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Culture

Latin America in spotlight at Cannes Critics' Week

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Latest update : 2009-04-24

The selection of films for Cannes Critic's Week, which runs parallel to the Cannes film festival, reveals a strong Latin American flavour. Six of the seven films chosen also compete for the Golden Camera award dedicated to first-time directors.

AFP - Cannes Critics' Week, which runs in parallel with the film festival in May, this year spotlights first-time directors in a selection with a strong Latin American flavour.

Of the seven films chosen to compete for the Critics' Week award for a best first or second feature, three are from or about Latin America -- Chile, Uruguay and Peru -- and all but one are by first-time directors.

"We want to underscore what makes us special -- to showcase first and second films, which are by very definition fragile," Jean-Christophe Berjon, the head of the event founded in 1962 told AFP.

"Limiting the number of films allows us to really concentrate on our films and help them break through."

The competition takes place from May 14 to 22.

The Chilean movie "Huacho" is a critique of consumer society based around three members of a same family, while Uruguay's "Bad day for Fishing" is cast as a Latin American Western and "Altiplano" is shot partly in Peru in the indigenous Quechua language.

From Iraq comes "Whisper with the Wind", in which first-time director Shahram Alidi follows a character sent to deliver messages across Iraqi Kurdistan.

"It's a film about memory, roots and about a society in mourning, with a huge visual inventiveness, and cultural and symbolic wealth," Berjon said.

In the Franco-Serbian "Ordinary people," Vladimir Perisic tackles the legacy of the Bosnian war with the story of a young man who climbs onto a bus, and is ordered to start killing his fellow passengers.

"It is a very accomplished film, shot with tremendous rigour and distance, which we expect to draw a powerful reaction," Berjon said.

Following is the list of films competing for the Camera d'Or award, which last year went to "Hunger" by Steve McQueen:

"Huacho" by Alejandro Fernandez Almendras (Chile, France, Germany)

"The Ordinary People" by Vladimir Perisic (Serbia, France)

"Lost Persons Area" by Caroline Strubbe (Belgium)

"Adieu Gary" by Nassim Amaouche (France)

"Sirta la Gal Ba" ("Whisper with the Wind") by Shahram Alidi (Iraq)

"Altiplano" by Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands)

"Mal Dia Para Pescar" (Bad day for Fishing) by Alvaro Brechner (Uruguay, Spain)


Out of competition:

Opening film: "Rien de Personnel" (Nothing Personal) by Mathias Gokalp (France)

Closing film: "1989" by Camilo Matiz (Colombia)

Special screening: "Hierro" by Gabe Ibanez (Spain)
 

Date created : 2009-04-24

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