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World Cinema Amsterdam: new film festival dedicated to world cinema

World Cinema Amsterdam is a new film festival based in Amsterdam, combining the best independently produced films from Latin America, Asia and Africa in a single festival. From 12 to 22 August, more than 60 short and feature-length films will screen in the Rialto cinema and at free outdoor screenings on Marie Heinekenplein square. The festival opens on 12 August with the screening of Un homme qui crie, a moving father & son drama from Chad which this year won the Cannes Jury Prize and was nominated for a Golden Palm.

Competition programme
The competition programme is central to World Cinema Amsterdam. This consists of nine films from nine countries, including award-winners from renowned international festivals like Cannes and Berlin, as well as films that have stood out elsewhere. All have their Dutch or Amsterdam premières at World Cinema Amsterdam. The films in competition compete for the World Cinema Amsterdam Jury Award, worth € 7,500; the NTR Broadcast Award for pick-up and television broadcast, worth € 10,000, and the World Cinema Amsterdam Audience Award, which is worth € 7,500. The cash prizes associated with these awards are intended to support the winners with their next film project. On Wednesday, 18 August, the Jury Award and the NTR Broadcast Award will be presented, and the competition programme will conclude with the screening of the film Honey (Bal), winner of a Golden Bear. The winner of the Audience Award will be announced after the festival on 23 August.

Mexican Landscapes
Each year, World Cinema Amsterdam focuses on a country from Latin America, Asia or Africa, where interesting films are currently being made. This year, the focus is on Mexico in the Mexican Landscapes programme section, made up of fifteen full-length and nineteen short films. Mexican cinema has been undergoing something of a revival since 2000, thanks to the work of directors such as Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores perros), Carlos Reygadas (Jápon) and Alfonso Cuarón (Y tu mamá también). Of course, Mexican Landscapes also presents the latest films by the talented, up-and-coming young generation of Mexican filmmakers. Mexican Landscapes opens on Friday, 13 August with the Dutch première of Revolución: ten Mexican filmmakers demonstrate their talents in ten powerful short films, in which they share their vision of the 100th anniversary of the Mexican revolution.

World Cinema Amsterdam Open Air
From Thursday 19 through Sunday 22 August, the festival will be rounded off with four free screenings in the open air, on Marie Heinekenplein square in Amsterdam’s de Pijp district. Congolese music documentary Benda Bilili! kicks off this open-air programme on 19 August.

World Cinema Amsterdam has invited eight directors to attend the festival: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun from Chad (Un homme qie crie), Semih Kaplanoğlu from Turkey (Honey (Bal)), Woo Ming Jin from Malaysia (Woman on Fire Looks For Water and 15Malaysia), Nicolás Pereda from Mexico (Juntos and Perpetuum mobile), Elisa Miller from Mexico (Ver llover and Roma), Mariana Chenillo from Mexico (Cinco días sin Nora and Revolución), Ernesto Contreras from Mexico (Párpados azules and Seguir siendo: Café Tacvba) and José Manuel Cravioto from Mexico (Seguir siendo: Café Tacvba).

World Cinema Amsterdam works with a large number of partners on its programming. During the festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund will be releasing a DVD boxed set of Malaysian film jewels, the Young Malaysia Collection. The Hubert Bals Fund is also supporting the screening of various films at the festival. Dutch broadcaster NPS is also supporting the festival by buying two films from the programme for broadcast on TV. Paula Astorga Riestra of Cineteca Nacional in Mexico has provided particular support to the programme and in the invitation of directors from the Mexican Landscapes section.

World Cinema Amsterdam On Tour
From 19 August through 15 September, World Cinema Amsterdam On Tour will screen the latest films, including the award-winners from the renowned Cannes and Berlin festivals, as exclusive advance premières in the rest of the Netherlands.

World Cinema Amsterdam: an initiative by Rialto
World Cinema Amsterdam is a new initiative by Rialto, which for years has been promoting the presentation of films and filmmakers from Africa, Asia and Latin America. In 2006, Rialto started realising a long-cherished dream: to organise its own festival dedicated to the many pearls produced by world cinema. 2006 brought a focus on Argentinean cinema, with the successful Nuevo Cine Argentino. A year later, the focus shifted onto Cinema South Africa, and in 2008 Malaysia was in the spotlight with New Malaysian Cinema. However, Rialto’s ambition went further: to realise an annual summer festival in the month of August dedicated to films and filmmakers from all three continents, as done successfully elsewhere in Europe.

For further information or for downloading the festival catalogue, please see the festival website:


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