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Reel Suspects @ Cannes 2019

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THE PHILIPPINES - 2019 - 105 minutes - FANTASTIC DRAMA

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LET THE ASWANG RIGHT IN

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1900 colonial Philippines. During the time of Spanish tyranny and oppression, a woman raised in the enchanted woods by nymphs experiences love for the first time from a man from town. When she is later betrayed and experiences heartbreak, hell hath no fury indeed like a woman scorned as she transforms into the mythical aswang out to avenge her pain and let the man suffer forever.

DIRECTED BY : Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr. (Director of DEATH MARCH, Cannes - Un Certain Regard 2013; ISDA, Toronto 2011; MANILA, Cannes - Special Screenings 2006)
CAST : Solenn Heussaff, Benjamin Alves, Gina Alajar, Elizabeth Oropesa, Allan Paule
PRODUCED BY : Throne Room Productions

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RUSSIA - 2019 - 100 minutes - COMEDY

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CROOKED FATHER VS STUPID LOVER

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Andrei, a corrupt detective and the world's most horrible father, brings together a terrible group of people in his apartment: his resentful actress daughter, an angry thug who's in love with her, and a cheated cop. Each one of them has a reason to want revenge…

DIRECTED BY : Kirill Sokolov
CAST : Vitaliy Khaev, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, Evgeniya Kregzhde, Mikhail Gorevoy, Elena Shevchenko
PRODUCED BY : White Mirror Film Company
FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS : Tallinn Black NIghts FF, What The Fest?!

PRESS : "A splatterpunk action comedy drenched in gleefully dark Russian humor. (...) There are echoes of early Quentin Tarantino, Danny Boyle, Sion Sono and even Sam Peckinpah mixed in among the cheerfully nihilistic chaos." - THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

 

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GERMANY - 2019 - 77 minutes - THRILLER

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WHEN INNOCENCE MEETS PERVERSION

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In Berlin, a young migrant wants to learn how to discuss in German. The teacher he gets in touch with uses a new and peculiar method. The first topic she wants him to deal with is: "yesterday my dog was killed, today we will kill somebody". But as the lessons multiply, the student feels ever more committed...

DIRECTED BY : Denis Dercourt (Director of THE PAGE TURNER, Cannes - Un Certain Regard 2006; TOMORROW AT DAWN, Cannes - Un Certain Regard 2009)
CAST : Julia Franszke, Olivier Dovergne
PRODUCED BY : Cinema Alexanderplatz

 

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MEXICO & SPAIN - 2019 - 82 minutes - DRAMA

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THE MOST PROVOCATIVE FILM OF THE YEAR

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A powerful international army assigns a regiment the task of guarding a mysterious man, held in a maximum security prison in the middle of the desert. Soldier Salome, daughter of Commander Antipas, becomes obsessed with him... Eros and Thanatos together reminding us that truth is based on beauty and love. A reverie on the edge of ambivalence and gender.

DIRECTED BY : Lluís Miñarro
CAST : Ingrid García-Jonsson, Oliver Laxe, Francesc Orella, Lola Dueñas
PRODUCED BY : Luis Miñarro (Producer of UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES, Cannes - Golden Palm 2010; STILL THE WATER, Cannes - Competition; THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA, Cannes - Un Certain Regard), Somos Piano - Julio Chavezmontes (Producer of TIME SHARE - Sundance Winner Special Jury Prize; KNIFE+HEART, Cannes - Official Competition; WE ARE THE FLESH)
FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS : Rotterdam IFFR - Signature, Uruguay IFF, Las Palmas FF, D'A Film Festival Barcelona, Moscow IFF

PRESS : "One of the 25 European films to tempt festival directors in 2019 (...) that will be competing for festival spots in 2019." - SCREEN DAILY

"A stylistic fantasy never seen before on screen, transformed into a visual orgy that is both intoxicating and stunning" - CINEUROPA

"A monument to femmes fatales, freaks and drifiting/lost men, in which the archetypes of love and nostalgia are erased by an adamant and scornful twist, worthy of a postmodern and perverse Buñuel" - IL MANIFESTO

 

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LITHUANIA, LATVIA, UKRAINE & SPAIN - 2019 - THRILLER

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REVENGE IS A DISH BEST SERVED COLD

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A former dancer Jonas pretends to be blind to enter a TV dance competition. He meets his new dance partner Saulė who at first is disturbed by Jonas’ disability, but soon enough discomfort gives way to genuine interest and the couple becomes the most popular contestants of the show. At the same time Vytas, someone from Jonas’ past, is released from prison after serving a sentence for murdering his wife Marija. Vytas is afflicted with contradictory feelings: he is convinced that his wife’s ex-lover Jonas is equally responsible for her death.

DIRECTED BY : Ignas Jonynas
CAST : Dainius Kazlauskas, Paulina Taujanskaite, Darius Bagdziunas, Alexandr Ignatusha
PRODUCED BY : Magic Films, Locomotive Productions, Limelite, Nephilim Producciones

AWARD : Glocal in Progress Prize @ San Sebastian IFF

 

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POLAND - 2018 - 101 minutes - DRAMA

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POWERFUL AND BEWITCHING. A MUST-HAVE

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A tale of two knights, the experienced Willibrord and the young, mysterious, Unnamed, who set off to christen a small pagan village hidden deep in the mountains. Despite the differences in their views and perspectives on religion, the two men become travel companions and create a father-son relationship. At the village, the pagans put the new comers’ beliefs to a test. Soon, love is confronted with hate, dialogue with violence, madness with rules and many will have to die.

DIRECTED BY : Bartosz Konopka
CAST : Krzysztof Pieczyński, Karol Bernacki, Jan Bijvoet, Jeroen Perceval, Olivier de Sagazan
PRODUCED BY : Otter Films, Odra Film, Earlybirds Films
FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS : Moscow IFF, Gdynia Polish FF, Off Camera

PRESS : "THE MUTE is the sophomore film by Konopka, whose short documentary RABBIT A LA BERLIN was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010".
- CINEUROPA

 

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SINGAPORE - 2018 - 83 minutes - DRAMA

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WHY SHOULD I USE YOU AS MY ACTRESS?

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When Vicki gets a role in Daniel's new theatre production, she thinks she has gotten the chance of her life. Little does she know this is only the beginning of repeated abuse by Daniel as part of his artistic process. When she turns to the people around her for support, she finds that everyone else seems to think her abuse is beneficial to her. Feeling like the only mad person in sunny, peaceful Singapore, she decides to take matters into her own hands. A wicked horror satire on power, art, and trauma, the film explores the hidden violence we live with in order to build a community.

DIRECTED BY : Daniel Hui
CAST : Yang Yanxuan Vicki, Glen Goei, Viknesh Kobinathan, Viknesh Kobinathan
PRODUCED BY : 13 Little Pictures
FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS : Busan IFF, Berlinale Forum, Cartagena de Indias, Bafici IFF

PRESS : "It is dark, grotesque and simply absurd, with a wonderfully wicked sense of humour." - THE UPCOMING

"A horror film with a point. Happily, this satirical horror film is keenly funny when it isn’t being scary." - THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

 

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IRAN, UK & NETHERLANDS - 2018 - 93 minutes - DRAMA

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AN INTIMATE AND SENSITIVE PORTAIT OF TEHRAN

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An ex bodybuilding champion now personal trainer finds secret excitement in his life when he accepts to train a young man for the championships; An overweight beauty clinic secretary who lacks confidence in her physical appearance, uses her sexy voice to create a persona for seducing men she feels she could never have; and a dispirited religious singer tries his luck at becoming a wedding singer to increase the chances of finding the love of his life. This is the bittersweet tale of three middle-aged disenchanted characters yearning for love in a city that does not embrace them.

DIRECTED BY : Ali Jaberansari
CAST : Forough Ghajabegli, Mehdi Saki, Amir Hessam Bakhtiar, Behnaz Jafari
PRODUCED BY : Here & There Productions, Viking Film, Kavir Film
FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS : BFI London Film Festival, Rotterdam IFFR - Voices, Sofia IFF, Atlanta IFF, San Francisco IFF, Beijing IFF, Middle East Now, Filmfest DC

AWARDS : Young Jury Prize @ Sofia IFF, Best Actress @ Beijing IFF

PRESS : "Ali's work is a refreshing new take on the city and its people. The director makes a deliberate attempt at leaving the politics of the country aside while pushing the boundary as much as possible without upsetting the censors too much". - LETTERBOXD

 

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FRANCE & ITALY - 2018 - 83 minutes - THRILLER

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A STUNNING QUEST INTO ITALY'S DEEPEST LANDS

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A contemporary reading of Antigone. Gaetano works alone to manage the family bakery. Although his French baguettes are well liked, as the Paris-born son of a Sicilian mother and French father, the village has never accepted him. When his wastrel elder brother dies committing a crime that results in the death of two others, Gaetano assumes his family responsibility to bury him next to their mother. But in this village, the weight of tradition is omnipotent and mayor Enza denies Gaetano access to his brother’s body. Enza’s daughter Anna is Gaetano’s lover. She witnesses his resolve and encourages Gaetano to take a stand for his family honor, even as doing so will put his life in danger.

DIRECTED BY : Julien Paolini
CAST : Syrus Shahidi, Celeste Casciaro, Tony Sperandeo, Ciro Petrone, Fosco Perinti
PRODUCED BY : La Réserve, Rosebud Entertainment Pictures, Picseyes
FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS : La Baule Festival, Porto Vecchio Political FF, Cognac Thriller Festival

AWARD : Grand Prize @ Cognac Thriller Festival

PRESS : "At the edge of the social drama and the western, AMARE AMARO draws a somewhat acid and bitter observation of withdrawal and community life, while reminding us that in times of crisis, the bonds that we believe fragile are revealed." - ECRAN LARGE

 

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USA - 2018 - 91 minutes - DRAMA

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ALREADY A CULT MOVIE-IN-MOVIE SATIRE

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On the set of a horror film with artistic pretensions, the beautiful Hollywood actress Mabel admits to being outside her comfort zone. She plays the role of a blind woman and the film she’s in deals explicitly with deformity. The production has even brought on several disabled actors, including Rosenthal, a nervous comedian with a major facial deformity. Mabel struggles to identify with him, but as their characters connect on camera, the actors do the same behind it. And as the film crew walks on the eggshells of political correctness and strange rumors begin to circulate about the abandoned hospital serving backdrop to the production, the boundaries between reality and fiction become excessively porous…

DIRECTED BY : Aaron Schimberg
CAST : Jess Weixler, Adam Pearson, Charlie Korsmo & Stephen Plunkett
PRODUCED BY : Vanessa McDonnell
FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS : Fantasia FF, Fantastic Fest, BFI London IFF, BAM Cinemafest, Thessaloniki IFF, Tallinn Black Nights FF, Mar del Plata IFF, Glasgow IFF, Berlinale Critics' Week, Belfast FF

PRESS : “Bizarre and beautiful - leaves us on thrillingly shifty ground. Schimberg confidently blurs the line between fantasy and reality, treating his characters with equivalent, complicated affection, a warmth very much the filmmaker’s own.” THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“Extraordinary. Schimberg creates a melodrama that reflects on the terms of melodrama while also pointing toward a grass-roots cinematic revolution – movies made by people about their own experiences.”THE NEW YORKER

 

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FRANCE - 1938 - 110 minutes - DRAMA - 2K RESTORATION

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L'HERBIER MASTERPIECE RESTORED IN 2K

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At the beginning of the XXth century, in imperial Russia. Raspoutine, man of the people, is greatly appreciated for his healing gifts. He gets invited in Saint Petersburg' salons and climbs the social ladder until reaching Empress Alexandra, whose son badly fell. After Raspoutine's intervention, the child gets better and Raspoutine becomes the Emperor's favorite.

CAST : Harry Baur, Marcelle Chantal, Pierre Richard-Willm, Jean Worms
DIRECTED BY : Marcel L'Herbier
PRODUCED BY : Max Glass Film
ORIGINAL TITLE : Tragédie impériale

 

 

 

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FRANCE - 1996 - 90 minutes - DRAMA

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THE NATURALISM OF THE PERFORMANCE

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At a farm in Provence, a protective and devoted mother raises her seven children while struggling at work. The father, a real old-style patriarch, frequently absent, leads a double life. The difficult daily life at the farm is punctuated by the rhythm of the seasons and through microevents in the family which tend to bring the children closer to their mother. One day, while going to pick up his daughter at the bus stop, the father is taken by an incestuous temptation…

DIRECTED BY : Sandrine Veysset
CAST : Dominique Reymond, Daniel Duval
PRODUCED BY : Ognon Pictures

 

  

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