Yorgos Lanthimos’ ‘Kinds of Kindness’ Among First Titles Announced for Mediterrane Film Festival Sophomore Edition

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Fresh out of its world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Yorgos Lanthimos’s “Kinds of Kindness” is one of the titles headed to this year’s Mediterrane Film Festival, taking place in Malta between June 22-30.

Other highlights in the festival’s first wave of programming include Jane Schoenbrun’s Sundance breakout “I Saw the TV Glow” and Meryam Joobeur’s Berlinale competition entry “Who Do I Belong To.”

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The festival’s sophomore edition marks the first under the curatorial guise of Artistic Director Teresa Cavina, appointed earlier in the year. Cavina reorganized the festival’s program into four strands: In Competition, featuring films from across the Mediterranean; Out of Competition, featuring films from the rest of the world; Mare Nostrum or Our Sea, showcasing films dedicated to sustainability and the environment; and Future Visions, focusing on experimental VR projects.

In a statement, Cavina said that this year’s program “will demonstrate our commitment to fostering a program that celebrates the best of cinema from the Mediterranean and beyond. We have some incredible directors and creatives in this line-up, across both established and emerging talent and the selection will offer something for all audiences—expansive international dramas, captivating psychological horrors and emotional human stories from around the world.”

Speaking with Variety earlier in the week, the Artistic Director emphasized her vision for the festival to “put Malta and its people on the agenda,” helping showcase and foster Maltese local talent. “Mediterrane will aim to create a space for local communities to share their talents and stories with Mediterranean counterparts and to invigorate and initiate discussion, especially on incredible Maltese stories that have been untold.”

The Mediterrane Film Festival team announced the first wave of selected titles during a promotional event in a buzzy Croisette. Malta’s Film Commissioner, Johann Grech, told members present at the gathering that, “At a time of unprecedented instability and division across the world, the Mediterrane Film Festival has a very special role to promote — as our festival tagline says loud and proud — ‘Unity Through Film.'”

This year’s Main Competition Jury includes Jon S. Baird, Margery Simkin, Mario Philip Azzopardi, Nathan Crowley, Pedro Luque, and Richie Mehta, with further participants to be announced. The inaugural Golden Bee Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cinema will be awarded to British filmmaker Mike Leigh.

Full list of selected titles below:

MAIN COMPETITION

“Backstage,” Afef Ben Mahmoud, Khalil Benkirane (Morocco, Tunisia, Belgium, France, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia)

“Hayat,” Zeki Demirkubuz (Turkey)

“Kinds of Kindness,” Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece)

“The Strangers’ Case,” Brandt Andersen (Jordan)

“Tuesday,” Daina O. Pusić (U.S., U.K.)

“Sweet Dreams,” Ena Sendijarević (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

“Who Do I Belong To,” Meryam Joobeur (Tunisia, France, Canada)

 OUT OF COMPETITION

“Dear Jassi,” Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (India)

“I Saw the TV Glow,” Jane Schoenbrun (U.S.)

“The Devil’s Bath,” Veronika Franz (Austria, Germany)

MARE NOSTRUM

“Los Últimos,” Sebastian Peña Escobar (Paraguay)

“One Needs a Town – Zavattini, Luzzara and the Po River,” Francesco Conversano, Nene Grignaffini (Italy)

“Shambhala,” Min Bahadur Bham (Nepal, France, Norway, Hong Kong, Türkiye, Taiwan, U.S., Qatar)

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