Heart of new Europe beats in Trieste
by Camillo de Marco
17/01/2007 - Known as the fullest and most well-rounded Italian festival of solely Eastern and Central European cinema, the 18th edition of the Trieste Film Festival (January 18-25) is this year dedicating particular attention to films from two new European Union member states: Bulgaria and Romania.
The competition sections feature a total of 50 titles, most of them premieres: 24 documentaries, 16 shorts and 10 features, the latter making up the International Feature Competition of all Italian premieres. Two are from Romania: Hirtia Va Fi Albastra by Radu Muntean and How I Spent the End of the World [trailer], a French-Romanian debut film by the young Catalin Mitulescu that won its star, Dorothea Petre, the Best Actress award in the Un Certain Regard sidebar. Both films are set in 1989, the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the last year of the Ceausescu dictatorship, like th fellow Romanian Corneliu Porumboiu’s 12:08 East of Bucharest [trailer, film focus] (see Focus).
This competition section also marks the return to Trieste of Rajko Grlic with Karaula, a co-production between all of the former Yugoslavian countries and Germany. From Albania comes Magic Eye, co-produced with Germany and directed by Kujtim Çashku, while Tajikistan offers up Pour aller au ciel, il faut mourir [trailer] by Djamshed Usmonov.
Also present will be The Free Will by Germany’s Matthias Glasner, which was co-written by Jürgen Vogel, winner of the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Achievement at the 2006 Berlinale; as well as White Palms [trailer, film focus]by Hungary’s Szabolcs Hajdu; Bulgarian-German co-production Obarnata Elcha by Ivan Cerkelov and Vasil Živkov; and Polish film Retrieval [trailer] by Slawomir Fabicki.
One of the masters of Eastern European cinema, Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic, will also be in competition, with his episodic film The Optimists, based on Voltaire’s Candide.
Now in its third edition, the International Documentary Competition, organised by Fabrizio Grosoli, is once again at the heart of the festival, with 24 titles - representing the Balkans, Baltic countries, Central Europe and Russia – focused primarily on social investigations and contemporary reality in Eastern Europe.
The closing night film is the highly anticipated Climates [trailer] by Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who was lauded at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and is returning to Trieste after winning the top feature competition prize in 2004.
(Translated from Italian)