The Slovakian film Censor (Cenzorka), directed by Peter Kerekes and written by Ivan Ostrochovský, is the winner of the Works in Progress Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The film received the award for “its original and vivid human portrait of a lonely woman.”
In the film, Irina Alexandrovna works as a censor in an Odessa prison. The inspection of letters is required by law in order to prevent the continuation of criminal activity. But the real criminals use smartphones, and old-fashioned letters are only used for declarations of love. So Irina spends eight hours a day in her office reading love letters. Through her, we follow various love affairs that only she can observe. Although she sees how women being used, and how the relationships end in disaster for them, she cannot take any action. Our heroine is a single woman and after twelve years of reading love letters full of the lies men tell, she is not capable of any relationship. If a guy on a date says “You are special,” she feels sick. But of course even she dreams of love.
The film, also produced by Peter Kerekes, is based on real situations and real characters and involved in-depth research conducted by the filmmakers at numerous prisons. The script was distilled from these materials, stories and characters. The plot follows the tragicomic micro-love stories between jailed men and women on the outside, as seen through the main protagonist. The film was shot with actors and non-actors (prisoners and ex-prisoners), mostly in a real setting, a real prison. The film’s expected premiere is in 2018.
The Stand-In (La Controfigura), directed and written by Rä di Martino was awarded the Eurimages Lab Project Award for its “ironic visual experimental approach to innovative narrative and for being an intersection of art and film.”
In The Stand-In, a small crew has been traveling around Marrakech and its surroundings looking for swimming pool locations for the remake of an American movie in which a man crosses the county, pool by pool, to reach his home. The filmmakers rehearse the shots to find the path through the city and the pools that the main actor will run and swim through. As we watch his struggles to become more than just a stand-in figure, the real actors and film crew burst onto the scene on a set where nobody seems to be in the right place. A film in search of itself, looking for where the real film is.