All The People I'll Never Be

Source: Aurora Film

Return to Seoul

Davy Chou’s Return to Seoul and Laura Poitras’ All the Beauty and the Bloodshed were among the winners at the 28th Athens International Film Festival-Opening Nights, which ran from September 28 - October 9.

Return to Seoul, which world premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in May, was named best film in the festival’s eleven strong international fiction section, receiving the Golden Athena and a Euros 2,000 prize. Chou sent a videotaped message of thanks for the award.

The film was acquired for Greece by local theatrical distributor and platform Cinobo.

The five strong international jury was led by Berlin Golden Bear winner Nadav Lapid and included French actor Arnaud Valois and Alexis Juncosa, chair of the Europa Film Festivals’ network.

Chilean director Manuela Martelli’s debut 1976, which world premiered in Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight, won the City of Athens best director award for Martelli.

The film was picked up by Greek theatrical outlet Weirdwave. Martelli sent a videotaped message to says thank you for the award.

Pakistani director Saim Sadiq’s Joyland took the best screenplay award, having previously won the Cannes Queer Palm prize. Cinobo bought acquired the trans drama for Greece.

Maryam Touzani’s family drama The Blue Caftan, which played in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard and is Morocco’s submission to the Best International film category for the Academy Awards, was the recipient of the Fisher Audience and the Greek Films critics (PEK) awards. The film was acquired for Greece by Danaos Films.

Meanwhile, Laura Poitra’s Venice-winner All the Beauty and the Bloodshed won the the Golden Athena and Euros 2,000 for best film in the 11-strong International Documentary competition.

The documentary, which follows the life of artist Nan Goldin and her involvement in the downfall of the Sackler family pharmaceutical dynasty, was acquired and will be distributed in Greece by Strada. Poitra sent a videotaped message to thank for the award.

A Special Mention was offered to Polish director Lukasz Kowalski’ debut Pawnshop dealing with the efforts of an eccentric couple to save a huge pawnshop in modern day Poland.

The documentary competition jury was led by Greek documentary veteran Stavros Psilakis.

Athens International Film Festival-Opening Nights artistic director Loukas Katsikas put together a selection of 140 films in ten sections.

Stand outs were the New Hollywood homage comprising 21 films from the 1970s, including classics such as Chinatown and Taxi Driver.

There was also a Queer Britannia homage, a tribute to late French icon Jean Eustache, a Music and Film section featuring among others Brett Morgen’s David Bowie doc Moonage Daydream, and an Icons section presenting Giuseppe Tornatore’s Ennio on the Academy Award winning composer Ennio Morricone and Godard, Seul le Cinema by Cyril Leuthy.

Among the special guests present to introduce their films were Jerzy Skolimowsky (EO) and Ildiko Enyedi (The Story of my Wife).