FilmFour up for award with Che diaries

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The Independent Culture

One of the last projects by the British FilmFour company has become a surprise contender for the top prize in Cannes.

One of the last projects by the British FilmFour company has become a surprise contender for the top prize in Cannes.

The Motorcycle Diaries, which chronicles in Spanish the Latin American motorcycle journey that inspired the revolutionary Che Guevara, was developed by the former FilmFour head Paul Webster with the director Walter Salles.

But the project's future was thrown into question two years ago when Channel 4 closed the distribution and international sales branches of FilmFour, slashed its budget and moved what remained back in-house.

It was eventually given the green light by Channel 4 head Mark Thompson and is now generating an approving word-of-mouth buzz among critics. It is one of 18 films in the running for the prestigious Palme d'Or.

Guevara's daughters, Aleida and Celia, are flying out from Cuba for Wednesday's gala screening as is Alberto Granado, who accompanied Guevara on the epic trip in 1952.

Mr Webster said it was "the film I'm proudest to have been involved with in my entire career. It's an honest, rigorous, humanist movie".

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