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Fifty Festival Favs Slated for Reykjavik Fest; Kiarostami Spotlighted

Fifty Festival Favs Slated for Reykjavik Fest; Kiarostami Spotlighted

The Reykjavik International Film Festival, opening Thursday, is offering a lineup of 50 films from around the globe that will screen in the Icleandic capital through to October 9. Eight categories are slated for this year’s festival, with the main one dubbed, “Open Sea,” comprising films that have already gained international recognition at other festivals. Included in Open Sea will be Hayao Miyazaki‘s “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “What Remains of Us,” a documentary of Kalsang Dolma‘s return trip to her native land of Tibet from 1996 to 2004. She undertook the journey to bring a message from the Dalai Lama to a Himalayan village.

Also in the main category will be 2005 Cannes competition film “La Nina Santa” (Argentina), while Olivier Assayas‘s Cannes ’04 film, “Clean,” starring Nick Nolte and Maggie Cheung will also screen in the section. Cheung won the best actress prize in Cannes for her role in the film. The fest’s New Visions category will feature the Romanian film “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu,” Austrian Gotz Spielmann‘s “Antares” and Russian Krill Sebrennikov‘s “Bed Stories.”

RFF’s Human Rights category, curated with UNIFEM Iceland, will include Ousmane Sembene‘s “Moolaade,” Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman’s Oscar-winning doc, “Born Into Brothels,” “Gegen Die Wand,” Bahman Gobadi’s “Turtles Can Fly,” “Zero Degrees of Separation,” with director Ellen Flanders an expected attendee. Also on tap is Ali Samadi Ahadi and Oliver Stoltz’s doc on kid soldiers, “Lost Children.”

This year’s Horizon category will be dedicated to Iranian cinematography and will feature two European premieres, among other films. The two premieres will be Kambozia Partovi‘s Toronto ’05 features “Cafe Transit” (Border Cafe) and Hamid Rahmanian‘s “Dame Sobh” (Day Break). Toronto International Film Festival programmer Dmitri Eipides oversees Horizon programming.

Other sections in this year’s festival are: Spotlight, which will focus on the work of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, this year’s guest of honor whose short “The Roads” will screen in its European premiere. Also planned is a photography exhibit called “The Roads of Kiarostami,” which will feature the artist’s works. Night Cinema, which will screen cult classics at midnight, including “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Night of the Living Dead“; Norwegian Cinematography, and Children’s Cinema, for which children will be invited to Sunday screenings of such films as Finnish director Liisa Helminen’s “Pelicanman,” which screened earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The festival will also feature lectures in collaboration with the University of Iceland. For more information on screenings and events, please visit the festival’s website

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