Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressCannes 2023: Bellocchio and Kaurismäki in competition. Filmstiftung NRW with four co-productions in Cannes

Cannes 2023: Bellocchio and Kaurismäki in competition. Filmstiftung NRW with four co-productions in Cannes

  • "Kidnapped" by Marco Bellocchio, The Match Factory
  • "Fallen Leaves" by Aki Kaurismäki, Pandora Film
  • "Goodbye Julia" by Mohamed Kordofani, Die Gesellschaft DGS, and "The Settlers" by Felipe Gálvez, Sutor Kolonko, in Un Certain Regard
  • 76th Festival de Cannes, 16-27 May, 2023

The 76th Festival de Cannes has just announced that the two Filmstiftung-backed international co-productions "Kidnapped" (original title: "Rapito") by Marco Bellocchio and "Fallen Leaves" by Aki Kaurismäki have both been invited to screen in the Competition. Cologne-based The Match Factory co-produced the Italian-French-German drama "Kidnapped". The Finnish-German project "Fallen Leaves" was co-produced by Cologne-based Pandora Film. Two Filmstiftung-supported feature film debuts are screening in Un Certain Regard: "Goodbye Julia" by the Sudanese filmmaker Mohamed Kordofani, an international co-production with participation by another Cologne-based company Die Gesellschaft DGS, and „The Settlers“ by the Chilean director Felipe Gálvez (co-produced Sutor Kolonko), whose third short film had already been shown in the Critics’ Week in Cannes.

"Cannes is once again focusing on the old masters of European cinema by selecting Bellocchio and Kaurismäki! We would like to congratulate both directors, their teams as well as their German co-producers Michael Weber, Viola Fügen and Reinhard Brundig on being invited to the Croisette! The screening of 'Goodbye Julia' and 'The Settlers' in the Un Certain Regard sidebar means that a total of four Filmstiftung-backed productions can be seen at the world’s most important film festival. We are delighted to hear this news," says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. "Cannes brings cinema to the greatest attention over the course of 12 days: with the charisma of its films, the international film market and professional delegates coming from all over the world!"

"Kidnapped" by Marco Bellocchio

The historical drama is based on the true story of Edgardo Mortara, a Jewish boy who was secretly baptised a Catholic in the mid-19th century and subsequently kidnapped. It was filmed in NRW with Enea Sala as Edgardo, among others. Marco Bellocchio had most recently been in competition in Cannes in 2019 with the Filmstiftung-backed mafia epic "Il Traditore" / "The Traitor". The biopic about the first high-ranking mafia boss to break his silence also represented Italy in the Oscar race. Bellocchio’s awards have also included an honorary Palme d’Or.

"Fallen Leaves" by Aki Kaurismäki

"Fallen Leaves" sees Aki Kaurismäki travelling back to Cannes for the first time since "Le Havre" won the FIPRESCI Prize there in 2011. His last film "The Other Side of Hope" won the Silver Bear for Best Director in the Berlinale’s official competition in 2017, the same year that Kaurismäki was a guest jury member for the Baumi Script Development Award. Both films received distribution support from the Filmstiftung. „Fallen Leaves“ tells the story of Ansa (Alma Pöysti) and Holappa (Jussi Vatanen) who try against all odds to build up a relationship on the harsher side of the welfare state.

"Goodbye Julia" by Mohamed Kordofani

"Goodbye Julia" centres on a former singer from northern Sudan, shortly before the secession of southern Sudan. She seeks redress for causing the death of a southern man by hiring his unsuspecting wife as a maid. Die Gesellschaft DGS and writer-director Kordofani were previously involved in the production of the Filmstiftung-backed film "You Will Die at Twenty" by Amjad Abu Alala, which won an award at the Venice Film Festival in 2019 and was subsequently Sudan’s entry for the Oscars.

"The Settlers“ von Felipe Gálvez
In 1901, an alleged administrative expedition in the south of Chile turns into a violent hunt for the indigenous Ona. Eight years later, a direct envoy of the President visits the now-settled country, and one of those involved in the persecution, Segundo, sees a chance to clear his conscience.

Festival president Iris Knobloch and festival director Thierry Frémaux announced the selection in Paris via a livestream. Other sections such as the Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight will be announced next week. This year’s jury president is the Swedish director Ruben Östlund. His hit film "Triangle of Sadness" won the Palme d’Or and four European Film Awards last year, among various prizes.

The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW in Cannes

The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW will have a presence again in the German Pavilion at Cannes’ Marché du Film by participating in the umbrella stand of Focus Germany – the amalgamation of the nine largest German regional film funds – and German Films. The German Pavilion is the meeting place and contact point for accredited visitors from the German and international film industry attending the film festival.

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Picture: © Anna Camerlingo