According to TIFF, one of the major North American festivals of its kind, one-third of the films in this year’s selection are directed by women--and this figure is even higher for short filmmaking.
Van Maele’s first feature, "Gutland" has a supernatural, dark edge to it: it tells the tale of Jens, a young German fugitive (Frederick Lau), who enters the village of Schandelsmillen, hoping for work. He ends up spending a night with the mayor’s daughter (Vicky Krieps) and suddenly the villagers are a bit more welcoming. He lands a home and a job, but as he slowly integrates, there is something dark looming and it becomes clearer that he isn’t the only one hiding his past. The film was produced by Les Films Fauves.
The film, which runs in Luxembourgish and German, is set for release in cinemas in early 2018.
Two Luxembourg co-productions
“The Breadwinner”, an animated Canada-Ireland-Luxembourg (Melusine Productions) co-production, was also selected for the “Special Presentations” category. Directed by Nora Twomey and produced by Angelina Jolie and Mimi Polk Gitlin, the film follows headstrong Parvana, a girl in Afghanistan, who disguises herself as a boy to help her family. The bulk of the animation was completed in Luxembourg.
“Mary Shelley”, by the first Saudi female director Haifaa Al-Mansour, portrays the romantic relationship between poet Percy Shelley and 18-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (Elle Fanning). The love story resulted in the classic novel by the author, “Frankenstein”. A number of Luxembourg technicians made up the crew for this film.