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Alissa Simon Makes 'Snap' Decision
08 Jul 2010 :
With Carmel Winter’s feature debut, ‘Snap’ screening at the Karlovy Vary film festival IFTN spoke with Alissa Simon, programmer for the festival’s Variety Critics’ Choice to see what it was about the film that made it a worthy choice.

The Variety Critics Choice (VCC) section of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival is presented in association with European Film Promotion and its 32 member organisations which represent the European countries whose films are being screened. The section’s programmer, Alissa Simon tells IFTN how the films are chosen each year, saying: “Every year, we look for European films that are fresh and unusual, that may be atypical of what one might expect from a particular country’s production, and which have been singled out by a Variety reviewer as something especially strong and festival worthy.” She continues by telling us the group look to highlight less well-known projects: ”We do favor first and second features. And we are on the look out for things that might have flown under the radar. We are most pleased when we are promoting discoveries.”

As to the selection of Irish feature film ‘Snap’, Alissa informs us that reviewer John Anderson was instrumental in the Samson Films’ project being chosen: “Carmel's film was very strongly recommended by my New York-based reviewer colleague John Anderson from when he reviewed it at the Tribeca Film Festival,”she says. ”We were very pleased that Samson Films agreed to participate in the section and allow Karlovy Vary the European premiere of the film. Each of the young filmmakers gets a set of DVDs from their peers which helps them to bond more before they even meet, and Carmel soon proved popular with both audiences, critics and the rest of the VCC gang.”

As to the representation of contemporary Irish filmmaking, Alissa highlights the success Irish projects have enjoyed recently at the festival, something which will help keep in place the reputation for excellence that Irish cinema continues to uphold: “We were especially happy to have Carmel and the film here this year,”she explains, ”because it represents an interesting followup to last year's ‘Eamon’, by Margaret Corkerey, which was the unanimous prize winner in the Forum of Independents section.”

‘Snap’ examines the disturbing story of three generations of a family trapped in recreating a past that each one denies. Martine Niland (Belonging to Laura) produced the feature for Samson Films. Cast members include Aisling O’Sullivan (The Clinic), Eileen Walsh (The Magdalene Sisters), Stephen Moran (Buskers), Mick Lally (The Secret of Kells), Pascal Scott (Intermission), John Crean (The Wind that Shakes the Barley) and Adam Duggan (Anathema). The executive producer is David Colins (Once) and Cathleen Dore (The Eclipse) co-produced. It was funded by IFB, Section 481 and Screen Scene.

The 45th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will be held from July 2-10, 2010 at its traditional site, the spa town of Karlovy Vary. One of the oldest festivals in the world, is a non-specialized festival with a feature film competition, a documentary competition, and two other competitive sections: East of the West and Forum of Independents, plus several informative sections, special focuses, and retrospectives. For more information about the festival visit www.kviff.com

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