Cannes’s La Semaine de la Critique (Critic’s Week) films at DIFF

TOP films from the prestigious Cannes’s La Semaine de la Critique (Critic’s Week) will be screened at this year’s Durban International Film Festival.

The movies are being shown in Durban thanks to a partnership between film production house, Urucu Media, producers of the acclaimed Necktie Youth, and Cannes’s La Semaine de la Critique (Critic’s Week).

The programme launches at Suncoast Casino on July 21, with the support of Institute Francaise.

Opening the South African edition is Hope, French writer-director, and documentarian, Boris Lojkine’s first fiction film.

The Hollywood Reporter describes Hope as a “scrupulously well-researched” film which recounts a journey of desperation taken by a Nigerian woman and a Cameroonian man across the Sahara in an attempt to reach Europe. And Cine Europa Online said of the film that the “incredible and moving realism that emerges reveals a director whose work should be kept an eye on.”

Lojkine will be at DIFF where he will present a master class regarding bringing reality and authenticity to fiction filmmaking.

Established in 1961, the Semaine De La Critique competition is dedicated to showcasing emerging filmmakers from around the world. Since it’s inception the competition has featured the early works of Ken Loach, Wong Kar-Wai and Alejandro González Iñarritu.

Says Urucu’s Elias Ribeiro: “We’re incredibly excited about hosting the first official platform for La Semaine de la Critique in Africa and hope to cultivate strong local audience base for the wonderful films that emerge from this inspiring competition every year.”

Not content to stop there Urucu intends hosting REALNESS, a three-month screenwriters’ residency for emerging cinematic voices that launches in 2016. Over the next month, the company will be hosting thinktanks inviting young filmmakers to contribute suggestions about how best to structure an exceptional African writers residency.

“REALNESS is an initiative very close to our hearts,” says Ribeiro. “Our aim is to create a much needed incubation for top African film talents, offering them the very best support and input from local and international industry professionals.”

Information on the programme will be revealed at the REALNESS launch at 3 pm on Friday, July 17 in the conference center at DIFF.

Hope by Boris Lojkine (France): In his debut feature, the French director, Boris Lojkine, takes on the forever-relevant topic of migration from Africa to Europe. Léonard from Cameroon (Endurance Newton) and Hope from Nigeria (Justin Wang) form a contested partnership on their dangerous journey to Europe – a dreamland where even mosquitoes drink coca cola.
The film can be seen at 8 pm on July 21 at Suncoast CineCentre. Watch the trailer at:

Hope directed by Boris Iojkine.

Hope directed by Boris Iojkine.

The Kindergarten Teacher by Nadav Lapid (Israel): Nira (Sarit Larry), a crèche teacher and aspiring poet, discovers unusual poetic talent in Yoav (Avi Shnaidman), her five-year old student. Informed by her own deprived past and a fear that the world will eat his sensitive soul alive, she takes it upon herself to protect the boy and the gift he carries.
The film can be seen on July 25 at 5 pm at Suncoast CineCentre. Watch the trailer at:

The Kindergarten Teacher

The Kindergarten Teacher

You And The Night by Yann Gonzalez (France):
Gonzalez kick-started his feature film career with an erotic-existential-queer comedy. Starring legendary French footballer Eric Cantona in the role of a well-hung stud/former child-poet and one of seven member of a meticulously cast orgy, it explores and intentionally confuses memory and fantasy.
The film can be seen on July 25 at 5 pm at Suncoast CineCentre. Watch the trailer at:

You and the Night

You and the Night

Salvo by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza (Italy/France): The winner of La Semaine de la Critique of Cannes Film Festival 2014 tells the story of Salvo (Saleh Bakri), a merciless body guard/hit man in Sicily’s underworld. Meeting Rita (Sara Serraiocco), the blind sister of one of his victims, changes not just Salvo’s life, but Rita’s too, and offers the pair a relief from the literal and metaphorical darkness in which they are stuck.
The film can be seen on July 22 at 5.30 pm at Suncoast CineCentre. Watch the trailer at:



Suzanne by Katell Quillévéré (France): Writer/director Quillévéré’s second feature follows Suzanne (Sara Forestier) during 25 years of her life. Suzanne grows up with her sister (Adèle Haenel) and widowed truck-driver father (François Damiens). When Suzanne falls pregnant while still in school, the family with its new member remains a tight unit, but when she falls in love with a gangster, the stability is threatened.
The film can be seen on July 24 at 5.30 pm at Suncoast CineCentre. Watch the trailer at:




THE Boris Lojkine masterclass will take place from 10 am to 12 noon on Monday, July 20 as part of Talents Durban.

A graduate of the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure and a philosophy teacher, Boris Lojkine wrote a PhD thesis about Crisis and History but decided to leave the academic world shortly afterwards.

He made two documentary films in Vietnam, Those Who Remain (2001) and Wandering Souls (2005), which recount, from a Vietnamese point of view, the impossible mourning of men and women whose lives have been torn apart by war.

With Hope, his first fiction film, he changes continents and immerses himself in the lives of African migrants.

Please contact Roger Young at 079 036 9358 or if you want to attend this masterclass.

Boris Iojkine.

Boris Iojkine.

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