Urucu to host Semaine De La Critique screenings at DIFF


South African feature film production house Urucu Media, which produced the
internationally acclaimed Necktie Youth, have partnered with Cannes’s
La Semaine de la Critique (Critic’s Week) to host a dynamic selection of the top
films emerging from this segment of the film festival in recent years. Established in
1961, the Semaine De La Critique competition is dedicated to showcasing emerging
filmmakers from around the world.

The programme, featuring five critically acclaimed films, launches as part of the
Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2015 at Suncoast Casino on 21 July with
the support of Institute Francaise. Additional screenings are scheduled for
Johannesburg and Cape Town the following weekend.

Says Urucu producer Elias Ribeiro, “We’re incredibly excited about hosting the first
official platform for La Semaine de la Critique in Africa and hope to cultivate strong
local audience base for the wonderful films that emerge from this inspiring
competition every year.”

Films featuring as part of La Semaine de la Critique:

Hope by Boris Lojkine (France, 2014, 91 min)
In his debut feature, Lojkine takes on the forever-relevant topic of migration from
Africa to Europe. Leonard from Cameroon (Endurance Newton) and Hope from
Nigeria (Justin Wang) form a contested partnership on their dangerous journey to
Europe – a dreamland where even mosquitoes drink coca cola.

Watch the trailer.

The Kindergarten Teacher by Nadav Lapid (Israel, 2014, 120 min.)
Nira (Sarit Larry), a creche teacher and aspiring poet, discovers unusual poetic talent in Yoav (Avi Shnaidman), her five-year old student. Informed by her own deprived past and a fear that the world will eat his sensitive soul alive, she takes it upon herself to protect the boy and the gift he carries.

Watch the trailer

You and the Night by Yann Gonzalez (France, 2013, 92 min.)
Gonzalez kick-started his feature film career with an erotic-existential-queer comedy. Starring French footballer Eric Cantona in the role of a stud/former child-poet and one of a seven member meticulously cast orgy, it explores and intentionally confuses memory and fantasy.

Watch the trailer

Salvo by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza (Italy/France, 2013, 110 min.)
This winner of La Semaine de la Critique in 2014 tells the story of Salvo (Saleh Bakri) – a merciless body guard/hit man in Sicily’s underworld. Meeting Rita (Sara Serraiocco), the blind sister of one of his victims – and a witness at that – changes not just Salvo’s life, but Rita’s too, and offers the pair a relief from the literal and metaphorical darkness in which they are stuck.

Watch the trailer

Suzanne by Katell Quillevere (France, 2013, 94 min.)
Writer/director Quillevere’s second feature follows Suzanne (Sara Forestier) during 25 years of her life. Suzanne grows up with her sister (Adele Haenel) and widowed truck-driver father (François Damiens). When Suzanne falls pregnant while still in school, the family with its new member remains a tight unit, but when she falls in love with a gangster, the stability is threatened.

Watch the trailer

Boris Lojkine Masterclass:

Award winning director Lojkine will be in attendance at DIFF where he will present a masterclass about bringing reality and authenticity to fiction filmmaking.
The masterclass takes place as part of Talents Durban on Monday, 20 July from 10h00 to 12h00.

Realness writers’ residency

At 15h00 on 17 July in the conference centre at DIFF Urucu will be announcing Realness – a three-month screenwriters’ residency for emerging cinematic voices which launches in 2016. Over the next month, Urucu will be hosting think tanks inviting young filmmakers to contribute suggestions about how best to structure an exceptional African writers’ residency.

Ribeiro comments, “Realness is an initiative very close to our hearts. Our aim is to create a much needed incubation for top African film talents, offering them the very best support and input from local and international industry professionals.”


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