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The Global Film Village: One on One sessions and Costa-Gavras talks about filmmaking- by Marla Lewin

 One on One Sessions and Costa-Gavras




This is our second year of participating in One on Ones at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, bringing together Indian talent with Hollywood industry professionals from both the studios and independent arenas for casual meetings to discuss both their current and future projects.  


Participating this year were John Nein of the Sundance film festival, Kimberly Bialek of William Morris agency, Sandra Ruch of Cine Elixir, and Brian Avery of the Yari Group, Marc Burton of Indievest, Marc Halperin of Magic Lamp Releasing,  Jill Gwen of Fox Searchlight Pictures, Deborah Tellis of Summit Entertainment, and representatives from the Disney Channel development.  The objective is to provide a platform for both communities to foster relationships that will inspire creativity and help generate future projects.


The program seems to be working.  Jill Gwen told us on a recent trip to India, she felt like Tom Cruise. She was surrounded by camera crews and cheering crowds. Ah, the power of cinema.  She was excited about the good that would come to some of the families involved in the production and who would benefit from the success of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.  Marc Halperin has had first hand experience distributing Indian and South Asian product in the US.  With the massive success of Slumdog Millionaire Indian filmmakers are encouraged.


The Indian Film Festival offered other industry panels throughout the week. 


Back at COLCOA the French film festival.


My personal favorite was the panel with Costa-Gavras, who first showed his first film, THE SLEEPING CAR MURDERS to a packed audience.  In an interview after the screening Costa-Gavras said in France, where he started as an assistant director the position has a different meaning and function than in the USA.  There an assistant director is involved with many things, such as casting.  He learned a lot from working with filmmakers including as Rene Clement, Jacques Demy, Jean Becker, and other directors of the French new wave. 


When he decided to try his first film, he wanted to do a thriller.  He realized he was influenced by Hitchcock, and other American directors as well. As soon as he presented his script, many actors in France wanted a part in the film.  He found himself constantly finding roles in it for major stars of the time in cameo parts. Simone Signoret and Yves Montand were his lead actors and they all became good friends, and he learned a lot from the couple.  He would spend time at their home outside Paris. He always liked to include humor in his films, so it is okay to laugh even though this is a thriller.  


He never likes to feel he makes only political films, rather his films are about throwing light on a true subject.  Films like MISSING and Z.  There had been a large law suit when MISSING was made but the studio stood behind Costa.  Director John Landis from the audience, a good friend of Costa, said making films was different in the 70's and 80's if Lew Wasserman Chairman of Universal believed in telling a story, he green lit the film.  Now the decisions are more corporate.  


EDEN IS WEST, was greatly influenced by the little tramp in Charlie Chaplin's MODERN TIMES.  Costa said he studies silent film, and the lead actor in Eden says very little, as we follow his journey, as an outsider, trying to make a life in a new land.  Costa spoke of how his father had to leave Greece for political reasons. This provided Costa the opportunity to study film in France. In those days, unlike now, one needed so little to live, as a student, and you could get jobs, washing cars, whatever.  


The main character in  EDEN IS WEST, is a simple man with a dream for a better life.  He experiences Magic, drawn in as a participant in a magic show at a beach resort, and this leads him to Paris to reconnect with the magician.  On his journey there are people who are kind, and there are those who are not. In the end, he does make it to Paris, city of lights, and dreams. Movies are also but a dream, and each of Costas' films are unique, and speak to our times.

Comments (1)

nice one

also published there




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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.


Los Angeles

United States

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