Home  /  Everything Else: Article  /  CinemaWorld Film Festival brings world cinema to you

CinemaWorld Film Festival brings world cinema to you

By Say Peng  /  22 Jul 2019 (Monday)

This year, CinemaWorld Film Festival will return for its third edition with the theme “My Story”.

The festival will showcase 4 foreign-language films that are based on true stories.

The opening film of the festival is Coureur.

As the child of a competitive cyclist, young Felix grows up with an insider view of the dark underbelly of the world of competitive cycling – one filled with drugs, alcohol, rage but also guttural courage. As a teenager, he inevitably finds himself drawn to this intoxicating world and strives to fulfil his coveted dream of being a national cyclist – one that his overbearing father never achieved. He soon spirals down a glorious but ultimately self-destructive path.

Coureur is Flemish director Kenneth Mercken’s first feature film and semi-autobiographical story inspired by his own life as an amateur competitive cyclist in Belgium. Like his alter ego Felix, Mercken similarly grew up in the shadows of a father who was obsessed with cycling. In 2000, he won the national championship for elite riders without a contract and later moved on to ride for an Italian team. It was there where he first discovered EPO (a performance-enhancing drug) and realised that fulfilling his dream would come at a very painful and almost fatal cost.

Inspired by a true story, Rafaël is an evocative portrait of a love that transcends race, bureaucracy and national borders. A Tunisian man, Nazir and his pregnant Dutch wife, Kimmy are forced apart due to the Arab Spring. Imprisoned in a refugee camp in Lampedusa, Nazir chooses to embark on a treacherous journey across the watery grave that is the Mediterranean Sea in the hopes of witnessing the birth of his baby.

Directed by Ben Sombogaart of Oscar-nominated film Twin Sisters, Rafaël is an empowering love story of willpower and optimism against a backdrop of turmoil and destruction. Inspired by the story of real-life couple Winny and Nizar Khamiri, it captured the hearts of people worldwide and a part of the film was successfully crowdfunded with a Oneplanetcrowd campaign. In addition, it was also shortlisted to be the Dutch entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.

This bloody tale of heroism and sacrifice narrates the events that followed the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Nigeria and its successful containment by many health workers who worked tirelessly against all odds and risked their lives to save millions of Nigerians from one of the world’s deadliest disease.

93 Days is dedicated to the late Dr Ameyo Adadevoh, a Nigerian physician who was the first person to accurately diagnose the Nigerian index case of Ebola, Patrick Sawyer. Despite pressures from the Liberian government to release Sawyer, Dr Adadevoh remained steadfast in insisting he be kept in quarantine and proceeded to rally a team of health professionals to curb the virus from turning into an international contagion. Dr Adedevoh and her teams’ decisive action and courageous efforts prevented what would have otherwise turned into one of the world’s deadliest epidemics in a city of 21 million people.

Based on true events, director Steve Gukas is careful not to overtly sensationalise the tale. Rather, Gukas’s resolutely responsible storytelling brilliantly narrates the harrowing event with focused dignity and grace. He strikes a delicate balance between portraying the doctors and nurses as warriors on the frontlines of combating Ebola but more fundamentally, humans who are not indestructible.

Against a backdrop of precipitating mass hysteria in Lagos and augmenting international intervention, this provocative medical thriller continually obliges audience to assess the various tough judgement calls made by health professionals and empowers them with a heightened appreciation of what goes on behind the scenes.

Roa is the portrait of a man who set off one of Colombia’s deadliest civil unrest in history - “La Violencia” (The Violence). Juan Roa Sierre is a naïve and superstitious man, but otherwise an obedient and reclusive citizen. Yet, through a series of ill-fated events, he winds up as the alleged murderer of Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, the well-loved Colombian lawyer and dissident candidate for the Liberal Party in the 1950s elections.

Between 1948-1958, the Republic of Colombia was a scene of widespread, systematic violence that was often committed with impunity and with flagrant violation of human rights. Within this time frame, the carnage culminated in more than 200,000 deaths and the exile of over 2 million Colombians from their land. Largely fought between the Colombian Liberal Party and the Conservative Party, the death of Jorge Eliecer Gaitan in 1948 is largely seen by many scholars as the trigger for the development of mass hysteria and revolt. His murder directly precipitated the El Bogatazo riots which left 5000 people dead on the streets within 10 hours.

Segueing seamlessly from innocence to absurdity and then, finally to cruelty, Roa presents a tale of a man (and on extension, Colombia) who was steadfast on the exterior but teetering precariously on the edge on the interior. Rising Colombian actor Mauricio Pentes (“Satanás”) astutely plays the unguarded and idealistic Juan Roa Sierre. A Greek tragedy of sorts, at the heart of Juan’s character is a person with good intentions – a lazy dreamer and a loser but certainly not a sinister criminal fully capable of singlehandedly taking down one of Colombia’s most charismatic leaders. As he partakes in increasing numbers of ill-calculated affairs leading up to the final climax, viewers are left reeling in disbelief and frustration at his callous naivety and driven to sympathising for this deeply tormented and lost soul.

The festival will begin on 26 September.

All 4 films will play on the CinemaWorld Channel (Every Saturday, 9pm SIN) and CinemaWorld On-Demand (Watch Anytime) service in October.
You say

Get Showtimes