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Preview of The Montpellier Festival of Mediterranean Film

The Montpellier Festival of Mediterranean Film (24 Oct. - 2 Nov. 2008) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, thirty years of a great cinematographic adventure that started with what in 1979 seemed to be a real gamble— the notion of a federative Mediterranean cultural identity. As the festivals went by, this joint identity gained clarity and strength. Great names in the cinema were hosted in Montpellier, new talents were revealed and a public of passionate enthusiasts formed over the years.

For this constantly renewed public, the festival is showing this year once again the best recent productions from all the shores of the Mediterranean. It will be a unique overview from Portugal to the Black Sea. More than 250 films will be shown, including 120 new works in the official selection: previews, competitions and panoramas.

Preliminary information about the official selection will be announced by the end of September and the complete programme with schedule will be available on October 6th.

Tributes and retrospectives 2008: A glimpse of the 2008 programme:

• Italy: a tribute to Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
• Spain: the civil war, a tribute to Jaime Camino
• France: tribute to Philippe Faucon
• A night in hell: Joe D'Amato, a tribute to ultra-B-film cinema
• A different kind of Sunday: carte blanche to Pierre Pitiot
• Experimental, video art:
- Zineb Sedira, Katia Kameli: what representations of Algeria?
- David Olivari: 24:60, a participative video installation
• Screenwriting Day : with Dominique Cabrera (28 Oct.)
• Making films in the region
• Animated Cinema
• Lycée cinema-audiovisual class course: Alfred Hitchcock

30th edition, the special events

Du côté de la côte
A. Varda (1958)
• Safy Boutella concert: 30 years of music and films. An Algerian musician and composer, Safy Boutella has written the music for films by Merzak Allouache, Rachid Bouchareb, Christophe Ruggia and many others. This concert is to be specially dedicated to the Mediterranean, its films and its music. In partnership with the SACEM on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of film music, at the initiative of the Union des compositeurs de musiques de film and under the patronage of the President of France. (Friday 31 October)

• An evening of short films, in partnership with Canal+. The Montpellier Festival short film prize has been awarded by Canal+ for nearly 15 years. To mark this long partnership and its continuous involvement in the promotion of short films, Canal+ is to show a host of short films from the Mediterranean (and beyond) made in recent years. (Wednesday 29 October)

• An evening of Mediterranean short documentaries, in partnership with the French film library (Cinémathèque française). An exceptional evening with five masterpieces restored by the Cinémathèque française. Films by Manoel de Oliveira, Georges Rouquier, Luciano Emmer and Enrico Gras, Agnès Varda, Jean-Daniel Pollet. (Thursday 30 October)

• Exhibitions
- The Taviani brothers, 30 years of filmmaking. On the occasion of the important tribute to the Taviani brothers, the Festival is presenting an exhibition by Andrea Mancini consisting of photos by Umberto Montiroli, a faithful friend of the filmmakers and who covered their shoots since 1977. It is an exceptional series of images in time, taking us from Padre Padrone to their latest films.
- Spanish Civil War film posters: an exhibition in collaboration with the Institut Jean-Vigo.

Montpellier, a meeting place for professionals

• Press Round Table. Chaired by Jean-Michel Frodon, director of Cahiers du Cinéma, and several national and regional press specialists, this will be an occasion to use specific experiences to review the relations between the worlds of cinema and news. (Wednesday 29 October, morning)

• Professional meeting: developing, producing, making and distributing a short film. Every year, the Festival is an excellent place for reflection attended by the leading professionals in the region. This year the theme is short films, from project to distribution. With the participation of the Agence du court métrage, the CNC, Canal+, Arte and Languedoc-Roussillon Cinéma. (Wednesday 29 October, afternoon)

• Development Grant
Since 1991, the Festival has awarded a grant to directors who have already made at least one fiction short and submit a project for a feature film at the screenplay stage.
At least 12 screenplays for feature films are examined by an international jury.
2 awards of €7,000 (Organisation internationale de la francophonie, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), 1 award of €4,000 (Languedoc-Roussillon Region) together with technical aid from Kodak and Titra Film and a writer's residence at Le Moulin d’Andé-CECI.

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