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FESTIVALS Portugal

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Dome Karukoski’s Tom of Finland to open FEST

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- The Espinho-based festival is celebrating its 13th edition and once again brings big international film professionals to its Training Ground sessions

Dome Karukoski’s Tom of Finland to open FEST
Tom of Finland by Dome Karukoski

The FEST – New Directors, New Films Festival kicks off today in the Portuguese coastal city of Espinho and will this year be celebrating its 13th edition. The programme includes the screening of over 150 titles (comprising features, shorts and documentaries), plus several parallel training activities that tend to attract an increasing number of young film professionals.

This year’s edition marks the return of Finnish director Dome Karukoski to Espinho. His film The Home of the Dark Butterflies [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 previously won FEST’s top prize back in 2009. This year, he is back to introduce Tom of Finland [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Dome Karukoski
film profile
]
, the biopic of Touko Laaksonen (a pioneering artist in the world of gay iconography), which opens the gathering tonight.

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The features in competition include, among others, La mano invisible [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
 by David Macián, about the working conditions in Spain after years of austerity; As You Are by Sundance-winning director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte; and Old Stone by Johnny Ma, a social drama about the consequences of the complex Chinese bureaucratic system.

FEST – which also includes a children’s section targeting family audiences (FESTinha), a national competition for short films and a special award (NEXXT) for directors who have recently graduated – owes part of its growing reputation to its Training Ground and Pitching Forum parallel activities, which feature a series of workshops and master classes with established names from the international film industry. This year’s list of guests includes US DoP Ed Lachman (Todd Haynes’ Carol [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), Polish production designer Allan Starski (Roman Polanski’s The Pianist [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), Oscar-winning US actress Melissa Leo (The Fighter) and Portuguese actor Nuno Lopes, who recently scooped several prizes for his role in Marco Martins’ Saint George [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Marco Martins
film profile
]
, among others. The Pitching Forum will host 20 projects in development that are looking for co-producers and financiers.

FEST runs until 26 June. The closing film is the Spanish production The One-Eyed King [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Marc Crehuet, a dark comedy about the effects of the financial crisis in Spain.

EPI Distribution
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