Cinedoc-Tbilisi Second Edition/ 2

Written 20-10-2014 16:05:06 by Tue Steen Müller

The festival in Georgian capital Tbilisi ended yesterday and I found this message on the FB page:

The award ceremony is over and we would like to announce the results:

International Competition: The main prize of this section goes to "Judgment in Hungary" (dir. Eszter Hajdu). 
The special mention to "Ne me quitte pas" (dir. Sabine Lubbe Bakker & Niels van Koevorden)

Focus Caucasus:
 The main prize of this section goes to "Blood" (photo) (dir. Alina Rudnitskaya). The special mentions to "Zelim’s Confession" (dir. Natalya Mikhaylova) and 
"Biblioteka" (dir. Ana Tsimintia)

Cinedoc Young:
 Our special jury - the youth - gave the main award of this section to "The Barrel" (dir. Anabel Rodriguez Rios)

Our opening film "Do you believe in love?" (dir. Dan Wasserman) received the Public Prize.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Mark Levinson: Particle Fever

Written 20-10-2014 08:05:37 by Allan Berg Nielsen

På tirsdag den 21. oktober 20:45 sender DR2 Dokumania filmen Particle Fever, en videnskabsformidlende dokumentar om verdens største og dyreste forsøg inden for teoretisk og eksperimenterende fysik, bygningen og ibrugtagningen af partikelacceleratoren under CERN, det europæiske forskningscenter for partikelfysik. Eksperimentet skal, hedder det i Dokumanias nyhedsbrev simpelthen ”hjælpe os med at forstå livets oprindelse ved en genskabelse af The Big Bang. 10.000 forskere fra mere end 100 lande samarbejder om verdenshistoriens vildeste videnskabelige eksperiment, og seerne er inviteret til første parket.”

Filmen har valgt over en årrække at følge nogle forskere i gang med dette. Hun her på fotoet hedder Monica Dunford og er fysiker fra Kirchhoff- instituttet på universitetet i Heidelberg. Hun forklarer det sådan til “I am an experimental physicist, and with 3,000 of my fellow colleagues, I helped build the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider, which is the size of a five-story building, encompasses 100 million electronic channels and has more than 1,800 miles of cable. To build this detector, 38 countries had to agree to the micrometer.

My daily work life has involved a mixture of thinking about the big questions (like how can we use this detector to search for dark matter particles), international relations (like managing a group of French, Russians, Georgians, Brazilians, Swedes, Italians and Americans) and large-scale project management (for example, we have 5,000 feet of cable that has to be run by next Tuesday). Zero math…” Hun kan ikke lide matematik og græske bogstaver skrevet med kridt på tavlen på væggen, men hun er ret glad for laboratoriearbejde, for at eksperimentere i praksis. Faget er delt i teoretisk og eksperimentel fysik, og der er brug for begge slags.

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Categories: TV, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Riga – and Gustavs Klucis

Written 19-10-2014 06:10:58 by Tue Steen Müller

The premiere was in 2008, in Riga, the film about Klucis, ”The Deconstruction of an Artist”. Directed by Peteris Krilovs. And here I stand in front of the Arsenals Exhibition Hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art, where there is an exhibition of the artist (runs until October 26), a very good one and for one who knows his work from the film it is a pleasure to walk around and see all the posters and collages from the film, here hanging with no movements, in the film set in motion in an intelligent presentation and with a superb flown and rythm in the montage.

This is a quote from one of many texts, that has appeared on about the film:

”Latvian director Peteris Krilovs' documentary about legendary artist Gustav Klucis took several prizes at the National award ceremony in Riga a week ago: best director, best editor (Danish Julie Vinten), best script (Pauls Bankovskis) and best sound mix (Andris Barons). A big triumph for the company Vides Film Studio and its energetic leader Uldis Cekulis.

So well deserved. The same team has just completed a film from Krilovs. ”Obliging Collaborators”. Here is a promotion text from the internet:

With this full-length documentary, director Pēteris Krilovs delves into an

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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Riga - and Herz Frank

Written 17-10-2014 08:03:59 by Tue Steen Müller

I am in Riga – again – to take part in a “Baltic Sea Region Documentary Film Research Seminar” arranged by LAC Riga Film Museum. It starts today and my job is to give a brief introduction to the Danish documentary fllm history. More about that in the coming days.

Last night I met with producer Guntis Trekteris to catch up on the theme: When is the premiere of ”Beyond The Fear”, the last film of Herz Frank, made in collaboration with Maria Kravchenko, who finished the work after the death of Frank.

Trekteris told me that idfa had rejected the film so the premiere will be in Riga as the opening film of the new Riga International Film Festival on the 2nd of December. The festival runs until the 12th of December and includes the European Film Academy Awards Ceremony. Also the film will be the opening film of the ArtDocFest in Moscow (December 9), run by renowned director Vitaly Mansky. It was Mansky, who said the following about Herz Frank: "Years will go by, and only 2-3 documentary film-makers will be remembered from each century." But even today it is clear – Herz Frank is on that list for the 20th century!”

… and the photo is me in front of the beautiful plaque of Herz Frank in Lacplesa Street 29, Riga. Photo taken by Lelda Ozola early September when we still had "indian summer"!

Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

EDN Interview with Claas Danielsen

Written 15-10-2014 14:29:13 by Tue Steen Müller

Cecilie Bolvinkel from EDN is responsible for extensive ”Member of the Month” – interviews, that can be found on the website of the association. A fine one came out two days ago with Claas Danielsen because ” DOK Leipzig 2014 will be Claas’ last edition as Festival Director - EDN has talked to Claas about the festival’s past and present and his own future.” I have taken a text quote, but please read the whole interview, link below:

“The funding is and has been a huge challenge. It is as complicated as putting an international co-production together and the requirements literally get more bureaucratic every year. It’s unbelievable how many small sources of income we have to generate to make the festival happen.

Secondly, it was not easy to win the trust of many people closely connected to the festival who were suspicious of me as a “Wessi”, a person from western Germany. Having worked for an organisation branded by Discovery Channel before, some thought that I wanted to change their “Dok Film Week” into a TV festival. To modernise a festival with such a long tradition was a huge task for me.

Another challenge for every festival organiser is the competition between festivals for films and professionals attending. With IDFA only three weeks away, this of course is a problem for us like it is for the other autumn festivals.

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

The Flaherty and Sergey Loznitsa

Written 15-10-2014 13:43:55 by Tue Steen Müller

No week without good news from The Flaherty, this time the following newsletter came in:

The Flaherty is very pleased to enter into a new collaboration with Colgate University named the Colgate/Flaherty Distinguished Global Filmmaker. This project will fund a filmmaker's travel to the US and a four-day residency including a series of interdisciplinary screenings and lectures.

Integrated into the itinerary is a Flaherty NYC screening, and, during the Colgate residency, a public event facilitated by the Flaherty NYC programmers. Each year the filmmaker visit will provide a significant means of examining the complexities surrounding documentary film, including the conceptual, logistical, political and aesthetic decisions involved - as well as contemporary theoretical concepts of the "global."

This fall the Colgate/Flaherty Distinguished Global Filmmaker collaboration will bring acclaimed Russian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa to the Flaherty NYC screening series on Monday, November 3 at Anthology Film Archives in New York City, and to Colgate University for an intensive weeklong exploration of film and filmmaking. The project will run for three years, thanks to support from the Colgate University's Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty and the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor CORE Fund. 

If you click the link above you get to know about the films of the director to be presented, as always good and useful information. 

Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Dan Reed: Terror at the Mall

Written 13-10-2014 16:10:21 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Man kan se filmen alene for denne kvindes skyld. Hun og hendes to børn gennemlevede og overlevede Al Shabaabs mange mord på uskyldige den 21. september sidste år i Westgate indkøbscentret i Nairobi. Hendes lange, bemærkelsesværdigt kontrollerede og detaljerede vidnesbyrd indeholder på sin vis mere viden om den konkrete terror end hele dokumentarens dokumentation af begivenhederne på basis af Dan Reeds og klipperen Mark Towns’ fagligt opsigtsvækkende klippearbejde med en omhyggelig rekonstruktion af begivenhedsforløbet på grundlag af først og fremmest mere end tusind timers uredigeret materiale fra indkøbscentrets mange, mange overvågningskameraer, som, jeg ved ikke hvordan, Reed en dag havde i hånden i en harddisk. Reed fortæller:

”… Although I kept telling myself that if the news channels had not managed to obtain a full copy of the recordings with all their contacts and connections inside the country, I would have little chance of doing so and in fact had never set foot in Kenya before, I reminded myself that this was exactly how I felt at the beginning of another documentary I had made a few years ago about a high-profile urban siege (Terror in Mumbai, 2009) when I read a few excerpts from a transcript of intercepted mobile phone calls between the gunmen in Mumbai and their handlers in Pakistan and wondered whether it might somehow be possible to get hold of the unedited audio recordings. That had seemed like an equally impossible task, but one day there I was, clutching a memory stick containing the full recordings. And so I hoped I might have the same luck in Nairobi. A couple of months later, sure enough, I was holding a drive with more than a thousand hours of unedited security camera footage on it, a vastly greater quantity than had been leaked to the press in the days after the attack and more importantly a more or less continuous record of events on the ground floor - the key location where the four terrorists spent more than 48 of the 49 hours of the siege.”

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Categories: TV, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Idfa and cph:dox 2014

Written 13-10-2014 11:06:25 by Tue Steen Müller

After DOKLeipzig and Jihlava IDFF have announced their programme, these (idfa and cph:dox) two significant documentary festivals have press released selection decisions, ambitions and visions.

Idfa (November 19-30) first – take a look at the website, link below – seven competition sections, six non-competitive and eight so-called ”special focus”, including one on Heddy Honigmann, so well deserved, and Honigmann is also the one who has made the ”top ten”, which is always interesting: Which films have important directors chosen? Lovely to see films by Victor Erice, Fernando Birri and Wang Bing on the list as well as two films by Johan van der Keuken, one ”The Reading Lesson”, 10 mins., that I have never heard about. By the way, Honigmann’s great new film ” Around the World in 50 Concerts” opens the festival this year.

It is impossible to go through all categories, and title-dropping is boring but let me just express joy that Danish Camilla Nielsson’s ”Democrats” is in competition as well as Hanna Polak’s ”Something Better to Come” and Nima Sarvestani’s ”Those Who Said No”, all three films that I know about from workshops and pitch sessions, and all three films that characterise idfa as a place for social and political interpretation of our world today. Also happy to see Davis Simanis (photo ”upstairs” on our website) represented in the Panorama programme with his cinematic ”Escaping Riga” and Egyptian Nadine Salib’s ”Mother of the Unborn” (photo) in the ”First Appearance” competition.

Cph:dox (November 6-16) is launching its full programme today, monday the 13th, and we will talk about that as we have already done, announcing the opening film, ”1989” by Anders Østergaard. The festival, however, wants to be

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Jespersen & Farah: Krigerne fra Nord

Written 12-10-2014 09:22:30 by Tue Steen Müller

Det er al ære værd, at DR ønsker at skabe debat omkring en films emne, som det er sket med Søren Steen Jespersen og Nasib Farahs “Krigerne fra Nord”, som – citat fra hjemmesiden - “handler om radikaliseringen og rekrutteringen af unge med somalisk baggrund i Vesten til terrororganisationen Al-Shabab, som hærger i Somalia.” Det er god public-service, at filmen før sin visning har været genstand for omfattende presse og debatarrangementer rundt i landet. Og det er godt, at DR støtter en film, hvis hensigt er sober oplysning for at få seerne til at forstå den menneskelige baggrund. Hvorfor blev de terrorister?

Sagen er bare, at filmen, som her skal anmeldes, ikke lykkes. Ét problem er naturligvis, at den medvirkende anonyme hovedperson, ”Skyggen”, netop fremstår billedmæssigt som en skygge. Det er så hvad det er, han skal beskyttes, men det går galt, når han skal fortælle sin historie. Det gør han ganske givet med egne ord, som er skrevet ned (ifølge pressematerialet af instruktøren) og så indtalt. Det skrevne i en oplæst udgave virker klodset og kunstigt. Det skurrer i ørerne. Ægtheden ryger.

Flere indvendinger: Der er helt sikkert intet i vejen med den journalistiske research, som er foretaget både her, i Somalia og i andre lande, men der er intet fokus i den visuelle fortælling. Der er ikke et filmisk forløb, der hoppes ind og ud af hovedhistorien, der ”illustreres” med klichébilleder fra højhusmiljøer og tilbage står en

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Categories: Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Tiha K. Gudac: Naked Island

Written 11-10-2014 10:24:20 by Tue Steen Müller

They have always been and they are still made, these gripping documentaries about people being arrested and sent to isolated islands for punishment. By the people in power. On this occasion, I remember several films on the camps on Makronissos in Greece, the best being one by Ilias Yannakakis and Evi Karabatsou from 2008. And now this important film from Croatia produced by the production company Factum, that has never hesitated to focus on controversial themes, untold stories from the past and the present. This time told by a granddaughter, who wants to know her family story. Starting point: Why was grandfather’s body full of scars?

It was not talked about, when he was alive. It was a taboo what happened in Yugoslavia during those years in the beginning of the 1950'es, when grandpa, ”an enemy of the state”, was away for four years. It took a generation to deal with it, it was the granddaughter, the film's director, who wanted to bring the story to the world. Which became a painful journey in itself. She had to address her mother, her sister, her father and a couple of ”aunts and uncles”, who were also sent to the island and were close to Marijan, the grandpa.

The mother carries pain from her life. She has, to say the least,

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Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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