Trauma and Beauty in Algeria: ‘El Gusto’ and ‘Le Voyage de Nadia’

El Gusto

Written and directed by Safinez Bousbia

Ireland, Algeria, UAE, France, 2011

Le voyage de Nadia

Written and directed by Carmen Garcia and Nadia Zouaoui

Canada, Algeria, 2006

Recently screened at the Birds Eye Film Festival (a London festival dedicated to showcasing films by female screenwriters and directors), El Gusto, Safinez Bousbia’s first work in film sounds like a miracle by its sheer existence- a chance encounter in an antiques shop in Algiers’ Casbah inspired Bousbia to trace the destinies of the musicians who used to make up one of Algiers’ pre-independence chaâbi music orchestras, learning film-making in the process, going bankrupt, getting cancer, getting more funding, completing the film in 8 years, and undertaking a sold-out tour with the reunited orchestra, now in their 80s and 90s.

While it is hard to say that El Gusto is any way an out-of-the-ordinary or innovative documentary – there are very few gimmicks, the
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Key Players in the 2012 Cannes Film Market: Fortissimo Films

Michael J. Werner’s Fortissimo Films was surprisingly almost shut out from showing in any of the sections at Cannes (they’re repping the Un Certain Regard title Miss Lovely), which only means they’ll got plenty in the coffers for the near future. Loaded in Asian fare, among the titles that stick out from the pack is recent Tribeca winner Una Noche from Lucy Mulloy, and for the near future Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s next film, What Masie Knew (see pic above), John Cameron Mitchell’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties and let us not forget the best picture of the year so far in, Antonio CamposSimon Killer.

Beijing Flickers (You-zhong) by Yuan Zhang

Full Circle (Fei Yu Lao Ren Yuan) by Yang Zhang

Marley by Kevin MacDonald

Bugis Street Redux by Yonfan

Camera by James Leong

Corman’S World: Exploits Of A
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The 2012 Seattle Film Festival Line-Up is the Best I've Seen in Years

I can't remember a time I went to the Seattle International Film Festival (Siff) press launch and looked over the list of films and saw so many I was interested in seeing. The claim to fame for over the years is to call it the largest and most-highly attended festival in the United States. This is a fact I've often taken issue with as I don't equate quantity with quality. Granted, there has been a large number of quality features to play the fest over the years, including Golden Space Needle (Best Film) winners such as Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), My Life as a Dog (1987), Trainspotting (1996), Run Lola Run (1999), Whale Rider (2003) and even recent Best Director winner, Michel Hazanavicius's Oss 117: Nest of Spies in 2006. That said, looking over this year's crop of films I see a lot of films I will be doing my absolute best to see.
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Rock the Casbah

Tribeca: Tell us a little about El Gusto. How do you describe the movie in your own words? Safinez Bousbia: El Gusto is the story of a group of musicians who learned this popular music Chaabi in the 1940s in the Musical Conservatory of Algiers. In the mid-1950s, the War of Independence took off, and these musicians were obliged to stop playing music, and their friendships were torn apart because they were forced to take sides in the war. Soon after came the independence, and the Jewish musicians left, and the Muslim musicians that remained were moved to the outskirts of Algiers. And from there, their lives were kind of put on hold. I met one of the musicians in 2003 by pure coincidence, through the process of buying a mirror. And basically, I decided to help him find his friends. From there, we formed an orchestra, and the
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Meet the 2012 Tribeca Filmmakers #36: 'El Gusto' Director Safinez Bousbia

"El Gusto" tells the story of an Algerian orchestra of Jewish and Muslim musicians that studied together and became famous in the 50s as the 'Rat Pack' of Algiers. At the height of their fame, the Algerian war of independence began and Jews and Muslims were no longer allowed to work together. The music stopped and friendships were forced apart. Director Safinez Bousbia was visiting Algiers when he met a craftsman who once played with the orchestra, and he then decided to track down every surviving member of the group to take the stage once again. The director says: "El Gusto is a story that remains untold to the present day: The story of independent thinkers witnessing the Franco Algerian history, told not by soldiers or victims but by simple musicians. These men managed to prove the universality of music can transcend all differences and prejudice. In a
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2012 Tribeca Film Festival announced the World Narrative and Documentary Competition film selections The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival (Tff), presented by American Express®, today announced the World Narrative and Documentary Competition film selections, along with selections for the out-of-competition Viewpoints section—the program established last year that highlights personal stories in international and independent cinema. Forty-six of the 90 feature-length films were announced. The 11th edition of the Festival will take place from April 18 to April 29 at locations around New York City.

The Festival was curated by a new programming team this year. Frédéric Boyer has joined Tff as Artistic Director, having most recently served as Artistic Director and Head of Programming for the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. Geoffrey Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises, has expanded his role in overseeing the Festival program. Genna Terranova has been promoted to Director of Programming and Cara Cusumano returns as Programmer.

“It’s been so gratifying to watch the new programming
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James Franco's 'General Hospital' film to highlight Tribeca Film Festival

James Franco's 'General Hospital' film to highlight Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival announced half of this year’s movie showcase, the 11th edition of the New York celebration set for April 18-29. James Franco’s behind-the-scenes General Hospital feature, Francophrenia, will have its North American premiere in the Viewpoints section – the program established last year that highlights more personal stories. “He’s kind of constructed this really interesting and well-crafted film about that experience that plays with the boundaries of documentary,” says Genna Terranova, Tribeca’s director of programming. “It’s a bit tongue in cheek, as James himself can be. He’s a bit enigmatic and the film is as well.
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Tribeca Film Festival Announces Initial 2012 Line-Up; First Look at Juno Temple In ‘Jack and Diane’

Tribeca Film Festival Announces Initial 2012 Line-Up; First Look at Juno Temple In ‘Jack and Diane’
With The Five-Year Engagement set as the opening title for the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, they’ve announced more of the line-up today with World Narrative & Documentary Features as the Viewpoint titles. We’ve got the next film from The Exploding Girl director Bradley Rust Gray, Jack and Diane (as well as a first look about featuring Juno Temple, thanks to Styd).

There is a new Harmony Korine short as well Kate Bosworth‘s While We Were Here and The Girl, starring Abbie Cornish. James Franco also has his latest film, Francophrenia, featuring footage from his performance on General Hospital. Nothing sticks out too greatly yet, but if I see something as interesting as Beyond the Black Rainbow or Magic Valley like last year, I’ll be a happy man. Check it out below and come back Thursday for the rest of the announcement.

World Narrative Feature Competition

• All In (La Suerte En Tus Manos
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'The Girl' With Abbie Cornish, 'Jack And Diane,' Harmony Korine's Short 'The Fourth Dimension' & More Head To Tribeca

'The Girl' With Abbie Cornish, 'Jack And Diane,' Harmony Korine's Short 'The Fourth Dimension' & More Head To Tribeca
SXSW kicks off later this week, but once your done slurping the BBQ sauce off your fingers, pack your backs and head north to Manhattan as the Tribeca Film Festival is gearing up to unspool in April. To whet cinephile appetites, organizers have dropped the lineup for the World Narrative Feature Competition, World Documentary Feature Competition and Viewpoints lineups and there are plenty of titles to take note of.

Among the narratives, the anticipated "Jack And Diane" from Bradley Rust Gray will make its world premiere. Starring Juno Temple and Riley Keough, the film takes a teenage lesbian love tale and twists the formula, with one of them revealing she's a werewolf. Add to that a cast rounded out by Dane DeHaan, Jena Malone and pop star Kylie Minogue (as a tattooed lesbian, of course) and you can see why this will be one of the hottest tickets at the fest.
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Fortissimo Handling International Sales for Idfa Doc "El Gusto"

Ahead of its competition showing at this week's Idfa, Fortissimo Films has acquired international sales rights (outside of France) to Safinez Bousbia's French/Algerian documentary "El Gusto." Last month, the film played at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival where it won Best Director from the Arab World. "El Gusto" tracks the reunion of a group of Muslim and Jewish musicians 50 years after their seperation during the Algerian Civil War. Watch the trailer below: Full release below:  
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Anhey Ghore da Daan and Marathon Boy win awards at Abu Dhabi

Anhey Ghore da Daan and Marathon Boy win awards at Abu Dhabi
Gurvinder Singh’s Anhey Ghore da daan (Alms for a blind horse) won Special Jury mention with a cash prize of Usd 50,000 at the 5th Abu Dhabi Film Festival. India born British director Gemma Atwal’s documentary on the wonder kid of Orissa– Marathon Boy bagged her award for Best New Director with a cash prize of Usd 50,000.

Alms for a Blind Horse was in the New Horizon Competition at the festival. The Jury for the competition was headed by Iranian-Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Gobadi (Half Moon, Turtles can fly). The award for Best Film in this section was bagged by Stories Only Exist When Remembered, a Brazilan, Argentinian and French co production directed by Julia Murat.

The best documentary award was won by The Tiniest Place, a Mexican film directed by Titiana Huezo. The jury was headed by Egyptian-Canadian director Tahani Rached, while New Delhi based documentary filmmaker Anwar Jamal also served on the jury.
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