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‘Party’ a film first for Rencontres

Rep: 'It made sense in the evolution of the Arles festival'

PARIS — Photography and image fest, the 33-year-old Les Rencontres d’Arles, added film to its program for the first time when it screened “The Last Party,” a political documentary-road movie, Thursday night in the city’s Roman amphitheater.

“It made sense in the evolution of the Arles festival to embrace the moving image as well,” fest rep Amy Sloane-Pinel said. “It seemed natural to include ‘The Last Party’ in an outside photographic projection we did on the themes of politics and censorship.”

The film, co-directed by Donovan Leitch and Rebecca Chaiklin and produced by the Dakota Group during the Republican and Democratic national conventions in the U.S two years ago, stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a political naïf.

Film Sales Intl. is flogging the pic, which was selected for the Deauville Film Festival in September. An American deal is pending.

The Arles fest, which closes Saturday, also paid homage to Czech photographer Joseph Koudelka and screened documentary footage of his return to Prague in the early 90’s.

Koudelka, known for his photographs of gypsies, left Prague in the 70’s after the Velvet Revolution with other artists including Milan Kundera and Vaclav Pavel.

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