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Posted on December 9, by Duncan Carson. Categories: General. The ICO staff sees an ungodly number of films each year. And we also have the pleasure of seeing and meeting some of the best cinemas around the world. The final programme, featuring his most recent works was introduced by Ito to a packed audience:. Film festivals highlight for me why cinema is such a social medium. There is always so much around the regular film screening that brings people together, from guest appearances and discussions to interactive workshops and live scores.
This was particularly tough for me at GFF , as the programme included a screening at a roller disco, a murder mystery night and a live film score by British Sea Power. So I was glad to grab a few moments to witness lead actresses Karidja Tour and Assa Sylla speak about Girlhood , a moving exploration of resilient Parisian girls navigating adolescence. It was a real pleasure to show them around a film festival that is close to my heart, and pass on that bug of running between screenings munching on whatever fast food is on hand, networking with fellow film lovers and taking notes at industry events.
A highlight was another story of growing up and making sense of the world: The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Charming and hilarious British actress Bel Powley introduced the film and despite being flanked by Alexander Skarsgaard managed to keep everyone in the palm of her hand. One of the things I love about film festivals is the unpredictable, occasionally anarchic spirit that sometimes takes over. Screens and chairs are brought up on tractors and teams of staff and volunteers work in 30 degree heat to bring together the Festival, with screenings running late into the night.
The end of the course coincided with the opening night of the Festival which was a heady mixture of fireworks, delicious beer and a screening of the adorable Belgian comedy The Brand New Testament. Favourite films other people said were rubbish: Pan, Fifty Shades of Grey.
Best dodgy marketing move: Legend two stars from The Guardian? No problem. This year I have tried to shield my ears from the noise of divergent opinions, call-out culture and attendant Twitter shaming. I have taken refuge in long form film writing more than ever this year, searching for the nuance that the debates around representation rarely seemed to provide. I learnt a new phrase this year too, courtesy of our ever inspiring D-Word keynote speaker Gaylene Gould: creative abrasion.