Posted at 6:26 PM on February 27, 2008
by Euan Kerr
Eran Kolirin looked pretty cold when he came throught the MPR studios recently to talk about his debut feature "The Band's Visit." But the Israeli director says he's getting used to challenges.
His film is a gentle comedy reminiscent of early Bill Forsyth films.
It tells the story of an Egyptian Police band, invited to play at the opening of an Arab cultural center in a small Israeli town. When no-one meets the musicians at the airport they decide to try to get to the town under their own steam. Then they get lost, and end up spending the night in a rundown settlement in the middle of nowhere.
As they tell their stories, and hear those of the the settlers, they find they have more in common than differences.
"The Band's Visit" has been an audience favorite at festivals all over - all except in Abu Dhabi, where it was disinvited when festival organizers took heat for trying to screen a film from Israel.
It was also selected for the official Israeli entry for best foreign language Oscar, but then disqualified because it has too much English in the script.
Yet as Kolirin wrapped his coat around himself again, he didn't seem to mind. His film is opening across America, and he likes that.
You can hear the feature here.