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18 World Premieres Added To Venice Fest

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire July 28, 2009 at 1:21AM

The 66th Venice International Film Festival has announced films screening its its Venice Days sidebar, consisting of 18 world premieres from 12 nations. Programmed by Giorgio Gosetti, Venice Days will return to the Lido from September 3-12, 2009 for its sixth year, including twelve narrative films and six documentaries.
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The 66th Venice International Film Festival has announced films screening its its Venice Days sidebar, consisting of 18 world premieres from 12 nations. Programmed by Giorgio Gosetti, Venice Days will return to the Lido from September 3-12, 2009 for its sixth year, including twelve narrative films and six documentaries.

"This edition will be very much tied to women," said Giorgio Gosetti in a statement, "with filmmakers, protagonists and situations that profoundly moved us and the international selection committee that flanked me in the difficult task of making the final decisions. Yet it will also be a program that, while remaining coherent to the identity of Venice Days, will leave much room for provocation, to genre cinema that has been rediscovered by younger filmmakers, to the adaptability of languages and production models, and even to laughter and satire, elements often overlooked at top festivals."

There are 12 feature films in the official selection, including Goran Paskaljevic's "Honeymoons," Sterlin Harjo's "Barking Water," Sherry Horman's "Desert Flower," Daniel Sanchez-Arevalo's "Gordos," and Alex van Warmerdam's "The Last Days of Emma Black." The final films of the selection will be announced shortly, but for now, here is a list of programmed titles, with descriptions provided by the festival:

The Official Films of Venice Days:

Barking Water
Directed by Sterlin Harjo - USA International Premiere
The filmmaker's second feature, on the pride and end of the Seminole and Crow Nations, as well as an uncontaminated Oklahoma (literally, the "land of the red people" in the Ponca language). Frankie wants to leave the hospital before dying - to find his daughter and niece and ask their forgiveness. He asks Irene, who was in love with him in the past, for her help. This nostalgic and surprising road movie unfolds among longing, hopes and appeased rancor, amid an ancient landscape that looks on impassively. Produced with support from the Sundance Institute. Production: Indion Production

Celda 211
Directed by Daniel Monzon - Spain World Premiere
Two men at the centre of prison revolt: the ruthless murderer heading it and the novice prison official who finds himself implicated. A genre prison movie that becomes a vehicle for an auteur exploration, as well as a thriller in which each moment could be the last. Not only for the two main characters, because beyond the jail walls there are loved ones, power games and secret agreements, as the margin for negotiations becomes increasingly narrower. Featuring Carlos Bardem (Che), Luis Tosar (Semana Santa) and Antonio Resines (Pan's Labyrinth). Production: Vaca Films, Morena Films, Telecinco World Sales: Films Distribution

Desert Flower
Directed by Sherry Horman - Germany/Austria/UK World Premiere
The extraordinary Waris Dirie was a nomad girl from the Somali desert who became a highly successful model and UN ambassador for women's rights. Based on her real life, the film offers a colorful fresco of the contradictions of the contemporary world and an image-obsessed society, in a narrative mix of social drama and sophisticated comedy. This intense portrait of a woman owes much to the luminous onscreen debut of the beautiful Liya Kebede. Today, Dirie is the face of the campaign against the infibulation of and violence towards African women. Production: Desert Flower Filmproductions World Sales: The Match Factory

Di Me Cosa Ne Sai
Directed by Valerio Ialongo - Italy World Premiere
Why is Italian cinema doing so poorly? After five years of interviews, meetings and exemplary events, this film depicts the tragicomedy of our times, lost memory, the depreciation of culture and artistic solitude. What emerges is an erratic, free account alongside an exploration into private stories. The approach is disenchanted, the tone light, at times comical. The reality, much less so. Production: Cinecitta Luce, Ameuropa

Gordos
Directed by Daniel Sanchez-Arevalo - Spain World Premiere (Second Feature)
The second feature by the director of DarkBlueAlmostBlack tackles a true contemporary evil: obesity. This outrageous and "over-size" comedy centers on a group of overweight people in search of redemption. It is a story of insecurities, phobias, dramas, mistakes, shame, hopes, concessions, love, sex, health and family. The most politically incorrect film on survival. in the "broadest" sense of the word. Production: Tesela World Sales: Imagina International Sales

Harragas
Directed by Merzak Allouache - Algeria/France World Premiere
The "harragas" (a Spanish term of Arabic origin) are those who burn documents (and borders). They are the illegal immigrants of the sea, from the shores of the Maghreb, searching for better lives across the Spanish border. The greatest Algerian director of our times recounts the odyssey of a group of young friends who tempt fate - from Algeria to Gibraltar - and the suicide of one of them. Allouache's acclaimed films include The Other World, Chouchou and the recent Tamanrasset. Production: Libris Films World Sales: Doc&Film International

Honeymoons
Directed by Goran Paskaljevic - Albania/Serbia World Premiere
The first Albanian/Serbian co-production is a film on the "Kosovo curse." It looks at two, young newlywed couples in search of freedom, and the paradox of seemingly wide-open borders that are actually lethal traps, be they in Hungary or Bari. The director of Cabaret Balkan offers an ensemble portrait of our times involving his country, atavistic Balkan rivalries, Italy and Europe. The most personal, moving and fierce work of a great master who believes in human beings over passports. Production: Nova Film

Je Suis Heureux Que Ma Mere Soit Vivante
Directed by Claude and Nathan Miller - France World Premiere (Debut Film)
"Our identities are clothes the shape of which were designed by our childhood," says Claude Miller, in an exploration on what happens when this childhood is denied. Thomas was abandoned by his birth mother at the age of four. Intolerant of his adoptive family, the boy searches for his mother for years. When he finds her, he begins a parallel life at her side, without anticipating the fatal epilogue. The film also unveils a young talent: Vincent Rottiers. Based on a true story narrated by Emmanuel Carrere. Production: F Comme Films, Orly Films, France 3 Cinema World Sales: Coach 14

The Last Days of Emma Blank
Directed by Alex van Warmerdam - The Netherlands International Premiere
Scenes of a class struggle along the banks of the Netherlands coast or a long wait for a new Exterminating Angel? With his own personal and unmistakable surrealism, the director of highly critically acclaimed films such as Abel, The Dress and Waiter continues his exploration of cinematic language and social criticism in this bitter and biting new comedy. In her mansion behind the dunes, the tyrannical Emma Blank awaits death, driving her exasperated servants and relatives to a paradoxical mutiny. Who will win in this theatre of cruelty: the oppressor or those trying to overturn the rules of the game? Production: Graniet Film World Sales: Fortissimo Films

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Qu'un Seul Tienne, Les Autres Suivront
Directed by Lea Fehner - France World Premiere (Debut Film)
In the visiting room of a French prison, the lives of a group of men and women brush up against one another to ultimately influence mutual destinies. A mother of a murdered Algerian, the random double of a dangerous offender, the girlfriend of a young rebel, a doctor who feigns cynicism and a killer's sister have one hour to make amends with life, in the thousand faces of modern society's malaise. The cast includes Reda Kateb, a revelation in A Prophet. Production and World Sales: Rezo Films

Special Event:

La Horde
Directed by Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher - France World Premiere (Debut Film)
A police squad sets out to settle the score with a gang of fools. But the dilapidated building in which the thugs are holed up is also the favorite destination of a savage horde of violent zombies. Under a high moon, a battle begins across the city. By dawn, only the best will survive. The highly anticipated debut of two young filmmakers, La Horde regains to horror genre its unsettling spirit of rebellion, sarcasm, political incorrectness and unabashed film references. and this time speaks "European." Production: Capture the Flag World Sales: Films Distribution

Films on Reality - Special Screenings:

L'Amore E Basta
Directed by Stefano Consiglio - Italy World Premiere
What does it mean to have a normal, happily scandalous love knowing that it is "different" only in terms of social customs? The loving relationships that Stefano Consiglio sought out throughout Europe speak with the simplicity of children, the colorful animation of Ursula Ferrara and the voice of Luca Zingaretti, of experiences we would all like to have. Production: BiBi Film, Lucky Red World Sales: Doc&Film International

Poesia Che Mi Guardi
Directed by Marina Spada - Italy World Premiere
The subtle and modern gaze of the director of As the Shadow here rests upon the youth of poet-photographer Antonia Pozzi, who committed suicide on December 3, 1938, before the Italian Racial Laws were promulgated, in a tense and icy Milan. Her forgotten memory is revived thanks to today's street poets who believe in the power of a verse, of a thought capable of saving the world. Production: Miro Film

Ragazze. La Vita Trema.
Directed by Paola Sangiovanni - Italy World Premiere (Debut Film)
Their names are Alessandra, Liliana, Marina and Maria Paola. They were teenagers in the 1960s, young adults in the following decade when women's lib began. Their public and private lives - from the stage to free radio stations, from feminist collectives to street demonstrations - are intertwined with Italian history and the ideas of utopia of that that time. More than just a black and white memory. Production: Metafilm

Special Event - 100+1:

Vittorio D.
Directed by Mario Canale and Annarosa Morri - Italy World Premiere
Seventy years after his first film (Red Roses, 1939) and 35 after his death, Vittorio De Sica remains a celebrated, forgotten and perhaps unknown giant of Italian cinema. His irrepressible humanity, versatility as an actor and intransigence as a filmmaker remain in the shadows. This original and different portrait is created through stories from De Sica's children - Emy, Christian and Manuel - alongside artists such as Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, John Landis, Ken Loach and Mario Monicelli. Production: Surf Film, La7 World Sales: Surf Films

Tribute to Signe Baumane:

Teat Beat of Sex
Latvia/Italy World Premiere
The series Teat Beat of Sex (produced in Europe), of 15 withering shorts on love and sex, will be presented in its entirety at Venice. A set of eight unseen episodes, world premieres, will screen before films of the Official Selection. One of the most celebrated artists of international animation, in recent years she participated in competition at Sundance and the Berlinale. An illustrator of children's books and theatre animator and regular collaborator of Bill Plympton, Baumane's objects and installations have been exhibited in art galleries. She has won numerous prizes at top festivals for her six films and countless shorts. Production: Pierre Poire Productions

In collaboration with International Critics' Week:

(Sic) Videocracy
Directed by Erik Gandini - Sweden World Premiere
In the beginning, there was free TV, then came the orgy of antennas, the rapture of choice, the slow but inexorable mutation of a people's genetic code. Television's autocracy is not particular only to Italy, but only in this country has the "magic box" generated such exemplary protagonists, such an analogous plethora of absurd specimens. To keep this discussion alive, together with the SIC we will present the "other point of view," of Italian/Swedish director Erik Gandini (Sacrificio, Gitmo). Production: Atmo AB, Zentropa Entertainment7 World Sales: Trust Nordisk






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