For its first edition, the Villa Medici Film Festival is accompanied by a prestigious jury composed of three personalities from the cinema and visual arts: Teresa Castro, Mati Diop and Béla Tarr.
Teresa Castro is a lecturer in film and audiovisual studies at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. Trained in art history in Lisbon and London, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Musée du quai Branly (Paris) and at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin). She has published La Pensée cartographique des images. Cinéma et culture visuelle (Aléas, 2011). Her recent research focuses on the links between cinema and animism, eco-criticism and plant life forms in visual culture. In this context, she has published “The Mediated Plant” (E-flux, 2019), co-edited the collective work Puissance du végétal et cinéma animiste. La vitalité révélée par la technique (Dijon, Presses du réel, 2020), participated in the exhibition Plant Revolution! (CIAJG, Guimarães, 2019) and animated the website Segredos da Natureza / Secrets of Nature (Culturgest, Lisbon, 2021). Teresa Castro is part of the collective La vie à l’œuvre and of the advisory board of the international seminar Doc’s Kingdom. In parallel to her academic activities, she also works as a critic and programmer.
Mati Diop, born in 1982, lives and works between Paris and Dakar. Her first feature Atlantic (2019) was selected in the official Competition at the Festival de Cannes, where it was awarded the Grand Prix. The film was later shortlisted as one of the 10 best international films at the Oscars. She has also directed several short-films and medium-length films: Atlantics (2009), Snow Canon (2011), Big in Vietnam (2012), A Thousand Suns (2013), and In My Room (2020), which were also nominated and awarded in many international festivals. In 2016, Mati Diop received the Lincoln Center of New York’s “Martin E. Segal – Emerging Artist Award”. As an actress, Mati Diop has appeared in Thirty-Five Shots of Rum (2008) directed by Claire Denis, Simon Killer (2012) by Antonio Campos, Fort Buchanan (2014) by Benjamin Crotty (former Villa Medici’s Fellow), Hermia & Helena (2016) by Matias Piñeiro and in her latest short film, In my room (2020), recently presented at the Venice Film Festival.
Béla Tarr began his career at sixteen as an amateur filmmaker. Later he worked at Balázs Béla Stúdió, the most important workshop of Hungarian experimental film, where he made his feature directorial debut. Tarr was a student of the Academy of Theatre and Film (Színház-és Filmművészeti Egyetem) in Budapest (1977-1981). In 1981 he was one of the founders of Társulás Filmstúdió, since its closure in 1985 he has worked as an independent filmmaker. In 2003 Tarr founded TT Filmműhely, an independent film workshop that was led by him until 2011, and in 2012 he founded the international film school Film Factory in Sarajevo. He is a member of the European Film Academy since 1997, the president of the Hungarian Filmmakers’ Association, and a member of the Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts. His filmography includes Family Nest / Családi tüzfészek (1977), Macbeth (1982), Damnation / Kárhozat (1988), The Man from London / A londoni férfi (2007), and The Turin Horse / A torinói ló (2011). After his self-proclaimed retirement from filmmaking, he embarked on a new creative path with his highly acclaimed exhibition Till the End of the World at the Eye Film Museum Amsterdam in 2017.
Two prizes will be awarded by the jury: the Villa Medici Prize for the best film and the Jury Prize. These prizes will also offer the filmmakers the opportunity to take up a writing residency at Villa Medici.