FEST is bringing us new films from well-known directors this year, as well as the best films of the Hollywood production from the previous year, as part of the programme Gala by Knjaz Milos. Here is a quick guide to twenty- five titles from this selection.
Jojo Rabbit is a film that no longer needs to be announced, given the numerous accolades it has received over the past few months, from BAFTA to the Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay. If you missed the film, it's a dark comedy of the eccentric New Zealand director Taika Waititi, which tells the story of a boy with an indoctrinated Nazi ideology whose whole world changes when he meets a Jewish girl his mom hides in the attic.
The Oscar-nominated acting bravura featured in three biographical films: Harriet, the famous slave rights defender, Harriet Tubman, played by the fantastic Cynthia Erivo, then Richard Jewell, the new Clint Eastwood film featuring veteran Kathy Bates, as well as the touching feel good film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, in which Tom Hanks plays the famous Mr Rogers, the host of children's TV shows. Also nominated for the Oscars is the film The Lighthouse, for Best Cinematography, which is no wonder since it is an impressive black and white film focused on two heroes who are slowly sinking into madness.
Reality is clearly the best inspiration, and many of the films in the Gala by Knjaz Milos programme are inspired by true personalities and events. Sin (Il peccato - Il furore di Michelangelo) of the famous director Andrey Konchalovskiy tells the story of the great Michelangelo Buonarroti, Roman Polanski deals with the late 19th- century Dreyfus affair in An Officer and a Spy (J'accuse), and Gavin Hood in the film Official Secrets presents the story of a whistleblower who unveiled the spy affair of the British and US governments. The Aeronauts, a film about two adventurers waging an epic struggle for personal survival while trying to fly in a gas balloon, as well as Lucy in the Sky, in which Natalie Portman plays an astronaut struggling to adapt to life after returning to earth.
True History of the Kelly Gang, as its name implies, is the story of Australian rebel Ned Kelly and his gang of outlaws, played by a whole host of stars from Charlie Hunnam, Russell Crowe, to Nicholas Hoult.
The film veterans are here again - Woody Allen is relentlessly releasing new films despite his late years, therefore we will enjoy the romance A Rainy Day in New York, Jim Jarmusch made an unusual step into a different genre, a zombie film The Dead Don't Die, and Terrence Malick places his cosmic re examination into another epic three-hour venture called A Hidden Life.
Two excellent Spanish films marked Goya awards last year - While at War (Mientras dure la Guerra), Alejandro Amenábar's film was nominated for a record 17 awards, five of which it won, while the Argentine film Heroic Losers (La odisea de los giles) triumphed in the Best Iberoamerican Film category. For the first time, father and son, Ricardo and Chino Darin, appeared together in the same film. The Belgrade audience still remember him fondly from last year, when he was the FEST guest while promoting his film El Angel.
Late Night is a charming comedy about the position of women in comedy today, penned by Mindy Kaling, who plays the lead role with legendary Emma Thompson. Hirokazu Koreeda, winner of the Palme d'Or for the film Shoplifters (Manbiki Kazoku), appeared outside his native Japan for the first time, in a drama about the famous actress and her daughter, played by Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche. Another French film veteran, Isabelle Huppert, is brilliant in the film Frankie where she plays a famous actress facing a deadly diagnosis.
The cult Canadian director Atom Egoyan presented the new film Guest of Honour at the last year's Venice Festival, starring the famous British actor David Thewlis. Fans of the film will be especially pleased with the news that Egoyan and Thewlis will be guests of FEST where they will present this unusual film.