Mostra De Valencia returns after six years

Spanish fest to honour Filippou and Kechiche

by Amber Wilkinson

L'enkas
L'enkas Photo: Sarah Marx

This year's Mostra de Valencia - Cinema De Mediterrani - which runs from October 18 to 28 - will see 11 films compete in its official section as it returns from a six-year hiatus.

The festival has a focus on films from Mediterranean countries and all the films will be Spanish premieres. Those in competition include Sarah Marx's debut fiction feature L'Enkas, about a young ex-con desperate to make quick cash to help his mother and Amr Salama's Sheikh Jackson - Egypt's nomination for this year's foreign language Oscar - a drama about a cleric who has a crisis of faith when he discovers his idol Michael Jackson has died.

Other countries represented include Tunisia (Selma Balcar's El Jaida and Nace Khemir's Whispering Sands), Italy (Marco Tullio Giordana's Nome Di Donna), Turkey (Banu Sivaci's The Pigeon) and Lebanon (Lucien Bourjiely's Heaven Without People).

New artistic director Eduardo Guillot said: "This year is very important for Mostra de València – Cinema del Mediterrani, a real challenge, because the festival was suspended in 2012. So 2018 is the year of the comeback, the first festival after six years. We’ve only had a few months to prepare this year’s edition, but we’re very satisfied with the results.

"As with every international festival, our main goal is to have a strong competition section, focused on countries from the Mediterranean area. We have movies from Egypt, France, Lebanon, Morocco, Italy, Spain, Tunisia, Greece or Turkey, with 40 per cent of directed by women and all of them Spanish premieres."

Honorary Palm Tree (Palmera) prizes will be given to the Greek writer of films including Dogtooth, The Lobster and Chevalier, Efthymis Filippou and Tunisian writer/director Abdellatif Kechiche, whose films include Blue Is The Warmest Colour and Couscous.

Wajib
Wajib
Guillot added: "Efthymis Filippou is one of the most interesting writers in contemporary cinema, not only because his collaborations with Yorgos Lanthimos but his movies with Babis Makridis or Athina Rachel Tsangari. He has a very peculiar way of observing and exploring the human condition and it will be a privilege to have him sharing his points of view with the audience. As for the French-Tunisian Abdellatif Kechiche, he represents our vision of the Mediterranean movie essence. To come back to the festival scene with a Cannes Palm d’Or winner is the best way for us to return."

There will also be a retrospective dedicated to French crime and noir films, featuring Jacque Becker's gripping prison break drama Le Trou, Jules Dassin's hugely influential heist film Rififi and more recent classics like Jacques Audiard's Read My Lips among others.

Palestinian cinema will also be celebrated in a spotlight section, with films from recent years including, Muayad Alayan's Love, Theft And Other Entanglements, Annemarie Jacir's Wajib and When I Saw You.

The festival will also pay tribute to two city natives who have died in the past year - Carles Santos, a composer and experimental filmmaker, and producer J A Pérez Giner.

Read about the masterclass with Filippou here

For more information about the festival, visit the official site

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