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Taormina boasts host of European titles


Five European films showed in the second half of the 54th Taormina Film Fest (June 15-22).

Slovenian film Tractor, Love and Rock’n’Roll by Bosnian musician-actor-filmmaker Branko Djuric (Cheese and Jam, No Man’s Land [+see also:
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) is a tragicomic love story is set in 1960s Yugoslavia, in a small village that witnesses the arrival of rock music and the first tractor. Completed two years ago, the film, a co-production with Bosnia and Croatia, has yet to find a distributor.

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Diego Ronsisvalle’s Un amore di Gide (“A Gide’s Love”) – produced by Italy’s La Strada – screened to a packed audiences as it shot in Taormina, and is loosely based on his father Vanni’s eponymous novel. The film stars Alessandro Haber and Olivia Magnani in a mystery based on the premise that in the 1940s Italy and France made a pact for the former to deport renowned writer Andre Gide (in light of an affair with a much younger man) in exchange for the much-contested city of Trieste.

Both films were world premieres and in competition while the other three titles were part of the Beyond the Mediterranean sidebar.

Also a world premiere, Paisito by Spanish director Ana Diez is a co-production between Argentina, Uruguay and Spain’s Tornasol Films that centres on the friendship and budding romance between two preadolescents. Set against the Uruguayan dictatorship, the two are separated by tragic events that implicate both their families (who belong to opposing political factions) only to be reunited decades later in Spain.

Mike FiggisLove Live Long (UK – Gumball 3000 Films/Red Mullet) marks yet another foray into experimental filmmaking for the director. Here, he once again examines eroticism in a story that is ultimately reminiscent of Fatal Attraction.

Hot off its Best Performance Award for its cast at the recent Transylvania Film Festival, the last European film to screen was Bela Paczolay’s The Adventurers (Hungary, Unio Film). The most exportable of the group, the film focuses on a day in the life of a son, father and grandfather on a road trip full of improbable yet humorous obstacles.

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