The Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival is the sixth oldest international film festival in the world (after Venice, Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, Karlovy Vary). It is a festival devoted to the discovery of new talents and shows only films which have never played at another big festival before. Here, established names of the filmic intelligentsia share the table in the main Zen-like lounge with neophytes from across the world, with some fresh vocabularies.
Not only is the film festival accessible to 1,000 visitors from the branch, and to buyers, directors, and journalists, it is also a widely acclaimed festival for the public, with approximately 60,000 visitors every year.
The 61st edition of the International Mannheim-Heidelberg Filmfestival saw its cinemas experiencing a full house, even in a less financially gracious year like 2012. It opened on November 8th in Heidelberg, with the screening of Not So Modern Times (Tiempos Menos Modernos) by the Patagonia born and raised director Simón Franco. It is a film that to this day, after more than 40 different film screenings, still titillates our sensitive memory. It is a minimalistic yet haunting film about an old cattle farmer from Patagonia who flirts for a while with modernity, only to find out that his fascination goes far more to the wild and slow life of a gaucho, in a paradise of forests, mountains and ancient traditions.
This year, the festival screened 19 titles in the main International Competition, 9 more outstanding films by international newcomers in the section of International Discoveries, 7 films in the "Special Screenings" section dealing with the ardent question of HOW to live, and 5 films by the Polish Master, Krzysztof Kieslowski, who died in 1996.
Many directors who went on to world fame, such as François Truffaut, Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, (the aforementioned) Krzysztof Kieslowski (receiving a tribute presentation in this edition), Jim Jarmusch, Lars von Trier, Bryan Singer, and Thomas Vinterberg, all showed their first movies at the Mannheim and Heidelberg International Film festival. (Giulia Dobre)
Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival: www.iffmh.de