Milan International Film Festival 2005 Los Angeles Screenings

The Fallen - winner of three MIFF 2005 awards

The Fallen
is a thoughtful three-sided story between German, Italian, and American soldiers, set in Northern Italy during the final weeks of WWII. Life is seen through the eyes of a doomed German unit and their ragtag Italian partners in late 1944, as well as an American unit, when the axis was already down the long slope of defeat. Instead of spectacle, the film looks at the everyday life of the soldiers, their encounters on the road, their hopes and dreams, and the differences in values, morals, and patriotism between the cultures at the end of one era. MIFF awarded Ari Taub's film three awards (Audience Award, Best Director, and Best Make-Up) at the 2005 festival. The seven-year project of persistence and love shows that war only takes away the people you come to know and understand.

The winner of Best Editing at Miff 2005 went to Seoul Train, a gripping documentary expose into the life and death of North Koreans, as they try to escape their homeland and China. There are over 250,000 refugees in peril, following the three million that died in North Korea. It also delves into the complex geopolitics behind this growing and potentially explosive humanitarian crisis. By combining verite footage, personal stories and interviews with experts and government officials. Seoul Train depicts the flouting of international laws by major countries, the inaction and bureaucracy of the United Nations, and the heroics of activists that put themselves in harm's way to save the refugees. Seoul Train was directed by Jim Butterworth, Aaron Lubarsky, and Lisa Sleeth. Lubarsky was the editor on the project.

Kim Hye-soo

Kim In-Sik's Hypnotized won the Miff 2005 for Best Cinematography. This visually stunning and seductive Korean thriller stars Kim Hye-soo, one of the most acclaimed actresses in South Korea, who plays the gorgeous Jisu. Jisu suffers a mental breakdown as a result of her fear that she may lose someone she loves. The doctor who treated Jisu gradually falls in love with her and starts to have a dangerous relationship with the hypnotized Jisu.

Nana - artistic achievement MIFF 2005

The Special Mention for Artistic Achievement MIFF 2005 went to Giuseppe Varlotta's Nana. This charming short centers around the truffles-seeker Nandu, who is a solitary and apparently brusque man. His sole companion is his little dog Nana, who shares the same name as a ballerina with whom a young Nandu was once in love.

The Best Short Film MIFF 2005 went to Victoria Para Chino by director Cary Fukunaga. This is a haunting reenactment of the Mexican immigrants who died trying to find a new life in America. In May of 2003, a refrigerated truck carrying more than eighty undocumented immigrants from their native Mexico drove into the heartland of Texas. The deadly combination of heat and overcrowding led to their tragedy as they were abandoned and left to die, trapped in their tomb.

Best Actress MIFF 2005 Charlize Theron

Head In The Clouds
won five awards at MIFF 2005, including Leonardo's Horse for Best Film and the Leonardo Horse for Best Actress went to Charlize Theron (which she shared with Juliette Marquis for her role in This Girl's Life). Clouds begins on a stormy night in 1933, where we find a young Guy Maylon working at his desk in St. John's College in Cambridge when a woman bursts into his room, soaking wet, and just happens to be the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. From totally different worlds, the two are none the less irresistibly drawn to one another. Three years later they are sharing an apartment in the Montmartre district in Paris with Mia (Penelope Cruz), a friend of Gilda (Charlize Theron). The idealistic Guy tries his best to join in Gilda's hedonistic lifestyle, but as Hitler grows stronger in Germany and he go off to fight against the Fascists. Eighteen months later, the war in Spain is lost, and after Mia's violent death, Guy makes his way back to Paris. However, Gilda refuses to see hi. Exhausted and broken, Guy returns to London. The Nazi occupation has a stranglehold on Parris, and six years later, Guy, now a member of one of Britain's clandestine intelligence organizations, is parachuted into France to link up with elements of the Resistance. In a paralyzing moment, he spots Gilda with a German officer. Director John Duigan has captured a visually appealing film that spans over several years with a unifying theme.

These MIFF 2005 films were presented by Andrea Galante, Director of the Milan International Film Festival, and graciously hosted by the Consul General of Italy in Los Angeles, in collaboration with the Italian Government Cultural Office and the Korean Government Cultural Center. Committed to fostering films from Italy and the world that reflect the best of the independent film spirit, the Milan International Film Festival is now developing its sixth international cinema exhibition which will run from March 30 to April 10, 2006. For more information about MIFF, submissions and deadlines, please visit www.miff.it.

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