ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2011
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Libya and have therefore raised their security level from «Miffed» to «Peeved». Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to «Irritated» or even “A Bit Cross.» The English have not been «A Bit Cross» since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from «Tiresome» to «A Bloody Nuisance.» The last time the British issued a «Bloody Nuisance» warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from «Pissed Off» to «Let’s get the Bastards.» They don’t have any other levels.This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
John Cleese British writer, actor and tall person
The second War On Screen festival is here: a festival unique in its genre, both in terms of the themes tackled—conflicts from the perspective of filmmakers, reporters or video game designers—and the region hosting it, as well as the multiplicity of formats on offer.
Born out of the collective will of all of the public partners supporting the event, War On Screen 2 marks a historic moment, both in paying tribute to all those who have in turn paid their respects to the remembrance of the First World War, and, in view of current events, in examining the Arab Spring and Arab Revolutions. With these themes forming the mainstay of the festival, the programme of events will also open our eyes to a century of conflicts in Sarajevo; at the same time, we compare and contrast the perspectives of 11 filmmakers envisaging a hypothetical Third World War and see how this theme can be approached from the point of view of parody just as much as from the perspective of the Apocalypse or basic survival.
Younger audiences are offered an overview of the Second World War, recounting the events of the conflict through the eyes of children and through the heroic adventures portrayed by the very best in animation. Among directors who have made war a central part of their work, John Boorman is a supreme example due to the diversity of periods and wars he has taken on; the festival dedicates its retrospective monograph to his work. Fiction, documentary, archive footage,TV series, video games, cine-concert and filmmaking workshops for younger attendees are all testimony to the wide range of perspectives and artistic approaches covered.
The world premiere of a musical and visual work by Michael Nyman illustrates this outward-looking attitude towards all forms of expression and contemporary creativity, while turning its attention to the greatest conflict in world history.
Through Michael Nyman, John Boorman, Michael Winterbottom, not to mention the late Richard Attenborough who recently passed away, we welcome a crop of British films to the festival.
The diversity of approaches, which was part of the success of the first festival, fuels our appreciation of the 100 films presented. As a decidedly international event, the Festival welcomes films from all continents, represented by a total of 29 countries.
The international competitions offer a selection of previously unscreened films from this year, testimony to the keenness of today’s filmmakers to tackle conflicts with gusto and imagination. In keeping with last year, the international jury will bring together figures from a variety of disciplines: directors, broadcasters and other filmmaking professionals, coupled with perspectives from the world of animated films, and presided over by Mohsen Makhmalbaf who, in both his life and his films, has experienced conflicts that have brought history into close contact with his own personal journey.
The student jury will have the privilege of being presided over by Muriel Coulin, a director who fully sympathises with the interests of young people, allowing them to hone their critique of the short films competing. With a host of previews, original special screenings and guests coming to share their passion for cinema, we can bet that audiences will be even larger and ever more eager to see these previously unscreened films or to rediscover well-known classics.
We would like to extend our thanks to all those who have been working so hard to make this festival instrumental in the development of a region rich in history, and who firmly believe in the power that artists and imagery have on both our memories and creativity, to ensure that the world of tomorrow is not oblivious to the messages that both past and present times have to convey.
C.E.O & Artistic Director