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Naomi Kawase

Naomi Kawase’s work is heavily concerned with the distorted space between fiction and non-fiction that has occurred within the state of modern Japanese society, approaching “fiction with a documentarian’s gaze.” She employs this documentary realism to focus on individuals of lesser cultural status, challenging prevailing representations of women within the male-dominated Japanese film industry.

Graduated from the Osaka School of Photography in 1989. She began her film career with autobiographical documentaries. Her first work Ni Tsutsumarete (Embracing, 1992), documented her search to find her father, whom she had not seen since her childhood. Kawase directed as well as wrote the screenplay for Moe no Suzaku, story that tells the life of Japanese village. In 1997 she became the youngest winner of the Camera d’Or at Festival de Cannes with her first feature Suzaku. Her feature The Weald that portrays the story of six groups of elderly people living in the mountains of Nishi-yoshino, Nara won the Special Mention Prize at the Nyon International Film Festival. Hotaru for which she in addition to direction wrote the screenplay, photographed, composed music and edited, won FPRESCI Prize and CICAEPrize Europe at the Locarno International Film Festival. In 2002, Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom was released in the retrospective of Naomi Kawase at the Infinity Film Festival in Alba and Jeu de Paume in Paris. She received the Grand Prix for her 4th feature Mogari (The Mourning Forest) in 2007. She also received the Carrosse d’Or from the Directors’ Fortnight in 2009. Her documentary Genpin (2010), received the FIPRESCI Prize at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Her Hanezu premiered in Competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. In 2013 she was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Her 2014 film Still the Water was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Kawase’s.



Suzaku/ Moe No Suzaku

Japan / Colour / 95 min / Japanese / 1997

Direction & Screenplay Naomi Kawase

The story takes place in an agricultural village nestled among mountains in an unnamed locale in Japan. The Kozo family live here. Outsiders from the city may idealize this village steeped in an idyllic and charming setting, but the village suffers from severe recession.

However, Tahara Kozo is not ready to give up. He comes up with a plan to build a railway line to the village. But the construction is halted half-way through.

Still the Water / Futatsume No Mado

Japan-France-Spain- Ireland / Colour / 116 min / Japanese / 2014
Direction & Screenplay Naomi Kawase

Gorgeous, stirring, and imbued with wisdom, this latest film from Japan's cinematic poet Naomi Kawase transports us to the subtropical island of Amami-Oshima, where villagers live in harmony with the rhythms of nature — be they gentle and life-giving or violent and destructive.
The morning after a typhoon hits the island, sixteen-year-old Kaito (Nijiro Murakami) finds a dead man floating face down in the sea. This unsettling discovery is the first in a series of events that will transform the lives of Kaito and his classmate Kyoko (Jun Yoshinaga), both of whom are already dealing with profound domestic upheaval.
While Kyoko prepares to say goodbye to her terminally ill mother, Isa (Miyuki Matsuda), Kaito's household is also in disarray: his mother is newly single, his father gone back to his native Tokyo. As their families endeavour to weather the storms of change, Kaito and Kyoko find consolation in each other's company.

Firefly / Hotaru

Japan / Colour / 164 min / Japanese / 2000
Direction & Screenplay Naomi Kawase

The Film depicts an intense yet troubled love affair between two emotionally-scarred individuals, striptease artiste, abandoned by her mother as a child, and a ceramic artist.
In the street corner of Nara, inheriting the peaceful and solemn atmosphere of the ancient capital, Ayako, who has an incurable memory from the past, meets a ceramic artist, Daiji.
Having encountered the loved one's deaths respectively, they struggle and seek for an invisible bond with each other.

Hanezu / Hanezu no Tsuki

Japan / Colour / 91 min / Japanese / / 2011
Direction, Screenplay & Cinematography Naomi Kawase

This 2011 is based on a novel by Masako Bando. The story is set in contemporary time in the Asuka area and recalls the ancient history of the place.
The Asuka region is the birthplace of Japan. In ancient times, there were three small mountains that people believed were inhabited by gods. They were Mt. Unebi, Mt. Miminashi, and Mt. Kagu, and the film emphasizes how humans are inseparable from their habitat.
The mountains are used as a metaphor for internal struggle and an expression of karma. Kawase introduces her three central characters, dye-maker Kayo who co-habitates with Tetsuo, while having an affair with Takumi. When Kayo finds she is pregnant, she breaks different news to her two lovers, provoking devastating reactions.
The title is an ancient Japanese word for a shade of red, taken from the 8th century poetry collection the Man’yoshu. It has been said that red is the first colour that humans recognized, and its meaning comes from its association with blood, the sun, and flame.
Danis Tanovic
Danis Tanovic a magical filmmaker started creating magic from his debut film No Man’s Land. Tanovic Directed as well as wrote the screenplay, and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001. No Man’s Land won the Award for Best Screenplay at Cannes. No Man’s Land won 42 awards, including the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, the European Film Academy Award for Best Screenplay, the Cesar for the Best First Feature film, the Andre Cavens Award for Best Film in 2001, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002. It is one of the most awarded first feature film in the history of filmmaking. Tanovic’s second feature project was L’Enfer (Hell), completed in 2005. The film marked the second instalment in the Polish duo’s projected trilogy ‘Heaven, Hell and Purgatory’. His 2010 film Cirkus Columbia was selected as the Bosnian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the83rd Academy Awards. In 2011, he was bestowed with a ‘honoriscausa’ doctorate by the University of Sarajevo. His 2013 film An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker premiered in competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival where it won two prices: Best Actor and the Jury Grand Prix (Silver Bear). Tanovic holds joint Bosnian and Belgian citizenship and after living in Brussels and Paris, lives in Sarajevo with hi swife and five children. He currently works as a professor of film directing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo

Cirkus Columbia

Bosnia and Herzegovina-France-UK-Slovenia-Germany- Serbia- Belgium / Colour / 113 min / Bosnian / 2010
Direction: Danis Tanovic

Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1991. The communists have fallen from power and Divko Buntic returns to the small town where he grew up to reclaim his family home. After a 20-year exile in Germany, Divko arrives in his flashy red Mercedes with sexy young girlfriend Azra, lucky black cat Bonny and a pocketful of Deutschmarks. Divko uses his money and connections to forcefully evict estranged wife Lucija, but he tries to reunite with 20-year-old son Martin. When Divko's beloved cat Bonny disappears, the whole town joins in a frantic search to get the cash reward. The daily hunt for the missing cat strains Divko's fragile relationship with Azra and opens up an unexpected but strong attraction between Azra and Martin. Busy fretting over everyday concerns, most of the townsfolk seems to disregard the rumbling political unrest: Croatia has seceded, all Yugoslavs are being forced to take sides, and the Serbs begin bombing Dubrovnik. Although their area is on high alert, many still can't imagine anyone or anything could divide Bosnia and Herzegovina.

No man’s land / Nicija Zemlja

Bosnia and Herzegovina-France-Slovenia-Italy-UKBelgium / Colour / 98 min / English / 2001
Direction: Danis Tanovic

After various skirmishes, two wounded soldiers, one Bosnian and one Serb, confront each other in a trench in the no man's land between their lines. They wait for dark, trading insults and even finding some common ground; sometimes one has the gun, sometimes the other, sometimes and both. Things get complicated when another wounded Bosnian comes to, but can't move because a bouncing mine is beneath him. The two men cooperate to wave white flags, their lines call the UN (whose high command tries not to help), an English reporter shows up, a French sergeant shows courage, and the three men in no man's land may or may not find a way to all get along.

Eyes of War / Triage

France / Colour / 99 min / English-Kurdish / / 2009
Direction: Danis Tanovic

Two expert war photographers, Mark and David, are working in war torn Kurdistan. Mark is highly ambitious and wants to pursue the fighting in search of the ultimate shot but David has had enough of it all and leaves to go home to his pregnant wife Diane. When Mark returns bloody and bruised to his home in Ireland a few days later, he is shocked to hear David hasn't made it home. Exhausted, disorientated, obsessed by ghosts of violence and unable to pick up his old life with Elena, the man visibly deteriorates. In hospital, the doctors conclude that his paralysis is a psychological problem linked to something that happened to David, which Mark does not want to remember. It will be discovered by Joaquien, an elder psychiatrist specializing in war injuries who previously worked in the "recovery" of war criminals after the Spanish Civil War.

Hell / L’enfer

France-Italy-Belgium-Japan / Colour / 98 min / French / / 2005
Direction: Danis Tanovic

Three grown-up sisters continue to struggle with memories of seeing their father commit suicide separated by fate, they grow up and are gradually their lives no longer have any contact with each other. Years later, Celine met Sebastian. Young attractive man remains enigmatic. He makes her astonishing revelations about her family's past.
Hany Abu-Assad

Hany Abu-Assad’s film reflect on the immigrants and war fractured people. His early filmmaking career included the Dutch television show Dar O Dar, focusing on foreign immigrants, and the documentary Long Days in Gaza, which aired on the BBC. He formed Ayloul Film Production Company in 1990 and, two years later, Released in 1994, Abu Assad’s first feature film as a producer, Curfew, also won numerous awards, including the Golden Pyramid Prize at the Calgary International Film Festival and the United Nations' Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Abu-Assad made his feature film debut as writer and director with The Fourteenth Chick, released in 1998. The film premiered at the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht but failed to be a commercial successIn 2002, Abu-Assad’s production company released Rana’s Wedding, with Abu-Assad serving as the film’s director. Rana’s Wedding won numerous awards, including the Golden Anchor Award at the Haifa International Film Festival and the Grand Prize at the Cologne Mediterranean Film Festival.

In 2005 Abu-Assad earned international critical acclaim with the release of Paradise Now. The film tells the story of two Palestinian childhood friends who volunteer to become suicide bombers. Paradise Now was nominated for an Academy Award and received thirteen awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, the European Film Award, the Amnesty International Film Prize, and the Blue Angel from the Berlin International Film Festival. Abu-Assad has been lauded by human rights groups for his portrayal of the injustice and inhumanity of the conditions under which many Palestinians live. His 2013 film Omar was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize.



Omar / Muren

Palestine / Colour / 97 min / Arabic, Hebrew / 2013
Direction: Hany Abu-Assad

Omar is accustomed to dodging surveillance bullets to cross the separation wall to visit his secret love Nadia. But occupied Palestine knows neither simple love nor clear-cut war. On the other side of the wall, the sensitive young baker Omar becomes a freedom fighter who must face painful choices about life and manhood. When Omar is captured after a deadly act of resistance, he falls into a cat-and-mouse game with the military police. Suspicion and betrayal jeopardize his longtime trust with accomplices and childhood friends Amjad and Tarek, Nadia’s militant brother. Omar’s feelings quickly become as torn apart as the Palestinian landscape. But it’s soon evident that everything he does is for his love of Nadia.

Rana's Wedding / Al qods fee yom akhar

Palestine-Netherlands / Colour / 90 min / Arabic / 2002
Direction: Hany Abu-Assad

Rana's Wedding follows one day in the life of a young Palestinian woman Jerusalem. Rana's father has given her a choice: either she comes along to Egypt that afternoon or she will choose her future husband from a list. Rana Prefers true love and tries to bring about her marriage with Khalil. Beautifully filmed, the images of the Middle East Will stay, along with the stressful story at the heart of this remarkable, yet Unorthodox, love tale.

Paradise Now / El paraiso ahora

Netherlands-Palestine-Israel-Germany-France/ Colour / 90 min / Arabic / 2005
Direction: Hany Abu-Assad

The film follows two Palestinian childhood friends who have been recruited for a strike on Tel Aviv Said and Khaled the operation does not go according to plan and the two Friends lose sight of each other. Separated from each other and left to their own devices, it's up to them to face their destiny and stand up for their convictions.

The Courier / A futar

USA / Colour / 99 min / English / 2012
Direction: Hany Abu-Assad

A stranger recipients a courier to Jeffery. The stranger does not tell him the whereabouts of the recipient but explains to him that the finding of this person is the actual task. It is made unequivocally clear that the courier expect his own death should he fail..

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