Free Zone Film Festival: Top 5 Must watch movies

The tenth jubilee edition of the Free Zone film festival takes place from 7 to 12 November 2014 at eight cinemas in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Nis. Free Zone kicks off officially in Sava Center on Friday, November 7th at 20h with a documentary film 20,000 Days on Earth, co-written and directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. Boris Buden, the guest selector of Free Zone 2014, will co-host the opening ceremony.

wim wenders

 

1. THE SALT OF THE EARTH 

Sunday, November 9th, 20h, Belgrade Youth Centre
Tuesday, November 11th, 17h, Cultural Centre of Belgrade
Saturday, November 8th, 19h, Niš Cultural Centre, Niš
Sunday, November 9th, 8pm, Arena Cineplex, Novi Sad
(doc) Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado France, 109′ 2014.

language: French
subtitles: Serbian, English

Synopsis
For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus. He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of wild fauna and flora, and of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet’s beauty. Sebastião Salgado’s life and work are revealed to us by his son, Juliano, who went with him during his last travels, and by Wim Wenders, himself a photographer.

Director’s biography
Wim Wenders was born in Düsseldorf in 1945. After two years of studying medicine and philosophy and a year-long stay in Paris as a painter, he attended the University of Television and Film in Munich from 1967 to 1970. One of the most important figures to emerge from the “New German Cinema” period in the 1970s, he was a founding member of the German film distributor Filmverlag der Autoren in 1971 and he established his own production company, Road Movies, in Berlin in 1975. Alongside directing atmospheric auteur films, Wenders works with the medium of photography, and his poignant images of desolate landscapes engage themes including memory, time and movement.
Juliano Ribeiro Salgado was born in 1974. in Paris, where he grew up in a Franco-Brazilian enviroment. In 1996. he made his first documentary for Arte, Suzana on the use of anti-personnel mines in Angola. Other documentaries followed, made in Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Brazil. At the same time, he made news reports for Canal + in France and TV Globo in Brazil. Salgado then entered the London Film School, from which he graduated in 2003. Juliano Ribeiro Salgado has made a number of short films and documentaries for French television. His 2009 film, Nauru an Island adrift,made for the Grand Format documentary unit of Arte, was selected by numerous international festivals (Hot Docs in Toronto and Le Festival Dei Populo).

Press
“Wim Wenders confirms his mastery of the documentary form with this stunning ode to Sebastiao Salgado.” – Jay Weissberg, Variety

Festivals and Awards
Official Selection Un Certain Regard, Cannes International Film Festival, 2014.
Munich Film Festival, 2014.
Berlin International Film Festival, 2014.

2. THE TRIBE 

Monday, November 10th, 8pm, Belgrade Youth Centre
Wednesday, November 12th, 7pm, Belgrade Cultural Centre
Sunday, November 9th, 8:30pm, Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina, Novi Sad
Wednesday, November 12th, 9pm, Niš Cultural Centre, Niš
(fic) d: Myroslaw Slaboshpitskiy, Ukraine, 2014, 132′
no dialogues

Synopsis
A deaf mute teenager enters a specialized boarding school where, to survive, he becomes part of a wild organization – The Tribe.
His love for one of the concubines will unwillingly lead him to break all the unwritten rules within the Tribe’s hierarchy.

Director’s biography

Born in Kiev in 1974, in Kiev (Ukraine) Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy graduated from the filmmaking department of the Kiev State Institute of Theatre and Arts, named after I. K. Karpenko-Kariy, majoring in feature film directing. He has worked at film studios in Kiev (the Dovzhenko Film Studio) and in St. Petersburg (the Lenfilm Studios). He also worked as a script writer on numerous TV films, one of which The “Chernobyl Robinson” which won the prize of the All-Ukrainian Script Contest “Word-2000″.

Press
“One of those rare films that you can’t quite believe really exist, that demonstrate that cinema still has a few tricks up its sleeve. ” Jonathan Romney, Filmcomment

Festivals and Awards 

La Semaine de La Critique – Grand Prix, Visionary Award, Cannes International Film Festival, 2014.
Grand Prix, Special Prize for Director ‘Seans’, Tarkovsky Festival, Russia
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, 2014.

3. IS THE MAN WHO IS TALL HAPPY 

Tuesday, November 11th, 8pm, Belgrade Youth Centre
(anim/doc) d: Michel Gondry France/ 2013/ 89′

language: English
subtitle: Serbian

Synopsis
In his new documentary Michel Gondry unfolds his impressions of conversations with American linguist and activist Noam Chomsky in a pulsating stream of fantasy in hand-drawn animation. The world-renowned linguist talks about his earliest rebellion during childhood, makes a connection between the appropriation of language and memory creation, and describes his fascination with Isaac Newton’s discovery of occult forces which refute the concept of the world as a place which functions mechanically. Using the unmistakable handwriting of his own music videos, animation techniques and a 16mm camera, Gondry translates Chomsky’s visions into archaic, unscientific images, playfully weaving them into one organic and surreal roundelay. Trees sprout from the gyri of the brain and morph into geometrical shapes containing groups of people escaping. Constantly addressing with fond humour and great ingenuity his own uncertainty vis-à-vis Chomsky’s discourse, he creates an unforgettably dreamy visualisation of the way we perceive the world through language.

Director’s biography
Pioneering director Michel Gondry’s remarkable creative energy and ability to innovate have resulted in some of the most visually stunning music videos in the history of the medium, and his wild imagination and organic, childlike imagery raised the bar of what one could achieve in the short format. In particular, his technique of placing numerous cameras around a subject and combining the images to form a visually astonishing sweeping effect has become so popular that it has since gone on to achieve timeless notoriety in such films as the The Matrix. With a family background that consists of a number of inventors and technological innovators, Gondry, not surprisingly, is seen as a bottomless wealth of imaginative innovation.

Press
“Michel Gondry doodles while ×Noam Chomsky philosophizes in an inspired meeting of idiosyncratic minds.” Ronnie Scheib, Variety

Awards and festivals
Berlin International Film Festival, 2014.
Edinburgh Film Festival, 2014.
Toronto Animation Arts International Festival, 2014.

4. GIRLHOOD 

Tuesday, November 11th, 7pm, The Cultural Centre of Belgrade
(fic) d: Celine Sciamma France, 112′ 2014.

language: French
subtitles: Serbian, English

Synopsis
Oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of 3 free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her dress code, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to freedom.

Director’s biography
Céline Sciamma is born in 1978 and grew up in the Paris suburbs. After a master’s degree in French litterature, she followed screenwriting courses at the French film school La Femis. She shares her work between collaborations with directors and writing feature and television projects. Water Lillies, her first feature film has been selected in Cannes / Un certain regard (2007) and in more than 30 festivals worldwide (Toronto, London, New york, Tokyo, rotterdam…). Acclaimed by the film critics, the film won the prestigious french Louis-Delluc award.

Press
“Tomboy’ director Celine Sciamma nonjudgmentally examines another young woman searching for her identity, this time amid a teenage girl gang.” Peter Debruge, Variety

Festivals and Awards
Cannes Directors’ Fortnight – Opening Film, Cannes International Film Festival, 2014
Toronto International Film Festival – TIFF, 2014.
Helsinki International Film Festival – Helsinki Love + Anarchy, 2014.

5. RETURN TO HOMES 

Monday, November 10th, 9pm,The Cultural Centre of Belgrade
(doc) d: Talal Derki Syria Germany, 87′ 2013.

language: Arabic
subtitles: Serbian, English

Synopsis
Filmed between August 2011 and August 2013, this is a remarkably intimate portrait of a group of young revolutionaries in the city of Homs in western Syria. They dream of their country being free from President Bashar al-Assad and fight for justice through peaceful demonstrations. As the army acts ever more brutally and their city is transformed into a ghost town, the young men become armed insurgents. The protagonists are two friends: Basset, the charismatic 19-year-old goalkeeper of the national soccer team whose revolutionary songs make him the voice of the protest movement, and the 24-year-old media activist and cameraman Ossama. The close-up camerawork takes the viewer right into the group. Scenes of lively protest parties make way for panicking civilians on the run, followed by grim battles in a deserted city, and rising numbers of fallen loved ones. Basset’s a cappella protest songs are the only soundtrack, apart from the “silence, interrupted only by birds and bullets.” From time to time, the director makes a comment in voice-over: “The world is watching how we are getting killed one by one, while it remains silent as the grave.”

Director’s biography
Talal Derki was born in Damascus and studied film directing in Athens. He has made two short films and five documentaries. His films have screened at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, where he received the Silver Hawk in 2011 for Azadi. Lajat earned a Special Mention at the Arab Camera Festival in 2012. Both films were made during the Syrian revolution, and Derki screened them using a pseudonym. He has also worked as a video reporter

Press
“A ferocious, devastating doc and a must-see for anyone seeking an insider’s view of the Syrian uprising.” David Parkinson, Empire

Festivals and Awards
Winner World Cinema Grand Jury Prize Documentary, Sundance International Film Festival, 2014.
Winner Silver Horn Feature Documentary, Krakow International Film Festival, 2014.
Winner Audience Award, Madrid International Film Festival – DocumentaMadrid 2014.

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