A midweek highlight of this year’s Los Angeles Italia film festival: Writer-director GinevraElkann, actor Alba Rohrwacher, and co-writer Chiara Barzini will present their film MAGARI (IF ONLY), which opened last year’s Locarno Film Festival.
The film demands that you, the viewer, engage immediately and unceasingly with the protagonists and their plight, leaving you drained and astounded. — Deirdre Towers
Although AND THEN WE DANCED—the first LGBTQ drama set in Georgia—has received widespread critical acclaim across Eastern Europe (winning Best Film and Best Actor this year at Odessa), the film’s shooting schedule was frequently disrupted and the set in Tbilisi often resembled a guerrilla production. Earlier this month right-wing groups staged violent protests outside the hometown premiere—which was standing-room only—and it was noted that the film’s choreographer is credited as “Anonymous,” for fear of losing his job.
A story of same-sex attraction among two members of the National Georgian Ensemble, AND THEN WE DANCED will screen on the closing days of this year’s AFI FEST presented by Audi. The film’s leads—Levan Gelbakhiani (a phenomenal young actor making his debut) and Bachi Valishvili—will join their director Levan Akin for post-screening conversations with the audience.
I want to corroborate Black women’s reality. Some of us feel safe and some of us do not, but within that spectrum, there’s grief, there’s relief, there’s whimsy. There are feelings of anxiety and apprehension, but also faith and trust. Our inner world is layered and super vast, and I want us to be able to see that depicted on the screen, witness Black women having these interior moments…
I call myself a director who edits, but I’m probably an editor who directs … The idea of handing this over to someone else is so foreign, so counterintuitive. For me, that’s where the real making takes place. So my process is sourcing footage from everywhere, whether that be the internet or some image I’m creating myself or a collaboration with a DP or an archive. But the actual process begins once we sit down at that hard drive, because it’s important for me to have that level of control. — Ja’Tovia Gary, interview with Rooney Elmi, 2019
A visceral exploration of abuse in Vancouver’s Indigenous community and a key work of contemporary feminist cinema, THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN will screen twice at the AFI FEST presented by Audi.
Writer-directors Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers—who also co-stars in the film—will join actor Violet Nelson for post-screening Q & A’s.
A love poem to women,THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN weaves a compellingly simple story around the complex themes of racialized female bodies, a country’s failure to support its most vulnerable youth, and the continuing effects of colonial violence. Inspired by true events, this intimate, immersive film was shot on location in East Vancouver on 16mm film, in real time.
A standout in a particularly strong year for Canadian film, ANTIGONE—written, directed, and shot by Sophie Deraspe—will play twice on the opening weekend of the AFI FEST presented byAudi. The filmmaker will be on hand to present her work.
Featuring a breakout performance by Nahéma Ricci in the title role, this timely contemporary update of Sophocles’ tragedy captures the rage and resistance of an immigrant family, grieving the loss of a son while confronting the institutionalized oppression of its adopted Quebec.