There are a thousand ways a film can get lost. In our experience of organising the festival for 25 years – you can’t always get everything you want. The program Lost&Found is dedicated to the struggles over the films that got away and the unforgotten titles that the Motovun Film Festival selectors wanted to include in the program but circumstances had other plans. This is a chance for some of those lost films to finally find their way to the Motovun audience. These are the stories about their behind-the-scenes trajectories.
The reasons are often quite prosaic and most often boil down to the fact that someone else was faster – another festival had already arranged a screening and beat us to it. Or they sometimes lose to us, such is festival life. In the olden days, when films travelled by plane, they used to get lost, just like suitcases. It sometimes also happened that a director decided to re-edit the film, so it would be withdrawn from screening. Sometimes technical problems get in the way, and sometimes there is simply no more room left on the program… They can also get painfully expensive, those distributors. There were even films we did not get and never found out why. No, you can’t get every movie you want.
One time we arranged the guest appearance by an amazing director – and as luck would have it, when the unfortunate pandemic hit, nobody wanted to travel, nobody wanted to go the cinema, our guest fell through, the honorary award was left unpresented… We never got to screen Radu Jude’s Aferim! which was definitely one of our top ten missed opportunities. Now, the film will be available at cinema Billy, on 23 July, at 11:30 p.m. The Balkan anti-western awarded the Silver Bear at Berlinale follows constable Costandin and his son in search of a runaway slave who allegedly had an affair with his owner’s wife.
It sometimes happens that a distracted distributor forgets they promised the film to someone else. Convinced that everything has been arranged, our team is busy making plans and looking forward to the film, but then, instead of film reels, we receive apologies. How and why doesn’t matter, but we end up empty-handed. That is why we were not able to screen Sebastián Lelio’s fantastic drama A Fantastic Woman, which arrives before the Motovun audience at cinema Bauer, on 24 July at 12:00 noon. The Oscar-winning film follows the transgender waitress and singer Marina, who finds herself in a troubled relationship with her partner Orlando’s family members after his death.
Other times it might be weather, miscommunication or technical difficulties that get in the way. Sometimes there is a hiccup in communication with some office of the distribution company in some country or other, and the film simply reaches us too late. The program has been printed, the timetable is full, and despite our best efforts, there are simply no available slots. That’s how we were unable to screen Charlotte Wells’ brilliant Aftersun, which went on to become one of the biggest surprise hits of the year. This beautiful and nostalgic coming-of-age drama, told through the story of father and daughter’s summer holiday is the icing on our programming cake that wasn’t meant to be. This year, we are showing it at the Billy cinema, on 22 July, at 11:30 p.m.
Lost&Found will also be screening the highly praised Dogman by Italian director Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah, Reality), exploring the nature of violence through a story about the owner of a dog grooming salon on a quest for revenge. Actor Marcello Fonte won the award for Best Actor at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
There is also the animated feature Loving Vincent, directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman. It is an impressive film about the life and death of Vincent van Gogh told through his paintings and the characters that appear in them.
Our festival work, and this program, is essentially a story about lost loves. Fortunately, we take comfort in the fact that there are always more amazing films than programming slots, and it is never too late for a great movie! Join us at the Lost&Found screenings, catch up on some of your own missed opportunities, or simply re-watch these thrilling titles again.
The tickets for the film program are already available in presale: https://motovunfilmfestival.com/en/tickets-2/