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Six films based on true stories in the Curated section.

Anton Chekov 1890 / Anton Tchékhov 1890

France / 96 mins / French / 2015

Direction: René Feret
In the summer of 1890, to earn a little money and feed his family, Anton Chekhov, a humble doctor, writes sketches for newspapers under a pseudonym Antosha Chekhonte. An important writer-cum-publisher comes to pay him a visit and makes him aware of his talent. He becomes successful and Chekhov receives the coveted Pushkin Prize and wins Tolstoy’s admiration. But when one of his brothers dies of tuberculosis, Anton considers it as a personal failure and wants to flee from his celebrity status and his love affairs. He remembers a promise he made with regard to prison reform, and decides to go to the penal colony on Sakhalin Island, thousands of miles from Moscow, to meet with the convicts.

 

Festivals
Vancouver International Film Festival
Film Fest Gent
Seattle International Film Festival

Tanna

Australia / 104 mins / 2015

Direction: Martin Butler, Bentley Dean
Filmed on the remote island of Tanna in Vanuatu, this visually ravishing film tells the story of Wawu, a young woman who has fallen in love with her chief’s grandson, Dain. Despite their desire to marry, Wawa’s family forbid this union. When an inter-tribal war breaks out with a neighbouring community, her hand is unwittingly promised as part of the peace negotiations. With the threat of separation looming, Wawa and Dain abandon their homes in an attempt to be together, causing further upset between the warring clans. Based on the true story that took place in 1985, this is a stunningly photographed, evocative tale of two star-crossed lovers fighting the laws of ancient tradition and tribal custom. Working with an extraordinary cast of non-actors, acclaimed documentary filmmakers Martin Butler and Bentley Dean have made an arresting narrative debut, expanding on their previous work with indigenous communities, resulting in a truly special film.

Awards
Venice Film Festival- Fedeora Award, Best Cinematography
International Critics’ Week Award

 

Festivals
London Film Festival
Venice Film Festival
Zagreb Film Festival
Adelaide Film Festival

The Truth

USA, Australia / 125 mins / English / 2015

Direction: James Vanderbilt
Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford star as 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes and anchor Dan Rather, in this gripping docudrama about the newsmagazine’s investigation into George W. Bush’s alleged draft-dodging during Vietnam. Based on Mapes’ 2005 memoir, Truth and Duty, this directorial debut from screenwriter James Vanderbilt is as much a political thriller in the vein of All the President’s Men as it is an investigative narrative about dirty tricks in the US political system. Mary (Cate Blanchett) is a no-nonsense news reporter convinced that Bush was among many privileged young men who used their connections to avoid combat. Following a tip regarding evidence about Bush, she assembles her team, which includes a journalism professor (Elisabeth Moss, also appearing at the Festival in High-Rise), an unemployed researcher (Topher Grace), and a retired Marine colonel (Dennis Quaid). They persistently chase down leads and witnesses in an attempt to build a bulletproof case that 60 Minutes can air.

 

Festivals
Toronto International Film Festival
London Film Festival
Hamptons International Film Festival
Rome Film Festival


The Dark Horse

New Zealand / 124 mins / English / 2014

Direction: James Napier Robertson
An inspiring true story based on the life of charismatic and brilliant chess champion, Genesis Potini. His emotionally-charged story is about finding the courage to lead, despite his own struggles – finding purpose and hope in passing on his gift to the children of his community.

 

Awards
International Film Festival Rotterdam- Audience Award
Art Film Festival- Blue Angel,Best Director
Palm Springs International Film Festival-2nd place, Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature
San Francisco International Film Festival- Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature
Seattle International Film Festival- Golden Space Needle Award, Best Film
St Tropez International Film Festival- Signis Award

 

Festivals
Munich Film Festival
New Zealand International Film Festival

The Wolf Pack

USA / 90 mins / English / 2015

Direction: Crystal Moselle
Six bright teenage brothers have spent their entire lives locked away from society in a Manhattan housing project. All they know of the outside is gleaned from the movies they watch obsessively (and recreate meticulously). Yet as adolescence looms, they dream of escape, ever more urgently, into the beckoning world.

 

Awards
Edinburgh International Film Festival -Best Documentary, Feature Film
Nantucket Film Festival- Adrienne Shelley Excellence in Filmmaking Award
Sundance Film Festival- Grand Jury Prize

 

Festivals
New Zealand International Film Festival
Tribeca Film Festival
Athens International Film Festival
DocAviv Film Festival
San Francisco International Film Festival
Stockholm Film Festival
Zurich Film Festival

Bridgend

Denmark / 95 mins / English / 2015

Direction: Jeppe Ronde

Sara and her dad Dave move to a small village, which is haunted by suicides among its youngsters. Sara falls dangerously in love with one of the teenagers, Jamie. In the meantime, Dave, as the town’s new police officer, tries to stop the mysterious chain of suicides. The film focuses on the relationship between vulnerable teenagers and their parents who are left in the dark as the inexplicable suicides gradually take on the character of a punishing ritual.

 

Awards
Fantasia Film Festival- AQCC Award, Prix AQCC
Goteborg Film Festival -International Debut Award, Special Mention
Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival -Special Mention
Tribeca Film Festival-Best Actress(Narrative Feature), Best Cinematography, Best Editing

 

Festivals
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Philadelphia Film Festival
Ourense International Film Festival
Brussels Film Festival
Valletta Film Festival
Jagran Film Festival
Wiesbaden Exground Film Festival
Cairo International Film Festival
Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival
Haifa International Film Festival
Athens International Film Festival

Carte Blanche

Poland / 104 mins / Polish / 2015

Direction: Jacek Lusinski
Inspired from a true story, Carte Blanche is a drama about Kacper who is a high school history teacher. He lies to hide his progressive sight loss from everyone around him - his colleagues, students, even those who really care about him, because of fear of losing his job and trying to save his dignity. Due to a genetic disorder he is faced with the possibility of permanent blindness. Initially heartbroken, he attempts to hide it from his bosses driven by his desire to keep his job and to help his students. The only person who knows about Kacper’s problem is his best friend Wiktor, a bank manager. Meanwhile, Kacper, faced with new challenges, enters into a relationship with his colleague Ewa, and tries to help a rebel student Klara, who has a secret of her own. MaciejBiałek, the real inspiration for Kacper, still teaches in a Lublin High School and is highly respected and loved by his students.

 

Awards
Shanghai International Film Festival-Won Jury Grand Prix
Sao Paulo International Film Festival-International Jury Award, Honourable Mention

 


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