The prestige of a festival is a function of the prestige of its jury. And vice versa. In this sense, the composition of the jury, assigned in order to distinguish the best literary adaptations in CineLibri’s competition programme this year, is indicative of the quality of the selected films. Here are the 5 jury members:
Herman Koch is a world-famous writer, television producer and actor. He has achieved international recognition with the release of the existential book thriller „The Dinner“ (2009), of which 1 million copies were sold in Europe only. Later the book was published in 55 countries – this is unprecedented for a Dutch novel. “The Dinner” has been adapted into several theatre performances and into three movie versions – Dutch, Italian and American. The US movie adaptation starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney, was shown within the CineLibri 2017, and the Italian one, starring Alessandro Gassman and Giovanna Mezzogiorno, was shown this year. Koch is a wizard in mixing suspense, satire, and thriller, and that explains his success, at least in part. The other invariable ingredient of his novels is the truth. More precisely, truthfulness. Two years after „The Dinner“, „Summerhouse with Swimming Pool“ appears – a striking plot that illuminates the dark side of the normal person, focusing on dubious moral norms. In Bulgarian, the bestsellers „Dear Mr. M.“ (2014) and „Odessa Star“ (2003) have also been released. Today, the writer is among the most translated and respected artists of the Netherlands, with 9 novels in his biography, the last of which has the eloquent title „The Ditch“. Topics and problems of his books are challenging and disturbing enough to provoke the director Pieter Verhoeff to dedicate a documentary to him, trying to answer the question: Who is the real Herman Koch?
David Foenkinos is one of the most appreciated French writers and hardly needs to be presented. His books have been translated into more than 40 languages, including Bulgarian. In 2014, the bestseller “Delicacy”, one of the most beloved novels of the writer, adapted into a movie with Audrey Tautou, was released in Bulgaria by Colibri. In the same year, the author won the Prix Renaudot and Prix Goncourt des lycéens for his 13th novel, „Charlotte,“ a poignant biographical book written in free verse. Other Foenkinos’ novels translated in Bulgarian are: „In the case of happiness“, „The Erotic Potential of My Wife“, „Independent Hearts“, „The Inversion of Idiocy“ and the family drama „Memories“, warmly narrated, interpreted into the language of cinema under the direction of Jean-Paul Rouve. „Our Separations“ is a story about an unconventional love – as prosaic, as poetic, rich in irony, twists and charm. The witty novel „The Henri Pick Mystery“, filmed in 2016, was published in Bulgarian too. One of Foenkinos’ latest projects, as a screenwriter and director, is titled „Jealousy“. (Karin Viard, who was nominated for Cesar, shines in the lead). In 2018, the film „Lola and Her Brothers“ based on Foenkinos’ screenplay, was released in France. Apart from being a novelist and cinematographer with a unique sense of humor, he is the author of theater plays, a comic book in two volumes, and books for children.
Born in 1959 in London, Michael McKell became famous in the 80s as a songwriter and singer. In 1991 he suffered a severe accident, which proved to be incentive for a change in his career. For three years he studied acting at the Lee Strasburg Institute of Film and Theater Arts and began performing on stage – mostly in classical roles. His TV career is impressive. After playing supporting roles of villains for years, in the middle of the 2000s he was entrusted the leading role in the TV series “Murder Investigation Team”. He plays in several films directed by Terry Lee Coker; appears in Peter Stylianou’s „Who Needs Enemies“ and Robert Zemeckis’ „Allies“.
The name of Andy Deliana made quite a stir with the project „The Perfect Gangster“ (2016). It’s a documentary production based on George Anastasia’s book „Gotti’s Rules“. Deliana has long been a producer, writer, director and actor. Among the projects he was committed to, are „Out of Touch“ (2011), „Amok“ and „Back to Q82“ (2017), a Kuwaiti version of Robert Zemeckis’ cult science fiction comedy „Back to the Future“. Deliana is an executive producer of the Canadian horror film „Covenant“ starring Nick Smith and Peter Valdron, directed by Manuel H. Da Silva.
When the jury members of a festival are four respected men, the president should be woman named Martichka Bozhilova. It is not easy to describe the personality of the lady whose name is usually associated with the production company AGITPROP. That is why we will emphasize on distinctions. Her documentaries have been selected and awarded at the festivals in Cannes, Berlin, IDFA, Toronto, Sundance, Tribeca, Pusan and many others, and broadcasted all over the world. Among her most distinguished films are: “Georgi and the Butterflies” (Silver Wolf, IDFA 2004), “The Mosquito Problem and other stories” (Cannes 2007), “Corridor #8” (Berlinale 2008), “Omelette” (Sundance 2009), “The Boy Who Was a King” (Toronto IFF 2011), “The Last Black Sea Pirates” (Visions du Reel, HotDocs 2013), “Love and Engineering” (Tribeca 2014). Martichka received the International Trailblazer Award at MIPDOC in Cannes for creativity, innovation, originality and breakthrough in the field of documentary cinema. Recently, her name is mainly related to the co-production „Touch Me Not“ directed by Adina Pintilie. A provocative piece of art or quasi-fictional documentary essay, which follows the border between visual art and film narration. Although it evoked polar opinions and heated discussions, the film won „Golden Bear“ at Berlinale 2018. In addition, Martichka was jury member at a number of festivals and a lecturer of various European workshops and events in the field of documentaries. She is the director of the Balkan Documentary Center and official representative of the European Documentary Network (EDN) in Bulgaria. Lately, one of AGITPROP’s feature film projects – „The Infinite Garden“ by Galin Stoev, was awarded by the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers.