The Screening Room Blog
Friday, September 5, 2008
'Machan' wins Europa Cinemas prize at Venice
LONDON, England -- We at The Screening Room were pretty pleased to hear that Italian Uberto Pasolini's directorial debut "Machan" has won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European film at Venice.

It's a really touching story of a group of slum dwellers in Colombo, Sri Lanka who are desperate for an escape route to the West which they perceive to be a land of riches. One day they stumble upon a flyer advertising a handball tournament in Bavaria, which seems like a present from the gods. Cue the creation of the entirely fictitious Sri Lanka National Handball Team.

Pasolini started his career as a runner on the Cambodia genocide movie "The Killing Fields" and was Oscar-nominated as a producer for Brit comedy "The Full Monty." He said that he was inspired to make the film by a news story about a group of 23 Sri Lankan men who, posing as the National Handball Team of Sri Lanka, disappeared during a handball tournament in Germany.

"The impulse to make 'Machan' stems from the discovery of an absurd true event that inspired me to confront the immigration policies of the West in a non-didactic, humorous way," he said.

Hopefully the film will benefit from the commitment from the Europa Cinemas program, which says it will do its best to extend the film's run via promotion in 48 European countries.

-- From CNN's Mairi Mackay

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