Agnieszka Zwiefka’s “Wika!” Angeliki Antoniou’s “Green Sea” and Wong Fei-pang’s “Dear Immigrants: What Was Your First Meal?” will all feature at the Marché du Film’s 2020 Goes to Cannes, one of the highest-profile industry events at the Cannes Film Market.
This year’s Goes to Event runs June 22-23, at the beginning of the Marché du Film added to what looks like a packed schedule of screenings.
A pix-in-post showcase traditionally running the second week of Cannes and frequented by sales agents, distributors and film fest heads, this year’s Goes to Cannes, now in its eighth edition, will source five features a piece from three traditional Goes To partners: the Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), Poland’s New Horizons International Film Festival, and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
Joining the Goes to Lineup for the first time is NFDC Film Bazaar, organized by India’s National Film Development Corporation which brings five films, including the two work in progress winners at its latest Film Bazaar last November: Natesh Hegde’s “Pedro” and Ajitpal Singh’s “Fire in the Mountains.”
As a novelty this year, industry members attending presentations can organize meetings with project holders at Goes to Cannes Speed Meetings, held June 24 from 9 am to 9 pm, Cannes time.
Each event session will last two hours online: Long enough for a substantial presentation of each project. The selection ranges broadly. Directed by Zwiefka who caught attention with the IDFA-selected “The Queen of Silence,” which is co-produced and sold by Germany’s Heino Deckert, “Wika!” is a documentary feature profiling Poland’s oldest DJ who, over 80, still wants to live life to the full. How long such a life can last is another question.
“Dear Immigrants” marks the first feature from Hong Kong’s Wong Fei-pang, director of “Season of the End,” one of five parts of incendiary 2015 feature omnibus “Ten Years,” portraying the ex-colony 10 years into a highly dystopic future.
A fiction feature, “Green Sea” turns on a woman who has lost her memory but not ability to cook and so is afforded a second opportunity in life.
Beyond documentarian Jian Fan, from China, and Poland’s Tomasz Jurkiewicz, Antoniou is one of the few directors featured at Goes To Cannes this year with any kind of record directing features. Around three quarters of Goes To Cannes titles are first or second features. That does not mean that they are all small-scale, however. Set in 1940, Jacek Bławut’s ominously entitled “The Last Mission” turns on a Polish submarine dispatched to the murky waters of the North Sea. “Two Friends” is shot with sumptuous cinematography of its Bengali landscapes, if a trailer is anything to go by.
What many titles have a common is a contemporary social-issue focus, channelled through often intimate character-driven stories. Most of HAF and Thessaloniki’s offerings are documentaries. NFDC titles, though fiction, lament from multiple angles an Indian society which is cruelly stratified, polarized, distanced by different beliefs. That social skew is of course one tonic of arthouse world cinema for decades. There is little indication that it will change after COVID-19.
“While film festivals around the world are going through a transformation never experienced before, we wish to rally together to bring positive change to the film industry,” said Jérôme Paillard, Marché du Film executive director.
Paillard went on to say that the Marché was “proud to offer these major festivals and markets an online platform to help filmmakers reach their audience in these unprecedented times.”
The Marché du Film Online takes place June 22-26. Following, a drill-down on the four showcase titles, with director; producers, production company; and country of origin:
HAF GOES TO CANNES
“The Borderlands,” (Samarth Mahajan; Ashay Gangwar, Sunil Doshi, All Things Small; India)
A doc feature from the Mumbai-based Mahajan that aims to capture the human side of life in the Indian borderlands, from the director of National Film Prize winning “The Unreserved.”
“Born to Be Second,” (Jian Fan; Richard Liang, S. Leo Chiang, FAN Film Studio; China)
Directed by Jian Fan, whose “Still Tomorrow,” about legendary Chinese female poet Yu Xiuhua, won a Special Jury Award at IDFA’s 2016 Feature Length Competition. This is the second feature in Jian Fan’s Sichuan Earthquake trilogy after 2011’s “The Next Life,” here turning on two families still haunted by the tragedy, but trying to build for a better future.
“Dear Immigrants: What Was Your First Meal?”(Wong Fei-pang; Diana Cheung, Tonikaku Pictures Limited; Hong Kong)
A doc feature about immigrants’ memory of their first meal in Hong Kong, substantiating the population flow of an eminently multi-cultural city.
“Olympic Halftime,” (Haruna Honcoop; Vít Janecek, D1film; Czech Republic, Greece, Slovak Republic)
Lead produced by Czech Republic’s D1Film, a study of the impact of cities’ organization of Olympic Games on their architecture and gestalt, and ambitions when organizing another Games. A Sunny Side of the Doc Award winner as a project.
“Ningdu,” (Lei Lei; Isabelle Glachant, Chinese Shadows; Hong Kong, Netherlands, U.S.)
The feature debut of Annecy selected animator Lei Lei (“Recycled”), mixing claymation, pop art, archive photos to portray the Lei family’s struggle to survive during China’s Cultural Revolution.
THESSALONIKI INTL. FILM FESTIVAL GOES TO CANNES
“Green Sea,” (Angeliki Antoniou; Lilette Botassi, Angeliki Antoniou, Jost Hering, Inkas Films, Angeliki Antoniou Filmproduktion, Jost Hering Filme; Greece, Germany)
A woman, played by Angeliki Papoulia (“Dogtooth”), suffers amnesia, so gets a chance to start a new life as a chef at a humble Greek harbor tavern. Antoniou (“Eduart”) directs.
“Dog,” (Yianna Americanou; Monica Nicolaidou, Effie Skrobola, Vassilis Tzanidis, Giorgos Kyriakos, Costas Lambropoulos; Cyprus, Greece)
A conflictive father-son relationship drama from former Media Program executive Americanou.
“Esperanto,” (Stratis Chatzielenoudas; Ioanna Petinaraki; Greece)
A doc feature essay from Chatzielenoudas (“Back to the Top”) featuring a group of canary breeders, reflecting on communication, loneliness and hope.
“If It’s Not O.K., It’s Not the End,” (Salvador Muñoz Saiz, Greece, Spain)
Taking its title from a John Lennon quote, a seeming boxing doc feature – “the toughest opponent is not in the ring,” the logline runs – from Spanish editor Muñoz Saíz, now based out of Greece.
“Made in Vain,” (Michael Klioumis; Louizos Aslanidis, Greece)
A doc feature packing a psychological portrait of three bodybuilders.
NEW HORIZONS’ POLISH DAYS GOES TO CANNES
“Everyone Has a Summer,” (Tomasz Jurkiewicz; Magdalena Sztorc, Przemysław Miękinia, Before My Eyes; Poland) The fiction feature debut of multi-prized documentarian Jurkiewicz, a coming of age tale wrapped in a teen love affair story set at a religious summer camp.
“The Moths,” (Piotr Stasik; Paweł Kosuń, Centrala; Poland)
Another debut, from Piotr Stasik, a mixture of musical, documentary and fiction feature about a group of boys who cut loose from a gaming camp after teachers cut off their Internet access.
“Wika!” (Agnieszka Zwiefka; Katarzyna Ślesicka, Ania Stylińska, My Way Studio; Ma.ja.de, Pystymetsa, Stefilm; Poland, Germany, Finland, Italy)
The portrait of an 81-year-old DJ, living life till the last.
“The Horse Tail,” (Justyna Łuczaj – Salej; Marcin Malatyński, Indeks Film Studio; Poland)
Justyna Luczaj-Salej’s small-town drama with an aging prostitute returning to her birthplace, which is ruled by sex, violence and instinct.
“The Last Mission,” (Jacek Bławut; Anna Bławut Mazurkiewicz, Bartek Gliński, Aura Films; Poland)
One of the biggest films in Goes To. In 1940, a Polish submarine crew takes on a mysterious and dangerous North Sea mission, battling an invisible enemy and its own burn-out.
NFDC FILM BAZAAR GOES TO CANNES
“Two Friends,” (Prasun Chatterjee; Prosenjit Ranjan Nath, Soumya Mukhopadhyay, Ivy Yu-Hua Shen, Kathak Talkies; India)
A tale of unconditional across-the-tracks friendship from Prasun Chatterjee between two kids in a dirt-poor West Bengali village riven by religious conflict.
“Fire in the Mountains,” (Ajitpal Singh; Ajay Rai, Jar Pictures, Mauli Singh; India)
Singh’s debut feature, formerly known as “Swizerland,” set in a Himalayan village, about the clash of two world views: A mother who saves to construct a road for her special needs son, while her husband aims to use the money for a Shamanic healing ritual.
“Pedro,” (Natesh Hegde; Rishab Shetty, Rishab Shetty Films; India)
A middle-aged electrician in a remote village accidentally commits a disgraceful act, his village’s reaction proving unexpected.
“Shankar’s Fairies;” (Irfana Majumdar; Nita Kumar, Nita Kumar Productions; India)
Irfana Majumdar’s debut, a period drama set in a socially stratified 1962 Luknow, about the friendship between a little girl in a well-off family and her family servant.
“The Knot,” (Ashish Pant; Kartikeya Singh, Route One Productions; India)
A middle-class couple reacts differently to a car accident.