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Isola Cinema 4: persistence of vision!

Dear film-lovers, colleagues and friends,

Below you will find the programme outline of our fourth ISOLA CINEMA film festival, which will take place from Thursday, May 31st until Monday, June 4th in Izola (Slovenia).

The key ingredients of Isola Cinema remain unchanged: set in the small town of Izola (located on Slovenia’s Adriatic coast) this five-day festival offers a relaxed - yet, at the same time, intense - full-time engagement with the Art of Film.

Isola Cinema is a small festival, and wants to remain so. Instead of an overcrowded schedule, we want to offer a certain vision of contemporary cinema, one in which we firmly believe. More than solely screening films, the festival believes that such important works deserve a personal accompaniment. It’s our view that no film-screening is really ‘complete’ without the presence of the film’s ‘author’, and so our policy - and our priority - is to have as many of the directors present as possible.

Under the motto Persistence of Vision, the international film festival Kino Otok / Isola Cinema will proudly open its fourth edition with Bamako by the Malian director
Abderrahmane Sissako. Undoubtedly one of the great poets of
contemporary cinema, Mr. Sissako — whose film has been hailed as one of the major cinematic works of the decade — will honour us with his presence and officially open the festival. 

good neighbours

A masterpiece of older vintage — which will be screened on opening night in the picturesque Open-Air Cinema set up in Izola’s central square — will introduce the new section Good Neighbours: Inter-regional Accent. This programme (which will, each year, spotlight each year two authors working in Slovenia’s neighbouring countries) opens with the winner of the ‘Best Debut’ prize at the 1961 Venice Film Festival: Banditi a Orgosolo [Bandits of Orgosolo] by Italian veteran Vittorio De Seta. Mr. De Seta will be joining us later in the festival, when he will introduce his latest work - and the official festival closing film, Lettere dal Sahara [Letters from the Sahara]. As part of our De Seta Focus, Isola Cinema will present brand-new prints of his wonderful short documentaries made in the 1950s. This year’s Austrian entry for the Good Neighbours section, meanwhile, is the intimate documentary Bellavista by Peter Schreiner. 


The Open-Air Cinema is traditionally the main
stage for Isola Cinema’s Harvest section, in which five films from all corners of the world compete for the Audience Award. The festival guarantees nationwide Slovenian theatrical distribution of the award-winning film. This year’s Harvest opens with Daratt [Dry Season], a film that confirms the talent of another sub-Saharan director, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. Haroun who received the Special Jury Prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival, will willingly discuss his work with you in Izola. The competition is completed by: Zapiski putevogo obkhodchika [The Lineman’s Diary] by Zhanabek Zhetiruov (Kazakhstan), Glue by Alexis Dos Santos (Argentina),
Saratan by Ernest Abdyjaparov (Kyrgyzstan), and Jin tian de yu zen me yang? [How is Your Fish Today?] by London-based, Chinese director-novelist GUO Xiaolu.

Silvan’s Cine School

For the second time Isola Cinema will present its educational programme named Silvan’s Cine School in honour of the godfather of the festival - and founder of the Slovene Cinematheque - Silvan Furlan. This programme, organised in collaboration with The Cinematheque Society, has been organised around the theme “I Am the Stage of Cinema”. Featuring works by Jacqueline Veuve (Switzerland) and Boris Lehman (Belgium) – who will both be present at the festival — this series of lecture-presentations will include films by Jonas Mekas (USA), Naomi Kawase (Japan), Victor Kossakovsky (Russia), plus titles from the enigmatic Slovenian collective known as OM Production.


Every year Isola Cinema asks some of our faithful foreign colleagues to invite their filmmaking friends to our ‘Island of Cinema’. Award-winning
writer-director - and another of the festival’s ‘godfathers’ - Jan
has invited Christopher Coppola (USA) with his
PAH-Fest project, which promises to be a genuine mobile-phone and web-film “festival-within-the-festival”. German-based Film Comment critic Olaf Möller will introduce Nicolas Rey’s Schuss! (France). ‘Kooperativa’ partner and Innsbruck Film Festival director Helmut Groschup is flying over Brazilian filmmaker José Araújo and his film As Tentações do Irmão Sebastião [The Temptations of Brother Sebastian]. Current director of Brussels’ international art-centre De Beursschouwburg, Belgian programmer/curator Cis Bierinckx, has invited Xiaolu GUO with Address Unknown (her How Is Your Fish Today? is part of the Harvest competition). And British film-critic and festival-programmer Neil Young presents Graham Robertson (USA) and his film Able Edwards.

open island

Titles in the festival’s eclectic Open Island section will include:
Manoro [The Teacher] by Brillante Mendoza (Philippines); the new “redux” version of Who Killed Cock Robin? by Travis Wilkerson (USA); the first mobile-phone-shot feature-film Waarom heeft niemand mij verteld dat het zo erg zou worden in Afghanistan? [Why Didn’t Anybody Tell Me It Would Become This Bad in Afghanistan?] by Cyrus Frisch (Netherlands); and what will be the last screening of this year’s Izola festival, Kenen joukoissa seisot [Revolution] by Finnish director Jouko Aaltonen.  

animation films

The remaining films of the Open Island section will be announced Mid-May. We can, however, confirm that – In collaboration with the Animateka International Animation Film Festival of Ljubljana - curator Igor Prassel will presents highlights of Chinese Contemporary

island in ljubljana

In conclusion, we would like to mention that a
post-festival programme called Otok v Ljubljani (Island in Ljubljana) will take place in the capital’s arthouse cinema Kinodvor from June 6th until 10th. Besides a selection of the Isola Cinema programme, the event will feature some exclusive events. Amongst them: the first theatrical screening of the winner of the Isola Cinema 2006 Audience Award: Gol ya puch [Full or Empty] by Abolfazl Jalili (Iran), and the much anticipated premiere of Paris-based Slovene director Boris Petkovič’s new film,

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