We’re setting sail on Thursday

We have gone through a major makeover, transformed our design, and (as all our readers may have experienced) our homepage was renewed, as well - as it was revealed on Monday during the opening press conference of the 15th Titanic International Film Festival in the Uránia National Film Theatre Café.

“Back in the beginnings Titanic started out in one cinema with just 16 films. We began our journey together with Sziget and Pesti Est” - said György Horváth festival director at the press conference, looking back at the past 15 years. “We found out that the audience likes the festival, so we can grow, but even I can’t imagine where, to what extent, and how to go about it,” he added.

It was also revealed that - as all future festivalgoers might have already experienced - the festival organizers decided to undergo a significant amount of change, rejuvenation, and expansion this year. “The design is new, our homepage got a makeover, and all information was publicized much earlier than in previous years”.

Pedro Gonzalez Rubio S., Ambassador of Mexico, attended the press conference, recommending the Mexican mosaic section of the festival to the audience. It will be the first time for the country to present itself with an independent film-load in a separate section, with five directors proving their aptitude in four films. One of them (Francisco Franco-Alba’s Burn the Bridges) is actually competing for the Breaking Waves Award - it was revealed by the Ambassador, who actually has personal ties to the Festival. Two years ago the Festival screened the film Toro Negro, which was directed by his son, Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio and himself contributed as the producer of the film.

Representing the Japanese section, Waketa Munehiro, director of the Japanese Foundation, said that the Japanese film industry has experienced a huge development in the last few years: more films are being made and more cinemas are being opened in big cities; even TV channels are starting to get involved in financing an increasing number of films. “I am extremely happy about the opportunity that following the well-known Japanese directors, our young filmmakers will also be able to introduce themselves by the six selected features at Titanic Festival,” said Waketa Munehiro.

The French Embassy, with the French Cultural Institute, has been one of the biggest section-contributors in the past 15 years, therefore Simeon Mirzayantz, program director of the audiovisual department of the French Institute, got to participate as the third speaker. Mirzayantz highlighted two films out of the eight French pieces to be shown at the Festival. Lady Chatterley and The Secret of the Grain won the César - the French Oscar - for the best French film in 2007 and 2008 respectively. He also emphasized that a “golden middle way of films” will be shown in the French section. These films are not small-budget independent films, nor gigantic productions; instead, they are situated somewhere in between. Furthermore, he finds it telling that France will be competing for the Breaking Waves Award with a film entitled La France.

The new Titanic spot film and their creators, Szabolcs Pálfi and László Csáki (musical director Ambrus Tövisházi unfortunately could not attend the event) were also introduced during the press conference. Furthermore, two members of the international jury were also revealed: Grainne Humphreys, director of the Dublin International Film Festival, and Kornél Mundruczó will grant the Breaking Waves Award this year (the festival is still looking for a third member, because the winner of last year’s Breaking Waves Award, Esteban Sapir, had to cancel his participation in the jury unexpectedly, due to illness).

On Thursday then with our considerable boatload (nine sections of 65 films from 35 countries, all together 120 public screenings and about 12 guests) we are setting sail…

Pictures: SoSa
1st picture (besides lead): group picture with the participants of the press conference - Simeon Mirzayantz (with his translator), Waketa Munehiro, György Horváth and Pedro Gonzalez Rubio S.
2nd picture: György Horváth and Pedro Gonzalez Rubio S.
3rd picture: Waketa Munehiro
4th picture: Simeon Mirzayantz
5th picture: Szabolcs Pálfi and László Csáki

Click on the pictures to zoom in.

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