Filmkommentaren

Nordisk Panorama Forum 2021

Written 26-07-2021 13:23:04 by Tue Steen Mller

Nordisk Panorama Forum 2021

A mail arrived this morning : ”We are thrilled to announce the projects selected for Nordisk Panorama Forum and wish to congratulate all who made the cut!”

Sent by the Nordisk Panorama people announcing what is going to happen in Malmö the 20th and 21st September. Selected from more than 100 new documentary projects ”a selection of 24 brand new documentary projects will be pitched to around 70 attending decision-makers and 24 observer+ projects have been selected for special access to meetings with decision-makers.”

As always an inviting and professional presentation – I have looked into the selection and will do some name dropping, first with a link to the previous post about the Baltic Sea Docs (BSD) that takes place a couple of weeks before the Nordisk Panorama. Because a film project from BSD 2020 has been invited to join:

”Podnieks on Podnieks” to be produced by (of course) the Juris Podnieks Studio, run by Antra Cilinska who was the editor of the late legend of Latvian cinema. Anna Viduleja is to be the director of this important homage to Podnieks, who died in 1992 in a drowning accident. Including archive material with the director never seen before. Had he lived he would have been 70 years old in 2020. With this presentation at Nordisk Panorama it is my hope that many more will get to know a man, who should have a well deserved place in film history for his works like the series ”Hello do you Hear Us” that was broadcast on British television.

What else… I am curious to see what Göran Hugo Olsson comes up with ”Israel and Palestine on Swedish TV 1959-1989”, description goes like this ”a feature documentary about how the ”mother of all conflicts” has been depicted on Swedish Television from 1959-1989”. And Magnus Gertten is going to make a film on Cornelis Vreeswijk entitled “Some Walk in Broken Shoes”, I started humming ”Veronica” when I saw this on the list. Otherwise new films by Mira Jargil, Mikala Krogh and Eva Mulvad, Yrsa Roca Fannberg and many others I don’t know. Yet.

https://nordiskpanorama.com/en/industry/forum/forum-projects/?mc_cid=8dd23e7aa1&mc_eid=d1f812251c&type=selected 

   

 


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

BSD 25 Years

Written 18-07-2021 12:10:33 by Tue Steen Mller

BSD 25 Years

In Riga, capital of Latvia, a cinematic celebration will take place, September 1-12: For 25 years filmmakers from the countries around the Baltic Sea have gathered at a forum, that started on the island of Bornholm, then toured the Baltic countries to end up, from 1997, in Riga. It will be a celebration of the region’s documentary cinema with screenings, masterclasses and pitchings. Film history it indeed is as I can say having been with the event since the very beginning in 1990, where the Baltic Film & TV Festival started on Bornholm to add in 1997 a so-called industry part for film projects to be pitched, discussed and developed and eventually co-financed.

For this 25th edition 18 projects have been selected to be ”discussed, developed, pitched, and eventually co-financed”. Well known producers, who have been at BSD (Baltic Sea Docs) several times before, will attend and new talents will enter the scene of documentaries. There are projects from the three Baltic countries, of course, but also from Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland – and Uzbekistan. The latter as a result of a collaboration with the CinéDoc Tbilisi Pitch, where the project manager of BSD, Zane Balcus, picked the project of Elyor Nemat, ”Dedovshina”. On top of that because of the growing number of co-productions there are also film projects with Bulgarian, French, Irish and Romanian participation.

Some name dropping: Finnish director Kira Jääskeläinen comes with a project she has been working on for years, ”The Cello”. Giedre Zickyte, who is winning awards all over for ”The Jump”, comes with ”Irena”. Ksenia Okhaphina, who made the masterpiece ”Immortal”, comes back to the BSD with a fascinating title ”Manifesto of Tenderness”, Vlad Ketkovich is producing, a true veteran of BSD. Local master director Laila Pakalnina among many titles the recent ”Spoon”, is with producer Uldis Cekulis to present ”Scarecrows” and producer Guntis Trekteris brings forward ”Stranded” (PHOTO) that has a very inviting logline, ” An attempt to look at the life of a half-million Baltic Russian community in 2020, through the stories of 3 generations of women in the director’s family.” Director is Stanislavs Tokalovs. At the Ex Oriente workshop recently I met Oksana Syhareva and Anna Kapustina from Ukraine, happy to see them at BSD with exciting ”Up in the Air”.

… and for many other strong film projects to be pitched at BSD, click.

https://dokforums.gov.lv/industry/selected-projects-2021/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

The Blunder of Love & Bless You Awarded

Written 13-07-2021 17:26:22 by Tue Steen Mller

The winners of the Doc Alliance Awards have been announced on 13 July at Cannes Docs, the documentary-focused industry programme of the Cannes Film Festival. Doc Alliance is a network consisting of seven of the most influential European documentary film festivals, each of which nominated two films for the awards.

This year’s Doc Alliance Award — Best Feature Film went for the first time to the category nomination by DOK Leipzig: “The Blunder of Love” by Rocco Di Mento, which competed for the Audience Award at the festival in 2020. In his search through family archives, Rocco Di Mento unearths old 8mm home movies, an unpublished novel, various love letters and a whole host of long-suppressed feelings – a mixture that begins to develop a dynamic of its own. The issue becomes not just about the search for the love of one’s life, but also the question of what holds people together beyond their relationship status and degree of kinship.



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Doker 2021 The Winners

Written 28-06-2021 13:42:35 by Tue Steen Mller

Doker 2021 The Winners

The Doker festival in Moscow ended last night. I managed to watch and write about 8 of the films, one short and seven features shown in the main competition. I am a fan of the festival that I have visited once as a juror, and been a juror online (with deliberations via email!) at the first edition of the festival in 2015. Of the flms I saw (online, links from the organizers), 3 of them I have written about, 2 others I have seen but they did not reach the blog in a written form. First the jury’s motivation (the jury: Nikolaus Geyerhalter (Austria), Jordana Berg (Brazil), Maya Kuzina (Russia)): 

 



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Doker 2021 Graboy The War of Raya Sinitsina

Written 26-06-2021 14:26:16 by Tue Steen Mller

Doker 2021 Graboy The War of Raya Sinitsina

They make good documentaires in Israel. Here is one more, awarded at the DocAviv. The Best Director award as well as Best Cinematography. And I understand why: The debutant Efim Graboy works brilliantly with several layers and in different styles and it all comes well together in the good story that Raisa, 94 years old, but strong and not afraid to say her opinion or show her emotions, delivers to Fima, the name she uses for the director.

The language is Russian, the location is Israel (Tel Aviv?) and Raisa´s story goes back to the siege of Leningrad and the WW2, where she was a nurse. There are some, but not many, archive images from Leningrad, we know them from many documentaries, last one Blockade by Sergei Loznitsa. I was not scared in Leningrad, she says, I was young, but I am afraid now, she says, the charismatic war veteran with the many medals, still dedicated to celebrate Victory Day May 9 and still active at the veteran meetings, where fewer turn up. They have died but their faces stay on photos on the wall – and some are at home like the man, who turns 100 and gets a visit from Raisa and two other old Russian women. Raisa is a proud veteran, when she shows the director a greeting from Putin himself but now at the end of her life, she is more and more occupied with her dreams that she reveals to Fima. They bring her back to her youth and closer to Fima, whose camera again and again catches the emotions of Raisa. In many fine poetic situations. It feels like a fine choice, when the director places her in fields of sunflowers. Or at an empty concert hall playing cello for the first time in decades.

I was happy to have met Raisa Sinitsina. And it reminds me about the words of Lithuanian Audrius Stonys : We make documentary films to keep people alive…

Israel, 2021,

https://www.midff.com/main


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Doker 2021 Higgins&Carrier Wandering

Written 24-06-2021 21:15:22 by Tue Steen Mller

Doker 2021 Higgins&Carrier Wandering

… with the subtitle ”A Rohingya Story” takes place in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangla Desh, the biggest in the world with 700.000 people from the Muslim minority in Myanmar, before named Burma. They fled from genocide, and ended up here. In a humanitarian catastrophy, where they fight to survive.

The film by Olivier Higgins and Mélanie Carrier is excellent. Heartbreaking in content and brilliant in storytelling. The cinematography is superb, the camera is treating the refugees and their devastating environment and living conditions with beautifully composed and framed images and the film gives the viewer the necessary information through the voice off by Kalam (Kala Miya). The directors (on the Doker website) tells about how the film came about:

 



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Doker 2021 Dr&Haragonics Her Mothers

Written 23-06-2021 13:09:07 by Tue Steen Mller

Doker 2021 Dr&Haragonics Her Mothers

Oh, I Iove that film because it gets so close to the couple Virag and Nora that you can really sense their love to each other and the small and bigger crisis they experience, when they, a lesbian couple, succeed in adopting a girl, two and a half years old, Meli(ssza) and start bringing her up. I love when the directors Asia Dér and Sári Haragonics stay long at a scene, where Nora argues that she does not want to give Meli chocolate when she picks her up in the kindergarten – this is what Virag does. Chocolate or not chocolate, this is a normal situation that everyone can recognise, also this grandfather. The same goes for the goodnight scene, where Meli wants Mommy (Virag) to put her to bed and not Dada (Nora). 

It’s not that easy, words to that effect, says Nora, sad, with lesbian parenting. Especially not in Orban-instan, with a prime minister of Hungary, who is visually quoted with one of his stupid male chauvinistic comments. 

I love that film because I can´t help love the couple thanks to the presence of the camera in the discussions and dialogues in the house that also includes three dogs! They are taking lessons in German, will they end up in Austria… is that a better place to be for lesbian couples? First of all, however, the film conveys the joy and happiness of the two, when they are able to add the motherhood to their love. 

The rythm of the film is calm, no running after dramatic situations except for some footage from demonstrations framing the political landscape in Hungary. Whatever sexual orientation you might have, you can identify with the small or big problems you face in a family.

Hungary, 2020, 75 mins.

https://www.midff.com/main


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Doker 2021 Roman Hodel The Game

Written 20-06-2021 22:11:54 by Tue Steen Mller

In my visit to DOKER online I left the main competition to have a look at the short film competition and my eyes stopped at “Das Spiel”, “The Game” in English, a film for a football fan like me, who right now follows what happens at the UEFA European Championship. With great enthusiasm crossing fingers for Denmark.

The film is Swiss and lets the viewer follow the referee on the pitch and his work with sound access to what he hears from his linesmen and says to them and to the people at the room of VAR, where you find the video assistant referees, who can suggest a change a decision of a refeee, sometimes by letting him run to the screen to study a replay of what could be a foul. Penalty or not penalty.

The focus is on one referee, who runs and runs, talks to the players, gives cards that are red or yellow under great stress having players and fans go against him. There was years ago a feature doc named “Kill the Referee”, this one is a short super-professional film – with the words of the director:

“By closing in on family relationships and on player-referee interactions, the film allows the audience to experience the sheer unbearable pressure of a referee while getting to know the person under the referee jersey: Fedayi San — a human being with fears and doubts.”

(I googled Fedayi San, who is a FIFA referee and has been at international Games, but he is not at the competition that runs right now.)

Will I have more understanding and sympathy for the referee after this film –maybe not all the time, but I am indeed on his side, when the players complain constantly when everyone can see that there is a foul.

“They are like kids”, he says when he picks up his father after the match. 

Switzerland, 2020, 17 mins.

https://www.midff.com/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Doker Jessica Nettelbladt: Prince of Dreams

Written 18-06-2021 15:56:20 by Tue Steen Mller

Doker Jessica Nettelbladt: Prince of Dreams

Let me give you a brief content quote from the Doker website:

”Erik was born as a girl but always felt like a boy. As an 18-year-old, he began the process of gender reassignment. This is where ‘Prince of Dreams’ starts too. Shot over a full 10 years and with no filter. Isolation, bullying and anxiety have followed Erik throughout his life, while he has struggled with recognition from his surroundings and himself…”



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Doker 2021 Andr Jindrich: A New Shift

Written 18-06-2021 15:30:28 by Tue Steen Mller

Doker 2021 Andr Jindrich: A New Shift

It’s a good film. Not because of the theme (a mine is closed, miners are without job, what to do?) that is pretty much known. This time it takes place in Silesia, a region that has also been described before, mostly by Polish filmmakers – No, it is good because of the miner Tomas, who becomes the IT programmer Tomas. The director has followed Tomas for four years in his struggle to get a new education – his doubts, his warm realitionship to his children, his dating to find a new partner, his café talks with friends, his passion for Banik Ostrava, the football team he supports.

I write Tomas as I get close to him and his positive attitude to life. He is himself, when he is at interviews for IT Jobs, grounded and charming and funny, also when he talks to a full theater in Prague at a TED arrangement about him succeeding. It made me for a moment think “is this a corporate film” as it of course puts a positive light on the retraining program Tomas is part of. But why bother as this for once is a positive and authentic film. It is the director’s first film, well told (dramaturg is as always in Czech  documentaries Jan Gogola) and being in both DOK Leipzig and Ji.hlava festivals is quite a good start! And now a Russian premiere, congratulations, waiting for the next film from the director.  

Czech Republic, 2020, 91 mins.

This is an edited repeat of a review from this site.

https://www.midff.com/main


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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