Nine films by renowned filmmakers such as Claire Denis, Chan-wook Park, Hirokazu Kore-eda, the Dardenne brothers, Jerzy Skolimowski, Felix van Groeningen, Laura Poitras, Todd Field and Houman Seyyedi will premiere for the local audience at the Festival, from 24 February to 5 March.
Winner of the Grand Prix of the Cannes Festival, ‘Stars at Noon’ by French director Claire Denis (‘High Life’, ‘Let the Sunshine In’ [Un beau soleil intérieur]), based on the novel of the same name, follows the romance between an American journalist (Margaret Qualley) stranded in Nicaragua and a mysterious Englishman (Joe Alwyn).
The award-winning South Korean director Chan-wook Park was named Best Director of the 75th Cannes for the film ‘Decision to Leave’ (Heojil kyolshim), which is also included in the programme of this year's FEST. The film is inspired by a series of Swedish crime novels from the 60s and 70s called ‘The Story of a Crime’. The main character of the novel is detective Martin Beck. Park wondered, what would happen if Martin Beck fell in love with the suspect? Chan-wook Park is leading the renaissance of Korean cinema and is known for his explosive visual style and dynamic storytelling. His film ‘The Handmaiden’ was screened at FEST in 2017.
Hirokazu Kore-eda's film ‘Broker’ won Ecumenical Jury Award and the Best Actor Award (Kang-ho Song) in Cannes. The Japanese director, who won the Palme d'Or for ‘Shoplifters’ in 2018, revealed that the two films go hand in hand, as they are connected by his interest in marginal social groups. The cast consists of the stars of Korean cinema: in addition to Kang-ho Song (‘Parasite’), Doona Bae (‘The Host’), Dong-won Gang (‘Peninsula’ [Busanhaeng 2: Bando]) and Korean pop megastar Ji-eun Lee also play in the film.
The programme of this year's FEST also includes two films that co-won the Jury Prize of the Cannes Film Festival: ‘EO’ and ‘The Eight Mountains’. The Polish candidate for the Oscar, ‘EO’ by Jerzy Skolimowski was inspired by Robert Bresson's film ‘Balthazar’ from 1966 that follows the life of a donkey, which is why the film is called ‘EO’. The cast is international, and one of the leading roles is played by the famous French actress Isabelle Huppert.
The Eight Mountains’ is a screen adaptation of the novel of the same name, directed by Belgian film directors and life partners, Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch. The story follows the friendship of two boys becoming adults. The lead roles are played by Luca Marinelli and Alessandro Borghi. Director Van Groeningen broke out on the international film scene with the drama ‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’ (2012), which was nominated for an Oscar. His films, ‘Belgica’ and ‘Beautiful Boy’, were a part of the FEST programme in 2016 and 2019, respectively.