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The 26th edition of FESTROIA: TROIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL will be held from June 4 to 13 in the beautiful coastal resort town of Setubal, Portugal. The Festival, the country's oldest and most prestigious, is known as the "Cannes of Portugal" and showcases international talents from around the world, with competition sections, special events and a program  of new works from emerging North American independent filmmakers from the U.S.A.


A Focus On The Environment



by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor

FESTROIA is set in the beautiful coastal city of Setubal, surrounded by water and mountains in the Sado region of Portugal. Its idyllic setting makes it a natural environment for a meditation of ecological issues and the Festival expresses its interest in a competition section entitled Man And His Environment.


This theme is expressed in the section in a combination of feature dramas, documentaries and short films that have as their common denominator a concern for environmental issues and a thoughtful exploration of mankind’s response or indifference to them. The two documentary features in the section include ANOTHER PLANET, a Hungarian production with co-production partners in Finland, Belgium, Portugal, Slovenia and Estonia. Directed by Ferenc Moldovanyi, the film was shot over a two year period in four countries on three continents---Ecuador and Mexico in Central America, the Republic of Congo in Africa and Cambodia in Southeast Asia. The connecting thread are the lives of seven children who are deprived of childhood because of military, economic or social issues in their native countries. FROM SOMEWHERE TO NOWHERE by Swiss director Villi Hermann focuses on the increasing demand in China for migrant workers to feed the growth of China’s exploding economy. Some 150 million people have already moved from their rural towns and villages to work in China’s booming cities and industrial centers.


The dramatic films in the section cover a multitude of themes. In 14 KILOMETERS, Spanish director Gerardo Olivares offers a neo-realistic study of three young Africans who journey from their native Sahara to the promised land of Europe, which is a mere 14 kilometers across the straights of Gibraltar. Finnish director Dome Karukoski has adapted a celebrated novel by Leena Lander for his study of a troubled teenager who is sent to a ruthless boys’ home located on a remote island in the stirring THE HOME OF DARK BUTTERFLIES. In ELKLAND by Swedish director Per Hanefjord, an isolated environment is also the backdrop for a human drama about a son who returns to his rural village to attend his father’s funeral. Fellow Swede Eva Isaksen also offers a meditation on how environment alters perception in HOUSE OF FOOLS, the story of young woman who checks herself into an unusual mental institution where the anxieties, pain and mad humor of life is able to be expressed in a detached environment of therapy and trust. A sanitorium is also the setting for the Canadian film THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE by debut writer/director Benoit Pilon. Set in the 1950s, the film tells the unusual story of an Inuit hunter  who is relocated to a Quebec sanatorium to cure his tuberculosis. The story of clashing cultures reinforces the theme that environment is shaped by man as much as man is shaped by environment.


The short films in the section hail from Spain (HARRAGA, Eva Patricia Fernandez and Mario de la Torre; TAMA, Martin Costa; METROPOLIS FERRY, Juan Gautier; and A BETTER LIFE, Luis Fernandez Reneo), France (DIRTY SLAPPING, Edouard Molinaro) and Sweden (MAJKEN, Andrea Ostlund). The winner will be announced at the Closing Ceremonies on Saturday evening.



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Sandy Mandelberger
(International Media Resources)

United States

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