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"My Blueberry Nights," by Wong Kar Wai opens IndieLisboa 2008

International Independent Film Festival of Lisbon officially opens on the 24 April with the film: «My Blueberry Nights», by Wong Kar Wai. From the same director of «2046», «Chungking Express» or «In the Mood for Love», «My Blueberry Nights» has a suit of very well known actors (Jude Law, David Strathairn, Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman) and with Norah Jones in the leadig role. The film shows us a young woman who went on a demand for herself, after a love deception. Her demand leads her to some knew experiences and show her new ways, especially a new way of life.

Under the section Independent Hero, the fifth edition of the festival will honor the directors Johnnie To and José Luis Guerin. Despite devoted internationally, the film directors hardly received comercial release in Portugal. IndieLisboa´s audiences have now the opportunity to meet some of their most acclaimed films by international critics. As in previous editions there is also a focus on the cinema of a country still little known in Portugal. This year will be the New Romanian Cinema. The previous editions have honored the Sundance Festival, in 2004, the New Argenine Cinema and the chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke, in 2005, the directors Michael Glawogger, Jay Rosenblatt, Nobuhiro Suwa and Edgar Pêra in 2006 and, last year, the japanese director Shinji Aoyama and the New German Cinema.

Johnnie To, director of Hong Kong, is one of the cult authors of IndieLisboa, being the only director who had a film screened in each one of the four editions of the festival. Prolific director, he usually makes two or three films a year, from diferent genders. He can offer us a black gangsters film or a romantic comedy, which are usually very well succeded in the East. Johnnie To seems to have two sides that complement each other and are inseparable. IndieLisboa will screen some of his most acclaimed films by the international critics ( "A Hero Never Dies" (1998) "Running out of Time" (1999) or "The Mission" (1999), along with some of his greatest successes in his country (Justice my Foot" (1993), "Needing You" (2000) and "Loving You" (1995). IndieLisboa will also present the latest film by Johnnie To, "Mad Detective" internationally premiered in the last edition of the Venice Film Festival.

The spanish director José Luis Guerin is certainly one of the most singular directors of contemporary cinema. His work is marked by a passionate cinefilia (much influenced by classic american cinema, but also by modern european cinema) and at the same time, by a profound originality, he goes through the territory of fiction to the documentary and vice versa without changing or damaging the extreme elegance of his style and it´s rigorous formal construction.
Also professor of documentary film at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (where he has made a direct influence on some of the most interesting new directors now arising in Spain, such as Mercedes Alvarez, author of "El Cielo Gira", his former student and collaborator), José Luis Guerin made his first film feature in 1983 ( "Los motivos de Berta”), which gave him the Sant Jordi Cinema Prize, for Best Spanish Film. Since then he directed only more five feature films: "Innisfree" (1990), "Tren de sombras" (1997) and "En Construccion" (2001) and the recent "En la Ciudad de Silvia" (screened in competition at the last Venice Film Festival) and "Unas fotografias en la Ciudad de Silvia", which is like a "sketchebook" of the other film. His work is rare and spaced in time, immune to any commercial pressures and to the ephemeral that sometimes destroy the most current cinema and, therefore, absolutely essential to understand that some of the most fascinating ways of making cinema have an ancient and illustrious history.
Both filmmakers will be at IndieLisboa to present their work to the portuguese public.

The New Romanian Cinema
Some people call it "Nouvelle Vague", "Nouvelle Nouvelle Vague," or Neo-Realism Romanian, and others even deny the existence of a new current. What is certain is that the new Romanian filmmakers win awards in major international festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and Locarno and his work is increasingly commented, subject of analysis and study and begins to be commercially distributed everywhere. IndieLisboa decided to reflect on the New Romanian Cinema and will present a program consisting of short and feature films made between 1992 and 2008. The festival will screen the first movies of Cristian Mungiu (Winner of the Golden Palm in 2007), Cristi Puiu, Cristian Nemescu, Corneliu Porumboiu, Catalin Mitulescu and Radu Muntean (the names more well known in this generation), but also rediscover films from important filmmakers as Hanno Hofer, Constantin Popescu, Tomas Ciulei, Titus Muntean, Florin Iepan, Alexandru Soloman. At the same time, we will show a handful of promises, students that finish their courses only now, as Paul Negoescu and Adina Pintilie, and we believe we are going to hear about their cinema in the future.

Keeping the focus on creativity and independence of the authors, in just four years IndieLisboa is already recognized as one of the most important cinema festivals in Portugal. In 2008, the festival will screen almost 250 films, from around the world, and will receive 350 national and international guests, among directors, actors, producers, journalists and programmers.

In the months of April and May, and during eleven days, IndieLisboa will present an international competition of short and feature films, portuguese and international premieres, round tables, debates, discussions, among many other surprises.

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