Movie lovers have a new meeting place to enjoy the best of the cinematographic scene during the 9th European Film Festival of the Alliance Française of Puerto Rico, which will take place from April 12 to 18 in the movie theater Fine Arts Miramar.
The event offers a week of good cinema in which the spectators will see three Puerto Rican productions and seventeen European films, among which the most awarded works during these last months.
Fiction films and short films of different genres are the annual proposal of this Festival that is possible thanks to the support of Total Petroleum Puerto Rico, UBS Financial Services of Puerto Rico, the Development Program of the Film Industry of DDEC, Liberty and WIPR, among others.
This year triumph co-productions between two and even three countries among which are Finland, Germany, Morocco, France, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Sweden, Bosnia, Slovenia and Croatia. In addition, the Festival management committee put in a prominent position a special section called “Director’s to Watch” which highlights films whose directors already participated in the Festival in previous editions.
Many co-productions to watch
Among the official selection, the audience can see some very acclaimed productions like the winner for the “Best Director Award” at the Berlin Festival, Wes Anderson, for the animated film “Isle of Dogs”. The story begins when a canine epidemic obliges the authorities of the city of Megasaki to evacuate all the dog pets from the city. Anderson has masterpieces in his filmography, including “The Gran Hotel Budapest”.
Among the pearls of this year there is “Men Don’t Cry” by Bosnian director Alen Drljević, a film that was the entrance of Bosnia at the 2018 Oscars in the category of “Best Foreign Film”. It portrays the drama about the late effects of the war in ex-Yugoslavia in some men and the traumas, prejudices and masculine crises that caused them. He also won the “Best Film Award” at 2017 Zagreb Film Festival.
Stories about men
Another story about men is “The Other Side of Hope”, a German-Finnish co-production, winner of the “Silver Bear” for the “Best Director” at the 2017 Berlin Festival. This jewel by Ari Kaurismäki tackles, with its characteristic black humor, a difficult subject: the story of a Syrian refugee who tries to survive in a city that is indifferent to him, Helsinki. The Finnish director already surprised us in 2012 with his film “Le Havre” which is also presented at the Festival.
“A Violent Life” won at the 2017 Seville European Film Festival the “Best Script Award” and it is the second film by Corsican director Thierry de Peretti who was invited by the Festival 3 years ago with “Les Apaches”.
“Razzia” is by the director Nabil Ayouch who was born in Paris but who works a lot in Casablanca. He got a nomination with this film at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Ayouch also directed “Much Loved” which was in theaters last year.
Tony Gatlif is a director and writer who is known for his predilection for topics related to the gypsy culture. Four years ago, he presented “Geronimo” at the Festival and now he just directed “Djam”, selected for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in the “Cinéma de la Plage” section.
The stories about the couple’s love are not missing either. First, there is the winning film at the 2017 Hamptons International Film Festival, the French “Mr. and Mrs. Adelman”. By the French theater director and comedian Nicolas Bedos who also stars with his partner in real life, the actress Doria Tillier, it presents, in a mixture of drama and comedy, the married life of a couple who defies everything and stays together for more than four decades.
“A Serious Game”, for its part, is an authentic love story between a journalist and the daughter of an artist and the Swedish director Pernilla August (known for being the actress who starred “Fanny and Alexander” by Ingmar Bergman).
Puerto Rican productions
We could not forget that there are two Spanish films on the bill: “Abracadabra” by Pablo Berger who became famous with “Blancanieves”, who was also in programming during the 2013 Festival. The other Spanish film is “Indestructible, el alma de la salsa”, a documentary that follows the flamenco singer, Diego El Cigala, and other great legends of salsa during their trip in Colombia, New York, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Miami and Puerto Rico.
Finally, the Festival is increasingly betting on Puerto Rican productions to put on the bill and, this year, the spectators will see “Ese Olor a Lechón”, a short film directed by actor Modesto Lacén who puts on his director’s hat for the first time and which will be world premiere, as well as “El Silencio del Viento”, the first feature film by Álvaro Aponte Centeno that just won two awards at the Toulouse Film Festival (France).
The last Puerto Rican production, “Ser Grande”, is a documentary by Karen Rossi which has an interesting parallel with another documentary on the bill, “Speak Up” (À Voix Haute), which follows several boys who participate in a speech contest at the Parisian university of Seine-Saint-Denis. It was nominated as “Best Documentary” at the French National Awards, 2018 César and was in the official selection of the 2017 New York Film Festival.