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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Switzerland

Black Movie set to unspool in 100% digital form

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- As with every year, the 22nd edition of the Geneva-based festival promises tantalising cinematic discoveries despite health crisis constraints

Black Movie set to unspool in 100% digital form
DAU. Degeneration by Ilya Khrzhanovskiy and Ilya Permyakov

Faced, like countless other cultural events, with the restrictions that have been introduced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Geneva’s Black Movie Independent Film Festival (22-31 January) has decided to shed its skin without, however, losing a shred of the irreverent spirit we so closely associate with it. Indeed, for its 22nd edition Black Movie intends to make its full film programme available online for the public, as well as meetings with directors (pre-recorded) and round tables.

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In partnership with the VOD platform Shift72, which is affiliated with Festival Scope, the event is this year offering no less than 84 films, consisting of 41 full-length works and 43 shorts (1 European premiere and 56 Swiss premieres) split across 7 thematic sections. The adventurous and multicultural spirit of the festival is also reflected in the geographical diversity of the films selected, which hail from an impressive 48 countries. As usual, the festival will be graced by male and female directors who have become “aficionados” of the event over the years, such as South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo (The Woman Who Ran, Silver Bear for Best Director at the 2020 Berlinale), Japan’s Sion Sono, who will present the European premiere of Red Post on Escher Street, Rehad Desai (presenting How to Steal a Country in league with Mark Kaplan), Taiwan’s Tsai Ming-liang (with his highly sensual Days) and Kazakhstan’s Adilkhan Yerzhanov (offering up Ulbolsyn [+see also:
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]
). Characters with a tendency to swim against the tide are likewise not to be missed, such as the Ivory Coast’s Joël Akafou who, in After the Crossing [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, tells us the story of a migrant refugee in Italy, Chile’s Rodrigo Sepúlveda with his sublime Tengo miedo torero, which is a film adaptation of the book by the equally sublime queer Chilean writer Pedro Lemebel, Brazil’s Felipe Bragança with his astonishing work A Yellow Animal [+see also:
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film profile
]
and Teboho Edkins, who will treat the audience to his provocative picture Days of Cannibalism [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Teboho Edkins
film profile
]
.

There’ll be no shortage of aesthetically destabilising films either, or those whose formats could be described as original, to say the least. These include DAU. Degeneration [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Russian directors Ilya Khrzhanovskiy and Ilya Permyakov, which is a six-hour marathon semi-inspired by the immersive and engulfing sociological DAU experiment; La Verónica by Chile’s Leonardo Medel, which revolves around the story of an Instagram model; The Death of Cinema and My Father Too [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Israel’s Dani Rosenberg, which plays with the boundary between fiction and reality, and This Is My Desire by the spokespeople of Nigerian cinema Ari and Chuko Esiri. Genre film will also enjoy a presence by way of films from Yerlan Nurmukhambetov and Lisa Takeba (Les voleurs de chevaux), South Korea’s Kim Yong-Hoon (Lucky Strike) and Ryan Kruger (Fried Barry).

Women directors are well-represented in the selection (28 in total) and include Argentina’s Sol Berruezo Pichon-Rivière with Mamá, mamá, mamá, Bulgaria’s Svetla Tsotsorkova (Sister [+see also:
film review
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interview: Svetla Tsotsorkova
film profile
]
), South Korea’s Kim Mi-jo (Gull) and Spain’s Laura Herrero Garvin with the touching and luminous La mami [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laura Herrero Garvín
film profile
]
, not to mention Cuba’s Irene Gutiérrez who follows three Angolan Civil War veterans from Cuba in Between Dog and Wolf [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Irene Gutiérrez
film profile
]
. Black Movie is also set to present - in partnership with RTS - the documentary The Earth Is Blue As An Orange [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Iryna Tsilyk
film profile
]
by Ukrainian filmmaker Irina Tsylik.

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(Translated from Italian)

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