Locarno’s ‘Love Island’ Kicks Off Stellar Festival Run for The Match Factory

Sales company has four pix at Locarno, four at Venice, and one at Toronto

LONDON — Cologne-based sales company The Match Factory has a busy two months ahead of it with a stellar fall fest lineup that includes four titles at Locarno film festival, four at Venice, and one announced so far at Toronto.

In Locarno, Michael Weber’s company is representing Jasmila Zbanic’s “Love Island,” Eran Riklis’ “Dancing Arabs,” Alex Ross Perry’s “Listen Up Philip” and Haile Gerima’s “Teza.”

At Venice, it has Fatih Akin’s “The Cut,” Duane Hopkins’ “Bypass,” Ron Mann’s “Altman” and Sabina Guzzanti’s “La Trattativa.”

Of those Toronto titles announced so far, the company is repping Christian Petzold’s “Phoenix.”

“Love Island,” which world premieres as part of Locarno’s Piazza Grande program, is a comedy drama about modern-day relationships. It is set on a beautiful Adriatic island, and centers on a married couple whose relationship is put to the test by a charismatic young woman.

Zbanic is best known for “Grbavica,” winner of Berlin’s Golden Bear. “Love Island’s” lead actor is Ermin Bravo, who appeared in “Grbavica” and Angelina Jolie’s “In the Land of Blood and Honey.” The lead actress is Ariane Labed, who won best actress in Venice for “Attenberg,” and will be seen next in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Lobster.”

“Dancing Arabs,” which has its international premiere in Locarno’s Piazza Grande, centers on Eyad, the only Arab boy to attend a prestigious Jewish boarding school in Jerusalem. He desperately tries to fit in with his Jewish peers and Israeli society.

Riklis is one of Israel’s leading filmmakers. He won the audience award at Locarno with “The Syrian Bride,” and the audience award at Berlin with “Lemon Tree.” His last film, “Zaytoun,” had its world premiere at Toronto, and was the runner up for the People’s Choice Award.

“Listen Up Philip,” which premiered at Sundance, follows Philip (Jason Schwartzman) as he awaits the publication of his second novel. His relationship with photographer girlfriend Ashley (Elisabeth Moss) is going nowhere, and he feels indifferent about promoting his book, so when his idol Ike Zimmerman (Jonathan Pryce) offers his isolated summer home as a refuge Philip seizes the opportunity to escape.

The director’s previous film, “The Color Wheel,” was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.

Gerima’s 1980 film “Teza,” which plays as part of Locarno’s Open Doors section dedicated to African cinema, follows an Ethiopian doctor as he returns to his home country from Germany to find a society in crisis.

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