Visually Lavish Friday

Cinema at the Cinema, the 16th ZFF special program, is a homage to the magical ritual of common film watching in the darkness of a movie theatre. This section includes seven titles (Monday-Friday, Muller Hall, 8pm), with which ZFF draws attention to the importance of cinemas for the development of collective imagination, as well as reminds us of the growingly uncertain fate of this kind of entertainment in the world of new distribution forms.

A unique entertainment experience, Walk in Cinema, awaits us on Friday at 11pm at the Muller Hall. Visitors will have a chance to walk into a screening and enjoy the film treat Have You Seen My Movie? (2016) in a relaxed atmosphere. Paul Anton Smith’s ultimate film about film watching is a compilation of excerpts from over a thousand different films, all connected by film watching and the power of cinematic experience shared by strangers in the dark.

ZFF’s main program as well presents two lavish titles on Friday, inviting us to forget cell phones and laptops and, like real movie lovers, take a seat comfortably before the big screen. Visually attractive and full of symbolism, the Thai film Manta Ray (Europa, 9pm), directed by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, won the best film award in the Horizons section in Venice. After a refugee hunter saves an injured stranger in a swamp, what begins as a friendship turns into identity theft. The film Retablo (Europa, 6.30pm) has a plot in the Brokeback Mountain style, and is set in the Peruvian Andes. After the screening, we will meet Philippe Avril, the producer of Manta Ray and Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio, the director of Retablo.

At 4pm, Europa cinema, the PLUS section is screening the film I Am Julia. The debut film by the Spanish director Elena Martin, follows an architecture student at an exchange in Berlin and her adaptation to the new environment. This outstanding portrayal of young people on a crossroads is stylistically impressive thanks to the camera, characters and vistas of East Berlin. Elena Martin, who also appears in the leading role, brilliantly embodied the fears, tensions and confusions of the ‘Skype generation’. In The Great 5 we will be watching the Spanish film Petra (Tuškanac, 5pm), directed by Jaime Rosales, which after its premiere in Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes doesn’t cease to intrigue the audience and focuses on a woman in search of her father, facing a painful family heritage. The storyline of Petra could be described as a combination of Greek tragedy and a steady portrayal of emotional vacuums of daily life in which violence and silence coexist.

At 8pm at Muller Hall, the screen will be taken by Khodorkovsky in the section Tycoons: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, about the former Russian oligarch, revealing the background of his arrest and verdict, and his path from the richest man in Russia to a political prisoner. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Cyril Tuschi.

On Friday, in the INDUSTRY section, don’t miss Marianne Slot’s masterclass, Co-production: A Love Story (F22, 5pm). In 25 years Marianne Slot produced many international films by directors such as Lucrecia Martel, Malgoska Szumowska, Lisandro Alonso, Sergei Loznitsa, Benedikt Erlingsson, Naomi Kawase and others, and co-produced most of Lars von Trier films. She was the president of CMC from 2013 to 2015. Now she is sharing her rich experience with the interested public, and the masterclass will be accompanied by a screening of the film A Gentle Creature.

The program Festivals in the Spotlight (Muller Hall, 6pm) takes us through the short film competition from Berlinale. Five films from the Berlinale Shorts selection are characterised by the unique qualities of short films: this radical and free art form focuses on the aesthetic, socially relevant and political issues, attuned to the social pulse, critically examining contemporary issues and opening a space for new directors.