Posted by Sydney J. Levine

There are certain publicists whose films are always the top festival films and because you know their taste suits you, you want to see their films. The publicists are usually only known to the trade and prefer to keep a low profile. But I am “outing” Richard Lormand of Film Press Plus, one because he was felled by illness last year and missed the first ever Cannes since 1987 and deserves a “Welcome Back!” from everyone in the business, and also because he is one of those publicists whose taste I value most on a personal level. The films he chooses to represent are the films I want to see.

Sweet Dreams (Fai bei sogni)directed by Marco Bellocchio: It’s a special treat to have two films in less than a year from this Italian master. (“Blood Of My Blood” played in 2015 Venice Competition.) Based on journalist Massimo Gramellini’s best-selling novel, all of Bellocchio’s frequent themes shine through remarkably: family, beliefs, memory and recent Italian history. The moving story spans some 30 years and a lifetime of love, loss, joy and sorrow is felt through heartfelt performances by Valerio Mastandrea and the ever-so-lovely Berenice Bejo. Quinzaine des realisateurs (Directors’ Fortnight). ISA: The Match Factory has sold to French distributor Ad Vitam.

Albumdirected by Mehmet Can Mertoglu: This is a knockout debut from a new Turkish director. It’s a smart, original and funny work, and I welcome any director who shines with social commentary. The writing and mise-en-scene are tight and determined, and young Mertoglu leaves no doubt that he is a director to watch out for. It should be mentioned that the “Semaine” must not be ignored as a place for hidden gems. Don’t forget where “The Lunchbox” got its start. Semaine de la critique (Critics’ Week). ISA: The Match Factory. Arte produced.

Happy Times Will Come Soon” directed by Alessandro Comodin: This is one of those rebellious films. The only rules it follows are those of pure cinema, and it takes a real rebel to take on such a daring challenge today. Hats off to the “Semaine” for highlighting this film in a Special Screening. The Italian director makes his narrative debut after winning Locarno’s Golden Leopard with his inspired documentary “L’estate Di Giacomo”. Comodin even shot the film himself! Semaine de la critique (Critics’ Week). ISA: The Match Factory. Arte produced. Shellac has French rights.

Toni Erdmann directed by Maren Ade: This German director wowed us all with her fantastic “Everyone Else” (Berlin winner - Silver Bear and Best Actress). Well, she’s back with an equally wow film of great heart, intelligence, depth and quite a few laughs. This is one of the most relatable feel-good/feel-bad parent-sibling films that I’ve enjoyed in a long time. Every minute is bittersweet joy with this quirky father and daughter, wonderfully incarnated by Peter Simonischek and Sandra Huller. ISA: The Match Factory

The Lives Of Theresedirected by Sebastien Lifshitz: This is a moving tribute to French activist Therese Clerc. Bravo to dear great Sebastien Lifshitz for making this film to honor a woman whose destiny was devoting much of her life to various fights - abortion rights, women’s equality, gay rights. May her legacy live on with this profound nod of esteem to a woman with a cause: humanity. ISA: Doc & Film International. Quinzaine des realisateurs (Directors’ Fortnight).

The Long Night Of Francisco Sanctisdirected by Francisco Marquez & Andrea Testa: This is a beautifully well-crafted debut by an Argentinian filmmaking team who take us back to dreaded days for a painful reminder of life under the torturous and terrifying military dictatorship. Stunning cinematography and art direction. Mezmerizing performances by leading actor Diego Velazquez and an impressive supporting cast. Un Certain Regard. ISA: Films Boutique.

Looking forward to seeing some old faces and meeting some new ones.

Wishing you all a great festival!



- PLEASE start the request process by email:

- We’re most likely to meet up at our press screenings and at your interviews. But if you need to meet beforehand, please set up something with Federico (

Please check WWW.FILMPRESSPLUS.COM for materials (photos, press kits, video excerpts).


Leave Messages: +33-9-7044-9865 (France)


About Sydney Levine

Sydney Levine is an executive of longstanding in the international film business. She is a writer of the popular blog on international film business, SydneysBuzz which also has run on Indiewire, IMDbPro and IMDb since 2008 when Amazon acquired her twenty-five year old company FilmFinders. In 1988 Sydney created FilmFinders, the industry’s first database of worldwide features used by distributors, sales agents and festival programmers acquiring features. It became industry standard for organizing and tracking the rights-buying activities of the film business and was adopted by the Cannes Marché and developed into what today is called She and her partner, Peter Belsito continue to provide consulting and strategic planning for producers, national film organizations and other educational initiatives in international film business at Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, Germany's Deutsche Welle Akademie, Talents in Berlin, Sarajevo, and Guadalajara, EICTV the international film school in Los Banos, Cuba, Chapman University, UCLA Extension, Vilnius University, et. al. She organizes, moderates and participates in panel discussions on the international film business, as well as producing white paper research and reports on Sydney works with the markets in Cannes and Berlin in administering buyers’ data for North America, Latin America and Asia and gives tours of the market to newcomers. She opens the Cannes Shorts Corner with a presentation on The International Film Circuit for shorts. She has currently completed a book about Latin American Film Financing published in Spanish by the Guadalajara University Press. The English version on the Iberoamerican Film Business will be published in the fall of 2016.

Like this blog post? Please share it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email etc) by using social media buttons at the top of the blog. Or post to your personal blog and anywhere else you feel appropriate. Thank you.

As always, we welcome thoughts and remarks on ANY of the content above in the Comments section below...


The 2016 Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival May 19-28, Tel Aviv
Let’s Celebrate YOU!
register for stage 32 Register / Log In