×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘See You,’ ‘To Kill’ Win at Locarno

Movies top Fest’s Open Doors, Carte Blanche

LOCARNO — Two portraits of people on the edge, Alexander Kvatashidze’s war-reporter themed docu-feature “See You in Chechnya” and Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ questioning vengeance thriller “To Kill a Man,” were the big winners Tuesday at Locarno’s Open Doors and Carte Blanche, two of Locarno’s major industry competitions.

Open Doors is a screenings/co-production lab for projects, Carte Blanche, which focused this year on Chile, a pix-in-post showcase.

A portrait of six war reporters spanning 15 years, inspired by Kvatashidze’s own experience as a wannabe war photographer, “See You in Chechnya” won the $21,500 Open Doors Production Award and an $8,000 Arte Open Doors Award, awarded by the French broadcaster.

In 1999, Kvatashidze crossed the Caucasus Mountains from Georgia to Chechnya to photograph the war there — and to impress a French woman photographer he had fallen in love with, he said in Locarno.

“See You in Chechnya” follows the life stories of six reporters he met there, including their explanations of what makes them tick. The narrative features their ambitious projects, professional success, but also kidnapping, murder and suicide, Kvatashidze added.

His Plan A to complete financing is for his co-producers — France’s Petit a Petit Prod., Estonia’s Exitfilm, and Rolf Oryhel in the Netherlands — to tap state funding in their respective territories. “See You” is set up at Georgia’s Lokokina Studio.

A change of register for Fernandez Almendras after 2009 family saga “Huacho” and 2011’s countryside-set drama “By the Fire,” “To Kill” was developed at Cannes’ Cinefondation-Atelier.

It turns on a father who, after his son is shot and young daughter kidnapped by a preening local delinquent, finally decides to take justice into his own hands.

Where the film stands apart from many vengeance movies, however, is by questioning whether his actions are as pure and altruistic as many pay-back time movies presume.

“The first part of the film justifies what the protagonist has to do. It’s the ‘Dirty Harry’ set-up. But the second part of the film deals with the complexities of that decision,” Fernandez Almendras told Variety at Wednesday’s Awards Ceremony.

He said “To Kill” is around 70% complete and will be ready for delivery early 2014.

Armenian Oksana Mirzoyan won a $16,000 Open Doors Development Award for “Abysm,” about a mother and daughter’s mourning the loss of a son and brother. A portrait of Madona Naroushvili, the only female public bus driver in Georgia, docu-feature “Madona” scooped the $16,000 Open Doors Post-Production Award.

Open Doors’ French film board CNC Award went to Rusudan Pirveli’s “Sleeping Lessons,” about a late-teen’s entrapment in spiraling violence.

Three of the four Open Doors winners are produced out of Georgia. That reflects the seminal impact role of the Georgia National Film Center, a new force in national production. Its support was “crucial” for kick-starting funding on “See You,” Kvatashidze maintained.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

  • First still from the set of

    Taika Waititi’s 'Jojo Rabbit' Wins Top Prize at Toronto Film Festival Awards

    Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” has won the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The honor positions the film for a potential Oscar run and bolsters its awards chances. That’s good news for Fox Searchlight, which must have been disappointed by the lackluster critical reception for the movie, a dark comedy [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Racks Up Solid $33 Million Debut, 'Goldfinch' Bombs

    “Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters. Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. [...]

  • German Cinema Is Diverse, But Is

    German Cinema Is Varied, But Is It Too Risk Averse?

    One of the strengths of German cinema is its diversity, says Simone Baumann, managing director of the national film promotion agency German Films. As well as the three films at Toronto directed by female German helmers, there was also German filmmaker Thomas Heise’s documentary film essay “Heimat Is a Space in Time.” Then there were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content