world cinema

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Dinard is Served: The British Film France

For the best of British cinema, the best place to go is Brittany France! From October 3-6, the picturesque seaside resort of Dinard will hold its 24th Festival du Film Britannique. With its beautiful beach, convivial casino, smart restaurants, quaint hotels and its unique seaside strolls, it resembles a more intimate Festival de Cannes and only for British films. Like Cannes, it has popular star turns and ambitious art house endeavours as well as a host of professional and social events.

One event that has become a regular fixture is the students short film competition, featuring three shorts each from the most prestigious French and British film schools, the Fémis and the NFTS.

Apart from that section, all the films on show are British or Irish. There is also a competition of six top-notch new features, this year including the much anticipated The Selfish Giant by Clio Bernard, a film that generated great buzz in Cannes this year. It is a very emotional story, where two young working class Bradford boys find their friendship tested when they get involved in scrap collecting and clandestine trotting races.

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Iranian Director Honoured as Part of Paris Cinema Festival

After its 12-day sojourn in Cannes for the festival, the capital of World Cinema has moved back to its home in Paris. To mark the event an honorific award was made to the now most French of Persian filmmakers, Asghar Farhadi.

According to Bertrand Delanoë, the mayor of Paris, Farhadi is "a man who brings us closer to Iranian society, through his subtlety and refinement, full of delicate cultural observations".

"Your creation", he continues, "makes me think of Victor Hugo's words: "All human kind has rights to Paris" and you have a very special way of expressing things when you use Paris as a location."

Farhadi had recently returned from Cannes where he was celebrated for his new film Le Passé (The Past), a film shot entirely in the Paris area and in French. In Cannes, Le Passé received the best actress award for Bérénice Bejo and at the opulent salons of Paris city hall, Farhadi himself was awarded the city's gold medal, la Grande Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris.

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Cannes 2013: The Runners Up

After looking at the Palme D'or winner at this year's festival Blue is the Warmest Colour last week, our film correspondent Séamas McSwiney explores those that missed out on the main prize but took others.

"To reinforce Cannes' role in projecting cultural diversity, the festival's other prizes went to a disparate mix of films.

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Cannes 2012: The Winners and Losers

Séamas McSwiney is our guest film correspondent with decades of experience in film journalism, and work published in some top international publications. For the past fortnight he has been reporting for us from the Cannes film festival, and here he reveals the big winners. 

The cloud filled skies in the middle days of Cannes 2012 also coincided with some of the darkest films, three of which are already described here in this blog. Despite their "feel-bad" impact, their artistic quality was such that they finally ended up with awards at Sunday night's closing ceremony.

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Cannes 2012: Four Films from Africa

Séamas McSwiney is our guest film correspondent with decades of experience in film journalism, and work published in some top international publications. He is reporting from Cannes 2012, and today looks at four films from what is ofter an forgotten continent.

"It's a Cannes constant to comment on the absence of films from the African continent. Perhaps quality cinema production could even be considered a rough benchmark for economic development. This year there were films a plenty from South America and the Asian presence is now a constant both in terms of film production and audiences. China will be the new goldmine for revenue generated by the silver screen and by its digital offspring.

Still, there were four films flying in from four separate corners of the biggest continent: two from North Africa, Egypt and Morocco, dealing respectively with The Arab Spring and jihadi suicide bombers; and two from sub-Sahara, East and West, telling stories that again confront the dangers and indignities that deprivation will drive people to.

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