This year the Continent J selection is focused on “cinematographic genre” and a variety of proposals that go beyond the balance between nationalities and continents. In addition to the invitation to travel amid the films with different aesthetic, narrative and thematic characteristics the Continent J selection exceptionally addresses all “young” audiences, from kindergarten to University. This important balance, sought by the Continent J committee to systematically propose to our young festivalgoers unreleased films was carried out with in an even more difficult than in previous years context. Marked by unequal dynamics in film productions at a 3 Continents level (in number and quality), the choice of the committee moved on towards the exploration of movies already released in theaters for the most, but little or not much seen, and still representing the cultural and educational issues for which teachers, entertainers, educators rely on the Festival of 3 Continents.
The discovery of new filmmakers is always appreciated and that is the case with the very successful Gasolina, evoking a fever struck Guatemala that lacks benchmarks, which features three adolescents and their obsessive and risk taking games; pushing limits and playing with “fire”. An almost acknowledge thriller, the film takes place during one night, hard and exciting.
This Guatemalan film joins two other strong independent films: Tulpan (2008) and Tilai (1990). Besides the fact that they were both first prize winners at Cannes, the first in the Un Certain Regard 2008 selection and the second Grand Jury Prize in 1990, both discuss and dissect intense social and cultural situations (in the Kazakh steppe and in the Burkina Faso bush), for which the country’s topography and habitat issues are substantial to the narration and the film’s formai power. Sergey Dvortsevoy and Idrissa Ouedraogo both deliver epic films, one embracing drama, and the other antique or Shakespearean tragedy.
Other really exciting genre films appear head-on: the manga Paprika by Satoshi Kon, the Cuban road movie Viva Cuba by Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti and the puppet animation Komaneko. Imaginary and utopian universe, Paprika and Viva Cuba, with plenty of amazing images, are as hypnotic as singular, whereas Komaneko remains unquestionably this year’s most interesting animation film proposal; the «stop-motion» defies the computer revolution of the fluid Paprika but it gets involved and stands-up for a relevant illustration of a «film in the film».
This year the Continent J selection establishes a bridge with the Official Competition in the guise of the Korean film Bandhobi, teenage love story, beautiful and bitter, using a receptive camera to portayal the painful effects of immigration, and the more general one of otherness.
Thriller, road movie, manga, tragedy, stop-motion or drama, opening this year’s selection Continent J goes to plural styles and narrative forms and thus opens new horizons and paths to explore and travel to, for our young audience.