AFI Announces Special Presentations for the 21st Annual European Union Film Showcase...
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AFI Announces Special Presentations for the 21st Annual European Union Film Showcase in Washington November 6-25 at AFI Silver Theatre Opening Night, Centerpiece Screenings and Closing Night Presentations Highlight AFI's Celebration of the Best in European Cinema SILVER SPRING, Md.--(Business Wire)-- The 2008 AFI European Union Film Showcase, the fall's signature cultural event for Washington, DC, moviegoers and the area's diplomatic community, will formally kickoff November 6 with the Opening Night presentation, I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG (Il y a longtemps que je t'aime). The French film stars Kristin Scott Thomas as a woman readjusting to life after a long term in prison. Oscar(R)-winner Scott Thomas has garnered great acclaim for her performance. The film is the debut feature by novelist-turned-director Philippe Claudel. Sony Pictures Classics releases the film in the US later this fall. For the first time, the AFI EU Showcase will feature three Centerpiece Screenings: --France's A CHRISTMAS TALE (Un Conte de Noel) (November 8), directed by Arnaud Desplechin, to be released later this year by IFC Films; --Italy's GOMORRAH (November 15), the Grand Prix winner at Cannes and Italy's Official Oscar(R) selection, also to be released by IFC Films; and --Germany's THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX (November 21), the latest film from writer-producer Bernd Eichinger. The film is Germany's Official Oscar(R) selection and will be making its East Coast Premiere. Constantin Films represents the film internationally. The AFI EU Showcase Closing Night film is ELDORADO (November 22), Belgium's Official selection. Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2008 Directors Fortnight section at Cannes, the film will be making its US premiere. Film Movement will distribute the film in the US. "The Special Presentations in this year's AFI EU Film Showcase represent the most outstanding films in what may be our best EU Showcase ever," said Todd Hitchcock, Film Programmer, AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. "AFI's EU Film Showcase has grown in size, stature and celebrity over the past few years, reflecting the vibrancy of filmmaking in the EU countries and the EU's own growth to its present membership of 27 countries." The AFI EU Showcase is produced and hosted by the AFI Silver Theatre, in cooperation with the Cultural Counselors of European Union Member States' Embassies and the European Commission Delegation in Washington, DC. All films will be shown exclusively at the historic AFI Silver Theatre in downtown Silver Spring, MD. -0- *T Opening Night Presentation I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG (Il y a longtemps que je t'aime) Thursday, Nov. 6 Novelist-turned-director Philippe Claudel's profoundly moving film examines the role of family and forgiveness in an utterly fresh new way, in a story marked equally by intelligence, kindheartedness and grace, and sparked by outstanding performances from Oscar(R)-winner Kristin Scott Thomas and rising talent Elsa Zylberstein. Released from prison after serving 15 years for committing a shocking crime, Juliette (Scott Thomas) moves in with her younger sister Lea (Zylberstein) and her sister's family. Hardened by her prison stretch and the agonizing emotions she has locked away within her, the readjustment to normal life is difficult for Juliette, with her sister's happy life of family and friends seeming strange to her, even a rebuke. What follows is a series of small steps--and the occasional setback--as Juliette gradually learns to open up and accept people back into her life. Film Festivals/Awards ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Berlin International Film Festival 2008/Prize Of The Ecumenical Jury Telluride Film Festival 2008 Toronto International Film Festival 2008 Official web site: http://www.sonyclassics.com/ivelovedyousolong Press site: http://www.sonypictures.com/classics/press/ivelovedyousolong.html Centerpiece Presentation A CHRISTMAS TALE (Un conte de Noel) Saturday, Nov. 8 Junon (Catherine Deneuve) and Abel (Jean-Paul Roussillon) are the parents of three grown children: Elizabeth (Anne Consigny), a melancholic playwright with a mathematician husband (Hippolyte Girardot) and a tortured teenage son, Paul (Emile Berling); Henri (Mathieu Amalric), the self-destructive black sheep, banished from family events by Elizabeth five years prior; youngest Ivan (Melvil Poupaud), the peacemaker, is married to the beautiful Sylvia (Chiara Mastroianni) and has two eccentric little boys; while a fourth - Joseph, the eldest - died from leukemia as a boy. When the disease reappears again in the family, all are tested to see who can be a donor, and then everyone - including lovesick cousin Simon (Laurent Capelluto) and Henri's girlfriend, Faunia (Emmanuelle Devos) - return home for a long Christmas weekend. All crowded again under the same roof, solidarity quickly - and hilariously - devolves into feuding, drunkenness and bed-hopping, as everyone struggles to make sense of the mysteries of family, life, and what lies ahead. Film Festivals/Awards ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannes International Film Festival 2008/Special Prize For Catherine Deneuve Toronto International Film Festival 2008 New York Film Festival 2008 Official web site: http://www.ifcfilms.com/viewFilm.htm?filmId=996 Press site: http://www.ifcfilmsextranet.com/index.php Centerpiece Presentation GOMORRAH (Gomorra) Saturday, Nov. 15 Power, money and blood: these are the values that the residents of the province of Naples and Caserta confront every day. They have practically no choice, and are forced to obey the rules of the "System," the Camorra. Only a lucky few can even think of leading a normal life. Five stories are woven together in this violent scenario, set in a cruel and ostensibly invented world, but one that is deeply rooted in reality. Don Ciro is "il sottomarino." He pays the families of the prisoners that are affiliated with his clan, a clan that has the undisputed command of the territory. He is sharp, discreet and carries out his job without getting involved. But at a certain point the clan begins to crumble. Unsure who to take orders from, he has to worry about his own survival; Toto is 13 years old and can't wait to grow up. So he begins his training in the school of life, one step at a time, until one day he has to make an irreversible decision; Marco and Ciro think they are living in a Brian de Palma film, but in the eyes of the "system" they are only two stray dogs whose acts of bravado are disturbing the orderly routine of business; Roberto is a university graduate and wants to work. Franco offers him a great opportunity, steady employment with good earning prospects: a job in the field of toxic waste management. But the reality of his task is too disconcerting to Roberto's conscience; Pasquale is a talented tailor who works under the table for a small enterprise subcontracted by the haute couture clothes industry. Chinese competitors give him the opportunity to teach the secrets of his trade to their workers. He is seduced and gratified by the opportunity and accepts, putting his life in danger. Film Festivals & Awards ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannes International Film Festival 2008/Winner Grand Prix Toronto International Film Festival 2008 Telluride Film Festival 2008 New York Film Festival 2008 Italy's official submission for the 2009 foreign language Oscar(R). Press site: http://www.ifcfilmsextranet.com/index.php Centerpiece Presentation THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX (Der Baader Meinhof Komplex) **EAST COAST PREMIERE** Friday, Nov. 21 The latest film from writer-producer Bernd Eichinger (PERFUME, DOWNFALL) gives epic treatment to the eponymous group of 1960s radicals who formed the Red Army Faction (RAF) and terrorized the German establishment. Germany in the 1970s: Murderous bomb attacks, the threat of terrorism and the fear of the enemy inside are rocking the very foundations of the still fragile German democracy. The radicalised children of the Nazi generation led by Andreas Baader (Moritz Bleibtreu), Ulrike Meinhof (Martina Gedeck) and Gudrun Ensslin (Johanna Wokalek) are fighting a violent war against what they perceive as the new face of fascism: American imperialism supported by the German establishment, many of whom have a Nazi past. Their aim is to create a more human society but by employing inhuman means they not only spread terror and bloodshed, they also lose their own humanity. The man who understands them is also their hunter: the head of the German police force Horst Herold (Bruno Ganz). And while he succeeds in his relentless pursuit of the young terrorists, he knows he's only dealing with the tip of the iceberg. The film is based on journalist Stefan Aust's definitive account of the subject, "Der Baader Meinhof Komplex," first published to great acclaim in 1985. Film Festivals ---------------------------------------------------------------------- International Rome Film Festival 2008 (October 22-31, 2008) The Times/BFI London Film Festival (October 15-30, 2008) Germany's official submission for the 2009 foreign language Oscar(R) Official web site: http://www.thebaadermeinhofcomplex.com Closing Night Presentation ELDORADO **US PREMIERE** Saturday, Nov. 22 Yvan, a short-tempered man in his forties, lives a mundane life as he makes a living selling old American cars. However, all of that changes the night he surprises a young boy named Elie breaking into his house. Rather than punish the boy, he develops an affection for the adolescent and even decides to drive him back to his parents. That trip will lead them through the wide spaces of Belgium, during which they will meet improbable characters, and through which, they might actually help Yvan to forever close a chapter of his life. Film Festivals & Awards ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannes International Film Festival 2008/Prix Regard Jeunes, Prix Europa Cinemas, and Fipresci Prize For Directors' Fortnight Belgium's Official Submission For The 2009 Foreign Language Oscar(R) Official Web Site: http://www.Filmmovement.Com *T Tickets for 2008 EUROPEAN UNION FILM SHOWCASE are regular price unless otherwise noted and are as follows: Opening and Closing Night screenings, $15/$10 AFI Members. Centerpiece screenings, $12/$10 AFI Members. All other screenings, $10 general admission; $9 for seniors, students w/ valid ID and military personnel; $8.50 AFI members; weekday screenings before 6:00 p.m. are $7.50. AFI EU Showcase Passports are available for multiple screenings. More information at AFI.com/Silver. Tickets may be purchased online for no service fee at AFI.com/Silver or at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center box office during normal box office hours (one half hour before the first show of the day). Recorded programming information is available at 301.495.6700; general theater information at 301.495.6720. The full schedule of films is soon to be available online at AFI.com/Silver with a downloadable PDF of the full program. The AFI Silver is located in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, at 8633 Colesville Road (between Georgia Avenue and Fenton Street), two blocks from the Silver Spring Metro stop and easily accessible from the Capital Beltway (I-495), less than two miles from either the Georgia Avenue or Colesville Road exits. AFI is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media. AFI trains the next generation of filmmakers at its world-renowned Conservatory, preserves the legacy of America's film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, and explores new digital technologies at AFI's Digital Content Lab. For 37 years, the AFI Life Achievement Award has remained the highest honor for a career in film. AFI also honors the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year at AFI Awards, the institute's almanac for the 21st century, while AFI's 100 Years . . . series has introduced and reintroduced millions of film lovers to classic American movies. And as the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the United States, AFI's festivals include AFI FEST presented by Audi in Los Angeles, the AFI Dallas International Film Festival presented by Target and Founding Sponsor Victory Park, and SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland, while offering year-round programming at the ArcLight Theaters and Skirball Center in Los Angeles, and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in the Washington, DC area. Additional information about AFI is available at AFI.com. American Film Institute Susan Bluttman, 301-495-6747 sbluttman@AFI.com or Delegation of the European Commission to the United States Anna Prisco, 202-429-6387 Copyright Business Wire 2008
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