien, ne ten fais pas / Dont Worry, Im Fine
Yann Tregouët, Itinéraires / Itineraries

Best Composer / Etoile dOr du Compositeur de Musique de film:
Mark Snow, Coeurs / Private Fears in Public Places 
*M, Ne le dis à personne / Tell No One
Gabriel Yared, Azur et Asmar

Best French Producer / Etoile dOr du Producteur français:
*Christophe Rossignon, Nord Ouest Production
Jean Bréhat, 3B-Tessalit Production
Pierre-Ange, Le Pogam EuropaCorp

Best French Distributor / Etoile dOr du Distributeur français:
*Stéphane Celerier, Mars Distribution
Margaret Ménégoz, Les Films du Losange
Michel Saint-Jean, Diaphana

Honorary Étoile dOr: Anthony Minghella

Mar del Plata Film Festival Winners: Cesc Gay Fiction

The 22nd Mar del Plata Film Festival Award was held between March 8–18. Winners were announced on March 18.

Directed by Cesc Gay, Fiction tells the story of a film director who, while resting at a friends home in a small mountain village, meets a violin player with whom he develops a delusional relationship. Gay and Tomás Aragay penned the screenplay. In the cast: Eduard Fernández, Javier Cámara, Montse Germán, Carmen Pla, Ágata Roca.

OFFICIAL COMPETITION

Golden Astor for Best feature
FICCIÓ (Spain, directed by Cesc Gay)

Special Mention
JARDINS EN AUTOMNE (France-Italy-Russia, directed by Otar Iosseliani)

Silver Astor for Best Director (tie)
MARINA SPADA (Come l’ombra, Italy)
HONG SANG-SOO (Woman on the Beach, South Korea)

Silver Astor for Best Actress
SANDRA HÜLLER (Madonnas, Germany-Switzerland-Belgium, directed by María Speth)

Silver Astor for Best Actor
CARLOS RESTA (La Peli, Argentina, directed by Gustavo Postiglione)

Silver Astor for Best Screenplay
ZAZA RUSADZE Y DITO TSINTSADZE (The man from the Embassy) (Germany, directed by Dito Tsintsadze)

Special Mention
O MAIOR AMOR DO MUNDO (Brazil, directed by Carlos Diegues)

LATIN AMERICAN COMPETITION

Best Film
M (Argentina, Director Nicolás Prividera)

Special Mention (tie)
O CEÚ DE SUELY (Brazil-France-Germany-Portugal, Director Karim Aïnouz)
TIERRA ROJA (Paraguay, Director Ramiro Gómez)

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF FILM CRITICS (FIPRESCI)

Best Film in Latin American Competition
M (Argentina, directed by Nicolás Prividera)

Best Latin American Film
O CEÚ DE SUELY (Brazil-France-Germany-Portugal, directed by Karim Aïnouz)

SIGNIS AWARD - WORLD CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION FOR COMMUNICATION

Best feature film in the official competition
FICCIÓ (Spain, directed by Cesc Gay)

Special Award
4 DE JULIO (Argentina, directed by Juan P. Young and Pablo Zubizarreta)

Best short film in Upcoming Section
TREINTA AÑOS (France-Chile, directed by Nicolás Lasnibat)

ASOCIACIÓN CRONISTAS CINEMATOGRÁFICOS DE LA ARGENTINA (ARGENTINIAN FILM CRITICS)

Best feature in Official Competition
THE MAN FROM THE EMBASSY (Germany, directed by Dito Tsintsadze)

Special Mention
CIUDAD EN CELO (Argentina, Hernán Gaffet)

Best Argentine short film in Upcoming Section
PUERTAS ADENTRO (Argentina, directed by Martín Carranza)

Best foreign short film in Upcoming Section
WIGALD (Germany, directed by Timon Modersohn)

SINDICATO DE LA INDUSTRIA CINEMATOGRÁFICA ARGENTINA (ARGENTINIAN FILM UNION) TATO MILLER AWARD

Best social and humanistic narrative film in Latin American Competition
REGRESADOS (Argentina, directed by Flavio Nardini and Christian Bernard)

Best social and humanistic documentary film in Latin American Competition
TIERRA ROJA (Paraguay, directed by Ramiro Gómez)

ASOCIACIÓN ARGENTINA DE ACTORES (ARGENTINIAN ACTORS ASSOCIATION) CARLOS CARELLA AWARD

Best Actor in Argentine Showcase Section
PABLO RAGANI (Dumbo 4)

Best Actress
CORINA ROMERO (Dora, la jugadora)

THE INNER LOOK AWARD

Best short film in the Inner Look Section
PEONCITO (Río Negro, directed by Fermín Valeros)

First Special Mention
EL TELEVIDENTE (Córdoba, directed by Lucas Damino and Sebastián Menegaz)

Second Special Mention
AL SOL EN BICI (Chubut, directed by Grupo Humus)

Annual Program without Frontiers
PEONCITO (Río Negro, directed by Fermín Valeros)

INTERFILM BERLIN AWARD

Best short film in Upcoming Section
IN GOLF WE TRUST (Argentina, 2005, directed by Pablo Mazzeo and Gustavo Kaplan)

Special Mention
AMOR A LAS 4 DE LA TARDE (Argentina-Spain, directed by Sebastián Alfie)

791 AWARD TO ARTISTIC INNOVATION

IT HAPPENED JUST BEFORE (Austria, directed by Anja Salomonowitz)

Official Competition Jury: Charles Burnett (USA), Emilia Atef (Germany) Adriana Chiesa Di Palma (Italy), Jay Jeon (South Korea) and Marcelo Piñeyro (Argentina)

Latin American Competition Jury: Teresa Toledo Cabrera (Cuba), Carlos Diegues (Brazil), Carlos Chicho Durán (Peru), Víctor Gaviria (Colombia) and Federico León (Argentina)

FIPRESCI Jury: Jorge Jelinek (Uruguay), Bence Nanay (Hungary) and Pablo Suárez (Argentina)

Signis Jury: Guido Convenís (Belgium), Andrés Jaquez (Mexico) and Agustín Neifert (Argentina)

Argentinian Film Critics Jury: Roberto Blanco Pazos, Emilio Bellón and Gedalio Tarasow

Argentinian Film Union Jury: Algo Guglielmone, Elisabet Otero and Roberto Salomone

Argentinian Actors Association Jury: Mimí Ardú, María Florentino and Emilio Bardi

Inner Look Jury: Carlos Martinez, Miguel Perez and Ricardo Randazzo

Interfilm Berlin Jury: Heinz Hermanns

791 Award Jury: David Gorodisch, Hernán Gerchuny and Hernán Khourian

Australian Film Festival

Australian Film Festival

Press Release: The 13th London Australian Film Festival
Thursday 15 March – Sunday 25 March

The ten-day London Australian Film Festival returns to the Barbican for its 13th consecutive year with the biggest and strongest programme yet of 25 new features (including for the first time this year all the 2006 Australian Film Institute award winners), eight documentaries, two family films, and three archive classics, including the UK Premiere of the digital restoration of the earliest film ever made, The Story of the Kelly Gang. As in previous years, the programme is enriched by the inclusion before most screenings of shorts selected from Flickerfest, Australia’s short film festival. In addition, the London Australian Film Festival hosts a free, first-come-first-served evening showing the 16 finalist Sony Tropfest short films.

This year’s event kicks off on Thursday 15 March with an Opening Gala Screening of Ray Lawrence’s psychological thriller, Jindabyne his eagerly awaited follow up to Lantana, starring Gabriel Byrne and Laura Linney. Adapted from a Raymond Carver short story Jindabyne is the deft and chilling story of four friends who discover a dead woman on a fishing trip, but decide to continue fishing and delay reporting the body until later, with far-reaching consequences which shake their lives to the core.

At the Closing Night Gala on Sunday 25 March director Rolf de Heer will attend his intriguing and funny Ten Canoes, the first major Australian film to be shot in an Indigenous Aboriginal language. Set in the distant mythical past of the remote Arafura Swamp region of north-eastern Arnhem Ten Canoes tells of an epic journey of kidnapping, magic, love and revenge (see also Rolf de Heer’s The Balanda and the Bark Canoes showing in the Documentary strand). [In addition to being the top winner at the 2006 Australian Film Institute Awards, Ten Canoes was Australia’s Academy Award entry for 2006.]

THE NEW FEATURES:

2006/07 has been a stunning year for Australian cinema with outstanding films from both emerging and established feature filmmakers. Among the many note-worthy new features included in this year’s festival there are two which have both attracted international and high-profile attention.

International festival audiences, including director Kevin Smith and Harvey Weinstein at Cannes last year (where it received a prolonged standing ovation), were wowed by 19-year-old director Murali K. Thalluri’s remarkable and affecting debut 2:37 (UK Premiere) which also opened the Melbourne International Film Festival. 2:37, which has been likened to Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, was inspired by a video suicide note sent to the director by a friend before she took her life. Over one day, Thalluri’s powerful and compelling film chronicles the lives of angst-ridden teens attending an Australian high-school, which ends in one of their year committing suicide. This young Australian filmmaker is one to watch.

Darren Ashton’s Razzle Dazzle - A Journey Into Dance (UK Premiere) is an hilarious fly-on-the-wall mockumentary set in Mr Jonathon’s Dance Academy where sequinned darlings compete for Australia’s most prestigious children’s dance medal. Starring Kerry Armstrong, Ben Miller and Tara Morice and co-written by Brit comic Robin Ince, Razzle Dazzle is a piece of kitsch heaven which has been lauded by the likes of Ben Elton and Steve Coogan. Note: Razzle Dazzle is tbc.

The biggest home-grown hit in Australia this year, and AFI winner for Best Lead Actor (Shane Jacobson) is the hilarious Kenny, made by Clayton and Shane Jacobson. Kenny tells the hilarious story of Kenny Smyth, the proud, understated hero who delivers porta-loos to conferences, festivals and summer fetes. Kenny strives to juggle family tensions, fatherhood and sewage whilst still managing to keep a smile on his face. Note: Kenny is tbc.

Like the battle of Gallipoli resonates for Europeans, the story of the Kokoda trail lives on in the heart of Australians. In the historical drama, Kokoda (European Premiere) director and co-writer Alistair Grierson presents a frank and superbly shot portrayal of Australia’s last line of defence against the Japanese Empire in WW2. The men were ill-trained, ill-equipped volunteers known derisively as chocolate soldiers, or ‘chocos’, expected to melt in the heat of battle.

Three films made by women directors explore very different interpretations of womanhood. Starring Greta Scacchi and Colin Friels, and adapted from Rupert Thomson’s highly acclaimed novel, The Book of Revelation is director Ana Kokkinos’ explosive and erotic second feature film, which reverses gender roles. A dancer at the peak of his powers is mysteriously abducted by three women, abused then thrown back into the world 12 days later. A broken spirit, he struggles to renegotiate his place in his former life in light of the unimaginable circumstances he’s just gone through. In Ann Turner’s Irresistible, Susan Sarandon and Sam Neill star in a chilling thriller of jealousy and paranoia. Sarandon plays Sophie Hartley who’s convinced that her husband’s beautiful colleague (Emily Blunt) is a crazy stalker trying to destroy her marriage, family and life, but no one believes her. Sandra Sciberras’ The Caterpillar Wish (UK Premiere) is the uplifting story of 17-year-old Emily who believes, and persuades her elders, that life can be better. Set in the magnificently cine-genic seaside town of Robe, South Australia, starring Sacha Horler, Wendy Hughes, Robert Mammone and Susie Porter (who won an AFI for Best Supporting Actress), this is an inspiring and moving story about ordinary people – mothers and daughters, husbands and lovers – who find the courage to believe they have the power to transform their own lives.

Throughout the festival filmmakers and actors give Barbican ScreenTalks. Confirmed so far are: director Rolf de Heer for the Closing Gala of Ten Canoes; writer/narrator Bob Randall for Kanyini; director Martin Simpson and actress Ayse Tezel for the World Premiere of Gene X; actress Ayse Tezel and co-producer Michael Rowe for Court of Lonely Royals; actress Sally Phillips for the European Premiere for Boytown; director Daniel Lapaine for the UK Premiere of 48 Shades; actress Amanda Douge for UK Premiere of Five Moments of Infidelity; Stephen Moyer for Ravenswood, and cast and crew members for Like Minds.

THE DOCUMENTARIES:

This year’s documentary strand boasts a selection of eight titles. A double-bill co-presented by Dochouse explore cross culturalism in Australia. Rolf de Heer’s The Balanda and the Bark Canoes (UK Premiere) is a compelling companion piece to his Ten Canoes. ‘We are making a movie. The story is their story, those that live on this land, in their language, and set a long time before the coming of the Balanda, as we white people are known. For the people of the Arafura Swamp, this film is an opportunity, maybe a last chance to hold on to the old ways. For all of us, the challenges are unexpected, the task beyond anything imagined. For me, it is the most difficult film I have made, in the most foreign land I’ve been to… and it is Australia.’ Rolf de Heer.

Kanyini is an indigenous word evoking a connectedness and a deep and ancient responsibility for one’s land and community. Kanyini www.kanyini.com is a story told by an Aboriginal man, Bob Randall, member of the Yankunytjatjara people and one of the listed traditional owners of Uluru the greatest monolith in the world, where he lives in Central Australia. Based on Randall’s own personal journey and the wisdom he learnt from the old people living in the bush, Randall tells the tale of why Indigenous people are now struggling in a modern world and what needs to be done for Indigenous people to move forward. The film’s writer and narrator Bob Randall will attend a Barbican Screentalk, together with Rolf Harris who supports the film and Aboriginal rights.

First-time director Polly Watkins’ Vietnam Nurses www.20.sbs.com.au/vietnamnursesreveals the untold stories of six Army nurses who served at the only Australian field hospital in Vietnam. Forty-three of the 50,000 Australian servicemen and women in the Vietnam War were Army Nurses. These young women, who went out to stifling Vung Tau in the 60s were prepared for a challenge but not for the extremes of danger, injury and heartbreak.

In Helen Gaynor’s Welcome 2 My Deaf World (UK Premiere) Scott and Bethany share three things: adolescence, school, and deafness. They are pupils at Victorian College of the Deaf, Australia’s first school for deaf children. The film follows them through their last few months of school as they look forward to leaving their sheltered lives and enter the wider world.

Two documentary films look at Australia’s movie-making history. A dark and dangerous episode in Australia’s cinema history which is vibrantly reanimated and reinterpreted through Sue Maslin’s award-winning Hunt Angelswww.huntangels.com.au/huntangels/. Using innovative digital composite techniques never before utilised in an Australian feature film, director Alec Morgan and visual effects specialist Rose Draper blend 1930s Australia with the cinematic fantasy worlds of their imaginative main characters in what is a valentine to cinema and the mavericks who sometimes went unnoticed. In The Archive Project (European Premiere) leading Australian documentary filmmaker John Hughes completes his trilogy on Australia’s experience of the Cold War with this exploration of the Melbourne Realist film movement of the 1940s and 50s. This small group of dedicated film enthusiasts promoted an activist film culture, supporting labour movement, housing and peace campaigns. Their amazing films were crucial to the emergence of film festivals in Melbourne and Sydney.

THE ARCHIVE FILMS:

This year’s festival includes an Archive strand which marks the centenary of the earliest feature film ever made, anywhere. The festival is showing, with live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney, the UK Premiere of the digital restoration of The Story of the Kelly Gang which was made in 1906 when most films in Europe and America consisted of two-reels. The four-reel Kelly Gang is generally regarded as the first film in the world to resemble what is now termed a feature film. Depicting the career of the notorious outlaw Ned Kelly, its success was the catalyst for an explosion in film production which made the Australian film industry one of the world’s most prolific in the period leading up to the First World War. This digital restoration of the surviving elements, totally some twenty minutes, represents the most complete version of the film in existence. Playing alongside Kelly Gang is Arthur W. Sterry’s 1921 The Life Story of John Lee: The Man They Could Not Hang and the winner of the 1954 Grand Prix Absolute at the Venice Film Festival, The Back of Beyond, one of Australia’s great classics.

The London Australian Film Festival is the only festival in Europe that dedicates its programme to Australian cinema. Year-on-year the festival brings to UK audiences the best in Australian film. This year, as in the previous two years, the selected films from the festival goes on-tour to UK wide venues.

Miami Film Festival winners

Marco Williams‘ Banished, which chronicles the post-Civil War expulsion of blacks from numerous communities across the United States, was chosen best documentary at this year’s Miami International Film Festival. The special jury prize in that category went to Carlos Bosch‘s Septembers, about inmates taking part in a singing competition at a prison near Madrid.

In the dramatic categories, Francisco Vargas Quevedo‘s Mexican drama The Violin received the top prize in the Ibero-American competition, while Andrea Arnold‘s Scottish thriller Red Road took top honors in the World category.

El Violín depicts the tensions between Mexican peasants and that country’s military in the Guerrero region. Last year, it was chosen best Latin American film at Brazil’s Gramado Film Festival.

Earlier this year, Red Road earned Andrea Arnold a BAFTA award for (behind-the-cameras) British newcomer of 2006. The thriller also won the International Critics’ FIPRESCI award at the Miami festival.

Documentary Features – World & Ibero-American Cinema Competition: Banished (USA) by Marco Williams

Special Jury Prize: Septiembres / Septembers (Spain) by Carlos Bosch

Dramatic Features – Ibero-American Cinema Competition: The Violin (El Violín) (Mexico) by Francisco Vargas Quevedo

Special Grand Jury Mention: Vasco Pedroso for the musical soundtrack in The Night of the Sunflowers (La noche de los girasoles) (Spain) by Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo

Special Grand Jury Mention: Actress Carla Ribas for Alice’s House (A Casa de Alice) (Brazil) by Chico Teixeira

Special Grand Jury Mention: Paraguayan Hammock (Hamaca Paraguaya)(Argentina / Paraguay / The Netherlands / Austria / France / Germany) by Paz Encina

Dramatic Features – World Cinema Competition: Red Road (Scotland) by Andrea Arnold.

Special Grand Jury Mention: Actress Bar Belfer for Someone to Run With (Mishehu larutz ito) (Israel) by Oded Davidoff.

Special Grand Jury Mention: Sonja (Germany) by Kirsi Marie Liimatainen.

FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Prize: Red Road(Scotland) by Andrea Arnold

AUDIENCE AWARDS

World Dramatic Feature Competition: Sweet Mud (Adama Meshuga’at) (Israel) by Dror Shaul.

Ibero-American Dramatic Feature Competition: The Night of the Sunflowers (La noche del los girasoles) (Spain) by Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo.

World & Ibero-American Documentary Feature Competition: To Play and To Fight (Tocar y luchar) (Venezuela) by Alberto Arvelo.

Latin America Caribbean FedEx Audience Award: Bluff (Colombia) by Felipe Martínez.

Heineken Red Star Award: Fish Dreams (Sonhos de Peixe) (Brazil / Russia / USA) by Kirill Mikhanovsky.

Documentary Features – World & Ibero-American Cinema Competition Jury: Cynthia López, Mike Maggiore and Rob Williams

Dramatic Features – Ibero-American Cinema Competition Jury: Tania Blanich, Bertha Navarro and Jim Stark

Dramatic Features – World Cinema Competition Jury: Raoul Peck, Christine Vachon and Bernardo Zupnik

FIPRESCI Jury: Sheila Johnston, Peter Keough and Josefina Sartora

4 comments

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4 comments

Andre -

No, I haven’t seen “The Singer” yet. Looking forward to it. Thanks for the heads up!

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Boyd -

If you haven’t seen The Singer yet… you’re in for a treat and one of the most sublime, understated endings of recent memory. You should, however, erase that knowledge from your memory, because otherwise you will be waiting for it, which is no good! It is perhaps a tad too meandering, but who cares when De France and Depardieu are as good as they are here?

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Andre -

Strange. “Avenue Montaigne” is not included in their list of eligible films, even though it opened in France last year. (The Etoiles d’Or cover French films released during the 2006 calendar year.)

I’m looking forward to “Mauvaise foi” and “The Singer” just because of Cecile de France. Her performance in “Avenue Montaigne” was flawless.

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Boyd -

the Avenue Montaigne snub is indeed strange, since her turn in that film is decidedly more awards-worthy than her role in Mauvaise foi… maybe it has something to do with the cut-off dates for eligibility? Montaigne came out in the spring of 2006, so perhaps it does not count for this year’s awards?

Mauvaise foi is a fun film but not an especially good one. It is certainly a surprise that it took Best First Film…. but then again, the other two nominees in this category did nothing for me either…

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