Filmkommentaren

How Big is the Galaxy?

Written 25-04-2019 19:43:01 by Tue Steen Mller

How Big is the Galaxy?

… is the title of the wonderful film by Ksenia Elyan, who won  the Best Feature Documentary Award at the Doker Festival in Moscow. I have seen it pitched on several occasions and the promises planted on these occasions were held. Charming boys, scenes full of energy and humour. Here is the synopsis:

“Zakhar lives among the vast Arctic spaces of Siberia, 100 miles away from human dwellings. He is 7, but he has his own reindeer and tundra for pasture. One day his nomad family is joined by a teacher, sent by the authorities to explain to the kids why why they need math and Putin. It’s the 1st grade for Zakhar and the 3rd for his brother Prokopy. The teacher is supposed to give them a standard set of knowledge, but Zakhar craves answers to millions questions about the world.” 

At the award ceremony in Moscow the director, asked the audience to stand up to honour Alexander Rastorguev, who was co-producer of the film – together with cameraman Kirill Radchenko and reporter Orhan Dzhemal he was killed while making a film in the Central African Republic on Russian mercenaries. It was a moving moment full of dignity. “Without him the film would never have been made”, she and Estonian producer Max Tuula said.

I saw the film at IDFA - http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4411/

www.midff.com


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Krakow Film Festival

Written 24-04-2019 09:36:28 by Tue Steen Mller

Krakow Film Festival

Let me leave the floor to this very inviting and good festival itself with this quote from the website: KFF is one of the oldest events in Europe dedicated to documentary, animated and short feature films. Its core consists of four competitions of equal rank: documentary film competition, short film competition, national competition and music documentary film competition DocFilmMusic. During the eight festival days, the viewers have a chance to watch about 250 films from Poland and from around the world. They are shown in competition sections and in special screenings. The festival is accompanied by exhibitions, concerts, open-air shows and meetings with artists. Every year, the festival is visited by approximately 700 Polish and international guests: directors, producers, festival programmers and numerous Krakow audience...



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DocsBarcelona Festival

Written 23-04-2019 10:53:22 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona  Festival

In terms of number of films DocsBarcelona is a small festival. 30. Where other documentary festivals invite the audience to choose between 100 or even more films, we make it easier, as we have already made a strong selection among hundred of films to come to this point: “Here you have 30 films, make your choice, we are sure there is something for you”. “There is something for whatever taste you have, except for the bad…”

Yes, we use the buzz words of today: Diversity and Quality. The documentary has many rooms. Those days are gone, where the documentary was considered to be a boring visual lecture meant for the classroom, being the truth about a subject or a theme. Especially...



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CinDOC-Tbilisi Intl. Doc. Film Festival

Written 22-04-2019 18:51:48 by Tue Steen Mller

CinDOC-Tbilisi Intl. Doc. Film Festival

May 8 – 13 in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, the seventh edition of the documentary festival that I visited the first time at the opening edition as a juror , where the main awards were given to Lithuanian Lina Luzyte for « Igrushki » and Polish Pawel Kloc for « Phnom Penh Lullaby ». Last year the organisers, filmmakers Artchil Khetagouri and Ileana Stanculescu, showed, among many international quality documentaries « Infinite Football » by Romanian Corneliu Porumbolu accompanied by a football match, led by the main character of the film Laurentiu Ginghina, where I had the honour to be the referee ! An experience full of fun !



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Beldocs Belgrade

Written 21-04-2019 12:04:10 by Tue Steen Mller

Beldocs Belgrade

The documentary festival in Belgrade with more than 100 films, and a full-bodied industry program starts in 17 days. The website is not totally up and running – ”coming soon” it says many places – and a lot is in Serbian, that I ought to master after 15 years of the other Belgradian festival ”Magnificent7” festival, but as the organisers and people around them speak so good English…

100 films means many parallel screenings, hope that it does not mean that some screenings are ”cannibalised” by others – on the other hand Belgrade has a formidable audience, when it comes to documentaries.

There is a fine retrospective with the legendary Japanese director Kazuo Hara, Croat Goran Devic shows 9 of his often critical works, there is in collaboration with DocLisboa a series of Portuguese documentaries, there are great films like American ”Minding the Gap” by Bing Liu (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4473/) Norwegian ”Reconstructing Utøya” by Carl Javér, ”My Unknown Soldier” by Anna Kryvenko, (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4473/) who got a mention at the ZagrebDox, ”RBG” by Julie Cohen and Betsy West (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4464/), ”Summa” by Andrei Kutsila (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4410/), ”Doel” by Danish Frederik Sølberg, the dubious ”Meeting Gorbachev” by Herzog and André Singer (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4386/, ”To Be Continued” by Ivars Seleckis (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4075/) , ”The Trial” by Sergei Loznitsa (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4393/ ), and many others that have been noticed on this site.

The festival has an international and a national competition. In the latter there is a new film by Andrijana Stojkovic, “Gipsy Mafia” that has this description „Two brothers – Skill and Buddy – have been making hip-hop for over 10 years and releasing DIY albums. In their native Serbia, they belong to the disadvantaged Roma population and in Germany, where they live now, they are migrant workers with a temporary residence permit. In their songs, they fiercely criticize racism, segregation of Roma and neo-liberal capitalism. They’ve just released their third album and set off on an unusual European tour...“

Considering that her previous film, „Wongar“, was on its way for a decade, it is a sensation that this film is made so quickly, was it during less than a year, the director, a dear friend, told me.

... and after recently having won the main award at the Visions du Réel in Nyon, German master director Thomas Heise is at Beldocs with his “Heimat Is a Space in Time”, 218 mins., longing to watch that film!

Photo from wonderful "Los Reyes" Bettina Perut and Iván Osnovikoff, featuring Chola and Football! Go and see that, dear dog lovers in Belgrade!

https://beldocs.rs/en/filmovi/#


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Hot Docs Canadian Intl. Doc Festival

Written 20-04-2019 12:19:26 by Tue Steen Mller

Hot Docs Canadian Intl. Doc Festival

Gosh, it’s big, the upcoming festival in Toronto. This is what is said on the website: “Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, offers an outstanding selection of over 200 films from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences of more than 200,000.” On another place of the site, it is more precise: 232 films from April 25 to May 5.

It is a complicated website to navigate, with many sections, I went from one to the other ending up finding the solution: download the schedule, scroll down and it will be easier to see what is being screened. Link below. Let me also mention that there is a big industry section.

All right, let me mention some of the films I was happy to find in different



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Categories: Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Documentaries at Moscow Film Festival

Written 19-04-2019 20:24:23 by Tue Steen Mller

Documentaries at Moscow Film Festival

Ten days after the Doker International Documentary Festival (https://www.midff.com) ended, there are more documentaries to enjoy for the Moscow audience. Where the Doker festival is sailing under the flag of being independent, the official Moscow Film Festival operates (quoted from website)

“with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Moscow Government and the Department of Culture of the City of Moscow.” The festival has existed for 41 years, “for many years the President of the MIFF has been the Russian director and actor Nikita Mikhalkov”, it is a Red Carpet festival, that for the seventh year has included documentaries in a



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Nikolaus Geyerhalters Earth Closes M7

Written 16-04-2019 10:56:47 by Tue Steen Mller

Nikolaus Geyerhalters Earth Closes M7

Of course it was a scoop for us at the Magnificent7 Festival to have Nikolaus Geyerhalter’s masterpiece as the closing film of the festival. A couple of months after its premiere at the Berlinale. A fine gesture from the director, who knows and loves the festival. It is magnificent in form and it touches strongly on what we are doing to our planet. Contrary to some of his previous films that also has a grandeur in its aesthetical choice, like ”Homo Sapiens”, he in this film includes people working on the locations, he has chosen – in California, in Germany, in Italy… - to talk about what they do and what they think about what they do. When people ask me, what is my job, I answer ”I move mountains”, a big American worker says to Geyerhalter, who is behind the camera asking questions.

His own description of the film taken from its site - http://erde-film.at/english/themovie goes like this:

”Several billion tons of earth are moved annually by humans - with shovels, excavators or dynamite. An observation of people, in mines, quarries and at large construction sites, engaged in a constant struggle to take possession of the planet.”

Yes, to take possession of the planet, most of the workers are not happy about this but we need space and money to survive, to change nature into something profitable.

It is an amazing, mind blowing film that sits in your stomach and makes you think at the same time as you enjoy the images llike the photo above that comes from a sequence where machines perform their killing of the nature in a ballet kind of dance. A film from our planet with images that looks like taken from another planet.

http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/zemlja.php


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Atos i Amin

Written 15-04-2019 10:23:18 by Tue Steen Mller

Atos i Amin

… is the title that festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic use, much better they say than the English title “Gods of Molenbeek”, right they are, but the film is the same beautiful piece of poetry by first time feature duration director, Finnish Reetta Huhtanen, who was here at the Magnificent7 Festival and will go to HotDocs and DokFest München and CinéDoc Tbilisi. So well deserved. Huhtanen had a fine Q&A, well attended, after the screening last night.

Here are some clips of what we – meaning Svetlana and Zoran Popovic and me – have written about the film:

…The enchanting magic of childhood; the infinite contemplation over a leaf, a frog, a dark hole; accidental encounters that become the most significant ones in the world; the games which are the funniest and the most serious thing; curiosity, laughter, tiers, the unimaginable existence of honesty… (Popovic).

…We are the strongest in the world, they shout in one of their games, indeed they are, Aatos and Amine, who in the end split up, as Aatos is moving to Finland. It gave me a tear in the eye but I trust that a friendship like this will last. Tear in the eye, I had that many times, watching the boys and their happy faces wanting to discover the world. For me here is another tribute to childhood and imagination following – to mention two masterpieces –  films like Marcel Lozinski’s «Anything Can Happen» where the director’s son is running around in a park asking old people questions about God and Life and Death, and JoJo from Nicolas Philibert’s «Etre et Avoir».Please God, be good to Aatos and Amine!... (Müller)

The picture is taken in Helsinki, where I had the privilege to award the film as the best Finnish documentary of the year during the DocPoint festival. Aatos, 9 years, his mother and his little sister.

http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/index.php


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Strong Female Presence at Magnificent7

Written 14-04-2019 09:11:21 by Tue Steen Mller

Strong Female Presence at Magnificent7

… indeed there is and it was also a woman, who was the first to say thank you for the selection of Claudia Tosi’s „I had A Dream” last night, Srbijanka Turajlic, the protagonist, the political activist and mother of the director of „The Other Side of Everything” Mila Turajlic. And a loyal spectator of the films of the Magnificent7 Festival here in Belgrade.

Great film, she said, and I could only agree. “I Had a Dream” is a film full of energy, and humour, a film that makes you happy seeing that there are women like the protagonists Daniela and Manuela, who try to change politics in Berlusconi’s Italy change with warmth and dedication. And make you sad as this is also a film about Europe today, where anti-European waves are everywhere as well as xenophobia. Claudia Tosi has found an excellent way of telling her story by  having on screen the two women comment, what we and they see during the many years, she has followed them. And Tosi has a fine direct way of  - off-screen – putting questions to the two, and she is there, when they have their political meetings locally and in the parliament. It's a no-bullshit film, an honest film.

Magnificent7 – seven films, where 6 of them this year are directed or co-directed by women.

3 more films will come, today two of them directed by women, Heddy Honigmann’s

“Buddy” and Reetta Huhtanen’s ”Gods of Molenbeek” will be shown.

http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/index.php


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Serbian Documentary

Written 13-04-2019 12:47:54 by Tue Steen Mller

Serbian Documentary

Of course there has to be a post about Serbian documentaries being here in Belgrade. It’s going well, is my impression. There is a well functioning Serbian Film Centre, there is the association of DOKSERBIA, that in the 2017/18 catalogue announces around 25 film completed, plus a lot of shorts and a lot in development.

During the Magnificent7 two films were screened – the international hits of Mila Turajlic “Cinema Komunisto” and “The Other Side of Everything”

Reviewed on this site: http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3125/

and

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4096/

and another good news is that the film of Andrijana Stojkovic “Wongar” (Photo) is travelling to HotDocs in Canada and to the festival in Krakow in June. Review here: http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4137/

Let me mention the many talented makers, some experienced, some still with first or second films: Srdan Sarenac, Biljana Tutorov, Boris Mitic, producer Iva Plemic, Jovana and Dragan Nikolic, Senka Domanovic, Mladen Kovacevic, Zejlko Mirkovic, Ognjen Glavonic, Sonja Dekic, Jelena Stankovic (cameraperson) and of course the old master Zelimir Zilnic, who right now has a retrospective at the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

I am writing this on a Saturday at the hotel facing the parliament, where there will be a demonstration in about two hours, the opposition’s demo, expected are 1.5-2 million people, who are not happy with President Aleksander Vucic, to say the least. These demonstrations have taken place every Saturday for weeks. More later…

issuu.com / serbian docs 


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Uldis Cekulis: The Story of a Film

Written 12-04-2019 12:19:48 by Tue Steen Mller

Uldis Cekulis: The Story of a Film

It’s been my passion since 1990, the Baltic documentary cinema and I have had so many wonderful moments together with filmmakers from the region, those living and those who have passed away. One more beautiful moment came here in Belgrade, where film number 100 was “Bridges of Time” by Audrius Stonys and Kristine Briede, who were her together with the one and only Uldis Cekulis, producer and cameraman, who for me is what a producer should be: always supportive, looking for solutions, always with his directors. And a perfect storyteller.

He did it with a previous film, “Klucis” by Peteris Krilovs, and he did it yesterday with “Bridges of Time”, telling the audience at the workshop the story of the film, with photos and clips, and documents, shown on the screen, letting in the voices of the two directors to comment.

It was superb and touching for me, who during the years was invited to meet Uldis Brauns, the man behind 235.000.000, the poet of us all as said Herz Frank, when I met him a couple of times in Tel Aviv, not to forget Ivars Seleckis, whose energetic company I enjoyed this year at ZagrebDox, and Mark Soosaar, an old friend from the years of the festival on Bornholm… and Henrikas Sablevicius, who taught me many things about film and 999. I stop here with some tears in eyes.

The screening of Bridges of Time, that is a tribute to poetic Cinema, was the well chosen film number 100 at Magnificent7 Festival here in Belgrade. A festival that is not suffering from bulimia, 7 films per year for 15 years. Thank you Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, whose photo is taken by Kristine Briede.

http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/index.php


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Masterclass in Belgrade

Written 12-04-2019 11:34:11 by Tue Steen Mller

Masterclass in Belgrade

I have just said goodbye to the Macedonian cameraman Samir Ljuma, who expressed his joy to have been here at the Magnificent7 Festival, where 1300 spectators were totally enthusiastic about ”Honeyland”, the opening film tuesday night. Yes, I said, this is what festivals are for – the famous triangle of a film, the ones who have made it AND the audience.

Samir Ljuma did a workshop session together with Atanas Georgiev giving inside information on the production of the film, the editing, the camera work and of course the relationship with the protagonist Hatidze. Workshop session is a wrong word, it was a masterclass, so precise with one master, who was not there (editor and producer Atanas Georgiev) and one who was very much present, painting the film, Samir Ljuma, because a painting it is, in my review



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Grand Opening of Magnificent7 Festival

Written 10-04-2019 09:07:06 by Tue Steen Mller

Grand Opening of Magnificent7 Festival

A little after 8pm in Belgrade, at the Kombank Hall, Zoran Popovic, together with his wife Svetlana the director of the European Feature Documentary Film Festival that in the coming week celebrates its 15th edition, walks on stage to greet the audience. The applause is enormous, Zoran Popovic has an iconic status, the love to him has no end, he is greeted as a rock star, a lover of documentary films and a man who is able to formulate why documentaries are important and why we have been organising this event for 15 years. I was on stage to tell how proud I am to be part of the selection, to him and to the totally full house of 1300 spectators, yes 1300 spectators!

They came to see a masterpiece according to the producer and editor Atanas Georgiev, and according to me (review here http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4449/) and the audience seemed to agree, you could hear from the clapping of the hands, while the end credits were running. Atanas Georgiev and the cameraman Samir Ljuma had a more than one hour Q&A after the screening. And not be forgotten the beautiful moment, where Macedonian Zafir Hadzimanov was reciting a poem and singing before the film. He is a singer and actor. He played in musicals (like “Fiddler on the Roof”), and feature films.

You could not hope for a better opening of the festival that to night celebrates the screening of film number 100, ”Bridges of Time” by Kristine Briede an Audrius Stonys, who are both here together with one of the producers, Uldis Cekulis.

http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/index.php


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOKer International Documentary Festival

Written 09-04-2019 14:55:29 by Tue Steen Mller

DOKer International Documentary Festival

It was a very pleasant festival to attend, the DOKer in Moscow. That ended last night. You sense immediately that the organisers are filmmakers, who spread their enthusiasm for the genre and want invited guests, fellow filmmakers to have a good stay in the metropolis. As a jury member you are treated perfectly – meeting questions like these all the time: ”Are you ok, is there anything we can do for you?”

For me it was the right thing to be at the festival during the whole period, watching films in a cinema and not online on a computer.

I was a juror in the short film competition, that had 14 films from 12



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOKer Short Film Winners

Written 09-04-2019 05:24:17 by Tue Steen Mller

DOKer Short Film Winners

Motivation for the Winning Film

For its ability to create atmosphere through a clear aesthetical choice, through its expressive language using methaphors to convey a personally experienced childhood trauma, the jury has chosen to award

SANATORIUM by Masha Osipova

Motivation for a Special Mention

For portraying a daughter/mother relationship with dignity and honesty, choosing to make a sad family story positive, with humour and warmth, the jury has chosen to give an honorary mention to

FAMILY IN EXILE by Fatima Matousse

Motivation for a Special Mention

For portraying a son/father relationship of great pain, using a powerful cinematic language, including the so-called hybrid, setting up scenes, the film has a therapeutical element and can be seen as a lessonin what cinema can do. The mention goes to

THE DAM by Natalia Koniarz

Motivation for a Special Mention

In this film the main hero had to go. But before that the one in question was  the central character in a family, whose members had very different opinions i in a story full of humour that is not always the case in documentaries.

The mention goes to TUNGRUS by Rishi Chandna

https://www.midff.com


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sergey Dvortsevoy in Moscow

Written 08-04-2019 10:53:33 by Tue Steen Mller

Sergey Dvortsevoy in Moscow

8 years later… same place, Moscow, I met one of my documentary heroes, who has been written about so many times on this site. I met Dvortsevoy back in the 1990’es. One time on the island of Bornholm at the Balticum Film & TV Festival, where his ”Bread Day” was chosen as the best documentary – still remember that the film copy had not arrived and I had to ask the director if we could show it from a VHS cassette. Ouff! But he won! Since then I have met the director here and there and everywhere, last time 8 years ago when I was here for the Moscow International Film Festival.

I know very few directors, who are so passionate about his profession. Engaged, committed to social and human matters as he shows in his new fiction, « Ayka », that premiered in one version at the Cannes Film festival and in another one months later. Russian premiere in February 2019. I have not seen the film yet. It has brought him to festivals around the globe and the main character, played by Kazahk Samal Esljamova received the award as best female actress in Cannes.

Back to his documentary masterpieces, „Paradise” (1996), “Bread Day” (1998), “Highway” (1999), “In the Dark » - many have asked me where you can get hold of them. The good news from Dvortsevoy is that his films are being digitized in London and there should be fine fresh copies/files ready in a month or so. I have asked him to tell me, when it will happen so I can maybe push retrospectives to happen in Denmark or elsewhere.

Here are a couple of links to what has been written about him on this site :

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4212/

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/671/

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/1339/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Stefan Bohun: Bruder Jakob, schlfst du noch

Written 06-04-2019 20:14:42 by Tue Steen Mller

Stefan Bohun: Bruder Jakob, schlfst du noch

Is there something wrong in saying that a film is perfect. For me No. What I mean is that it has the right rythm, is balanced in the treatment of in this case a difficult subject, attracts you emotionally, has a lot of fine cinematic solutions, i.e. expressive combinations of sound and picture, holds back information, lets (in this case) its characters develop slowly, uses archive material in a fine way…

I was very impressed by Austrian Stefan Bohun’s film about his and his three other brother’s search for themselves and the fifth brother Jakob. At the screening here in Moscow, where it is in the feature duration competition of the DOKer festival, the director told the audience that the hardest was not the filming in the mountains of Tyrol and in Porto in Portugal or “to write” the film, the pain came when in the editing room with his family on screen.

It is always a challenge for filmmakers to create atmosphere. Bohun makes it with a fine sensibility.

https://www.midff.ru/


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Italian Director Meets Russian Police

Written 06-04-2019 08:46:36 by Tue Steen Mller

Italian Director Meets Russian Police

Less than 24 hours after she arrived in Moscow Italian documentarian Claudia Tosi (“I had a Dream”, DOKLeipzig winner 2018, http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4389/) ran into trouble… We were having lunch in the Tretyakov Gallery, dumplings, preparing for watching world class art.

Tosi looked at her cell phone, said something in Italian that I did not understand, in English it was the f… word, she explained: Someone has taken money from my credit card, €400. She left the lunch, went to a café on the other side of the street, that had internet, called her father to ask him to contact the bank to block further activity.

Well, that has happened to many of us but when Tosi came back, she knew what had happened! It’s the guy outside the gallery, who is going around with his mobile in his hand. Russian hacking, I said, having no clue how a thing like that is possible. And maybe the Italian director was writing a drama.

But back in the café Tosi met a Russian woman, who understood English, understood and recognised the drama - We have to call the police…

On the photo taken by me you see four policemen, two police cars and two women, the one to the right the helpful woman and the one with her back to the camera, Claudia Tosi.

The young man with the mobile phone was taken to the police car, driven away and Tosi was asked if she would give a statement. Of course!

Our guide, Tatyana Soboleva, came back to us after a tv interview, got the story, we three left the café and the young man was back in action with his phone. How he can access a bypassing foreigner’s bank account, is still an enigma, at least for me.

Reality wrote its script!


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOKer Shorts and Diagnosis

Written 05-04-2019 08:38:51 by Tue Steen Mller

DOKer Shorts and Diagnosis

Getting into the October cinema from the noisy boulevard with the constant traffic jam in Moscow is a blessing. Again a lot of people were there to watch the first competition program of short films, and they were not disappointed. Four films of high quality, that’s all I can write as a member of the jury.

I was thinking back in time, where I attended the short film festival in Clermont-Ferrand year after year, which mostly showed short fiction. Here in Moscow it’s short documentaries that reach the screen and/or hybrid works. Film history has often pointed out that short films are the step to making longer films, feature length, it might be but I did not sense that with the four films I saw yesterday. They were finished works in themselves, strong stories, well shaped with sense of the cinematographic possibilities. Each with their own handwriting. Far from being student films. I congratulated the selector Nastia Tarasova for her choice and look forward to the films of today Friday.

After a good meal into the darkness again to watch a film from Poland, "Diagnosis", a documentary feature film debut of the director Ewa Podgórska and producer Małgorzata Wabińska. From Lodz, and that is an important piece of information as the film ” is a journey into the depths of subconscious of a city formed by human beings”, where some inhabitants undergo sessions on a couch, performed by a Frenchman – and from there the film takes its audience into the lives of the chosen characters, and slowly – in a puzzle-like narrative, where the characters through the editing are put to communicate with each other – you get to know that this is a film about la condition humaine. You are surprised, when watching the film and that’s a compliment, the film director dares to break dramaturgical rules, it plays with emotions, it is fragmented, maybe the form takes over once in while but I was impressed and entertained (company name Entertain Pictures!). I was there with Finnish film couple, Iiris Härma (who made the wonderful ”Leaving Africa” - http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3154/ - and Visa Koiso-Kanttila, the latter director and cameraman praising the quality of the cinematography. Agreed! A Q&A afterwards focused on the film as a post-Soviet interpretation, not at all, it's the universal theme of Life and Love that is at stake.

http://en.pisf.pl/news/polish-creative-documentary-diagnosis-goes-to-idfa?wcag=1

https://www.midff.com/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Films at CAFX

Written 04-04-2019 08:44:30 by Tue Steen Mller

Films at CAFX

... which means Copenhagen Architecture Festival that includes a lot of interesting documentary films, two of them can be seen at the art house cinema Grand Teatret in the centre of the Danish capital.

Both have been reviewed on this site. Thomas Riedelsheimer's "Leaning into the Wind" with fantastic landscape artist Andy Goldsworthy was at the Magnificent7 festival 2018 in Belgrade, where Svetlana and Zoran Popovic presented the film as "Riedelsheimer's sophisticated filmmaking proceeds from breathtaking physical matter and goes beyond trying to reveal the ideas that move the artists. And before our very eyes these ideas are transformed into remarkable forms pervaded by the rhythms of nature." http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4266/

And staying in Belgrade I reviewed Nicolas Wagniere's "Hotel Jugoslavia", a quote "...Wagnières says that he during a decade has come back to the city and the hotel and that he has filmed “pour garder and pour regarder”. He conveys his point of view very much through his personal voice off - one of the best sequences is the interview with the mother, who remembers how people stood together after the ww2, eager to build a new society of unity and brotherhood, values that are no longer part of the Serbian society. Wonderful propaganda footage..." http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4301/

The festival has an amazing program to offer, it runs until the 14th of April.

http://cafx.dk


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOKer Opening Day

Written 04-04-2019 00:00:03 by Tue Steen Mller

DOKer Opening Day

… was full of sunshine from early morning in Moscow. I walked from the hotel accompanied by director Tatyana Soboleva. I had asked her to take me to the Pushkin Museum to have a look at the exhibition of Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and The School of London.

On the way we passed the House of Journalists, where the founder Irina Shatalova organised the first public documentary screening of what became DOKer. It was also here, Soboleva told me, that the first edition of the festival took place – it was the one, where I was member of an online jury that had Victor Kossakovsky as the chair. The festival, now having its fifth edition, writes this about itself on the website: «Moscow International Documentary



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DOKer - and Uncle Sasha or One Flew over Russia

Written 31-03-2019 12:36:34 by Tue Steen Mller

DOKer - and Uncle Sasha or One Flew over Russia

I am off to Moscow tuesday to visit the DOKer festival, to be correct the Moscow International Documentary Film Festival, to be a juror for the short film festival. To be honest I pushed for this invitation. In the first edition in 2015 I was in the jury for long documentaries but it was a jury of members, who watched the films on their own at their respective homes and made the decisions via mail and phone. I want to come to the festival, see films in a cinema, feel the atmosphere, I told the organisers and this is what happens, thanks to Irina Shatalova, Nastia Tarasova, Sergei Kachkin and Tatyana Soboleva. The organisers of a festival that is independent of state funding, a filmmaker’s festival with an impressive program: https://www.midff.com

And good filmmakers they are. I have written about “Linar” way back in 2013, http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/2447/ By Nastia Tarasova with Irina Shatalova as the cinematographer.

... and Sergey Kachkin’s “On the Way Home”, http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/1717/

... and Tatyana Soboleva’s “Siberian Floating Hospital”, http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3309/

Today I watched “Uncle Sasha and One Flew Over Russia” by Soboleva, quite a meeting with a man with a big Family as you see in the beginning of the film, a man who would like Russia to be a monarchy, who lives with his wife in a village, that is empty, surrounded by water, an island it is, a charismatic , knowledgeable man with several bon mots, who suddenly starts singing, a man with a big love to his wife, and a filmmaker with a sense for details, who is able to convey the atmosphere at the place, where crooked houses stand alone in snow and sun, and where Alexander Nikolayevich fights to make a connection to the other bank of the river, where relatives live and where he can shop and have a vodka or two like some of his neighbours. A Russia disappearing, thanks for taking me there!

And to Moscow.

2018, 58 mins. Russia


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX 2019 Awards

Written 30-03-2019 20:56:39 by Tue Steen Mller

CPH:DOX 2019 Awards

DOX:AWARD: ‘Ridge’ by John Skoog (Sweden)“We would like to honor a film that takes formal virtuosity to new heights, yet never loses sight of the human experience. If Tarkovsky had played video games and was a Swedish farmer, this might be what his films would have looked like. Sculpting with time and space, this new director creates a unique field of experience for the audience, steering away from familiar dichotomies such as man versus machines, science versus nature, immigrant versus local. Instead this film creates a haunting environment where all of these elements are playfully activated, and the result approaches a uniquely jagged kind of sublime. (PHOTO)

Special Mention: ”Searching Eva” by Pia Hellenthal (Germany) “The jury would like to make a special mention for a film that takes an innovative approach to a profile of an artist. Its cinematographic language is very much in line with the artistic and life experience of a character who continuously searches for alternative approaches to everything, constantly detaching from common reference points and notions of stability. And so does the film, which adopts its own playful ethos, never falling into expectations for how this story, or this life, should be told. Above all, it’s a film of great risk, on screen and behind the camera, and we found that both commendable and compelling.

NEW:VISION: ‘A Moon for My Father’ by Mania Akbari og Douglas White (Iran) “‘A Moon For My Father’ is a complex and generous film about bodies. Bodies of work, bodies of politics and history – an extraordinary artist’s body as host of disease and transformation under pressure – and as the subsequent carrier and giver of life. Like a punch in the gut or a needle in the abdomen, this film demonstrates that as a viewer, the medium of moving images is far more than a retinal and cognitive experience, but one of strong affect and of somatic involvement of your very own body.”

FACT:AWARD: ‘Dark Suns’ af Julien Elie (Canada) “The F:ACT AWARD goes to a film that gives voice to people who have suffered unbearable losses and have been neglected and ignored and forgotten by their government and authorities. In fact, the film convincingly suggests that those very authorities are themselves deeply involved in the immense tragedy that has been quietly unfolding through more than 20 years. The filmmaker has invested almost as many years of his life and work to bring the story to us and he does it with a huge solidarity with his characters and with a patience that gives the audience a deep sense of the complexity of this tragedy. He does not seek easy answers but let one witness after the other take us deep into the heart of darkness.

NORDIC:DOX: ‘The Men’s Room’ af Petter Sommer & Jo Vemund Svendsen (Norway) “We agreed unanimously on the winner. The NORDIC:DOX AWARD goes to a film that made us both laugh and cry. A tribute to friendship and male vulnerability. A film that powerfully conveys the basic human needs for belonging propelled by a clear cinematic vision and a big heart. »

NEXT:WAVE: ‘Kabul, City in the Wind’ af Aboozar Amini (Afghanistan, Holland, Japan, Tyskland) “For us in the jury it’s been an immense pleasure to experience the incredible variety in the NEXT:WAVE category and we’ve been traveling around the world in the cinemas of Copenhagen. Our main award goes to a movie that took us to the heart of a hurt city that we’ve never experienced like this before. An impressive, artistic and breathtaking documentary that goes beyond war and death and is a deep, devastating and deeply moving portrait of life and characters which you won’t forget. This is only the debut feature of the director but it shows an incredible sense of artistic ambition and a brilliant, bold use of cinematography, editing and sound. A wonderful film that shows that hope will survive.”

Politikens Publikumspris: ‘Push’ af Fredrik Gertten (Sweden). Politiken is the primary Danish newspaper for culture and is a strong supporter of the festival. With the award follows 50.000Dkr. https://cphdox.dk/en/programme/film/?id=968 for more about the winning film.

https://cphdox.dk/en/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DocuDays UA 2019 Awards

Written 30-03-2019 20:12:16 by Tue Steen Mller

DocuDays UA 2019 Awards

Look at the photo, the awards which were distributed in Kiev on March 28 – the two last days of the festival, that stops today, are called Audience Days, where films from the festival will go to locations i.e. ”cinemas in different Kiev neighbourhoods”.

Tomorrow is also an Audience Day - Presidential election, first round, in Ukraine!

Here follows a copy/paste of the list of winners from a festival that I visited for the seventh time this year and which stays close to my heart because of the program, the atmosphere, the dedication of the staff and their ability to surprise its audience:



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Eva Mulvad: Kirsebreventyret

Written 30-03-2019 13:58:51 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Eva Mulvad: Kirsebreventyret

Filmen havde under CBH:DOX festivalen premiere 21. marts i Grand Teatret. Den vistes på Charlottenborg 27. marts og i Dagmar 31. marts.

https://cphdox.dk/program/film/?id=983 (CPH:DOX program)

Eva Mulvad har atter en gang lavet en smuk og tydelig film om et moderne menneske. Han er godsejer, han hedder Harald Krabbe, han har et projekt ved siden af gårdens grundlæggende landbrugsproduktion, han vil optimere de mange kirsebærtræers udbytte, lave fornem vin i stedet for almindelig marmelade. Eva Mulvad vil skildre udvidelsen og fornyelsen, forsøget. De er energiske mennesker de to, de klæder hinanden de to.

Hvor kommer det overskud fra? Jeg tror det kommer fra elegancen – det elegante menneskes sikkerhed, det sikre professionelle greb, som igen kommer af en ubøjelig tro på det sikre valg.



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Pernille Rose Grnkjr: Hunting for Hedonia

Written 28-03-2019 13:23:19 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Pernille Rose Grnkjr: Hunting for Hedonia

Som altid er jeg glad for fortællestemmen når den er der. I denne film er jeg simpelthen lykkelig ved at blive ført ved hånden i dette tilsyneladende uvejsomme terræn af chokerende oplysninger som hæver sig til landskaber. Ført ved hånden af Tilda Swintons rolige, omhyggelige, aldeles indforståede stemme. 

Som altid er jeg derimod skeptisk ved dækbilleder og vignetter. Imidlertid i denne film har jeg brug for de overdådigt fotograferede sumplandskaber, mangroveskove og isdækkede grene som i deres uoverskuelighed ikke kan tydes i en forståelse, men bliver åh, så velkomne tænkepauser i filmens lange komplicerede tankerækker. Grafikken hjælper også. Den er fornem, de tegnede sekvenser er umærkeligt medfortællende.

Og så er der arkivmaterialet, så flot fundet frem, så omhyggeligt restaureret og anbragt i en ny cinematografisk omgivelse af nye rene levende arkitekturoptagelser fra den fraværende hovedperson doktor Robert Heath’s kontor, laboratorium; og mest indtryksfuldt lige så velovervejet og rystende sikkert uforglemmeligt skildret i hver bevægelse af kameraet: hospitalet. Dette hospital i tiltagende ruinering vil med dette filmværk blive stående som videnskabeligt monument. Og i ruinen er det netop det vigtigste som bliver stående i århundreder, bemærkede Per Kirkeby engang, de bærende og de bårne elementer.

I alt dette er musikken her autoritativ medfortællende og filmens journalistiske fremstilling og dens præcise, nøgne sprog tilføjer Rose Grønkjær disse andre sprog i konstant ligevægt, så jeg forvirret først samler mig til en forståelse af dette voldsomt ufattelige og hvad den viden og praksis medfører, når doktor Kelly Foot, min yndlingsmedvirkende og allerbedste vidne slår fast at ”… your brain is you.” Her sætter jeg midt i min anmeldelse et link til et ganske kort klip med dette rigt charmerende menneske, som var min trygheds fundament på min usikre rejse gennem 90 minutters vildt terræn af ny viden og forståelse af eksistentielle emner som Parkinsons sygdom, epilepsi, depression, psykose og deres mulige nye behandling ved kirurgi, dyb hjernestimulation. Ved alle sine midler en overvældende film.



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Sidse Torstholm Larsen, Sturla Pilskog: Hbets

Written 27-03-2019 13:25:50 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Sidse Torstholm Larsen, Sturla Pilskog: Hbets

En ung kvinde får ordet, forstår jeg, i en samtalekreds for alkoholikere som ikke drikker. Hun er smuk, fotograferingen er smuk, det hun siger er smukt at lytte til, dette vidunderligt langsomme sprog, som i underteksterne burde være oversat omhyggeligt litterært filmen igennem (jeg så på Randers bibliotek en engelsk version med undertekster, som gjorde mig skeptisk), men scenen er smuk, Henrik Bohn Ipsen har fotograferet, og jeg kan ikke rose ham nok, alene i sin cinematografi har han lagt grunden til endnu en klassisk bysymfoni. Her om Maniitsoq i Grønland. Med fotografiet til denne film og tidligere kameraarbejde som til Inuk Silis Høeghs Sume, 2014 og Lene Stæhrs Eskimo Diva, 2015 uddyber Bohn Ipsen det dokumentarisk filmfotografiske og danske blik på det almindelige liv i Grønland i linje efter fotograferne Jette Bang, Jørgen Roos og Teit Jørgensen.

Kvinden i samtalekredsen er på vej ud af alkoholens lås og jeg følger hende opmærksomt, for karakterudviklingen af hende er tydeligst blandt de tre som medvirker filmen igennem. Hendes spontant fascinerende nærvær og Bohn Ipsens lydefri sikre kamera og opmærksomme blik på alt i og uden for billedet, dette filmfotografi er alene denne vigtige film værd. (Henrik Bohn Ipsen har i Nicole N. Horanyi: En fremmed flytter ind, 2017 fotograferet en fuldstændig lignende scene som jeg oplever med samme følelsesindhold. Det bevægede mig mærkeligt forleden aften i bibliotekets sal).



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Magnificent7 Belgrade

Written 25-03-2019 12:19:13 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Belgrade

So there it is, the program of the 15th edition of the European Feature Documentary Film Festival that takes place from April 9 to April 15 in the Kombank Hall cinema in the centre of the capital of Serbia. As usual I will be there to join my dear friends and co-selectors, the festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, at the festival that I always talk about as ”7 films, 7 days and 14 restaurants”, the latter referring to the fact that the organisers know how to treat their filmmaker guests as Kings and Queens!

Here you have the list of the films to be screened:

Honeyland, North Macedonia, 2019 – Tamara Kotevska & Ljubomir Stefanov

Bridges of Time, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, 2018 – Kristine Briede & Audrius Stonys

What Walaa Wants, Denmark, Canada, 2018 – Christy Garland

I Had a Dream, Italy, France, 2018 – Claudia Tosi

Buddy, The Netherlands, 2018 – Heddy Honigmann

Gods of Molenbeek, Finland, Belgium, Germany, 2019 – Reetta Huhtanen

The Earth, Austria, 2019 – Nikolaus Geyerhalter

And the list of guests, who will be there at the screenings and take part in the Q&A after, as well as the workshop the day after.

  Atanas Georgiev, producer and editor of the film HONEYLAND

  Samir Ljuma, cinematographer of the film HONEYLAND

  Kristīne Briede, co-director of the film BRIDGES OF TIME

  Audrius Stonys, co-director of the film BRIDGES OF TIME

  Uldis Cekulis, producer of the film BRIDGES OF TIME

  Anne Köhncke, producer of the film WHAT WALAA WANTS

  Claudia Tosi, director of the film I HAD A DREAM

  Monique Lesterhuis, researcher of the film BUDDY

  Reetta Huhtanen, director of the film GODS OF MOLENBEEK

http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/index.php


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DocuDays New Ukrainian Documentaries

Written 25-03-2019 09:12:05 by Tue Steen Mller

DocuDays New Ukrainian Documentaries

During the next year(s) you will see several Ukrainian documentaries at international festivals. It’s moving in the right direction for the country’s filmmakers, who want to express themselves in this film genre. There are – although limited from a Western European perspective – funds like the Ukrainian State Film Agency and the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation to go to, and there is the DocuDays festival that is instrumental for connecting the country’s documentary makers with producers, festival representatives, sales agents and distributors, not to forget producers and directors from all over, actually. They come here to meet local filmmakers, listen to presentations/pitches, watch material and eventually help. Darya Bassel and Viktoria Khomenko who take care of the Industry Section of the festival make the guests work! Yesterday I heard from one of the guests, Mélanie de Vocht from the IDFA Bertha Fund, that she was signed up for more than 30 meetings, in the few days she is here!

I was invited to moderate the new invention of the festival, „Ukrainian Doc Preview“, where seven films close to final cut, or already there, were



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DocuDays 2019 Opening

Written 23-03-2019 08:08:00 by Tue Steen Mller

DocuDays 2019 Opening

Of course, sadly, the opening of the DocuDays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival could only start with the yearly declaration of solidarity with filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and the other Ukrainians held in Russian prisons.

But there was also an audiovisual live project performed by musician Stanislav Ivashchenko in collaboration with Laser Studio: "750 litres of water, lasers, led lights and only one person, whose every beat is synchronised with its own element and its own sound". A lot for the eye and for the ear followed by lots of clip presentations of the sections in the festival, a speech from a representative from the Swedish Embassy - as Sweden again is the main supporter of the festival and its focus on human rights and this year the focus on what the digital world we live in come up with of challenges.

Therefore it was natural that the opening film was the Dutch (director Hans Pool) "Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World" with a group of journalistic activists, who investigate cases as the MH17 incident where an Ukrainian flight was shot down in the Eastern part of the country. It was interesting to follow how they work - in a film that was more of a reportage than a creative documentary. Fair enough, here you can say that "content is King".

The festival has started, more will follow from the festival in Kiev that runs until March 30.

www.docudays.ua


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Lina Alabed: Ibrahim

Written 21-03-2019 21:29:46 by Tue Steen Mller

Lina Alabed: Ibrahim

I det kæmpeprogram som CPH:DOX præsenterer netop nu, er denne film én, som fortjener et ekstra skub frem: den skal I se, I der er interesseret i den mellemøstlige historie, i Palæstina, i forholdet mellem Arafat og Abu Nidal Organisationen, i Livet – som festivalkataloget giver den som tema – som det har formet sig for instruktøren Lina Alabed og hendes familie siden faren, den politisk aktive Ibrahim forsvandt i slutningen af firserne.

Jeg mødte Lina Alabed i Damaskus under DoxBox festivalen, der løb i fire år inden revolutionen, hun var ved at afslutte sin film ”The First Kiss”, men allerede da havde hun planlagt at ville lave en film om sin forsvundne far. Hun ville finde ud af, hvad der skete, hvorfor han forsvandt.

Den er der så nu, filmen bærer hans navn, den er personlig, den følger instruktøren på en rejse i nutiden, hvor hun møder sin mor, en søster og dennes datter, en bror og dennes søn, onkler og tanter – det er en stor familie, en desværre typisk palæstinensisk familie spredt ud i det mellemøstlige og ikke kun her. Moren bor stadig i Damaskus, Lina Alabed i Beirut, søsteren (var det) i Cairo eller Amman, broren i Tyskland osv. osv. Hvad skete der, blev faren dræbt, af sine egne i Abu Nidal organisationen, eller var han spion, var han agent for CIA… Lina Alabed spørger og spørger familiens medlemmer, i deres hjem, i deres køkkener i en stemning, som er præget af intimitet, du føler dig virkeligt ”hjemme hos”, når Alabed sidder i sofaen og spørger, hvad husker du?

Denne hjemlige atmosfære står i modsætning til, hvad der formentlig er sket: faren blev henrettet. Hvorfor?

Og Palæstina… det bedste ved det, siger broren i Tyskland er hummus og falafel, jeg tabte alt for det politiske, da Arafat og Rabin gav hinanden hånden, jeg syntes de forrådte alt, hvad min far stod for. Men hvad er dit hjemland, spørger tante Lina brorens søn: Palæstina, siger han.

Filmen slutter smukt i den palæstinensiske landsby Deir Abu Meshaad, hvor faren voksede op og hvor datteren rør ved oliventræerne.  

Libanon, 2019, 75 mins.

Premiere i Dagmar, 23.3, klokken 19.15

www.cphdox.dk


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Alina Rudnitskaya: School of Seduction

Written 20-03-2019 14:10:51 by Tue Steen Mller

Alina Rudnitskaya: School of Seduction

It’s a lovely start of a film. Shots from a naval parade in St.Petersburg. Grandiose. People in striped sailor blouses, and people in uniforms. Waving the navy flag in front of the Winter Palace. Suddenly focus on a pretty girl dancing with a navy flag in her hands. Seductive movements. And then a couple kissing behind a column, continuing their caressing somewhere else, sex behind the flag… and a bit later she hits him in his face.

Alina Rudnitskaya starts her film in her native city saying that this is about man and woman in a Russia that is proud of herself or should I say himself. And she does so with her own signature of tragedy and comedy. More about that later.

The title comes up on the screen, « School of Seduction », a Danish



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Marie Skovgaard: The Reformist

Written 19-03-2019 22:01:10 by Tue Steen Mller

Marie Skovgaard: The Reformist

Sherin Khankan, 44 year old mother of four, divorced, is a well known name in Danish media for her brave fight for equal opportunities for man and woman within the islam community. She is the founder of the organisation Femimam, set up to secure that women can be imams. She has been interviewed in newspapers and on television and her being the first female imam was a news story that went international.

But noboby has got that close to her as documentarian Marie Skovgaard, who



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Phie Ambo: Genopdagelsen

Written 18-03-2019 10:17:06 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Phie Ambo: Genopdagelsen

Og regnen styrtede ned, og vandstrømmene kom, og vindene blæste og kastedes mod det hus; og det faldt, og dets fald var stort.

Nøgternt skrevet er Genopdagelsen en film om hulebyggeri som pædagogisk metode. Den skildrer i tætte optagelser med Phie Ambos og assistenten Maggie Olkuskas opmærksomt blødt registrerende kamera over to årstider en gruppe på 47 børn og tre lærere i færd med ved en avanceret byggelegeplads aktivitetat at sætte sig ind i de grundlæggende erfaringer om verden, tilværelsen, hinanden og sig selv . Men filmens titel gemmer meget meget mere. Fordelt lag på lag, afsnit for afsnit. Næsten umærkeligt.

Theis Schmidt har nemlig af dette materiale klippet et drama over årstidernes skiftende former, farver og begivenheder blandt dyrene og menneskebørnene på denne samme lille location som i dobbelt forstand er en byggeplads og med et erfarent smil klippet det som en byfilm fra gamle dage med dette nødvendige højdepunkt og vendepunkt, hvor en regnbyge om eftermiddagen blev en vigtig begivenhed; i Berlin, i Stockholm, i Firenze. Her i byen med hulelandet i sit hjerte er det et voldsomt ødelæggende uvejr med blæst og regn, en udfordring til børnene, et krav om reparationer, ja, om genopbygninger, om at tænke forfra, tænke sig om.

Phie Ambo og Theis Schmidt fortæller i et andet lag musikalsk sikkert og helt uden, har de klogt besluttet, den alt for oplagte kronologi gennemgår de filmisk det pensum som lærerne har lagt til rette for børnene, videnskabens fortælling om homo sapiens, om Artens Oprindelse og om dens udvikling. Det bliver de store retrospektive historier genopdaget og om at opdage en metode, opfinde en teknik, det bliver til konflikter mellem nomader og dw fastboende, om huler og huse… og jeg ser hvordan en verden ord for ord kommer til syne inde i sproget.



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One World Festival Awards Announced

Written 17-03-2019 13:44:54 by Tue Steen Mller

One World Festival Awards Announced

The winners of this year’s One World Festival in Prague have been announced. A total of seven prizes were awarded by juries in the categories of International Competition, The Right to Know, and Czech Competition. New this year is the Regional Jury, made up of three representatives of the cities and towns where the regional One World Festival takes place. Representatives of secondary school students then chose the recipient of the Student Jury Award. Audience members voted after film screenings for the documentary that received the Avast Foundation Audience Award.

One World in Prague screened 117 documentary films in 14 thematic categories. Over 200 filmmakers and protagonists, human rights activists and film festival organizers accepted invitations to attend the festival. In addition to traditional competitions and thematic categories, One World presented twelve virtual reality projects. A new category this year was Short and Concise, in which the festival returned to short documentaries. Two categories appeared in the program aimed at searching for and defining one’s own identity, whether at the personal or the societal level – reflecting the theme of this year’s festival: “Safe Proximity”.

During the festival´s ten days 28 488 viewers attended afternoon and evening



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East Doc Platform Project Awards

Written 15-03-2019 16:45:40 by Tue Steen Mller

East Doc Platform Project Awards

It was much appreciated and welcomed that the main winner yesterday, after the East Doc Forum at the East Doc Platform, was the Serbian/Croatian project “Museum of the Revolution” that has Srdan Keca as director and Vanja Jambrovic as producer. I met the project at ZagrebDox, where it also won an award given by HBO Europe. It is very inviting, the material I have seen, and that Keca is a documentary director with an eye, you can see immediately. In Prague director and producer told me about the plans of building a museum of the revolution in 1961, in Belgrade, it failed because of funding, if I got it right; the architect Richter from Croatia had ambitious construction drawings – in 1978 the idea was put forward again, the foundation of the building was constructed but two years later Tito died and everything about the museum for revolutions around the world collapsed. Keca has filmed at the place, where the museum should have been.

The girl on the photo is Milica, she often lives there with an old woman Mara,



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East Doc Platform Neumann & Turajlic

Written 14-03-2019 11:12:57 by Tue Steen Mller

East Doc Platform Neumann & Turajlic

„Bringing the Past to Life“ was the theme of a masterclass with Stan Neumann and Mila Turajlic, directors I have known for years and whose works I have seen and appreciated. Both work with archive as the title of the class indicate, and both had interesting reflections to convey to the audience, with clips of course.

Some quotes: „We don’t work with archivists, it diminishes the possibility for coincidence, for finding something unexpected that you can use“. Turajlic gave an example – she was at an archive and saw that there was material about „picking tangerines“. As she knew that Tito was fond of tangerines, she looked at it, and there he was – for her „Cinema Komunisto“.

„There is nothing true in an image“. „I want the documentary archive material to work narratively, to tell my truth, not as an illustration“. „The eye on the archive must be new“. „The first thing is to destroy the archive, break it down and make it your own“.

Clips were shown from „Austerlitz“, „Cinema Komunisto“, „On the Other Side of Everything“, Neumann’s film on the Russian revolution, his film on Klemperer and totalitarian language... and more.

Below you find links to know more about the two directors. On filmkommentaren Mila Turajlic was mentioned the first time in 2008, Neumann in 2009.

Mila Turajlic

Links: http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4096/ http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4090/

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/1346/

Stan Neumann

Links: about “Language Does Not Lie” (Klemperer); about the importance of form; about “The Surrealistic Photo


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East Doc Platform Karel Vachek

Written 14-03-2019 10:10:24 by Tue Steen Mller

East Doc Platform Karel Vachek

I had the pleasure of introducing 7 new Czech documentaries at the Institut Francais Tuesday afternoon. The last in line was legendary Karel Vachek, teacher at the FAMU film school, a man who was exiled after 1968, by some called the eternal dissident. 25 years he has been at the film school, he has made several interesting- and-difficult-to-grab documentary essays, and it was a film like that he presented helped by his producers Mikulás Novotny and Radim Procházka. ”Communism” is the title as you can see from the photo taken by Filip Remunda. 9 minutes was shown from the upcoming film that will be 5 hours divided into four parts. Looking forward!

Remunda presented his own film that has already premiered at the One World Festival, ”Czech Journal: The Okamura Brothers”, three siblings of Japanese origin with one of them being an extreme right wing politician.

Greta Stocklassa, half Swedish half Czech, has made a film from up North, ”Kiruna 2.0”, that follows the moving of the city because of the mining. A film – taken from the clip shown – with a tone and interesting characters and amazing images of reindeer. It’s her first film and it has been taken for the Visions du Réel.

The same goes for Johana Ozvold and her ”The Sound Is Innocent”, first film, selected for Visions du Réel – ” The music is a game, a playground. And for creating the electronic music the main tool and toy is an instrument, a device, a machine…”.

”Dálava” by Martin Marecek is in good hands with the HBO’s Hanka ​Kastelicová – and judging from the three clips/scenes shown (clever way of presentation) the film with a father and his son will be full of atmosphere.

The same with ”Another Chance“ by Eva Tomanova. You fall for Monika, who is one of many, who has been the victim of Mirek, a marriage swindler – they get a child together, he is in prison, he gets out, how will it develop?

… and Karolina Peroutková, a Famu student of Miroslav Janek, presented “The Call of the Wild” and her relationship to the main character, a young boy, who is breaking the rules of the society: “Michael is twelve years old. He has seven siblings and lives with his parents in a small house in a small town. Michal often hangs around the streets of the small town, where I (the director, ed.) live. “He is a rascal and a rogue,” say the locals…

https://dokweb.net/database/films/synopsis/95428715-e22e-46e1-b761-164373370dac/communism


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

East Doc Platform Lecture on Editing

Written 12-03-2019 08:56:01 by Tue Steen Mller

East Doc Platform Lecture on Editing

EDP (East Doc Platform) characterises itself as the largest industry platform for Central and Eastern European documentaries. From my experience touring documentary meetings in the vast region, I agree. And can add that with the parallel running huge One World Festival, the documentary festival in Jihlava, the vod DocAlliance, the East Silver and a succesful initiative like dok.incubator the Czech Republic is a place, where a lot of good is done for the documentary. With the EDP organised by the IDF, Institute of Documentary Film.

At the EDP filmmakers run from room to room in the Spanish Cultural Institute, Cervantes, to have meetings with experienced filmmakers or sales agents or distributors – to relax once in a while by listening to interesting lectures in the so-called Open Programme.

I was there yesterday to hear what an old friend from the Baltic Sea Forum, Phil Jandaly, had to say about his profession. Editing. Called « From Pre-



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX Films Already Reviewed

Written 09-03-2019 13:01:01 by Tue Steen Mller

CPH:DOX Films Already Reviewed

Here comes a list of films from this year´s CPH:DOX that has already been reviewed on filmkommentaren.dk. As the policy for our independent and self-funded blog-site is that we only review and comment (almost) positively, you can consider these links as recommendations:

An Evening with Ai WeiWei

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4066/

Victor Kossakovsky: Aquarela

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4408/

Emir Kusturica: El Pepe

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4441/

Eszter Hajdú: Hungary 2018

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4405/

Aboozar Amini: City in the Wind

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4398/

Bettina Perut & Iván Osnovikoff : Los Reyes

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4406/

Herzog & Singer: Meeting Gorbachev

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4386/

Vitaly Mansky: Putin’s Witnesses

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4390/

Kim Longinotto: Shooting the Mafia

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4463/

Nicolas Geyerhalter: The Border Fence

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4437/

Anna Eborn: Transnistra

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4475/

https://cphdox.dk/en/programme/program-a-z/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX 2019

Written 06-03-2019 13:25:04 by Tue Steen Mller

CPH:DOX 2019

It is indeed overwhelming the program of CPH:DOX. Films, now also with a section for fiction films, concerts, the CPH:Forum with 33 projects, including well-known directors being present like Petra Costa, Victor Kossakovsky, Guido Hendrickx, Mila Turajlic, Shaul Schwarz and Ben Rivers… focus on art and innovation in form… the extra-ordinary.

But let me stay with the film program: 200 films, five international competitions, ”Among this year’s new initiatives and highlights are a major theme on Europe including films, talks and an exhibition, a new programme dedicated to fiction films, and guest stars such as Ai Weiwei and Pamela Anderson!”

We will review many of the films, but let me draw your attention to 3 films and filmmakers risking to drown in the big ocean of titles:

Lithuanian ”Animus Animalis” by young Aiste Zegulyte, original in form and theme: People, Animals and Things. Palestinian Lina Alabed’s ”Ibrahim”, ”a cinematic letter to her father, who disappeared during a political mission in 1987 and never returned”. I have heard about that film for a long time, made with Danish help. Russian wonderful director Alina Rudnitskaya’s Danish production “School of Seduction”.

Talking about Denmark – and it is a Dane who writes this – it is good to see many new Danish films announced after a bit meager 2018. There are films by Phie Ambo, Pernille Rose Grønkjær, Eva Mulvad, Andreas Johnsen and new names as Marie Skovgård and Sun Hee Engelstoft.

https://cphdox.dk/


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Anna Eborn: Transnistra

Written 05-03-2019 10:31:08 by Tue Steen Mller

Anna Eborn: Transnistra

Yes. Documentary is Cinema. Where the best directors know what they are doing. Have chosen a form for what they want to tell. Before shooting. This is what Swedish Anna Eborn has done with this gem of a documentary film. She is working with video and with 16mm film, she has created a superb sound design and used music so it matches the sequences. The critic has no objections!

Actually this is a quote from my review of Eborn’s previous film ”Lida” from Ukraine but it fits perfectly for the one, she presents now, ”Transnistra”, shot by Virginie Surdej.

The film stands out, it is far away from main stream documentary, let me just point at some of the magic this film delivers:

The opening summer scenes of the youngsters at the river with Tanya in the middle surrounded by, well they are boys, all of them pretty much interested in Tanya, she talking about love all the time – the filmmaker stays long with them creating an atmosphere of waiting and searching. You can see it is shot on film material, it gives a beauty to the image, nothing to do with the often sterile video image.

The river is the point of return in a film that also goes to the poor place, where Tanya lives and to the abandoned houses, where the youngsters hang out, smoking, talking about everything and nothing, being together in a social context that can be only characterised as poverty. They have no education, they have dreams of getting away as many in this part of the world.

And yet, important to stress, this is not a social report, it is a close look at youngsters/teenagers and how they love and don’t love each other, how they create their own little space of life in Transnistria, ”the breakaway republic largely unrecognized internationally, sitting between Moldova and Ukraine, which seems determined to maintain a Soviet lifestyle”.

… and the closing scene with Tanya and Tolya, touching… maybe a farewell moment, Tolya thinks, while Tanya is recording him singing. On her cell phone. Wow, here is a young director who catches a moment of life and love, Truffaut will clap in his hands whereever he is.

The film will be shown at the Tempo Festival in Stockholm, at Docville in Belgium and at CPH:DOX: https://cphdox.dk/en/programme/film/?id=1187 and will be released in Danish theatres in June. And at many other festivals I am sure.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4027/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_Transnistria

Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, 93 mins., 2019


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ZagrebDox 2019 Ivars Seleckis and Me

Written 03-03-2019 14:18:51 by Tue Steen Mller

ZagrebDox 2019 Ivars Seleckis and Me

Years ago Nenad Puhovski, founder of and director of ZagrebDox, said to himself: I also want to give an award, I will call it ”My Generation”. (Remember that Puhovski has a competitive category for filmmakers under 35 with an attached Youth Jury). This year Puhovski was happy to award Latvian Ivars Seleckis, whose masterpiece ”To be Continued” was shown at the festival.

At the same – to celebrate the 15th edition – Puhovski gave two honorary awards, one national and one international. The national was given to Hrvoje Hribar, a director and former Croatian Audiovisual Centre managing director, the international to me.

From the press release published on the site of the festival:



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

ZagrebDox Winners 2019

Written 03-03-2019 05:46:38 by Tue Steen Mller

ZagrebDox Winners 2019

Last night the winners were announced in  Zagreb, here comes some of them, click below and you will get the whole list:

Nebojša Slijepčević Tue Steen Müller elimir ilnik, Jury International Competition

BIG STAMP FOR BEST FILM IN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
UP THE MOUNTAIN (Photo)
Yang Zhang, China - The film captivates with its visual beauty and directing skills, introduces us into the life of a remote community, depicting celebrations, grief, birth and death, spectacular parties and intimate conversations. We can rightfully say that each shot in this film is like a painting, a glorious meditation about true values in life.

SPECIAL MENTION - INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION



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ZagrebDox Seleckis, Loznitsa, Nyrabia

Written 02-03-2019 12:35:37 by Tue Steen Mller

ZagrebDox  Seleckis, Loznitsa, Nyrabia

Her name is Anastasija, she is one of the children in “To Be Continued” by Latvian documentary master Ivars Seleckis, who is here at ZagrebDox, where his film was shown last night. Tonight Seleckis (who will be 85 this year) will receive an award given by Nenad Puhovski, ZagrebDox festival director, who himself at each edtion of the festival chooses a film to be awarded. A ”My Generation” award. I have known Seleckis for more than 20 years, this time I have had time to pass time with him at dinner and breakfasts, together with a dear friend Lelda Ozola from the National Film Centre of Latvia. This morning I learned why the director/cameraman always wears a beret… ask him when you meet him, good story.

Another master at the festival was Sergei Loznitsa, who in a totally crowded cinema performed a masterclass with the title ”Use of Archive Footage Between the Authentic and Constructed”. He had only time to show clips from three of his many archive-based films. Although it is always interesting to listen to Loznitsa – and I loved to have ”Blokada” (2005) on screen, the fantastic film about the siege of Leningrad, as well as ”The Event” from 2015, also archive, from 1991, the coup and the call for freedom shot in Leningrad/St.Petersburg – he should have been given more time, and maybe he should have focused on one film and gone deeper with, for instance, the last archive work, the amazing ”The Trial”. Also shown at the festival.

Orwa Nyrabia, artistic director of IDFA, was at the festival invited and interviewed by Nenad Puhovski – he was as always precise, open for questions, promised that there will be changes at the Forum, which has renewed itself but needs more changes following the changes in the media landscape, where broadcasters are not influential on the development of documentaries any longer, at least in funding terms. The question about why no central and Eastern documentary projects were chosen for the Forum 2018 was raised again, Orwa Nyrabia referred to the answer he gave through filmkommentaren, link below. Re the meeting: It can only be a simplification from the one hour with Nyrabia but the message could be: less mainstream films and projects, more ambitious creative documentaries and projects. Wish him all the best luck with this!

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4376/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

ZagrebDoxPro Awards

Written 02-03-2019 11:19:30 by Tue Steen Mller

ZagrebDoxPro  Awards

Look at the photo – happy award winners of the ZagrebDox Pro announced last night. Below, I have copied a text from the site of the festival. I attended the pitching forum, good atmosphere, good presentations, well trained by Leena Pasanen and Stefano Tealdi, the latter being – for my taste – a too polite moderator with panelists, who had problems in being short and precise. Here comes the text:

Following a four-day workshop and the Pitching Forum presenting the projects to the members of the international panel, the award ceremony of this year’s ZagrebDox Pro training programme took place. The best projects are Museum of the Revolution4 Goodnight Stories and Raising Predators.

The HBO Europe Award, a diploma and 2000 euro for further project development went to the Serbian-Croatian project Museum of the Revolution by Srđan Keča about an unusual friendship between an old woman and a little girl living in the ruins of an abandoned utopian project, presented at ZagrebDox by producer Vanja Jambrović.

The ZagrebDox Pro Online Mentor Award, a diploma and a one-year online mentoring with elimir ilnik went to director Anđelka Vujinović and the co-author and DoP Mija Mujović for the project 4 Goodnight Stories. Closely documenting the life in the biggest nursing home in Serbia, this project explores the meaning of old age and its taboos and captures mood of the last moments.

The best project of this year’s edition of ZagrebDox Pro, according to the joint decision of all the panellists is the Hungarian project Raising Predators by director Réka Ugron and producer László Józs, about Sandra the falconer who has a hard time establishing an emotional connection with her children due to her own dramatic childhood memories. They won the ZagrebDox Pro DCP Award, including a diploma and the professional DCP format material...

http://zagrebdox.net/en/2019/home


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

ZagrebDox elimir ilnik

Written 02-03-2019 10:42:34 by Tue Steen Mller

ZagrebDox  elimir ilnik

Tonight the award ceremony will take place at the 15th edition of the ZagrebDox. I have been in the International Competition jury together with Nebojša Slijepčević and elimir ilnik. The results will be announced on this site tonight or tomorrow.

It is always a pleasure to be in a jury. It gives you the chance to have good film talks with your juror colleagues, in this case with two fine filmmakers. Slijepčević, whose ”Srbenka” is on my ”best of 2018” - http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4308/ - and Serbian ilnik, whose name was of course familiar to me but I had never really had the chance to see his works and understand the important role he has played in Yugoslav film history.

Thanks to ZagrebDox for closing (a bit of) this gap: ilnik had a masterclass, where he showed “Among the People: Life and Acting”, a 83 minutes long film that demonstrates, what he himself called “my Methodology”. The film is full of clips from his films (documentaries and fiction) mixed with conversations with some of the people, who were in his early works. They talk about, what it meant to them to be invited to be in a film and it shows wonderfully ilnik in action as the director, who gives lines to the non-professional actors. You get very easily the feeling of a true documentarian, who knows how to approach and get the best out of the “protagonists” as he puts it. And does so with humour and respect.

It’s the social and political aspects of a society that interests ilnik, whose works are full of critical comments. Among the many quotes  from his films there is one where the director has invited a handful of homeless people to come and stay in his house – going out in the streets of Novi Sad asking people, what they thought about homeless people and what could be done for them. There is indeed not a lot of understanding and compassion! On the photo another example, a woman looking at a photo from, when she was young and was filmed by ilnik.

Around 20 of his films will be screened at Centre Pompidou in Paris in April.

http://zagrebdox.net/en/2019/home


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Docudays UA The Festival Concept

Written 26-02-2019 20:26:54 by Tue Steen Mller

Docudays UA  The Festival Concept

The following text is a copy paste from the website of DocuDays UA in Kiev, explaining the visual concept refelcting on how

... the new digital world changes us, our way of thinking, habits, ways of communication, our whole consciousness. We’re glad that 3D printing of transplant organs has been invented. Drones have become an everyday reality, and we’re waiting for driverless cars. Smart houses are becoming common, AI robots entertain elderly people, they pick up balls at tennis courts and play chess.

We hope that digital technology will allow us to fight corruption. For example, if Ukraine moves all its government activities online, all the notes, queues,



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Docudays UA Ukrainian Doc Preview

Written 24-02-2019 12:19:23 by Tue Steen Mller

Docudays UA  Ukrainian Doc Preview

The festival in Kiev takes place March 22-30 and I am happy to go again, always a pleasure to be at a festival that has an idea, makes a (political or social) statement, know about the documentary world and pick the best of the best for screening.

Darya Bassel, Program and Docu/Pro coordinator at the festival, introduced the other day, on the website of the festival, see link below, a Doc Preview, ”a presentation of post-production stage Ukrainian documentary projects to selectors representing leading international festivals, sales agents and distributors…”the perfect venue to launch their a journey into the international market”.

Of course a good initiative but what struck me was the truth in the first lines



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

ZagrebDox 15th Edition

Written 23-02-2019 11:57:17 by Tue Steen Mller

ZagrebDox 15th Edition

The 15th edition of the Croatian international documentary festival starts tomorrow. It is a festival that year by year has grown and developed, with competitions for international and regional films and a lot of side sections. You can’t complain if you live in Zagreb and want to have a quality overview of what happens in the world of documentaries!

On the FB link to this blogpost you could see a photo of the jurors of the first edition of ZagrebDox, sent by festival director and founder Nenad Puhovski. In the middle you see IDFA’s Head of industry then and now, Adriek van Nieuwenhuyzen, to the left Croatian filmmaker and script writer Krsto Papić, who passed away in 2013, and to the right me.

The three of us had the job to award the best in both the international and regional competition. Read what we decided:



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Kim Longinotto: Shooting the Mafia

Written 16-02-2019 11:10:53 by Tue Steen Mller

Kim Longinotto: Shooting the Mafia

Kim Longinotto, in her latest film presented at this week’s Berlinale (and already shown at last Sundance), portrays the Italian photographer Letizia Battaglia who has documented the Sicilian mafia over more than four decades. Battaglia happened by chance to become a photographer for the Palermo daily „L’Ora“, when – almost already 40 - she asked for a job as a journalist during the Sicilian summer holidays. After just a few days of work, she had to report her first mafia assassination. Over the years, Letizia Battaglia has become the woman who has seen an immense number of crime scenes, burials and finally court trials. Her mostly black and white pictures have been shown in museums and exhibitions around the world.



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DocPoint 2019 Summing Up

Written 04-02-2019 19:56:40 by Tue Steen Mller

DocPoint 2019 Summing Up

A total of 107 films were screened at DocPoint Festival in more than 260 screenings, a fifth of which were sold out. The documentary film event for children and young people, DOKKINO, organised in connection with the festival, gained 3 000 visitors. “I am pleased that a diverse festival audience was again inspired by documentary films”, says the Executive Director of the DocPoint-elokuvatapahtumat association Tapio Riihimäki. ”The good vibe and the warm atmosphere at DocPoint screenings is noteworthy and our international filmmaker guests have also remarked upon it.”

The most viewed film during the festival week was GENESIS 2.0 (Photo), the startling journey of the director Christian Frei to the core of cloning and ethics. Among the most popular films at the festival were AQUARELA depicting the power of water, OUR NEW PRESIDENT and FAHRENHEIT 11/9 both analysing Donald Trump’s ascent to power but from different viewpoints, and the poetic CIELO, of which all four screenings were sold out. Of the Finnish premieres, the biggest audiences were drawn by Reetta Huhtanen’s GODS OF MOLENBEEK and Arthur Franck’s THE HYPNOTIST.

The DocPoint audience and Tue Steen Müller, the Danish film critic making this year’s Critic’s Choice, were unanimous: the winner of the Audience Award GODS OF MOLENBEEK is also the Critic’s Choice. Müller says: “The filmmaker has cleverly made a film that puts the magic of childhood in the foreground as a comment to the world around the two boys. It is charming! This film will travel the world.”

Give us feedback!, please We’d love to here from you – and arrange an even better festival again next year! The 19th DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival, it will take place from 27th January to 2nd February 2020. See you there!

https://docpointfestival.fi/en/blog/2019/02/04/diverse-audiences-inspired-by-docpoint-festival/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Honeyland Wins 3 Awards at Sundance

Written 03-02-2019 09:51:33 by Tue Steen Mller

Honeyland Wins 3 Awards at Sundance

He was right Atanas Georgiev, the producer and editor of the film "Honeyland", when he said that it was close to be a masterpiece and hmmm, I was right when I gave it the highest marks in a review the other day http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4449/ Here is what I took from the Indiewire website:

World Cinema Documentary Competition

Grand Jury Prize – “Honeyland,” directors: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov

Directing – “Cold Case Hammarskjold,” director: Mads Brugger

Special Jury Award for No Borders – “Midnight Traveler,” director: Hassan Fazili

Special Jury Prize for Impact for Change – “Honeyland,” directors: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov

Special Jury Award for Cinematography – “Honeyland,” Fejmi Daut, Samir Legume

Three awards out of five, wow! Mads Brügger's film will be reviewed in connection with its Danish premiere February 7.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Reetta Huhtanen: Gods of Molenbeek

Written 03-02-2019 09:08:53 by Tue Steen Mller

Reetta Huhtanen: Gods of Molenbeek

Oh childhood with all your curiosity and innocence! Where the world is open for you, where you can ask all kind of questions. Where you can wish for everything, which is what the two boys do in Finnish debut director (for long documentaries) Reetta Huhtanen’s remarkable film “Gods of Molenbeek”.

I want a God as Amine, says 6 year old Aatos to his mother, who is Finnish, his father is from Chile. He goes to a French language school, whereas his close friend Amine’s parents are from Morocco. Amine goes to an Arabic



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Janus Metz og Sine Plambech: Hjertelandet

Written 03-02-2019 08:54:03 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Janus Metz og Sine Plambech: Hjertelandet

DOCS & TALKS 2019 / CINEMATEKET 06/02 17:30

Stedet introduceres i smukt fotografi, Lars Skree og Henrik Bohn Ipsen er fotograferne. Der er myndighed over disse billeder. Et jysk landskab, som er meget, meget mere end et vindblæst hjørne af Danmark. Det er en egn og en befolkning med en særegen livsstil og en stor værdighed og en bevaret integritet, bekræfter fotografiet for mit blik, som er dannet tilbage i romantikken. Og kvinden, det til en begyndelse handler om, introduceres tilsvarende smukt og sikkert. Hun er egentlig fremmed her, men er så integreret, som det har været mulig at blive her, når man ser anderledes ud og er fra den anden side af Jorden…

Sådan skrev jeg i 2008, da jeg havde set de første afsnit af dette store filmværk. Og sådan ser jeg også det afsnit som nu har premiere på onsdag den 19. september, ti år senere, Hjertelandet. For netop sådan begynder denne nye dokumentarfilm, den anvender så smukt og berettiget de første to dele til i en ny sikker klipning at fortælle dette vigtige tilbageblik, præcis som jeg selv forinden havde været nødt til at se filmene fra dengang og finde frem, hvad jeg skrev om dem. Og det fortsætter jeg så med her.

For her, fra dokumentarværkets begyndelse i del 1, Fra Thailand til Thy begynder fortællingen, og det er som det skal være, jeg er tryg. Og jeg skal bestemt nok blive ved den fortælling fra første begyndelse, det mærkede jeg dengang og det mærker jeg nu. For der er jo i den fortælling en ægte historie, en kærlighedshistorie, som fortsætter i del 2, Fra Thy til Thailandog den historie finder nu sin foreløbige afslutning i en del 3, som er den aktuelle film Hjertelandet.

FØLELSERNES FORVANDLING

Kvinden skal formidle et ægteskab. Det har hun gjort før, fundet kvinder hjemme i sin landsby og placeret dem hos mænd her. De holder sammen, og vi lærer to af dem at kende. Hun har nu igen disse tre måneder til det, et turistvisums afmålte tid. Og personen, en søsterdatter, som det nu gælder, ankommer og kastes befippet ud i det. Kontaktannonce, svar, udvælgelse, mødet med manden. Han hedder Kjeld. Han er rar og genert. Hjælperne tager af sted, hun står fortabt i entrédøren til Kjelds hus, den første virkelig gribende scene. Hvordan skal det gå? Med denne unge kvinde, Kae hedder hun.



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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Talal Derki: Of Fathers and Sons

Written 02-02-2019 08:11:46 by Tue Steen Mller

Talal Derki: Of Fathers and Sons

DOCS & TALKS 2019 / CINEMATEKET 04/02 14:00 / ØST FOR PARADIS 26/2 17:00

 It stands out. I can not avoid superlatives. And I can not express in words, in a language that is not mine, how I feel after having seen Talal Derki's new film. Or how I felt while watching it. It is a film that hurts and makes you depressed, sad is too weak a word; it goes to the heart and to the stomach; two boys and a father who loses a foot - it's all destined by the prophet, he says - the upbringing to Jihad, to kill the enemy, i.e. us, a film that is so well made, with a camera that caresses the face of Osama, the kid, who turns to the camera before he is transported to the sharia school. It's an unbearable scene, he hugs his brother Ayman, who stays to go to school. The film shows, how hate is built up and also how love always looks like between a father and his sons. I stop here full of admiration for a filmmaker, who formulates his ambition in a text taken from the film's website:

"fter my film RETURN TO HOMS, which was about the young rebel Basit Sarout and his comrades, I wanted to go deeper. I wanted to penetrate the psychology and the emotions of this war, understand what made people radicalize and what drives them to live under the strict rules of an Islamic state. In the media, war is often portrayed as a chess game and Islam is labeled as evil. If we see the images of war, we get the feeling that it is a unreal parallel world. In OF FATHERS AND SONS, I want to establish a direct relationship between the protagonists and the audience. I would like to take my audience with me on my journey and communicate with them through my camera.

The main characters of my film are Abu Osama (45), one of the founders of Al-Nusra, the Syrian arm of Al-Qaeda, and his two eldest sons Osama (13) and Ayman (12). I have been living with them over the period of 2.5 years and became a part of their family. Although I am an atheist, I prayed with them every day and led the life of a good Muslim to find out, what is happening in my country. Abu Osama is not only a loving father, but also a specialist for car bomb attacks and the disposal of mines. He deeply believes in an Islamic society under the laws of the Shari'ah, the Caliphate, and therefore he also places his children at its service.



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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Doc People at DocPoint

Written 01-02-2019 11:34:09 by Tue Steen Mller

Doc People at DocPoint

Lovely to meet documentary colleagues in Helsinki at the DocPoint. You get to talk private matters, food and drinks – and documentaries. Have you seen… ah, you should see… what is your next destination… Already when arriving in the airport I could hug Artchil Khetagouri and Ileana Stanculescu, who are in charge of the CinéDoc-Tbilisi (http://www.cinedoc-tbilisi.com/) in May. I can warmly recommend the festival in the wonderful city with the wonderful cuisine and wine and chacha.

At my age, being around for decades you are happy, when you remember the good old times, where television editors could take , and took risks. And there she was, outside the Savoy Theatre, Eila Werning, who worked for YLE, the Finnish broadcasting company, and who very often at pitching sessions said ”I don’t know where to put it (slot-wise) but I love your project, so I will take it and find a way”. A decision maker, where most of those editors who go to IDFA and other sessions can not make a decision but have to pitch to several other people placed further up in the system. Eila Werning told me that she during xmas time had used a recipe, that she had been given by my wife many many years ago at a documentary event in Skopje. Werning does not live in Helsinki but had come for the festival and had just seen ”Putin’s Witnesses” by Vitalyi Mansky, who came to say hello. I asked him if he was about to break the record of festivals for his film… So far 60 festivals, he said, crazy, but just think what that means in terms of audience! Bravo!

I walked to some screenings with Latvian Zane Balcus, who is film museum director and took part in the Baltic Sea Forum 2018. She is a true film lover and film critic and she promised me to make a follow up on the great story (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4443/) on the finding of the director’s cut version of Uldis Brauns masterpiece ”235.000.000” from 1967. A film that, when a copy is ready, deserves to be at festivals all over.

Yes, film history, and again it was a pleasure to attend Helena Trestikova’s masterclass. As at IDFA 2018 she is the honorary guest of the DocPoint festival. And as usual she was 100% prepared, showing clips from her long-term observation films “René”, “Katka”, “Mallory” and “A Marriage Story”. From the latter clips were shown from first day of shooting, 20 years later and 35 years later. Marvellous. She talked about ethics, the relationship between director and protagonist – the latter with a fantastic dialogue clip from “Rene”. It was a fine masterclass with a small: But the moderator should be told to speak louder and more clear, and address the audience...

That’s all for now. Three more Finnish screenings and I will tell you which Finnish documentary I think is the best one this year.

Photo: Helena Trestikova.

https://docpointfestival.fi/en/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DocPoint 2019

Written 01-02-2019 09:23:32 by Tue Steen Mller

DocPoint 2019

The 18th  edition of the Finnish documentary film festival is going on right now and until Sunday in a Finnish capital full of snow – I have been moving very slow from cinema to cinema, luckily they are very close to each other in the centre, to avoid falling. We are not used to that much snow in Denmark any longer.

I was here for the first edition of a festival founded by and still run by filmmakers. Tapio Riihimäki, executive director of Docpoint, tells me that the festival is expected to have around 30.000 spectators – and he says so having already arranged several extra screenings because of sold out films of the over 260 screenings!

107 films, the best of the best from all over the world, masterclasses and two awards, the Audience award for the best Finnish documentary and a critic’s choice. That’s why I am here, as a critic for filmkommentaren.dk to pick the best from my point of view, and write a review to be published this coming Sunday or Monday. 7 screenings, some of them with several films. A nice job to have, a good atmosphere, a couple of full houses I have attended since I came here Wednesday, welcomed by Tapio and an old friend John Webster, who is chairman of the board with a strong filmography. Having three films in the pipeline!

I have met many doc colleagues in the couple of days, I have been here, more about that in another blogpost.

https://docpointfestival.fi/en/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Simon Lereng Wilmont: The Distant Barking of Dogs

Written 30-01-2019 09:10:05 by Tue Steen Mller

Simon Lereng Wilmont: The Distant Barking of Dogs

DOCS & TALKS 2019 / CINEMATEKET / SØN 03/02 14:00

The location is Hnutove, Eastern Ukraine, war zone for years. A village from where - for the very same reason – many Ukrainian families have moved away. But not grandmother Alexandra and 10 year old Oleg, the main characters of this remarkable, multi-layered film. Grandmother insists on staying. In the best Danish documentary I have seen this year. A film about Childhood, about Fear, about survival, about Love. Made with love. And cinematic skills on how to build a story, compose the images and put them together with a soundtrack that stresses the atmosphere of the scenes, without killing them.

Oleg and his cousin Yarik are like kids everywhere. They do pillow fights, they fight as kids do, they are crawling around wherever

there is space to crawl, they go swimming in the river, suntanned, they jump in the beds, they wear football shirts… but their outdoor playground is different. Ruins with cartridges, mortars, unexploded mines… in sometimes a constant sound carpet of bombs and the sight of war as flashes of light on the sky. It’s an understatement to say that this constitutes a fragile childhood for the kids.

The grandmother IS love and the director, who is also the cameraman, knows how to convey that to the viewers: Oleg and grandmother walking in the snow in the beginning of the film, to visit the graveyard of Oleg’s mother. The two boys caressing granny in her bed, when she falls ill, Granny ”educating” Oleg when he comes home having shot a frog with the gun of the elder Kostya.



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Mari Gulbiani: Before Father Gets Back

Written 29-01-2019 07:49:10 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Mari Gulbiani: Before Father Gets Back

DOCS & TALKS 2019 / CINEMATEKET

 

RADIKALISERING

Jeg forstår på foromtalerne at Mari Gulbianis film handler om radikalisering og dette for tiden sært indforstået præcise begreb vender og drejer jeg nu jeg har set Gulbianis værk og slet ikke oplever det som filmens egentlige indhold. Jeg mærker måske en radikaliserings virkninger i en lille landsby uden unge og voksne mænd – forstår at alle disse mænd er ved fronten. De gamle mænd og kvinderne og børnene er tilbage i husene og på vejene og på stederne hvor man altid i små grupper fortsat i al landsbyens tid samles og snakker med hinanden. Vi har alle set og frydet os over disse utallige film som tilsammen er en dokumentarfilmens globale landsby. Her i denne, i en georgisk bjergegn er situationen at de våbenføre mænd har meldt sig til en krig langt borte for en idé, for en samfundsforståelse de tror på, og jeg forstår at det i denne dal er det IS de tjener, men kommer i tvivl, for det kan da ikke gælde alle? Formodentlig hovedpersonen Imans far, men vel ikke den anden hovedperson Evas far? De ses på fotografiet prøve et tørklædes virkning for udseendet, Iman til venstre i vestligt mærkevaretøj naturligt i hendes familie, Eva til højre i sin egns traditionelle klædning med tørklæde, en selvfølge i hendes familie. Kyndig lærer hun Iman hvordan tørklædet skal bindes korrekt.

Som jeg ser og hører det er det krigen som sådan, ikke radikaliseringen af krigerne, ikke terroren og krigsforbrydelserne, som de tilbageblevne voksne og børnene ser tv om, taler om, det er ikke ideologiernes sammenstød. Det her må Mari Gulbiani og Maja Greenwood under samtalen efter filmen finde ud af og forklare for en som mig, der helt ærligt ikke ved hvad radikalisering egentlig er, som en religiøs omvendelse, som et politisk valg, som en pludselig eller blot voksende indsigt i og overtagelse en tilværelsesforståelse, en omverdenstolning, en livsanskuelse hed det i min ungdoms indre missionske Nørre Nissum, hvor der i øvrigt også levede grundtvigianere og sekulære socialister.

STED

Hos Flaherty blev det et ubetinget princip, at historien skulle hentes på stedet selv, og at det skulle være (hvad han anser for) stedets egentlige historie. Hans drama er derfor et drama af dage og nætter, af årstidernes gang, med de kampe, der er nødvendige for at opretholde eller for at leve i et samfund eller for at bygge stammens værdighed op. (John Grierson)



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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Matthieu Rytz: Anotes Ark

Written 21-01-2019 12:24:20 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Matthieu Rytz: Anotes Ark

DOCS & TALKS 2019 / CINEMATEKET / FRE 01/02 16:45

… Men løsningen er alligevel så let at en femårig kan forstå det. Vi må stoppe udslippene. Det er sort-hvidt. For enten sætter vi gang i en kædereaktion som udløser hændelser, som udløser hændelser, som er ude af menneskets kontrol, eller også gør vi det ikke. (Greta Thunberg i SVT 18. jan. 2019)

 

GEOGRAFI

Det første jeg overvældet forstår når jeg ser Matthieu Rytz ’ film er staten Kiribatis’, dette øriges skrøbelighed. De indledende optagelser fra højt oppe viser mig det, en spinkel ørække i en lang sekvens. Udsagnet i disse billeder er filmens indhold, som helt enkelt former sig som en uddybning af dette indtryksfulde overblik. Matthieu Rytz vil med det samme gøre klart, hvad den her dokumentar handler om. Skrøbelig og usikker skønhed. Den lille spinkle udriggerbåd på det store hav, det blå sejl og det blå vand og den tynde langstrakte øgruppe to meter over havets overflade på toppen af undersøiske vulkankrateres kanter.

Our whole nation is only two metres above sea level, and the report shows that the difference between 1.5°C and 2°C of warming is several centimetres of sea level rise. Given that we are already feeling the impacts of rising water, every millimetre counts. (Anote Tong, The Guardian, 10 Oct 2018)



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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

DocsBarcelona The War Room

Written 17-01-2019 12:21:11 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona The War Room

Well, it was quite friendly but of course there were – and should be – discussions about which films should be taken for the DocsBarcelona 2019 edition in May. On the photo you see the selection group except for the man, who took the photo, Joan Gonzalez, Director of the festival and CEO and founder of Parallel 40. At the end of the table me, Head of Programming, from left Daniel Jariod, filmmaker and teacher, Martina Rogers, visual artist and involved in DocsBarcelona for many years, as is Pol Roig Turró, filmmaker and the most important person for this meeting having coordinated the process, giving the 3 days a good flow, and Diego Mas Trelles, Head of Industry, producer and director.

The process? All members of the group had watched films in beforehand and made their priorities. During the three days 15 films had to be selected for the Panorama section, 8 for the Latitud and 5 for the What the Doc, that is for more daring and innovative documentaries. All of them in competitive sections. On top of that some films were put for special screenings, often with a debate attached. In the coming weeks the staff of DocsBarcelona will contact those whose films have been taken.

A lot more about DocsBarcelona is to be found on

http://www.docsbarcelona.com/en/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Gabrielle Brady: Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Written 13-01-2019 10:03:19 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Gabrielle Brady: Island of the Hungry Ghosts

DOCS & TALKS 2019 / CINEMATEKET / ØST FOR PARADIS

 

STEDETS ÅND

Hun er bekymret, denne i alle måder smukke kvinde på fotografiet fra en scene i filmen, hun er nedtrykt, hun hedder Poh Lin Lee og hun holder mig fast i det filmen handler om, så den i en lyrisk form blidt og tålmodigt som hun i sit væsen indkredser øens genius loci. Men trods sin stilfærdighed er Gabrielle Bradys film en etisk og politisk pamflet som kunne bære overskriften j’accuse. Jeg er ikke i tvivl om mod hvad og mod hvem anklagen rettes. Styrken ved anklagen er ikke juridisk præcision, ikke overbevisende statistik, ikke kyndig antropologisk redegørelse, styrken er ved siden af disse berettigede og nødvendige fagligheder som må komme frem i festivalens samtale, dens talk-del, styrken ved anklagen er filmens cinematografi, dens inderlige skriven sin egen overbevisende research i sin egen fagligheds skrift, i en kunstnerisk indsigt i og forståelse af sin location, sit steds ånd og så her altså overgrebene mod den.

HUNGRY GHOSTS

Jeg ser Poh Lin Lee og hendes mands og deres børns respektfulde skildringer stedets gamle kultur, først af rituelle afbrændinger af symbolske papirrester efter de døde. Det handler om sjæl og legeme om ånd og materie, og moderen forklarer det til børnene: ”De første indvandrere kom til øen fra Kina for 100 år siden. De fik ikke en rigtig begravelse nogen af dem. Så vi som lever nu er nødt til at bede for dem. I en måned er de blandt de levende. De er the hungry ghosts. Hvis du på vejen ser en hvid skygge passere er det antagelig en vandrende ånd som går over.” Afbrændingen gælder, må jeg tro, de dødes menneskelighed så deres evighedshungrende ånd kan udvandre fra skyggetilværelsen til frihedens land. Og den lille familie besøger gravstenene over de første kinesiske migranter på øen og børnene lærer om monumenternes betydning for et steds historie og kultur. Jeg læser ikke filmen som analogi, læser ikke dens enkeltelementer som symboler. Jeg ser et voksende anklageskrifts konkrete passus akkumulere.



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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

DOCS & TALKS 2019 / PROGRAMME

Written 09-01-2019 09:59:49 by Allan Berg Nielsen

DOCS & TALKS 2019 / PROGRAMME

THE DANISH INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (DIIS) AND CINEMATEKET PRESENT DOCS & TALKS – FILM AND RESEARCH DAYS, JANUARY 31st - FEBRUARY 6th, 2019

Daughters of foreign fighters from Georgia, flood-affected islanders in Kiribati and Australia's hermetically sealed asylum centres. This year, we will once again travel far and wide at the third annual Docs & Talks film and research festival from January 31st to February 6th. The festival is organized by the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and Cinemateket.

With its combination of both proximity and a larger social perspective, documentary film is an ideal point of departure for research dissemination and debate. Docs & Talks offers a total of eight film events, in which researchers from DIIS and scholars from other leading international research institutes, filmmakers and practitioners discuss and put into perspective the different themes of the films - and we invite the audience to participate in the debate.

This year, three of the films will focus on the fate of children in war: in eastern Ukraine, we experience the war through the eyes of ten-year-old Oleg; in the Idlib province of Syria, al-Nusra fighters raise their sons to join the armed struggle in a society where violence is breeding violence; and in Georgia, two young teenage girls are deeply marked by the absence of their fathers, who have left to fight for the Islamic State.

Two films in the program touch upon the issues of poverty, health, inequality and climate change, and we host a special event where we scrutinize the visual narratives that dominate the development world and the communication of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Where nothing else is mentioned, the debates are in Danish.

Sara Thelle og Mira Bach Hansen / Forum for Film og Formidling

Anne Blaabjerg, Troels Jensen og Sine Plambech / DIIS

Rasmus Brendstrup, programredaktør / Cinemateket

https://www.diis.dk/en/trending-topic/docs-talks-film-and-research-days-2019

 

PROGRAMME

THURS 31/01 16:30

ASYLUM POLITICS / ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS

Gabrielle Brady, 2018 / Eng. subtitles / 94 min. / 145 min. incl. debate

We open the festival with Gabrielle Brady's poetic and visually striking work on the nature of migration with the Australian asylum system as backdrop. The scenic and mysterious Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean is not just home of the red crab, which migrates by thousands from the jungle to the sea every year, and to a local population marked by Asian migrant culture. The island also houses one of three Australian detention centres where asylum seekers are detained and isolated indefinitely. Trauma therapist Poh Lin Lee tries to work with the detainees on their war traumas and the psychological consequences of their hopeless confinement - but her work is gradually becoming more difficult as the asylum seekers suddenly disappear without explanation from the authorities.

EVENT After the film, DIIS Senior Researcher Ninna Nyberg Sørensen and PhD Nikolas Feith Tan, researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights and Aarhus University, discuss asylum policies in Australia and Europe. The debate is in English.

 



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True Stories Market Research Funding

Written 05-01-2019 12:22:18 by Tue Steen Mller

True Stories Market Research Funding

Quote from filmkommentaren post in August: … thinking of the many documentary adventures I take with me from the Sarajevo Film Festival: To be part of the training team of representatives from ngo’s and human rights organizations was the experience for me. Engaged, committed people who every day deal with human beings who suffer from the consequences of the wars in the 1990’es – and try to help them. Respect!

The festival now makes a call – deadline January 31 – for proposals from filmmakers, who want to collaborate with the organisations and people mentioned to make the stories presented at the festival into films. A €3000 grant is given for further research followed by project development and presentation at the upcoming Cinelink Industry Days at the festival.

The call is open for “Production company or filmmaker coming from the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey.

All details are available through the link below. The same goes for the visual presentation/pitch of the projects. Check it out:

https://www.sff.ba/en/news/10995/sarajevo-film-festival-invites-filmmakers-to-apply-for-a-first-true-stories-market-research-funding


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Faces and Places 2018

Written 02-01-2019 20:14:50 by Tue Steen Mller

Faces and Places 2018

Taking the title of Agnès Varda and JR’s wonderful film as headline, I look back at festivals, pitching sessions, film schools… that I had the privilege to attend in 2018. Privilege is the right word to use, when you board a plane (this year I want to go much more by train…), arrive to a place where you are welcomed and spoilt by the warm hospitality that characterises the documentary community with all its organisers, programmers and volunteers.

Plus the generosity you feel as the one that brought me for the first time to the festival in Karlovy Vary, where ”Bridges of Time” by Kristine Briede and Audrius Stonys had its world premiere. Invited by one of the producers, Uldis Cekulis, I was there with old filmmaker friends Estonian Mark Soosaar, Latvian Ivars Seleckis and a new friend Andres Sööt from Estonia. Plus directors of course and producers and people from the Film institutes. Intense days of celebration of Baltic poetic cinema. On the photo, taken by Cekulis, you see Latvian Uldis Brauns, who is one of the masters in the film – the photo is from September 2014. Brauns passed away in January 2017.

For the 14th time I was at the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade met by the warmth of



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Viktor Kossakovsky Collected Posts on his Works

Written 30-12-2018 13:49:23 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Viktor Kossakovsky  Collected Posts on his Works

The courage to address the world with ambiguity never stooping to easy answers, can also be attributed to the Russian filmmaker, Victor Kossakovsky, who never tires of reminding us that film is an emotionally charged medium, and even when it comes to reality based filmmaking, expressing and arousing emotion should always be at the heart of the work… (Karolina Lidin, from an article 1999)

 

VIKTOR KOSSAKOVSKY - COLLECTED POSTS ON HIS WORKS

by Tue Steen Mûller

 

BELOVY (1993)

Vivan Las Antipodas! … a new tone for a director whose filmography includes films that you want to see again and again, from ”The Belovs” (Belovy) to ”Svyato” and ”Tishe”. (From a post 08-05-2012))

… "The Belovs", this film from the countryside of Russia brilliantly depicts the Russian soul as we have experienced it in works of Dostoyevsky and Thechov. (From a post 02-08-2014)

... Fassaert wanted to show his appreciation of Kossakovsky by showing a long clip from ”Belovs”. He did and it made Kossakovsky burst into tears, kneel in front of the screen, ”I am sorry I shot this”, ”this is a typical Russian person”, he was inconsolable, had to leave the room, came back, left again, came back and stayed. (From a post 20-11-2015)

 

SREDA (1997)

Back to the progression of the Balticum Festival years in Gudhjem, Bornholm and 1997, when one film in particular, "Sreda" (Wednesday) by Viktor Kossakovsky, overshadowed all others. He was the festival’s central figure in a year when not only his film, but many of the other’s are also a return to present-day portrayels and a rediscovery of dayly life with all its problems, but also its poetry. (Tue Steen Müller, from an article 1999)



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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Poetics, Directors

See Ukraine through Cinema and Art

Written 04-12-2018 19:45:12 by Tue Steen Mller

See Ukraine  through Cinema and Art

Through documentary films, exhibitions and discussions Ukrainians from the art world travel Europe to present their country and its search for an identity. It’s “a cultural diplomacy project of HRDFF Docudays UA organized with support from the Open Society Initiative for a Europe (OSIFE)”.

The title “SEE Ukraine: An Empty Pedestal” needs an explanation and is given like this on the website (link below) from where I take my quotes: “Is it necessarily to put new heroes on old pedestals and follow the footsteps of the old ideologies? During the discussion the participants of the project "See Ukraine: An Empty Pedestal" will present a variety of approaches to the search for modern Ukrainian identity…”

And this is what project director Alla Tyutyunnyk says:



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

BlekendaalThe Man Who Looked Beyond the Horizon

Written 02-12-2018 10:40:28 by Tue Steen Mller

BlekendaalThe Man Who Looked Beyond the Horizon

In a way it’s an old fashioned film. In storytelling. And I mean that as a compliment. The director plays with the film medium, jumps around in time, gives references to slapstick movies, Buster Keaton and others, in the search for giving evidence on behalf of the protagonist, the Dutch adventurer, who wanted to cross the Atlantic, which he did or did not, he never came back. Giving evidence that there is no gravity. There is a lot of mystery about his disappearance – did he disappear, did he actually exist, is the whole film a fake, is it the director’s own search for something, for some meaning, could be, I don’t know, what I know is that the film is fascinating and playful using the wonderful tools of filmmaking that is far too often forgotten in nowadays documentary making. Old fashioned – a lot reminds me of films from 1968 where all was allowed and tried out. A documentary, well the sequences with an old lady, the girl friend way back when he left, points in that direction as well as photos of a young man with curly hair.

The film won the IDFA Special Jury Award for Best Children’s Film. The jury said: “A film that choose a non obvious subject for children, one that tickles their imagination, raising philosophical questions, and approaches children as little adults. Through intelligent editing, this film challenges the usual way of storytelling in the children’s documentary genre..”

Indeed “special”, maybe more for youngsters or for adults, who like films with layers, surprising films in storytelling, bringing laughter and a serious theme together in a brilliant way. Lovely!

The first name of the director is Martijn.

Holland, 2018, 28 mins.

www.idfa.nl


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Katarzyna Lesisz: Dancing for You

Written 02-12-2018 10:27:37 by Tue Steen Mller

Katarzyna Lesisz: Dancing for You

Get up Wiktor, says grandmother, you have to go to school. Wiktor, 12 years old, goes to a ballet school, where the teacher trains him, and when not in school he plays with a friend, or is with the caring grandma or with a cell phone in hand talking to his father or trying to, cause father is not around. It’s a simple story that finds its filmic tone. A boy waiting, yearning for his father, having a good time at his grandparents. Dancing, expressing himself.

The film received the IDFA Award for Best Children’s Documentary, the jury said this: “The winning film is a beautifully crafted story, leaving the viewer with lots of room for thought and reflection, without explaining too much. One is able to recognize the loneliness of feeling like an outsider in their own family, while striving to pursue their dreams. We applaud individuality; children who stay true to themselves against all odds. We also want to celebrate documentary filmmakers that push themselves to excel in cinematography, and the winning film does just that.”

Poland, 2018, 18 mins.


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IDFA Post-Festival Comments

Written 29-11-2018 14:42:42 by Tue Steen Mller

IDFA Post-Festival Comments

I was in Amsterdam from Monday till Friday. 4 nights at NH Carlton Hotel, the festival centre close to everything and the place where you meet old and dear friends. Including the busy artistic director Orwa Nyrabia, whose first edition it was. I have not seen films enough to evaluate the film selection, you always leave IDFA frustrated that there were films you did not manage to watch, will catch up later at other festivals. The same goes for the great initiative of publishing videos from the DOC Talks after the film, 4-5 minutes it says, but when you click you can get half an hour with Sergei Loznitsa or the award winning Anand Patwardhan or with Polish master Marcel Lozinski or Nikolaus Geyerhalter… more to come, IDFA writes on the website. Not to forget the podcasts with Avi Mograbi and Audrius Stonys, they are long, going deep I am sure – and subject orientated Industry Talk about “Ethical Ways of Co-Producing”, theatrical distribution and so on, so forth. Lots of possibilities, also full films if you are a subscriber to the Docs for Sale.

I saw many good films as loyal readers of this site will know. On top, however, were two film experiences that will stay in my mind: Dziga Vertov’s “Anniversary of the Revolution”, a brilliant night at the Tuschinski with music, breathtaking singing from the stage and from the gallery, a choir! Read my impressions on http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4402/

And a film made 100 year later by Viktor Kossakovsky, “Aquarela”,

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4408/

shown with the intended sound on a big screen in Pathé Munt 3, magnificent.

IDFA is also the Forum, I was not there, I am sure many promising projects were pitched and that the Forum will go on, maybe in new shapes, as Orwa Nyrabia has said, to give the best treat of new talent.

www.idfa.nl


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Three Russian Documentaries at IDFA

Written 29-11-2018 12:49:37 by Tue Steen Mller

Three Russian Documentaries at IDFA

… which all deserve to be mentioned and noticed by other festivals.

“How Big is the Galaxy” (Photo) by Ksenia Elyan (Russia, Estonia, 72 mins.), with Max Tuula and Maria Gavrilova as producers as well as late Alexander Rastorguev for Black and White Cinema, is a gem, with two charming kids Zakhar, 7 years old and the older brother Prokopy. They live far up in North of Siberia with their parents, as – taken from the IDFA website – “belonging to the Dolgan community, one of the last indigenous peoples pursuing their traditional nomadic life in the extreme north of Siberia.” It’s an observational documentary, you follow everyday life with a special focus on the kids, who go to school next door, allowed to have homeschooling. Out of the warmth in the wagon-like house, where the family lives, out in the freezing cold to the next door house that serves as a school with a school teacher and books etc. Zakhar has an eye for the director/cameraman asking her “you take photos”, “is that a job”. Lovely.

“The Potato Eaters” by Dina Barinova (Russia, 51 mins.) from Marina Razbezhkina Studio, a tough social documentation of a village life in awful poor conditions, also featuring two children, who live and play as kids do, jumping in water puddles. They live with their grandparents Svetlana and Victor, the latter deeply alcoholised, Svetlana being the one, who has to take care of everything – without any money. It’s as bad as it could be. Depressing and shocking to watch if not for the kids and Sergei, who is the son of Svetlana and Victor, and the one who moves a bit around and plays vinyl records.

“Dorotchka” by Olga Delane (Russia, 20 mins), who made the fine “Siberian Love”, where she met the 80 year old woman and decided to dedicate a film to her. The IDFA website text is excellent so I quote: “The beautiful, static images of Dorotchka in and around her wooden house, against the backdrop of a relentless landscape in which there’s constant hard work to be done, are reminiscent of 19th-century paintings of romanticized agricultural life. Wringing her hands at the kitchen table, Dorotchka speaks in short sentences peppered with expletives, making it clear that even women like her have their hearts broken. Stylized shots of rural life are combined with comical black-and-white footage of Russian country weddings, folk dancing and singing: a promise of opportunities in a bygone era.” “Siberian Love” is reviewed here: http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3930/

www.idfa.nl


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Andrei Kutsila: Summa

Written 26-11-2018 13:29:28 by Tue Steen Mller

Andrei Kutsila: Summa

I was very happy to know that the new film by Belorussian director Andreu Kutsila received – in the midlength category - the main award at IDFA for “Summa”, a Belorussian/Polish coproduction with Miroslaw Dembinski as the Polish partner.

In 2015 Kutsila won the main national award with “Guests” at the Listapad festival in Minsk (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3370/)

3 years before he was the Belorussian director, who took part in “15 Young by Young”, the documentary short film series initiated and produced by Latvian producer Ilona Bicevska. Some words from the brief review of “Guests” I wrote 3 years ago: “He has found the right, slow rhythm, he lets the scenes develop, he gets close but does never lose a respectful distance…”. Which are words that fit perfectly on “Summa”.

Andrzej Strumillo is an elderly Polish painter, around 90 years old,  Maryia is a young artist from Belarus. She leaves Belarus to come to visit lonely Strumillo, who is happy to have her around. He lives in a spacious house, he breeds horses, the house is close to a lake where he goes, they sit and talk at the table, eat, mostly it is the old man who talks, and she listens if she is not interrupted by calls from her boyfriend/husband, who seems to be jealous – she wants and decides to stay longer, you can understand that - the director who is also the cinematographer understands you see clearly – Kutsila caresses the characters, he has taken his time to compose images of the beauty of the quiet place, he creates a meditative atmosphere. Graceful it is. “It’s sad life is so short”, Strumillo says, at the same time as he remembers the life he had with his wife, who died in 2011, their travels, their being together.

His paintings are shown, they are dark, impressive, religious maybe, at least mysterious; and yet the film is not a portrait of an artist and his work, it is a meeting between youth and wisdom, beautifully interpreted by a director with a vision.

Poland/Belarus, 2018, 51 mins.


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Viktor Kossakovsky: Aquarela

Written 24-11-2018 12:07:10 by Tue Steen Mller

Viktor Kossakovsky: Aquarela

Normally when I go to an art exhibition, I walk around alone, stop in front of the paintings, it’s silent, maybe I talk with the one who are with me, but I love this chance of stepping into a world that does not move. When watching Kossakovsky’s flow of aquarelas, WATERcolors in constant movement, there is no silence, on the contrary – it’s a bombardment of image and sound, an aesthetic composition, it’s expressionistic, surrealistic, abstract, figurative, a journey through art directions and genres. And a magnificent piece of Cinema. That also has a dramaturgy.

As the director put it before the screening at the Pathé Munt 3 cinema in



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IDFA at the Eye Filmmuseum Amsterdam

Written 23-11-2018 13:39:15 by Tue Steen Mller

IDFA at the Eye Filmmuseum Amsterdam

I went to the Eye that everyone has praised during its few years of existence. And it is really something. I crossed the water with the ferry next to the Central Station, 2 mins. it took to get to the other side together with a lot of people, bikes and scooters, and then another couple of minutes of walk to the Eye that I saw in daylight and later – in the evening – with a view to an illuminated Amsterdam. The big open hall has a restaurant that I visited between the two films I saw – I had half an hour, they managed to serve a fine soup and a glass of wine in no time – and an exhibition area. I got a free ticket to see an exhibition of Japanese Ryoji Ikeda, Datamatics it is called and is accompanied by electronic music. I had to leave quickly, no appeal to me, actually I was afraid of having an epileptic seizure…

Instead I rushed to the cinema to watch “Los Reyes” by Chilean Bettina Perut and Iván Osnovikoff. I had forgotten my badge but with the help of Argentinian director Andrés Di Tella and Bettina Perut, who I knew from visits to the two countries I got in to sit at the best place in the very fine cinema hall Eye 1.

And I saw one more film, “Hungary 2018”, by Eszter Hajdú with Sandor Mester as producer, and with superb Menno Boerema as one of the editors. Both films were followed by talks. More about films and talks below.


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Bettina Perut & Ivn Osnovikoff: Los Reyes

Written 23-11-2018 13:32:50 by Tue Steen Mller

Bettina Perut & Ivn Osnovikoff: Los Reyes

The film was screened and there was a half hour talk afterwards. These IDFA talks, I understood, are formatted to have no questions from the audience. I sensed a disappointment in the hall, probably many would have loved to get more from the sympathetic two directors. But they were surrounded outside for further talks in the corridor after the screening. It was my impression that the audience loved the film about “the kings”, why this title – here is a quote from the IDFA website: “Los Reyes is the oldest skatepark in the Chilean



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Eszter Hajd: Hungary 2018

Written 23-11-2018 13:25:19 by Tue Steen Mller

Eszter Hajd: Hungary 2018

I got a mail from the producer of this film, Sandor Mester: “Hungary 2018 is not at the IDFA Forum because it is already in the Feature Length Competition this year and it was not there last year because it was not possible going to public pitching because it could risk, potentially stop this kind of production. We made this new film with a very hard and painful work, it is very complicated to do a project like this in Hungary and finally it was produced by our Portuguese company. Some of the members of our Hungarian crew did not want that their names appear in the credits because they are afraid of the revenge of the government. "Hungary 2018" is about right-wing populism, far-right extremism from the perspective of the last elections in Hungary in 2018 showing how Hungary is in 2018 and how the extreme-right propaganda works on the government level. We have to stand-up against far-right politics and right-wing populism because it generates fear and hate based on lies, semi lies, lies and manipulation.”

The film was screened at IDFA and the main character of the film, former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, who fought against Orbán and the Fidesz party at the election for president in April 2018, was invited for the talk after the film. I knew Hajdu and Mester from their previous brave work, “Judgement in Hungary” reviewed here http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/2966/

and on my list of best documentaries in 2014.

“Hungary 2018” does not bring anything new, the political situation in the country is pretty well covered in the media I follow. And yet here we get on film a documentation of how disgusting the propaganda is from the Fidesz leaders and those, who campaign for Orbán. It is simply amazing, how xenophobia flourishes and how fear is playing a role, when speeches are held: Hungary will be overflooded with muslims, who will rape women in miniskirts – and Soros, the Jewish billionaire, is enemy number One, who supports Gyurcsány and his gang of traitors and is running the EU. Gyurcsány is followed in his campaign, you can only have sympathy for him, as far too few Hungarians had when the election results were clear. Huge victory for Orbán and his non-European attitude.

The film is partly financed by the EU, which is of course used against it: See, the EU is paying for propaganda against Hungary.

Are you going to screen it, I asked a festival director from a country close to Hungary. Of course he said, we are having the same political tendencies in our country… and in Denmark it looks like a new party will enter the parliament at the next election in 2019. It has the same policy as Fidesz.

www.idfa.nl


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IDFA Winners 2018

Written 22-11-2018 09:01:27 by Tue Steen Mller

IDFA Winners 2018

IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary 

Anand Patwardhan won the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (€ 15.000) with Reason (India). The film is a broad-ranging examination of Indian society, where secular rationalists are hunted down as they attempt to stem the rising tide of religious and nationalist fundamentalism. 

"The IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary is unanimously given to Reason by Anand Patwardhan for the epic storytelling of the rise of the far right in one of the most populated countries of this planet, the violence of religious and ultranationalist militias with the support of authorities and dominant medias, the dignity of resistance in multiple forms, often at life-cost, in a way that acknowledges the complexity of the situation but put it in a very understandable shape," the jury reported. 

In addition, the jury presented the IDFA Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary (€ 2.500) to Los Reyes (Chile, Germany) by Bettina Perut and Iván Osnovikoff. In this almost fairy-tale-like film, the phenomenal, dreamlike camerawork centers almost entirely on the subtle interaction between two dogs, as they play with a ball, a stick, a stone, and each other.

"The IDFA Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary goes to Los Reyes by Bettina Perut and Iván Osnivikoff (Chile, Germany) for the creative



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Saint Petersburg Film School Conference

Written 18-11-2018 09:48:52 by Tue Steen Mller

Saint Petersburg Film School Conference

I was at the opening of The PiterKiT International Student Film Festival in Piter – Saint Petersburg. On Wednesday. Huge celebration, three hours with music, clips from films and speeches, maaany speeches due to the celebration of 100 years of the film school, St. Petersburg Institute of Film and Television. Even if the festival carries the name “international” all words were in Russian! I was lucky to have Polish Krzysztof Kopczyński next to me, who whispered translation of some important words. Some names were understandable and I was happy to see Sokurov on stage being honoured.

Several “old boys” were on stage and Kopczyński whispered that they were addressing the audience of students saying that they should make films about “good people”!

As moderator of the conference “How to Educate Students to Meet the Cinema and TV Audience – art and/or craft” at the film school I picked up on this point of view, when the Dean of the faculty of screen arts and Head of the Producer’s Department, the sympathetic, open-minded Pavel Danilov was on stage explaining to us how the school functions as a state institution according to a film law with standards to follow, as the equivalent VGIK in Moscow. Is this what you tell your students, that they should make films about good people, I asked the Dean. Well, he said, there are too much negativity in films right now, we have to remember that cinema is an educational tool – words to that effect from the Dean, who also said that the school suffers from far too much bureaucracy. And there are too many F… words in films, he said, which made the representative from Perm, Pavel Pechenkin - who earlier spoke passionately about the media education projects they run in his city – remind us all that we are in the city of Dostojevski! “Crime and Punishment”! No polished words.

The conference took place in a small room, the interpreters were excellent, the technique functioned and the invited speakers were prepared and inspiring: Kopczynski, Pechenkin, Danilov, Ruth Olshan, Riho Västrik, Ivan Zolotukhin, Andrijana Stojkovic, Elena Khoroshkina. You can find more on the conference here:

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4397/

and in a couple of months a Russian and an English version will be available on Youtube.

The speakers and the audience, primarily teachers from the school, there were from 25 to 7 listeners – the teachers had to go back to their classes – agreed that a continuation of the conference would be of great value. It lies in the hands of the organizer Viktor Skubey.


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IDFA Opening Words from Kaag and Nyrabia

Written 15-11-2018 16:48:20 by Tue Steen Mller

IDFA Opening Words from Kaag and Nyrabia

This text is taken from the website of the IDFA festival:

The 31st IDFA has just officially been opened by Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag in Koninklijk Theater Carré with Aboozar Amini’s film Kabul, City in the Wind.

This is the first festival under new artistic director Orwa Nyrabia, who in his opening speech referred to the inestimable importance of artistic authenticity, pluralism, and dialogue. The festival, which takes place at several venues around Amsterdam, runs until November 25. The winners of the various competitions will be announced on Wednesday, November 21.

Before the screening of the opening film, Minister Kaag gave a speech in which she spoke about the importance of filmmakers and film programmers who are able to transmit and depict the ideas, images, and emotions of others. Creative documentaries can make us reflect, see, and experience in such a way that we, as audiences, are prepared to stand up for others and build better societies with more democracy, more openness, and more humanity.

Nyrabia, who has taken over as artistic director for IDFA 2018, then talked in his opening speech about the focus devoted to inclusivity within the festival. According to Nyrabia, this is something that lies at the heart of IDFA: a deeply rooted belief in the value of artistic freedom, in pluralism, and the importance of pluralism in our everyday lives, both locally and in the wider world. A film festival is a place for dialogue, for questions, for curiosity, and for discoveries. Nyrabia expressed the view that artistic authenticity is the antidote to lies and manipulation. Nyrabia also announced a new cooperation between the Netherlands Film Fund with the IDFA Bertha Fund to stimulate international co-production between Dutch producers and filmmakers from non-Western countries…

www.idfa.nl


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Aboozar Amini: Kabul, City in the Wind

Written 15-11-2018 06:36:05 by Tue Steen Mller

Aboozar Amini: Kabul, City in the Wind

It’s about creating the feeling of being there. To quote Richard Leacock. First time feature length director Afghan Aboozar Amini, who emigrated from the country when a teenager, was educated in Holland and in the UK, does that. Takes us there, to the dusty and windy and dirty Afghan capital Kabul, where he lets us meet three protagonists: a bus driver Abas and two kids, brothers, the small Benjamin and the bigger Afshin.

The brothers live up the hill of the city – with another brother Hussein, too



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Conference on Film Schools in Saint Petersburg

Written 12-11-2018 10:36:41 by Tue Steen Mller

Conference on Film Schools in Saint Petersburg

I have for years been visiting Saint Petersburg – for the Message2Man festival or for seminars/workshops organized by dear friends Ludmila Nazaruk and Viktor Skubey. In 2016 Skubey organized the conference “How to Reach the Audience”, which was filmed and is to be found on

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXGMu-9ScJZDOvizeYvODkUzJsAql15e7

This year a one-day conference will take place with the headline “How to Educate Students to Meet the Cinema and TV Audience. Art and/or Craft”. With 4 speakers from outside Russia and 4 from Russia. Viktor Skubey (producer, president of the filmmakers non-fiction/tv guild and teacher at the St. Petersburg Institute of film and television, were the conference takes place) asked me to moderate the conference and pick the non-Russian speakers for a set-up that is classical: 30 minutes presentation, 15 minutes of discussion.

Polish Krzysztof Kopczynski will be the first foreign speaker. I have asked him



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DOK Leipzig

Written 07-11-2018 11:02:13 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig

… 2018 ended. Was it good or bad? I normally watch all the films in the main international competition, the long documentaries to make my own hit list. This year it was not possible. I watched three, the winner of three awards Claudia Tosi’s “I Had a Dream”, Alina Gorvola’s “No Obvious Signs” that received the regional broadcaster MDR’s award and Sergei Loznitsa’s “The Trial” that got no prize, which was completely wrong. Excellent films, I would say.

Being at the festival was good, as it has been all the years I have been there, invited by Claas Danielsen and now Leena Pasanen. I liked the putting together of the program done by the selection committee, and I can easily see – without taking part – that the industry section is being taken care of with enthusiasm and professionalism by Brigid O'Shea.

Atmosphere… is crucial for a festival, and DOKLeipzig manages to create it.



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Sergey Loznitsa: The Trial

Written 05-11-2018 20:36:04 by Tue Steen Mller

Sergey Loznitsa: The Trial

No doubt, Sergey Loznitsa is the master of making creative archive documentaries – a part of his impressive oeuvre that also includes fiction films and documentaries like “Austerlitz” - http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3841/

in the archive films he stands out with films like “Blockade” (2005), “The Event” (2015) and “Maidan” (2014).

“The Trial” is more than two hours long, you have to be fresh in head and interested in history, I was the first one afternoon at DokLeipzig and I am more and more being drawn to films that deal with history, especially Soviet & Russian.

“The Trial” is astonishing. Let me give you the annotation from the Venice festival website, where it had its premiere:

“Moscow, USSR. 1930. The Pillar Hall of the State House of the Unions. A group of top rank economists and engineers is put on trial accused of plotting a coup d’état against the Soviet government. It’s alleged that they made a secret pact with the French Prime Minister, Raymond Poincaré, aiming to destroy the Soviet power and restore capitalism. All charges are fabricated and the accused are forced to confess to the crimes they never committed. The court delivers death verdicts. Unique archive footage reconstructs one of the first show trials, masterminded by Stalin. The drama is real, but the story is fake. The film gives an unprecedented insight into the origins of a deadly regime, which made the slogan “Lie is Truth” its everyday reality…”

To give you an impression of how the film looks like, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wlNu32e01k

that is a three minutes long trailer of the film, made for IDFA where the film will have three screenings as part of the Masters section. The man speaking is Sitinin, working at a textile factory. He confesses to have been drawn into a group called “Industrial Party” – it never existed – that worked in sabotage against the Soviet government. Loznitsa lets the confessions go the whole way, confessions made through the 11-day process under excellent filming, where you see that the packed hall and its spectators again and again had to protect their eyes – from the sunshine or from the light put up for filming?

And again and again the prosecutor Andrey Vyshinsky (1883-1954) (who was also at the Nürnberg trials, Stalin’s man, who later became minister of foreign affairs and the Soviet representative at the United Nations) – again and again he brought up the question of the foreign involvement in planning an overthrow of the Soviet government.

How did this happen, said Vitaly Mansky in his talk at the festival in Leipzig. How could these intelligent men become shadows of themselves and confess something they never did? In the film you see that they all promise – if they are not shot – to remorse and serve the country loyally.

Vyshinsky is leading the Court of the Proletariat, the hall is full and applauds when death penalty is given to several of the accused – and Loznitsa brings in images from the streets where banners proclaim “death to the saboteurs”.

It’s an amazingly (film) historical documentation that Loznitsa presents in this 129 minutes long film shot in the 1930’es in the Soviet Union.

Actuality, Russia today…? Oh yes, in many ways.

Read the post below the background for the film written by the director.   


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Sergey Loznitsa: The Trial/ 2

Written 05-11-2018 20:29:19 by Tue Steen Mller

Sergey Loznitsa: The Trial/ 2

I started working on a film about Stalin’s show trials, which were held in the USSR in 1930s, a couple of years ago. My initial idea was to edit the footage from different trials in order to show how the machine of Soviet terror was established, and how the system gradually took over the minds of innocent citizens. However, soon after I began studying archive materials, I discovered the footage, which I found to be absolutely unique. I decided to make the film in such a way, as to give the spectators a chance to spend two hours in the USSR in 1930: to see and to experience the moment, when the machine of state terror, created by Stalin, was launched into action. My intention was to reconstruct the trial stage by stage. We restored and kept all the sound that was recorded in 1930. The only commentary I allowed myself to make in the entire film is right at the very end. I need this commentary in order to tell the truth, since it is impossible to learn the truth from any other episode of this documentary film. In fact, Process is a unique example of a documentary, in which one sees “24 frames of lies” per second.


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DOK Leipzig Vitaly Mansky and Putin

Written 04-11-2018 23:13:30 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig Vitaly Mansky and Putin

You have to be careful with "vonhörensagen" but in this case it had its influence on the talk with Vitaly Mansky, that took place friday afternoon at the Polish Institute in Leipzig, a couple of hours after his film had been screened at the Cinestar Cinema. At the Q&A after the cinema screening of “Putin’s Witnesses”, he was attacked for having made a propaganda film for Putin. One of the attacks came from Viktor Kossakovsky, who according to my sources was pretty rude towards Mansky. It was apparent that the two do not think high of each other.

Is it a propaganda film the moderator, Barbara Wurm (very competent university teacher and festival advisor) asked Mansky picking up on the discussion in the cinema - after she had introduced the film as a kind of found footage and characterized Mansky as one, who has introduced the family chronicle film as a genre in post-Soviet Russia.

A good point I think, Mansky masters the personal commentary and it is nothing but a scoop that he is using material he made at the beginning of Putin’s period as president, where he, Putin – they are talking to each other as if they were old buddies – praises the democracy: I am happy that after a certain period I can go back to a normal life. You can’t do that in a monarchy. 18 years later he is still there – and the democracy does not function, if you are allowed to put(in) it like that!

A pan shot in the room where Putting salutes the victory after the election has been held, is accompanied by a commentary by Mansky, who mentions that most of the people in the room are now in opposition. That the mastermind behind Putin taking over from Yeltsin in 2000 – after the sensational New Year television speech where Yeltsin apologizes – forgive me, he says - his retirement and makes Putin an ad hoc President – is Yeltsin’s daughter Tatyana. Mansky makes that pretty clear. The publicity clip Mansky made for Putin was broadcast the night before the election!

One more sentence from Putin: Our main goal is to make people believe in everything we say and do. Did you hear what he said, Mansky almost whispers to us!

Mansky who now lives in Riga, was doubtful, he said, if his festival ArtDocFest will be allowed to continue, a festival of high quality including critical films – see http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4373/ - as there is now a law on its way that will limit the possibilities for the festivals in Russia. Colleagues have made an open letter against the proposal and asked Mansky NOT to sign, as he – Mansky – thinks the law proposal is made because of ArtDocfest

Well. There are many assumptions in this small documentary world. Mansky’s film is important, well made and actual. He takes a standpoint – others think that not having a position is a position, he said with a hint to colleague Kossakovsky. You have to define your position and start from there.

Vitaly Mansky has a long and really important filmography to study - go to https://dafilms.com where his films are to be found  


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DOK Leipzig 2018 Awards

Written 03-11-2018 23:34:26 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig 2018 Awards

A piece of the press release that came out from DOK Leipzig an hour ago, check the whole list and the jury motivations on the festival's website, link below:

“I Had a Dream” (photo) by Claudia Tosi has won the prestigious Golden Dove in the International Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film, granted by Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR). In the long term observation of the last political decade in Italy, Claudia Tosi and her two protagonists pose the brutal question whether democracy and politics are still alive at all. Goran Dević (from Croatia) received an honourable mention for “On the Water” – a poetical and political study of people on the water.

The Golden Dove in the German Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film was awarded to the film “Lord of the Toys” by Pablo Ben Yakov who has been the subject of a controversial debate here in Leipzig. By observing a youth culture in a very precisely way, the film reveals a milieu and their frightening use of language and the internet as a platform – with far-reaching impact on everyday-life. 

Ricardo Calil won the Golden Dove in the Next Masters Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film for “Cinema Morocco”. The prize, which is



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DOK Leipzig 2018 LBJ and Jan Palach

Written 03-11-2018 18:33:04 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig 2018 LBJ and Jan Palach

I would have loved to see more from the Retrospective 68 - An Open Score but I was anderswo engagiert, i.e. introducing the Lithuanian retrospective and moderating the discussions afterwards BUT I saw the last section, number 7 which was introduced like this in the catalogue:

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and DOK Leipzig share an eventful history that reaches back to the founding of the two festivals in the 1950s. With its long-term festival motto “Way to the Neighbour” and its focus on Eastern European film, Oberhausen during the Cold War was both ally and challenger of the Leipzig Documentary Film Week. The two festivals lived through one of the most turbulent phases of their long-distance relationship in the wake of the departures, ruptures and upheavals of 1968. The major issue was the crushing of the Prague Spring, which strained the East-West dialogue and created a frosty atmosphere for cinematic diplomacy, too. The selection, compiled by Tobias Hering and Andreas Kötzing from the festival editions of 1968 and 1969, is inspired by a spirit of boycott, of refusal, evasive manoeuvres and tit-for-tat that turned screening or not screening a film into a political issue...

The two mentioned introduced and did it perfectly and the five films were French, German, Cuban (Alvarez "LBJ" that is pretty well known in film history), Yugoslav (Zilnik's "June Turmoil") and "The Wake" ("Trzyna") that is a diary built reportage on the days that followed the death of Jan Palach, with a few interviews, one of them introducing a very young Vaclav Havel. 24 mins., they showed a 35mm copy, bravo DOKLeipzig, moving was it to follow more than 200.000 Czecoslovaks in the streets of Prgaue and Bratislava. Get that film out to cinematheques and other festivals!

https://www.dok-leipzig.de


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Viktor Kossakovsky at DOK Leipzig

Written 02-11-2018 14:24:21 by Tue Steen Mller

Viktor Kossakovsky at DOK Leipzig

I have known him for years – since back to the days of the Bornholm festival in the 90’es. He came to Leipzig for one screening of the film and for a talk. We hugged and I told him that “Aquarela” is an ingenious film! No, no the next film is better, he said and went into the room, where the talk was to take place. Viktor Kossakovsky is not one, who answers the questions put to him, he takes his own roads of improvisation. Impossible job to be a moderator, when he is in the chair, does not matter, he is entertaining and has something important to say.

Let me quote Ukrainian Darya Bassel, who wrote on her FB: “Kossakovsky pours nectar in my ears. He sings an ode to a cinema, which doesn’t put story and character (person) in the middle of everything. A cinema which is art not storytelling.”

Yes, that’s what he keeps on saying and thanks for that in times of constant “what is your story, who are your characters”. We make movies for the cinema, the industry should know that, he said. In “Aquarela” you can´t have a shot of water that lasts 1 to 1,2 seconds. It has to be longer to give you a chance to think. When I’m editing, I’m always thinking about 10 people – one will think like this, another like that, and I try to put it together so many interpretations are possible. Why do we make films? If it is to prove our ideas, then it is not cinema! No brain first, I’m trying to use my eyes, my camera. Brain first, it is insulting!

And oh, Kossakovsky always refers to – this time – Leonardo da Vinci, Malevich – and to literature, it’s refreshing, include it in the curriculum of the film schools. (My comment!)

He talked about teaching, that he does not like, he talked about some of the sequences in “Aquarela”, about “how little we are” in this world (as is so obvious in the film), he praised his fellow cinematographer Ben Bernhard, he talked about “Tishe!” that he made while waiting for funding for his next film – a film that none of the tv commissioning editors would take when it was a project (I want to shoot a film from my window in Saint Petersburg), but all bought when it was made. Paper work is needed when you want funding for a film.

I have promised producer Aimara Reques also to watch the film in Amsterdam, at IDFA, I will, and will try to write a review of this masterpiece.


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Herzogs Missing Questions

Written 01-11-2018 10:13:37 by Tue Steen Mller

Herzogs Missing Questions

An understatement: They were angry my friends from Lithuania, Georgia and Ukraine. After having watched Werner Herzog and André Singer’s “Meeting Gorbachev”. Nothing, absolutely nothing about the violent Soviet attacks that took place in Vilnius, in Riga, in Georgia…

Did he ask these questions, Herzog? Did he answer, Gorbachev? Why were they not in the film?

Have to confess that I did not react immediately on this failure from the side of Herzog & Singer but was taken by the compassion and admiration that Herzog demonstrated towards the 87 year old former statesman.

Yesterday, the Lithuanian documentary by Giedre Zickyte, “How We Played the Revolution” was shown as part of the impressive documentary retrospective from the small Baltic country. In the fine film by Zickyte, based on archive, Gorbachev reacts in the Duma  towards to the tanks entering Vilnius and the brutality performed by his people at the tv station. We want them to stop (= we will make them stop) the demonstrations and then we can talk. Words to that effect. People were killed in Vilnius as they were in Riga, where the – among others – two cameramen of Juris Podnieks were shot down by Soviet soldiers. It’s all documented, Gorbachev knew what happened, he was in charge as the president, he wanted to establish more democracy in the country, he did not understand that the Baltics and Georgians and the Ukrainians wanted freedom, independence.

The film by Herzog/Singer wants to give a historical background through archive and interviews. Essential questions were not raised or touched upon.  


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Werner Herzog Ecstatic Truths

Written 30-10-2018 17:49:55 by Tue Steen Mller

Werner Herzog  Ecstatic Truths

10.30 in the morning, Kupferstrasse in Leipzig. There is a line outside the Kupferhalle, where Werner Herzog is to hold his masterclass or as the DOK Leipzig organisers called it, “a conversation” with Kristina Jaspers, who knows about the director and has written a book about him, (as has Danish Kristoffer Hegnsvad). (And let me lead those who are interested to this site´s “Collected Posts on Werner Herzog”: http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/1940/).

Those in line waited to see if there were tickets to get. We had already been given tickets so in we (my wife and I) went with high expectations as we had heard that Herzog is a brilliant and inspiring speaker. And deep as had colleague Allan Berg experienced at the Danish Film School.

He was not deep this morning where everyone got in – festival director Leena Pasanen mentioned that we were around 500 to listen to the master. Not deep but entertaining he was from the very beginning, where he corrected Pasanen on how to set the audience microphones in the right positions! A director going in details.

Herzog followed up on yesterday’s film “Meeting Gorbachev” saying that on all three



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DOK Leipzig 2018 Opening

Written 30-10-2018 08:39:39 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig 2018 Opening

Full house in Cinestar, two cinemas with people ready to watch "Meeting Gorbachev" by André Singer and Werner Herzog. Two wonderfully short and good official speeches came from representatives from the city of Leipzig and from Sachsen. A longer one from festival director Leena Pasanen, relaxed, happy she was with the goal reached of having quite as many female directors as male at the festival already now, hoping that this example of equal opportunities could inspire other cultural institutions. She thanked the funders, of course, and made a fine statement on the "premiere circus" that the festival takes part in, an issue often mentioned on this site: why is it so important to have premieres, an absurdity Pasanen said even more so in times of coproductions, where one or more festivals have national premieres, others European premieres, others world premieres. Etc. This year we have introduced "late harvest" (in German Spätlese) to secure that the audience have the chance to watch films that have been going around succesfully to other festivals.

And Werner Herzog on stage introducing the film - co-director André Singer was not there but his son was Nick Singer, who made the music for the film. Before the film the organisers had found a funny clip with the young rebellious Herzog talking about filmmaking, a bit "peinlich" Herzog said, not at all, a fine reference back to a filmmaker, who if anyone has put his mark on German and world cinema.

The film has a kind and compassionate approach. Herzog, he says so in the interview, loves Gorbachev for his silent contribution to the reunification of his Germany, for his nuclear disarmament agreements with the Americans, for his positive attitude to the Western world.

To the interviews made by Herzog are added archive material and interviews, for instance with Lech Walesa, Hungarian Németh and George Schultz who was with Reagan at the famous meeting in Iceland concerning the reduction of nuclear weapons. There are some fine anecdotes in this historical part.

In that way it is obvious that the film wants to give the audience a historical background, fair enough as the film goes on television, for me who is old enough and knows the history, the most appealing is to watch and listen to the 87 year old man, sitting there, not in good health but open to say that it was wrong to give up the USSR, expressing worries for what is happening now in his country and elsewhere. Moving is the sequence were he talks about his wife Raisa - "when she died I felt that my life was taken away from me". A statesman yes, but also a human being suffering a loss.

https://www.dok-leipzig.de


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Andr Singer on Meeting Gorbachev

Written 28-10-2018 10:18:58 by Tue Steen Mller

Andr Singer on Meeting Gorbachev

From variety.com I received a very informative interview with André Singer on his making of the documentary with Werner Herzog, written by Damon Wise. The film is to be shown at the Ji.hlava Festival and opens the DOK Leipzig tomorrow night. Singer talks about how he approached Gorbachev, how he included his long time partner on many films, Werner Herzog, how other interviews were conducted, how he had a structure in beforehand that was dropped after the interviews that Herzog conducted – “… The essential quality we wanted from the interview was of two intelligent and concerned men engaged in discussion – not a formal Q&A. Gorbachev never asked for questions in advance and was happy to enter into any area of questioning Werner wished to take…”.

André Singer, who explains the technical issues connected to the shooting of the three interviews, is going to Moscow beginning of November to show the film to Gorbachev, “this legendary giant of the 1980s and ’90s”.

To conclude the fine interview Singer says “…I feel strongly that the most important thing about the film is that it “humanizes” him. I found him a warm, genuine, generous man who has been neglected by history and in his current rather sad position isolated in Moscow deserves to be heard and remembered. If the film helps achieve that, I would be a happy man!”.

On the photo you see André Singer, Werner Herzog, Gorbachev and the interpreter Pavel Palazchenko.

More on André Singer, The True Documentary Gentleman, in Danish on http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3032/

https://variety.com/2018/film/festivals/mikhail-gorbachev-werner-herzog-andre-singer-1203006531/


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Martina Melilli: My Home in Libya

Written 27-10-2018 16:32:00 by Tue Steen Mller

Martina Melilli: My Home in Libya

One year ago good friend, producer Stefano Tealdi sent me a rough cut of what is now a finished film that has been screened in Locarno, Chicago and is in the programme of DOKLeipzig, that starts next week. I found my immediate email reaction from then and am happy to state that it lives up to, what it promised:

“This is going to be a great film! Really… It is original, surprising in style and it has several layers: The world of today. The world of yesterday - the grandfather is excellent as
is his parrot. And the director makes very good shots from the apartment. To be away from each other, long-distance, maybe not a love but then a true friend story. You see Tripoli as it looks today, beautiful it was and is and then you see closed doors and shops.

You can see that this is made by someone, who comes with another “visual approach”, hurra for that… “

Yes, it is different, far from mainstream, sketchy, including the search for making the film, collecting material from the past in Tripoli, family archive, notes, drawings and first of all the internet conversation with the Libyan Mahmoud, a conversation that overtakes the narration more and more; unfolding the desperate situation of the young man, who formulates sentences like “Libya is Hell” from the other side of the Mediterranean Sea. He can’t leave, she can’t go there.

But it is also history – about the Italians in Libya until Gadaffi came to power in 1969 and the grandparents and their children had to leave the country. Libya today, well what do we know, it’s ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood and militias, we hear from Mahmoud. And wonderful images from the apartment of the grandparents, memories…

“Who is (not) missing something” is a question put in the beginning of the film. For this blogger, who is taking a lot of time of reorganizing family photos and papers right now, this sentence is quite relevant – my father was born in Buenos Aires, where my grandfather etc. etc. We all have these stories…

Italy, 2018, 66 mins.

https://www.dok-leipzig.de/


Vurdering:

 
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Lithuanian Cinema Travels

Written 25-10-2018 16:10:13 by Tue Steen Mller

Lithuanian Cinema Travels

Here we are – watch our films, meet our filmmakers. It seems like this is the policy of the Lithuanian Film Centre this year, where the population-wise small country celebrates its centenary. According to an article in Cineuropa – link below - … Over the past four months, thanks to support from the Lithuanian Film Centre, the heavy presence of both completed films and projects was evident in almost 20 countries worldwide…

The article mentions fiction films that have travelled, going on to mention documentaries that we deal with (mostly) on this site - … Moving onto documentaries, Rugilė Barzdiukaitė’s debut, Acid Forest [+], premiered at Locarno, whereas the co-production Bridges of Time [+] by Kristīne Briede and Audrius Stonys did likewise at Karlovy Vary. Previously premiered documentaries also pressed on with their festival runs. Lithuania’s Oscar submission, Wonderful Losers: A Different World [+] by Arūnas Matelis, was at the Belfast “Pull Focus” Documentary Festival and Ulju Mountain Film Festival, where it was also awarded, and The Ancient Woods [+] by Mindaugas Survila unspooled at the Sydney Film Festival…

I am still waiting to see “Acid Forest”, the three others have been reviewed on this site.

And when it comes to the so-called “industry presence” - …  the Lithuanian Film Centre was one of the partners in the Pula Film Festival’s Matchmaking Forum (see the news), while Lithuania was featured as one of the countries participating in Locarno Pro’s Match Me! producers’ networking programme (see the news). Also, Lithuanian producers Giedrė ickytėDagnė VildiūnaitėMarija RazgutėPaulius Juočeris and Andrius Lekavičius were included in the selection of the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum and the Glocal Meets the Baltics section of San Sebastián…

DOK Leipzig hosts an impressive retrospective of Lithuanian documentaries from next week – read http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4368/ - and apart from the retrospective two new Lithuanian documentaries are in the “Next Masters” section at the festival: “Animus Animalis (A Story about People, Animals and Things)” by Aisté Zegulyté and “Nijole” by Sandro Bozzolo, produced by Dagnė Vildiūnaitė, experienced Lithuanian fiction and documentary producer. Several directors from the country have been invited to Leipzig.

https://cineuropa.org/en/newsdetail/362126/

http://www.lkc.lt/en/2018/10/cinema-spreads-the-word-about-lithuania-across-the-world-four-months-four-continents-leading-festivals/

https://filmfinder.dok-leipzig.de/en/?&section=284


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

IDFA Press Conference

Written 25-10-2018 10:07:40 by Tue Steen Mller

IDFA Press Conference

There he was, Orwa Nyrabia, the new artistic director of IDFA, to be watched through streaming yesterday afternoon. I saw the first half of his presentation and could only nod, when he started telling us press people that documentaries are not made to answer questions, no they are there to raise and trace questions. Orwa stressed that the selection has not been made according to subject – subject is not enough, there should be much more. And journalistic documentaries should accordingly be more than mere reporting. Good to be reminded of basics of the artistic documentary, or call it the creative – in other words: documentary is an Art form.

Orwa showed clips and apart from looking forward to the Vertov-film, “The Sound of Masks” by Sara de Gouvela, placed in the Luminous category, of South African and Portuguese production background, is now a Must for me. Wow, for a clip. Anyway, go to the website and study the selection for the feature-length competition, for me new names but also films by Geyerhalter, Hungarian Eszter Hajdú, Israeli Tomer Heymann, Chilean couple Bettina Perut & Iván Osnovikoff, Indian Anand Patwardhan. Read this shortened clip from the press release:  



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No Eastern European projects at IDFA Forum 2018

Written 21-10-2018 19:38:48 by Tue Steen Mller

No Eastern European projects at IDFA Forum 2018

Here comes IDFA’s response to the question of no Eastern European projects in the selection of IDFA 2018’s Forum, sent today by the artistic director Orwa Nyrabia:

The fact that there are no East European projects in IDFA’s Forum 2018 selection is simply bad and sad. This needs to be examined and analyzed indeed. At IDFA we are examining how this happened and why it is such a surprising zero in the year’s projects slate. We also note that this is the selection of one year. The share of Eastern European projects over the past 15 years has been between 2 and 7 projects per edition, 3 to 4 most of the time. One year does not represent a trend. It might also be relevant here to say that our process was inclusive, that our pre-selectors and jurors were widely-representative are diversified. They did a difficult job and for that we are thankful. The selection process was long and as thorough as possible, but this doesn’t mean that we don’t make mistakes. We could have missed on great projects, it is our loss too.



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IDFA Forum/ 2

Written 20-10-2018 13:57:24 by Tue Steen Mller

IDFA Forum/ 2

Below you have the presentation from IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival) of the Forum, no doubt the gathering of documentary film professionals, who want funding and/or publicity of the film, that they are working on. The event has been there for decades, it’s been instrumental as a gathering for the documentary community to meet, exchange, network, tell each other that documentaries are important – and communicate that to the funders, the broadcasters, the politicians etc. The Forum – and the IDFA – is crucial, when it comes to stressing the importance of the documentary genre in a democratic world. I did not say in Europe because there we have a problem, dear IDFA Forum people:

Maybe you are not to blame, maybe it is a problem that mirrors the sad development within the EU and its surroundings: EU did not become what we (EUropeans like me) wanted it to become. There is a Western Europe as before and an Eastern Europe as before. There is a rich and a poor Europe. And there are conflicts within the EU, where Eastern countries are politically turning to the right – as is the case in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and I could go on exemplifying from Western countries like the one – Denmark – where I have my home and where intolerance and xenophobia are alive and kicking…

AND NOW TO MY QUESTION WHEN I LOOK AT THE LIST OF COUNTRIES REPRESENTED AT THE FORUM AT IDFA 2018, 51 COUNTRIES REPRESENTED, BUT ONLY ONE FROM EASTERN EUROPE IF YOU INCLUDE GEORGIA:

There are NO projects from Estonia, Latvia. Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Russia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Ukraine…

But of course I salute the selection of Georgian “The Platform” by Nino Orjonikidze and Vano Arsenishvili – I know them, they are sooo good!

AND HOW TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS…

Is it really because there were no more than one project good enough among the 768 projects submitted?

Is it because projects from Eastern Europe were very few?

Because they prefer to submit projects to – for instance – East Doc Forum in Prague?

Because the IDFA Forum is too expensive (submission fee, travel and stay, publicity…) for filmmakers from Eastern Europe?

Why… tell me

Because if you look at the IDFA festival and the films taken for the many sections, there is a lot of great films selected from the Eastern part of Europe – and beware it is not “only” Kossakovsky, Loznitsa, Mansky. The festival lives from excellent films from Eastern Europe, also this year; take a look at the selection for mid-length section, there are films from Serbia (Photo from Andrijana Stojkovic “Wongar”), Belarus, Poland, Russia… It seems there is a total lack of harmony this year between the Forum and the Festival!   

https://www.idfa.nl/en/article/105926/51-projects-selected-to-pitch-at-idfa-forum-2018


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IDFA Forum/ 1

Written 20-10-2018 13:48:39 by Tue Steen Mller

IDFA Forum/ 1

The Forum at IDFA is for documentary filmmakers the place to launch the new projects, they want the documentary community to be aware of, and eventually be interested in, eventually to invest in. Projects are presented/pitched followed by meetings. It is all very well organized and respected. “You have to be there”, filmmakers working internationally say, “otherwise “they” think that your company has died”. Words to that effect.

IDFA has announced that 51 projects have made it to the grande finale – the pitch that takes place November 18th-21st.

The press release – a long quote from that – says “…

“The selection process was particularly competitive this year: with a record-breaking 768 projects submitted. Of the 51 projects selected to present at IDFA Forum, 24 different countries are represented, reflecting the inclusive emphasis of IDFA and its continuous word-wild support of documentary filmmakers.

This year's IDFA Forum selection casts a wide net, ranging from projects that examine pressing social issues to ones exploring the artistic boundaries of documentary filmmaking. Returning IDFA guests include Nanfu Wang (Untitled Cuba Project, United States), Camilla Nielsson (Democrats 2, Denmark), and Renzo Martens (A Gentrification Program, the Netherlands). Several selected projects demonstrate a clear interest in experimenting with documentary syntax, such as Lash by Yoonsuk Jung (South Korea) and The Way We Were by Marten Persiel (Germany).

The 2018 selection also features new projects by established filmmakers as well as emerging talents. Guy Davidi, co-director of the Academy Award-nominated 5 Broken Cameras, presents Senseless (Denmark/Israel). The renowned Mohamed Al-Daradji (Iraq’s Invisible Beauty, Belgium), and Hemal Trivedi (The Half Truths, India, United States), as well as up-and-coming talents Sun Hee Engelstoft (Forget Me Not, Denmark) and Ayse Toprak (The Other Half, Turkey) will also present their latest projects at IDFA Forum 2018…”

Questions raised in IDFA Forum/ 2 above.

Photo from “Democrats” by Camilla Nielsson, she is pitching a sequel.

https://www.idfa.nl/en/article/105926/51-projects-selected-to-pitch-at-idfa-forum-2018


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