Diversity of European contemporary cinema at Gulf Film Festival ‘Intersections’ segment

Published April 6th, 2010 - 08:50 GMT

The third edition of the Gulf Film Festival, held under the patronage of Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), is highlighting the diversity of contemporary European shorts in its ‘Intersections’ segment, which offers a bird’s eye view of modern cinematic expressions from around the world.

France continues to headline the European cinema movement with its own distinct identity while Russia and the CIS countries are experimenting with the medium. Drawing on the trials and tribulations faced by their societies and leveraging modern technology, the European filmmakers are setting a new trend in new wave filmmaking, which is highlighted at GFF.

Salah Sermini, GFF Consultant, said the cinematic expressions by European filmmakers have the power to change and challenge accepted norms. “European cinema has always been a strong force to reckon with. Despite being away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Europe has created some of the world’s stunning films that are text-books in filmmaking for all aspiring professionals.”

He added: “By showcasing this diversity of film selection from the continent, we are offering GFF visitors an unprecedented opportunity to understand the pulse of modern filmmaking and derive inspiration and new learning.”

French filmmaker Yann Chayia, portrays the story of a young boy who discovers that his mother is dead. He sets off to find his estranged father, but finds himself unable to summon the courage to tell his father the news in Le Genou Blesse Et L’Hoi (Wounded Knee and The Standing Man).

The French Animation movie Madagascar, Carnet De (Madagascar, A Journey Diary) by Bastien Dubois illustrates the voyage of a European traveler who is introduced to the culture of the island, which is accompanied by Simone Massi’s Nuvole, Mani, an animated film about the platonic relationship we share with the Earth, with nature, and with time.

Fard by Luis Briceno and David Alapont  tells us the story of a man who can see his future bright and clear, but wonders what will happen if he has the opportunity to see what lies beneath the surface. The identity of a beautiful woman in her generous form is depicted in Nadine Naous’s

Clichés. Iris Olsson’s Between Dreams documents the journey of people on a Trans-Siberian train to Russia.
The boundaries of love are tested in Maya Abdul-Malak’s Au Pays Qui Te Ressemble (In the Land That is Like You) when a woman seeks out her mother, her grandmother, and the man she loves in pursuit of a lost past, while a father finds himself worrying about his son’s professional future when his son refuses to tell him what his vocation is in Boubkar Benzabat’s La Vocation (The Vocation).

‘L’aide Au Retour’ (Remigration) by Mohammed Latrèche deals with the subject of illegal immigrants in France. All is fair in football and war, when four friends spend enormous amounts of time at their neighbourhood pub devouring moment-after-moment in Walid Mattar’s Tendid (Condemnations).
Children in the Trees by Bania Medjbar portrays the story of two children who watch the prison where their father is being held every morning, in the hope that their father will return to protect them.

Felicita, by Georgia-based filmmaker Salome Aleksi is about a Georgian woman who works and lives illegally in Italy. German filmmaker Jan Speckenbach portrays the story of a man and woman who meet at a bar and spend the rest of the night walking only to separate at dawn in his short fiction film Spatzen (Sparrows).

Tobias Bilgeri uses animation to depict the strength of a war hero, whose wife thinks of him with beaming pride, until one day she discovers that the blood on his sword looks like the color of tomato in You Are My Hero.

Hungarian animated movie Mama by Geza Toth, depicts people ‘hanging out’ on the roof of a building, while Polish directors Anna Kasperska and Michal Stenzel’s Pomiedzy (Between) depict the reactions of neighbours, when a strange old woman moves in to the building. 

Lednikoviy Period (Ice Age) discusses a protagonist’s struggle against an external world in a short fiction film by Russian filmmaker Andrey Gryazev. The inspirational story of little Georgi, who lived by the sea and dreamt of becoming a sailor is depicted in Shota Gamisonia’s Field, Clowns, Apple.

Slovenian director Martin Turk captures that moment in time when the certain people’s destinies have intertwined to give birth to a new life in Vsakdan Ni Vsak Dan (Everyday is not the Same).

Spanish filmmakers have covered an array of themes through short films. The End by Eduardo Chapero-Jackson illustrates the struggle of a middle class American family in a nation being torn apart by the lack of water. Jorge Molina Cuquerella’s Parking, shows the story of an executive who goes to get his car, to discover that someone else has beaten him to it.  Metropolis Ferry by Juan Gautier is about an incident that changes the lives of three brothers returning from a holiday.

British filmmaker Quayola demonstrates stained glass stimulations in Strata #2, while Varmints by Marc Craste illustrates the struggles of a small creature trying to preserve a remnant of the peace he once knew, in the face of overwhelming urbanization, indifference and recklessness.

Azerbaijani filmmaker Asif Rustamov provides us with a story depicting the moral value of courage in Kiblaylika Yikvahiyna (With the Back to Qiblah), while Elmaddin Aliyev and Khayyam Abdoulla’s The Grass Snake portrays the story of two blind men who beg at the corner of roads that run close to oil wells, when the younger blind man tries to kill the older man to double his earnings.
The moral of trust is tested when a girl steps into a taxi at night. When the driver takes an unfamiliar shortcut, she gets scared and jumps out of the car. The guilt of offending the driver forces her to makes amends, only to discover that their roles have reversed in Nazli Elif Durlu’s Trust Me from Turkey while Efe Conker’s Recycle Diary places emphasis on the seemingly unnecessary objects and the fact that they can be used for both good and bad.
Croatian filmmaker Dalibor Matanic presents Party, a short fiction film set on a sunny, summer day in Vukovar, where it is next to impossible to be distracted by something. Tourist by Matej Subieta shines the light on the lives of pensioners who celebrate the spirit of vacations on sandy beaches as opposed to luxurious holidays. Baba by Zuzana Kirchnerova depicts a child’s attitude towards caring for the grandparent, while Tolga Karacelik’s Rapunzel, a modern day adaptation of the children’s class, pays homage to silent cinema. Boomerang by Jaouad Rhalib portrays a Moroccan immigrant’s dream of escaping from his homeland to build a new future in Spain.

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