Alt Film Guide
Classic movies. Gay movies. International cinema. Socially conscious & political cinema.
Home LGBT FilmLesbian Movies Queer Lion: Venice Film Festival First LGBT Award Winner Is Brooklyn Drama

Queer Lion: Venice Film Festival First LGBT Award Winner Is Brooklyn Drama

lesbian movie Spider lilies isabella Leong
Isabella Leong and Rainie Yang as lesbian lovers in Spider Lilies.

The Speed of Life wins first Queer Lion: Early Venice Film Festival winners

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

The Venice Film Festival’s first Queer Lion for a film with a gay, lesbian, bi, transgender, etc. theme and/or characters went to Ed Radtke’s out-of-competition coming-of-age drama The Speed of Life (no relation to the similarly titled 1999 Scott Caan movie a.k.a. Saturn). Centering around a young, down-and-out Brooklyn denizen (Jeremy Allen White) with a penchant for stealing video cameras and then downloading their home video footage, The Speed of Life features several subplots and peripheral characters, among them a missing father, a half-crazed old man, and a grouchy police officer. The coming-of-age drama was co-written by director Radtke and M.S. Nieson.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, and starring Michael Caine and Jude Law, Sleuth, which offers (at least) one homoerotic situation, received a somewhat surprising special mention. Sleuth 2007 was generally dismissed by critics, who compared it unfavorably to Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1972 classic starring Caine and Laurence Olivier. (Michael Caine plays the Olivier character in the remake.)

More Venice Film Festival Awards: Redacted & Tim Burton + Bernardo Bertolucci

The City of Venice Award, given to a director from “an underdeveloped country” went to India’s Murali Nair for the drama Unni, about a high-caste Indian boy who befriends two boys from lower castes.

Brian De Palma’s Iraq war drama Redacted won the Digital Award from the Future Film Festival – as the Venice Film Festival’s best movie using digital technologies. Redacted features Kel O’Neill, Izzy Diaz, Rob Devaney, Mike Figueroa, Ohad Knoller, and Daniel Stewart Sherman.

Wes Anderson’s Darjeeling Limited, starring Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman as three brothers on a trip through India, took home the Golden Lion Cub, an award selected by local school children.

Tim Burton, 49, has been honored with a Lifetime Award, and tomorrow, Sept. 8, Bernardo Bertolucci, 67, will receive a special 75th anniversary Golden Lion. (The Venice Film Festival officially began in 1933, but because of a long break this is actually its 64th edition.)

Referring to Bertolucci, Festival director Marco Mueller cryptically declared: “His movies are at once a declaration of love for the cinema and a manifesto of future utopias, the ones which will be reborn from those of the past.”

Jeremy Allen White The Speed of Life movie photo via producer Ira Deutchman’s website.

Queer Lion: Venice Film Festival gets new award dedicated to movies with LGBT themes

The 2007 Venice Film Festival will reportedly have a Lion – a Queer Lion, to be exact – handed out to the best film with a gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender theme. I don’t know why the new Venice festival award has been labeled “Queer Lion” – in English, too – as I’m assuming there must be a less obnoxious Italian label they could have used instead.

The films in Venice’s new sidebar competition for the Queer Lion – about a dozen of them – will be announced in the coming weeks.

Alan Cumming to head Venice Film Festival’s Queer Lion jury

Actor Alan Cumming – whose recent movie credits include Eighteen, with Paul Anthony; Sweet Land, with Elizabeth Reaser; and Bam Bam and Celeste, with Margaret Cho and Bruce Daniels – has been named Queer Lion jury president. The other jury members will be actor-producer Andrea Occhipinti (Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, Peter Mullan’s The Magdalene Sisters), journalist Sandro Avanzo, and writers Delia Vaccarello and Vincenzo Patané.

“We aren’t looking for the next Brokeback Mountain,” Queer Lion competition director Daniel Casagrande told The Hollywood Reporter. “We are just looking for films that accurately portray gay characters or themes.” Casagrande added that he had been lobbying the Venice Film Festival authorities for nearly four years to introduce the award.

Two years ago, Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, the story of two American sheepherders in love, took home Venice’s Golden Lion. Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, and Anne Hathaway star.

The Berlin Film Festival already has a prize dedicated to films with gay / bi / tri / etc. themes: the Teddy Awards. This year’s winner was Zero Chou’s Spider Lilies, featuring Isabella Leong and Rainie Yang as lesbian lovers.

Isabella Leong and Rainie Yang Spider Lilies photo: 3rd Vision Films.

Eastern Promises: David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen thriller wins Toronto Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award

The People’s Choice Award at the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival, which ran September 6-15, ’07, went to David Cronenberg’s Anglo-Canadian thriller Eastern Promises, screenwriter Steven Knight’s tale of a London-based Russian gangster (Viggo Mortensen) whose (a)moral compass goes off-kilter after he encounters a midwife (Naomi Watts) who has accidentally uncovered incriminating evidence against his clan. Eastern Promises opens via Focus Features in the U.S. on September 21.

Since its inception in 1978, the Toronto Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award has been a reliable barometer of a film’s award-worthiness in North America and elsewhere. The vast majority of the festival’s audience award winners – e.g., Tsotsi, Hotel Rwanda, Amelie, American Beauty, Life Is Beautiful, Shine, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Chariots of Fire, and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon – have gone on to receive or be nominated for countless other accolades around the globe.

As a side note, all of the aforementioned titles earned Academy Award nominations in various categories; several were Best Picture or Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winners.

‘La Zona’ wins FIPRESCI Award

Rodrigo Plá’s sociopsychological Mexican drama La Zona was the International Film Critics’ (FIPRESCI) choice for Best Film. Written by Plá and Laura Santullo, and starring Daniel Giménez Cacho, Maribel Verdú, and Daniel Tovar, La Zona depicts the consequences of a violent crime at an exclusive Mexico City neighborhood. Variety‘s Jay Weissberg calls it “an impressive feature debut that sweeps the viewer into the horrors of vigilante justice, doing more than simply pitting the haves against the have-nots.”

More 2007 Toronto Film Festival winners

The CityTV Award for Best Canadian Feature went to Stéphane Lafleur’s black comedy Continental, un film sans fusil, about four people whose lives intersect after one man disappears in the woods. The other award for a Canadian feature, the Toronto-City Award, went to Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg, described as the director’s dreamlike, “very personal portrait of his hometown.”

Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán’s Cochochi was the Diesel Award winner, given to new talent. Set in Mexico’s Sierra Tarahumara, Cochochi is described as the story of two indigenous brothers (Luis Antonio Lerma Torres and Evaristo Lerma Torres) who are sent to deliver a package to an isolated community. After losing one another, “they each then embark on a separate adventure, leading them to discover a new world.”

Anahí Berneri’s Argentinian drama Encarnación was given the Artistic Innovation Award. The film tells the story of an aging actress (Silvia Pérez) who returns to her small town after years of work as a performer in softcore films.

Toronto Film Festival Awards 2007

EASTERN PROMISES by David Cronenberg

Runners-up: JUNO by Jason Reitman; BODY OF WAR by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro

LA ZONA by Rodrigo Plá


MY WINNIPEG by Guy Maddin

POOL by Chris Chong Chan Fui

COCHOCHI by Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán

ENCARNACIÓN by Anahí Berneri

Toronto 2007 juries

FIPRESCI Jury: Grégory Valens (president, France), Pamela Bienzobas (Chile), Scott Foundas (USA), and Katherine Monk (Canada).

Short Film Jury: Filmmaker Brad Peyton; Director of Original Production for Showcase, Rachel Fulford; and Berlin-based curator Stefanie Schulte Strathaus

Canadian Feature Film Jury: Filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal; actor Colm Feore; producer Roger Frappier; and Olivier Père, head of programming at Cinémathèque Française, and Artistic Director of the Directors Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival.

Diesel Discovery Jury: The Festival’s press corps

Artistic Innovation Jury: Dutch multimedia artist Lonnie van Brummelen; Vancouver-based photoconceptual artist Ian Wallace; and curator Christopher Eamon.

Viggo Mortensen Eastern Promises photo: Focus Features.

Montreal World Film Festival Winners: Autistic Boy Tragedy Tops

Nic Balthazar’s feature-film debut, Ben X, shared with veteran director Claude Miller’s A Secret / Un Secret the 31st Montreal World Film Festival’s Grand Prix of the Americas.

Ben X tells the story of a mildly autistic boy who escapes from his miserable existence – he is constantly bullied at school – by playing intricate computer games. Balthazar’s Dutch-language film is based on his own novel, which was inspired by the case of an autistic boy who committed suicide in Ghent. The novel became a bestseller in Belgium, and was later turned into a play.

In addition to the Grand Prix, Ben X also won the audience award and the Ecumenical Prize.

A Secret follows an European Jewish family during the course of World War II and beyond. The film stars Patrick Bruel, Ludivine Sagnier, Mathieu Amalric, Julie Depardieu, and Yves Jacques.

The Special Grand Prix of the jury went to Ayelet Menahemi’s Noodle, the tale of a lonely El Al flight attendant, her equally lonely sister, and a Chinese boy who’s left in their care by his (soon-to-be-deported) Chinese mother.

Among other top winners at the Montreal festival were best director Jacob Berger for 1 Day – in the life of a family; best actress Andrea Sawaktzki for The Other Boy / Der Andere Junge, about two suburban German families whose lives are turned upside down following a murder; best actors Filipe Duarte and Tomás Almeida for the Brazilian-Portuguese drama A Outra Margem / The Other Side (left), which follows a suicidal gay man who befriends a young man with Down’s syndrome; and a best screenplay nod for writer-director Latif Lahlou’s Moroccan drama Samira’s Garden, about a married woman who has an affair with her impotent husband’s nephew.

31st Montreal World Film Festival Awards – Grand Prix of the Americas

The 31st Montreal World Film Festival (Montreal Festival des Films du Monde) was held between Aug. 23-Sept. 3, 2007.

The winners at the 31st Montreal World Film Festival (Montreal Festival des Films du Monde) will be announced on Sept. 3, 2007.


Grand prix of the Americas (ex aequo): BEN X by Nic Balthazar (Belgium / The Netherlands) and A SECRET by Claude Miller (France)

Special Grand Prix of the jury: NOODLE by Ayelet Menahemi (Israel)

Best Director: 1 DAY (1 JOURNÉE) by Jacob Berger (Switzerland)

Best Artistic contribution: TERESA: EL CUERPO DE CRISTO by Ray Loriga (Spain)

Best Actress: ANDREA SAWAKTZKI for the film THE OTHER BOY by Volker Einrauch (Germany)

Best Actor (ex aequo): FILIPE DUARTE and TOMÁS ALMEIDA for the film A OUTRA MARGEM (THE OTHER SIDE) by Luís Filipe Rocha (Portugal / Brazil)

Best Screenplay: SAMIRAS GARDEN by Latif Lahlou, screenplay by Latif Lahlou (Morocco)

Innovation Award: D75-TARTINA CITY by Issa Serge Coelo (Chad / France / Morocco)


1st prize: CLEANING LADYS DREAMS by Banu Akseki (Belgium)

Jury Award: L.H.O. by Jan Zabeil (Allemagne)


Golden Zenith for the Best First Fiction Feature Film: LA CAJA (THE WOODEN BOX) by Juan Carlos Falcón (Spain)

Silver Zenith for First Fiction Feature Film: MALOS HABITOS (BAD HABITS) by Simon Bross (Mexico)

Bronze Zenith for the First Fiction Feature Film: DONG SUN (BAMBOO SHOOTS) by Jian Yi (China)

Special Mention in the First Feature Film Category: WIND MAN by Khuat Akhmetov (Russia)


Audience Award for the most popular film of the Festival: BEN X by Nic Balthazar (Belgium / The Netherlands)

Audience Award for the most popular Canadian feature film: SURVIVING MY MOTHER by Émile Gaudreault (Canada)

Glauber Rocha Award for the Best Latin American Film: PARTES USADAS (USED PARTS) by Aarón Fernandez (Mexico)

Award for Best Documentary Film: NACH DER MUSIK (A FATHERS MUSIC) by Igor Heitzmann (Germany)

Award for Best Canadian Short Film: GILLES LILI (LA LILI A GILLES) by David Uloth (Canada)


Feature film: SAMIRAS GARDEN by Latif Lahlou (Morocco)

Short film: GOOD NIGHT MALIK (BONNE NUIT MALIK) by Bruno Danan (France)

ECUMENICAL PRIZE: BEN X by Nic Balthazar (Belgium / Netherlands)

Special awards for their exceptional contribution to the cinematographic art: Fernand Dansereau, Andrés Vicente Gómez, Sophie Marceau, Jon Voight

International Competition Jury: James B. Harris (president), Javier Angulo Barturen, Denise Filiatrault, Mia Maestro, Kang Soo-Yeon, Nathalie Katinakis

First Fiction Film Jury: Jacques Bensimon (Canada), JérÁ´me Paillard (France), Jorge Sanchez Sosa (Mexico)

Montreal World Film Festival 2007 – World Competition

Switzerland – France / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 95 min / Dir.: Jacob Berger, Cast : Bruno Todeschini, Natacha Régnier, Noémie Kocher, Zinedine Soualem, Luis Dussol, Amélia Jacob, Hiro Uchiyama, Véronique Mermoud, Julien George, Louis-Charles Finger
The chronicle of a decisive day in the life of a Swiss family: an unfaithful husband, his wife and their young son.

Portugal – Brazil / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 106 min / Dir.: Luís Filipe Rocha, Cast : Filipe Duarte, Maria d’Aires, Tomás Almeida, Horacio Manuel, Sara Graga, Eduardo Silva, João Pedro Vaz, Pompeu José, Teresa Faria, João Tempera
Recovering from an attempted suicide after the death of his partner, Ricardo moves in with his sister and befriends his down’s syndrome afflicted nephew. A quick bond develops to their mutual benefit.

Beligium – Netherlands / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 90 minBVe / Dir.: Nic Balthazar. Cast : Greg Timmermans, Laura Verlinden, Marijke Pinoy, Pol Goossen, Titus De Voogdt, Maarten Claeyssens
Mildly autistic Ben lives in his own world, located mostly online, in the galaxy of computer games. Bullied mercilessly at school, Ben plots his revenge…

Germany / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 90 min / Dir.: Volker Einrauch, Cast : Andrea Sawatzki, Barbara Auer, Peter Lohmeyer, Christian Berkel, Willi Gerk, Hinnerk Schönemann, Adrian Topol, Gustav Peter Wöhler, Tim Oliver Schultz, Helene Grass
The Morells and the Wagners, each a father-mother-son family, live near each other in a suburb of Hamburg. Perfectly happy neighbours on the surface, the boys are in fact

Tchad – France – Morocco / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 88 min / Dir.: Issa Serge Coelo, Cast : Youssouf Djaoro, Felkissam Mahamat, Billy Joséphine, Adama Rahama
Adoum, a young African journalist finally gets his passport so he can go abroad and do a report on the situation in his country. But, at an inspection at the airport, a compromising letter is mysteriously found in his belongings…

Italy – France / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 100 min / Dir.: Abel Ferrara, Cast : Willem Dafoe, Bob Hoskins, Matthew Modine, Asia Argento, Roy Dotrice, Lou Doillon, Riccardo Scamarcio, Stefania Rocca, Bianca Batti, Sylvia Miles, Burt Young
Abel Ferrara’s screwball comedy is set in a downtown Manhattan “go go” cabaret called Ray Ruby’s Paradise, but all is not well in in this factory of dreams and if Ray doesn’t get some cash quick, his landlady is threatening to foreclose.

Japan / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 95 min / Dir.: Shunichi Nagasaki, Cast : Akihito Yagi, Tatsuya Naka, Yuji Suzuki, Takayasu Komiya, Yasuto Kosuda, Kenji Anan, Masahiro Sudo, Taro Suwa, Arashi Fukasawa, Narumi Konno
Set in the 1930s in Japan, three martial arts practitioners who are competing to inherit the mantle of their late master, are ordered to enlist in the military. Having no choice, the trio leave their dojo for an encounter with fate.

Italy / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 96 min / Dir.: Stefano Incerti, Cast : David Coco, Anna Bonaiuto, Tony Sperandeo, Ninni Bruschetta, Francesco Scianna, Tony Palazzo, Elaine Bosangue, Ilenia Maccarone, Orazio Alba, Fabrizio Anzalone
One afternoon in 1973, Leonardo Vitale, an innocent-looking young man, walked into police headquarters in Palermo saying he wanted to confess to a long list of crimes. He was 31 years old and had spent half of those years following the orders of his uncle, a Mafia boss…

Turkey – Greece / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 105 min / Dir.: Abdullah Oguz, Cast : Talat Bulut, Özgü Namal, Murat Han, Mustafa Avkiran, Emin Gürsoy, Sebnem Köstem, Meral Cetinkaya, Erol Babaoglu, Idil Yener, Alpay Atalan
When a 17-year-old girl is found unconscious by a lake in remote eastern Turkey, her parents suspect she’s had sex and that she should pay for “dishonouring” the family. The task falls to the girl’s cousin, but he proves incapable of the deed…

Israel / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 95 min / Dir.: Ayelet Menahemi, Cast : Mili Avital, Baoqi Chen, Anat Waxman, Alon Aboutboul, Iftach Klein
When her Chinese cleaning lady is deported, leaving her passport-less 6-year-old son behind in Tel Aviv, an El Al flight attendant decides to take risky measures to re-unite the boy with his mother.

Japan / 2007 / 35 mm / Couleur / 128 min / Dir.: Toru Hayashi, Cast : Yukie Nakama, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Haruka Igawa, Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Kaoru Sugita, Machiko Washio, Kaori Yamaguchi, Maki Kubota, Yuki Matsushita, Reiko Takashima
Set during the short reign of child Shogun Ietsugu Tokugawa, OH-OKU recounts the legendary power struggle between the young shogun’s natural mother and his official wife, who must watch her stake in the bloodline.

Russia / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 82 min / Dir.: Ivan Solovov, Cast : Alexei Gousskov, Polina Koutepova, Svetlana Ivanova, Vassily Prokofiev, Roman Madyanov, Nina Rouslanova, Alexandr Bashirov, Yekaterina Vassilieva, Lyudmila Arinina, Lidia Velezheva, Anastassia Prirmotrova-Belova, Natalya Oungard, Ilya Khvostikov, Sasha Karlikova
The terrible ordeal of World War II is over, but instead of relief and happiness, Russian soldier Aleksei Ivanov is filled with apprehension. What will he come home to? Clouds of emotional doubt hang over his reunion with his wife and children. The war may be over but its wounds remain.

Mexico – France – Spain / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 95 min / Dir.: Aarón Fernández, Cast : Eduardo Granados, Alan Chávez, Carlos Ceja, Damayanti Quintamar, Pilar Padilla, Raúl Adalid, José Antonio Barón
Fortteen-year-old Ivan lives with his uncle Jaime, a dealer in stone car parts. Both dream of a better life in Chicago and are working to save the money necessary to get across the border…

Morocco / 2007 / Video / Colour / 96 min / Dir.: Latif Lahlou, Cast : Sanaa Mouziane, Mohamed Khouyyi, Youssef Britel, Mohamed Majd
Samira’s new husband, selected by her father, is a widowed farmer with no family. But Samira quickly discovers that he is impotent and only interested in her as a nurse for his father and as a guardian for his nephew. Samira must seek affection elsewhere…

United States / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 111 min / Dir.: Christopher Cain, Cast : Jon Voight, Trent Ford, Tamara Hope, Jon Gries, Lolita Davidovich, Terence Stamp, Taylor Handley, Dean Cain, Shaun Johnston, Franklin E. Levinson, Huntley Ritter, Krisinda Cain, Jack Alma
An up-close look at the devastation wrought by religious fanaticism with this romantic drama set against the backdrop of the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre. As a wagon train of westward-bound settlers makes its way across southern Utah, a confrontation with a congregation of Mormons led by the venerable Brigham Young soon leads to deadly consequences for all involved.

United States / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 105 min / Dir.: Mark Brokaw, Cast : Sarah Jessica Parker, Mykelti Williamson, Beau Bridges, Miranda Richardson, James Rehorn, Victor Rasuk
Sarah Daniels, dean of students at an elite New England college is thrust into a racial hate crime investigation against an African-American student, forcing her to confront her own prejudices.

Canada / 2007 / 35mm / Couleur / 88 min / Dir.: Émile Gaudreault, Cast : Caroline Dhavernas, Ellen David, Adam J. Harrington, Véronique Le Flaguais, Colin Mochrie, Louison Danis, Christian Bégin, Frank Schorpion
A dramatic comedy about the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, SURVIVING tags along as a mother is taken on an emotional roller-coaster ride when she delves into the troubled life of her 21-year-old daughter.

Spain – France – United Kingdom / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 101 min / Dir.: Ray Loriga, Cast : Paz Vega, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin, José Luis Gómez, Eusebio Poncela, Álvaro de Luna, Paula Errando, Ángel de Andrés, Ampara Valle, Andrés Gertrudis
Rejecting her designated role as a woman in the man’s world of 16th century Spain, Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, daughter of an Avila nobleman, founds a new order of Carmelites, establishes over a dozen monasteries and authors some of the most remarkable works in the mystical literature of the Roman Catholic Church.

Canada / 2007 / Vidéo / Colour / 90 min / Dir.: François Delisle, Cast : Anne-Marie Cadieux, Laurent Lucas, Marc Béland, Raphaël Dury, Jean-François Casabonne, Ève Cournoyer, Marie-France Lambert, Michèle Rossignol
Michèle shares her life with Paul, her husband and colleague at work. She also has a lover, Thomas, a musician with whom she’s been in love for some time. Attracted by Thomas’ love of life and his non-conformity, Michèle decides to leave her husband, son and profession to live her passion to the fullest.

France / / Dir.: Claude Miller, Cast : Mathieu Amalric, Patrick Bruel, Cécile de France, Julie Depardieu, Ludivine Sagnier, Annie Grégorio, Robert Plagnol, Yves Jacques, Laurent Lafitte, Olivier Forest, Joffrey Platel
The saga of a Jewish family after the end of World War II. A lonely boy invents a brother and reimagines his parents’ past, but on his fifteenth birthday he discovers a secret — tying his family’s past to the Holocaust — that will finally enable him to develop his own sense of self.

Montreal World Film Festival 2007 – First Films World Competition

China / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 114 min / Dir.: Zhuang Yuxin, Cast : Yan Bingyan, Li Hongtao, Li Naiwen, Chi Jia, Wu Jiaojiao, Gao Yuan, Wan Haifeng
The story an average young Chinese woman who lives through the dramatic changes that China endured between 1977 to 1987. In these ten years, she experiences three men, three romances. And she has the scars to show it.

U.S.A. – Canada / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour – B&W / 100 min / Dir.: François Dompierre, Cast : Alexandra Holden, Joey Kern, Richard Roundtree
A story of the unmistakable chemistry between two people who are right for each other, but at the wrong moment in time.

Spain / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 108 min / Dir.: Félix Viscarret, Cast : Alberto San Juan, Emma Suárez, Julián Villagrán, Violeta Rodríguez, Luz Valdenebro, Amparo Valle
When would-be-jazzman Benito returns to his hometown for a few days, he immediately gets caught up in his brother’s impending marriage to a woman he once knew in his youth. He soon learns that doing good isn’t as easy as he expected.

Switzerland / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 84 min / Dir.: Michael Finger, Cast : Doro Müggler, Kenneth Huber, Sonja Grüntzig
On the same day, without knowing each other, Leachim, a young farmer, Biela, a physician, and Elena, a single mother, lose someone who is close to them. By a simple stoke of fate.

Canada – Mexico / 2007 / Video / Colour / 73 min / Dir.: Nicolás Pereda, Cast : Gabino Rodríguez, Teresa Sanchez, Clarisa Malheiros, Juana López, Refugio Alejo, Eufracia Zapoteco, Ciro López, Luis Pérez, Ana Gutierrez, José María de Tavira, José Manuel Rodríguez, Alberto Rodríguez, Michael Schuesler
When his uncles return from the United States and threaten to sell his grandmother’s land, a young farmer embarks on a quest for justice in Mexico City.

China / 2007 / Video / Colour / 105 min / Dir.: Jian Yi, Cast : Wang Jianbao, Zhang Siyu , Zhou Jing, Ouyang Lanxiu , Gong Guozhen, Yang Guosheng, Li Pengfei, Xiao Qiping
A peasant try to save his village’s honour by retrieving a condom inadvertantly packaged with a gift to government officials. A rare satire on corruption in contemporary Chinese society.

Spain – Argentina / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 103 min / Dir.: Jorge Algora, Cast : Maribel Verdú, Daniel Freire, Chete Lera, Juan Ciancio, César Bordón, Abel Ayala, Rolly Serrano, Oscar Alegre, Sergio Boris
Buenos Aires in 1912 is experiencing a series of brutal murders and 10-year-old Mateo is having visions of the dead children. The police suspect the hallucinating young boy and his mother is desperate to find an explanation.

Germany / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 88 min / Dir.: Simon Gross, Cast : Mathias Schweighöfer, Marie Zielcke, Jean-Hughes Anglade
Laura and Daniel, a young European couple, are traveling in the Moroccan desert when their car suddenly breaks down. A stranger comes to their aid, repairs the car and promises to take them back to civilization…

Canada / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 88 min / Dir.: Dominique Cardona, Laurie Colbert, Cast : Brooke Johnson, Yanna McIntosh, Maya Ritter, Gilles Lemaire, Andrew Chalmers, Gail Maurice, Richard Clarkin, Nathalie Toriel, Chantel Cole
Dr. Finn Jefferies, a thoroughly modern lesbian with a demanding career, finds her world turned upside down when her longtime partner dies and she is left to raise a rebellious 11-year-old on her own.

Spain – Portugal / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 113 min / Dir.: Juan Carlos Falcón, Cast : Ángela Molina, Elvira Mínguez, Antonia San Juan, Vladimir Cruz, María Galiana, Manuel Manquiña, Joan Dalmau, Jordi Dauder, Mª Carmen Sánchez, Petite Lorena, Miguel Mota, Borja González
Don Lucio — a man everyone hated — dies unexpectedly and the neighbours attend his wake. While his widow does her best to overcome her grief, the inhabitants of the building file past the coffin to settle their scores with the deceased. May Don Lucio rest in peace, if he can…

Canada / 2007 / Video / Colour / 86 min / Dir.: Martin Laroche, Cast : Antoine Touchette, Denis Faucher, Julie Vachon
When his 5-year-old daughter is raped and murdered and his wife commits suicide as result, Marc is led to reconsider his personal proscription of revenge.

Russia / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 90 min / Dir.: Aslan Galazov, Cast : Irlan Khugaev, Arthur Hatagov, Vyacheslav Guriev, Soslan Tsallagov, Elina Zaharova, Leila Tebloeva, Marat Dzagurov, Soslan Makiev, Tigran Kaitmazov, Zemfira Galazova
A fortyish Ossetian college lecturer is addicted to drugs struggles to survive his dark night of the soul.

Dir.: Thomas Lilti, Cast : Jonathan Zaccal, Guillaume Depardieu, Simon Abkarian
A man is accused of being a serial rapist.

Mexico / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 98 min / Dir.: Simón Bross, Cast : Jimena Ayala, Elena de Haro, Marco Treviño, Elisa Vicedo, Aurora Cano, Milagros Vidal, Emilio Echevarría, Patricia Reyes Spindola
A nun convinced that faith — and fasting — can perform miracles. An anorexic mother ashamed of her daughter’s chubbiness. And her husband, a professor who lusts after a student with a healthy appetite. One family, three different eating disorders.

Israel / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 101 min / Dir.: Doron Benvenisti, Cast : Eyal Schecter, Safrira Zachai, Tzufit Grant, Alon Newman, Michal Yahnai, Nathan Ravitz, Miki Leon, Sharon Elimelech, Maharetha Baruch, Eliran Kaspi, Sandra Sade
A quiet evening among friends in Tel Aviv is interrupted by the arrival of a fortune teller who has some surprising news for the guests about how many children they will have in their lives.

Netherlands / 2006 / Video / Couleur / 80 min / Dir.: Jan-Willem van Ewijk, Cast : Jan-Willem van Ewijk, Matthijs Bourdrez, Lynsey Jane Rowe, Veroniek Vermeulen, Steve Novick
When the love of Jaap’s life is killed in a car accident, Jaap’s friend JP tries to get Jaap’s life back on track, by taking him on a road trip to France to unravel the mystery surrounding Rose’s death. He unravels more than he expected…

Czech Republic / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 99 min / Dir.: Karin Babinská, Cast : Marie Dolezalová, Sandra Nováková, Petra Nesvacilová, Oldrich Hajlich, Mario Kubas, Matej Ruppert, Filip Blazek, Lenka Vlasáková
Three recent high school graduates are on the verge of losing their adolescent freedom as they prepare to deal with the real world. Dreading to start their full-time jobs, the three young women decide to go off on one last road trip before growing up.

United States / 2007 / Video / Colour / 86 min / Dir.: Derrick Warfel, Cast : Bruce Michael Hall, Persia White, Al Harrington, Grant Bowler, Tony Longo, Sera Bastian, Burke Roberts, Steve Heller, Frank Novak, Kevin ‘Repo’ Thomas
Joe Manning, a struggling rock musician, is forced to reexamine his whole life in the course of one night when he is stranded in the California high desert with an eccentric prophet who tells him he has one night left to live.

United States / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 97 min / Dir.: Scott Flynn, Cast : Patrick Bauchau, Jack Conley, Silas Weir Mitchell, John Aylward, Jillian Armenante, Mollie Milligan, Lexi Ainsworth, Vyto Rigins, Shaun Senter, Eric Parker, Ben Hall
The early-20th-century story of Albert Fish, seemingly a benevolent father and grandfather who raised his family on his own after his wife deserted them, but who turned out to be a serial child molester and murderer.

China / 2007 / Video / Colour / 74 min / Dir.: Hu Ze, Cast : Qu Yang, Jia Fengrun, Yang Rong
When Bo’s mother is diagnosed with renal failure and uraemia, Bo and his best friend Xiaojian search desperately for funds to pay for her treatment. Their quest degenerates into a horrific nightmare…

France / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 91 min / Dir.: Stéphane Allagnon, Cast : Jonathan Zaccaï, Aure Atika, Patrick Chesnais, Bernard Le Coq, Florence Thomassin
Sent to fix the computers of a supermarket in a town hit by a storm, a technician makes some unusual discoveries and is faced with difficult decisions.

Russia / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 95 min / Dir.: Khuat Akhmetov, Cast : Igor Yasulovich, Kuandyk Kystykbaev, Ayanat Esmagambetova, Anuar Makzumov, Gulnara Dusmatova, Farkhod Abdullaev, Erzhan Tusupov, Erbolat Ospankulov, Farkhat Abdraimov
One day a strange being, an old man with broken wings, falls from the sky into a small, remote village. The inhabitants mostly ignore the old man, but a small boy gains a new friend…

South Korea / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 78 min / Dir.: Sung Ji-hae, Cast : Kim Bo-kyung, Lee Hyun-woo, Kwon Min
So-yeon, 29, takes a break from her studies in Paris to return to Seoul after a long absence. She longs to clear up the loose strands of her Parisian affair with divorced diplomat Min-hwan. In the meantime, there’s Hyun-jae, the “nice guy,” who waits patiently…

Montreal World Film Festival 2007 – Hors Concours (World Greats – Out of Competition Line-Up)

Israel / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 120 min / Dir.: Joseph Cedar, Cast : Oshri Cohen, Itay Tiran, Eli Etonyo, Ohad Knoller, Itay Tugerman, Alon Aboutboul, Arthur Faradjev, Itai Szor, Gal Friedman, Danny Zahavi
The crusader’s castle in southern Lebanon was Israel’s last outpost in the area before the political withdrawal in 2000. This is the story of the Israeli soldiers charged with defending it until the evacuation orders arrive…

Japan / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 120 min / Dir.: Isshin Inudo, Cast : Nanako Matsushima, Takao Osawa, Nobuko Miyamata, Aya Enjoji, Tatsuo Yamada, Manami Kurose, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Takeo Nakahara, Ken Kaneko
A Tokyo travel agent who returns to her hometown when her mother is hospitalized for cancer discovers that the father she never met is not dead as her mother always claimed. She sets out to find him and perhaps re-unite the family before it is too late.

Canada / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 90 min / Dir.: Marc-André Lavoie, Simon Olivier Fecteau, Cast : Emmanuel Bilodeau, Isabelle Blais, Raymond Bouchard, Nicolas Canuel, Ève Duranceau, Simon Olivier Fecteau, Rémy Girard, David La Haye, Pierre-François Legendre, Alexis Martin, Marc Messier, Marie-Laurence Moreau, Gilbert SIcotte, Julie Perreault, Jean-Philippe Pearson
When a worker preparing an old house for demolition opens a trapdoor on the top floor, he makes a macabre discovery testifying to the tragic end of one of the many people who lived there over the past fifteen years. Among them…

Mexico – Argentina – Brazil – United States / 2006 / Video / Colour / 92 min / Dir.: Paul Leduc, Cast : Meter Fonda, Lázaro Ramos, Antonella Costa, Milton Gonzalvez, Isela Vega, Dolores Heredia
While a callous millionaire in Miami runs people down for sport in his SUV, a Brazilian miner returns the favour by travelling to New York with his female sidekick and embarking on a violent crime spree.

Sweden / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 105 min / Dir.: Klaus Härö, Cast : Julia Högberg, Maria Lundsqvist, Lo Kauppi, Ellen Mattson, Anna Litorin, Ann-Sofie Nurmi, Nadja Mirmiran, Christoffer Svenson, Tobias Aspelin
“Enforced sterilization, one of the almost forgotten scandals of modern Sweden, is given somber but captivating treatment in the drama THE NEW MAN… A tragic, human, emotional film.” — Gunnar Rehlin (Variety)

France / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 105 min / Dir.: Jean Becker, Cast : Daniel Auteuil, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Fanny Conttençon, Élodie Navarre, Alexia Barlier, Hiam Abbass, Roger Van Hool
A successful painter leaves Paris to return to the village in central France where he was born more than 50 years ago and is pleasantly surprised to find that the gardener he hires is an old friend from school.

China / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 120 min / Dir.: Gao Qunshu, Cast : Damian Lau, Chu Hsiao-tien, Kelly Lin, John Henry Cox, Daniel Ziskie, Akira Hoshino, Koji Koike, Shingo Hiramatsu, Sakae Koike, Yukimasa Natori
In May 1946, a panel of judges and prosecutors from eleven different nations gathered in Tokyo to preside over a series of trials held to determine the guilt or innocence of Japanese leaders and military personnel accused of war crimes during World War II.

Spain / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 118 min / Dir.: Antonio Banderas, Cast : Alberto Amarilla, María Ruiz, Félix Gómez, Raúl Arévalo, Marta Nieto, Mario Casas, Fran Perea, Antonio Garrido, Victoria Abril, Lucio Romero
Over the course of the summer, Miguelito and his friends explore love, sex and friendship along the path to adulthood. But it’s a rough road and every summer has its rainy day.

Iran / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 120 min / Dir.: .Behruz Afkhami, Rakhshan Bani Etemad, Bahram Beizai, Jafar Panahi, Kamal Tabrizi, Seifollah Daad, Mojtaba Raee, Nor-ol-Din Zarrin-Kelk, Khosro Sinaee, Bahman Farmanara, Abbas Kiarostami, Majid Majidi, Dariush Mehrjui, Reza Mir-Karimi, Mohammad Reza Honardmand, Cast : Hossein Eskandari, Mina Rasti, Melika Janesari, Hosseim Moqimin, Ramz-Ali Dadvar, Yunes Farzane, Bahram Shakeri, Reza Kianian
Fifteen Iranian filmmakers express themselves on the theme of the Persian carpet, an essential elemnt of Iranian art and culture.

Belgium – Germany – Luxembourg – United Kingdom – France / 2007 35 mm / Colour / 103 min / Dir.: Sam Garbarski, Cast : Marianne Faithfull, Miki Manojlovic, Kevin Bishop, Siobhán Hewlett, Dorka Gryllus, Jenny Agutter, Corey Burke, Meg Wynn-Owen, Susan Hitch, Flip Webster, Tony O’Brien
Marianne Faithfull is unforgettable as a middle-class, middle-aged frump who takes a job at a sex club in order to raise enough money for her grandson’s life-saving operation.

Italy – Bulgaria – Spain – France / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 122 min / Dir.: Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, Cast : Paz Vega, Moritz Bleibtreu, Alessandro Preziosi, Ángela Molina, Arsinée Khanjian, Mohammed Bakri, Tchéky Karyo, Marianno Rigillo, Hristo Shopov, André Dussollier, Enrica Maria Modugno, Elena Rainova, Maria Statoulova
Assadour Avakian, an an Armenian-Italian doctor, is preparing to visit his brother’s family in Turkey. But World War I is raging and the new government in Ankara has ordered the expulsion of the Armenian population from eastern Turkey.

France / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 138 min / Dir.: Pascale Ferran, Cast : Marina Hands, Jean-Louis Coulloc’h, Hippolyte Girardot, Hélène Alexandridis, Hélène Fillières, Bernard Verley, Sava Lolov, Jean-Baptiste Montagut, Michel Vincent, Christelle Hes
In the Chatterley country estate, monotonous days follow one after the other for Constance, trapped by her marriage and her sense of duty. During spring, deep in the heart of Wragby forest, she encounters Parkin, the estate’s gamekeeper…

Spain – Italy / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 144 min / Dir.: Antonio Hernández, Cast : Paz Vega, Ángela Molina, María Valverde, Lluís Homar, Eloy Azorín, Eusebio Poncela, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Sergio Muñiz, Roberto Álvarez, Roberto Enríquez
The story of Spain’s — and, arguably, Europe’s — most infamous family, the late 15th century Borgias, is brought to screen in this sweeping but intimate historical drama. There are few families whose domestic troubles have had such profound effect on the fate of nations.

Germany / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 95 min / Dir.: Dani Levy, Cast : Helge Schneider, Ultich Mühe, Sylvester Groth, Adriana Altaras, Stefan Kurt, Ulrich Noethen
December 25, 1944, and Berlin lies in ruin and rubble. The Total War appears to be totally lost. And Hitler has lost all of his bravado and “charisma”. The only man who can help him now is the Jewish actor Adolf Grünbaum, who once taught Hitler how to act when he was beginning his political career…

China / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 90 min / Dir.: Wang Honghai
The China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe has founded in 1987 when thirty teenagers with physical and mental handicaps participated in a festival in Beijing. It has since gone on to become the largest professional company of disabled artists in the world.

Czech Republic – Slovakia / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 118 min / Dir.: Jirí Menzel, Cast : Ivan Barney, Oldrich Kaiser, Julia Jentsch, Marián Labuda, Milan Lasica, Zuzana Fialová, Martin Huba, Josef Abrhám, Jirí Labus, Pavel Novy
Ambitious Czech waiter Jan Díte wants to become a millionaire and have his own hotel. And a little thing like Hitler occupying Czechoslovakia isn’t going to stop him. The Communists after the war are another story…

Hungary – Germany / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 108 min / Dir.: János Szász, Cast : Ulrich Thomsen, Kirsti Stubø, Zsolt Laszlo, Eniko Borcsok, Gyongyver Bognar, Roland Raba
Dr. Jozsef Brenner vs. Gizella Klein circa 1913: a Faustian episode in the life of one of Hungary’s most remarkable artists and scientists — a psychoanalyst, musicologist, writer (under the name of Geza Csath), journalist, philander, drug addict and, finally, madman and murderer.

Greece / 2006 / 35 mm / Colour / 102 min / Dir.: Nikos Panayotopoulos, Cast : Spyros Papadopoulos, Maria Nafpliotou, Maria Solomou, Vicky Papadopoulou, Stathis Livathinos, Faye Xyla
When Athens university professor Andreas is told that he has leukemia and only a few months to live, he decides that he will come clean to his wife and two mistresses. But they already know everything and play along to help him die… happy.

France / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 90 min / Dir.: Eric Lartigau, Cast : Alain Chabat, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Bernadette Lafont, Wladimir Yordanoff, Grégoire Oestermann, Véronique Barrault, Marie Armelle Deguy, Katia Lewkowicz, Louise Monot, Luce Mouchel
A bachelor, pressured by his mother and five sisters to find a wife, hires a woman to impersonate the perfect fiancée and then break off the relationship. Things don’t go as planned.

United Kingdom – Canada / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 120 min / Dir.: Nicolas Roeg, Cast : Kelly Reilly, Miranda Richardson, Donald Sutherland, Rita Tushingham, WIlliam Houston, Oscar Pearce, Leona Igoe
A young architect moves to an isolated and mysterious Irish valley to build a house. Finding hersef pregnant, her plans are ruined when neighbours in the valley, who may be witches, turn against the unborn child. It’s her very survival that is threatened.

France / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 103 min / Dir.: Claude Lelouch, Cast : Dominique Pinon, Fanny Ardant, Audrey Dana, Zinedine Soualem, Michèle Bernier, Myriam Boyer
Judith Ralitzer, femme fatale and popular writer, is seeking characters for her next best-seller. A serial killer has just escaped from the Santé prison. Huguette, a hairdresser in a top Parisian beauty salon, is going to change their destiny. Some encounters are more fatal than others…

Georgia / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 123 min / Dir.: Aleko Tsabadze, Cast : Anatoli Bartchouk, Inna Belikova, Mikhaïl Jonine, Konstantain Khabenski, Piotr Mironov, Ostap Stoupka, Artiom Tkatchenko
Nikolai, a law student doing an internship with the police, gets involved in the investigation of a murder committed by an enigmatic blind killer. His intuition leads him to a group of people who were affected by the war in Chechnya.

Russia – Spain / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 89 min / Dir.: Pavel Lounguine, Cast : Evgeni Tsyganov, Victoria Tolstoganova, Alexei Kortnev, Igor Chernevich, Oleg Andreev, Miriam Sekhon, Victoria Isakova, Evdokia Germanova, Alexei Petrenko, Lia Akhedzhakova
A portrait of Sergei Rachmaninoff, the great Russian composer, pianist and conductor, as told through his personal relationships, his aesthetic inspiration and his feelings for his Motherland.

France / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 94 min / Dir.: Romuald Beugnon, Cast : Jean-Pierre Cassel, Philippe Nahon, Jean-Claude Brialy, Micheline Presle, Yolande Moreau, Firmine Richard, Maryline Canto, Pol Deranne, Catherine Belkacem, Sylviane Ramboux
At a bucolic seniors’ home, a 70-year-old resident is involved in a fatal accident. But retired police officer Simon is convinced there has been foul play and he launches his own investigation.

Spain / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 90 min / Dir.: Antonio Mercero, Cast : Manuel Alexandre, Cristina Brondo, José Luis López-Vásquez, Álvaro de Luna
As the rest of Rivero family leave for the coast on vacation, daughter Ana is left behind in Madrid to study and keep her grandfather Ricardo company. Ricardo meanwhile, experiences the first signs of an onset of Alzheimer’s.

China / 2007 / 35 mm / Colour / 117 min / Dir.: Yin Li, Cast : Chen Kun, Vivian Hsu, Li Bingbing, Chang Gua Ahleh, Chin Han, Yang Kuei-mei, Isabella Leong, Steven Cheung, Zhu Yin
An unrequited love affair is played out against tumultuous events in Chinese and Taiwanese history in this epic-scale historical drama set across six decades.

Recommended for You

Leave a Comment

*IMPORTANT*: By using this form you agree with Alt Film Guide's storage and handling of your data (e.g., your IP address). Make sure your comment adds something relevant to the discussion: Feel free to disagree with us and write your own movie commentaries, but *thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative. Abusive, inflammatory, spammy/self-promotional, baseless (spreading mis- or disinformation), and just plain deranged comments will be zapped. Lastly, links found in submitted comments will generally be deleted.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue browsing, that means you've accepted our Terms of Use/use of cookies. You may also click on the Accept button on the right to make this notice disappear. Accept Read More