Ghosts from the past and heroes from the present at HFM’s Work-in-Progress
by Birgit Heidsiek
- The Utrecht-based Holland Film Meeting has presented works in progress with huge international potential
At the Holland Film Meeting (HFM), which brings directors and producers into contact with international industry experts, the presentation of works in progress is already quite a tradition. After showing excerpts of their rough cuts in Utrecht, producers and filmmakers such as Terence Davies, Max Zähle, Peter Greenaway and Jan-Willem van Ewijk have found distribution partners. At this year’s edition of the HFM, six projects were presented that were looking for financiers, distributors, world sales agents and festivals.
Argentinian director-producer-actress Mónica Lairana, who was invited to the Cannes competition with her first short film, Rosa, in 2010, gave those present an insight into her new drama, The Bed [+see also:
film profile]. “It is the story of a couple that is getting divorced after 30 years,” the filmmaker explained. “We show the last 24 hours that they spend together in the house.” Being an actress herself, the director worked intensely with her two leading actors so that parts of the film would be narrated through their body language. Along with her own company, Argentinian producer Adriana Yurcovich has got Gema Juarez Allen, Germany’s Sutor Kolonko, Brazil’s 3 Moinhos Producoes and the Netherlands’ Topkapi Films on board as co-producers. The divorce drama received the Filmmore HFM Work-in-Progress Prize, worth €5,000 (see the news).
Another project from South America was Magnetic Pathways by Edgar Pêra (The City of Cassiano). Staged by Rodrigo Areias’ Portuguese company Bando à Parte and Brazilian production outfit Persona Non Grata, the drama is about the inner revolution of a 60-year-old Parisian author who came to Portugal with the Carnation Revolution in 1974 and still regrets the fact that he let his 21-year-old daughter marry a much older rich man in order to obtain financial security.
The documentary The Champion by Italian filmmakers Giordano Bianchi and Martina Marafatto features a centenarian who is the star of the Italian and World Masters Athletics Championships. The elderly man holds the 60-, 100- and 200-metre world records, as well as those for the high, long and triple jump, discus throwing and pentathlon. “The film is about using your time in life as well as possible,” the filmmakers explained. “In the documentary, we also focus on the relationship of the sportsman with his 50-year-old son,” said Marafatto.
Produced as a co-production between Swiss outfit 8horses and Germany’s Augenschein, the drama The Innocent [+see also:
interview: Simon Jaquemet
film profile] by Simon Jaquemet (Chrieg [+see also:
interview: Simon Jaquemet
film profile]) depicts the life of a wife and mother, which is turned upside down when her ex-lover comes out of prison. As a member of the Christian community, she feels guilty that she is attracted to her former lover, but also about the fact that she does surgery trials with monkeys at work in a lab. “The film is about guilt,” said Jaquemet.
From the Netherlands comes the debut feature Light as Feathers by Rosanna Pel (Out of Sight). In a small village in Poland, a 15-year-old boy falls in love with the girl next door. Having been sexually abused by his mother, he doesn’t know the difference between love and abuse. Finally, produced by Amsterdam-based Maniak Film and A Private View from Belgium, the lyrical film noir Nocturne [+see also:
film profile] by award-winning short-film director Viktor van der Valk (Onno the Oblivious) is a first feature about a director in search of the very essence of his film.
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