B L O C K B O O K IN G T IT L E S by ghkgkyyt




                                                     Titles available to all community exhibitors in the
                                                     BFFS National Block Booking Scheme

                       Unit 315 The Workstation
                             15 Paternoster Row
                                South Yorkshire
                                         S1 2BX

                                      0114 2210314

                                             FILM LIST: AT A GLANCE

                  Title                      Director             Country         Date    Time    Type
 Atash (Thirst)                         Tawfik Abu Wael        Israel/Palestine   2004     110    Feat        now

 Be With Me                             Eric Khoo                 Singapore       2005     93     Feat        now

 Beyond Hatred (Au dela de la Haine)    Olivier Meyrou             France         2005     86     Doc         now

 The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros      Auraeus Solito           Philippines      2005     100    Feat        now

 Born and Bred (Nacido y criado)        Pablo Trapero            Arg/Ita/UK       2007     100    Feat        now
 The Bridesmaid
                                        Claude Chabrol            Fr/Ita/Ger      2004     106    Feat        now
 (La demoiselle d’honneur)
 China Blue                             Micha X. Peled              USA           2005     86     Doc         now

 Esma’s Secret (Grbavica)               Jasmila Zbanic        Aus/ BHz/Ger/Cro    2006     90     Feat        now
 Fear and Trembling
                                        Alain Corneau           France/Japan      2003     103    Feat        now
 (Stupeurs et tremblements)
 The Guernica Children                  Steve Bowles                 UK           2007     62     Doc         now

 Half Nelson                            Ryan Fleck                  USA           2006     104    Feat        now
 Keltoum’s Daughter
                                        Mehdi Charef             Fr/Bel/Tun       2002     102    Feat        now
 (La Fille de Keltoum)
 KZ                                     Rex Bloomstein               UK           2006     97     Doc         now

 London to Brighton                     Paul A.Williams              UK           2006     85     Feat        now

 Lost Embrace (El Abrazo partido)       Daniel Burman           Arg/Fra/It/Spa    2004     100    Feat        now

 Mountain Patrol (Kekexili)             Chuan Lu              China/Hong Kong     2004     90     Feat        now

 Pot Luck (L' auberge espagnole)        Cedric Klapisch         France/Spain      2002     135    Feat        now

 Russian Dolls (Les Poupees russes)     Cedric Klapisch          France/UK        2005     123    Feat        now

 Son of Man                             Mark Dornford-May        South Africa     2006     86     Feat    11/04/08

 Tais-toi! (Shut up!)                   Francis Verber             France         2003     85     Feat        now

 The Three Marias (As Tres Marias)      Aluisio Abranches        Brazil/Italy     2002     90     Feat        now

 Tony Takitani                          Jun Ichikawa                Japan         2004     76     Feat        now

 Transylvania                           Tony Gatlif                France         2006     102    Feat    17/03/08

 True North                             Steve Hudson             Ger/Ire/UK       2006     96     Feat        now

 Unknown White Male                     Rupert Murray             USA/UK          2005     88     Doc         now

Doc = Documentary
Feat = Feature

These titles are available courtesy of Axiom Films, CineFile, Docspace Films, Dogwoof Pictures, Eye Witness
Productions, Peccadillo Pictures, Shooting People Films, Spier Films and Vertigo Films
                                        FRENCH COLLECTION: AT A GLANCE

               Title                        Director                  Country           Year    Time      Type   Available
À tout de suite                   Benoît Jacquot                       France           2003      95      Feat     now

Ali Zaoua, prince de la rue       Nabil Ayouch                     Mor/Tun/Fr/Bel       2000      95      Feat     now

Baara                             Souleymane Cissé                       Mali           1978      90      Feat     now

Drum                              Zola Maseko                         SA/USA            2004     104      Feat     now

Finyé                             Souleymane Cissé                       Mali           1983     105      Feat     now

Heremakono                        Abderrahmane Sissako              Mauritania/Fr       2002      90      Feat     now
                                  Michel Ocelot/
Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages                                          France           2005      75      Ani      now
                                  Benedicte Galup
L’Esquive                         Abdelatiff Kechiche                  France           2002     117      Feat     now

La Trahison                       Philippe Faucon                  Belgium/France       2006      80      Feat     now

Le Couperet                       Costa-Gavras                        Fr/Bel/Sp         2005     122      Feat     now

Le père noël est une ordure       Jean Marie Poiré                     France           1982      88      Feat     now

Les Soeurs fachées                Alexandra Leclère                    France           2004      93      Feat     now

L'Île de Black Mór                Jean François Laguionie              France           2004      85      Ani      now
Luna Papa                         Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov                                1999     107      Feat     now
Mon petit doigt m'a dit           Pascal Thomas                        France           2005     104      Feat     now

Samia                             Philippe Faucon                      France           2000      73      Feat     now

Tilaï                             Idrissa Ouédraogo              BurkinoFaso/Fr/Sw      1990      81      Feat     now

Voisins, voisines                 Malik Chibane                        France           2004      95      Feat     now

West Beyrouth                     Ziad Doueiri                       Leb/Fr/Bel         1998     105      Feat     now

Ani = Animation
Feat = Feature

These titles are available courtesy of the French Institute and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Atash (Thirst)                                                                                                               FEATURE
Tawfik Abu Wael | Israel/Palestine | 2004 | 110 mins | 12A

Cannes Film Festival 2004 - International Critic’s Prize (winner)

                                  Abu Shukri (Hussein Yassin Mahajne) is so ashamed of his eldest daughter’s ill-deserved reputation
                                  as a woman of loose morals that he’s moved his family into a hovel in the Palestinian desert, far
                                  from town. A stern patriarch whose work as a charcoal-burner only just makes ends meet, he insists
                                  his son Shukri (Ahamad Abed) forego school and help him collect timber from forests run by the
                                  Israeli authorities. This tyranny, along with his attitude towards the ‘dishonoured’ Gamila (Roba Blal)
                                  and his refusal to return to town, provokes the disapproval of his wife Um Shukri (Amal Bweerat).
                                  Tempers are frayed; maybe building a pipeline to bring water to their remote home will cool things
                                  down a little…

                                  ‘This debut feature from Palestinian Tawfik Abu Wael has a lot going for it: Assaf Sudry’s striking
                                  cinematography, Wissam Gibran’s fine music, and strong first-time performances from a cast of
                                  non-professionals. Also impressive is the way the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is allowed to cast a
                                  shadow over the familial tensions even though it’s never explicitly depicted or alluded to. Rather,
while it’s a film about freedom and rebellion, need and desire, fear and oppression, tradition and change, its milieu feels mythic rather
than contemporary, poetic rather than a realistic reflection of everyday life.’ Source: Time Out

"Atash is undoubtedly a beautiful film. Abu Wael is arguably the most exciting film-maker to have emerged in more than a decade"
Sight and Sound

Official website: http://www.axiomfilms.co.uk/catalogue.asp?filmID=39

Be With Me                                                                                                                   FEATURE
Eric Khoo | Singapore | 2005 | 93 mins | 12A
European Film Awards 2005 - Screen International Award (nominated)
                                            'I was one of the twelve folk who gave Eric Khoo's very gentle, sweet-natured film an 'A'
                                            vote after viewing for the second time at the South West's Topsham viewing session in
                                            November 2006 - twenty six voters resulted in an RI of 76%. It warranted a repeated
                                            viewing - Khoo's use of very little dialogue (indeed it is mainly silent) I found gave a
                                            profound insight into the truly extraordinary life of Theresa Chan (the film is based on her
                                            autobiography), a 61-year-old teacher of disabled children in Singapore who fights every
                                            minute to live a normal life despite herself suffering deafness at the age of 12 and
                                            blindness two years later. Mrs Chan plays herself, Khoo unostentatiously interleaving her
                                            real life with three separate fictional tales of love, and so we begin by turns to see the
thematic and spiritual connection she has with the other characters.' Paul Schilling, BFFS SW Regional Group

“Love and hope triumph in the face of tragedy in this profoundly moving, genuinely intriguing movie” **** The Works

Beyond Hatred (Au dela de la Haine)                                                                                 DOCUMENTARY
Olivier Meyrou | France | 2005 | 86 mins | PG
Berlin International Film Festival 2006 - Best Documentary (winner)

                                            ‘It's unlikely to appeal to your mainstream moviegoer, but this French documentary
                                            achieves remarkable things with a depressing subject. It concerns the brutal murder of a
                                            young, gay man named Bruno Chenu by a trio of skinheads in a park in Rheims, but it
                                            avoids all the obvious routes. We never see the faces of the victim or his killers. There
                                            are no reconstructions or political investigations or cinematic flourishes. Instead, we
                                            spend time listening to Chenu's family, two years after the murder, as they prepare for the
                                            trial. And what an intelligent, reflective, dignified family they turn out to be. As the title
                                            suggests, they have taken great pains to get beyond grief and anger and "the hatred on
which you rebuild yourself", and towards a constructive understanding. They even write sympathetic letters to their son's killers.
There are echoes of Nicolas Philibert's classroom documentary Etre et Avoir in the film's delicate, patient tone. Out of such miserable
circumstances, it's a film that ultimately empowers society's victims, and leaves a feeling that there's hope for civilised society - in
France, at least.’ Steve Rose, The Guardian
“Utterly absorbing… profoundly moving film” Sight and Sound
The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros                                                                                              FEATURE
Auraeus Solito | Philippines | 2005 | 100 mins | 15
Berlin Film Festival 2006 - Best Feature Film (winner); Sundance Film Festival 2006 - Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema (nominated)

                                         Shooting in the makeshift buildings and noisy streets of Sampaloc in Manila (in his own back
                                         yard), first-time director Auraeus Solito could almost be channelling the spirit of the late Lino
                                         Brocka. The 12-year-old Maximo ('Maxi,' played by the entirely disarming Nathan Lopez) lives
                                         with his criminal father and two macho 'brothers' and effectively replaces his late, lamented
                                         mother. It's not just that he does most of the housework and cooking, but also that he likes
                                         dressing in women's clothes.

                                          Everything is fine until Maxi strikes up a friendship with a figure of a kind never seen before in
                                          Sampaloc: an honest, righteous cop, good looking in his way, somewhat bemused by the
constant attentions of a young transvestite. The problem, of course, is that policeman Victor is dedicated to jailing Maxi's father and
his boys, and to making an honest man of Maxi himself. Superbly acted and directed (Solito comes from theatre but knows his movies
- don't miss the brilliant Third Man quote), this is a delightful surprise at all levels. Tony Rayns, London Film Festival

"A fresh and moving little charmer of a film" Daily Express
Official website: http://www.peccadillopictures.com/View/id,44

Born and Bred (Nacido y criado)                                                                                                FEATURE
Pablo Trapero | Argentina/Italy/UK | 2007 | 100 mins | 15
Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards 2007 - Best Cinematography (winner); Gramado Film Festival 2007 - Best
Cinematography (winner), Best Director (winner), Best Film (winner)

                                           Born and Bred tells the story of Santiago (Guillermo Pfening), a successful interior designer,
                                           husband to Milli (Martina Gusman) and loving father to daughter, Josefina (Victoria Vescio).
                                           His translucent veneer of urban contentment in Buenos Aires is torn away when tragedy
                                           strikes unexpectedly. Re-appearing in the frozen landscapes of Patagonia, and changed
                                           beyond recognition, Santiago begins a self-imposed penance in a wilderness of outsiders.
                                           Yet a warm camaraderie and humour characterise the friendships formed, offering hope to a
                                           soul tormented by the ghosts of an unalterable past. Santiago must re-engage with the
                                           present to remain one step ahead of insanity. From the director of Mundo Grúa, El
                                           Bonaerense and Familia Rodante. Source: www.axiomfilms.co.uk
"Another intelligent, deeply involving piece of cinema" **** Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Official website: www.axiomfilms.co.uk/catalogue.asp?filmID=48

The Bridesmaid (La demoiselle d’honneur)                                                                                       FEATURE
Claude Chabrol | France/Italy/Germany | 2004 | 106 mins | 15
Flanders International Film Festival 2004 – Grand Prix (nominated)

                                 If, like Japan, France could nominate its artists as "national living treasures," Claude Chabrol would
                                 surely be among the first filmmakers so honoured. In a career that spans almost fifty years, Chabrol
                                 has meticulously exposed the darker, seamy underside of the well-ordered world of the French
                                 middle class. Once again adapting a novel by Ruth Rendell (whose A Judgment in Stone became La
                                 Céremonie) Chabrol tells the story of Philippe Tardieu (Benoît Magimel), an ambitious, somewhat
                                 straitlaced young man living with his mother and two sisters near the Atlantic coast. His older sister,
                                 Sophie, is getting married, and it’s at her wedding that Philippe meets Senta, one of the bridesmaids.
                                 Their attraction is obvious, and soon they get together, but the more time he spends with her, the
                                 more he begins to wonder about her.

                                 Their passion is real, but Senta seems given to telling fantastic tales. When one day she asks
                                 Philippe for a terrible proof of his love, Philippe must come to terms with who his lover might really be.
“Macabre and claustrophobic, the dark tale of l’amour fou is highly recommended” The Times
China Blue                                                                                                        DOCUMENTARY
Micha X. Peled | USA | 2005 | 86 mins | 12A
Amnesty International Human Rights Award 2006 (winner)

                                          Sometime around 1950, blue jeans went from farm wear to iconoclastic statement,
                                          becoming a kind of low-rise, boot-cut shorthand for free-market capitalism. There's a
                                          terrible irony, then, to the designer jeans uniformly worn by the teenage labourers featured
                                          in China Blue, Micha X. Peled's meticulously livid exposé of a sweatshop in southern
                                          China. Jasmine, 16, is one of the tens of millions of Chinese who have left their rural
                                          villages in search of work. At the Lifeng factory, she and the girls snip threads and sew
                                          zippers for pennies on the hour (sometimes purchasing "energy medicine" on the street to
                                          work all night). They are beholden to a deadbeat boss (Mr. Lam prefers "docile and
                                          obedient" female workers) who is himself beholden to the criminally low-balled purchase
orders coming in from all over the world, for clients like Levi and Wal-Mart. Shot at the peril of Peled and his crew, China Blue feels
stage-managed at times, but the conditions of this 750-person factory are heartbreaking, as are the wistful faces of the girls as they
stumble back to their 12-person dorm room and wonder who could possibly fit into the fat ass jeans they are literally slaving to
produce. Don't look now, but it might be you. Michelle Orange, Village Voice’
“Heartbreaking, truly unforgettable” Boston Phoenix

Official website: http://www.docspace.org.uk/Films-ChinaBlue.asp

Esma's Secret (Grbavica)                                                                                                  FEATURE
Jasmila Zbanic | Austria/Bosnia-Herzegovina/Germany/Croatia | 2006 | 90 mins | 15
Berlin International Film Festival 2006: Golden Bear (winner), Peace Film Award (winner), Ecumenical Jury Award (winner);
Sundance Film Festival 2006 - Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema (nominated)

                                    Esma's Secret is a terrific drama, written and directed by Jasmila Zbanic, about the lingering and
                                    corrosive after-effects of war in the Balkans. Mirjana Karanovic plays Esma, an industrious single
                                    mother working in a night-club who is struggling to feed and clothe her feisty 12-year-old
                                    daughter Sara (Luna Mijovic). They live in Grbavica, a part of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, that
                                    is surrounded by mass graves. Sara believes her father is a war martyr that, it turns out, is a
                                    fiction that she has been fed to protect her from a truth altogether more awful for her to grasp.
                                      The city and its inhabitants are shown in a period of reconstruction. But violence, although
rarely visualised, is never far away. Gangsters, one of whom is attracted to Esma, are fighting for underworld mastery. The women,
many bereaved and still shell shocked, are trying to adapt. The film, never flash or melodramatic, shows them trying to find cures for
the physical and mental abuse they have suffered. The two lead female performances are very strong, with Zbanic especially moving
as a mother who has left a trail of secrets and lies behind her. Source: www.telegraph.co.uk
“A striking debut feature” Evening Standard; “A lyrical love letter to the women of Sarajevo” Independent
Official website: http://www.esmassecret.com

Fear and Trembling (Stupeurs et tremblements)                                                                             FEATURE
Alain Corneau | France/Japan | 2003 | 103 mins | 12A
César Awards 2004 – Best Writing (nominated), Best Actress - Sylvie Testud (winner)
                            As a child, I wanted to be God, then Jesus, then, conscious of my excessive ambition I agreed to
                            become a martyr... As an adult I resolved to be less of a megalomaniac and to work as a translator in a
                            Japanese company. Sadly, I became an accountant... now there was no stopping the lightning speed of
                            my downfall..." Amélie Nothomb
                            A blackly humorous adaptation of Amélie Nothomb’s best-selling novel featuring extraordinary
                            performances from Sylvie Testud and Kaori Tsuji. Alain Corneau’s sophisticated comedy tells the story of
                            Amélie, a dreamy and romantic young French woman who returns to Japan - country of her birth - only to
                            find herself overwhelmed by the mysterious and absurd machinations of the Japanese business world.
Confounded by layer upon impenetrable layer of protocol, bewildered and frustrated by a closed and contemptuous system which
ensures her steady and humiliating decline from translator to toilet attendant, caught up in a dangerous, seemingly unwinnable battle
of wills with her beautiful and inscrutable superior Miss Mori, Amélie is tested to the limits of sanity before stumbling upon her own
extraordinary means of liberation. Source: www.cinefile.com
“…a nightmarish comedy of office manners that drops a bemused Belgian translator into the open-plan minefield of corporate Tokyo”
Xan Brooks, The Guardian
The Guernica Children                                                                                                 DOCUMENTARY
Steve Bowles | UK | 2007 | 62 mins | 12A

                                    On 26th April 1937 the small Basque town of Guernica was bombed mercilessly by German planes
                                    supporting Franco's army during Spain's bloody Civil War. The event would later be
                                    commemorated by Picasso's famous painting but the events at Guernica led directly to the arrival of
                                    four thousand Spanish children in Britain - the largest single influx of refugees ever to arrive in this
                                    country and the first to consist solely of children. The British Government did not want them here
                                    and it was only the pressure of public opinion that forced it, grudgingly, to allow the children to
                                    come. The children expected their stay to be brief, but the Civil War dragged on.

Throughout their time in Britain, they were cared for, fed and housed by the efforts of a vast voluntary organization - an extraordinary
display of selfless humanitarianism. By the end of the Spanish Civil War many of the children had literally nothing and nobody to go
back to and remained in Britain for a life time. Seventy years on we hear the remarkable story of the Basque children.
Source: Eye Witness Productions

“An extraordinary film” The Times
Official website: www.basquechildren.org

Half Nelson                                                                                                                    FEATURE
Ryan Fleck | USA | 2006 | 104 mins | 15

Oscars 2007 Best Actor - Ryan Gosling (nominated); Locarno Film Festival 2006 - Special Prize of the Jury (winner); San Francisco
Film Festival 2006 - FIPRESCI prize (winner); Sundance Film Festival 2006 - Grand Jury Prize (nominated)

                                       Superbly natural performances by Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps lift this addiction drama into
                                       something extraordinary. They create such raw, sympathetic characters that even a down-beat
                                       story doesn't put us off. This is gripping, moving and extremely thoughtful filmmaking. Dan
                                       Dunne (Gosling) teaches history at a Brooklyn high school, but he marches to his own beat. He
                                       also coaches the girls' basketball team, and one of the players, Drey (Epps) is a favourite
                                       student. But Dan has an increasingly serious drug problem; he's badly in debt and slowly
                                       destroying his health. One day Drey catches him smoking crack in the locker room, and the two
                                       develop an intriguing friendship. The stakes are raised by the fact that Drey is also hanging out
                                       with a dealer (Anthony Mackie) who's a close friend of her incarcerated brother (Collins Pennie).
The script is a terrific blending of straightforward drama and character-defining surprises, which continue right to the very end. The
filmmakers really get in there and examine both Dan and Drey and the decisions they have made and are making, good and bad.
Drey is clearly grappling with a series of moral dilemmas. While Dan shrugs off the "rehab thing", saying it didn't work for him, even if
his ex-girlfriend (Tina Holmes) has put her life back together. Rich Cline, shadowsonthewall.co.uk

"An indie masterpiece...one of the most rewarding films of the year" Wendy Ide, The Times; “Outstanding” Daily Telegraph; “Gosling
is superb” Sunday Telegraph
Official website: http://www.halfnelsonthefilm.co.uk

Keltoum’s Daughter (La Fille de Keltoum)                                                                                       FEATURE
Mehdi Charef | France / Belgium / Tunisia | 2002 | 102 mins | 12A

                                         In the middle of a barren mountain desert a rickety red and yellow bus comes to a halt. Out
                                         steps a young woman with smooth, fine features, dark eyes and short hair. Her appearance
                                         alone makes her a curiosity: in rural Algeria most women still keep hidden beneath colourful
                                         scarves. An old hunchbacked local woman looks at her, and wonders what on earth this
                                         ‘stranger’ is doing here.

                                         Ralia (Cylia Malki) has returned from Europe to the place of her birth in an attempt to discover
                                         why her mother abandoned her. Director Mehdi Charef reverses the trend of many recent
                                         African films which have focussed on economic migration and the exile’s struggle to
                                         acclimatise to an alien culture, by having a Westernised girl return to her routes.
With the help of her aunt (Baya Belal) she begins her quest to find her family, coming into conflict with the conventions of her native
country where, as a woman, she is treated as a second-class citizen. Source: CineFile

*** “Refreshing” Empire; “A heroine with dreams – varying parts The Sheltering Sky, The Wizard of Oz and Thelma and Louise”
Boston Phoenix
KZ                                                                                                                    DOCUMENTARY
Rex Bloomstein | UK | 2006 | 97 mins | 12A
Sundance Film Festival 2006 - Grand Jury Prize (nominated)
                                          An intelligent and sensitive documentary about the modern-day operations of the former
                                          Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria that touches on a range of hot-button issues:
                                          "holocaust tourism", the politics of the modern-day Middle East, the attitude of the inhabitants
                                          of the former Third Reich towards the diminishing Nazi shadow.
                                          Director Rex Bloomstein, a TV veteran with hours of second world war-related programming
                                          behind him, soberly inspects the visitors to and staff of the Mauthausen memorial site,
                                          originally set up as a forced labour camp for socialists, gays and other undesirables, rather
than the extermination camps the Nazis built in Poland. That's not to say Mauthausen doesn't contain its share of unspeakable
horrors, and you get a sense of how easily forgotten they are when Bloomstein takes his camera into the nearby town and elicits the
gormless reactions of young-marrieds living in former SS quarters. It is left to the bitter testimonies of the camp guides to demonstrate
the continuing price of the Nazis' enthusiasm for atrocity. Andrew Pulver, The Guardian
“The year's most fascinating documentary” Independent on Sunday
Official website: http://shootingpeoplefilms.com/content/kz

London to Brighton                                                                                                             FEATURE
Paul Andrew Williams | UK | 2006 | 85 mins | 18
BAFTA Awards 2007 - Carl Foreman Award for Most Promising Newcomer (nominated); Dinard Film Festival 2006 - Golden
Hitchcock Award (winner); Edinburgh International Film Festival 2006 - New Director’s Award (winner)
                                            At last - after years in the Mockney doldrums, the British crime flick gets a double-barrelled
                                            shot in the arm. London To Brighton is a brutal and brilliantly assured debut from
                                            writer/director Paul Andrew Williams. And he's not the only new name to watch - there are
                                            terrific turns from unknowns Lorraine Stanley and Georgia Groome, respectively playing a
                                            hooker and a teenage runaway in flight from some very unsavoury characters. World-
                                            beatingly grim, it'll put you through the wringer, but you won't regret the journey. So, why
                                            are Kelly (Stanley) and Joanne (Groome) making such a mad dash from capital to coast?
                                             There's no time for questions at the start, the film takes off like a rocket, with our heroines
hiding out in a public lavatory after a mysterious but clearly traumatic incident. Then we see gangster's son Stuart (Sam Spruell) set a
deadline for Kelly's wimp pimp Derek (Johnny Harris) to find the two females and eventually, flashback by flashback, we discover the
awful truth of what the women did and why.
Though it steams along like a fast train from Victoria, London To Brighton doesn't sacrifice realism for momentum. The dialogue,
performances and use of low-life locations keep a rigorously tight check on credibility. While Williams deals in some pretty appalling
subject matter - principally paedophilia - he maintains balance through the sympathetic shading of the central relationship. It's hard to
overstate the excitement of seeing fresh British talent break through with such energy. Source: bbc.co.uk
“The best British film of the year” The Guardian
Official website: http://www.l2b-themovie.co.uk

Lost Embrace (El Abrazo partido)                                                                                               FEATURE
Daniel Burman | Argentina/France/Italy/Spain | 2004 | 100 mins | 15

Berlin International Film Festival 2004 - Best Actor (winner), Jury Grand Prix (winner), Golden Bear (nominated)

                                     Set in a Buenos Aires galería (shopping mall), this superb, minor-chord comedy places lingerie
                                     clerk Ariel (the sweet and doleful Daniel Hendler from ‘Whisky’) at the rueful centre of a group of
                                     garrulous, mainly Jewish, fellow shopkeepers, family and mild idiosyncrats as he receives a
                                     series of revelations about the father he never knew. Shot like ‘The Office’ on a mobile, hand-
                                     held camera which zooms in and out to catch background events and character reactions,
                                     Burman’s affectionate, talkative film trades on acceptable levels of sentimentality and boasts a
series of winning performances, notably Hendler’s and Adriana Aizemberg’s as his evasive mother. Reminiscent at times of Chantal
Ackerman’s mall-set musical ‘Golden Eighties’ or Joan Micklin Silver’s bitter-sweet Jewish homage ‘Crossing Delancey’, ‘Lost
Embrace’ sets a drolly comic tone all of its own. Small and light, but it’s rewardingly full of acute observations, from the gently satiric
to the surprisingly poignant. Wally Hammond, timeout.com

"A wonderfully eccentric variation on Woody Allen, with perhaps just a twist of Fellini” Metro
Official website: http://www.axiomfilms.co.uk/catalogue.asp?filmID=42
Mountain Patrol (Kekexili)                                                                                                     FEATURE
Chuan Lu | China/Hong Kong | 2004 | 90 mins | 15
Berlin International Film Festival 2005 - Don Quijote Prize Special Mention (winner); Sundance Film Festival 2005 - Grand Jury Prize,
World Cinema (nominated)

                                      The mountains that rise from the Tibetan plateau make a suitably dramatic backdrop for this
                                      story about the murderous cost we humans exact on the natural world. Based on depressingly
                                      true events, "Mountain Patrol: Kekexili" tracks the heroic efforts of a small group of Tibetans
                                      struggling to keep the Tibetan antelope, or chiru, from extinction. If that sounds like a recipe for
                                      pity and sob stories about cute critters, think again.

                                     Written and directed by Lu Chuan, whose first feature was the well-received "Missing Gun,"
"Mountain Patrol" is as tough and unsparing as its backdrop, a blood-boiling environmental thriller with a dash of Sergio Leone.
Although the traffic in endangered wildlife gives the film its headline hook — you need to kill three to five antelopes to make one
shahtoosh shawl — the story that briskly unfolds has as much to do with man's inhumanity to man as to his fellow creatures. Which is
why, given China's historic and violent aggression against the Tibetan people, it's hard not to read the film on several levels at once.
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

"Compelling... awesome... unforgettable... a work of art" Philip French, The Observer; "Terrific... majestically beautiful and begs to be
seen on the big screen" Daily Telegraph

Official website: http://www.axiomfilms.co.uk/catalogue.asp?filmId=44

Pot Luck (L’auberge espagnole)                                                                                                 FEATURE
Cedric Klapisch | France/Spain | 2002 | 135 mins | 15
César Awards 2003 – Best Film (nominated), Best Writing (nominated), Most Promising Actress - Cécile De France (winner)
                                                     As part of a job that he is promised, Xavier (Romain Duris), an economics student
                                                     in his twenties, signs on to a European exchange programme (Erasmus) to gain a
                                                     working knowledge of the Spanish language. Promising that they'll remain close,
                                                     he says farewell to his loving girlfriend (Amélie's Audrey Tautou), then heads to
                                                    An English girl (Kelly Reilly) and her brother (Kevin Bishop), a young woman from
                                                    Belgium (Cécile de France), an Italian, a boy from Denmark, a German and a girl
from Tarragona all join him in a series of adventures that serve as an initiation to life. Pot luck is a wonderful film filled with bohemian
ideas and absolute truth. Source: CineFile

“Blissfully funny, terrifically intelligent and tender when you least expect it to be” David Denby” The New Yorker

Russian Dolls (Les Poupeés russes)                                                                                             FEATURE
Cedric Klapisch | France/UK | 2005 | 123 mins | 15

César Awards 2006 – Best Supporting Actress - Cécile De France (winner), Best Supporting Actress - Kelly Reilly (nominated)

                                 Five years after their year together in Barcelona, the exuberant flatmates from Pot Luck / L’auberge
                                 espagnole (2002) reunite for a Russian wedding. With their student days behind them, they are
                                 close to 30 and facing career and relationship issues, yet remain young at heart. Xavier has become
                                 a writer, but still seems a little lost. Besides the difficulties of making a living he has problems
                                 settling down with a girl, embarking on one meaningless romantic encounter after another. To put it
                                 bluntly, he’s a little messed up. Dividing his time between his ex-girl friend (Audrey Tautou), his
                                 mother, his passing romantic encounters and his lesbian pal (Cécile de France), Xavier has a hard
time getting his work done properly, which is to create a simple love story for a TV series. Help though is at hand in the form of his
former English flatmate played by Kelly Reilly who also writes. What starts as a professional collaboration turns into something else –
and the loose ends begin to unravel at the unlikely wedding of her brother (Kevin Bishop) to a Russian ballerina (Evguenya
Obraztsova) in St Petersburg. Source: CineFile

**** “Irresistibly entertaining” Empire; **** “Kelly Reilly, opposite heart-throb Romain Duris, has a chameleon quality” The Observer

Official website: http://www.russiandollsthemovie.com
Son of Man                                                                                                                   FEATURE
Mark Dornford-May | South Africa | 2006 | 86 mins | 12A
Sundance Film Festival 2006 - Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema (nominated)
                                          Set in the fictional African state of Judea, where violence, poverty and sectarianism are
                                          endemic, Son of Man is an adventurous and ambitious new interpretation of the Gospels by
                                          the South African theatre and film ensemble, Dimpho Di Kopane, who also produced U-
                                          Carmen eKhayelitsha. The country is invaded by a neighbouring dictatorship under the
                                          pretence of establishing democracy and peace through the means of summary executions
                                          and brutal massacres. As the civil war reaches a new level, a divine child - the Saviour - is
                                          born. As he grows up he sets out to redeem his people from oppression through an ethics of
                                          non-violent protest and solidarity.
Visually striking and featuring a powerful soundtrack incorporating inspirational traditional and protest songs, Son of Man is a daring
tale of defiance and revolution with an ethical and political scope that reaches far beyond contemporary Africa. Source: www.africa-in-
“A vivid, thrilling, visually awe-inspiring piece of cinema” Daily Telegraph
Official website: http://www.sonofmanmovie.com

Tais-Toi! (Shut Up!)                                                                                                        FEATURE
Francis Veber | France | 2003 | 85 mins | 12A
Cannes Film Festival 2006- Selected for Director's Fortnight

                                    Following in the same fine comic tradition of director Francis Veber’s previous hits, Le Placard /
                                    The Closet and Le dîner de cons / The Dinner Game, the plot relies heavily on cars, cell phones
                                    and sudden bursts of superhuman strength as Jean Reno and Gérard Depardieu repeatedly hop
                                    out of the frying pan and into the fire.
                                    Quentin (Depardieu) is far too literal-minded to succeed as a crook. But what he lacks in intellect
                                    he makes up for in brute strength. Yet Quentin likes to talk the way most of us like to breath (hence
the title). Ruby (Reno) on the other hand is the strong silent type who has managed to hide £15 million purloined from his rival before
ending up in a cell with Quentin who mistakes Ruby’s silence for good listening skills. A great, completely one-sided friendship is
born. Source CineFile
**** “Part crime caper, part amiable buddy farce…expertly played” BBC

The Three Marias (As Tres Marias)                                                                                           FEATURE
Aluisio Abranches | Brazil/Italy | 2002 | 90 mins | 15

                                It’s the 1970’s and Firmino Santos Guerra is abandoned by his fiancée, Filomena (Marieta Severo) in
                                favour of his greatest enemy, Borges Capadocio. From this day on bad blood runs between the two
                                Thirty years later and Borges Capadocio and his two sons are brutally murdered leaving behind his
                                widow Filomena. She enlists the help of her three daughters – all called Maria – who are each given
                                the task of finding an assassin in order to wreck revenge on the Santos Guerra family.

                                Maria Francisca (Julia Lemmertz), the eldest, has to find a gunman known as Ze das Cobras, who has
                                not spoken to a woman since the death of his mother. Maria Rosa (Maria Luisa Mendonca) searches
                                for Chief Tenorio, an honest backwoods cop, who also happens to be an expert on knives. Maria Pia
(Luiza Mariani), the youngest, goes off in search of Jesuino Cruz, the most feared killer in the region, but the problem is he’s in jail.

Destiny, however, has different plans for The Three Marias as their quests take them in unexpected directions. Source: CineFile
“If you loved City of God, or Y Tu Mama Tambien then The Three Marias is the next treat in store” Alan Jones, Film Review
Tony Takitani                                                                                                                 FEATURE
Jun Ichikawa | Japan | 2004 | 76 mins | U

Locarno International Film Festival 2004 - FIPRESCI prize (winner), Special Prize of the Jury (winner), Golden Leopard (nominated);
Sundance Film Festival 2005 - Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema (nominated)

                                             When Tony Takitani learns to draw, a teacher tells him ‘you’re good, but I don’t feel any
                                            warmth’. You’d be forgiven for thinking the same of a film whose stately, slow-panning
                                            medium shots, muted stone-and-earth palette, spare piano accompaniment and measured,
                                            distancing voiceover seem calculated to cool the blood. Yet it’s a mode perfectly suited to its

                                             Adapted from a short story by Haruki Murakami, ‘Tony Takitani’ is about a soul regretfully
                                             acclimatised to solitude: born after the war and given a Western name by his forward-
                                             looking but misguided father, Tony (Issey Ogata) struggles to make friends, develops an
aptitude for technical illustration and eventually meets a young woman (Rie Miyazawa) whose passion for fashion mirrors his own
fetishistic fascination with the look of things. There are shades of ‘Vertigo’ in what follows, but where Hitchcock charted the sacrifice of
the self on the altar of romantic obsession, Jun Ichikawa stresses Murakami’s characters’ acute and seemingly insuperable
atomisation – an alienation slightly undermined by the gimmick of having them speak a line from the narration out loud every so often.

But this is a small reservation in a moving, expressive and refreshingly unsentimental film whose compact running time reflects the
quiet efficiency of its narrative, characterisation and mise en scène. Ben Walters, timeout.com

"A gem" ***** The Sunday Telegraph; "Has about it something approaching perfection" Philip French, The Observer
Official website: http://www.tonytakitani.com/

Transylvania                                                                                                                   FEATURE
Tony Gatlif | France | 2006 | 102 mins | 15
Flanders International Film Festival 2006 - Georges Delerue Prize (winner), Grand Prix (nominated)
                                  The beautiful, dark and haunting Zingarina (Asia Argento) finds herself in pursuit of the man she
                                  loves after he abandons her, confused and two months pregnant. Zingarina throws herself body and
                                  soul into a trip to find her lost lover in Romania, venturing into the strange, forbidding foreignness of
                                  the mythic territory of Transylvania. This is a strange and unsettling place but one full of compassion
                                  and humanity.

                                   When events take an unexpected turn, Zingarina discovers that to be free she must rid herself
of all ties and connections to her past life to truly experience the possibilities that come her way. She cautiously takes a new path with
another man, Tchangalo (Birol Unel); an enigmatic traveller free of borders and home. Source: www.peccadillopictures.com
“A passionate whirl of a film” Daily Telegraph
Official website: http://www.peccadillopictures.com/View/id,50

True North                                                                                                                     FEATURE
Steve Hudson | Germany/Ireland UK/ | 2006 | 96 mins | 15
BAFTA Scotland 2006: Best Actor - Martin Compston (nominated), Best Director (nominated), Best Film (nominated), Best Screen
Play (nominated); British Independent Film Awards 2007 - Douglas Hickox Award (nominated)

                                          Riley (Peter Mullan) and Sean (Martin Compston) are cod fishermen working the waters
                                          between Scotland and Belgium. Times are hard and catches are meagre. In Ostend Sean
                                          goes behind his father’s (Lewis) back and tries to arrange an illegal shipment of cigarettes. In
                                          an example of the grim irony that hovers at the edge the film, Sean's contact doesn't approve
                                          of smoking, but is able to offer a far more profitable cargo: a hold full of Chinese immigrants.
                                          The nightmare of people trafficking is savagely exposed in first time writer-director Steve
                                          Hudson's powerful story of maritime misadventure. A powerful and thought provoking film
                                          that succeeds equally as sad human drama and compelling thriller.
                                          Source: www.channel4.com/film

“Powerfully acted, angrily topical but essentially human film... a tense thriller shot through with an important social message." Empire
Official website: http://www.truenorth-film.com/
Unknown White Male                                                                                              DOCUMENTARY
Rupert Murray | USA/UK | 2005 | 88 mins | 12A
British Independent Film Awards 2006 – Best British Documentary (nominated); Sundance Film Festival 2005 - Grand Jury Prize,
World Cinema – Documentary (nominated)

                                     This conundrum of identity originated in 2002 when a thirty-something English broker, Doug
                                     Bruce, woke up on the New York subway with no idea where he was and no memory of who
                                     he was. The Coney Island hospital he checked into simply registered him as "unknown white
                                     male". Medical examination would later reveal that Doug had succumbed to a rare "fugue
                                     state" amnesia whereby his episodic memory - of his life, work, loved ones - was completely
                                     wiped: in short, the person he had once been had vanished. His long-time friend, Rupert
                                     Murray, contacted him some months later to investigate what happened, and this
                                     documentary is the result.

The mystery of his trauma deepens as we see Doug trying to reboot his whole cognitive system: he knows about geography, for
instance, but doesn't know what snow is, or cricket, or fireworks. More disconcerting is the film's chronicle of reintroduction to his
family and friends, whom he meets as if for the first time. He doesn't know them, and they can't locate the person he once was.
At some point one wonders if this isn't an elaborate hoax by people who've watched Memento too many times.

Can this really have happened? By the end you feel inclined to give the film-makers the benefit of the doubt. If Doug is faking
then it's one of the best impersonations of bewilderment you've ever seen. Ben Walters, timeout.com

“**** An extraordinary film” The Times; “A British Gem” The Observer; “****Unique, beautiful, optimistic” Total Film

Official website: http://www.unknownwhitemale.co.uk/
                              The French Collection

“The cinema is not an art which films life: the cinema is something between art and life.”
               Jean-Luc Godard, founder of French New Wave Cinema
À tout de suit                                                                                                                  FEATURE
Benoît Jacquot I France I 2003 I 95mins

Gijón International Film Festival 2004 - Best Art Direction (winner), Grand Prix Asturias, Best Feature (nominated)

                                             A stylish, erotically charged thriller, À tout de suit is the highly anticipated new film from
                                             acclaimed French director Benoit Jacquot (Sade, A Single Girl). Based on actual events,
                                             it tells the story of sexy, free-spirited Lili, a Parisian art student who falls for a charismatic
                                             bank robber and joins him on the run, a dizzying cross-continent escape through Spain,
                                             Morocco and Greece, when a sudden betrayal leaves her stranded in the middle of
                                             nowhere. Visually stunning, À tout de suit is a mesmerizing account of one woman’s
                                             breathtaking journey of self-discovery. Source: www.cinemaguild.com/atoutdesuite

“This small, nearly perfect film is really about the sad chains of events that can follow when people foolishly surrender to their
dumbest romantic impulses.” Stephen Holden, New York Times

Ali Zaoua, prince de la rue                                                                                                      FEATURE
Nabil Ayouch I Morocco/Tunisia/France/Belgium I 2000 I 95mins
Kerala International Film Festival 2001 - FIPRESCI Prize (winner), Golden Crow Pheasant (winner); Ouagadougou Panafrican Film
and Television Festival 2001 - COE Award to the "Film of Hope" (winner), Grand Prize - Etalon de Yennega (winner), UNICEF Award
for Childhood (winner)
                                     The vacant lots and streets of Casablanca are home to a band of kids who sleep in the open air
                                     and support themselves through petty crime under the tutelage of Dib, boss of their scruffy
                                     underage Mafia. Four of the gang, Ali, Kouka, Omar, and Boubker, rebel against Dib's oppressive
                                     rule and strike out on their own, running away from "home" a second time. When Dib's thugs try
                                     to return them by force, Ali is killed. The remaining three friends stash the body and set off on a
                                     frenetic quest to give him a proper burial. Bound together by their search, they find meaning,
                                     transcendence, and a measure of peace. Despite their marginalisation, the boys still long for love
                                     and tenderness, and they still dream. Ali's fantasy was to escape to the seas, become a sailor,
reach the island "where two suns set," become the royal prince, and "meet a lovely woman." Set against the cruel street world, with
its incessant rhythm of crime, violence, and degradation, is a sensitive, poetic evocation of the emotions of the protagonists and the
dead Ali. Source: www.screenrush.co.uk

Baara (The Porter)                                                                                                               FEATURE
Souleymane Cissé I Mali I 1978 I 90mins

Locarno International Film Festival 1978 - Ernest Artaria Award (winner), Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (winner); Ouagadougou
Panafrican Film and Television Festival 1979 - Grand Prize - Etalon de Yennega (winner)
                            The first feature film ever produced in Mali, Baara (The Porter) is about a young man caught in the
                            growing political and economic tensions of urban Africa. Balla Diarra is a worker in the capital city of
                            Bamako who struggles to survive on his meagre income. After his friend is murdered by an unfeeling
                            factory boss, he must confront increasingly violent choices. Set in a modern city rather than a mythical
                            past or traditional village, Baara offers a portrait of African life not often seen on the American screen.
                            Source: www.kino.com

Drum                                                                                                                             FEATURE
Zola Maseko I South Africa/USA I 2004 I 104mins
Ouagadougou Panafrican Film and Television 2005 - Festival Grand Prize, Etalon de Yennega (winner); Zanzibar International Film
Festival 2005 - FIPRESCI Prize (winner)
                                          Based on true events from 1955 Johannesburg, this story is so compelling and eye-opening
                                          that it is a triumph. It also helps that the cast is not only excellent, but obviously committed
                                          to getting the truth out. Henry Nxumalo (Taye Diggs) is an ace reporter for Drum magazine
                                          who, with the help of his sidekick photographer (Gabriel Mann), is giving the government
                                          headaches over his articles about Apartheid injustice.
                                          His editor (Jason Flemyng) is at first reluctant to print them, but when they prove big selling
                                          points for the magazine, he encourages Henry to really go for it. But the next story—about
                                          how the government plans to flatten the city's liveliest township and seize the land from its
black owners--could be trouble for them all. A lively and fascinating sense of local culture infuses this film, from the period details to
the inventive use of music and locations. The central story about Henry's journey into activism is gripping, especially with Diggs'
strong performance. As the men who work with him, Mann and Flemyng are standouts, and Moshidi Motshegwa is superb as his
long-suffering wife. Source: http://www.shadowsonthewall.co.uk
Finyé (The Wind)                                                                                                                  FEATURE
Souleymane Cissé I Mali I 1983I 105mins
Carthage Film Festival 1982 - Tanit d'Or (winner), Ouagadougou Panafrican Film and Television Festival 1983 – Grand Prize, Etalon
de Yennega (winner)

                                             Finyé is one of the finest and densest movies made on the African continent. Centred
                                             around a love affair between two university students with very different backgrounds one’s
                                             father is a traditional chief and the other’s is a military governor the film tackles the friction
                                             between tradition and modernity in African society. In the film, the students join a mass
                                             protest against the falsification of exam results and are later supported by the chief who
                                             renounces his powers and allies himself with the youth. Meanwhile the military governor,
                                             whose authoritarianism bears some similarities to Moussa Traoré's politics when he ruled
                                             Mali from 1968 to 1991, remains firm in his defence of the government. In the end, Cissé
succeeds in illustrating the power of mass protests against the government. Finyé offers a complex reflection on African culture and
politics. Yet the complexity of the film is portrayed with a lightness and efficient simplicity that has come to typify Cissé's work. With a
certain virtuosity Cissé combines scenes of everyday life with dreamlike sequences or magic rituals. Source www.filmreference.com

Heremakono (Waiting for Happiness)                                                                                                FEATURE
Abderrahmane Sissako I Mauritania/ France I 2002 I 90mins

Cannes Film Festival 2002 - FIPRESCI Prize (winner); Cannes Film Festival 2003 - France Culture Award (winner)

                                          Abdallah (Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed) is the transitory central figure inhabiting the
                                          village of Nouadhibou on the coast of Mauritania. Abdallah is unable to speak the local
                                          language of Hassanya, dresses in Western clothes and views the routine of village life
                                          through the stone frame of his bedroom window. While he uses few words to explain his
                                          alienation and impending departure, the curious coupling of the young orphan boy Khatra
                                          (Khatra Ould Abel Kader) and the grandfatherly electrician Maata (Maata Ould Mohamed
                                          Abeid) provide us with enough insight to imagine the life from which Abdallah seeks to
In Waiting for Happiness, words are replaced by shades of colour and contrasting light and simple actions supplant drawn-out
monologues. Overly dramatic flights to far off lands are simply implied by the resting vessels at sea; a shadowy reminder of the world
beyond. The motivations of Sissako's characters are never needlessly explained but gently coaxed from a cast of non-professional
actors. Source: www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/cinema

“Waiting for Happiness needs an investment of patience, repaying it with a sweet and subtle portrait of an islanded community.” Peter
Bradshaw, The Guardian

Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages                                                                                                  ANIMATION
Michel Ocelot/ Benedicte Galup I France I 2005 I 75mins
Chicago International Children's Film Festival 2006 – Children's Jury Award (winner)

                                           Tiny boy hero Kirikou meets adventure in this stunning animation based on West African folk
                                           tales - the sequel to the hugely popular Kirikou and the Sorceress. Everyone has so much to
                                           learn from this wise and brave little hero! Experience storybook African village life and culture
                                           with beautiful backdrops, traditional music and an array of wild beasts. Source: www.kirikou-
L’Esquive (Games of Love and Chance)                                                                                        FEATURE
Abdelatiff Kechiche I France I 2002 I 117mins
Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards 2008 - Silver Condor (nominated)

                                   Set in the housing projects of Paris, Abdel Kechiche's jagged-edge street story seems at first to be
                                   one of those well-intentioned movies about inner-city kids discovering the power of theatre. But
                                   L'Esquive, isn't about this group of mainly white and Arab teenagers uncovering the timeless truths
                                   in the titular Marivaux play; it's about the way those truths repeat themselves whether the kids
                                   realise it or not. The play's class-ordained romances rewrite themselves along racial lines, as
                                   nervous Krimo (Osman Elkharraz) dumps his Arab girlfriend for vain, pretty Lydia (Sara Forestier)
                                   and bribes her co-star to drop out so he can seize the role of Arlequin. Kechiche's feel for France's
                                   polyglot youth culture is acute. Source: www.citypaper.net

 La Trahison (The Betrayal)                                                                                                 FEATURE
Philippe Faucon I Belgium/France I 2006 I 80mins

                                             The setting is war-torn Algeria during the early 1970s. When he discovers evidence that
                                             would seem to indicate a close confidant’s treachery, a sympathetic French lieutenant in
                                             the occupying forces is compelled to make decisions likely to cause ethnic tensions to
                                             erupt into violence, in this elegant, understated thriller.
                                             Source: www.seattlefilm.org/festival/

 Le Couperet (The Axe)                                                                                                      FEATURE

Costa-Gavras I France /Belgium/Spain I 2005 I 122mins
César Awards 2006: Best Actor - José Garcia (nominated), Best Writing (nominated)

                                                Retrenched and out of work for two years, chemist Bruno Davert has had about all he
                                                can stand. His oldest son is in trouble with the law, his wife is subjecting him to
                                                marriage counselling and he can’t seem to land a job even after numerous interviews.
                                                But when he hears of a paper factory that is apparently rolling in money, he devises a
                                                plan to secure a job with the corporation. Eliminate the competition!

                                                Inspired by the novel from celebrated writer Donald E. Westlake, Costa-Gavras has
                                                crafted a biting political satire on capitalism and corporate trends, presented as a
                                                wonderfully dark comedy of middle aged desperation. Source: www.worldmovies.net
"A black comedy with plenty to say …” Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile

Le pére noël est une ordure                                                                                                FEATURE
Jean Marie Poiré I France I 1982 I 88mins

                                   One of the most controversial comic films to have been made in France in the 1980s, Le Père Noël
                                   est une ordure has since matured (as a fine wine might) into one of that country's most highly
                                   regarded cult classics.
                                   One Christmas Eve, the staff of "SOS Détresse", a Paris based social services team, have their
                                   hands full. Unaware that their colleague Madame Musquin is trapped in the elevator, Pierre and
                                   Thérèse man the phones and try to console the Capital's depressed and distressed.
 An obviously pregnant woman, Zézette, suddenly arrives at their office, demanding sanctuary from her violent husband, Félix, who is
close behind her. Pierre and Thérèse eventually manage to subdue Félix - who is still dressed in his working clothes as a street
Father Christmas - and he ends up in hospital. The series of "catastrophes" reaches its climax when Félix appears unexpectedly,
brandishing a gun. In the ensuing crisis, Katia is nearly crippled, Pierre makes an honest woman of Thérèse, a lift repairman is killed,
and Félix and Zézette devise an ingenious method for disposing of a dead body. Source: filmsdefrance.com
 Les Soeurs fâchées (Me and My Sister)                                                                                      FEATURE
 Alexandra Leclère I France I 2004 I 93mins

                                 Two of France's finest actors - Isabelle Huppert and Catherine Frot - go mano a mano in this
                                 unsettling comedy about the troubled reunion of two sisters. Country mouse Louise (Frot), a
                                 beautician living in her native Mans, comes to stay with her city mouse sister Martine (Huppert) for a
                                 few days. Well-off, always beautifully coiffed and dressed, Martine has lots of time on her hands.
                                 Louise on the other hand is a whirlwind of energy, managing a business and a family and even
                                 finding time to write a novel (the reason for her trip to Paris). The sisters don't see each other much,
                                 and it's easy to see why, but this encounter will wind up transforming both of them. Director
Alexandra Leclère, here making her feature debut, doesn't pull any punches; while the film has some very funny moments, it's a work
that always seems to be just on the edge - you're never quite sure what the outcome of the many blow-ups between these women will
be. Source: www.filmfestivaltoday.com

L'Île de Black Mór                                                                                                         ANIMATION
Jean Francois Laguionie I France I 2004 I 85mins
Chicago International Children's Film Festival 2004 – Adult’s Jury Award – Certificate of Merit (won)

                                              In 1803, on the coast of Cornwall a 15-year-old boy, nicknamed The Kid, manages to
                                              escape from the orphanage where he is held captive. He doesn't know his real name,
                                              and his only possession is a map of a treasure island that fell from a book about Black
                                              Mor, a notorious pirate, who the boy longs to be.

                                              Recruiting two thieves, Mac Gregor and La Ficelle, for a crew, The Kid seizes a
                                              lifeguard's boat and sets off for his treasure island at the other end of the Atlantic Ocean.
But nothing happens quite like it does in pirate books... In search of his identity, The Kid is not as tough as he thinks and many
adventures await him before he arrives at Black Mor Island. Source: www.frenchfilm.vcu.edu

Luna papa                                                                                                                     FEATURE
Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov I Tajikistan/ Uzbekistan/France/ Germany/Russia/Austria/Switzerland I 1999 I 107mins
Bergen International Film Festival 2000 - Jury Award (winner); Brussels International Film Festival 2000 - FIPRESCI Prize (special
mention), Young European Jury Award (winner)
                         In a small village, seventeen-year old Mamlakat dreams of becoming an actress. One moonlight night, she
                         is seduced by a mysterious stranger who claims to be a friend of "Tom Cruise". He then disappears, leaving
                         Mamlakat pregnant. Her father Safar and brother Nasreddin set out to find the culprit and restore the
                         family's honour. From inside the womb, Khabibulla, who was conceived on that miraculous night, provides a
                         commentary on the incredible adventures and bizarre mishaps that befall the threesome on their search for
                         his father. A fantastic trip through the wild landscapes of Central Asia in which tradition and superstition
                         clash with the chaos of the post-modern world. Source www.filmconnection.org

Mon petit doigt m’a dit                                                                                                       FEATURE
Pascal Thomas I France I 2005 I 104mins

                               Mon petit doigt m’a dit is a rare French adaptation of "By the pricking of my thumbs" a novel by Agatha
                               Christie. With a distinguished cast, André Dussolier and Catherine Frot veteran director Thomas
                               orchestrates a complex web of charm and investigation featuring the amateur detecting duo of
                               Bélisaire Beresford and his wife Prudence.

                               It all begins when Bélisaire and Prudence Beresford decided to visit their aunt Ada at a retirement
                               home in the countryside. Prudence meets a very odd woman, Rose Evangelista. When several
                               pensioners of an old people’s home start dying mysteriously, and Rose Evangelista disappears
                               Bélisaire and Prudence with patience and humour, are only too happy to follow the trail of adventure
                               to discover the stunning truth.

A humoristic detective story filled with suspense and surprise but which still succeeds at exploring serious themes such as the current
heat wave, family, the army and the elderly. It is extremely moving and we can’t help but closely follow the steps of these amateur
detectives. Source: www.alliancetnt.com
Samia                                                                                                                         FEATURE
Philippe Faucon I France I 2000 I 73mins
Amiens International Film Festival 2000 – 20 Anniversary Award (winner), Prize of the City of Amiens (winner)
                                       Fifteen-year-old Samia lives in Marseille’s periphery. Sixth in a family of eight children of
                                       Algerian descent, she suffocates in the moralistic atmosphere made oppressive by beliefs and
                                       rules she respects but no longer shares. Yacine, her unemployed older brother, justifies himself
                                       by upholding family and religious traditions. Older sister, Amel, has excluded herself from family
                                       life by her involvement with a boy from a different cultural background. Samia’s other sisters are
                                       completely focussed on academic achievement...and Samia, a series of school failures in her
                                       wake, forced to take up technical studies that don’t suit her, obliged to keep her first romance
                                       secret, becomes aware that it’s absolutely necessary that she alone decides just what to do with
                                       her life. Source: French Institute

Tilaï                                                                                                                         FEATURE
Idrissa Ouédraogo I Burkino Faso/France/Switzerland I 1990 I 81mins
Cannes Film Festival 1990 - Grand Prize of the Jury (winner), Golden Palm (nominated)

                                         Following his own Yaaba, and in parallel course with Mali's Souleymane Cisse, another of
                                         Africa's leading figures in cinema, Ouedraogo offers with Tilai a delightful and colourful touch
                                         of universal themes from a sensitive and ultimately perceptive angle.
                                      As Saga (Rasmane Ouedraogo) returns to his village after a long absence he is confronted
                                      with the bitter fact of his beloved girl Nogma (ma Cisse) having married his father. Ostracising
                                      himself in an act of despair and anger, Saga leaves the village only to settle in a nearby hut.
                                      However he gets frequent visits from Nogma - who confesses that she still loves him which
                                      eventually lead to incest. Unluckily, they are seen by a villager. "Tilai", the law of the
community, prescribes death as a punishment. This makes things more complex as nobody is willing to carry out such a task.

Ouedraogo conducts with remarkable acuteness a story which at first glance looks rather simple, perhaps due the modest nature of
his cinematography, but which ultimately raises all sorts of questions as to the absolute or relative validity of social mores, the loyalty
which members of a community give to them, and the extent to which the individual freedom and action is thwarted by them. The
actors express a peculiar sadness, capturing splendidly the emotional atmosphere which the incident has spread to the village. Tilai
might not stay in your memory for years but it will certainly provide, with almost uncomfortable honesty, a stark and idiosyncratic
perspective of the society's most firm invention: law. Spiros Gangas, Edinburgh University Film Society

Voisins, voisines                                                                                                           FEATURE
Malik Chibane I France I 2004 I 95mins

                                         In the suburbs of Paris, the residents of the Mozart estate, a privatised former public housing
                                         estate, get a new caretaker, Paco, and a new neighbour, a rap musician. The rapper, lacking
                                         inspiration, only has three days to write his lyrics, otherwise he can say goodbye to the
                                         advance he received from the record company... Ideas? Lyrics? Music? But what if his
                                         inspiration were right there on the doorstep? The rap musician observes, composes, writes
                                         and sings. The Mozart estate becomes the stage for a hip hop fable as the rapper turns into
                                         the good genie of his neighbours’ destiny... Source: French Institute
“A keenly observed, bittersweet ensembler, Malik Chabane's "Voisins Voisines" is a small triumph of writing and thesping.”
West Beyrouth (West Beruit)                                                                                                 FEATURE
Ziad Doueiri I Lebanon/France/Belgium I 1998 I 105mins
Cannes Film Festival 1998 - François Chalais Award (winner)

                                   Much has been made of Ziad Doueiri's service as assistant or second unit cameraman on all
                                   Tarantino's films, but his assured, semi-autobiographical debut as writer and director is strong
                                   enough to be judged on its own terms. Set in 1975, it recreates the initial stages of Lebanon's civil
                                   war through the experiences of three teenagers: Muslim friends Tarek (the director's younger
                                   brother Rami) and Omar (Mohamad Chamas), and the former's Christian neighbour May (Al Amin).

                                    Not that religion or politics concern them very much; while Tarek is happy to torment teachers at his
French high school and spout a few fashionable slogans now and then, he's more preoccupied with pop, sex, smoking and his
beloved cine camera, and barely understands why mum wants to leave the city against dad's wishes. Indeed, the division of Beirut
into Christian-controlled East and Muslim West is simply an excuse to skip school... until he needs to get his Super-8 film printed up
over the frontline. With a light touch wisely applied both to the chaos of a city in turmoil and to the rites-of-passage narrative arc,
Doueiri's film succeeds by offering up sturdy performances, attention to detail, humour, drama and a refusal to sermonise or take
sides. It marks Doueiri as a talent to watch. Source: www.timeout.com

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