By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz September 15, 2011 at 11:00AM
360 (ISA: Wild Bunch), Gala
Directed by Fernando Meirelles
Starring Anthony Hopkins, Rachel Weisz (TBC) and Ben Foster,
Producers David Linde and Andrew Eaton
Inspired by Arthur Schnitzler's classic La Ronde, screenwriter Peter Morgan and director Fernando Meirelles' 360 combines a modern and dynamic roundelay of stories into one, linking characters from different cities and countries in a vivid, suspenseful and deeply moving tale of love in the 21st century. Starting in Vienna, the film beautifully weaves through Paris, London, Bratislava, Rio, Denver and Phoenix into a single, mesmerizing narrative.
Sales thus far: Lithuania-Acme Film Uab, Spain-Vertigo Films, Switzerland-Pathe Films Ag, Taiwan-Serenity Entertainment International, Turkey-Bir Film
360 by Fernando Meirelles
TERRAFERMA(ISA: Elle Driver), Special Presentations
Directed by Emanuele Crialese
TERRAFERMA is the story of an uncontaminated Sicilian island inhabited mainly by fishermen. Although still barely touched by tourism, the islanders have just begun to alter their mentality and behavior as they have started to realize the economic potential of this new industry. At the same time they often have to deal with illegal aliens flooding the island and a new law requiring them to turn back undocumented people seeking aid. This policy stands in direct contrast with the laws of the sea which require the rescue of anyone in distress. Terraferma is also the story of a family composed of a stubborn old fisherman, a young woman striving for a better life and a young man seeking his moral compass. All of them will have to make difficult decisions that will affect their lives forever.
Terrafirma by Emanuele Crialese
Sales at TIFF: Benelux-Cinemien, Israel-United King, Middle East-Phars, Scandinavia-Non-Stop, Brazil-Conquest, Italy-01.
EXTRATERRESTRIAL (ISA: Elle Driver), Contemporary World Cinema
Directed by Nacho Vigalondo
There’s only one sane response when you wake up to a sky full of alien invaders -run like hell. But what do you do if the invasion starts when you’ve just met the girl of your dreams?
Julio wakes up - horribly hungover and with no memory of the night before - next to a mindblowingly sexy girl, in a stunning apartment. She wants him out now but the alien invasion that’s just begun outside is the perfect excuse for Julio to stay. And even though things are growing worse by the minute, even though the girl’s husband has arrived on the scene... even though the alien threat is getting more and more terrifying, Julio’s clear about one thing. Just like the monstrous creatures that have traveled across galaxies to destroy Mankind, he’s here to stay.
A BETTER LIFE (UNE VIE MEILLEURE) (ISA: Wild Bunch) Speical Presentation
Directed by Cédric Kahn
Yann (35) a cook, and Nadia (28) a waitress and mother of 9-year-old child, decide to risk everything on the purchase of a restaurant.
With plenty of talent, energy, love and dreams, but no finance of their own, they find themselves forced into a jungle of financing and bank loans that quickly overwhelms them. To bail them out, Nadia has to take a job in Canada, while Yann is forced to stay behind to save the restaurant. Together, he and the child confront a relentless avalanche of creditors, an uncaring system and the daily grind from which there is no respite… Yann finally understands that his only chance of salvation lies in joining his lover – as well as reuniting mother and child – by following Nadia to Canada and a better life.
Sales thus far: Hong Kong (China)-UA Films, Turkey-Calinos Entertainment
HYSTERIA(ISA: Elle Driver)
Directed by Tanya Wexler ♀
Starring Felicity Jones, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Drancy
Sales TIFF: Germany-Senator, Australia/ N.Z.-Hopscotch, Italy-Bim, Spain-Vertigo, Scandinavia-Scanbox, Benelux-Paradiso, Switzerland-Praesents, Greece-Feelgood, Brazil-Conquest, So. Korea-Mimeida, Portugal-VC Multimedia, Poland-Hagi, Israel-United King, Taiwan-Catchplay, Thailand-M Pictures, Ukraine-Aurora, Croatia-Cinemania.
BACHELORETTE(ISA: Elle Driver)
Directed by Leslye Headland ♀
Produced by Will Ferrell
Starring Kirsten Dunst, Adam Scott & Lizzy Caplan
Sales TIFF: U.K.-Icon, France: Mars, Russia-Top Fiom, Israel-United King, Middle East-Phars
AMONG US(ISA: Elle Driver)
Directed by Marco van Geffen
Just suppose: you’re 18 years old. You’re from a small town somewhere in Poland where there’s no work, where everyone knows each other and where there’s nowhere you can go: one day you’re just fed up. You decide to go to the West and make a fresh start. But everything in that new country is unfamiliar: you don’t speak the language, people behave differently. It’s hard to make contact, to find the right tone. You miss your family, you feel lonely. This loneliness is only bearable because of the friendship with another Polish girl, an au pair just like you, and lonely just like you. But that’s as far as the likeness between the two of you goes, because she’s opener than you, more inclined to see the bright side of things, whereas you’re a bit shy, inhibited according to some, but maybe you’re just more sensitive. And –perhaps as a result of that– you find out who the rapist is that has been prowling around this Dutch provincial town you live in. What do you do? Share your knowledge with the people who don’t listen to you anyway? Keep your mouth shut? For what if you’re wrong? How sure can you be that your suspicion is true? Ewa is in doubt, and the longer she doubts, the more she begins to doubt herself, and the more standoffish her behaviour becomes. And that in turn makes the people in her vicinity consider her increasingly strange. So the longer Ewa keeps up her silence, the deeper she’s pressed into her isolation, which doubles, one could say. How she would love to speak up. But she’s also afraid that people would consider her an idiot. It is this dilemma that keeps her from talking. And when she eventually breaks through her dilemma and shouts it from the rooftops, there is no one left to hear…
Directed by Goro Miyazaki
Set in Yokohama in the year 1963, "From Up On Poppy Hill" is a love story whose main characters are the high school students who were to become the first generation of a new Japan. As the country begins to pick itself up from the devastation of the Second World War, the new generation struggles with moving forward into a prosperous future while trying not to lose the things from the past that make them who they are. The film's rich and vibrant animation captures the entrancing beauty of the Yokohama harbor setting and lush surrounding hillsides and, with a soundtrack that draws from the finest music of the time, perfectly captures the thrills of young romance and the hope of a new dawn.
From Up on Poppy Hill by Goro Miyazaki
Directed by Kore-Eda Hirokazu
12-year old Koichi lives with his mother and retired grandparents in Kagoshima, in the southern region of Kyushu. His younger brother Ryunosuke lives with their father in Hakata, northern Kyushu. The brothers have been separated by their parents’ divorce and Koichi’s only wish is for his family to be reunited. When he learns that a new bullet train line will soon open, linking the two towns, he starts to believe that a miracle will take place the moment these new trains first pass each other at top speed. With help from the adults around him, Koichi sets out on a journey with a group of friends, each hoping to witness a miracle that will improve their difficult lives.
LOVE AND BRUISES (ISA: Wild Bunch), Vanguard
Directed by Lou Ye
Hua, a young teacher from Beijing, is a recent arrival in Paris. Exiled in an unknown city, she wanders between her tiny apartment and the university, drifting between former lovers and recent French acquaintances. She meets Matthieu, a young worker who falls madly in love with her. Possessed by an insatiable desire for her body, he treats Hua like a dog.
An intense affair begins, marked by Matthieu’s passionate embraces and harsh verbal abuse. When Hua determines to leave her lover, she discovers the strength of her addiction, and the vital role he has come to play in her life as a woman.
THAT SUMMER (UN ETE BRULANT)
Directed by Philippe Garrel
On a burning summer's night, a sports car crashes headlong into a tree. The previous year... Paul meets the painter Frédéric through a mutual friend. Frédéric lives in Italy with Angèle, the actress with whom he is deeply in love. While working as an extra, Paul befriends an assistant - Roland and falls in love with Elisabeth, another extra. Frédéric invites Paul and Elisabeth to stay in Rome. He shows Paul a photo of the grandfather who raised him and, during dinner, introduces Roland to Angèle, who seems troubled by his presence. Later, in a hotel, Angèle sleeps with Roland. Time passes. Angèle leaves Frédéric.
Elisabeth falls pregnant with Paul's child. Frédéric seeks a divorce. Paul and Elisabeth leave Rome. Elisabeth's baby is born. When Paul meets Frédéric by chance in Paris, the painter tells him that Angèle and Roland have broken up. That night, Paul is woken by a phone call: Frédéric has had a terrible accident.... As he lies delirious in hospital, the ghost of his grandfather appears to Frédéric. When Paul arrives, the painter confides that the crash was no accident: without Angèle, life has become unbearable. Paul leaves, and Frédéric dies. On a burning summer's day, in a small village churchyard, Paul watches as his friend's body is laid to rest.
Sales: Brazil-Imovision, Portugal-Atalanta Filmes