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2020 Giornate degli Autori

Film Festivals

2020 Giornate degli Autori: Anouz’s Honey Cigar Opens & LaBruce’s Saint-Narcisse Closes Edition

2020 Giornate degli Autori: Anouz’s Honey Cigar Opens & LaBruce’s Saint-Narcisse Closes Edition

Often referred to as the Italian version of the Directors’ Fortnight, the first edition of the Giornate degli Autori / Venice Days under the Artistic Director Gaia Furrer feels fresh with the program offering mostly 1st and or 2nd time filmmakers. Last year’s edition included the likes of Javro Bustamante’s The Weeping Woman, Isabel Sandoval’s Lingua Franca and Jan Komasa’s Corpus Christi. This year’s edition we have an item that was tipped for premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, we find Kamir Aïnouz and her directorial debut Honey Cigar opens the section. She was the co-scribe on Lisa Azuelos’ LOL and and here she has Adjani-Vallat, Amira Casar (most recently from Call Me by Your Name fame) and Lyes Salem in the story about pre-adult Selma who balances family, a new relationship while fundamentalism is a major issue in her homeland. This was developed at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab/RAWI.

Kamir Ainouz Honey Cigar Venice Days

Another first time filmmaker breaking into the line-up is doing so with a non-world premiere which is something of a rarity for the Venice Days. The Slamdance winner (honorable mention, Best Actor and audience award) Residue cracks this line-up and offers great exposure for American indie helmer Merawi Gerima. Other first time filmmaker include Ameen Nayfeh with 200 Meters, Russian filmmaker Philipp Yuryev and The Whaler Boy (aka Kitoboy) and possibly Li Dongmei and Mama from China.

A Cannes Cinéfondation Residence selection, Ivan Ikic‘s second film Oasis is set in an institution for youngsters with special needs, it features two young women in the facility who both fall for a withdrawn young man. The film was shot in an actual institution and the cast comprises real residents. I’m uncertain of there are comparisons to be drawn to Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s The Tribe, but this is an alluring title to say the least.

Other sophomore features include Gianluca and Massimiliano Serio The Stonebreaker (they gave us 2011 Locarno preemed Seven Acts of Mercy), Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time by Lili Horvat (she was at Karlovy Vary with The Wednesday Child in 2015).

Rolling into veteran filmmakers we have Rodrigo Sepulveda’s My Tender Matador, Ivan I. Tverdovskij’s Conference and closing out the fest is the latest from Bruce LaBruce in Saint Narcisse. His 13th feature film is coined as a queer comedy fantasy and set in 1972’s Canada.

COMPETITION
Honey Cigar – Kamir Anouz (OPENING FILM)
The Stonebreaker – Gianluca and Massimiliano Serio (Italy, France, Belgium)
Mama – Li Dongmei (China)
Residue – Merawi Gerima (U.S.)
Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time – Lili Horvat (Hungary)
Oasis – Ivan Ilkic (Serbia, The Netherlands, France, Bosnia-Erzegovina)
My Tender Matador – Rodrigo Sepulveda (Chile, Argentina, Mexico)
Conference – Ivan I. Tverdovskij (Russia, Estonia, Italy, U.K.)
The Whaler Boy – Philipp Yuryev (Russia, Poland, Berlgium)
200 Meters – Ameen Nayfeh (Palestine, Italy)

OUT OF COMPETITION
Saint-Narcisse – Bruce LaBruce (Canada)

WOMEN’S TALES PROJECT (shorts), in collaboration with Prada’s Miu Miu Label
“Nightwalk,” Malgorzata Skumowksa (Italy, Poland)
“In My Room,” Mati Diop (Italy, France)

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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