The first European Film Festival in Estoril, Portugal (Nov 8-17) has attracted some high-profile names thanks to Portugal's best-known producer, Paulo Branco, serving as festival director.
Pedro Almodovar (whose career is celebrated with a full retrospective) will be giving a masterclass as will fashion designer Emmanuel Ungaro, director Werner Schroeter and chroeographer Blaca Li. Celebrated US novelist Don DeLillo sits on the jury. There will be a retrospective of the work of David Lynch (whose attendance is yet to be confirmed).
Meanwhile, the festival competition will feature two world premieres (both from France), Alain Raoust's L'Ete Indien and Cedric Anger's Le Tueur. Other titles in competition include films that have created a stir at festivals earlier this year, among them Lenny Abrahamson's Garage, Mijke De Jong's Tussenstand, Aleksei Balabanov's Cargo 200 and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi's Actrices.
Paulo Branco took up the position as general director in the spring. The new event has a budget of $1.7m (Euros 1.2m).
During the festival, there will be a three day meeting of distributors (Nov 9-11) under the banner of Europa Distribution. Companies attending include (among others) Wild Bunch from France, Artificial Eye from the UK, Wanda Vision from Spain, A Film from Benelux, and Bim and Lucky Red from Italy.
'I hope we can see the European festival in a very optimistic way after this festival,' Branco, who has worked on more than 200 films in his career, told ScreenDaily.com. 'We can still believe that cinema is an artistic expression that can resist the pressures of standardisation.'
European Film Festival - Films In Competition 2007
A Bude Hur Petr Nikolaev (Czech Republic)
Actrices Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi (France)
Gegenuber Jan Bonny (Germany)
Gruz 200 Aleksei Balabanov (Russia)
La Linea Recta Jose Maria de Orbe (Spain)
Madonnen Maria Speth (Germany/Switzerland/Belgium)
Nu Te Supara, Dar Adina-Elena Pintilie (Romania)
Miehen Tyo Aleksi Salmenpera (Finland)
Sügisball Veiko Ounpuu (Estonia)
Le Tueur Cedric Anger (Antestreia Mundial) (France)
Yumurta Semih Kaplanolu (Turkey/Greece)
L'Ete Indien Alain Raoust (France)
Garage Leonard Abrahamson (Ireland)
Tussenstand Mijke de Jong (Holland)