Congratulations to Marie-Pierre Macia and Juliette Lepoutre. Their start-up international sales company MPM Film is in Toronto with a beautiful, quietly moving and totally aesthetic film in Toronto’s Discovery section (and in Venice Days and in San Sebastian’s Horizontes section). A U.S. sale on Stories That Only Exist When Remembered (Historias…que so existem quando lembradas) by one of my favorite people in the industry, Pierre Menahem, has already been made to Film Movement for U.S. putting it into the rarefied company of 22 U.S. acquisitions thus far at TIFF. (See my blog for details on this subject.)
Julia Murat’s first feature film is a quiet, wistful and deeply emotional fable about time, memory, and the need of transmission through generations. Heartwarming and beautifully crafted, Historias has already won over the jury of “Cinema in Construction” in Toulouse this year where the film received a Special Mention and the Cine-Cinema Award for films in post-production.
Readers should know Marie-Pierre from her days as director of Directors Fortnight. Peter Scarlet the Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival who appointed this internationally acclaimed film programmer and producer to oversee Sanad, the festival’s development and post-production fund for filmmakers from the Arab world, (See article.) knew her from almost a decade together at the San Francisco International Film Festival. She is also the Head of Crossroads, the coproduction forum of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
In Brazil’s Paraiba Valley lies the ghost village of Jotuomba where life rolls on at a languid pace for its elderly inhabitants. When young photographer Rita finds the town by following the unused railroad tracks, her presence, and her questioning of the locked cemetery gates, reveals the secret to Jotuomba’s mystery.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW
Like the honey-laced rum cachaça occasionally imbibed by its old-timer characters, Stories That Only Exist When Remembered (Historias…que so existem quando lembradas) offers a sweetly seductive form of intoxication. A confident and impressive first fiction feature from Brazilian 32-year-old director/co-writer Julia Murat, it introduces us to senior citizens who comprise the entire population of a tiny community in a forgotten corner of South America’s largest nation. (…) Murat and her scriptwriting collaborators strike a sensitive balance between the story’s realistic and more fable-like elements, immersing us in Maddalena’s world of daily rituals through a combination of repetition and slight variation. (…) Lucio Bonelli’s cinematography excels during such nocturnal sequences, especially those in which Maddalena – and later Rita – moves around her kitchen by gaslight that underlights faces in painterly chiaroscuro. Daytime scenes allow Bonelli to explore a rich palette of earthy browns, oranges and yellows, evoking the palpably pungent textures and pleasure of life so very far off the beaten tracks.
Neil Young, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Runtime: 98 minutes
Born in Algeria, Marie-Pierre Macia has compiled impressive programming and production credits. At the Directors’ Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival, she championed the first features by now famous filmmakers such as Sofia Coppola, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Carlos Reygadas and Stephen Daldry.
Macia has long championed Middle Eastern cinema and was the first to bring the work of Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman to European screens. She recently moved into producing, with credits including Adrian Sitaru’s Hooked (Romania, 2007, an award-winner at several film festivals) and the latest work, The Turin Horse, of Hungarian master Béla Tarr, which premiered and took the Grand Prix in Competition at the Berlinale 2011 and was sold by Film Boutique to Italy-Movies Inspired, Japan-Bitters End, Inc., Netherlands-Eye – Film Institute Netherlands, Poland-Era New Horizons International Film Festival, Portugal-Midas Filmes, U.K.-Curzon Artificial Eye among others.