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Forum Film Fest Focused on Drama, Romance

June 1, 2005 — The fourth annual Forum Film Festival comes to the big screen at Caribbean Cinemas in Market Square East for three consecutive Wednesdays starting June 8. The emphasis of this year's program is on romance, drama and human-interest stories.
True to the Forum's ongoing desire to present award-winning films that normally wouldn't be screened on St. Thomas, this year's festival offers great movies from Bhutan and India, plus an international co-production (Argentina, France, Spain and Italy) in Spanish.
The festival opens with "Travellers & Magicians" on June 8. "Lost Embrace" screens on June 15; and "Born Into Brothels" will make its island premiere on June 22.
Filmed entirely in the Buddhist country of Bhutan, nestled deep in the Himalayas, "Travellers & Magicians" is about two men trying to escape their mundane lives. A young government official, Dondup, dreams of escaping his beautiful village and going to America, while a restless farm youth named Tashi can no longer bear the thought of remaining in his village. Through a trick of his brother, Tashi has been delivered into a mystical dream world.
At the first opportunity, Dondup heads for town to get a visa but ends up missing the bus. So he starts hitchhiking with an elderly apple seller, an old papermaker traveling with his beautiful daughter, Sonam, and a sage young monk.
During the journey, the perceptive, yet mischievous, monk relates the story of Tashi, a mystical fable of lust, jealousy and murder that
holds a mirror up to Dondup and his blossoming attraction to the innocent Sonam. The cataclysmic conclusion of the tale leaves Dondup asking the time-honored question: Is the grass truly greener on the other side?
Directed by Indian master filmmaker Khyentse Norbu, "Travellers & Magicians" is the first feature film ever shot in the tiny kingdom of
Bhutan. A magical mixture of a rustic road movie and a mystical fable, "Travellers & Magicians" is a film about desire and its consequences.
Set in Argentina, Daniel Burman's "Lost Embrace" is a charming, effervescent portrait of a twenty-something man named Ariel who can't find his place in a rapidly changing world. After dropping out of college, Ariel returns home to work at his mother's lingerie store in a Buenos Aires shopping mall. When his long-lost father returns, Ariel has to stop chasing his daydreams and face reality.
The final film of the festival, "Born Into Brothels," is a documentary chronicling filmmakers Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's efforts to reveal the world of Calcutta's red light district. Briski and Kauffman inspired the children of prostitutes to photograph the area's most reluctant subjects. As the kids excel at their new art, the filmmakers struggle to help them find a way out of the miserable poverty that threatens to crush their dreams.
All shows begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are available at Reichhold Center; Parrot Fish; Dockside Book Shop; Modern Music in Nisky Center; Interiors in Ft. Mylner; and Home Again in Red Hook Plaza.

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