Open window on the Med
by Vitor Pinto
National Capital of Culture in 2005, Faro will witness this year the creation of a brand new film festival. Between the 21st and the 30th of September, the capital of Algarve, in the south of Portugal, will host the 1st edition of the Festival Films of the Mediterranean: an open window on Mediterranean cinema and its co-productions with Europe.
Although the official program is yet to be released, the film registration deadline being Sunday, 31st of July, the organizers of the Festival have already announced some of the highlights of the event, such as the “Panorama on Algerian Film”, which includes some European co-productions such as Les soleil assassiné by Abdelkrim Bahloul. The French-Belgian-Algerian film starring Charles Berling as Jean Sénac, the poet who announced his death would be optimistic, was produced, among others, by Les Films du Fleuve, the Belgian production company run by the Dardenne brothers. The section "Les femmes de la Méditerranée" also proposes European co-productions such as Nadir Moknèche’s Le Harem de Mme Osmane starring Carmen Maura – one of the guests of the festival – and the Belgian-Algerian documentary Une femme taxi à Sidi Bel-Abbès by Belkacem Hadjadj.
Also in the program, the tribute to Algerian filmmaker Merzak Allouache and a section called "Made in Algarve" featuring films that have been shot in the region: Pierre Kast’s Le soleil en face, Grahm Guit’s Le pacte du silence and the Portuguese À flor do mar by João César Monteiro, The Immortals by António Pedro Vasconcelos, Kiss Me by António da Cunha Teles and Estudo da luz na ria Formosa by João Botelho.
Thanks to a close collaboration with the Algarve Film Commission, founded in 2004, the festival creates a forum where the film industry professionals can meet and develop ideas for potential co-productions, collaborations and sales, as well as continuing to attract international productions to the landscapes of the region.
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