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The 26th edition of FESTROIA: TROIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL will be held from June 4 to 13 in the beautiful coastal resort town of Setubal, Portugal. The Festival, the country's oldest and most prestigious, is known as the "Cannes of Portugal" and showcases international talents from around the world, with competition sections, special events and a program  of new works from emerging North American independent filmmakers from the U.S.A.


Films In Official Section Highlight Small Gems

After The WeddingAfter The Wedding

Thursday, June 7-----The Official Section of FESTROIA: Festival Internacional de Cinema is dedicated to films from countries that produce fewer than 25 films per year. While these individual countries have more modest outputs, the films they produce are choice gems. Films from Scandanivia have always figured strongly in the Festroia lineup (and have won many top prizes here over the years). This year's representation from Scandinavia is equally impressive, with the Oscar-nominated Danish film AFTER THE WEDDING by Susanne Bier, FROZEN LAND, a bitter drama about family tensions and reconciliations by Finnish director Aku Louhimies and HEARTBREAK HOTEL, a winning comedy drama about recent divorcees from Sweden's Colin Nutley.

The OptimistsThe OptimistsEastern Europe also has a strong presence in the Official Section competition, with films from the former Yugoslavia figuring strongly. NAFAKA, which is being shown out of competition, is a multi-character drama of survival of the resilient residents of Sarajevo by Bosnia director Jasmin Durakovic. THE OPTIMISTS from veteran Serbian director Goran Paskalijevic, is an existential drama divided into five scenes, where characters have trouble distinguishing between reality and illusion. BORDER POST from Croatian director Rajoko Grlic, revisits the tensions on the Yugoslav-Albanian border in 1987. In Croatian director Ognjen Svilicic's ARMIN, a father and son go on a road trip where they learn valuable lessons about life, patriotism and national borders. The Czech Republic is represented by PLEASANT MOMENTS, about a psychiatrist who must deal with strong human emotions in her work and in her home life, directed by Vera Chytilova. In ISKA'S JOURNEY, by Hungarian director Csaba Bollok, a 12 year old girl grows up in poverty in a small coal town. In Russian director Phillip Yankovsky's drama THE SWORD BEARER, a man tortured by childhood memories returns to his small town to confront his fears.

The Road To Saint DiegoThe Road To Saint DiegoSpanish language films are among the most interesting in the section. In THE ROAD TO SAINT DIEGO, Argentine director Carlos Sorin follows the adventures of a young man from a small rural town who journeys to Buenos Aires to meet his soccer idol Diego Maradonna. Cuban director Fernando Perez creates a fascinating structure by telling his love story in two halves, set in different countries and time periods, in the film MADRIGAL. Rounding out the Official Section are the Greek film FALSE ALARM, an urban comedy by Katerina Evagelakou; AVIVA MY LOVE, a powerful drama of longing and family complications by Israeli director Shemi Zarhin; and the heart-warming Swiss comedy LATE BLOOMERS, about a group of older women who finally get to realize their personal dreams late in life, by director Bettina Oberli. For its 23rd edition, the Official Section presents an impressive panorama of small cinematic gems. One of them will go on to win the Golden Dolphin Award, the Festival's highest honor, to be determined at the gala awards ceremony on Saturday evening.

Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Online Dailies Editor 

Comments (1)


For a story so totally lacking in conflict, "The Road to San Diego" is surprisingly involving. Much credit belongs to the low-key savvy of the technical crew reprised from "Bombon."
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Sandy Mandelberger
(International Media Resources)

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