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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) 2010 Festival Releases (Read 23,417 times)
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #15 - 22. Aug 2010 at 04:31
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I've been neglecting this thread so little time lately...
Here are some films which screened at Giffoni this year.

Garuda di Dadaku (Indonesia)

Bayu, 12 years old, has a dream to become a great soccer player. Everyday he dribbles the ball through small alleys of the neighbourhood to practice football in a badminton field. Heri, the best friend of Bayu, is very confident about Bayu’s talent. He is the motivator and intelligent “coach” of Bayu. He is trying to convince Bayu to sign on to a selection of national team under 13's that will represent Indonesia in international competition. However Mr. Usman, Bayu’s grandfather, disapproves Bayu’s dream because for him a soccer player has no future thus he will live in poverty. Helped by his new mysterious friend, Zahra, Bayu and Hery try all kinds of tricks to be able to practice soccer. But obstacles keep coming and threaten the “three musketeers” friendship. Is Bayu’s dream worth a frienship?

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Harun Arun (India)

The 1947 partition of India divided not only a country but many hearts and families too. Harun is a little boy living in Pakistan with his grandfather, Rashid Suleman. Rashid has long harboured hopes of going back to his birth place, Lakhpat in India. Under changed circumstances, an old man now, he decides to cross the border into India to hand over his grandson Harun to his childhood friend Jesang Mavji in Lakhpat, where he thinks the boy will live a better life. But in the chaos of crossing the border, Harun is separated from his grandfather and must undertake the journey to Lakhpat on his own. On the Indian side, he comes across three children who decide to hide and protect him without the knowledge of their mother Valbai.


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Ať Žijí Rytíři [Little Knight's Tale] (Czech Republic)

Martin, a virtuous knight and a caring father of five children, is sued for witchcraft and looting. And so he departs for the royal court to defend his honor, leaving the fortress in the hands of his eldest son Peter and his siblings. He does not have the faintest idea that the denunciation was the work of his envious, greedy and totally despicable neighbor Albrecht the Bloody Nose who wants nothing else but to take possession of the land. It seems evil is close to victory. But Albrecht soon realizes that outwitting a bunch of little knights is sometimes harder than defeating an army. Will the kids succeed in defeating a much stronger enemy?

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Neuneinhalbs Abschied (Germany)

Tom is 10, Piet is 6 years old. Two inseparable brothers. Tom explains the world in his very own way, enabling his little brother to understand life`s secrets. He always turns things the way that they make sense.

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De fantastiske 3 [The Fantastic 3] (Denmark)

9-year old Casper tells the story of his dad whose daytime job is at the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. By night he transforms into the super hero Spejdermand. Along with his friends Handymand and Scoremand, Spejdermand keep the city safe—guarding citizens against any villains and oddballs roaming the streets of Copenhagen.

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« Last Edit: 29. Aug 2010 at 21:10 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #16 - 22. Aug 2010 at 04:43
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I Am Kalam (India)

Chhotu is an inventive and poor child who in order to support his family works in a food stall during the day and spends his evenings reading books he has gathered. He dreams of getting an education and commanding his destiny. One day he encounters the local prince. The pauper is captivated at the sight of the crisp prince’s tie, while the prince is mesmerized by the camel the pauper has tamed. A friendship is struck between the two which defies class barriers. One day, upon hearing a speech from Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, Chhotu vows to change his future. Just like him, Kalam suffered hardships as a child but through his determination mapped his own course. From that day the lad drops the name Chhotu, used to identify labouring boys across India, and adopts the alias Kalam. Like the former President, he pledges to become a hero. He is aided by his friend prince Ranvijay.

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Karla og Jonas (Denmark)

Karla is in love with Jonas, but doesn’t dare to contact him. Her best friend pushes Karla to call him, which results in an invitation to visit him at the orphanage he lives in. Life is hard when there is no family at all, and Karla, who is crazy about Jonas, tries to comfort him by suggesting looking for his biological mom. They take matters into own hands, and steal Jonas’ birth certificate from the principal’s drawer. With no money to pay the ticket they jump the train headed for the city where Jonas was born. They cross a grumpy taxi driver, a dubious gang of homeless people, and some strange ladies who share their name with Jonas’ mother. The mission seems hopeless, but they may have hit the mark, when they find a beautiful blond hairdresser.

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Kinjirareta Koi no Melody [Snow Prince] (Japan)

Present-day, Tokyo. An old gentleman leaves a manuscript to Sayo Arima, a woman living quietly through her twilight years. In it is spelled out a story that only Sayo knows. The early 1930s, in a cold wintry village. Sota, a boy without parents lives with his poor grandfather Seikichi and his Akita dog, Chibi. Sota cannot even afford to go to school but he has a big talent in drawing. Sayo comes from a wealthy family, but they have been friends since they were very small. Sayo’s father, however, is not pleased that they are such good friends. One day Sota and Sayo sneak into a touring circus that has set up in the town and encounter a clown, Hagio, a man who surprisingly seems to be able to read Sota’s mind and encourages him in his desire to become a painter. Sota manages to buy paper and tries to complete a picture to give to Sayo as a present.

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Vorstadtkrokodile 2 (Germany)

Summer vacation, the first tender stirrings of romance and new gang headquarters: life could be perfect for the Crocodiles, were there not strange goings-on in the plant where Olli and Maria’s parents work. The factory is facing lay-offs and maybe even closure, meaning their parents may lose their jobs, even their home. That would spell the end of the Crocodiles: if Olli and Maria have to move, there would be no gang left for Hannes, Kai, Jorgo, Frank and Peter, either! So the Crocodiles would do anything to get to the bottom of the mysterious series of accidents at the plant, including hair-raising stunts and chases, secretive sleuthing, and even going so far as to get a makeover from Kai’s annoying big-city cousin Jenny, so they can go undercover at the hippest nightclub in town. The Crocodiles put the pedal to the metal and race full speed ahead, on bikes and souped-up wheelchairs, into their next adventure!


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Minnie Loves Junior (Australia)

Minnie, 10, lives in an aboriginal fishing village. Junior, 10, lives there too. Little does he realise Minnie’s unrequested love will soon save his life.

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Min pappa av papp [My Cardboard Dad] (Norway)

Glenn has fallen in love with his colleague, Karen. After a long period of dating, time has come for Glenn to meet Karen's seven-year-old son, Nils. What Glenn does not know is that Nils has a dad made out of cardboard, specifically Superman in full-size.

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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #17 - 22. Aug 2010 at 05:06
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Planter des Rêves [Seeding Dreams] (France)

Théo is 6 years old and he’s suffering from cancer. He discovers in a children’s book that the moon has healing powers. With the help of his older brother, Arthur, 10 years old, they begin a search for a piece of moon. Pierre, who works at night at the hospital as a janitor, is going to end up, quite unwillingly, linked to this quest.

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Xie Zi (Italy)

A man and a child, coming from too different cultures, meet by accident. Between fear and distrust, they will find themselves bound to each other by a "double knot".

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La Rafle [The Round Up]  (France)

Paris, summer 1942, France is under German occupation. Jews are first forced to wear the yellow star, then they are banned from any public place, they can’t work or attend schools. Many Jewish families, including that of Joseph, 10 years old, live in Montmartre. The situation is worsening day by day and the city is divided: some are seeking to protect and help their neighbours, others deride them. In the night between 15 and 16 July, the fate of the Jews of Paris changed forever. Following an agreement between Hitler and General Petain, thousands of Jews, including Joseph and his family, are taken to the Velodrome d 'Hiver, where they stay for days without water, no toilets and little food. To help them a few brave French as the nurse Annette Monod, and the firefighters who not only give them water, contrary to orders, but accept to take secret messages to friends and families. Deported to the concentration camp Beaune-la-Rolande, still in French territory, the Jews keep hope and families are still together. But one morning, Joseph and other children are separated from their parents.

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O Contador de Histórias  [The Story of Me]  (Brazil)

The youngest of 10 brothers, Roberto showed a special talent to tell stories, by changing through narrative his own experiences about frustration into beautiful and touching fables. At age 6, the boy filled with imagination goes to live in a newly opened government institution, whose main goal is to help young and poor children. His mother takes him there believing it will guarantee a better future for her child. But the reality of the institution is very different from what was advertised on TV. Roberto, little by little, loses hope. At age 13, after hundreds of escapes, he's considered "irrecoverable", in the words of the headmaster of the facility. However, Roberto proves to be a challenge to the French pedagogue Margherit, who comes to Brazil to work on a research. Determined to make the boy her object of study, she tries to get closer to him. At first, Roberto struggles, but after a traumatic experience, he looks for shelter in Margherit's home. What comes out of it is a relationship based on friendship and tenderness, that will put Roberto's disbelief in his future at check and will challenge Margherit to keep her beliefs.

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Motoguzzi (Turkey)

Twelve-year-old Yusuf, who lives in a village near Kars, has to cycle miles every day to get to school, even in the brutal winter. It may seem like a punishing routine, but not so for Yusuf. After all, he knows that every morning he’ll catch a glimpse of Leyla, the girl he has taken a shine to, even if only for a fleeting moment…

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Il Gioco [The Game]   (Italy)

Sicily, July 1943. On a beach seven children are engaged, as each summer, in a game they invented. It is a bet: you bet money, winner takes all. It is an adventure that our characters live waiting for something magic and mysterious.

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La Pagella [The Report Card]  (Italy)

A mother takes her son to visit his father before leaving on vacation. Again this year the man won't be with his family and the child wants to show him his report card. The visiting procedure is always the same: the heavy doors close, the guards’ look is severe, the hallways are endless, the rooms are desolate. The mother waits while the child goes to meet his father. The atmosphere is full of tension and the encounter is very emotional.

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L'Isola di Savino [Savino's Island]  (Italy)

Preparations are under way for the procession of the patron saint in a small town in Southern Italy, when a boat of illegal immigrants lands on the coast. This event will lead two children from completely different worlds to meet…

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Transit   (UK)

A 10-year-old boy, Connor, returns from holiday with his parents. As he travels through the airport he stumbles across a mysterious and desperate man who transforms his life forever.

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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #18 - 22. Aug 2010 at 13:10
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Thanks for the update. I'd love to know where most of these festival movies disappear to. It surprises me in this age of broadband that films like these are not more easily available to download. It's sad that we don't get to see most of them.
  
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #19 - 24. Aug 2010 at 04:27
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Cal, look at the 2009 thread (conveniently stored in prime threads) and you'll see it's not quite as bleak as it once was. Remember these are mostly new festival releases so these are the films the torrentmakers will be seeking next year.

Plenty more from the festivals...tonight I start in Cannes.

5 X Favela, Por Nos Mesmos (Brazil)

SOURCE OF INCOME
Directors: Manaíra Carneiro and Wagner Novais
A young man fulfils his dream to go to Law University, but is faced with difficulties paying up his expenses with books and transport. He feels tempted to sell drugs to his friends at university, thus raising the money to fund his studies.

RICE AND BEANS
Director: Rodrigo Felha and Cacau Amaral
Wesley, a young boy, listens to a confession by his father: he is tired of the household menu, always consisting of a plate filled with rice and stewed beans. The boy, joined by his friend Orelha, decides to find some money to buy a chicken.

CONCERT FOR VIOLIN
Director: Luciano Vidigal
The children Márcia, Jota and Ademir vow to remain friends for ever. Later, in their adulthood, Jota is involved in drug trafficking while Ademir has joined the police force. If the two are brought against each other, Márcia may be prevented from fulfilling her dream to play the violin.

LET IT FLY
Director: Cadu Barcelos
Flávio lets his friend’s kite fall across the other quarter of the favela, which is run by a rival gang. Even though he is aware of the prohibition, Flávio decides to collect the kite.

LET THERE BE LIGHT
Director: Luciana Bezerra
On Christmas Eve, the shanty town hill has been out of power for three days. The engineers who have been sent over by the power utility company do not manage to fix the problem. The residents kidnap one of the engineers, taking him as a hostage until the light supply is restored.


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Chantrapas (Georgia)

Nicolas is an artist, a filmmaker who merely wants to express himself and whom everyone wishes to reduce to silence. When he first starts out in Georgia, the 'ideologists' hope to gag him, concerned that his work does not follow the set rules. In the face of their determination, Nicolas leaves his homeland for France - the land of freedom and democracy. But the 'state of grace' will not last long.

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Hinnekort Zorasune [The Fifth Column] (Lebanon)

A chronicle of desperation and mourning in the economically and culturally marginalized Armenian quarter of Beirut through a weave of allegorical narratives. In a panic, Hrag has stolen his father’s gun and fled home. As father searches for son, both discover paths to personal freedom in a city that offers no escape

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Blokes [Blocks]  (Chile)

Santiago, Chile, 1986. Luchito, a 13-year-old boy, masturbates while he obsessively contemplates Manuel, his 16-year-old neighbor, whom he can see standing by a window in an adjacent project building. Oblivious of the gaze of his precocious voyeur, Manuel discovers his sexuality with girl from the neighborhood. The window turns into an erotic cinematographic world that awakens a curiosity in Luchito, with disastrous repercussions for Manuel.

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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #20 - 29. Aug 2010 at 19:45
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These were found at this year's Karlovy Vary fest.

Ostavljeni [The Abandoned] (Bosnia)

Thirteen-year-old Alen is growing up in an orphanage in Sarajevo. He dreams of finding his mother, a French war correspondent during the unrest in Yugoslavia – at least that’s what a compassionate carer at the institute claims. Alen and some of the other wards make a little extra money stealing for a local tradesman named Sento. But the situation comes to a head when the new director uncovers Sento’s practices. As a reward for services rendered, Alen wants Sento to get hold of his personal file because it includes his mother’s address. In the end he discovers that the truth is quite different from what he expected. Even in Alen’s comparatively short life, things have happened that should not have.... Director Adis Bakrač unfolds the drama of a boy looking for love in a hostile world, wondering what chance a child has, born under tragic circumstances and growing up without parental care among the shadows of the past.

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Familia (Sweden)

The main characters of Mikael Wiström and Alberto Herskovits’s documentary are the members of a poor Peruvian family. Even though they no longer have to live in a temporary wooden dwelling right next to the dump, and father Daniel goes out to work every day to earn a living on his mototaxi, there still isn’t enough money to pay for a quality school for their eight-year-old boy. That’s why 55-year-old mother Naty decides to leave for Spain to find work, thereby ensuring a better future for her family. A film of high sensitivity, it develops the double plot line of Naty’s lonely life in unknown surroundings as a hotel maid and the life of the family she left behind. The filmmakers succeeded in thoroughly drawing out the individual family members, and the result is an unostentatious portrait which convincingly depicts the full range of their emotions. Subtle music and outstanding camerawork add to the film’s emotional power, as do aptly incorporated black-and-white snapshots from their family album. The film took Best Swedish Documentary at this year’s Göteborg IFF.

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Infinite Memory (Spain)

We all have memories. But how far back do they go?

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Kuky se vrací [Kooky] (Czech Republic)

Young Ondra has asthma and so his mom throws away his favorite toy: a musty old stuffed bear named Kooky. That night Ondra dreams that Kooky is determined to find his way back home from the dump. In the boy’s fantasy, the bear gets lost in a forest occupied by strange animals and remarkable beings that he never heard of while living on the toy shelf in Ondra’s room. And of course even in this small imaginary world, true Good exists as does real Evil, which Kooky must face up to in order to become a real hero.... In an era of impressive CGI animation that can simulate the natural world, Jan Svěrák (director of the Oscar-winning film Kolya) has returned to simplicity: similar to his short film Oil Gobblers, awarded a student Oscar in 1988, he combines handheld puppets with a real environment, primarily nature. This visually original story thus not only takes a look at the pitfalls of the “ecological” balance with the human world, but also humorously comments on the current state of film language.


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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #21 - 29. Aug 2010 at 19:48
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Matka Teresa od kotów [Mother Teresa of Cats] (Poland)

Police arrest two brothers, Artur and Martin, at their aunt’s provincial motel and escort them to jail in the capital. Unfolding in flashback, the film seeks out the motives for the crime they have committed. How did such irrational evil germinate in boys from a good family? Mother Teresa loves her two sons and sympathizes with her husband Hubert, a professional soldier traumatized by his experiences  in Iraq. She helps music student Eva who lives with them and cares for their autistic daughter Jadza, and she is kindhearted to stray cats as well, allowing them to fill up their large apartment. Twenty-two-year-old Artur, fascinated by psychotronics, falls prey to the illusion of his own extraordinariness. He has his younger brother Martin completely under his control and their mother suspects nothing. His sense of superiority is confirmed by his father’s growing impotence, and he scorns the man for investing his retirement bonus foolishly. But the sons´ motives don’t reflect the seriousness of their actions.... The movie reconstructs the atmosphere of the time in which the crime was committed, a period of degraded traditional values.

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Teenage Paparazzo  (USA)

“Hello, my name is Adrian Grenier and I am a celebrity. Or at least I play one on TV. Literally.” This talented actor, who rose to fame in the successful television series Entourage, could never complain about a lack of attention from the media. He accepted the constant snapping of cameras as part of the world he inhabited, right up until the moment 13-year-old Austin pointed his camera at him. "And that was the turning point," Grenier continues. "After seeing a kid doing it, I decided to turn the cameras on the paparazzi, and through this boy try to understand them and make sense of this insane celebrity world." Grenier presents a remarkable probe into the obsession with fame and cult of the celebrity in the form of a multi-layers and dynamically structured documentary film that was first shown at this year´s Sundance Film Festival.

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Tinar  (Iran)

A ten-year-old cowherd named Ghasem lives and labors in the foothills of majestic mountains not far from the Iranian city of Babol. His mother is dead, and his father and stepmother sometimes beat him; his older brother preferred to get away. Ghasem works alone most of the year and thus his only companions are the cows which he lovingly tends and sometimes even sings to. In his sensitively constructed and visually sophisticated portrait, Iranian director Mahdi Moniri presents a boy who has been deprived of a carefree childhood. Instead he is forced, under difficult conditions, to take care of himself and the herd of cows entrusted to him. Accompanied by poetic footage and traditional music, young Ghasem acquaints us with the work responsibilities he handles remarkably well and without any trace of pathos. He also tells us his dreams: to learn to read and write, and even more pressing, to escape the life of a lonely cowherd.


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Vihir [The Well] (India)

Fourteen-year-old Samir sees his older cousin Nachiket as his example and closest friend, and spends the best summer of his life with him while staying with relations in the country. The house is preparing for a wedding, so the boys keep out of the way, mostly swimming and dreaming by an old well in the hills. Only here can they enjoy real freedom; with the stars and sunny skies above their heads, and far enough away from the grown-ups’ complex relationships, they are at leisure to focus their attention on “major” issues. After his cousin’s disappearance, Samir starts to see into Nachiket’s private world and – for the sake of his cousin and himself – tries to understand certain things. In this partly autobiographical story the director betrays his essential joy in narration, visual sensibility and natural imagery. The film was a hit at festivals in the Indian cities of Pune and Kerala, but also at the IFFs in Pusan, Rotterdam and Berlin.

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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #22 - 29. Aug 2010 at 22:15
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Screening in Toronto

Green Crayons (Canada)

Boys will be boys, or so the saying goes. Director Kazik Radwanski has defined and refined his cinematic voice by consistently capturing those seemingly insignificant moments that shift us between major phases of life. In his most recent short, he narrows his lens on Xavier and Liam, two second-grade boys who are moulded by their actions and moralistic educators.

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Let Me In (USA)

Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) stars as Abby, a mysterious 12-year old girl, who moves next door to Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road), a social outcast who is viciously bullied at school. As a string of grisly murders occupy the town, Owen has to confront the reality that this seemingly innocent girl is really a savage vampire. Let Me In is based on the best-selling Swedish novel Lat den Ratte Komma (Let The Right One In), and the highly-acclaimed film of the same name.

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Les fleurs de l'âge [Little Flowers]  (Canada)

Selling ice cream, smoking pot, falling in love, wrangling with family: it’s just another summer day for a regular group of school kids. The boredom, excitement and transformative moments that define the months free from routine are explored with energy and insight. Biron draws his young characters with heart and humour and finds beauty in the daily rigamarole.

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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #23 - 24. Oct 2010 at 04:24
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These were found in Moscow

Boxhagener Platz (Germany)

1968 in East Berlin: student riots and the sexual revolution in the West, Soviet tanks in Prague. Meanwhile, grandma Otti and her 12-year-old grandson Holger have their own very special adventures at East Berlin's Boxhagener Platz. Otti has already seen five husbands off to their maker and the sixth one is not long for this life when she receives advances from the old Nazi Fisch-Winkler and the former Spartacus fighter Karl Wegner. Otti falls in love with Karl and suddenly Fisch-Winkler is dead. Holger has the makings of an amateur sleuth and learns a lot in the process about love, the 1968 revolts and how one can win women over with "revolutionary" secrets. This all goes well until Holger makes a mistake which puts Karl, of all people, in danger...

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Denizden Gelen [Brought by the Sea] (Turkey)

Halil who was forced by his father to be policeman causes the death of an African immigrant during his duty. Halil is captured into his inner world because of his guilty conscience, suicide attempt and bad relationship with his father. Meanwhile, Jordan's mother is killed in an accident in Dalyan, while they are trying to cross over to Greece. Dalyan was Jordan’s last stop before meeting with his father. It is also the place where Jordan’s life crosses with the life of Halil. From his mother’s death, Jordan’s life is in Halil’s hands. Jordan helps Halil to get his life in a new direction. Their friendship starts off badly but ends with love and compromise.

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Vorobey (Russia)

According to a local legend, many years ago horses in the village Vasilievka appeared by some miracle. Since that time the famous herd of horses was cherishingly protected by the villagers – they managed to save the horses even in the time of war and hunger. But nowdays, when a failure of crops happened here and the chairman of village council has to decide how to pay people their salaries and how to return the credit given by the bank, he has no other choice but to sent horses to a slaughter-house. The whole village tries to protect horses, but the economical practicability is more important than all other arguments. And now the only one who is ready to protect the herd is little Mitya Vorobiev, the son of the shepherd.

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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #24 - 24. Oct 2010 at 04:38
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At the 2010 BUSTER

Les mains en L’air [Hands Up] (France)

In 2067, Milana is remembering an event in her childhood, when she - faced with a case of social injustice - decides to fight back. In France, illegal immigrants are regularly deported. Grownups hold speeches and protest, but the deportations continue, and the people whose papers aren’t in order are extremely worried. Milana is attending fifth grade at school and she originally comes from Chechnya.
When her friend Youssef and his family are deported, she is scared that she’ll be next. Together with her friends Alice, Claudio, Blaise and Ali, she hatches a plan that needs to be kept secret from the grownups at all costs. As long as they don’t say anything, they can stick together and never be found. ‘Hands Up’ is an intense French children’s drama with a relevant social message.


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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #25 - 24. Oct 2010 at 04:52
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2010 Kristiansand Fest

Olsenbanden jr. - Mestertyvens skatt (Norway)

This time, our three heroes are on a hunt for a great treasure, stolen from The Bank of Norway in 1835.

The gang has gotten hold of a treasure map, which leads them to the old town of Fredrikstad, through the dungeons of Akershus Castle to the cave of the master thief Ole Høiland in the deep forests outside Oslo. In this sixth adventure of the Olsen gang, we also get to meet the orphanage-raised Egon’s relatives for the first time.


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Yohan - Barnevandrer (Norway)

Ten year old Yohan is sent away from home in order to work as a shepherd on a far-away farm. It's a hard and lonely job, but Yohan will not let the circumstances break him. Like a Numskull Jack, he challenges his surroundings, and gets acquainted with both domestic animals, wild animals, and travelling Gypsies. On the neighbouring farm, two children are treated roughly, and Yohan decides he will help them. The Child Wanderers deals with the near-forgotten labor migration of children which took place between the counties of Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder in the 19th century.

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Min bedste fjende [My Good Enemy] (Denmark)

Tired of being bullied and humiliated at school, Alf decides to take action against his tormentors. He allies himself with a classmate and together they form a secret pact. Inspired by the struggles of Niccolo, the hero of a Manga comic book, the two of them challenge the mechanisms of power in the class. And they succeed in shaking up the hierarchy and changing the rules of the game. Or do they?

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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #26 - 24. Oct 2010 at 17:38
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Just screened at Pusan this year

Sampaguita, National Flower (Philippines)

Anyone who has visited the Philippines knows the street-children who besiege motorists, taxi passengers and pedestrians with requests to buy small garlands of scented sampaguita flowers. Sociologically, the kids are a symptom of endemic poverty and the lack of social services and welfare provision. They’re also victims of a system which professes to revere education and teaches them to pray for blessings and salvation from on high. Francis X Pasion’s plangent docu-drama takes the human view. Special Jury Prize-winner in the Cinemalaya Festival, the country’s major forum for indies, it offers both a sardonic commentary on the forces which trap children in poverty and a moving engagement with the kids themselves. Pasion began by interviewing street-kids on-camera (we see fragments of these interviews throughout) and then invited a dozen girls and boys to re-enact episodes they’d described. These include harvesting the flowers by night in Pampanga, dealing with ailing or abusive parents, and coping with the pressures of life on the streets of Quiapo – pressures which push some of the boys, in particular, into child prostitution.

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Héroes [Forever Young] (Spain)

Narration plays over an a photo of five children which awakens the preciousness of childhood. The scene changes to a busy man driving to an important appointment. While driving, he pulls over to pick up a female backpacker. While talking with the lady, he breaks the appointment. With this chance encounter, he looks back on his hectic and routine life.
The film talks about the life of an adult losing innocence. Audiences will be inspired to ruminate on the meaning of life. The film recalls memories of childhood games, memories from summer vacation, friendship and puppy love that we eventually forget in adulthood. The line from the film ‘Only children believe in magic.’ let audiences reflect upon themselves as being cold-hearted in a dry modern society and reminds them of the most marvelous and truthful moments of their lives. The director builds a plot with the perspectives of a child and an adult at the same time which effectively shows the problem that the director wishes to talk about in the film.

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Dooman River  (South Korea)

The film depicts the life of Korean-Chinese people living on the Dooman River. When hearing the news that people have died on the frozen Dooman River, the film compares the keen response of elderly men with the insensitive reaction of the children. Children and Chang-ho meet Jung-jin who comes from North Korea and asks of food. They promise to Jung-jin that they will bring some food, and suggest playing a soccer game.
The most interesting scene of the film is that Chang-ho plays a soccer game with kids after the other children from North Korea have left. The innocent intimacy among children not considering ideology and political relationship contrasts with the weight of reality the adult bears. Most of the parents of the Korean-Chinese kids left for Korea to work and people who cross the border are not welcomed in the town where only elderly people and children live. With the barren landscape of the ‘Dooman River’, this film portrays the reality over the friendship between Chang-ho and Jung-jin from North Korea.


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Baan Chan ... Talok Wai Gon (Por Son Wai) [The Little Comedian]  (Thailand)

Inheriting the name of legendary Thai comedian, Tock is the heir of the third generation comedian family. However, he is born with tragic fate that he is not funny and he has to yield his position at the comedy troop to his sister. Yet, there comes a beautiful dermatologist who laughs at his jokes. Now, Tock wants to reborn as a great comedian to have her heart.
The Little Comedian is a typical growing-up film. Questioning his identity, conflict with family and the unrequited first love are all in the same pot. Yet, Tock is not the only one who needs to grow-up. Losing its space due to the social change, the traditional Thai comedy performing culture should endure the pain of growing-up. Also the dermatologist needs to overcome the sorrowful love affair. Realizing the pain of his father and his beloved doctor, Tock steps into the adulthood. This delightful film reminds that the growing-up after all is not achieved by oneself but by understanding and loving each other.


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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #27 - 24. Oct 2010 at 17:49
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Bi, dung so! [Bi Don't Be Afraid] (Vietnam)

Phan Dang Di scripted last year’s [Adrift], and he’s now turned director to continue his daringly frank exploration of sexual desires and blockages – a topic rarely broached in earlier Vietnamese movies. The six-year-old Bi lives with his parents, an aunt and a servant in an old part of Hanoi and likes to play in a nearby ice-making plant. Home life changes gear when Bi’s bedridden grandfather returns from overseas, just as Bi’s father starts spending more and more time out visiting a favourite ‘masseuse’. Meanwhile Bi’s aunt, a spinsterish teacher, develops an agonising crush on a teenage boy. Phan observes the resulting stresses and strains with a limpid eye, using strands of imagery to link disparate events without imposing any overarching narrative. Bi obviously understands little of what happens either at home or in the ice plant, but he has as much need for companionship as any of the adults; using the child as a focus allows Phan to explore the grown-up sexual issues in an ‘innocent’ way which impressively extends the range of Vietnam’s new cinema.

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Fourth Portrait (Taiwan)

After his bed-ridden father died, a boy comes to live with his estranged mother. Having difficulties to adapt himself with new life, he spends time with a petty thief. One night, as the boy starts to dream about his elder brother who walks ghostly on the bank, the family secret begins to surface.
The Forth Portrait is about survival. After father’s death, a school janitor who took care of the boy tries to teach him the self-respect and fight for survival but the reality covered with poverty and violence traps the boy like an inescapable prison. However, the boy is not the only prisoner. His mother who abandoned her family and his stepfather who is involved with his brother’s disappearance are also living in the prison filled with sense of guilty. Just like the boiled pot that captured the frog struggling to escape, the reality mercilessly traps the family. The film almost coldly observes their lives.


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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #28 - 24. Oct 2010 at 18:17
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Moving on to Tokyo...

Hadikduk HaPnimi [Intimate Grammar]  (Israel)

In Israel in early 1960s, a new generation is growing up: the militant Israeli, generation that will not go through another Holocaust. But Hinda's sensitive son, Aharon doesn't fit the mold. His soul seeks refinement, art – which he can't find at home. How could he? For his father, a Holocaust survivor, human existence is reduced to war and survival. Aharon refuses to become like his parents. During three years he does not grow an inch, until he realizes he is partly responsible for this, and so he embarks on a dangerous inner journey: to cross the boundary dividing childhood and adolescence.

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¡Primaria! (Spain)

In this celebration of children's creativity, Primary! follows the lives of students and their teachers in a peculiar yet somewhat recognizable primary school. When Jose Maria―more apt to give a lecture on Fine Arts at university than a primary classroom―fills a post as art teacher, chaos seems to be on the verge of unleashing itself. However, the path that his infinitely imaginative little students take him through proves there is more than a little he can learn from them, and a new life to discover…

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Yoi ga sametara, uchi ni kaer [Wandering Home] (Japan)

Pledging to "visit my family sober next week," war photographer Yasu guzzles vodka and passes out. Hurrying to his side, manga artist Yuki reassures him, "It's OK, you're not dead yet." The couple married and had two kids, but divorced because of Yasu's alcohol dependency. Exhausted by the cycle of drunken violence and illness, Yasu reluctantly enters a rehab hospital. There he finds unexpected solace among the quirky medical staff and eccentric fellow patients. Supported by his family's love and Yuki's determination to face reality, Yasu steadily recovers, but another disease lurks within...

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Winter's Bone (USA)

Seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly embarks on a mission to find her father after he uses their family house as a way of securing his bail and disappears without a trace. Faced with the possibility of losing her home and being turned out into the Ozark woods, Ree challenges her outlaw kin's code of silence and risks her life to save her family. She hacks through the lies, evasions and threats offered by her relatives, and begins to piece together the truth.

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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #29 - 24. Oct 2010 at 18:53
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In Warsaw

De la infancia [Childhood] (Mexico)

Niebla, a teen gang member, is killed in a shootout with the police. His ghost returns to the past to help ten-year-old Francisco, a victim - with the rest of his family - of constant abuse and beatings from his father. Niebla watches over Francisco and accompanies him during his first experience with love. Feeling protected by Niebla, Francisco will manage to rebel against his father's oppression. This picture by one of Mexico's best filmmakers boldly and astutely studies the blurred line between good and evil. Concentrating on the subjects of death, the afterlife, contemporary violence, and the origins of sin, this film is Mexican through and through.

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Kalter Hund [How I Got to Know My Father] (Germany)

Emil will be 9 in a few days and lives alone with his mother. He doesn't know his father but lets him take shape in his dreams. But you cannot invite a dream vision to your birthday...

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Sma barn, stora ord [Little Children, Big Words] (Sweden)

When it's Alex's turn to tell his seven-year-old class mates what he wants to be when he grows up, an uncomfortable discussion begins about the meaning of an unknown but loaded word.

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Picnic (Spain)

Grebak, Bosnia. A father is resting with his son under a tree while the mother walks with her baby in her arms. They do not know it, but a few metres away, a dangerous and deadly enemy is awaiting.

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Peters Rum [Peter's Room] (Sweden)

It's late morning, but Peter's mother is unable to get him to get out of bed. Could there be another reason why the boy is pretending to be asleep?

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Lucio (Mexico)

The titular protagonist Lucio in Gael García Bernal's film is enlightened by his cousin, Omar, as to the sometimes contradictory meanings of certain national symbols.
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Die Fremde [When We Leave] (Germany)

Ill-treated by her husband, Umay (standout performance by Sibel Kekilli) has had enough. She flees from Istanbul with her five-year-old son Cem to seek shelter with her family living in Berlin. But as the reality of Umay's defiant actions sets in, the family's reputation within the Turkish community at home and abroad is threatened - resulting in her sister's engagement being broken off and ultimately leaving little Cem's future in question. Love, affection, and loyalty soon become irrelevant as a once caring and close-knit family painstakingly struggle to reconcile Umay's wilful self-determination with the patriarchal social system that governs their lives. An award-winner at the Berlinale, Austrian actress Feo Aladag's directorial debut wrestles with the question: What sacrifice is independence truly worth?

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Soul Boy (Kenya)

Abila, a 14-year-old-boy, lives in Kibera, the largest slums on the African continent, in the middle of Nairobi, Kenya. One night his father gambles away his own soul. The boy finds out that his father's soul has been stolen by a Nyawawa, a female spirit. The Nyawawa gives him seven tasks to fulfil in order to regain his father's soul. We follow Abila and his friend Shiku from the huts of Kibera to the mansions of Karen. This debut from Kenyan filmmaker Hawa Essuman was made with support from Tom Tykwer, the German director and producer, in Kibera, a muddy ocean of slums in which more than one million people live.

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