Fest brings European Film Week in Buenos Aires

Fatih Akin’s “Soul Kitchen,” Xavier Giannoli’s “In the Beginning” and Cristian Mungiu’s “Tales From the Golden Age” are among seven titles selected for the Cannes Festival’s first Buenos Aires European Film Week.

Co-organized by Argentina’s Incaa Film Institute, the Week unspools at Buenos Aires Cinemark Palermo multiplex, Thursday-Dec. 2. The showcase is programmed and presented by Cannes’ fest director Thierry Fremaux.

The Week marks a pioneering thrust by Cannes to take its trademark and expertise beyond the Croisette.

It is a sister event to Ventana Sur, a joint Incaa-Cannes Marche showcase for Latin American films, which will see around 250 foreign distributors, sales agents and TV buyers hit Buenos Aires for the Thursday-Nov. 30 mart.

“The European Week will run parallel to the newborn Ventana Sur: You can’t have a market without artistic intent,” Fremaux said. “The Week will also aid the titles’ distribution, relations with local buyers, and directors’ connection with the public.”

Fremaux will present the pics and conduct Q&As with Akin, Giannoli and Mungiu.

The European Week, which also features Andrea Arnold’s “Fish Tank” and Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet,” focuses on Europe’s “new generation of directors, even Jacques Audiard who still looks ‘young,'” Fremaux said.

The Film Week underscores the current breadth of European filmmaking with the inclusion of whimsical Belgian stop-motion toon pic “A Town Called Panic,” from Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar. Showcase also features Austrian Jessica Hausner’s multi-prized “Lourdes.”

If its deadpan chronicle of Lourdes’ idiosyncracies qualifies the film as a laffer, Cannes’ pioneering overseas showcase of contempo European cinema contains as much comedy as drama, another departure for the festival.

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