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The Aruba International Film Festival (AIFF) has quickly become the international film community’s newest “must-attend” summer event. The festival offers a pleasurable and inviting atmosphere for filmmakers, press and film lovers. It serves to not only develop an understanding and appreciation of the art of cinema and filmmaking, but also to inspire, educate and promote emerging local and regional filmmaking talent. This in turn has helped position Aruba as a center of art, culture and creativity, and as a viable destination for international film and commercial productions.
The AIFF was founded in 2010 by film producers Jonathan Vieira and Giuseppe Cioccarelli, with artistic direction by 30-year industry veteran Claudio Masenza. Previous editions of the festival have showcased a diverse array of critically acclaimed fiction films and documentaries from every corner of the globe, and have attracted such notable industry names as:
Hollywood leading man Richard Gere (Pretty Woman, An Officer and a Gentleman)
Lech Majewski and THE MILL AND THE CROSS
Polish director Lech Majewski of the film THE MILL AND THE CROSS (2011) appeared at the second annual Aruba International Film Festival as a special guest where his film screened and he attended a panel discussion, 'Conversations With', led by journalist Rollo Ross. Apparently, Lech had so much to say about his film and the history of the painting that Rollo only asked three questions and that led Lech to talking for over and hour and a half about his film. Now that’s inspiration!
Starring Rutget Hauer, Charlotte Rampling and Michael York, THE MILL AND THE CROSS (2011) by director Lech Majewski has crossed new borders with his film which is an experimental exploration and hybrid between the life inside famous Flemish painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder's A WAY TO CALVARY (1564) and the novel THE MILL AND THE CROSS by Michael Francis Gibson. While many viewers have proclaimed the film to bore, don’t be discouraged as clearly those must be the same who have an aversion to an afternoon at an art museum.
Have you ever looked so deeply into a painting and felt the urge to jump inside to see what life was like then? Well, this film makes that wish a reality, and what better a medium than through a late Renaissance Flemish painting? After all, the Flemish were known for their extreme minute detail in painting that could very well have been as entertaining to viewers then as cinema is to us today. Using CGI and a lot of imagination, the film goes into the lives of a handful of the many characters depicted in the painting and shows us up close the peasant life and the social effects of the Reformation.
THE MILL AND THE CROSS premiered at SUNDANCE 2011 and found US distribution through Kino Lorber Films. It continues its festival circuit and to wow international audiences with its comprehensive and meticulous innovation. Who knows, maybe Lech has started a new trend in filmmaking. Where films have often looked to painting for inspiration maybe painting will now turn to films to be re-inspired.
Written by Vanessa McMahon
Pieter Bruegel the Elder's painting A WAY TO CALVARY (1564)
Photos by Vanessa McMahon
If you like this movie you will also like this interview which is a documentary also delving into a painting using CGI etc. Amazing doc!
The Peasant and the Priest (2010)
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