Diane Weyermann Passed Away Yesterday

Written 15-10-2021 11:29:37 by Tue Steen Mller

Diane Weyermann Passed Away Yesterday

So sad news. Only 66 years old. Lucky us who met Diane and learned from her generosity, passion and knowledge. Always with a smile. My wife and I visited her briefly in Venice CA, had brunch in the sunshine and saw her beautiful house. And talked about ”her” times in Europe working for George (Soros) as she put it. Staying with this flashback, in 2012 I wrote the following on this blog:

Hot Docs gives a Doc Mogul Award every year and there shall be no objection, not at all, on the contrary, to the choice of recipient this year. For this blogger, when he was at EDN (European Documentary Network), Diane Weyermann was a key person for the development of the documentary scene in a new and free Eastern Europe way back in the middle of the 1990’s. She came to many of the EDN workshops in the region and she was precise, warm and generous in her support to documentary films, when she launched the Soros Documentary Fund in 1996. Personally I remember having made an interview for DOX with Diane in New York and met a committed and modest person with a big love to the creative documentary. And a woman with a working and walking pace (down the streets of Manhattan) that was quite different from the Nordic tradition! She managed to transform the Soros Documentary Fund into the Sundance Documentary Fund before she went to (taken from the HotDocs site) “Participant Media, where she has overseen such documentary projects as the Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning FOOD INC., WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN”, STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE, JIMMY CARTER MAN FROM PLAINS, DARFUR NOW, and the Academy Award-winning AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH.” In the funds and in the company, Weyermann has been involved with the production of over 300 documentary films from around the world. The most well deserved documentary recognition I could think of.


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Jrgen Vestergaard: Filmliv

Written 14-10-2021 13:11:04 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Jrgen Vestergaard: Filmliv

Jørgen Vestergaard er enestående i dansk filmkunst. Lige siden han instruerede sin første film i 1963 er han gået sine egne veje som instruktør af dukkefilm, dokumentarfilm og spillefilm. Og hans egne veje førte ham tidligt tilbage til Thisted, hvor hans værksted, atelier, hans familie, rækker af filmfolk i kortere tid og han selv gennem år husedes i en landejendom nær byen.

Fascineret og videnlysten besøgte Jørgen Vestergaard tidligt i sit filmliv sammen med sin hustru de tjekkiske dukkefilminstruktører Jirí Trnka og Karel Zeman og fascineret af mestrenes stop motion metode og hjemme igen begyndte de to at lave dukkefilm, vist nok på den tid som de eneste i Danmark.

Det her fortæller forlaget Knakken i Thisted bag på bindet på sin fornemme udgivelse af en bog på 320 sider som Jørgen Vestergaard har skrevet om produktionerne af sine 60 film til nu. Og der fortælles videre at han selv, hjemme i filmværkstedet med hustruens hjælp med tilskæring og syning af de små kostymer, forstår jeg i min senere læsning, herefter lavede dukkefilm om en række fortællinger af Andersen, Poe og Lorca.

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Categories: DVD, Cinema, TV, Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Web

Camilla Nielsson: President

Written 06-10-2021 09:36:34 by Tue Steen Mller

This text is written by Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, festival directors of Magnificent7:

A brilliant film awarded at the Sundance Film Festival as the best cinéma vérité film, made in a style that directly places it alongside the legendary "Primary", an achievement that changed the history of film and the world.

Camilla Nielsson is an extraordinary author, not only for her exceptional talent, for her documentary education at the very sources of the revolutionary American direct cinema movement, for her style of a true filmmaker, for her ability to touch the very essence in multitude of events and characters, but also for her exceptional courage, sacrifice and dedication. She had to became part of a persecuted group while making her previous film "Democrats" in drastically controlled conditions of censorship and pressure she almost had to flee because of frightening threats. Finally, the film was banned. The country of events was Zimbabwe. However, when a new phase of the fight against dictatorship was announced, that irresistible documentary challenge brought the Danish author back to African soil, to the very center of the incredibly exciting, dramatic and dangerous adventure of democracy - the presidential election. Camilla Nielsson introduces us directly to all events, follows all important phases, follows how hope is created and grows as a wonderful energy that overwhelms the participants. It follows dramatic skirmishes in which the film crew also participates in a manner of war reporters. Camilla Nielsson and her crew participates in the dark moments of crisis. And most of all in finding strength.

A film that is watched breathlessly as a great story about the cruel collision of a drastic dictatorship and the supreme ideals of democracy.

Denmark, USA, Norway, Zimbabwe 2021, 115 minutes

… And you also get the link to the review in filmkommentaren:


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Andrei Dăscălescu: Holy Father

Written 05-10-2021 15:47:01 by Tue Steen Mller

This text is written by festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic

This is an exclusive road movie in search of answers hidden deep in silence and oblivion.

Andrei Dăscălescu is facing a situation that announces a major, important change in his life. Face to face with his worried wife, unprepared to directly express his own condition and emotions, he takes a camera that he uses more successfully than words and resolutely and bravely undertakes a great documentary endeavor. With his film skills, he tries to break through the invisible walls between the present, the past and the future, and sets out to meet his father, who has renounced the world and left the son in that renunciation. The journey takes us to spaces of deep devotion, to the Holy Mountain, and confronts us with long-buried secrets and conflicts. This is where the unusual friendship between the father, a monk crucified between his duties and family history, and the son begins. A camera helps him to behold and understand his own father and the rest of the world. This is a touching film quest for a father, but also for what it really means to be a father. And finally, a quest for how to become a father himself. This is a dramatic search for reconciliation and a story about the true courage of future parents ready to face the legacy they need to pass on to their child.

A film that enchants you with its warmth and intimacy, as well as with its amazing documenting the deep need to create an inner space for the new life to come.

Romania 2020, 85 minutes 


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Heddy Honigmann: 100UP

Written 05-10-2021 09:01:14 by Tue Steen Mller

This text is written by festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic.

One of the world's most important authors took on an incredible, unusual endeavor and made a unique film in her elegant style. 

Heddy Honigmann is a documentary filmmaker who breaks through impenetrable walls with her warm, carefully measured and dedicated communication with people in her films. This time, she decided with considerable courage to make a film about people who have already entered the second century of their lives. Contrary to the incidental news that someone anonymous until then or someone famous, celebrated his hundredth birthday, this great film directly confronts us with fascinating characters full of passion, spirit and life. This is the unique document about active life of people at the beginning of their second century, valuable because it reveals to us people that we could read about in legends, but very few people could meet them in person. Heddy Honigmann masterfully introduces viewers to the active lives of her enchanting heroes who never cease to amaze us - from a woman who, as a bewildered girl, watched one of the greatest evils in history, to a man who passionately seeks an answer that will change the destiny of humanity. A sensational drummer, sexologist, philosopher, doctor, characters whose vitality gives this film a wonderful, exciting inner rhythm. 

A precious documentary that reveals to us the depths of human experience and wisdom. 

Netherlands, Belgium, Norway 2020, 92 minutes

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Kim and Bouillot: The Man Who Paints Waterdrops

Written 04-10-2021 12:17:50 by Tue Steen Mller

Oan Kim and Brigitte Bouillot are their full names.

This text is written by festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic.

A superb documentary work that ranks in style with the films of some of the most important French authors.

This is a story that introduces us to the dark inner spaces of a man crucified between Korea and France, to the spaces of a personal history inextricably intertwined with the history of a nation, to the spaces of colours, paintings and painting, to the immeasurable space between the painter and the fluid surface of the canvas, to the microcosm of innumerable droplets. This is an exciting personal search and a refined essay on art and the artist. Together with Brigitte Bouillot, Oan Kim tells the story of his father, one of the most important contemporary artists in South Korea. This is the story about the dilemmas and secrets that the son faces when trying to make a study of the father, a study in which close up shots of his always unusually pensive father are intertwined with the shots of his work. This precisely captured meditative peace is filled with additional flow of oneiric fragments of drama and unrest. Authors create together the film as a perfectly constructed puzzle where the last, smallest piece will give the final meaning to the whole story. In a musically precise rhythm, in a slow pace, the authors build a real cinematic tension that keeps the viewers nailed from the beginning to the end of the film.

This is a film about a secret hidden in depths of a torn being who turned into a charismatic artist so that he could testify to the world about the beauty that rises above the dark abyss.

France, South Korea 2021, 79 minutes


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Marc Isaacs: The Filmmaker's House

Written 03-10-2021 13:30:09 by Tue Steen Mller

"The Filmmaker’s House" is masterly made film by one of the most important documentary authors in Great Britain, created in facing a space that we usually think of as a set of walls and things.

What makes the house we live in? Marc Isaacs presents his own house primarily as a place where film ideas and films live. And one of these films he makes in front of us and introduces us to unusual people who come from different parts of the city and the world, and invade at different times, announced and unannounced, creating together events in which they have different roles. All of these events unfold gradually - from simple everyday situations to unexpected ones, and each one brings some surprising blend or dramatic twist. Everyday life before us alternately becomes an amazing film and a surreal show. How brilliantly documented the unpredictability of life! Marc Isaacs's films are astonishing precisely when the author allows charismatic people to seemingly create their own stories in front of his camera which also participates in the events. Behind that illusion, the author carefully directs and guides the flow of the film with discreet directions, provoking and encouraging his heroes. They become a part of his house and his everyday life, he and his camera become an oneiric part of their existences.

This film is a manifesto of the power of documentary film to create captivating cinematic stories from simple scenes of reality.

Great Britain 2020, 75 minutes 


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Mohamed El Abudi: School of Hope

Written 03-10-2021 13:01:55 by Tue Steen Mller

This text is written by Svetlana and Zoran Popovic

Morocco. Vast desert. People living under tents. And a house like a grain of sand, the grain that becomes a pearl in a shell. 

Mohamed El Aboudi comes to his native Morocco to follow a young teacher who arrives to the wasteland and tries to establish a school among the nomads - a school for children who by birth are not meant for education, yet only to repeat the lives of their fathers and mothers. This is the story of a name inscribed above the door of the small house in the desert, a name that brings joy, arouses curiosity, triggers children’s play and opens the way to new knowledge. The film introduces us to fascinating, cruel landscapes with a few people and children, while they carry together the centuries-old burden inscribed in the books of ancestral laws. Mohamed El Aboudi, with great talent of documentary observer, in a refined manner, discreetly, carefully not to interrupt the newly created sensitive bonds between the teacher and his students, reveals a whole world hidden behind tradition and customs, behind strict laws of survival. Gradually and always with respect, the author approaches school, classes and wonderful moments of school breaks, but also parents and families, their everyday routine, as well as dramatic events in which all fears about the survival of hope become fears about the survival of the community, nature, planet. Collisions of desires and prohibitions, games and obligations, joys and worries build an unusual saga of striking scenes and characters testifying how precious is the striving for new knowledge. A saga about strivings that are the only ones that truly change the world. 

An enchanting documentary made about the school as a wonderful saving oasis.

Finland, France, Morocco 2020, 78 minutes


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Mladen Kovačević: Merry Christmas Yiwu

Written 02-10-2021 14:21:12 by Tue Steen Mller

This text is written by the festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic

This is not a film about China. This is a film about people's dreams. This is a film about everything that makes a dream about China.

Wonderful and enchanting, this film immediately breaks through all barriers and introduces us to the very center of the intimate circle of dedicated manufacturers of New Year's decorations. The city of Yiwu, hidden by the shadow of huge Shanghai, every year in December, before Christmas in the western world, becomes one of the most important points on the map of the world for the success of Christian holiday. In that place, series and series of magical, shiny, colourful balls and decorations for Christmas trees around the world are created. This film reveals to us human touches that create colourful Christmas glow. With masterly created long one shot-scenes, Mladen Kovačević brings us closer to faces and secrets, personal stories, hidden desires, hopes. He introduces us to people who become close, dear, interesting to us. At the same time, this is a testimony about leaps in time, about the people who face the world that came out of their vague ideas about the future in which they turned up miraculously. All individual stories exceptionally fit into a vivid, dynamic composition of constant change and never-ending discoveries. Life captured by discreet observation is revealed to us in its exciting fullness and beauty.

A superb modern documentary that amazes with scenes shot for a real cinematic experience.

Serbia, Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Qatar 2020, 94 minutes 


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 Salom Jashi: Taming the Garden

Written 25-09-2021 20:50:20 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7  Salom Jashi: Taming the Garden

In this text the directors of the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade (October 2 – 6) gives their reasons for showing the film at a special screening followed by their intro-review for the film that is shown on the last day, October 6 at 6pm.

Nature, the planet and all of us have been hit by numerous tragedies again this year. They continue to threaten to destroy not only our civilization, man as a species, but all life on Earth. Fires of unimaginable proportions and consequences ravaged Greece, destroying in front of them all living beings. Thousands of acres of virgin forests have been destroyed in the north of the island of Evia. Also, an ancient olive grove was burned near the village Rovies, and in it a 2500-year-old olive tree called Nymph, still fruitful. It was described in ancient times by the geographer and philosopher Strabo. It was among the oldest trees in the world. “This 2500 year old three in the Greek island of Evia saw civilizations rise, crumble and fall. It couldn’t survive this one. But perhaps it glimpsed the crumbling.”

We dedicate this special projection to the olive Nymph with the deepest sorrow.

Below the intro/review of the film written by Svetlana and Zoran Popovic:

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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