Filmkommentaren

CPH:DOX Artists and Auteurs

Written 19-04-2021 21:01:18 by Tue Steen Mller

CPH:DOX  Artists and Auteurs

The CPH:DOX programme is launched. The festival runs from April 21 to May 12. The cinemas are scheduled to re-open in the beginning of May so the festival intends to be part of this (cross fingers…) festive celebration of watching (also) documentaries on a big screen. Otherwise the festival’s 177 films will be available (for those who are in Denmark) online as well as an enormous line-up of events. Check the website: https://cphdox.dk/film/

On this site – www.filmkommentaren.dk – we will follow the festival from now on with recommendations of films to be watched. It will be in English as many of the films will show up to be watched at other festivals around the world.

… this one will not recommend individual titles as such but stress that the festival pays respect to the masters of the documentary genre as it unfolds right now: Fred Wiseman is there with City Hall (classic duration from Wiseman: 275 mins., already mentioned in a previous post is Kossakovsky and his Gunda, Sergey Loznitsa is the master of historical event interpreted through his unique and creative treatment of archive like in State Funeral, Avi Mograbi is back at his best with The First 54 Years. An abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation, not to forget Notturno by Gianfranco Rosi and Ulrike Ottinger’s Paris Calligrammes (Photo).

There are many other auteurs and artists in this section, the ones I mentioned are all established filmmakers who keep the flag high for the documentary. Check it out.

 


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Positive News from Ji.hlava IDFF

Written 15-04-2021 14:04:00 by Tue Steen Mller

Positive News from Ji.hlava IDFF

"After several years of preparations, we started revamping the festival’s competition sections, the jury structure as well as the award categories. The aim is to pay tribute to documentary cinema which has been undergoing enormous changes, at the same time being the real drive behind contemporary filmmaking,” said festival director Marek Hovorka introducing a new festival concept during the opening of Ji.hlava's Echoes on March 11. As of this year’s 25th edition, Ji.hlava IDFF will feature a main competition section comprising up to 18 feature films screened in world, international and European premieres.

In addition to the new competition concept, there will also be an innovation with regard to the award giving. Aside from the main award, the jurors will also hand out awards for the best cinematography, editing, and sound design. At the same time, outstanding formats, such as the best film essay, will be highlighted.

The jury will award a prize to the most significant debut film and film from the region of Central and Eastern Europe but Ji.hlava’s traditional sections First Lights and Between the Seas will become a natural part of the main competition. The main jury will be composed of seven members who will ensure a varied reflection on contemporary cinema.

"I've always considered it a pity how many talented and exceptional professionals have not been rewarded for their documentary work. Documentary cinematographers, editors, sound engineers and producers are only rarely recognized, even at the level of national film awards. And also with regard to American or European Academy Awards, it seldom happens that these professionals are nominated alongside feature filmmakers. This isn’t fair and we are determined to encourage the change,“ explains Hovorka.

In addition to the main competition section, Ji.hlava will offer three other categories: “Fascinations" for the best experimental films, “Testimonies" for the best films with political, ecological or scientific themes, and the traditional national competition "Czech Joy".

The festival takes place 26-31.10


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX Captains of Zaatari

Written 14-04-2021 17:07:54 by Tue Steen Mller

The CPH:DOX programme is launched. The festival runs from April 21 to May 12. The cinemas are scheduled to re-open in the beginning of May so the festival intends to be part of this (cross fingers…) festive celebration of watching (also) documentaries on a big screen. Otherwise the festival’s 177 films will be available (for those who are in Denmark) online as well as an enormous line-up of events. Check the website: https://cphdox.dk/film/

On this site – www.filmkommentaren.dk – we will follow the festival from now on with recommendations of films to be watched. It will be in English as many of the films will show up to be watched at other festivals around the world.

This is the catalogue text of CPH:DOX:

”Fawzi and Mahmoud are best friends. They are two teenage boys who, like so many others their age, love football and dream of an international career on the pitch. And they live in Zaatari, the world’s largest camp for Syrian refugees. When a scout from a football club in Qatar visits the camp to spot new talents, the boys eye their lives’ opportunity. This becomes a journey that culminates in a finale (literally), which is just as emotional and nerve-wracking as a football match where everything is at stake. And that’s exactly what it is here. The director Ali El Arabi met Fawzi and Mahmoud when they played football in the desert sand with bare feet as young boys, and he has built mutual trust with them over many years. The resulting film was a hit with both reviewers and audiences at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. With its two irresistible protagonists and moments of true friendship, it is also a story that hits you straight in the heart.”

The film was at the Sundance FF, I have not seen it but as one who is a football-idiot and played when a teenager, I am not gonna miss it!


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX Kossakovsky: Gunda

Written 13-04-2021 14:47:49 by Tue Steen Mller

The CPH:DOX programme is launched. The festival runs from April 21 to May 12. The cinemas are scheduled to re-open in the beginning of May so the festival intends to be part of this (cross fingers…) festive celebration of watching (also) documentaries on a big screen. Otherwise the festival’s 177 films will be available (for those who are in Denmark) online as well as an enormous line-up of events. Check the website: https://cphdox.dk/film/

On this site – www.filmkommentaren.dk – we will follow the festival from now on with recommendations of films to be watched. It will be in English as many of the films will show up to be watched at other festivals around the world.

And of course the festival offers its Danish audience Kossakovsky’s masterpiece ”Gunda”, which did not make it to the final 5 Oscar nominated documentaries – a mistake I think.

”Every year, human beings slaughter about 70 billion livestock. In his latest film, the Russian master Viktor Kossakovsky lets the camera linger on one of these animals -the sow Gunda – and the other pigs, hens and cows in her company. There are no expert interviews in ‘Gunda’, which is just as far from the conventions of documentary filmmaking as the director’s spectacular climate hit ‘Aquarela’. But by letting us look at the behaviour of animals in dazzlingly beautiful black-and-white images, Kossakovsky lets us understand that there is both intelligence and emotions behind the snouts, beaks and muzzles.”

I was in the jury at the Sofia Intl. FF, we decided on a special award for “Gunda” with this motivation:

„Viktor Kossakovsky again is surprising his audience by making a film, which is beautiful to watch - black & white, and has an quite interesting protagonist. A very dramatic and emotional story about what it means to be a mother… It’s about our environment, it’s about our attitude, our connection to nature and animals. Kossakovsky is a master in cinematography and has again done something, which is extraordinary.“

I hope CPH:DOX will show the film on the big screen as ”we” did in Belgrade at Magnificent7 and will do at the upcoming (end of May) DocsBarcelona.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX Courage Aliaksey Paluyan

Written 12-04-2021 11:37:21 by Tue Steen Mller

The CPH:DOX programme is launched. The festival runs from April 21 to May 12. The cinemas are scheduled to re-open in the beginning of May so the festival intends to be part of this (cross fingers…) festive celebration of watching (also) documentaries on a big screen. Otherwise the festival’s 177 films will be available (for those who are in Denmark) online as well as an enormous line-up of events. Check the website: https://cphdox.dk/film/

On this site – www.filmkommentaren.dk – we will follow the festival from now on with recommendations of films to be watched. It will be in English as many of the films will show up to be watched at other festivals around the world.

One of those is the Belarussian film “Courage” that premiered at the Berlinale, will be at Visions du Réel in Nyon in competition and here it is in the category ”Change Makers”. At the Baltic Sea Docs 2020 Aliaksey Paluyan pitched the film and apologised that ”if I am not present tomorrow, it is because I have been arrested while filming the demonstrations”. The film has been praised for its, yes, courage; I can only add that is an original approach to the theme that makes it go far beyond reportage.  

”Art, civil disobedience and political protest are three different sides of the same revolution for the Belarusian democracy activists Maryna, Pavel and Denis. In the eastern nation, which is often called Europe’s last dictatorship, president Alexander Lukashenko has been solidly in power since the collapse of the Soviet Union. But now the people have had enough. Since last year’s elections, the protesters have defied the risk of imprisonment and abduction and have gathered to protest. For several years, Maryna, Pavel and Denis have run the Free Theatre for political performing arts. But when peaceful protests take hold on the streets outside, the stage suddenly becomes much larger.”


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX Virpi Suutari: Aalto

Written 10-04-2021 16:10:50 by Tue Steen Mller

The CPH:DOX programme is launched. The festival runs from April 21 to May 12. The cinemas are scheduled to re-open in the beginning of May so the festival intends to be part of this (cross fingers…) festive celebration of watching (also) documentaries on a big screen. Otherwise the festival’s 177 films will be available (for those who are in Denmark) online as well as an enormous line-up of events. Check the website: https://cphdox.dk/film/

On this site – www.filmkommentaren.dk – we will follow the festival from now on with recommendations of films to be watched. It will be in English as many of the films will show up to be watched at other festivals around the world.

Finnish director Virpi Suutari is a true auteur. At the Belgrade festival Magnificent7 we had the pleasure to screen “Entrepreneur” and “Garden Lovers” with the presence of the director. Now she presents – for the Danish audience - ”Aalto” that CPH:DOX presents in this way:

”Scandinavian architecture and design are known and loved for their clear lines and consideration for the individual human being. The couple Alvar and Aino Aalto deserve much of the credit. In an exquisite film which – just like their own life works – brilliantly combines aesthetics and humanity, we are not only told the story of how the architect and the designer set new standards in their respective fields. Through the letters they sent each other, we also get an unusual insight into the love life of the two highly gifted people, as well as their work and shared family, and not least their unique personalities, which at times collided in a way that sent sparks flying.”

And I add a couple of words: Suutari’s personal style is one of élegance, the film is simply a pleasure to watch and again composer – although not mentioned on the festival website – Sanna Salmenkallio must be praised for her extraordinary film music.


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX The Other Side of the River

Written 09-04-2021 14:14:17 by Tue Steen Mller

The CPH:DOX programme is launched. The festival runs from April 21 to May 12. The cinemas are scheduled to re-open in the beginning of May so the festival intends to be part of this (cross fingers…) festive celebration of watching (also) documentaries on a big screen. Otherwise the festival’s 177 films will be available (for those who are in Denmark) online as well as an enormous line-up of events. Check the website: https://cphdox.dk/film/

On this site – www.filmkommentaren.dk – we will follow the festival from now on with recommendations of films to be watched. It will be in English as many of the films will show up to be watche at other festivals around the world.

Here is the first one to be strongly recommended, ”The Other Side of the River” the debut film of German Antonia Kilian as director and camerawoman, and with Arash Asadi and Guevara Namer as editor and co-authors. I met Antonia and Guevara at the Baltic Sea Docs in 2018, and I have great memories of meeting Guevara at the DoxBox in Damascus in the four years before the revolution in 2011. Guevara has also been showing her big talent as a photographer on this site. Here comes the description of the film from the CPH:DOX website:

“19-year-old Hala escaped an arranged marriage by crossing the Euphrates River and finding a new home in the Kurdish Women’s Protection Unit, which soon after liberated her hometown from Islamic State. For her female fellow soldiers, the enemy is not just IS, but the patriarchy in general, with marriage as the ultimate oppressive institution. So Hala decides to free her sisters before it is too late, and whatever the cost – even if this means disappearing from her own film to plan nothing less than an armed attack on her parents’ house. The threat of an arranged marriage and the brutal stories of violent husbands have made many young women like Hala cross the river to get trained in combat. Physically, but also intellectually. But is there still space for freedom and love in Hala’s life when her mission is all-consuming? First-time director Antonia Kilian introduces us to her own thoughts on being a cultural outsider in a situation where the term militant feminism should be understood literally.”

The film has moments of great beauty, it dares have long scenes, it shows what it means to gain trust from its protagonist, who is a more-than-brave young woman meeting an equally brave film team. It’s a world premiere here in Copenhagen but it will for sure travel. 

Trailer can be seen on Cineuropa.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DocuDays Ukraine 2021 Online

Written 02-04-2021 23:37:07 by Tue Steen Mller

DocuDays Ukraine 2021 Online

Yes, online again this year for the 18th International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival that I have visited several times with many memories in and outside the cinema. Yesterday Ileana Stanculescu from CinéDoc Tbilisi reminded me and Lithuanian Audrius Stonys of our common experience in Kiev 8 years ago where the snow was a true challenge for many, including me who was almost carried up the hill to the hotel Rus by the young and fit filmmaker and festival director Roman Bondarchuk…I arrived, many did not, many came late. But we had a great time.

This year I have no idea how the festival weather in Kiev has been as I have been sitting in my armchair in Copenhagen – I attended with my laptop. 



Read more / Ls mere

Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DocsBarcelona Offers Creative Feedback

Written 31-03-2021 13:17:04 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona Offers Creative Feedback

… on creative documentaries under the headline “Artistic Consultancies for Rough Cut Projects”. Prominent documentarians have agreed to take sessions – let me do the name-dropping: Salomé Jashi, Gitte Hansen, Noemy Schory, Elena Fortes, Marc Isaacs (PHOTO), Carles Bosch, Pawel Lozinski, Cecilia Lidin, Martijn te Pajs. It’s my privilege to pick the projects and find the right conversation partner for you. Here comes what DocsBarcelona writes on the website:

In this new edition, DocsBarcelona offers the opportunity to carry out creative consultations online for projects at rough cut stage. The aim is for the projects to be shown to international experts with a proven track record, who will help them improve the film’s final result.

Tue Steen Müller, will be the moderator of the sessions and will link each project with an international expert. Up to 3 members of the film crew may attend the sessions.

Each selected project will be eligible for a private consultation lasting 45 minutes. These will be scheduled between May 18th and 28th.

How to submit a project

Register on the DocsBarcelona&Me platform. Once registered, fill out the activity form and please remember to include a link to the rough cut and its password.

If the project is selected, once the information has been reviewed you will receive an email to make the payment and we will contact you regarding the date of the consultation.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Tal Amiran: Dafa Metti (Difficult)

Written 30-03-2021 11:06:17 by Tue Steen Mller

Tal Amiran: Dafa Metti (Difficult)

3 years ago I posted a positive review of the short film «Sand Men” by Tal Amiran. (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4284/)

Now the director is back with another social engaged, well crafted short film that likewise deserves to be highlighted.

It takes place in Paris, the location is around the Eiffel Tower, a symbol for France, a place where millions of tourists come to take selfies or have photos taken of themselves. They – we – are not the only ones. Illegal Africans are there to sell miniature, glittering Eiffel towers, living a life in humiliation, chased by the police, sleeping in small rooms together with many others, all this to be able to send money back to their families. You don’t see the faces of those (Senegalese), who sell but you hear their voices expressing their life situation. There is nothing new in this documentation but there is a filmmaker behind the camera, who knows how to create an atmosphere of tough sadness.

You can find this and other films by Tal Amiran here: https://vimeo.com/talamiran

UK, 2020, 15 mins.


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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