Keswick Film Festival

Best Of The Fests

Best Of The Fests

Best Of The Fests

Couldn't get to Berlin or Woodstock this year? Well, we have selected seven films that have impressed and entertained festival audiences there and at many other film festivals around the world including Cambridge, Florida, Israel, Moscow, Reykjavik, Thessalonica, Tokyo, Venice, and Zurich.

Best of the Fests is a regular and popular theme at Keswick. This year's selection covers: the emotional damage and aftermath of brutal civil war (Circles); a sympathetic portrait of an insulated culture (Fill the Void); a moving testament to the power of friendship (The Golden Dream); a celebration of youth, friendship and rebellion (We Are The Best); a gentle comedy (A Magnificent Haunting); a beguiling quest steeped in history (The Forgotten Kingdom); and, a chilling historical drama (Wakolda).

Featuring

Friday 28th February 3:30 PM - Studio
We Are The Best
Vi ar bast
Lukas Moodysson (2013) Sweden 102 mins TBC

Adapted from the graphic novel "Never Goodnight" by the director's wife Coco Moodysson, the film takes place in Stockholm in 1982. It portrays the lives of three girls between twelve and thirteen years of age: Bobo, Klara and Hedvig. Ignored by their parents and considered strange by other people, the trio decides to start a punk band (something that only boys are doing at the time) despite agreeing that punk is dead!

Winner: Grand Prix, Tokyo FF (2013); Audience Award, Reykjavik IFF (2013)

Thanks to Metrodome

Friday 28th February 6:30 PM - Alhambra
Fill The Void
Lemale et ha’hahal
Rama Burshtein (2012) Israel 90 mins U

Written and directed by Rama Burshtein who became the first Orthodox Jewish woman to direct a film intended to be viewed outside of the Orthodox community. It focuses on life among the Haredi Jewish community in Tel Aviv. An 18 year old girl is pressured by her mother to marry her deceased older sister’s husband following the death of her sister in childbirth.

Graceful, complex, and beautifully layered, the film offers a sympathetic portrait of an insulated culture by exploring universal themes.

Winner, seven Israeli Academy Awards (2012)
Winner, Best Actress Award (Hades Yaron), Venice FF (2012)

Thanks to Artificial Eye

Friday 28th February 8:30 PM - Alhambra
The Golden Dream
La jaula de oro
Diego Quemada-Diez (2013) Guatemala/Spain/Mexico 102 mins 15

A group of Guatemalan teenagers are ill prepared for the precarious journey that takes them from their native country to what they hope will be a bright new life in the United States. Diego Quemada-Díez's debut feature draws on outstanding performances from his young, non-professional cast.

"The film succeeds as both a gritty, uncompromising portrait of the teenagers' travels and a moving, eloquent testament to the power of friendship and camaraderie in the most testing of circumstances." (London FF)

Winner, Un Certain Regard, Talent Prize, Cannes 2013
Winner, Best Film: Mar del Plata, Zurich, Thessalonica FF (all 2013)

Thanks to Peccadillo Pictures

Saturday 1st March 5:45 PM - Theatre By The Lake
The Forgotten Kingdom
Andrew Mudges (2013) USA/South Africa/Lesotho 96 mins TBC

The mountainous scenery of Lesotho provides the canvas for a profoundly visual story, which tells the tale of Atang: making a pilgrimage from the bustle of Johannesburg to his native Lesotho to bury his father. There, Atang is reunited with childhood friend Dineo, with whom he discovers a romantic spark. But her disapproving father sends Atang back to Jo’burg. Resolving to win her back, Atang enlists the help of a young orphan boy.

The first film ever to be produced in Lesotho, this is a beguiling quest steeped in the history and culture of the Basotho people. (Cambridge FF)

Winner, Audience Award: Cambridge, Florida, Ashland, Sarasota, and Woodstock FF (all 2013)

Thanks to The Little Film Company

Saturday 1st March 6:00 PM - Alhambra
Wakolda
The German Doctor
Lucia Puenzo (2013) Argentina 93 mins 15

Patagonia, 1960. An Argentinean family meets a mysterious German physician on their way to opening a lodging house by the Nahuel Huapi lake. The encounter with the family reawakens the man’s obsession with purity and perfection. Everyone is gradually won over by this charismatic man, by his elegant manners, his scientific knowledge and his money, until they discover his real identity.

Based on Lucía Puenzo's novel, the story follows Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death," a German SS officer and a physician at the Auschwitz concentration camp, in the years he spent "hiding" in South America following his escape from Germany.

18 award nominations including Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2013

Thanks to Peccadillo Pictures

Sunday 2nd March 1:30 PM - Studio
Circles
Krugovi
Srdan Golubovi (2012) Serbia 112 mins TBC

Based on a true story in the midst of the war in 1993, a young Bosnian soldier intervenes to save the life of a Muslim shopkeeper and the film jumps ahead 12 years to examine the consequences of that (tragic and heroic) act for the five people most closely affected.

A straightforward and ultimately moving film about the damage done to people's soul from the hostilities that racked the region for years, dealing with the emotional baggage and the aftermath of fighting. The pace is deliberate and the film simmers rather than explodes and with top-notch performances and traditional craft this is an appealing entry on the festival circuit. (Sundance)

Winner, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Berlin
Winner, Grand Prix, CinEast Festival (2013)

Thanks to Memento Films

Please note this film will now been shown in The Studio

Sunday 2nd March 4:00 PM - Alhambra
The Rocket
Kim Mordaunt (2013) Australia/Laos 96 mins 12A

A favourite at festivals around the world, The Rocket, has picked up audience awards at Leeds, Sydney, CineKid (Amsterdam), Calgary, Tribeca and the American Film Institute Festival so we're delighted to be able add it to the programme at Keswick.

Set against the lush backdrop of rural Laos, this spirited drama tells the story of scrappy ten-year-old Ahlo, who yearns to break free from his ill-fated destiny. After his village is displaced to make way for a massive dam, Ahlo escapes with his father and grandmother through the Laotian outback in search of a new home. Along the way, they come across a rocket festival that offers Ahlo a lucrative but dangerous chance to prove his worth.

Sunday 2nd March 6:15 PM - Theatre By The Lake
A Magnificent Haunting
Magnifica presenza
Ferzan Ozpetek Italy 105 mins 15

Aspiring actor Pietro (Elio Germano) can't believe his luck when he bags his dream Rome apartment. It's already occupied by the ghosts of a theatrical troupe who vanished during WW2. A gentle comedy about a gay man's attachment to old-school notions of romance, Ferzan Ozpetek's film is reminiscent of Woody Allen at his most whimsical. Nothing happens that's overly dramatic – even the tragedy is treated lightly – but the amiability is infectious.

Winner, Audience Award, Moscow FF (2012)
Winner, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, Italian Golden Globe (2012).

Thanks to Peccadillo Pictures

Sunday 2nd March 8:30 PM - Alhambra
We Are The Best
Vi ar bast
Lukas Moodysson (2013) Sweden 102 mins TBC

Adapted from the graphic novel "Never Goodnight" by the director's wife Coco Moodysson, the film takes place in Stockholm in 1982. It portrays the lives of three girls between twelve and thirteen years of age: Bobo, Klara and Hedvig. Ignored by their parents and considered strange by other people, the trio decides to start a punk band (something that only boys are doing at the time) despite agreeing that punk is dead!

Winner: Grand Prix, Tokyo FF (2013); Audience Award, Reykjavik IFF (2013)

Thanks to Metrodome



Supported by the National Lottery through the BFI and Creative England

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