Taormina features films by Olivares, Becker and Wivel - Festivals

Article published on June 20, 2008
Article published on June 20, 2008
The first European films have screened at the 54th Taormina Film Fest (June 15-22). Cineuropa.org On June 16, Gerardo Olivares’ 14 Km received heartfelt applause after its out-of-competition screening in the Beyond the Mediterranean sidebar.
Rough yet ultimately gripping, the Spanish title is based on the true, life-threatening journeys that many sub-Saharan Africans make across the Tenere Desert to the shores of Morocco, to cross the 14-kilometre Gibraltar Strait to Spain and dreams of a better life.

The acclaimed documentary director cast his three non-professional leads actors from the streets of Niger for his second feature film, which was made for €1m and is handled by Latido Films. It has been picked up for Italy by Universal, who will most likely release it in the autumn, and is in negotiations with the UK, Scandinavia, France and Mexico.

Jean Becker’s competition title Love Me No More is the French director’s 13th feature, after the successful Conversations with My Gardener. The film stars Albert Dupontel as a man harbouring a painful secret who over the course of a weekend decides to abandon his family and friends.

Love Me No More made its international premiere at Taormina on Tuesday and has grossed just over €9m domestically after six weeks at the box office.

Also making its international premiere yesterday, in Beyond the Mediterranean, was Comeback by ballet dancer-turned-director Ulrik Wivel. The Nordisk Film title was made with backing from Danish New Screen and is sold internationally by TrustNordisk.

Featuring sparse dialogue, much hand-held camerawork and tight close-ups, the film centres on theatre director Roland (Baard Owe), who returns to his native Copenhagen from Germany for work and to reconcile with his estranged son. Wivel’s debut narrative feature attests to his background as a documentary filmmaker through (fictional) interviews with Roland’s old school friends.

Natasha Senjanovic -