The American Film Institute (AFI) released an official statement on Iranian Filmmaker Asghar Farhadi. Farhadi’s latest film, The Salesman, is nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. However, due to the recent travel restriction implemented by the United States via executive order, Farhadi will not be attending this year’s Oscar ceremony.
Asghar Farhadi has served as Artist-in-Residence for the past two years at the AFI Conservatory, and his classes had a profound impact upon the 250 young men and women who attend AFI from around the world.
The AFI Conservatory stands with artists and filmmakers who find the power of creation through freedom of expression and freedom of movement. We believe that any form of censorship — including the restriction of travel — to be against all values we cherish as a community of storytellers.
We look forward to welcoming Mr. Farhadi back to AFI in the fall.
AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi has unveiled its expansive, annual World Cinema lineup. World Cinema showcases the most acclaimed international films of the year and features 33 films from 28 countries, including seven official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® entries: DEATH IN SARAJEVO (DIR Danis Tanović), THE HAPPIEST DAY IN THE LIFE OF OLLI MÄKI (DIR Juho Kuosmanen), IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD (DIR Xavier Dolan), JULIETA (DIR Pedro Almodóvar), LAND OF MINE (DIR Martin Pieter Zandvliet), NERUDA (DIR Pablo Larraín) and THE SALESMAN (DIR Asghar Farhadi).
Pictured above: THE SALESMAN
AFTER LOVE (L’ÉCONOMIE DU COUPLE) – Joachim Lafosse returns to AFI FEST with his latest feature, which follows a married couple going through the turmoil of divorce in full view of their twin daughters. DIR Joachim Lafosse. SCRS Mazarine Pingeot, Fanny Burdino, Joachim Lafosse. CAST Bérénice Bejo, Cédric Kahn, Marthe Keller, Jade Soentjens, Margaux Soentjens. Belgium | France
ALBÜM – In this surreal comedy, things go awry when a Turkish couple tries to cover up the fact that they are adopting their new child as opposed to having a natural birth. DIR Mehmet Can Mertoğlu. SCR Mehmet Can Mertoğlu. CAST Şebnem Bozoklu, Murat Kılıç, Rıza Akın, Mihriban Er, Ali Meriç, Müfit Kayacan, Sencar Sağdıç, Şafak Karali. Turkey | France | Romania
BORIS WITHOUT BEATRICE (BORIS SANS BÉATRICE) – Upon receiving a mysterious letter, a proud, wealthy man must reassess who he is in this existential thriller. DIR Denis Côté. SCR Denis Côté. CAST James Hyndman, Simone Élise-Girard, Denis Lavant, Isolda Dychauk, Dounia Sichov, Laetitia Isambert-Denis, Louise Laprade, Bruce LaBruce. Canada
THE COMMUNE (KOLLEKTIVET) – Thomas Vinterberg returns to AFI FEST with this 1970s-set ensemble piece looking at a young couple who start a collective in the big vintage house where the husband grew up. DIR Thomas Vinterberg. SCRS Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm. CAST Trine Dyrholm, Ulrich Thomsen, Helene Reingaard Neumann, Martha Sofie Wallstrøm Hansen, Lars Ranthe, Fares Fares, Magnus Millang, Julie Agnete Vang, Anne Gry Henningsen. Denmark | Sweden | Netherlands
CROSSCURRENT (CHANG JIANG TU) – A cargo ship captain falls under the spell of a mysterious book of poetry, and it sends him on an unexpected journey up the Yangtze River. DIR Yang Chao. SCR Yang Chao. CAST Qin Hao, Xin Zhilei, Wu Lipeng, Wang Hongwei, Jiang Hualin, Tan Kai. China. This screening is co-presented by the China Onscreen Biennial (COB) 2016 and is the closing night screening of their Los Angeles series.
DEATH IN SARAJEVO (SMRT U SARAJEVU) – Director Danis Tanović turns the luxurious Hotel Europa in the heart of Sarajevo into an ideological battleground in this Silver Bear winner out of the Berlinale. DIR Danis Tanović. SCR Danis Tanović. CAST Jaques Weber, Snežana Vidović, Izudin Bajrovic, Vedrana Seksan, Muhamed Hadžović, Faketa Salihbegović-Avdagić, Edin Avdagić, Aleksandar Seksan. France | Bosnia and Herzegovina
THE DEMONS (LES DÉMONS) – A 10-year-old boy begins to act out in frightening ways in this coming-of-age horror film. DIR Philippe Lesage. SCR Philippe Lesage. CAST Edouard Tremblay-Grenier, Pier-Luc Funk, Yannick Gobeil-Dugas, Vassili Schneider, Sarah Mottet, Mathis Thomas, Victoria Diamond, Laurent Lucas. Canada
A DRAGON ARRIVES! (EJHDEHA VARED MISHAVAD!) – This unique postmodern pastiche reenacts the confounding circumstances surrounding the 1965 suicide of an exiled political prisoner. DIR Mani Haghighi. SCR Mani Haghighi. CAST Amir Jadidi, Homayoun Ghanizadeh, Ehsan Goudarzi, Kiana Tajammol, Nader Fallah, Ali Bagheri, Kamran Safamanesh, Javad Ansari. Iran
FRANCA: CHAOS AND CREATION – In this incisive documentary, director Francesco Carrozzini creates an intimate portrait of his mother, Franca Sozzani, the legendary editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue. DIR Francesco Carrozzini. FEAT Franca Sozzani, Karl Lagerfeld, Bruce Weber, Baz Luhrmann, Courtney Love. Italy | USA
GRADUATION (BACALAUREAT) – When a doctor’s bright young daughter is assaulted the day before her final exams, he will do anything to make sure her scholarship to Cambridge isn’t jeopardized. DIR Cristian Mungiu. SCR Cristian Mungiu. CAST Adrian Titieni, Maria Drăguș, Lia Bugnar, Mălina Manovici, Vlad Ivanov, Gelu Colceag, Rareș Andrici, Petre Ciubotaru. Romania
THE HAPPIEST DAY IN THE LIFE OF OLLI MÄKI – Based on a true story, Finland’s official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® entry follows boxer Olli Mäki as he prepares for the 1962 world featherweight championship match. DIR Juho Kuosmanen. SCRS Mikko Myllylahti, Juho Kuosmanen. CAST Jarkko Lahti, Oona Airola, Eero Milonoff, Joanna Haartti, Esko Barquero, Elma Milonoff, Leimu Leisti, Hilma Milonoff. Finland
HARMONIUM (FUCHI NI TATSU) – A Japanese couple’s quiet life is disrupted by the arrival of an old acquaintance recently released from prison. DIR Koji Fukada. SCR Koji Fukada. CAST Tadanobu Asano, Mariko Tsutsui, Kanji Furutachi, Taiga, Momone Shinokawa, Kana Mahiro. Japan | France
HOME – When a teen recently released from a juvenile detention center befriends another troubled young man, their shared alienation threatens to erupt in violence. DIR Fien Troch. SCR Fien Troch, Nico Leunen. CAST Sebastian Van Dun, Mistral Guidotti, Loïc Batog, Lena Suijkerbuijk, Karlijn Sileghem, Els Deceukelier, Robbie Cleiren, Yavuz Saçikara. Belgium
I, DANIEL BLAKE – In Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winner, an ailing carpenter and struggling single mother join forces against the bureaucratic system keeping them down. DIR Ken Loach. SCR Paul Laverty. CAST Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Dylan McKiernan, Briana Shann, Kate Rutter, Sharon Percy, Kema Sikazwe. UK | France | Belgium
IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD (JUSTE LA FIN DU MONDE) – Xavier Dolan’s latest stars Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux as a volatile family reeling from the bad news brought home by an estranged son. DIR Xavier Dolan. SCR Xavier Dolan. CAST Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard. Canada | France
JULIETA – In Pedro Almodóvar’s latest, a woman is left to navigate tragedy and survival with her daughter after the death of her husband. DIR Pedro Almodóvar. SCR Pedro Almodóvar. CAST Emma Suárez, Adriana Ugarte, Daniel Grao, Inma Cuesta, Dario Grandinetti, Rossy de Palma. Spain
LAND OF MINE – Tense and thrilling like THE HURT LOCKER, this film follows the adolescent German soldiers assigned to clear a Danish beach of its buried mines after World War II. DIR Martin Zandvliet. SCR Martin Zandvliet. CAST Roland Møller, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Louis Hofmann, Joel Basman, Emil Belton, Oskar Belton. Denmark
LAYLA M. – When a young Muslim woman radicalizes and moves from Amsterdam to Jordan, she discovers a very different situation than she anticipated. DIR Mijke de Jong. SCRS Jan Eilander, Mijke de Jong. CAST Nora El Koussour, Ilias Addab. Netherlands l Belgium l Germany l Jordan
MALGRÉ LA NUIT – A man must descend into the world of pornographic snuff films in search of his lost love. DIR Philippe Grandrieux. SCRS Philippe Grandrieux, Bertrand Schefer, Rebecca Zlotowski, John-Henry Butterworth. CAST Kristian Marr, Ariane Labed, Roxane Mesquida, Paul Hamy, Johan Leysen, Sam Louwych, Aurélien Recoing. France | Canada
MISTER UNIVERSO – In this charming documentary and fiction hybrid, a young man of the circus embarks on a quest to find a legendary strongman. DIRS Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel. SCR Tizza Covi. CAST Tairo Caroli, Arthur Robin, Wendy Weber. Austria | Italy
NERUDA – Chile’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® centers on poet and senator Pablo Neruda, who went into hiding to escape arrest. DIR Pablo Larraín SCR Guillermo Calderón CAST Luis Gnecco, Gael García Bernal, Mercedes Morán, Diego Muñoz, Pablo Derqui, Michael Silva, Jamie Vadell, Alfredo Castro, Marcelo Alonso, Francisco Reyes, Alejandro Goic, Emilio Gutiérrez Caba. Chile
THE NET (GEUMUL) – Kim Ki-duk’s most controversial film to date centers on a North Korean fisherman who inadvertently drifts into South Korean waters, altering the course of his life forever. DIR Kim Ki-duk. SCR Kim Ki-duk. CAST Ryoo Seung-bum, Lee Won-gun, Kim Young-min, Choi Guy-hwa. South Korea
NOCTURAMA – Bertrand Bonello’s latest follows a pack of Parisian teenagers over the course of one day as they carry out a series of planned attacks throughout the city. DIR Bertrand Bonello. SCR Bertrand Bonello. CAST Finnegan Oldfield, Vincent Rottiers, Hamza Meziani, Manal Issa, Martin Guyot, Jamil McCraven, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laure Valentinelli, Ilias Le Doré, Robin Goldbronn, Luis Rego, Hermine Karagheuz, Adèle Haenel. France l Germany l Belgium
OLD STONE (LAO SHI) – When a timid cab driver helps an accident victim to the hospital, his decency is rewarded with a nightmarish decent into an unforgiving bureaucratic machine. DIR Johnny Ma. SCR Johnny Ma. CAST Chen Gang, Nai An, Wang Hongwei, Zhang Zebin, Luo Xue’er. China | Canada
THE ORNITHOLOGIST (O ORNITÓLOGO) – In the latest fever dream from João Pedro Rodrigues, an ornithologist is tossed from his kayak and finds himself on a wild, mesmerizing, blood-soaked journey downriver. DIR João Pedro Rodrigues. SCRS João Pedro Rodrigues, João Rui Guerra da Mata CAST Paul Hamy, Xelo Cagiao, João Pedro Rodrigues, Han Wen, Chan Suan, Juliane Elting. Portugal | France | Brazil
PANAMERICAN MACHINERY (MAQUINARIA PANAMERICA) – In this witty and comedic debut, a group of Mexican workers stage a dysfunctional showdown when their factory goes bankrupt. DIR Joaquín Del Paso. SCRS Joaquín Del Paso, Lucy Pawlak. CAST Javier Zaragoza, Ramiro Orozco, Irene Ramirez, Edmundo Mosqueira, Delfino López, Cecilia Garcia, Cesar Panini, Javier Camacho, Israel Ruiz. Mexico | Poland
THE RED TURTLE – In Studio Ghibli’s beautiful first co-production, a shipwrecked man struggles to escape a deserted island but he’s kept from doing so by a giant sea turtle. DIR Michael Dudok de Wit. SCR Michael Dudok de Wit. France | Japan
THE SALESMAN – In Asghar Farhadi’s latest, a husband seeks revenge against the perpetrator who attacked his wife in their apartment. DIR Asghar Farhadi. SCR Asghar Farhadi. CAST Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Babak Karimi, Farid Sajjadi Hosseini, Mina Sadati, Maral Bani Adam, Mehdi Kooshki, Emad Emami. Iran l France
THINGS TO COME (L’ AVENIR) – Isabelle Huppert plays a passionate philosophy professor dealing with two quietly monumental life events. DIR Mia Hansen-Løve. SCR Mia Hansen-Løve. CAST Isabelle Huppert, André Marcon, Roman Kolinka, Edith Scob, Sarah Le Picard, Solal Forte, Elise Lhomeau, Lionel Dray, Grégoire Montana-Haroche, Lina Benzerti. France | Germany
THE UNTAMED (LA REGIÓN SALVAJE)– The lives of a young mother, and her husband and brother are thrown into upheaval with the arrival of a mysterious woman who shows them how to access the most intense pleasure they’ve ever known. DIR Amat Escalante. SCRS Amat Escalante, Gibrán Portela. CAST Ruth Ramos, Simone Bucio, Jesús Meza, Edén Villavicencio, Andrea Peláez, Oscar Escalante, Bernarda Trueba. Mexico | Denmark | France | Germany | Norway | Switzerland
THE WOUNDED ANGEL (RANENYY ANGEL) – Four adolescent boys in rural Kazakhstan deal with the harsh realities of post-Soviet life in this second feature by the director of HARMONY LESSONS. DIR Emir Baigazin. SCR Emir Baigazin. CAST Nurlybek Saktaganov, Madiyar Aripbay, Madiyar Nazarov, Omar Adilov, Anzara Barlykova, Timur Aidarbekov, Kanagat Taskaraev, Rasul Vilyamov. Kazakhstan | France | Germany
WÙLU – An honest but frustrated worker living in Mali resorts to drug-running to make ends meet, and soon finds himself embroiled in a conflict that stretches all the way to Al Qaeda. DIR Daouda Coulibaly. SCR Daouda Coulibaly. CAST Ibrahim Koma, Inna Modja, Ismaël N’Diaye, Jean-Marie Traoré, Habib Dembélé, Mariame N’Diaye, Quim Gutierrez, Olivier Rabourdin. France | Senegal
YOURSELF AND YOURS (DANGSINJASINGWA DANGSINUI GEOT) – In the latest from Hong Sang-soo, one painter searches for the woman he has just broken up with, while she — or her dopplegänger — pursues quasi-romantic encounters with other men. DIR Hong Sang-soo. SCR Hong Sang-soo. CAST Kim Jooh-yuck, Lee You-young. South Korea
Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi — this year’s Artist-in-Residence at the AFI Conservatory — returns to his neorealist roots with THE SALESMAN, the suspenseful tale of married couple of theater actors, Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), starring in a performance of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” Their lives are thrown into turmoil after Rana is attacked in their Tehran apartment — during the play’s opening weekend — and Emad becomes increasingly obsessed with exacting vengeance.
Like Farhadi’s previous films ABOUT ELLY (2009), the Oscar® winner A SEPARATION (2011) and THE PAST (2013), THE SALESMAN dwells in the domestic discord struck by class conflict in Iran, and the moral ambivalence of the film’s protagonists. Farhadi re-teams with his longtime collaborators, editor Hayedeh Safiyari and cinematographer Hossein Jafarian, to craft a dramatic “whodunit” that leaves the audience gripped, and with more questions than answers.
On the AFI Campus recently, Farhadi — who taught a workshop for Directing Fellows this September — fielded questions from AFI Conservatory Dean Jan Schuette and from Fellows about THE SALESMAN for the Conservatory’s Harold Lloyd Master Seminar series.
How did you begin to develop and approach this story, which begins and ends on a theater stage?
I always have an image in my head and the story starts from the image all the time. From the period that I was in student theater, I had this image in my head that I knew that I would have to use someday. I could see a house in the theater stage and different parts of the home would light up, and then all of the lights would go dark and then all of them would come on so you could see the whole house. I gradually thought of my themes like this as well — dropping light on different parts of the family and at the end, you feel like you know the whole family. So, the story started with this image and this image was like a magnet, it went over my brain and grabbed all of the things that were related to the story.
How do you collaborate with your editor and your cinematographer?
The biggest quality of both the cinematographer and that editor is that they hide behind their work and don’t show themselves — this is something that comes from Eastern art. In some periods of Eastern art, artists wouldn’t sign their pieces. They were thinking that when the audience sees the piece, they shouldn’t think about the artist but [instead] think about the piece itself. In Western art, when you see, for example, the statue of Michelangelo, you applaud Michelangelo rather than the statue itself. It means that the artist, or the shadow of the artist, is in between the relationship of the audience and the piece. I did my best to hide myself behind the work so nobody can see me behind the scenes, behind the film. So they can feel like no one wrote the dialogue and it’s just actors, the characters, who are really saying these things. This is the most important thing that I have in mind when making a film.
How did you craft the audience experience of the mystery and thriller elements of THE SALESMAN, which blend realism and fantasy?
There are so many movies made that have suspense and drama. Some of the best ones are Alfred Hitchcock. Part of Billy Wilder’s work is like that as well. On the other side, there are so many films that have the feeling of everyday life, a documentary feeling. I think the best example is [Iranian director] Abbas Kiarostami. But, we haven’t seen that much of this combination, both drama and documentary. By that I mean, you see a drama and you feel like that is real life. By watching Hitchcock films, you get very excited and applaud Hitchcock’s craft, but don’t get anything about the people who are living at that time in those conditions. I really tried to make my film go in that direction, mixing drama and real life.
What is the process after you’ve finished your films? To whom do you show them first?
The whole thing is a torture. And the whole process is very enjoyable as well. It’s like giving birth. Full of pain, but it’s the best thing that can happen to the person in the end. But the hardest part for me is when the movie is done, when the movie starts to have its distance from me.
I feel like that part is not really my job. You go to the festivals, and then you have to just talk about something where you were hired on purpose. When the movie is over, I don’t show it to actors because they just look at themselves. Their opinion wouldn’t help you. I show it to some people who have nothing to do with cinema; same with the script. I passed my script [of THE SALESMAN] to the French teacher of my daughter. When normal people see the film, they can’t tell you what they feel right away. But while they are watching the film, you can sit with them and see at which parts they are getting bored and at which parts they’re excited. The most important thing for me to understand at the end of the film is if it’s boring or not. I don’t like anyone to go out of my films, even if they have to pee. My film has to do something where you have to finish it, and then leave.
THE SALESMAN is Iran’s 2016 entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar®. The film opens stateside on December 9, 2016.
If you are by any chance a film buff you’d be aware of your favourite time of the year – the 18th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. You’d also no doubt be really confused about what films to watch considering the sheer volume of amazing films put together by the lovely people of Jio MAMI.
Fret not. Listed below is a handy guide to make note of 15 films you should absolutely, under no circumstance, miss at the festival.
Under The Shadow
Director: Babak Anvari Country: Iran
By far the most exciting film at the fest, Babak Anvari’s film contains a mysterious spooky entitypestering a mother and her daughter during the fag end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988. The film has been gathering some serious buzz ever since it premiered in Sundance back in January. It’s also UIK’s official entry to the Oscars — which bodes well for fans of intelligent horror cinema.
Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska Country: Poland
Set in a Warsaw nightclub and full of weird lurid visuals, The Lure chronicles two mermaid sisters who arrive on land to explore the ‘human’ side of the world, and clash when they fall for the same human. Things get stranger when we discover the mermaids also have vampiric tendencies. The film created quite a buzz in Sundance where it won a Jury Prize.
Director: Oliver Assayas Country: France
It seems like this year’s MAMI has turned into the Fantastic Fest (what could possibly be better than that) because this is the third acclaimed horror film to watch out for. Oliver Assayas who totally bowled us over two years ago with The Clouds of Sils Maria is back with a spooky story with an undercurrent of social commentary.
Assayas’ regular Kristen Stewart plays Maureen, an assistant to a fashion mogul in Paris who contacts a spirit of some sort. Festival darling Assayas picked up the Best Director award at Cannes earlier this year.
Director: Johnny Ma Country: China
We know China can be a weird place, and debut director Johnny Ma explores yet another bizarre quirk of the country: if you help someone in a car accident and take him to the hospital, you are liable to pay their rehabilitation fees for the rest of their life. The protagonist of the film, a cab driver finds himself in such a scenario in a film that bagged Ma the award for the best debut film at the Toronto International Film Fest earlier this year.
Director: Cristian Mungiu Country: Romania
Graduation puts 4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days director Mungiu back to his roots – in the underbelly of Cluj. The film follows a surgeon who for some reason is a target by unknown pranksters, and whose daughter is mugged and assaulted on her way to her exams.
With handheld cameras, bleak blue tones, and the exploration of grassroots corruption, Mungiu’s latest has been heralded as a return to form for a filmmaker whose previous film Beyond the Hills was criticized for being too self indulgent. Mungiu bagged the Directors trophy at Cannes for this film.
Things To Come
Director: Mia Hansen Love Country:France
Fast emerging as one of the most exciting filmmakers of this generation, Hansen Love’s new film follows a 50 year old woman who needs to come to terms with dealing with life after a divorce. Hansen Love bagged the Silver Bear for Best Director in Berlin, but her amazing work in her previous film Eden is enough reason to be excited for this one.
My Life As A Courgette
Director: Claude Barras Country: Switzerland
Celine Sciamma who earlier wrote the magnificent Girlhood teams up with director Barras for a stop motion animation about a 9-year-old boy who is put in an orphanage after his alcoholic mother dies — for which he may or may not be responsible.
Director: Paul Verhoeven Country: France
The filmmaker behind some of the most nihilistic films of all time like Robocop, Total Recall and Starship Troopers returns after years with Elle, another nasty takedown of the society we live in. This time the story follows a rich video game honcho named Michelle (Isabelle Huppert) who is attacked by a masked man at her Parisian home.
Like all Verhoeven’s previous films, Elle is supposed to present moral dilemmas with a satirical bite and a layer of icily dark commentary on sex, violence and, in this case, video games. It’s France official entry to the Oscars.
Director: Elite Zexer Country: Israel
Winning the Grand Jury prize at Sundance, Elite Zexer’s film which is set in Southern Israel follows a Bedouin woman dealing with everyday sexism and not so casual misogyny of the region after her husband is about to be married to a second, much younger woman. That should be an interesting watch because it’s a topic that folks in India can unfortunately relate to all too well.
Hounds Of Love
Director: Ben Young Country: Australia
In case you’re looking for a serial killer movie, debut filmmaker Ben Young presents a highly intriguing one with Hounds of Love, which introduces us to a serial killer couple whose latest kidnapping victim realizes that the only way to escape is by getting the two psychos to turn against each other.
One other little aspect to convince you to see this film is that the many audience members at the Venice Film Festival walked out because they couldn’t stomach what was happening on the screen.
The War Show
Director: Andreas Dalsgaard, Obaidah Zytoon Country: Syria – Denmark
The War Show is supposed to be a blistering account of the Arab Spring seen through the eyes of radio host Obaidah Zytoon who began filming the state of things during and after the protests.
The Lovers And The Despot
Director: Rob Cannan and Ross Adam Country: Britain
It’s pretty obvious how demented and scary North Korea is, and it seems there’s no dearth of bizarre stories to come out of the country. This documentary brings us the real life story of a filmmaker couple who was kidnapped by Kim Jong II and were forced to make films in the country because the great dictator was a film buff.
Director: Reza Dormishian Country: Iran
Yet another fascinating film from Iran, we’re taken through three intertwining stories: one which follows a gang of thugs that attacks and kidnaps young children from families that gained their wealth through financial wrongdoings, another which chronicles a journalist who is not allowed to voice his opinion and the third which follows a prostitute who turns into a thug.
Director: Mohamed Diab Country: Egypt
After garnering acclaim for his film Cairo 678, Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Diab is back with another interesting story that puts various characters in a single location – a police riot car during the raging bloody streets of Cairo when the Muslim brotherhood president Morsi was overthrown and the country went nuts.
After The Storm
Director: Hirokazu Koreeda Country: Japan
Like Father Like Son filmmaker Koreeda returns with another film with similar themes of isolation in the Japanese society. The film follows a writer struggling to live up to the success of his first novel and dealing with vices such as gambling and ego. While researching his next book he begins to spy on his ex wife who is now seeing another man. Reality hits him when he discovers that their son, in the custody of his mother is perfectly happy without him. The film has naturally received glowing reviews everywhere it’s screened.
Director: Asghar Farhadi Country: Iran
It’s Farhadi’s new film — that’s all you need to know.
Other Notable Mentions:
Swiss Army Man: A delightful tale of a suicidal man whose life is saved by a farting corpse.
The Wailing: Yet another engrossing watch from Korean maestro Hong Jin Na about a Korean village going through a turmoil after a Japanese man encroaches their territory.
Neruda: The new film from Pablo Larrain which has been garnering some terrific buzz.
Madly: A short anthology featuring directorial works fromAnurag Kashyap,Gael Garcia Bernal, Mia Wasikowska, Natasha Khan, Sion Sono and Sebastian Silva.
Death in Sarajevo: Danis Tanovic’s new film.
I, Daniel Blake: Festival darling Ken Loach’s latest which is sure to have insanely long lines – make sure you get to the screening hall early.
Veteran British director Ken Loach won his second Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival Sunday for I, Daniel Blake — a stark portrayal of a disabled man’s struggle with the crushing benefits system in northern England.
The 79-year-old was presented the festival’s top prize by actor Mel Gibson at a ceremony on the French Riviera. Accepting the award, the silver-haired Loach punched his fists in the air in victory and said that he hoped his gritty, social realist movie would hold a mirror up to the impact of Europe’s policies of austerity on the poorest in society.
Director Ken Loach, centre, actor Mel Gibson, left and President of the Jury George Miller react after Roach is awarded the Palme d’or for the film I, Daniel Blake, during the awards ceremony at the 69th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
“We must give a message of hope, we must say another world is possible,” he said.
I, Daniel Blake chronicles a middle-aged widower from Newcastle who, after a heart attack, can neither work nor get government aid. It follows the sometimes comic, frequently painful frustrations as he winds his way through an archaic system that seems designed to bring him down.
Like many of Loach’s films, social politics is at the heart of I, Daniel Blake — which many critics have predicted could be his last.
“There is a conscious cruelty in the way that we are organizing our lives now, where the most vulnerable people are told that their poverty is their own fault,” Loach told reporters. “If you have no work it’s your fault you haven’t got a job. Never mind in Britain, there is mass unemployment throughout Europe.”
Loach has long brought his distinct portrayals of the British working class to Cannes — and is more a regular at Cannes than almost any filmmaker. He has had 12 films in competition at the festival over the years, including his Palme d’Or-winning The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
Canadian director Xavier Dolan picked up the runner-up Grand Prize, which has been seen by some critics as a vindication for him personally after his film, It’s Only The End Of The World, garnered lukewarm reviews and triggered a spat between him and certain film critics. The 27-year-old won the jury prize in 2014 for Mommy.
Director Xavier Dolan poses for photographers with his Grand Prix prize for the film, Juste La Fin du Monde (It’s Only The End OF the World), during the photo call following the awards ceremony at the 69th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
The jury of the 69th Cannes Film Festival was headed by Australian director George Miller who described the jury’s selection as “two words: rigorous and happy.”
The Cannes jury’s decisions are famously unpredictable, and take place behind doors closed to the press for the duration of the May 11-22 festival.
Despite mixed reviews, director Asghar Farhadi’s film, The Salesman, picked up several awards including best screenplay and best actor for Shahab Hosseini.
Romanian director Cristian Mungui, who was a favorite to win the Palme d’Or for Graduation, won the best director award, which he shared with French director Olivier Assayas for his paranormal thriller, Personal Shopper, starring former Twilight star Kristen Stewart.
Director Olivier Assayas poses for photographers after receiving the Best Director award for the film Personal Shopper, during the photo call following the awards ceremony at the 69th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)