Reed Morano, Paul Bettany Among Directing Newbies Competing at Camerimage

Reed Morano Meadowland
Courtesy of Paul Sarkis

'Meadowland,' directed by Reed Morano (above), competes at Camerimage

Camerimage, the film festival devoted to cinematography, has selected 10 titles to compete in its Directors’ Debuts Competition. With a focus on discovery, the selection committee has nominated first or second non-documentary feature films made by young directors and cinematographers. The range is eclectic, spanning intimate drama, family intrigue, war stories, tales of loss, and horror fiction.

Three titles come from the U.S., starting with Reed Morano’s “Meadowland,” a study of parental grief and loss that premiered at Tribeca. The film stars Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson. Although “Meadowland” is Morano’s first feature as director, she has worked as a cinematographer on more than 15 movies, as well as TV series like HBO’s “Looking.” Recent movie credits include Rob Reiner’s “And So It Goes,” starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, Mark Jackson’s “War Story,” starring Catherine Keener, and Daniel Radcliffe starrer “Kill Your Darlings.” She’s best know for “Frozen River.” Morano’s next feature as director is Afghanistan War drama “Lioness,” starring Ellen Page.

The other U.S. titles are “Shelter,” directed by British actor Paul Bettany, who delivers a study of homelessness in New York; and Chloé Zhao’s Sundance Dramatic Competition entry “Songs My Brothers Taught Me,” which looks at young people’s lives on a Native American reservation.

From director José Luis Rugeles Gracia comes the Colombian child-soldier story “Alias María” (Colombia, Argentina, France), which premiered in the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard sidebar. Iran offers the war allegory “Borderless” (Bedoone Marz)” by Asgari Amirhossein, while Austria delivers the U.S. foreign-language box-office success “Goodnight Mommy” (Ich seh, Ich seh), a surreal domestic horror-thriller directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, working under the aegis of Ulrich Seidl’s production company.

Making its festival debut is the experimental silent film reconstruction “The Lost” (Die Verlorenen) from Germany’s Reynold Reynolds, which is joined by two projects from Mexico — Luis Urquiza’s “Perfect Obedience” (Obediencia Perfecta), which ruffled feathers at Montreal with its depiction of child molestation in the seminary, and Ricardo Soto’s feature debut “Plastic” (Plástico), which tells the story of two siblings traumatized by the death of their father.

Detailing the daily lives of itinerant rodeo workers, Brazilian artist and director Gabriel Mascaro’s international co-production “Neon Bull” (Boi Neon) (Brazil, Uruguay, Netherlands) continues its festival life after bowing in Venice’s Orrizonti section in September.

Camerimage runs Nov. 14-21 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

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