'Black Sea' Wins Audience Award at Courmayeur Noir Festival

Black Sea Still - H 2014
Courtesy of Focus Features

Black Sea Still - H 2014

A special prize was given to Gabriele Salvatores, who presented new film 'The Invisible Boy'

Audiences at the Courmayeur Noir Film Festival awarded Kevin Macdonald’s Black Sea with the Black Lion award for best picture Saturday night. The Jude Law submarine thriller scored an almost unanimous vote among attendees at the fest, held in Italy’s picturesque ski town underneath the Alps.

Screenwriter Dennis Kelly was on hand to present the film, telling festivalgoers, “We wanted to make a film like the ones we watched as kids.” He called the movie, where Law leads a troupe of laid-off seamen on a hunt for lost Nazi gold, “gritty and dirty.”

Academy Award-winning director Gabriele Salvatores received a special prize after presenting scenes from his new film The Invisible Boy, the unlikely story of a teenage superhero.

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In a time when few superhero films are made outside of Hollywood, the film is being billed as the first local European superhero movie. Salvatores revealed a behind-the-scenes video detailing the film's special effects, telling the packed crowd, “Nowadays, the creation of the story has moved from the set to post-production.”

“Today, people think of cinema as genre or anti-genre. I don’t see that distinction. You have to experiment with everything,” said Salvatores. He claimed that winning the Oscar, for the 1991 film Mediterraneo, was a great stroke of luck that allowed him the freedom to experiment, especially in a genre that is typically outside the scope of Italian cinema. “Genre films are a wonderful exercise for directors,” he said.

Salvatores was joined on stage by the film’s star Ludovico Girardello and screenwriter Stefano Sardo. The film also had a contest for young people to submit an original song for the film. Among 450 submissions, three were chosen after the filmmaker couldn’t chose just one. Marialuna Cipolla, one young songwriter, sang her selected piece for the ceremony. The Invisible Boy will be released Dec. 18 in Italy.

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The 24th edition of the Courmayeur Noir festival showed some of the year’s best in literature and film. Audiences enjoyed the debut of Dario Argento’s autobiography Fear, as well as recent films including Wild Tales, White God, and Calvary. Sky Atlantic screened Fargo and Lilyhammer, while Fox Crime previewed The Blacklist.

The fest ended with a surprise special screening of Blade Runner: The Final Cut. There are currently seven versions of the film, but this is the only one approved by director Ridley Scott, adhering to the vision of Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi noir. The Final Cut will roll out onto the big screen in select cinemas next year.

Twitter: @Aristonla