New directors make a clean sweep of the Meeting Point programming

Eeb Allay Ooo - PdE 65Seminci
‘Eeb Allay Ooo!’, de Prateek Vats
  • The section will screen ten feature films, nine of which are directorial debuts, including that by Farnoosh Samadi, the only filmmaker to win two consecutive Golden Spikes as a short film director

10/05/2020.- The Valladolid International Film Festival has chosen nine directorial debuts, out of a total of ten films, for the Meeting Point section, the parallel competitive screening devoted to new authors and movies that are unusual in our theaters. The feature films, which compete for a first prize of €20,000, come from China, India, Iran, Nigeria, Argentina, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

China is the country most represented in the section with films including Jing Wang’s The Best Is Yet To Come, a feature film about an explosive young journalist’s investigation with the 2003 SARS pandemic as a backstory; Liang Ming’s Wisdom Tooth, premiered at the 3rd Pingyao International Film Festival in 2019, where it won the Fei Mu Award for Best Director (Chinese-language competitive section) and the Roberto Rossellini Awards’ Jury Prize (international competition), a rare achievement in the history of the contest; and Zhou Sun’s Summer is the Coldest Season, a story about a young woman who loses her way in life after her mother is murdered.

180 Degree Rule
‘180 Degree Rule’, de Farnoosh Samadi

Two other Asian movies will take part in the section. Prateek Vats’ Eeb Allay Ooo!, an Indian production whose title makes reference to the three words used by ‘monkey shooers’ in order to scare away the troublesome rhesus macaques that ask tourists for food in front of Delhi’s government buildings; and Khate farzi (180 Degree Rule), the first film by Iranian director Farnoosh Samadi, the only filmmaker to have won two consecutive Golden Spikes at Seminci: for The Silence, co-directed with Ali Asgari, which was awarded the Golden Spike for best short film in the 61st Seminci in 2016, and on her own the following year for the short film Gaze (2017).

European cinema will be present with two productions: the British Mogul Mowgli, the feature film directorial debut by New York writer and director Bassam Tariq, whose previous work, the short film Ghosts of Sugar Land (2019), won the Jury Prize at Sundance; and Slalom, by French director Charlène Favier, the story of a 15-year-old girl accepted into a very exclusive ski club aiming to train future professional athletes.

Meeting Point will screen the African film Eyimofe (This is my wish), by US-trained brothers Arie and Chuko Esiri, born in Warri (Nigeria). The film deals with how tragedy and destiny stand in the way of two Nigerian nationals striving to improve the lives of their respective families.

The section is completed with two titles from the American continent: Piedra sola (Only stone), by Argentine filmmaker Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf, a story set in the northern high plateau of Argentina and starring a llama herder and his son; and Mainstream, by Gia Coppola, the only other feature film in the section. Francis Ford Coppola’s granddaughter, whose directorial debut, Palo Alto (2013), was selected in festivals such as Venice and Toronto, deals with the rise to stardom of an outsider trio in her second film.

Short films and The Night of Spanish Short Films

This 65th Seminci Meeting Point section will screen eight more international short films: Une chance unique (A Unique Opportunity, France), by Joël Curtz; Grab Them (Sweden), by Morgane Dziuria-Petit; Miegamasis rajonas (Places, Lithuania), by Vytautas Katkus; Nattåget (The Night Train, Sweden), by Jerry Carlsson; Omelia contadina (Peasant Homily, Italy), by Alice Rohrwacher & JR; Sudden Light (UK), by Sophie Littman; and Witness (France/Iran), by Ali Asgari, as well as the animated short film 4 North A (Canada), by Jordan Canning and Howie Shia.

The short film selection is completed with the five titles selected for The Night of Spanish Short Films section, which will compete for a prize of €3,000. Ascenso (Ascent), by Juanjo Giménez Peña; L’estrany (The Stranger), by Oriol Guanyabens; Si amanece, nos vamos (If the sun comes out, we’re leaving), by Álvaro Feldman and Laura Obrador; Sintra III, by Iván Casajús and Aitor Echeverría, and Stanbrook, by Óscar Bernacer.

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