Burbank, CA – January 7, 2016: Today, Cinema Without Borders has announced the six nominees for HP’s Bridging The Borders Award at 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival selected by Palm Springs International Film Festival Programers. The Bridging The Borders Award at the 2016 Palm Springs International Film Festival will be given to the most successful film in bringing the people of our world closer together.
The six nominees for HP’s Borders Bridging The Borders Award are: ATOMIC FALAFEL (Israel, Germany, New Zealand)), LET THEM COME (Algeria, France), ROAD TO LA PAZ (Argentina,Netherlands, Qatar) , ROSITA (Denmark),THE THIN YELLOW LINE (Mexico) and UMRIKA ( India). The Bridging The Borders Award winning film will be announced on Saturday, January 9th, at the Palm Springs International Film Festival award ceremony.
2016 HP’s Bridging the Borders Award, is offered by Cinema Without Borders and Prize provided and Award sponsored by HP Workstations. Director of the winning film will receive an HP ZBook 15, an approximately $3000 value.
Israel, 2015, 95 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Germany, New Zealand
A hilarious, fast-paced satire with a pro-peace message, Atomic Falafel takes on the Israel-Iran nuclear showdown. Especially resonant in today’s political climate, this exuberant, delightfully absurd, spot-on comedy is writer/director Shaul’s Dr. Strangelove.
Boasting verbal and visual humor that holds nothing sacred, the story kicks off in a small town in southern Israel that houses a nuclear reactor, an army base and a secret bunker 40 meters below ground. It is there that the powers-that-be decide to respond to the Iranian threat with an atomic bomb, since “the world is against us anyway.”
Fortunately, a few things get in the way of their plan, including a visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the rebellious teens who accidentally wind up with the operation’s command disk. Factor in falafel-maker Mimi, who dishes up the deadliest hot sauce in the Middle East, and her new love Oliver, the German member of the IAEA team who breaks out in hives when he comes anywhere near enriched uranium, and you have the recipe for laugh-out-loud fun.
Filmmaker(s) Attending: Actor Shai Avivi
DIRECTOR: Dror Shaul
Producer: Chilik Michaeli, Avraham Pirchi, Tami Leon, Amir Feingold, Dror Shaul, Moshe Edery, Leon Edery, Andr
Editor: Tom Eagles
Screenwriter: Dror Shaul
Cinematographer: Sebastian Edschmid
Music: Joel Haines, Bahar Henschel
Principal Cast: Michelle Treves, Mali Levi Gershon, Alexander Fehling, Shai Avivi, Will Robertson
LET THEM COME
Maintenant ils peuvent venir
Algeria, 2015, 95 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: France
Up to 200,000 Algerians are thought to have perished in clashes between the government and Islamist rebels during the 1990s, a period referred to as the “dark decade.” Former documentarian Salem Brahimi’s pared down drama traces one non-religious young couple—civil servant Noureddine (Amazigh Kateb) and proud proto-feminist Yasmina (Rachida Brakni)—and their increasingly difficult lives, as sectarian strife initially breaks them apart before bringing them back together under dangerous circumstances. Spanning a decade, Brahimi’s suspenseful and potent narrative provides profound insight into the day-to-day lives of citizens caught up in a hell not of their making, and of which they want no part.
“Brahimi’s first narrative feature is an effectively intimate drama set within sweeping larger events, focusing on a secular family swimming against a rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism…[The film] brings an unsentimental intelligence to this overview of a turbulent period from two average-citizen dissenters’ vantage points. [The performances] are strong, as is the clean, unadorned visual presentation.” Dennis Harvey, Variety
Filmmaker(s) Attending: Director Salem Brahimi
DIRECTOR: Salem Brahimi
Producer: Michèle Ray Gavras, Costa Gavras
Editor: Yorgos Lamprinos
Screenwriter: Arezki Mellal, Salem Brahimi
Cinematographer: Leonidas Arvanitis
Music: Eric Neveux
Principal Cast: Amazigh Kateb, Rachida Brakni
ROAD TO LA PAZ
Camino a La Paz
Argentina, 2015, 94 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Netherlands, Qatar
Awards: Best Actor, Mar de Plata; Bronze Alexander, Thessaloniki
Well-intentioned but unmotivated, Sebastian (Rodrigo de la Serna, The Motorcycle Diaries) enjoys a life of hanging with friends and tending to his late father’s prized Peugeot while his wife Jazmin (Elisa Carricajo, Viola) pines for financial security and parenthood. After receiving a series of wrong-number calls to a taxi company, Sebastian senses an opportunity and opens his own ad-hoc cab service, quickly taking on elderly client Jalil (Ernesto Suarez), a devout Muslim.
Jalik has an unusual request: to drive him 2,000 miles from Buenos Aires to La Paz, Bolivia, so that he and his brother might begin their hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca. In desperate need of Jalil’s generous terms, Sebastian agrees to transport the ailing man, undertaking a life-changing journey filled with unpredictable roadblocks, revelations and an unexpected grace.
Alive with warmth, humor and insight, writer/director Franciso Varone’s debut feature gives the classic road film a fresh new energy, one that is both sharp in its observations on the fraught relations between fathers and sons, and wise in its depiction of souls reaching, often stumbling, toward connection.
DIRECTOR: Francisco Varone
Producer: Gema Juarez Allen
Editor: Alberto Ponce, Federico Peretti
Screenwriter: Francisco Varone
Cinematographer: Christian Cottet
Music: Vox Dei
Principal Cast: Rodrigo De la Serna, Ernesto Suarez, Elisa Carricajo
Denmark, 2015, 95 Minute Running Time
North American Premiere
Awards: Best Director, Moscow
The Filipino mail-order bride phenomenon is explored with humanity and authenticity in a story of repressed men and powerful emotions. Johannes lives with his father, the middle-aged widower Ulrik in a small fishing village in Denmark’s north Jutland peninsula. They live a routine life, each working their separate jobs in the fishing industry.
Johannes has a girlfriend, but he doesn’t take their relationship as seriously as she does. Meanwhile, the shy Ulrik misses the love and tenderness of a woman. So, just as many other older men in this small village have done before him, he arranges for a young Filipina to come to Denmark as his fiancée. The skeptical Johannes gets more than he bargains for when he is reluctantly forced to translate Ulrik’s words for Rosita.
“Frederikke Aspöck manages to create equal sympathy for Ulrik, Johannes and Rosita, who is more than an exotic prop. In particular, the relationship between father and son is beautifully attuned, and credibility holds up into an ending that is both brutal and truthful.” Weekendavisen
Winner: Best Director, Moscow
Filmmaker(s) Attending: Director Frederikke Aspöck
DIRECTOR: Frederikke Aspöck
Producer: Thomas Heinesen, Leila Vestgaard
Editor: Martin Schade, Mette Zeruneith
Screenwriter: Kim Fupz Aakeson
Cinematographer: Adam Wallensten
Music: Rasmus Bille Bähncke
Principal Cast: Mikkel Boe Folsgaard, Mercedes Cabral, Jens Albinus, Julie Agnete Vang
Filmography: Labrador (2011)
THE THIN YELLOW LINE
La delgada línea amarilla
Mexico, 2015, 95 Minute Running Time
Awards: Best Script, Special Jury Award, Audience Award, Guadalajara
Toño (Damián Alcázar, Magallanes) lives an aimless life drifting from one job to the next, but when his gig as a junkyard night watchman quite literally goes to the dogs, he’s really up against it. A chance encounter with a former boss brings a ray of hope: two weeks in charge of a road crew painting the yellow center stripe down 120 miles of harsh desert highway. His team of rookies includes an ex-con, an almost-blind truck driver, a circus stagehand and a rebellious teen, but mile by mile, line by line, the gig becomes an unexpectedly life-changing journey for each of them.
Developed at the Cannes and Sundance labs and winner of the multiple prizes at the Guadalajara Film Festival, writer/director Celso Garcia’s debut feature is a road film in the truest sense of the term, using the classic narrative structure to tell not only a moving tale of personal redemption but also offer an honest look at the harsh economic realities faced by many working-class Mexicans.
Winner: Best Screenplay, Special Jury and Audience Awards, Guadalajara; Best Latin-American Film, Montreal
Filmmaker(s) Attending: Director Celso García
DIRECTOR: Celso García
Producer: Alejandro Springall, Bertha Navarro, Guillermo del Toro
Editor: Jorge García
Screenwriter: Celso García
Cinematographer: Emiliano Villanueva
Music: Daniel Zlotnik
Principal Cast: Damián Alcázar, Joaquín Cosío, Silverio Palacios, Gustavo Sánchez Parra, Américo Hollander, Fernando Becerril
India, 2015, 102 Minute Running Time
Awards: Audience Award, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, Sundance
For those living in a beautiful but impoverished mountain village in India, America looms in the distance as a shimmering beacon of fulfillment. As a young boy, Rama (Suraj Sharma, the star of Life of Pi) watches proudly when his older brother Udai sets off on his journey to this mythic land. When Udai’s letters finally arrive many long months later, they detail his adventures, inspiring hope and sparking community debates over life in this strange wondrous place they call “Umrika.”
But when the letters mysteriously stop, a worried Rama and his best friend Lalu (Tony Revolori of The Grand Budapest Hotel) set out to trace Udai’s journey and find out what has happened.
“The publicity call this a ‘feel-good’ movie but it’s better than that – deeper and more subtle and anchored to a timely issue: immigration…. Umrika achieves remarkable power as a story by concentrating its view of America through the eyes of people who have never been there.” Paul Byrnes, Sydney Morning Herald
Filmmaker(s) Attending: Director Prashant Nair
DIRECTOR: Prashant Nair
Producer: Swati Shetty, Manish Mundra
Editor: Xavier Box, Patricia Rommel
Screenwriter: Prashant Nair
Cinematographer: Petra Korner
Music: Dustin O’ Halloran
Principal Cast: Suraj Sharma, Tony Revolori, Smita Tambe, Adil Hussain, Prateik Babbar