In giving our festival the title “War on Screen”, we mean every screen: not only cinema, but also television, video games and computers. If the big screen is still the proverbial “window on to the world”, then that world is at war wherever we look: conflicts between states and its aftermath, civil and economic warfare, from latent threats of war to wars that are never-ending, from world wars to wars between neighbours. Visiting festivals from around the world, where our feelings about these tremendous pools of talent were reinforced, we also discovered the incredible diversity that exists in the forms of warfare depicted on film.
To be sure, art in general, and cinema in particular, have continually depicted and questioned the world as it evolves: its progress and setbacks, its major U-turns in history and society. It comes as no surprise therefore that filmmakers have made war one of their genres of choice, finding material therein that breaks with the mundane and is of immense diversity, able to embrace both comedy and western, both sci-fi and melodrama, both thriller and historic drama.
Today, War on Screen provides us with a vision of precisely what the festival promises to be: contemporary and diverse. At this first ever edition of the festival, 10 films will compete in the battle for glory.
Medals generally honour courage, braveness and achievement. But while servicemen are familiar with the honours of war, filmmakers may sometimes merit such recognition. For, while keeping things in perspective, a strong fighting spirit and sense of self-sacrifice are also required to complete a film. The parallel with war is self-evident: script writing—the tactical plan, production—putting that plan into operation, shooting the film—the battlefield. Then peace returns with medals, decorations, Palmes d’Or, Oscars.
The 2013 Jury members will therefore have a tough job on their hands awarding their three medals:
- The Grand Jury Prize, awarded to the most meaningful motion picture;
- The Special Mention of the Jury, awarded for some outstanding feature of a particular film;
- The Best Director award
And while jury members will be secretly observing from the dark depths of the region’s auditoriums, the public will also have their chance to award the Audience Prize to their chosen film.
Our round-the-world voyage begins today, travelling through Argentina, Palestine, Germany, Cuba, Poland, North Korea, the Philippines, Sweden, Israel and the United States. With this selection of 2013 crus, we have attempted to take a decidedly mixed approach in terms of their geography, themes and warfare. Action, experiment, comedy, drama, fiction and documentary all jostle together like jigsaw pieces in a picture waiting to be revealed. What will it be at this first year of the festival?
Stéphane Bergouhnioux & Jean-Baptiste Thoret
THE OFFICIAL SELECTION
FIVE YEARS by Stefan Schaller (2012) - Germany
ROSE by Wojciech Smarzowski (2013) - Poland
HARBOUR OF HOPE byMagnus Gretten (2013) - Sweden/Poland
DEATH MARCH by Adolfo Alix Jr. (2013) - Philippines/Japon
ROOM 514 by Sharon Bar-Ziv (2013) - Israel
CAMP 14 : TOTAL CONTROL ZONE by Marc Wiese (2012) - Germany/South Korea
EVENT 15 by Matthew Thompson (2013) - USA
THE BERLIN FILE by Seung-Wan Ryoo (2013) - South Korea
WAKOLDA by Lucia Puenzo (2013) - Argentina
OMAR by Hany Abu-Assad (2013) - Palestine