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Screen International Critics’ Choice

4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, 2 DAYS / 4 LUNI, 3 SAPTAMANI SI 2 ZILE 
THE POPE’S TOILET / EL BANO DEL PAPA
LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR 
EYE IN THE SKY / GUN CHUNG 
MY FATHER MY LORD / HOFSHAT KAITS 
GETTING HOME / LUO YE GUI GEN 
MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD / MIO FRATELLO E FIGLIO UNICO 
WATER LILIES / NAISSANCE DES PIEUVRES
SIMPLE THINGS / PROSTÕE VEŠI
XXY

The Hollywood blockbusters that have dominated the box office this summer  around the world at first glance seems to be the movie story of 2007.
The cinema of spectacle - backed by vaults full of private equity gold - seemed to have squeezed out all else. But history will actually recall this year for other reasons. Yes, remakes, sequels and adaptations were everywhere but this was also a vintage year for more thoughtful and thought-provoking film from around the world.

Much of it came from outside the powerhouses of world cinema. Films from Israel, Uruguay and Rumania have thrilled the festival scene. And, of course, let’s not forget that this was a landmark year for Estonia with its first film in official selection at Cannes – Kadri Kõusaar’s "Magnus".
Such successes remind us of the wealth of talent around the world. There are still stories of humanity and hope out there demanding to be heard.
What’s too often forgotten is a unique cinematic institution that connects those voices to the world - the film festival.

Festivals like this one are the beating heart of the international film business. They defy the temptation to fall into pessimism about the future of cinema with sheer passion. Screen is proud to have been invited to contribute to the programme here at the Black Nights Film Festival.

We hope that the choices of our critics, who review hundreds of films from every corner of the world, reflects a rich year of film-making. It’s a diverse choice taking in Hong Kong action ("Eye In The Sky"); the arthouse musical ("Les Chansons d’amour"); and Chinese road movie ("Getting Home"). We have the Palme D’Or winner Cristian Mungiu’s "4 months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days" which is amongst the most challenging cinematic experiences for any audience; and an engaging comedy caper in the best Italian tradition ("My Brother Is An Only Child").
There are two very different takes on teenage angst and sexuality ("XXY, "Water Lilies") and brilliant character studies of family and personal choice ("Simple Things", "My Father My Lord"). Each shows a personal vision magnified in a way that only the cinema can. I hope they will delight, surprise and challenge all who watch them.

But the point of a film festival is not just to show the very best in film today. Festivals are also a place for new talent to rise. Some of those film-makers are already working in this region and are hoping to attract the attention of the world during this event.

But we hope that in the audience watching this selection will be inspired to pick up a camera and tell their stories.

Michael Gubbins
Editor, Screen International













prg. mart kalmo