Reflecting creative work that echoes the adverse events occurring around the world, the Competition illustrates how filmmakers the world over are just as in tune with the present as they are keen to unravel their tumultuous past.
The Second World War marked a major turning point in the relationship between film and warfare. The eye of the camera emphatically brought the battlefield “into shot”. Filmmakers such as John Ford and Samuel Fuller covered the horrors of warfare firstly in their work for the US army and then in their Hollywood portrayals, giving rise to a new genre: the “war film”.
Just twenty years later, the Vietnam conflict, with its stream of traumatic TV images highlighted a universal need to portray and question the profound nature of such wars.
These major examples from 20th Century history thus encouraged cinema to embrace both these tragic events and the majority of those that were to follow. And so, propaganda and news reports were followed by a wave of fictional works putting forward a variety of points of view, artistic approaches and commentaries. Dealing with the issue of war in film allows us to uncover and examine our shared history, as well as reflecting on the powerful nature of cinema as a means of representation.
Through the 10 films selected for this year’s competition, War On Screen is keen to move beyond the “War Film” in its purely military approach and to explore the world’s conflicts in a more general sense, in all their diversity, including their human dimension and the issues they raise. Our aim is to compare and contrast various perspectives on wars past, present and future and offer audiences approaches to war that are original, often introspective, at times metaphorical.
A portrayal of GIs returning from Afghanistan, a chilling first-person view of a Sonderkommando, a Herzogian epic set in the heart of the Early 20th Century Amazon, portrayals of young women “combatants” in Tunisia and Colombia, an idealistic judge’s struggle through the cold war, the daily lives of Afghan soldiers, love stories transformed by the conflict in Yugoslavia, the Six Day War through the eyes of those who experienced it first hand and the poetic nocturnal wanderings of an Algerian child… ten short stories that provide a better grasp and understanding of history through the personal journeys of individuals caught up in the chaos of events spiralling beyond their control.
10 unreleased films from 8 countries, 10 stories that are directed at us and which call out to us, 10 sensitive and touching perspectives of the conflicts of both past and present, making up our official selection for 2015.
Enjoy the Festival!
Philippe Bachman & Hervé Bougon
AS I OPEN MY EYES - Leyla Bouzid (2015) - Tunisia/France/Belgium
ALIAS MARÍA - José Luis Rugeles (2015) - Colombia/Argentina/France
CENSORED VOICES - Mor Loushy (2015) - Israel/Germany
THE EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT - Ciro Guerra (2015) - Colombia/Venezuela/Argentina
KILLING TIME – ENTRE DEUX FRONTS - Lydie Wisshaupt-Claudel (2015) - France/Belgium
THE NIGHT AND THE KID - David Yon (2015) - France/Qatar
SON OF SAUL - László Nemes (2015) - Hungary
THE HIGH SUN (ZVIZDAN) - Dalibor Matanic (2015) - Croatia/Slovenia/Serbia
TELL SPRING NOT TO COME THIS YEAR - Saeed Taji Farouky, Michael McEvoy (2015) - UK
THE IDEALIST - Christina Rosendahl (2015) - Denmark
- THE GRAND JURY PRIZE, AWARDED TO THE MOST MEANINGFUL MOTION PICTURE
- THE SPECIAL MENTION OF THE JURY, AWARDED FOR SOME OUTSTANDING FEATURE OF A PARTICULAR FILM
- THE BEST DIRECTOR AWARD
The public will also have their chance to award their favourite film with the AUDIENCE PRIZE by voting at the end of the screening.