British director Alan Parker will be presiding over the international jury during the 42nd edition of Film Fest Gent (13 - 24 October). Joining him on the jury will be Marjane Satrapi, Caroline Strubbe, Boyd van Hoeij and Franco Lolli.
With regard to the choice of Alan Parker to chair the jury, Artistic Director Patrick Duynslaegher comments:
“Just as many of his contemporaries, Alan Parker interspersed his purely British films with bigger American productions, although these were never intended as superficial Hollywood entertainment. “If you haven’t got something to say, I don’t think you should be a film-maker” is his motto, which is reflected by his sociocritical films examining the flip side of the “American Dream”, such as ‘Mississippi Burning’ (1988) and ‘Come See the Paradise’ (1990). His last film, ‘The Life of David Gale (2003), in which he takes a stand against the death penalty, can also be included in this list. Besides being a director who does not shirk from controversy, Parker is the only film director I know who also writes his own copy for his films’ press file. This stems from a desire to describe the film-making process as honestly and candidly as possible. A key aspect of his films is the prominent role played by music. Films such as ‘Fame’ (1980), ‘Pink Floyd the Wall’ (1982), ‘The Commitments’ (1991) and ‘Evita’ (1996) are genuine musical films, after all. Although many of his films also have a darker side and seldom an up-beat end, Parker also has an incisive sense of humour, as illustrated by his often ironic cartoons on the film industry. All of this makes Alan Parker the ideal person to chair this year’s jury.”
Besides the British director, the jury will be composed of author and director Marjane Satrapi, director Caroline Strubbe, director Franco Lolli and film critic Boyd van Hoeij (see the enclosed biographies at downloads).
The British top-class director started his career as a copywriter in the advertisement industry in his late teens. He switched to writing and directing feature films after about ten years. Parker has since won 19 BAFTA Awards, 10 Golden Globes and 10 Oscars, as well as the ‘Grand Prix’ (the second-most prestigious prize after the Golden Palm) at the Cannes Film Festival in 1985 for ‘Birdy’. His films received also five nominations for a Golden Palm. Queen Elizabeth II knighted Parker for his contribution to the British film industry and this year he donated his complete personal archives to the British Film Institute.
French-Iranian writer, animator and celebrated director Marjane Satrapi owes her international breakthrough to her comic strip series ‘Persepolis’. She personally directed and produced its animated film version, instantly winning her the ‘Prix du Jury’, at Cannes. Satrapi’s second film ‘Poulet aux prunes’ (2011), combining live action and animation, was introduced at the Festival of Venice. Her film noir, ‘The Voices’ starring Ryan Reynolds, premiered at the Sundance festival in 2014.
After various documentaries and short films, Caroline Strubbe’s first feature film ‘Lost Persons Area’ (2009) was awarded the ‘Prix du Scénario’ for best screenplay at the International Critics’ Week in Cannes. Her second feature film, ‘I’m the same I’m another’ (2012) had its premiere in Toronto. Both films were shown for two weeks in succession at the prestigious Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Following the screening of his short film ‘Rodri’ at the Directors’ Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival in 2013, Franco Lolli’s début film ‘Gente de bien’ was premiered last year at the Croisette. His film was awarded the first prize, the ‘Grote Prijs voor Beste Film’, at the last edition of Film Fest Gent. This year, the Colombian-born director will himself take part in the international jury.
Boyd van Hoeij
Dutch film critic Boyd van Hoeij was employed as a copywriter for Variety until 2013 until he transferred to The Hollywood Reporter, where he publishes articles on all the major international festivals. He also writes for De Filmkrant (the Netherlands), East (Italy) and Indiewire (US). Van Hoeij also presented several workshops on film criticism in Europe and the USA.