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Summer of Giacomo triumphs at Belfort

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Winner of the Golden Leopard in the Filmmakers of the Present section at the latest Locarno Film Festival, Alessandro Comodin’s debut feature Summer of Giacomo won the Grand Prize at the 26th EntreVues – Belfort International Film Festival on Saturday.

Focusing on young directors and cinematic boldness, EntreVues has, since its creation, handed out awards to Laurent Cantet, Aldellatif Kechiche, Pascale Ferran, Michelangelo Frammartino, Albert Serra and Corneliu Porumboiu.

Co-produced by France (Les Films d’Ici and Wallpaper Productions), Italy (Faber Film) and Belgium (Les Films Nus), Summer of Giacomo is set in the north Italian countryside and centres on Giacomo, a young 19-year-old deaf man, who goes picnicking with his best female friend. But they get lost and discover a remote and heavenly place where during an afternoon, sensuality creeps into their childish games until they realise that these events are nothing more than the bittersweet memory of an already lost time.

Born in Frioul, Comodin, whose latest short film, Jagdfieber - The Hunting Fever was selected in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight 2009, studied in Paris and at INSAS in Brussels.

At this edition of the Belfort fest, the Best French Film Award went to Laurent Achard’s fascinating Last Screening (see review), which was also unveiled at Locarno (in competition) and will be launched in French theatres on Wednesday by Epicentre Films. A Special Mention was awarded to directorial duo Rania Attieh and Daniel García’s Lebanese feature Ok, Enough, Goodbye. Finally, the Audience Award was bestowed on Cyril Mennegun’s harrowing Louise Wimmer, which won acclaim in Venice Critics’ Week (see review) and will be released in French theatres on January 4, 2012 by Haut et Court.

The Belfort international competition also selected, among others, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’s Venice award-winner Alps (see interview); Éric Baudelaire’s The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images; Marie Voignier’s The Mokélé Mbembé Hypothesis; Valérie Massadian’s Nana; Davy Chou’s French/Cambodian co-production Golden Slumbers; and Anca Hirte’s French/Romanian feature Teodora Sinner. The “Films en Cours” section also screened Today by Alain Gomis.

Finally, the festival paid homage to Eric Rohmer and presented the complete works of Patricia Mazuy, including Of Women and Horses (unveiled at Locarno – to be released in France on January 25, 2012 by Le Pacte).