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7th CineFest International Festival of Young Filmmakers (Miskolc, Hungary) 10th to 19th of September 2010, report by Xavier Gª Puerto

Tehroun, France/Iran, 2009. Winner in Miskolc
Films, meetings and young filmmakers in the cosy Miskolc

In the middle of September, Miskolc –the third most important Hungarian city- held the Jameson Cinefest, one of the biggest film festivals in the Magyar country.
And one of its most outstanding elements was that: the name. After the public institutions announced they wouldn’t support the festival anymore, a smart business movement ‘saved’ the event.
The presence of Jameson allowed to develop an extensive program of feature films, short films, documentaries and animation, some little retrospective section to acknowledge the country’s cinematography (Jancso Miklos, the Korda brothers), and some professional meetings as well.
The program was large and assorted, and except for some mistakes (already a classic) in the screenings, all went smoothly. We just have to lament they forgot the English subtitles in some short films; you could feel it by looking at the disoriented faces of the international audiences, but they were exceptions to a well-organized program.
Miskolc was and old industrial city in soviet era and the organization prepared us different excursions to know the city and the setting on the days we didn’t have morning screenings. This is just one of the things that define the pleasant treatment the guests received from the organization. In the activities we made together we got to know each other, even if we weren’t in the same Jury, and special screenings were arranged in the morning just for us. Those screenings, normally just for press in another festivals, were thought specially for the Jury here. You could feel the will to leave a good impression and improve their international image. And that was exactly what indicated the official competition selection. Maybe in a Festival made in Hungary you could expect a large selection of eastern countries movies, but they were just only four from the thirteen in competition. Conversing with the chief organizers, I learned that this used to be one of the focuses of the festival, and precisely in this edition they had tried to open up to the international market. A worthy initiative faced to the ‘inside’ audience, regarding the difficulties in film distribution in the country. But from an international spectator perspective, you could find movies like “Frozen River” or “Precious”, which have been almost two years in the festival circuit. Nevertheless, if this is the way to bring some nice films to a local audience, which would never arrive in other manner, this is one of the roles a festival must have, and I think it’s well resolute.
Indeed, the FICC Jury, composed by Jóna Zoltán (Hungary), David Miller (Great Britain) and myself, opted for one of these proposals: “Tehroun”, a movie that had been available almost a year worldwide in festivals, but hadn’t arrive to Hungarian audiences yet. Theroun is a film of rough and straight manufacture, with a marked distance from another works often made in Iran, closer to “Nobody knows about Persian cats” than Kiarostami or Makhmalbaf. Filmed in a naturalistic style, it amazes with a dynamic script and a mixture of genres, jumping from social drama to cliffhanger-filled thriller, to transform itself in a sort of “Ladri di biciclete” in Persia. We hope the Don Quijote award helps it on its way to the audiences of the rest of the country.

Xavier Gª Puerto
KiNO cinema contemporani
Adherit a la Federació Catalana de Cineclubs