Filmkommentaren

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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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

ArtdocFest in Riga

Written 19-10-2018 12:42:11 by Tue Steen Mller

ArtdocFest in Riga

Well, I should have been in Riga now, where the International Film Festival is one day old, and were it goes on until the end of the month. It is a festival with many sections: a tribute to Ingmar Bergman, a competition for fiction films, Latvian and Baltic films… and, the reason why I should have been there: Artdocfest Riga with 21 documentaries, competitive with legendary theatre director Alvis Hermanis as one of the jurors. The festival, founded and run by Vitaly Mansky, who now lives and works out of Riga, presents itself like this on the festival’s website:



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Astra Film Festival

Written 18-10-2018 11:57:14 by Tue Steen Mller

Astra Film Festival

… in Sibiu, Romania celebrates its 25th edition. For that reason Cineuropa brings an interview with the founding director Dumitru Budrala. He looks back and makes a status on the state of the documentary art. Here is a quote – but read it all, link below – including a question:

You said that documentary films are “lifeboats in a sea of alternative facts”. Can you elaborate on this opinion on the power and usefulness of the genre?
The audience potential of documentary cinema is amazing, as it can reach both a wider public and a specialised, niche audience. At every edition, Astra Film Festival offers a host of thematic sidebars that explore reality by proposing an intimate, detailed portrait of humanity. These films are a shortcut to social consciousness and a tool for change, “a therapy for the mending of society”, as Cristi Puiu [a jury member at Astra 2018] puts it. Both in Romania and around the world, daily events in the social and political landscape leave a mark on the very essence of the human condition. Reality is more spectacular than fiction – or, as they say, “life beats film”. Documentary has become more and more relevant because people feel the need for an alternative source of knowledge and new tools for understanding reality in a world where fake news, intolerance, cynical dissimulation and the redaction of the past are becoming more and more invasive…

Looking at the programme a thematic choice catches my eye, “On the Road to Europe” that features 10 films that deal with how Eastern European countries have been dealing with the post-communism reality. I was reminded of the fine films by Vuk Janic “Last Yugoslavian Football team” (for a football freak what a great team it was and what a tragedy that all went into pieces, at least football-wise), Hungarian Tibor Kocsis “New Eldorado”, a perfect illustration of new capitalism, Latvian Kaspars Goba’s “Homo@Lv” from 2010 (homophobia, intolerance) and Marcin Latallo’s “Our Street” from 2006, the deroute of working class family.

A clever so-called side-bar in a cleverly curated festival that runs until the 21st of October.  

https://www.astrafilm.ro/films/

https://cineuropa.org/en/interview/361723/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Meet Gorbachev at Hauptbahnhof!

Written 17-10-2018 11:09:44 by Tue Steen Mller

Meet Gorbachev at Hauptbahnhof!

... on a big screen… for free, read what DOKLeipzig has to offer its film interested audience, taken from the website, what a good idea:

The East Hall of Leipzig’s Central Station is turning again into a festival cinema during DOK Leipzig 2018! For the third year in a row, we present free, public film screenings in the scope of the festival week. Besides the opening film Meeting Gorbachev by Werner Herzog and André Singer to be shown in parallel to the official festival opening, a further seven documentary and animated films will be shown on a big screen in the East Hall of the Central Station.

The screenings take place in cooperation with Promenaden Hauptbahnhof shopping centre and Deutsche Bahn AG and start from Monday 29 October till Saturday 3 November daily at 7:30pm. Free entry!

The following films will be shown:

Monday, 29/10 | 7:30 pm

Meeting Gorbachev | Werner Herzog, André Singer | 180 min. | German version | from 6 years old

Tuesday, 30/10 | 7:30 pm

Exit | Karen Winther | 76 min. | Danish/English/French/German/Norwegian OV with English subtitles | from 12 years on

Wednesday, 31/10 | 7:30 pm

The Yellow Mazda and His Holiness | Sandra Hermans | 10 min. | French OV with English subtitles
Der Esel hieß Geronimo (A Donkey Called Geronimo) | Arjun Talwar, Bigna Tomschin | 80 min. | Danish/English/German OV with English subtitles

Thursday, 01/11 | 7:30 pm

All Creatures Welcome | Sandra Trostel | 87 min. | English/German OV with German subtitles

Friday, 02/11 | 7:30 pm

Oro Blanco | Gisela Carbajal Rodríguez | 23 min. | Spanish OV with English subtitles
Was kostet die Welt (The Prize of Paradise) | Bettina Borgfeld | 91 min. | English/German OV with German subtitles

Saturday, 03/11 | 7:30 pm

Chris the Swiss | Anja Kofmel | 90 min. | English/German/Spanish OV with German subtitles | from 12 years on

https://www.dok-leipzig.de/en/festival/festival-news?start:int=0


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Lithuanian Documentaries A Poetic Look at Reality

Written 14-10-2018 21:00:48 by Tue Steen Mller

Lithuanian Documentaries A Poetic Look at Reality

There is a grand focus on Lithuania at DOKLeipzig this year. Festival director Leena Pasanen has since her time at the Finnish television YLE been an admirer of the small Baltic country’s impressive documentary tradition. She stands behind a uniqe presentation of three generations of film directors, who worked during Soviet time, after the independence and today.

The festival shows the films and has arranged a special session, where it invites the audience to meet two of the most prominent Lithuanian directors from the “new generation”, called “the digital age”, Giedre Zickyte and Mindaugas Survila, who will talk about and show examples from their country’s beautiful tradition for documentary Cinema, which is wonderfully described by Audrius Stonys, now “the grand old man of Lithuanian documentary”, in the following way:

“What is called the poetic school of Lithuanian documentary “…created an independent world, free from Soviet ideology, lie and propaganda. It was a declaration of inner freedom. The black and white world of poetic documentary films was full of colours. Sadness was full of joy. And joy was touched by deep existential sadness. These films reminded us about what is Cinema—to film and to enjoy the beauty of the leaves, moving in the wind.”

The two younger directors will refer to the tradition, talk about their own films, how it is to work internationally in a European market, with the television demands – and how they strive to keep their own voice. And they succeed…

In the films by Giedre Zickyté (“How We Played the Revolution”) and Mindaugas Survila (“Field of Magic”) you will see that they have their own style, still with a bridge back to their colleagues.

The meeting is an invitation to explore a unique documentary cinema tradition before and after independence, a wave of a personal free visual language that celebrates life and humanity. Magical moments are waiting for you.

I will be the moderator of this session that takes place Thursday November 1st. I have been privileged to follow the Lithuanian documentary scene for 25 years.

https://www.dok-leipzig.de


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ji.hlava IDFF Announces Programme

Written 11-10-2018 17:10:21 by Tue Steen Mller

Ji.hlava IDFF Announces Programme

… IDFF standing for International Documentary Film Festival. A press release came out today from the festival that starts October 25 and runs until October 30. With its 22nd edition.

I have taken some bits and pieces to highlight what is to happen in the Czech provincial town, where I have been many times, especially when I was involved in the Ex Oriente workshop. But click below, the website of the festival tells the details.

Let me start with a quote from festival director Marek Hovorka, a true cinephile: … Altogether, the programme will have 327 films on offer. ‘I’m surprised that documentary films still remain overlooked, even though they are some of the most interesting cinema out there. Compared to narrative films, they more accurately reflect our own questions, doubts, joys and failures. Documentary films aren’t meant to be an escape from our own lives – they are a way for us to better understand them,’ says Marek Hovorka, the festival’s director.

‘The true struggle of cinema happens in documentaries which open up new



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DOK Leipzig Official Selection

Written 10-10-2018 20:39:25 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig Official Selection

So here it is, the announcement of the Official Selection for DOKLeipzig. The filmmakers were of course informed in beforehand but were not allowed to express their enthusiasm before publication, which they can do now. First step for me who will report from the festival every day, is to copy paste the press release, plus give some links to the programme sections that have already been written about on this site. The festival starts the 29th of October, so those of you who go there have time to study and make your agenda, link below. The press release:

It’s Official! We are happy to present the full programme for DOK Leipzig 2018. From Argentina to Egypt, Lebanon to Latvia, Montenegro to Madagascar, Sierra Leone to Saudi Arabia – this year we are showing a grand total of 306 films from 50 different countries.

Of the 3,150 works viewed by the selection committee over the course of the last year, 160 have now made it into the Official Selection, the further films will be screened in the scope of our Special Programmes.

“The courage displayed by the filmmakers this year is quite remarkable,” as festival director Leena Pasanen reflects. “They engage critically with the world



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ME - at IDFA

Written 08-10-2018 21:15:37 by Tue Steen Mller

ME - at IDFA

IDFA presents a main focus program, ME, about the personal and autobiographical documentary film. Me is a selection of different cinematic expressions by filmmakers whose study of themselves is both a journey into their own private history as well as an artistic exploration…

The first paragraph in a press release from IDFA, the festival taking place in November, that announces new titles every Tuesday until then and whose competition programs will be announced October 24… In other words feeding the hungry documentarians with small bites as DOKLeipzig that starts October 29 has done with their announcement taking place on Wednesday the 10th.

ME, I thought when I saw the announcement… we have had enough of that biting my tongue when I think about my constant preaching at workshops and on this site that films have to be personal, maybe not autobiographical but with a personal touch, a personal motivation and – please – a personal handwriting, a personal style…

For that reason it is wonderful to see that the festival has chosen to show both “Father and Son” by Pawel Lozinski AND “Father and Son on a Journey” by Marcel Lozinski. It was meant to be one film by son Pawel, produced by him but father Marcel broke the agreement and insisted on making his version of a fascinating, painful and humorous car trip from Warsaw to Paris. This film is personal and has found its own expression.

Happy also that Avi Mograbi (PHOTO) is there with his “Happy Birthday, Mr.Mograbi”, the most critical, both sarcastic and satirical characterization of Israel and its policy under Bibi – it is almost 20 years old but what it describes is unfortunately still actual and even more worse than in the late nineties.

It is actually a slate of wonderful chances to re-view films by Kossakovsky (“Wednesday”), Ross McElwee (“Sherman’s March”), great to have Andrés di Tella with his masterpiece “Photographs”, Rithy Panh with “The Missing Picture” – and for me to have the chance to discover Japanese Naomi Kawase and re-view Kazuo Hara’s “Extremely Private Eros: Love Song 1974”.

Many more films, it’s very inviting this selection of 20 documentaries from IDFA.

https://www.idfa.nl/en/selection/101804/me 


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

The Best East/Central European Documentary 2018?

Written 05-10-2018 22:33:47 by Tue Steen Mller

The Best East/Central European Documentary 2018?

The IDF (Institute of Documentary Film) based in Prague hosts a yearly so-called Silver Eye Award that has been granted annually since 2009 to the best East and Central European documentary films in two categories: short and feature documentary film with approx. 11 films in each category. There are juries and the winners will be announced at the Ji.hlava festival and of this month: “The winner in each category receives not only a unique award trophy, but also a prize money of 2 250 € and a year-long festival service of the East Silver Caravan worth of additional 2 250 €.”

With all respect to the short film genre, I will only mention the feature documentaries with links to the reviews written on this site:



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Orwa Nyrabia at Getting Real Conference 2018

Written 05-10-2018 20:57:30 by Tue Steen Mller

   Orwa Nyrabia at Getting Real Conference 2018

… where he made a keynote speech introduced by the IDA’s Claire Aguilar in this way: Orwa is the Artistic Director of IDFA Amsterdam.  But unfortunately he is not here in person. He is skyping in from Amsterdam. As a Syrian national, he was not allowed into the US!! IDFA is the largest doc fest in world. Last year he was appointed art director. This Nov will be his first edition. He is a filmmaker/activist/programmer/actor.

Here is a small quote from the speech, I warmly recommend you to join the D-Word that has covered the conference extensely and where the whole speech can be found:

I spent much of my childhood with Troy and Achilles, and fight with Hannibal, and take elephant over mts. And Yemeni magical flying beast. I was a kid. My father, a political prisoner. Mother, sleepless. Expected to be imprisoned too. My experience is parallel to others. I was so afraid of reality as a kid. So I lived in mythology and then to be an actor. But I decided I didn’t want that. Documentary film felt like a outlet for my anger and my terrible reality. In the sense that in documentary film, the great works showed me that even when we make a film about the self, it can be ruthless truth and sincere and meaningful for all.

In my life conferences like this became expected, not a surprise. 15 yrs ago I was asking Jeeve where are you guys, and then I’d found d-word. It’s the best form of community I could have. Travel is difficult. We were lonelier than today but distance is different today. Today if we look at the reality of international doc filmmakers -- are tortured, exiled, and killed. More than ever. Not everywhere. There is a normalization of what happens in Russia – 130 day hunger strike. But it will affect all of us, filmmakers being persecuted. Everyday in world, filmmakers face a lobbying campaign against them.

In Europe, it’s a special moment with the rise of right wing, and budgets are aggressively cut back, as the social democracy and public welfare state is being challenged. Denmark right wing voted to cut budget of public TV, and so documentaries are harmed. Denmark recently also now has a question of content. Prefer production in Danish language. A closing of the borders of country. ..

https://www.d-word.com/


Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOK Neuland at DOK Leipzig

Written 04-10-2018 14:23:32 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Neuland at DOK Leipzig

Demand the Impossible! In his essay The Ultimate Display from 1965, Ivan Sutherland formulated the almost prophetic dream of a computer display of reality that creates a perfect illusion of materiality. Films like The Matrix interpreted this as a nightmare, generating a fundamental scepticism of mediated spaces. At the same time, in 2015, hopes were raised that VR was an “empathy machine” that would make us all better human beings. Immersing yourself in other worlds via a headset, however, does not necessarily produce empathy. Today artists are exploring new aspects of immersion and leaving more space for a more complex experience of absorption.

The festival motto Demand the Impossible! serves as the guiding principle of our exhibition of interactive and VR works, too. We are transported to worlds that expand, defamiliarise, distort or temporally bend our present environment. This is where places that exist only in our imagination or in individual perceptions can be made accessible. This year, DOK Neuland focuses on works that turn their users into explorers: not like Neo in the matrix, but like Alice in wonderland.

Exhibited Works. DOK Neuland invites from 30 October to 3 November to discover and experience 12 interactive and VR works. Read more about the DOK Neuland projects: 

https://www.dok-leipzig.de/en/festival/dokneuland/projekte-2018


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Helena Třetikov: My Top 10

Written 03-10-2018 11:27:38 by Tue Steen Mller

Helena Třetikov: My Top 10

More documentary film history… chapeau for DOKLeipzig and IDFA that both festivals (more than before?) look back and not “only” take the temperature of what’s new in the documentary world. Here some words on the selection done by Czech documentary superstar (she will hate that I call her so!) Helena Třeštiková, who has been asked by IDFA to make her Top 10. The link below brings you to her article about the choice, she made, personal and with this wonderful quote by Věra Chytilová, whose film from 1963 “Something Different” is on the list: ““A film should have truth, aesthetics, intellect, feeling and a belief, because film should be true, exciting, necessary, beautiful and full of hope”.

 

Of course there must be a film by Milos Forman, “The Firemen’s Ball” (1967), and I loved her choice of Georges Rouquier, “Farrebique – The Four Seasons” from 1946, farmers in France; we had this gem in the catalogue of Statens Filmcentral (National Film Board of Denmark), no objection either to have “The Seine Meets Paris” (1957) by Ivens and Jacques Prévert, and Třeštiková reminds us about Havel, when she writes about “Citizen Havel”:



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Jonas Mekas on DocAlliance

Written 02-10-2018 12:01:49 by Tue Steen Mller

Jonas Mekas on DocAlliance

 

I hurry to give you this news from Prague, where the excellent online cinema of DocAlliance keeps on offering film lovers high quality retrospectives into film history – to a very low price:

We present an extensive retrospective of Jonas Mekas, 95-year-old director straddled between Europe and the US, documentary and the avant-garde. Discover the work of the Lithuanian-American director, poet and visual artist often called the godfather of American avant-garde cinema and founder of the diary genre in documentary film.

The collection includes a cross-section of the works by Jonas Mekas which often follow a personal line. We present 13 films altogether, including The Brig about a Marine Corps jail in Japan. Following a day in the life of the inmates, the ultra-realistic film captures the tough treatment and shocking ways of physical and mental humiliation. The film won the Grand Prix at Venice Film Festival in 1964. This Side of Paradise follows the Kennedy family after the death of JFK. Jackie Kennedy decided to distract the children and hired Mekas as a film chronicler. The director spent several summer holidays at the house of Andy Warhol with the family, making a very personal film with a touch of home video and deep friendship which gradually emerged between him and the family. Made in diary style, Williamsburg, Brooklyn shows the neighborhood where Mekas settled after his arrival in the US; most of the scenes were shot between 1948 and 1951 and show the everyday life and little stories from the streets of New York. The film was screened at IFF Rotterdam.

https://dafilms.com/program/671-retrospective-jonas-mekas


Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Shevaun Mizrahi: Distant Constellation

Written 30-09-2018 17:22:16 by Tue Steen Mller

Shevaun Mizrahi: Distant Constellation

You can’t see the wind a four year old family member said the other day.

Right she is. But you can hear it. And it can be part of a very excellent sound design as it is in this debut documentary film that I was happy to watch, having missed it in a couple of festivals, the last one Message2Man in St.Petersburg, where it received an award.

Music is an important part of the film of Shevaun Mizrahi. Within the walls of the house for old people, where the film is shot and where music forms a discreet background for scenes, creating atmosphere.

The atmosphere of the constant waiting the old people experience; those you can’t help loving from start till end. The old woman who comes from Armenia and remembers how her family had to change their names when they took home in Turkey. The old photographer (on the photo) who is almost blind and is repeating his sentences again and again. The charmeur who plays piano, reads an erotic text and asks the director if they should marry, “I need someone in my life”. And others.

They are on the edge of leaving Life with their memories in a dark film with bright absurd moments like the conversations in an elevator between the two old men, who go up and down talking to each other, hilarious it is, yes it reminds me of Beckett.

And outside there are construction workers, who are not from Turkey, who get out of their beds in poor container homes to go to work to earn money to send home. It looks like it is just outside the old people’s retirement home – it’s not important, for the old people it is another world than the one they lived in when younger.

A first film, a debut – bravo, a mature documentary film with many layers, visually with more interpretation than information, beautiful to watch, full of details, you see that the director, who is also the camerawoman was there for more than just a visit. Next film, please!    

Turkey, 82 mins., 2017


Vurdering:

 
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Guevara Namer Barcelona Photo

Written 28-09-2018 10:54:24 by Tue Steen Mller

Guevara Namer Barcelona Photo

This is the second - and it will not be the last - time that we bring a photo taken by talented Guevara Namer. The first one was here

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/3349/

from the Damascus where Guevara lived and was part of the team behind the DOXBox festival's four editions. A couple of weeks ago I met her again. She was pitching a project in Riga together with German Antonia Kilian, very succesful pitch, read

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4342/


Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOKLeipzig New Section: Late Harvest

Written 27-09-2018 14:35:08 by Tue Steen Mller

DOKLeipzig New Section: Late Harvest

The festival in Leipzig works apparently according to film editing rules: Don’t give all the information up front, give it piece by piece. The official programme is not announced yet but the festival introduces a new section called Late Harvest. Read all about it in the press release:

In anticipation of announcing of the complete Official Selection for DOK Leipzig 2018, we give a little taste of what you can expect at this year’s edition. In introducing the new programme section LATE HARVEST, we aim to draw attention to important films from the current season, works which have managed to capture the cinematic and political spirit of this year – by winning awards at other festivals, serving as catalysts for heated debate, or making echoing contributions to social and cinematographic discourses which complement and enhance DOK Leipzig’s themes and perspectives...



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IDFA Dziga Vertov

Written 27-09-2018 10:26:07 by Tue Steen Mller

IDFA  Dziga Vertov

 A mail arrived from IDFA announcing quite a film historical event as part of the festival: “You are cordially invited to the IDFA 2018 world premiere of Dziga Vertov's recently found and restored film, The Anniversary of the RevolutionPossibly the first feature-length documentary film ever made, The Anniversary of the Revolution screens November 20th in Tuschinski 1.” And about the film it goes like this:

The Anniversary of the Revolution was made by pioneering filmmaker Dziga Vertov (1896-1954) between early 1917 and 1918. Filming the developments surrounding the Russian Revolutions of February and October 1918, and the following civil war, Vertov documented events and protagonists that would change history. Using his own footage and occasionally the material of a few others, Vertov assembled his chronological account of the historical year into a two-hour film in 1918, making The Anniversary of the Revolution possibly the first feature-length documentary film ever made... to be continued



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Sources Mentoring Workshop

Written 27-09-2018 00:17:39 by Tue Steen Mller

Sources Mentoring Workshop

I was meant to arrive in Herrsching at the Haus der bayerischen Landwirtschaft Sunday, the day before the day where I should speak to mentors, who had signed up for the workshop, that dealt with mentoring. But coming from the Zelig film school in Bolzano to Munich, I had hoped, as experienced before, for a stay in the city to visit museums and relax…. I had forgotten about Oktoberfest and there was NO hotel rooms available. None at all. Marion Gompper from Sources saved me, providing a room with a bed at the venue by the Ammersee from Saturday night. Sorry Germans and lovers of Oktoberfest, but great to get away from Lederhosen and liters of beer after having enjoyed wonderful Italian Lagrein wine and grappa in Bolzano.

The training course, described by the organisers as “intensive”, was meant to



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Dok.Incubator: Play the Trailers

Written 26-09-2018 13:41:38 by Tue Steen Mller

Dok.Incubator: Play the Trailers

I could not be there – Sunday in Malmø at the Nordisk Panorama, where 8 projects developed at the Dok.Incubator were presented. For that reason I was happy to receive an email from the organisers saying “play the trailers” – the 8 films made by international talents right before release. I played the trailers.

I suppose the presentation in Malmø was as in the previous years, professional in an enthusiastic atmosphere: A verbal presentation, a trailer plus one or two scenes from the upcoming film. Especially the latter was for me important for getting an idea of the quality. Where a trailer is a trailer, in most cases a piece of information about the content.

Nevertheless, let me - from the trailer watching - mention three of the films that I definitely MUST see – to review on this site and/or consider to suggest for the festivals, where I am part of the programming team. Take a look and see if you agree:

“Of Friends and Gods” by Reetta Huhtanen. “Searching Eva” by Pia Hellenthal. “The Men’s Room” (PHOTO) by Petter Sommer

http://dokincubator.net/preview-2018/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

M2M Message to Man Fest Awards

Written 22-09-2018 17:57:02 by Tue Steen Mller

M2M  Message to Man Fest Awards

The festival in St. Petersburg is over and awards were announced yesterday after a grandiose (experienced through photos on Facebook) closing evening that had Viktor Kossakovsky's "Aquarela" on the program, of course, this is his home town!

Grand Prix and the Student Jury prize went to Hungarian "A Woman Captured" by Bernadett Tuza-Ritter, it must be one of (if not THE) most winning documentaries of the last year. If you want to read what I wrote on this site about the film:

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4093/

There were 3 awards for the Russian documentary "White Mama" by Evgenia Ostanina and Zosya Rodkevich - Best full length documentary, TV Kultura and Fipresci. Here is the synopsis of the film: "Alina and her family have been put under severe strain. The woman, who has six black-skinned children born out of her relationship with an Ethiopian man, decides to adopt a white boy with mental health problems. Will the characters have enough good will and sufficient child-raising skills to tame – and love – the little tyrant? A film for those who have nerves of steel as it takes viewers to the very centre of the family hell."

The festival has not yet published the whole list of winners, check it on the website or on FB.

https://message2man.com


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOK Leipzig Enthusiasm

Written 13-09-2018 21:46:07 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig Enthusiasm

To meet the audience with a positive attitude is of course the best festival invitation you can make. I thought about it this morning, when receiving a newsletter from Leipzig: They have a good press office in DOK Leipzig that in tone is able to convey what the programmers want to achieve:

We finally have the first film titles for our DOK Leipzig edition 2018. Our Special



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Kusturica & Kossakovsky

Written 12-09-2018 17:23:47 by Tue Steen Mller

Kusturica & Kossakovsky

”El Pepe, a Supreme Life” is a new documentary by Emir Kusturica about the former Uruguayen president José “Pepe” Mujica, loved by his nation, being President 2010-2015 after having spent 13 years in captivity. (Photo of the two in Venice).

In an interview with Cineuropa, in connection with the Venice festival, Kusturica says “Many years ago, I was in France, and someone told me there was a president who drove a tractor. I saw the pictures and said: “This is my next movie.” He is probably the only one in the whole world who is not corrupt. He gives his salary away to lower the poverty line. In the film, he says that when you are chosen by the majority, you have to live like the majority – not the elite. He accepts all that’s needed to improve society…

Throughout his life, “Pepe” was a former guerrilla: he was kidnapping people, robbing banks, fighting fascists, and then he studied in prison, ultimately becoming the Minister of Agriculture…

Also Victor Kossakovsky was at the festival with his new film “Aquarela” and talked to Cineuropa, a quote, the question was why water:

… If you are a fiction film director, you search for an actor and hope to find one with a great range of faces who can portray many emotions – who can be evil one moment and good in the next. For example, Meryl Streep - she can be everything. I thought: “If I’m a documentary filmmaker, what would be a good subject, showing this same variety of emotions?” And I realised that water is perfect - the sea can be peaceful one moment and kill you in the next.  

http://cineuropa.org/en/index/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Wonderful Losers Win in South Korea

Written 12-09-2018 12:11:00 by Tue Steen Mller

Wonderful Losers Win in South Korea

At the third edition of a mountain film festival in South Korea, Lithuanian Arunas Matelis received the award for the best adventure and exploration film. Here are some words about the festival, followed by the clever jury motivation for the award: 



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Janus Metz og Sine Plambech: Heartbound

Written 10-09-2018 19:16:13 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Janus Metz og Sine Plambech: Heartbound

International release: 10th of September 2018 – TO-DAY – at the Toronto International Film Festival / Domestic release: 20th of September 2018.

Janus Metz og Sine Plambech’s films about this tale are Love on Delivery, 2007, Ticket to Paradise, 2008 and Heartbound, 2018.

ARRANGED MARRIAGES THAIS & DANES

The films take us to a windblown corner of North Jutland, where 575 Thai women live with their Danish husbands. Fifteen years ago there was only Sommai, a former sex worker from Pattaya. Opening with Sommai, the two films describe a network of strong, resolute Thai women who, through their marriages in Denmark, provide for themselves and an entire village in Thailand. Underlying Janus Metz’ documentaries, "Love on Delivery" and "Ticket to Paradise" is a focus on globalisation, poverty, prostitution and the universal need for security and love. Allan Berg Nielsen’s reflects on these two works, selected for IDFA 2008.

The location is introduced in beautiful photography by cinematographers Lars Skree and Henrik Bohn Ipsen. There is authority to these shots. A Jutlandic landscape that’s much, much more than a windswept corner of the country. A region and a people with a singular way of life, great dignity and their integrity intact. The photography conforms to my vision of the place that was shaped sometime back in the Romantic Age. Sommai is introduced with similar beauty and sureness. At first, it’s all about her. Once a stranger to these parts, she is now so integrated as anyone can be who looks different and comes from the other side of the globe. Then the story begins. All is well and good. I feel in good hands, from the beginning of the first documentary, Love on Delivery. I know I’ll stick with it. I sense that right away, because there’s a real story here, a love story that continues and concludes in part two, "Ticket to Paradise.”

LOVE ON DELIVERY (2007)

Sommai has been asked to arrange a marriage. She has done so before, found women in her home village and partnered them with men in Denmark. These women stick together, and we get to know two of them. As usual, Sommai has three months to get the job done, the duration of a tourist visa. The person we now turn our attention to, her sister’s daughter, arrives and is uneasily plunged right into things: classified ad, replies, choosing, meeting the man. Kjeld is his name, a nice, shy guy. Her helpers leave. Despondent, she stands in the doorway of the man’s house, the first truly gripping scene. What will become of her, this young woman, Kae?



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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Baltic Sea Forum Public Pitching

Written 10-09-2018 11:18:04 by Tue Steen Mller

Baltic Sea Forum  Public Pitching

24 projects were presented in Riga at the big hall of the Ministry of Agriculture (!) Saturday and Sunday. To a panel of 9 women and 5 men representing television or sales companies. Mikael Opstrup and I moderated the sessions that were planned efficiently and with warmth by Zanda Dudina-Spoge and her team from the National Film Centre of Latvia.

Time will show what will come out of it, but good advice, constructive criticism, contacts, “I am interested, let’s talk more” were expressed to the pitching teams that had been trained



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Nordic Documentary Films

Written 07-09-2018 22:36:50 by Tue Steen Mller

Nordic Documentary Films

Diversity is the word to characterize this selection of Nordic documentaries. Veterans and young talents, classical documentary language as well as so-called hybrid storytelling including fiction and animation in the documentary narrative.

The selection shows that the documentary environment in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark is based on tradition; there is an audience, there is good funding through film institutions. To put it a bit solemn and maybe elitist: In the Nordic countries documentaries are considered as a tool for debate, information and an artistic expression in democratic societies.

Ah, fuck off, legendary Jörn Donner would say to these lines, a true provocateur, who 85 year old makes a follow-up to his Finland-film from 1971, “Fuck Off 2” is the title, where he sends a sometimes sarcastic love declaration to his country, a journey he calls this personal essay, with songs written by another legendary Finn, the composer M.A. Numminen.

Where the visual side of Donner’s film is straight forward documentary mixed with reportage, the Icelandic “Innsaei” (“The Power of Intuition”) is a personal essay including animation, a film full of original visual solutions, that demonstrates how rich the documentary language is today. No limits from the side of Hrund Gunnsteinsdóttir and Kristin Ólafsdóttir.

The Norwegian “69 Minutes of 86 Days” by Egil Håskjold Larsen combines emotion and information in its journey with a 3 year old child’s from Greece to Uppsala in Sweden. The girl is wonderful in her way of dealing with her refugee situation and the classical approach to documentary filmmaking works here: Don’t ask your characters to do anything, don’t put any questions, be there, be with them, observe…

As it is beautiful to follow the mayor in the small Swedish Ydre, when he goes with a small gift to couples, who have added a new citizen to the depopulated community. With a baby. The documentary, full of humour, gives the information and interpretation of the universal problems of Ydre, but has also a side where myths about the existence of Giants and trolls are visually brought to life in the beautiful nature of the small gem in Sweden. Malla Grapengiesser, Alexander Rynéus and Per Bifrost have made the film together, Grapengiesser also being the producer and the two males doing the camera work. Title: Giants and the Morning After.

Finally the Danish contribution, “Bad Circumstances” by Max Kestner, experienced director, like all film directors in this series a true auteur with his own “handwriting”, takes to the detective genre to carry the story together with an essayistic touch, still with an observational camera style and a fascinating main character, the amateur historian, who wants to find out, what happened to the Danish adventurers and scientists, who died in Greenland in the beginning of the 20th century.

https://message2man.com/en/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Baltic Sea Forum Bridges of Time

Written 07-09-2018 08:01:19 by Tue Steen Mller

Baltic Sea Forum  Bridges of Time

The national premiere of “Bridges of Time” by Audrius Stonys and Kristine Briede took place Wednesday night in several cinemas in Latvia. I was in the art house cinema K-Suns in Riga, where the film was screened with English subtitles, whereas the bigger Splendid Palace cinema was for the Latvian version. Kristine Briede was there, Stonys sent a video message from Bangla Desh, three of the masters who are in the film – Ivars Seleckis, Mark Soosaar and Andres Sööt – were on stage together with producers Uldis Cekulis and Riho Västrik from  Latvia and Estonia – and it was wonderful to meet again Herz Frank and Uldis Brauns, to mention two of the legendary characters from the film, who are alive on screen. I hope that this film will travel to give inspiration to new generations of filmmakers: poetry and documentaries can go together.

During two days of training 24 film projects have been presented to a group of tutors, this morning a rehearsal will take place in the new room for pitching, a hall at the Ministry of Agriculture!

The quality level of projects is high and the pitch teams, who are preparing for tomorrow and Sunday, have been working full time to make the verbal and visual presentation go well together. There is so much talent in this part of the world.

I can only say thank you for being part of this.

Photo: Agnese Zeltiņa, the superb Forum photographer.

http://balticseadocs.lv/


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ivars Seleckis and the Children

Written 05-09-2018 07:13:36 by Tue Steen Mller

Ivars Seleckis and the Children

Good news indeed from Riga, where I am at the Baltic Sea Docs for the rest of the week. Arriving I read on FNE News – link below – that the Latvians have done what the Lithuanians did with Arunas Matelis film “Wonderful Losers” – they took a documentary as their Oscar candidate. Here is a copy paste:

“Veteran filmmaker Ivars Seleckis’s



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Gran Hugo Olsson: That Summer

Written 03-09-2018 14:46:35 by Tue Steen Mller

Gran Hugo Olsson: That Summer

The Danish co-producer of the film, Final Cut for Real, gives this description of the film:

“”That Summer” is a feature documentary centered on the film project artist Peter Beard initiated in 1972 with Lee Radziwill about her relatives, the Beales of Grey Gardens. Lost for decades, this extraordinary footage re-emerges in a film that



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOKLeipzig 2018 Juries

Written 30-08-2018 13:47:41 by Tue Steen Mller

DOKLeipzig 2018 Juries

We have to wait until October 10 before the festival in Leipzig, that takes place from October 29 to November 4, announces its official selection. But the efficient press department of DOK Leipzig warms us up with news. This time about the juries – there will be 10 (!) all together – and their mix of film people and writers and visual artists. I can’t mention all – link below but here is a fragment of the press release that came out the other day:



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Marie-Clmence Andriamonta-Pas: Fahavalo/ 2

Written 29-08-2018 16:25:32 by Tue Steen Mller

Marie-Clmence Andriamonta-Pas: Fahavalo/ 2

Enfin, someone wrote on FB, when it was announced that the film «Fahavalo» by French company Laterit had been chosen for a festival, the World Film Festival/Festival des Films du Monde in Montréal, a festival for fiction, shorts and documentaries, link below. World premiere September 1st.

I echo the “enfin” about the film and take some quote from the review I wrote months ago, The whole review is here:

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4187/

”I’ll try to tell you the story”, says the weak old man in a blue shirt with a hat



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Makedox 2018

Written 25-08-2018 17:16:29 by Tue Steen Mller

Makedox 2018

I was there last year for this gem of a festival for creatice documentaries. It is done with a very personal touch by the couple Petra Seliskar and Brand Ferro. It’s primarily an outdoor screening festival – the weather invites you to share beautiful evenings at the amazing Kurshumli An in the old city – with indoor workshops; this year they had two top names to deal with the theme “Directing Reality”: Finnish Pirjo Honkasalo and Polish Wojciech Staron.

If you google Makedox, you will see many clips from the workshops and small talks with filmmakers, who participated like Boris Mitic (In Praise of Nothing), Marta Prus (Over the Limit) (there was a fine focus on Polish documentaries) and Simon Lereng Wilmont. whose “The Distant Barking of Dogs” won the main award in the Main Selection. Not the first award for Wilmont and his film – with another multi-awarded film “Of Fathers and Sons” by Talal Derki getting a special mention from a jury that consisted of Honkasalo, Staron and Mariam Chachia, young talented director from Georgia.

There were many other sections and juries and awards, let me mention one, the best short film: Heba Khaled’s content-wise terrible, stylistically overwhelmingly strong “People of the Wasteland” that has the following description “Using  footage filmed and gathered during more than two years through a GoPro camera placed on the heads of different Syrian fighters in the enemy region, the film presents the violence, the horrors and the absurdity of war in a first-perspective point-of-view. In the chaos of war, the lines between good and evil become blurred and the location is intentionally left unclear to remind us that war affects us all, not only Syrians.”

I have seen the film, have to see it again, shocking reality!

http://makedox.mk/mk/en/

 

 


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

M2M Message to Man Fest

Written 23-08-2018 09:53:51 by Tue Steen Mller

M2M  Message to Man Fest

Would have loved to be in beautiful St. Petersburg again for the festival Message to Man, that I have visited many times. The dates are September 15-22 and I am “anderswo engagiert” .

The festival has a huge program – if you are on FB with it you are bombarded with news every day – and there are many interesting films in the competitive sections, of which there are no less than 6: International Full-Length documentary Films, Short Docs, Short Fiction, Short Animated, National Competition of Docs and the In Silico Experimental Short Film Competition.

Let me mention some of the films: The controversial “The White World According to Daliborek” by Vit Klusák, the super-productive master Sergei Loznitsa has his “Victory Day” in competition, Romanian “Infinite football” (PHOTO) by Corneliu Porumboiu is there (will there be played football as in Tbilisi and other festivals thanks to tireless main character Laurentiu Ginghina?), Bernadett Tuza-Ritter’s “A Woman Captured” that is and deserves to be everywhere, Wang Bing is there with “Mrs Fang”… in the national competition I am curious to see what talented Tatyana Soboleva comes with, “Uncle Sasha, or One Flew Over Russia” is the title as well as the film by Alina Rudnitskaya (together with Sergey Vinokurov) “Fatei and the Sea”… and In Silico presents a new work by former students of Zelig Film School in Bolzano, Mark Olexa and Francesca Scalisi, “Black Line”.

https://message2man.com/en/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Baltic Sea Docs: Film Screenings

Written 22-08-2018 20:26:22 by Tue Steen Mller

Baltic Sea Docs: Film Screenings

Time for tears in eyes again. Which I had at the premiere in Karlovy Vary

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4288/

and will definitely have, when “Bridges of Time” by Kristine Briede and Audrius Stonys will open the mini-festival of the Baltic Sea Docs in Riga at Cinema K.Suns wednesday September 5. Tears from Beauty, Cinematic Excellence, Wonderful Old Masters of Baltic documentary. Clips – among others – from 235.000.000 by Uldis Brauns, do you remember the dancing helicopter and the kids on the beach?

“Bridges of Time” is one of nine films selected by the Latvian organisers of the



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOCAlliance: 1968 online

Written 20-08-2018 18:27:59 by Tue Steen Mller

DOCAlliance: 1968 online

 

DOCAlliance, the favourite vod of filmkommentaren, the place for creative documentaries published this press release today:

Films by Jan Němec and Karel Vachek about the revolutionary Prague Spring 1968 are online at DAFilms.com

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the armies of the Warsaw Pact in 1968, DAFilms.com presents two remarkable films focusing on the Prague Spring. The Ferrari Dino Girl by Czechoslovak New Wave classic Jan Němec and Elective Affinities by Karel Vachek include authentic scenes as well as a re-enactment of the period events.

 



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

EFA Documentary Selection

Written 19-08-2018 16:40:23 by Tue Steen Mller

EFA Documentary Selection

15 documentaries made it to the brutto list of the best European documentaries according to this group of documentary connaisseurs, who got a list from festivals - based on their (the festival’s) recommendations and films individually submitted, the documentary committee, consisting of EFA Board Member Ira von Gienanth (Germany), festival programmers Marek Hovorka (Czech Republic) and Elena Subirà i Roca (Spain), producer Nik Powell (UK) and commissioning editor Sari Volanen (Finland) decided on the EFA Documentary Selection.

The films are:



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Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo FF: Documentary Winners

Written 17-08-2018 08:42:25 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Documentary Winners

Happy to say that I agree with the competent decisions made by this jury: Leena Pasanen (Festival Director of DOK Leipzig, Germany), Luciano Rigolini (Artist-photographer, producer, Switzerland), Marina Gumzi (Producer/ Scriptwriter, Slovenia). I give you the links for the reviews I made during the festival 

HEART OF SARAJEVO FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM

SRBENKA

Director: Nebojša Slijepčević 

Croatia 

Financial award, in the amount of 3,000 €, sponsored by Government of Switzerland.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4308/

SPECIAL JURY MENTION

NINE MONTH WAR/ KILENC HÓNAP HÁBORÚ

Director: László Csuja 

Hungary, Qatar

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4315/

HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD

ARAF (PHOTO)

Turkey, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Director: Didem Pekün 

Best film of the Competition Programme – Documentary Film dealing with the subject of human rights. Award in the amount of 3,000 €, sponsored by Government of Switzerland.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4316/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo FF: DocuTalents from the East

Written 16-08-2018 22:48:30 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: DocuTalents from the East

Here comes a copy-paste of the press release from Jihlava FF. The presentation of the projects took place at the same conference room in Hotel Europe as the Rough Cut Boutique, this time, good for the presenters, they were in spotlight, it helped to create some passion from the very diverse group of people, who were selected by Marek Hovorka and his festival team. I was a member of the jury, so no personal comments would be fair. Here comes the text:

"Ten outstanding documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe, planned for theatrical release during the upcoming 12 months – the Docu Talents from the East –  were presented yesterday at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Projects from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine made it to the final selection of Docu Talents from the East 2018.

The Docu Talent Award was newly granted to the most promising projects. The international jury selected two winners: An absurd tragicomical Ukrainian-Belarussian documentary placed in today’s Crimea My Granny from Mars directed by Alexandar Mihalkovich and produced by Volia Chajkouskaya, and an intimate artistic documentary film Birthday directed and produced by Hilal Baydarov from Azerbaijan. The awards are accompanied with financial prize 2,500 USD for each project, in cooperation with the festival’s partner Current Time TV.

The jury gave the following statements:

“For a choice of charismatic protagonists, treated in a highly cinematic way, and for the sense of absurdity in a difficult and unstable environment.”
 

(My Granny from Mars)

 (PHOTO)

“To a new voice that reveals a pure sense of time, by capturing the universal nature of reality.”

(Birthday)

http://www.dokument-festival.com/industry/docu-talents/2018


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo FF: Rough Cut Boutique Awards

Written 16-08-2018 22:07:31 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Rough Cut Boutique Awards

Yesterday morning the Rough Cut Boutique presented the five projects that under the leadership of Rada Sesic and Martichka Bozhilova were developed with the tutorial help of people like editor Tom Ernst, producer Stefano Tealdi, commissioning editor Hanka Kastelicova, Katrine Kilgaard from CPH:DOX, Aleksandra Derewienko from Cat&Docs in Paris, Jenny Westergaard from YLE Finland and others.

The presentation took place at a conference room of Hotel Europe, not the best place as the presenters were standing in almost total darkness, no spotlight on them, which made the atmosphere a bit sleepy. The verbal presentation (I was told that they were trained in pitching, sorry could not see that) was followed by clips/scenes from the rough cuts. Have to confess that it is difficult to get a true impression of a film from the visual material.

There were awards for the best projects. They went like this:

- 20.000 EUR postproduction award by Digital Cube Romania: DAUGHTER OF CAMORRA, Siniša Gačić

- IDFA Award – the winner will be fully invited to IDFA 2018: DIARY OF A SERIOUS OFFENDER, Danilo Ceković

- HBO Europe Award – 2000 EUR: DAUGHTER OF CAMORRA, Siniša Gačić

- CAT&Docs Award  - 2000 EUR: THE MAGIC LIFE OF V, Tonislav Hristov

- DOK Preview at DOK Leipzig 2018 and visit to the Festival and presentation: ONE OF US, Đuro Gavran

There was a big quality difference among the five with the Finnish/Bulgarian collaboration (Kaarle Aho and Tonislav Hristov) on a high professional level (superb camera work), whereas the others were beginners or less experienced.

Luckily there was a guest project that I knew about from way back, a film – again - dealing with the past, “Aktion DB” (PHOTO); Dana Budisavljevic is the director who pitched together with producer Miljenka Cogelja. An extraordinary story about an extraordinary woman Diana Budisavljevic, who during WW2 helped children and women out of the concentration camps set up by the Germans and their Croatian partners, the Ustashas. It’s 10000 children and the film is a docufiction using an actress to play DB, sequences with survivors who go the places, where the camps were and shocking archive material from the camps. The director has – from the scenes I saw – found her form, she has made her aesthetic choice, b/w and colour mixed, the b/w maybe tinted a bit, it looked impressive.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Hulahop+films&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo FF: The Story of Amir

Written 16-08-2018 15:25:22 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: The Story of Amir

There he was on screen and in persona among the audience, 22 year old Amir Śeśic, whose story was presented by Mirna Buljugic from BIRN, that stands for Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. And what a story: Amir has never seen his father, who was one of the victims of the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. When he was 3 months old, his mother left him, he grew up in an orphanage, was with a new family, fought to understand what a mother could be, does not want to have anything to do with his own mother AND has written a book.

It took me 2 years to write it, he said, the young energetic man, who is now going around launching the book, that many at the presentation done by Mirna Buljugic told him to make in an English version as well. Buljugic told us that the book is a very emotional experience, describing also what the stay in the orphanage meant for Amir, who regularly visits his father’s grave in Srebrenica.

http://birn.eu.com/network/birn-bosnia-and-herzegovina/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo FF: Dealing With the Past Stories

Written 16-08-2018 11:05:37 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Dealing With the Past Stories

Back in Copenhagen. 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!

In an article by Vladan Petkovic for Screen Daily, link below, the stories delivered to a full hall Monday afternoon at the Hotel Europe are described. Read that and let me introduce the panel on the photo:

From right colleague tutor and here moderator Robert Zuber and on stage Goran Zoric, Edin Ramulic, Mediha Haskic who translated for Edin, Augustina Rahmanovic, Sabiha Husic and Mirna Buljugic.

https://www.screendaily.com/news/sarajevos-true-stories-market-opens-competition-for-producers/5131637.article


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo FF: Talk With Mila Turajlic

Written 15-08-2018 08:41:45 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Talk With Mila Turajlic

The theme was how to deal with archives in a creative way; it was a bit more than one hour skype conversation with Mila Turajlic talking to us from her home in Belgrade - the flat those of us, who have seen "The Other Side of Everything" know so well. Turajlic was excused not to be in Sarajevo, because of illness but as the fighter she is, she had prepared clips for the presentation and the conversation went very well giving the audience of primarily young people inspiration to their film work.

The first clip brought us back to the film Turajlic made in 2010, "Cinema Komunisto", the scene from the partisan feature film (Battle of Neretva, 1969) where Tito has given the order



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Sarajevo FF: Talk With Sinisa juricic

Written 14-08-2018 11:12:12 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Talk With Sinisa juricic

As part of the "Dealing With the Past" there was a talk with producer Siniša Juricic, who co-produced and was a character in "Chris, the Swiss", a film that was taken to the Cannes Film Festival, a film not loved by Croatian film and tv authorities, they don't like to see it as a film from Croatia, but not the only film that Juricic has made as a producer; he has not been able to get funding from the Croatian Audiovisual Fund for three years. He was service provider for the Danish production "15 Minutes. The Dvor Massacre" and for this he was "accused of being a traitor" and "blacklisted" at the Fund.

The talk had the long title "Working with films that tackle sensitive issuses from the past" and Juricic, well prepared, had brought along clips/trailers from his filmography: "Dead Man Walking", "Velvet Terrorists", the mentioned two films, "Houston, we have a Problem" as well as a clip from a new film about a cartoonist, who was killed by the partisans in Belgrade 1944. It looked very fascinating. Juricic, interviewed by Robert Zuber, said that he now "seriously considers to make comedies" - I don't believe him having seen his talent as a producer not only for the mentioned films but also for fine works as "Cash and Marry", one of my favourites from my time at the training programme Ex Oriente, and "Sofia's Last Ambulance" that is a small masterpiece. What comes out of a talk like this is sadness, well anger that the Croatian film and tv authorities are so scared of anything that is controversial and finds it necessary to blacklist a talent like Juricic. At the discussion after "Srbenka", the director Nebojša Slijepcevic was asked if the film would end up on Croatian television. With a smile, he said that this would not happen. Something is rotten, not only in the state of Denmark...  


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Sarajevo FF: Full House for Docs

Written 14-08-2018 10:08:15 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Full House for Docs

 

Sarajevo hosts an amazing film festival. The variety of programs and projects is overwhelming. Films in many cinemas, discussions and presentations after the screenings, and in the Hotel Europe where workshops take place and the Atrium has full houses for presentations linked to industry matters.

I am happy to say that documentaries have a visible and important place in



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Laila Pakalnina: Fishing in the River of Time

Written 11-08-2018 14:39:42 by Tue Steen Mller

Laila Pakalnina: Fishing in the River of Time

The Latvian filmmaker, who has made feature and documentary films, that have gone all over the world, who has made long and short films and who indeed has her own style, is quoted from a blog that advertises a workshop that she leads in Poland in October:

– Every film for me means risk. I am not craftsman; I am not delivering certain product. I am making film and that means breathtaking balancing between shit and art. I hope for art of course. And I admire this risk. As for me this is the only way how to make film… – I call my method of work “Fishing in the river of time”. As life is extremely talented, we just put camera, set composition and wait. And life happens. So film happens. Sometimes immediately, sometimes in hours and even days…

– I like to make films on simple subjects – delivery of the mail, bicycle road, just a bridge etc. In fact like in very beginning of film history brothers Lumiere did – Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat; Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory etc. Maybe it is because filming simple things or actions you always catch something more, something meaningful. As for example in the shot with postwoman there is something more than just postwoman, there is universe – because it is documentary, it is not created by me but by life. I am just fixing this universe from the certain angle in certain framing…

Film Spring Workshop will take place from the 17th – 26th of October in Krakow, Poland.

The still is from a film that Pakalnina is finishing right now, “Spoon”

https://filmspringopen.eu/en/laila-pakalnina-to-tutor-the-documentary-group-at-film-spring-workshop/

https://filmspringopen.eu/en/register/


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Nuri Bilge Ceylan: Turkey Cinemascope

Written 10-08-2018 21:21:19 by Tue Steen Mller

Nuri Bilge Ceylan: Turkey Cinemascope

This is a copy paste of a text from the website of the Sarajevo Film Festival to show you a photo taken by the wonderful Turkish director:

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, one of today’s most acclaimed filmmakers, will receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award at the 24th Sarajevo Film Festival. Ceylan will receive the Award in recognition of outstanding contribution to the art of film and support of Sarajevo Film Festival. Ceylan is also the honorary guest of the 24th Sarajevo Film Festival's Tribute to programme.

The opening of the exibition Nuri Bilge Ceylan: Turkey Cinemascope will be held on Saturday, 11th August 2018 at noon, in Art Galerry of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ceylan’s photographs, just like his films, encourage the observer to think. They provide no obvious answers, but rather mere hints of emotion. The expressions on the faces of his subjects – both in film and in photography – are always ambivalent, reflecting the complexity of life and the human soul, and confirming Ceylan’s status as a talented narrator and a profoundly important and ethical artist.

https://www.sff.ba/en


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Didem Pekn: Araf

Written 09-08-2018 14:14:33 by Tue Steen Mller

Didem Pekn: Araf

Surprise me, give me something extraordinary, make the form important, challenge me, make me learn something new. This Turkish film, 45 minutes long, fulfilled the wishes of this old documentary addict. It has many layers and instead of me trying to give a summary of the content, here is the description from the filmmakers as I read it after watching the vimeo link:

Araf is an essayistic road movie and diary of a ghostly character, Nayia, who



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Lszl Csuja: Nine Month War

Written 08-08-2018 21:32:39 by Tue Steen Mller

Lszl Csuja: Nine Month War

The film, that has its world premiere at the Sarajevo Film Festival August 14, is a psychological drama featuring a young man and his mother with the young man’s girlfriend as an important side-character. I wrote man but take a look at the picture, he is a playful boy, happy, full of life, in love with the girl, he wants to marry her, he belongs to the Hungarian minority in Ukraine, gets drafted and chooses to go with the Ukrainian army. Much against his mother’s wish. She is the one, who suffers, wants him to stay at home, is happy but worried, when he is home for leave and relieved, when he finally finishes his military duty. After nine months, a reborn child.

The playful boy becomes a disillusioned young man. And the film shows that, indeed it does show, what damage on the soul a war can do. Letting us viewers look at his face. Built up in a very simple way, the film is based on shootings from the family’s house in a village, and the cell phone material that Jani, the son, shoots, when sent to the war between Ukraine and Russia. A lot is the soldier’s life - fun, shooting his pals, and other’s is deadly serious footage from the combat zone in Eastern Ukraine. The story he tells about the pal who is killed next to him is what changes him completely. It sent him to hospital and made him strongly wanting to go home “missing mum”.

At home he is lying on the sofa watching the material he shot, he is bored and does not know, what to do with his life. It seems like he does not want to marry the girlfriend he proposed to nine months earlier – on camera.

The return of a soldier to normal life, there are loads of films dealing with this topic, fiction and documentary, however this one has an interesting character approach – mother and son/girlfriend – and a clever set-up with the two very different cinematic takes, with the calm observation of the family life in the village contrasting the nervous, hectic soldier life shot by the young boy turned man - that shifts from being just a funny boy-game to a question of life and death, leaving scars on the soul.

Hungary, 2018, 73 mins. 


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Paul Pauwels Stops as EDN Director

Written 08-08-2018 14:55:02 by Tue Steen Mller

Paul Pauwels Stops as EDN Director

After 6 years as director of EDN (European Documentary Network) Paul Pauwels has decided to leave the association that is looking for a new man/woman to lead the membership organisation with around 1000 members, deadline for applications September 7 - much more on that you can find on the website of EDN - http://edn.network/news/news-story/article/edn-is-hiring-a-new-director/?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=111&cHash=e2121e1f089ed874a75254a72cbd48ee

Paul has on the same site given his reasons to resign:



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Sarajevo FF: Dealing With the Past

Written 07-08-2018 13:28:16 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF: Dealing With the Past

This is a copy paste of a text from the website of the festival, written by Maša Markovic, the programme manager of the Dealing with the Past project of the Sarajevo FF supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung:

In 1991, Christian Würtenberg, a 26-year-old reporter from Switzerland and the protagonist of Anja Kofmel's feature-length debut CHRIS THE SWISS, took a train from his hometown to war-torn Yugoslavia. In his diary, he noted that the sense of war became noticeable with every passing mile. "With each stop,” he wrote, “the train empties out a little more, until only a few shady characters remain."

More than two decades later, it feels as though we are still on that same ride – except that now, with every stop, the train gets more crowded. The seats



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Momir Matovic: TAM 4500

Written 05-08-2018 22:55:01 by Tue Steen Mller

Momir Matovic: TAM 4500

Oh, it’s lovely this short film by veteran Momir Matovic from Montenegro. A 22 minutes love declaration to a small group of people somewhere in his country with the vehicle TAM 4500 as the car that transports kid(s) to school, goods to the grocer, flour to the old woman, hay to the younger woman, wood for heating in winter to the man. Risto is the name of the driver, who tells us that the car is 65 years old and that he has been having it for decades, helping the others and never himself. You believe him in this gem of a film that has dialogues the director has asked them to say – life philosophy at the purest - reminds me so much of early documentaries by Danish Jon Bang Carlsen, it’s the same kind of love to people, who normally do not appear in the media, a love expressed through images and the small story. Absolutely the same as seen before in films by Matovic, do you remember “Meters of Life”, the one about the old deaf mute man, who leaves his home to walk long down to the cinema to watch films in a very interactive manner.

Dear festival people all over, show this film, your audience will love it, it shows hard life with a big heart.

I have met Matovic a couple of times, hope to see him in Sarajevo, to say hvala to him and maybe drink a glass of Montenegrin Vranac with him.

Montenegro, 2018, 23 mins.


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Senka Domanović: Occupied Cinema

Written 05-08-2018 10:40:22 by Tue Steen Mller

Senka Domanović: Occupied Cinema

… and a review of the third film praised by Sarajevo FF documentary programmer, Rada Sesic who in her catalogue foreword writes: … The debut feature length film by Serbian new talent Senka Domanovic, Occupied Cinema, with which we open our Competition section, succeeds so well to show not only the drama of the months-long protests against the closing of the oldest Belgrade cinema but to reflect the temperature of the society, especially among the urban young population…

I agree with the programmer, it’s a powerful film that makes me sad and (a



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Mladen Kovacevic: 4 Years In 10 Minutes

Written 04-08-2018 14:13:55 by Tue Steen Mller

Mladen Kovacevic: 4 Years In 10 Minutes

I made the decision to take a look at the three documentaries praised for their editing by Sarajevo FF programmer Rada Sesic. After “Srbrenka” here comes my comments to “4 Years In 10 Minutes”. Sesic wrote this:  

“Mladen Kovacevic… is lucidly experimenting with someone else’s quite personal amateur footage and is confronting the audience with the notion of life and death.”

She refers to the material brought back from a Mount Everest expedition by Dragan Jacimovic, who reached the top in May 2000. It is amateur footage of quite bad quality and it is quotes from the diary of the climber, personal reflections the whole way through, put on the screen so it covers the whole picture. Again and again, quite a disturbing and boring cinematic decision, I have to confess was my impression until we get to the top with Jacimovic 36 mins. into the film, where we are with him, who is alone with no one to share his success and with huge problems in breathing. He shows the Yugoslav and Serbian flag and one from a sponsor I guess, “I am spitting blood”, 4 years in 10 minutes. This is where the film lives, were the viewer is invited to be present.

And then he has to hurry to go down again to get oxygen and his texts on the screen explain about hallucinations and about being unconscious; there is no pride in the texts it’s about life and death as Rada Sesic wrote.

The film was awarded as the best Serbian documentary at the Beldocs festival in Belgrade and it was premiered at Visions du Réel.

Serbia, 2018, 63 mins.


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Sarajevo FF Documentaries

Written 01-08-2018 19:15:04 by Tue Steen Mller

Sarajevo FF Documentaries

The festival that starts August 10 and continues until August 17 has again this year an impressive competition programme put together, again, and of course, by Rada Sesic, who is also the mastermind (together with Martichka Bozhilova) behind the Rough Cut Boutique for projects close to be finished. Many of which when finished ends up in the competition.

16 films have been selected, among them a handful of shorts.

I have taken a quote from Rada Sesic’s introduction to the film program – here it is, and I will before the festival review the three films mentioned, the first one to be “Srbenka”:

… In some way, this year’s selection also celebrates the importance of creative editing. Obviously, the editing process is crucial for many documentaries for finding the narrative and establishing the proper rhythm for a particular narrative, however, this year we have several films that are exactly thought through and created during that stage. One of those is the brilliantly edited and through editing smartly directed Srbenka (Photo) by Croatian maker Nebojsa Slijepcevic that participated at the Docu Rough Cut Boutique last year in Sarajevo. Similarly, films that are done from loads of material as the result of a long process of following an event certainly require a miraculous editor. The debut feature length film by Serbian new talent Senka Domanovic, Occupied Cinema, with which we open our Competition section, succeeded so well to show not only the drama of the months-long protests against the closing of the oldest Belgrade cinema but to reflect the temperature of the society, especially among the urban young population. Another Serbian maker who is daringly challenging different documentary textures in each new film and regularly gets recognition at the European film scene, is Mladen Kovacevic. In his 4 years in 10 minutes, he is lucidly experimenting with someone else’s quite personal amateur footage and is confronting the audience with the notion of life and death.

https://www.sff.ba/en/news/10819/competition-programme-documentary-film-2018


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Nebojsa Slijepcevic: Srbenka

Written 01-08-2018 18:43:15 by Tue Steen Mller

Nebojsa Slijepcevic: Srbenka

I can only echo what Sarajevo FF documentary programmer Rada Sesic writes above about this film that has already won the DocAlliance Award, announced it was in Cannes: … brilliantly edited and through editing smartly directed…

Background for the film and the theatre play that is followed, taken from the production company’s website:

“In the winter of 1991. a 12-year old Serbian girl (Aleksandra Zec) was murdered in Zagreb. A quarter of century later director Oliver Frljić is working on a theatre play about the case. Rehearsals become a collective psychotherapy, and the 12-year old actress Nina feels as if the war had never ended.”

It’s done many times before, it’s difficult, it demands a clever director and editor, and an interesting theatre play director. Oliver Frljić is one, it is fascinating to follow how he works with the actors, how they involve their own experiences in a post-war Croatia, were nationalism is strong and where right-wing media objected to the play: When will Croatian kids (killed in the war) get a theatre play. Frljić is harassed and wants his actors to react to the criticism of the play in the media. They don’t because “then we’re giving them space, they don´t deserve”.

The film lives because of the excellent cinematography, the many close-ups of the 12 year old Nina, and because of the director and his emotions, and the many voice-offs are given beautiful space with images from an empty stage. An intense film with a tone, and a distance via the theatre play, an invitation to reflection. 

http://restarted.hr/en/movies.php?recordID=163

Croatia, 2018, 72 mins.


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Dokufest Kosovo 2018

Written 29-07-2018 15:01:28 by Tue Steen Mller

Dokufest Kosovo 2018

Three important film festivals in August in the Balkan region. I have visited them all, in Sarajevo, Skopje (Makedox) and Dokufest. Will present them all on this site, with pleasure, the one in Sarajevo on location.

But first Dokufest in Kosovo, that starts August 3 and runs until August 11 with a variety of great offers to those, who come to the cosy Prizren. And – take a look at the program and its sections – a festival that can inspire



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Docs at Venice International FF

Written 26-07-2018 13:39:52 by Tue Steen Mller

Docs at Venice International FF

Docs at Venice International FF. The festival (29/8-08/9) announced its program yesterday and I went to search documentaries in the “Out of Competition” section, where they are placed.

Ten titles – as the festival puts it – by established directors: Amos Gitai, Victor Kosakovsky, Emir Kusturica, Sergei Loznitsa, Ron Mann, Francesca Mannocchi & Alessio Romenzi, Errol Morris, Giorgio Treves, Tsai Ming-Liang and Frederick Wiseman.

From the latter, the 88 year old American master of observational documentary, comes “Monrovia, Indiana”, 2 hours and 23 minutes, I stole this description from the internet:



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DOKLeipzig Opens with Gorbachev, Herzog and Singer

Written 24-07-2018 15:28:28 by Tue Steen Mller

DOKLeipzig Opens with Gorbachev, Herzog and Singer

It’s a scoop for the DOK Leipzig festival, edition 61 (!) to have “Meeting Gorbachev” as the opening film on the 29th of October.

And to have Werner Herzog present to talk about the film and attend screenings of 



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Odesa International FF

Written 22-07-2018 15:16:12 by Tue Steen Mller

Odesa International FF

… ended last night and two documentaries reviewed on this site were awarded:

“Delta” (PHOTO) by Ukrainian Oleksandr Techynski got main award in the category “National Competition. Features”. I saw it at DOK Leipzig last year, where it was in the “Next Masters Competition”. A quote from the review: “… It is multilayered, it has a clear aesthetic choice with a skilled camerawork that suits the theme or rather the location, it’s a Film: the delta of the Danube, a kind of Klondyke, where people live under harsh chaotic conditions and where men with worn faces struggle their way through the reed that they harvest to sheaf, to bring in to be sold…”

And Alisa Kovalenko’s “Home Games” got first prize in the “European Documentary Competition”. A quote from the review: “… The film lives from its ability to create a feeling of presence in the situations with Alina and the kids. Here there are fine, often poetic moments in the claustrophobia of the small flat. On the football pitch, it is not poetry that reigns, when the coach states to the girls that they have “to die on the pitch”, a sentence which will probably be used many times the next month in a neighbouring country (world championship in Russia).

And another quote from the press release from the festival: “… Janina Sokolova and Oleh Paniuta reminded everyone that the hunger strike of Oleg Sentsov has been lasting for 69 days already as for 21st of July. ”The OIFF and all of us wish him to stay strong and to come back to his artistic occupation to the native land.”, - Janina Sokolova said. And as well as at every screening and the Opening ceremony there was a special seat reserved for the Ukrainian director/political prisoner at the Closing Ceremony.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4258/

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4073/

https://oiff.com.ua/en/festival/news/urochista-tseremonija-zakrittja-9-go-omkf.html


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IDFA 2018

Written 20-07-2018 15:03:51 by Tue Steen Mller

IDFA 2018

IDFA – November 14-25 2018 – has sent out a Newsletter “for Industry” revealing that “this year (we) will present an inspiring, diverse program featuring many impressive screenings… led by our new artistic director Orwa Nyrabia”.

With a click I went to discover what were the “new program sections and other changes to the festival”. Here are some of them with my comments and questions:

FEWER films in total with only 12 films in each competition category… to be



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Nicolas Wagnires: Hotel Jugoslavia

Written 19-07-2018 22:41:56 by Tue Steen Mller

Nicolas  Wagnires: Hotel Jugoslavia

Since the beginning of this century I have visited Belgrade once per year – as readers of this site will know because of reports from the Magnificent7 documentary festival. Every year one of our tours for lunch goes to wonderful Zemun at the the Danube, and to go there we have passed the Hotel Jugoslavija. What is the story of the hotel, I have asked local hosts. Ahh, it used to be important in Tito’s time but after his death and after Yugoslavia stopped being Yugoslavia, it stopped being important. Were the short answers you get in a car passing by the huge building.

Now I know much more thanks to the film of Nicolas Wagnières, his first long documentary. His mother was born and lived in the country until the sixties, bringing him to visit, he became fascinated, fell in love with the ideas that were once behind the non-aligned country – unity, brotherhood, collectiveness and self-management.

In stylized images, with constant camera movements through the empty hotel, beautiful as it was, then totally in ruins and built up again, but not totally, once a superb hotel built on the order of Tito, in 1969, a hotel where top politicians and celebrities checked in, placed beautifully in New Belgrade, then later in the 1990’es home for criminals, bombed by NATO in 1999, as Arkan and his gang was supposed to operate from there… he set up a casino, and there is still a casino there, I was there a couple of years ago, super posh with no soul.

Wagnières makes the hotel a symbol for a country falling apart, he has interviews with his mother, with people working at the hotel, he goes from images from inside the hotel to interviews, to propaganda films, to archive footage showing the mourning that followed Tito’s death in 1980, but he also includes clips from fiction films, one of them a recent action film, where the hotel is blown up. And there is Milosevic with his nationalism.

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.

The film is not deep, it is not an analysis of the history of a country, there is too much "it was much better before", but the director is an outsider, his style and approach is to be respected, and as I have seen and experienced Belgrade during the years of visiting, I can only share the director’s and Belgrade friends worry for what is happening with the city and its development, when you see the glass skyscrapers popping up at the water front. Which he captures well at the end of the film.

Switzerland/France, 2017, 78 mins.

https://hotel-jugoslavija-film.com/en/home-an/


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Peter Kerekes: Occupation 1968

Written 17-07-2018 13:54:23 by Tue Steen Mller

Peter Kerekes: Occupation 1968

A Russian comes to the passport control in a Western European country. Occupation asks the passport official? No No, answers the Russian, just visiting…

A classic joke that I dare put as the beginning of this review of the omnibus film, with Peter Kerekes as the main producer. 5 films, 5 directors from the 5 Warsaw Pact countries that occupied Czechoslovakia in August 1968. 5 films seen from the point of view of those, who took part in the occupation. Excellent idea and excellently performed even if, as with all omnibus films I am afraid, the difference in style and quality is sometimes disturbing.

From me as a visitor to Prague during the Prague Spring in 1968 months before the invasion, with several visits to the city during the communist times and with tears in my eyes when the velvet revolution took place in 1989 and I saw Dubcek and Havel saluting and being saluted by the population from the balcony in Prague… Thanks for dealing with the past.  

I put Kerekes at the top of this text and included the joke as it is obvious that



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Baltic Sea Forum 2018

Written 12-07-2018 23:27:53 by Tue Steen Mller

Baltic Sea Forum 2018

It’s a classic, this documentary event in Riga, Latvia. I am proud to say that I have been part of it since the beginning. An event that has nurtured my love to the Baltic documentary cinema. Here is a brief from the website on the history:

The Baltic Sea Forum took place for the first time in 1997 in Denmark, initially it was a Danish initiative for the Baltic countries, Poland and the western part of Russia. It continued to be a Danish initiative until 2001 and then, as the Baltic countries were on their way to enter the European Union, the Danish government decided to let Latvian organizations continue this adventure. At the beginning of this “second phase”, the Baltic Sea Forum was a travelling event through the Baltic countries, but since 2005 it always takes place in Riga…

24 projects have been selected for the 2018 edition, reflecting indeed the social and political situation in the region. See the link below.

One of the projects to be presented is by talented Tatiana Soboleva, whose films, first of all “The Floating Hospital” I have written about/praised on this site. The new film to be presented is called “The Russian Way” (PHOTO) and the description goes like this:

After twenty five years spent abroad, Natalya comes back to Russia and tries to change the life in her native village by using European experience. Her attempts are not approved by the local authorities and makes her neighbors fear…

http://balticseadocs.lv/


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Mansky Wins in Karlovy Vary

Written 10-07-2018 09:49:55 by Tue Steen Mller

Mansky Wins in Karlovy Vary

The winner of the documentary competition at the festival in Karlovy Vary was – no surprise – “Putin’s Witnesses”, which I did not manage to watch while at the Czech festival, that had – according to competent sources – a good documentary section. I take a bite of the review at Cineeuropa, written by Vladan Petkovic:

…With Mansky's approach, the film might as well have been titled Putin and I, as his closeness to the Russian ruler during that period provides for unprecedented access and remarkable insight. You would be hard pushed to find such intimate and close-up footage of the president in his early days elsewhere. But what Mansky does best here is showing us the reasons for Putin's popularity and detailing his rise and gradual evolution into the autocrat that he is today. While the president will still essentially remain a mystery to us mere mortals, Mansky's film brings us much closer to him than, say, Oliver Stone's panegyric The Putin Interviews..

http://cineuropa.org/en/newsdetail/356761


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Ingmar Bergman 100 r /4

Written 09-07-2018 11:21:57 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /4

Jane Magnussons Bergman – Et år, et liv skildrer hele mennesket Bergman – alle hans sider…


PRIVATLIV

Det drejer sig om hele mennesket Bergman forstår jeg på pressemeddelelsen, jeg håber det også drejer sig om hans film, teateropsætninger, tv-produktioner og forfattervirksomhed, altså Bergmans hele værk og dets indhold. Jeg har ikke set filmen, så jeg ved det ikke, men jeg glæder mig meget, rigtig meget. Og jeg forbereder mig lidt ved at læse, hvad jeg sådan lige her og nu kan finde om Magnusson og hendes film. Først altså fra biograf.blog pressemeddelelsens synopsis:

”Jane Magnusson har med filmen forsøgt at portrættere HELE mennesket Bergman – alle hans sider. Både de fantastiske og de mindre flatterende for at forstå denne store kunstner endnu bedre. Filmen tager sit udgangspunkt i 1957, hvor Ingmar Bergman fik sit store gennembrud. 1957 var året, hvor Bergman var allermest produktiv – han lavede to spillefilm, havde premiere på ”Det syvende sejl” og ”Ved vejs ende”, stod bag fire teateropsætninger, en TV film, havde seks børn med tre forskellige kvinder, og der skete samtidig en masse andre vigtige ting i hans liv. Ingmar Bergman betragtes af mange som en af verdens absolut største kunstnere i moderne tid, først og fremmest indenfor film og ikke mindst ved Cannes Film Festival efter gentagne triumfer. Bergman – Et år, et liv havde sin verdenspremiere på ”Bergman – Et år, et liv” havde sin verdenspremiere på Cannes Film Festival i år.”

Dernæst læser jeg altså så anmeldelser fra Cannes deltagelsen. I The Hollywood Reporter ser jeg dette indholdsreferat, en synopsis sådan lidt mere lovende:

”Bergman: A Year in a Life is nominally structured as a look at what Magnusson argues might be Bergman’s most “productive year of his career,” from the premiere of The Seventh Seal, in February 1957, through the premiere of Wild Strawberries, on Boxing Day. But the focus on those specific months, during which Bergman turned 39, is for the most part a structural device that’s kept in the background, while Magnusson free-associates and roams throughout Bergman’s entire life to illuminate and explore his character. The work’s Swedish title, which literally translates as A Year, A Life, is a more accurate description of what to expect. “ Boyd van Hoeij fra The Hollywood Reporter konkluderer sin anmeldelse sådan:

“… Magnusson is a TV journalist and director who has previously explored Bergman’s legacy in the Trespassing Bergman/Bergman's Video project, which looked at his influence on filmmakers ranging from Woody Allen to Ang Lee and Martin Scorsese, who all visited Bergman’s iconic Faro Island location. She here makes a more clearly biographical work that delves into the life and work of the writer-director and only occasionally gets carried away by the impression he left on other famous people, like when Barbra Streisand recounts her set visit to Bergman’s 1970 English-language debut, The Touch, which starred her then-husband, Elliott Gould. While what’s being said is fun to hear in a trivial kind of way, the film’s few snippets of celebrity talking heads — others include Holly Hunter, John Landis and Lars von Trier — are unnecessary distractions that don’t add all that much (a few at the end especially feel like an unnecessary retread of Trespassing Bergman territory). “



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Categories: Cinema, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Claude Lanzmann 1925 2018

Written 07-07-2018 09:08:38 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Claude Lanzmann 1925  2018

Even if I lived a hundred lives, I still wouldn’t be exhausted…

 

MURMELSTEIN

The Guardian published a very interesting article Tuesday, May 14th 2013, Agnès Poirier had seen the new film by legendary Claude Lanzmann about Benjamin Murmelstein, who collaborated with the Nazis as the last Jewish Council President in Theresienstadt. Poirier talks to Lanzmann about Murmelstein and the film that will be shown in Cannes tomorrow (May, 18 2013). I have taken some quotes from the long article:

... There are two men on a balcony looking out at the panorama of Rome. It is the summer of 1975. "Are you happy in Rome?" says one. "As happy as an exiled Jew can be," says the other. The man asking the question is Claude Lanzmann. He has just started work on what will take him 10 years to finish: Shoah, the ground-breaking, nine-and-a-half-hour film about the Holocaust, composed of first-hand testimony and eschewing historical footage...

Still: Lanzmann and Murmelstein, Rome 1975, “The Last of the Unjust” (2013)

Lanzmann never included Murmelstein in ”Shoah”, now he gets ”his own film”… Murmelstein, who called himself "the last of the unjust", perfectly represented (those) contradictions...



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

Godard Makes Festival Spot

Written 03-07-2018 08:24:45 by Tue Steen Mller

Godard Makes Festival Spot

87 year old Jean-Luc Godard  has made a festival spot for the 22nd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival. It was released here in Karlovy Vary yesterday. I have copy pasted fragments from the press release published with quotes from festival director Marek Hovorka:

And even if nothing turned out how we’d hoped, it would not have changed what we’d hoped for,” says Godard in the festival spot. “This year’s festival spot created by Jean-Luc Godard follows in the line of outstanding works made for the festival by such figures as Godfrey Reggio, Jan Němec and Jóhann Jóhannsson. The festival spot comes in the format of a short film, an intimate haiku. Even within the framework of this minute-long minimalist format, Jean-Luc Godard remained loyal to his signature method of layering meanings and references. Each new viewing opens up new interpretations,” says Marek Hovorka, the director of the Ji.hlava IDFF. 

Godard sets filmmaking in the context of the history of arts, works with references to popular works of fine arts. At the same time, it shows how inseparable the work is from the author and how important role inner authenticity plays in terms of authorship. Flipping through photos in Godard’s cell phone, the history of arts spontaneously alternates with his own memories, selfies and the perspective of a dog that gives the human position a different angle,” adds Hovorka.

Watch the official spot of the 22nd Ji.hlava IDFF


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Premiere of Bridges of Time

Written 02-07-2018 15:47:08 by Tue Steen Mller

Premiere of Bridges of Time

I write this the day after the premiere of the film by Kristine Briede and Audrius Stonys at the festival in Karlovy Vary. Warm applause after the screening of a film with many layers, an auteur film but first of all an homage to the masters of the Baltic New Wave: Herz Frank, Uldis Brauns, Ivars Seleckis, Andres Sööt, Robertas Verba, Henrikas Sablevicius, Arvis Freimanis, Mark Soosaar. The three of them still very much alive and kicking were there, see photo, Soosaar, Sööt and Seleckis.

The festival, that I have never visited before, has set up screenings of short films made by the directors in the 60’es and 70’es during the period of Soviet Union. We hope that “Bridges of Time” will make you want to go and see the films we quote from – around 20 are screened in four programmes, that also include films by Audrius Stonys himself and Laila Pakalnina.

The two were in focus this morning in a “Meet the filmmakers” session of the festival. Audrius



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Stonys & Briede: Bridges of Time

Written 30-06-2018 22:57:06 by Tue Steen Mller

Stonys & Briede: Bridges of Time

Wow, it's tomorrow at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival that Bridges of Time has its premiere. The film, a co-production between the three Baltic countries, is introduced like this by the festival: "Kristīne Briede and Audrius Stonys’s meditative documentary essay portrays the less-remembered generation of cinema poets of the Baltic New Wave. With finesse, they push beyond the barriers of the common historiographic investigation in order to achieve a consummate poetic treatment of the ontology of documentary creation."

A fine intro, however, I would make it a bit longer with these words: "This is a film for all cinema lovers. It tells about the Baltic poetic documentary cinema that was created during the Soviet Union. In opposition to the USSR propaganda films. It was a wave of a personal free visual language that celebrated life and humanity. Together with Latvian Kristine Briede, Lithuanian director Audrius Stonys, who in his own work continues the tradition for a poetic look at reality, has picked magical moments from unique long and short documentaries to let them meet the old masters as they look today or when they were in front of the camera decades ago. The directors in the film about this special artistic phenomenon in film history are Herz Frank, Uldis Brauns, Ivars Seleckis, Andres Sööt, Robertas Verba, Henrikas Sablevicius, Arvis Freimanis, Mark Soosaar."

I have been invited to come for the premiere in Karlovy Vary, which I do with great pleasure as someone whose professional life changed completely in the 1990'es, where I discovered the Baltic documentary on the island of Bornholm where a festival, Balticum Film & TV Festival took place until 2000. Today it is my joy to go to Riga every year to take part in the Baltic Sea Docs that is a continuation of the adventure on Bornholm, as is the collaboration of the three Baltic countries cinema-wise with this celebration os something very special - the film will be followed by a superb retrospective of the primarily short documentaries made by the masters in the documentary. More will come from this event. Photo of the poster of the film. 


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DocAlliance Puts Focus on Vitaly Mansky

Written 29-06-2018 12:57:42 by Tue Steen Mller

DocAlliance Puts Focus on Vitaly Mansky

Today starts the festival in Karlovy Vary, Kviff, and tomorrow is the first (of three) screening of Vitaly Mansky’s “Putin’s Witnesses”, that has its premiere at the festival. To celebrate this and the director, DocAlliance, www.dafilms.com launches a curated programme with the title “A Probe into the (Not Only) Russian Soul”, in all respects an impressive offer from the VOD.

I copy-paste the presentation text from DocAlliance:



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Categories: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Aleksandar Reljic: Enkel

Written 26-06-2018 12:11:05 by Tue Steen Mller

Aleksandar Reljic: Enkel

Enkel is German for grandson – and that is what Rainer Höß is. His grandfather was Rudolf Höß, commandant in the Auschwitz concentration camp for three and a half year from 1940. He was the one behind the expansion of the camp to be divided into three areas and for the development of the most efficient – gas and burning - way for the mass murders. At the Nürnberg trials Höß expressed:

“I commanded Auschwitz until 1 December 1943, and estimate that at least 2,500,000 victims were executed and exterminated there by gassing and burning, and at least another half million succumbed to starvation and disease, making a total of about 3,000,000 dead…”

Another holocaust story… I thought, when executive producer of the film



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Vurdering:

 
Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Tal Amiran: Sand Men

Written 25-06-2018 12:22:48 by Tue Steen Mller

Tal Amiran: Sand Men

We met at Amdocs festival in Palm Springs, where the English director showed his fine short documentary “Seven Days a Week” about a man, who sells newspapers in a street of London.

Now the director is back in the streets with “Sand Men”, a touching social documentary with three Romanian men, who have left their country, where no job was available for them, ending up on knees on the pavement skillfully making their sand dog, in all kind of weather, collecting coins from people passing by - money to be sent back to their families, to provide for them. One of them has his family with him, he and his wife and their child sleep in a car.

“I suffer for a good cause”, one of them says, “the family”.

The director has made interviews with the three; voices are put over images that follow their artistic work. It’s precisely edited, this slice of reality from a Europe 2018.

The documentary has been at more than 30 festivals with several awards.

UK, 14 mins., 2017

http://talamiran.com/


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ji.hlava IDFF 22: Memory as Theme

Written 23-06-2018 16:59:36 by Tue Steen Mller

Ji.hlava IDFF 22: Memory as Theme

Yesterday festival director of Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival in Czech Republic announced the theme of the 22nd festival, that takes place October 25-30: Memory.

“Numerous documentary filmmakers focus on historical events, record testimonies, creating a map of personal memory. Actually, anything that is captured by camera lenses will be preserved for future generations, only the recording media are always new and different. Places and things have their own memory, too,” said Hovorka in connection with a presentation of the festival’s visual design, see the poster above.

The artist behind the poster is Slovak Juraj Horváth, who has written this poem:

I don’t collect, I just find
Used, 
Bleached, 
Cracked, 
Worn, 
Dusty, 
Broken, 
Decayed...
Objects.
I place them next to each other, on top of each other.
I slightly shape them, 
Combine and complete their stories.
Soft documentation.
Story seemingly falling into place,
But I also lay traps, false tracks.
I exaggerate, steal others’ memories.
To get rid of my enemy,
To train my imagination.

Furthermore, exciting, what will come out from his hands and eyes: Jean-Luc Godard has agreed to make the festival spot for the festival. Will be premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on July 2. His latest work, “Le Livre d’Image” will be screened in Jihlava.

http://www.dokument-festival.com/news-detail/41890%7CMemory-Godard-Jihlava%2521


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 Closing/ Sanna Salmenkallio

Written 17-06-2018 12:14:01 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Closing/ Sanna Salmenkallio

The closing film of the 2018 edition of the Magnificent7 Festival for European documentaries in Belgrade was Finnish “Entrepreneur” by Virpi Suutari with music composed by Sanna Salmenkallio, who was there to introduce the film that had the highest amount of spectators of the seven magnificent films shown, 876, in the new venue of the festival, Kombank Dvorana at the centre of Belgrade on the Nikola Passic Square – Pasic (1846-1926) was prime minister of Serbia and Yugoslavia and mayor of Belgrade.

Sanna Salmenkallio talked briefly about the film, received on behalf of the director Virpi Suutari the traditional BelMedic Award, a diploma and money, and was welcomed by a local violinist, who played a piece from the film´s music score.

And I – with the 875 other spectators – sat down to enjoy the film with a



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 Workshop with the Swedes

Written 17-06-2018 10:21:13 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Workshop with the Swedes

… Malla Grapengiesser, Per Bifrost and Alexander Rynéus, the trio behind “Giants and the Morning After”, was what we in Danish call “hyggelig” with Zoran Popovic as “hyggeonkel” (uncle), asking questions about Ydre, the small society 300 km south of Stockholm towards Malmø. Malla, who is from Ydre, and who was the director and producer, with the two young men doing the camera, had in the beginning the idea to make a series, she showed the material shot to film consultant Cecilia Lidin at the Swedish Film Institute, who was not able to support a series. “We did a lot of interviews in the beginning but ended up not using them”, she said. “It was basically a wide and broad idea and we wanted to capture the mood of a place, where life goes on with all its contrasts”. “We were there to shoot 19 times and ended up with 200 hours of material”. “We aimed at creating a fairy tale atmosphere in the film”.

“Through Folkets Bio we had 30 screenings in different small places in Sweden and the screenings



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Wonderful Losers and Ancient Woods Win

Written 14-06-2018 19:24:50 by Tue Steen Mller

Wonderful Losers and Ancient Woods Win

Last night the Lithuanian Film Academy presented the annual Silver Crane Awards and there were appreciations for two of the outstanding recent documentaries, ”Wonderful Losers: A Different World” by Arunas Matelis and ”The Ancient Woods” (Photo) by Mindaugas Survila.

Both of them reviewed on this site, links below.

Arunas Matelis film was the Best Documentary, had the best composer (Alberto Lucendo) and got the Audience Award. Mindaugas Survila got the award for best cinematography and the Best Professional Work Award went to the film’s Saulius Urbanavičius and Jonas Maksvytis.

Both films are travelling the world to festivals and have had an enormous success in cinemas in Lithuania – all together around 50.000 tickets sold for the two films.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4086/

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4048/


Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 Workshop: Simon Lereng Wilmont

Written 14-06-2018 13:33:56 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Workshop: Simon Lereng Wilmont

With few well placed questions by festival director Zoran Popovic, director of “The Distant Barking of Dogs” Danish Simon Lereng Wilmont performed a fine 2 hour workshop, sharing with the participants the doubts he had had when filming in Eastern Ukraine, and the decisions to be made. Being asked about the final sequence, which is shot with her mobile phone by the babushka, the granny, Aleksandra is her name, Simon said, that he had made the decision to have it there NOT to end with a “happy ending” = granny and the boy Oleg sitting calmly in the landscape. She actually shot several scenes of the kids and their reactions, when bombs were falling, Simon said, but if I had put more in, it had ended being a war film and that was not the idea! The scene shows that Yarik is not as used to being in the war zone as Oleg.

Simon told about his two previous short documentaries that had children as characters – one about the son of a sumo wrestler and one about children fencing – and how he had problems getting funding for the film at the Danish Film Institute; should it go to the documentary consultants and/or the children film consultant. It helped, when the two short films won Al Jazeera awards that enabled the director and the producer Monica Hellstrøm from the company Final Cut for Real to start the research and casting. “I wanted a boy who lives in the shadow of the war”, Simon said, “how do you feel when you are afraid”, he asked Oleg, who answered in a way that made it easy for the director to make him the protagonist.

Funding-wise the film was pitched at Nordisk Panorama and later at IDFA in Amsterdam, where



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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Scott Barley: Sleep Has Her House

Written 14-06-2018 10:44:30 by Tue Steen Mller

Scott Barley: Sleep Has Her House

Painting with an I-phone! I had the most amazing aesthetic experience for a long time in the cinema yesterday night at the Kombank Dvorana cinema during the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade. 90 minutes with landscapes, rivers, valleys, woods, sunset, barely visible graphic prints on the film screen, from pleasure to nightmare, no dialogue, cinema pur, a rollercoaster of impressions and associations remembering our Danish master Per Kirkeby seeing some of the colourful images, created by Scott Barley, a visual artist using the film medium, making a visual installation in the dark room that the cinema constitutes, thinking of Casper David Friedrich of course but also of Muybridge and his horses or maybe better of the white horse in Pirjo Honkasalo’s “Three Rooms of Melancholia” – and towards the end it’s Götterdämmerung without Wagner but with lightning and thunder at a sound level that made me want to hold my ears and close my eyes to avoid the epileptic seizures that I could have inherited from my father. I can’t remember being so much physically attacked by the film medium. I read that the director is born in 1992, this Anselm Kiefer of cinema, gosh I was suffering with this nightmarish pleasure!

www.magnificent7.org


Vurdering:

 
Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 There is an Audience...

Written 13-06-2018 18:38:50 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 There is an Audience...

... indeed there is, at the new venue of Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade at a new time of the year, in June, where it previously was in January/February. The cinema Kombank Hall, before it was Dom Sindikata, totally renovated, has an atmosphere of openness, you feel welcomed, and sitting with around 1000 spectators watching a documentary on a big screen... what else can you ask for being part of a festival that is in its 14 edition and has always attracted the clever Belgrade audience. The image and the sound, no complaints from my side and the reception of festival director Zoran Popovic (Photo), when he goes on stage to introduce the film and the director/filmmaker present is second to none. The audience adores him!

There are still two of the seven films to be screened: Scott Barley's "Sleep Has Her House" and Virpi Suutari's "Entrepreneur". Barley is here as is Sanna Salmenkallio, the composer of the Finnish film. Two extraordinary films to be enjoyed by the Belgrade audience inside - outside the cinema the temperature has luckily dropped from the 32 degrees yesterday.

More reports will follow but let me give you a quote brought to Belgrade by Georgian Stefan Tolz, artist Andy Goldsworthy about filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer: "Why are Thomas' films so special?", "I think it's the fact that he does very little directing or asking me to anything in particular. He's a hunter like I am. He's always waiting for opportunities to occur".

http://www.magnificent7festival.org


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Scott Barley: Sleep has Her House

Written 13-06-2018 08:57:10 by Tue Steen Mller

Festival directors Zoran and Svetlana Popovic write about the film:

Scott Barley, a young British author, is already proclaimed by some critics to be "the greatest filmmaker of the millennial generation". Due to his works, which in a unique way merge documentary shots, drawings and animation, he has become one of the leading authors of Remodernist Film and Slow Cinema Movement.

"Sleep Has Her House" is a work of a powerful irrational charge that deeply pervades every frame, every scene. This is the film of images that haunt each other as spirits whose presence we merely perceive by intuition, unable to see them. These are the visions of the space that we recognize in the contours of the real and the material, and on the big cinema screen, they become alive and pulsate with an exciting inner rhythm. This is a fascinating visual testimony of omniconnection in the nature that arouses all of our inner senses and evokes our concentrated, active viewing in which we equally enjoy the beauty documented by the lens of the modern "writing" tool of a young author - "iPhone", as well as the work of the painter, visual artist and the creator of dreams.

Scott Barley, whose works are classified in "slow cinema movement" together with films of Tarkovsky and Bela Tar, as a great master of specific poetisation of visual impressions, introduces us into the studies of the night landscape scenes in which he forms his own visions by the procedures of adding new images to the recorded images, sometimes even in sixty layers. The avant-garde artist documents the transformation of images of reality into elusive inner dream scenes.

Exquisite avant-garde film!

UK, 2017, 90 mins.

https://www.scottbarleyfilm.com/Sleep-Has-Her-House


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 Workshop with Stefan Tolz

Written 12-06-2018 10:32:59 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Workshop with Stefan Tolz

One of the producers of ”Leaning into the Wind” Stefan Tolz, who in the absence of the director Thomas Riedelsheimer, on behalf of the film, took part in Magnificent7 in Belgrade, did one of the workshops which are part of the festival, situated at Dombank Dvorana in one of the smaller cinemas.

Tolz told about his going at the film school in Munich in the 1980’es – together with Claas Danielsen, former director of the DOKLeipzig festival and now director of the MDM, Middle German Film Fund, placed in Leipzig. Already in the school Tolz got to know Thomas Riedelsheimer – and a couple of years after they met and won awards at the San Francisco Film Festival – Riedelsheimer with his first film about Andy Goldsworhty, “Rivers and Tides”, Tolz as director with “On the Edge of Time”. In 2004 the set up the company Filmpunkt – take a look at the website http://www.filmpunkt.com/de/home/ - which is based in Köln with Tolz living in Tbilisi Georgia and Riedelsheimer in München. Quite international!

Tolz was very well prepared and after his introduction about how the company works, how the



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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Malla,Per,Alexander: Giants and the Morning After

Written 12-06-2018 09:11:34 by Tue Steen Mller

Malla,Per,Alexander: Giants and the Morning After

Magnificent7 festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic write about the film:

"Giants and the Morning After" is a cinematic hit whose screenings are currently taking place throughout Sweden, while at the same time embarking on a trip to world festivals. The director's trio, Malla Grapengiesser, Per Bifrost and Alexander Ryneus made funny and revealing walk through a Swedish small place in a country side. By combining myths, fairy tales and everyday realism, Swedish authors create a discrete comedy in a documentary of an unusual atmosphere.

Layers of past time interweave with everyday life. Beautiful, thick, dark forests enclose Idra. Neat spaces filled with houses, farms, small companies. Everyone here, both old and young, has one's own business or entertainment, and together they create this little world in which everybody has an important place and a sense of belonging. In scenes of church gatherings, joint artistic endeavors, business ventures, children's games or discreetly shot warm, intimate moments we witness the richness of life. Even when various newcomers are coming, planned or unplanned, they do not disturb the true peace of this small place immersed in a nature of the untouched beauty. Nevertheless, behind all this, in the darkness of the forest and in the shadows of giants that once shifted rocks, there is some dark anxiety that creates a threat to this rural idyll.

Malla Grapengiesser, Per Bifrost and Alexander Ryneus equally convincingly create a view of space and people, as well of intimate circles of friendship and love. They turn this seductive portrait of the seemingly sleepy Swedish countryside into a funny, lively and playful picture. Great, brilliant cinema!

http://www.giantsandthemorningafter.com/

Sweden, 2018, 88 mins.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7 Andy Goldsworthy

Written 11-06-2018 08:56:45 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Andy Goldsworthy

No need to state that Thomas Riedelsheimer’s film on and with Goldsworthy, “Leaning into the Wind” is masterly done. A great artist filmed by a great cameraperson and photographer.

But what I was thinking of, watching the film last night at Magnificent7 in Belgrade, is the inspiration Goldsworthy is giving us. SEE, ENJOY THE WORLD we are living in, while we are here on this planet, and PLAY with nature. The artist has this wonderful childish way of taking leaves from the trees to put them on his hands or let them decorate the stairs in the city or flow in the water or… you can see that he enjoys it like when our grandchildren proudly take a leaf from the tree in the garden or take a stone and decorate it. Just you wait, Samuel and Anna, 4 years old both of them, when we come home, we have new things we can do in the garden with the inspiration of an artist, who in his sixties have kept the child within him.

http://www.leaningintothewind.com/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Simon Lereng Wilmont: The Distant Barking of Dogs

Written 11-06-2018 08:13:24 by Tue Steen Mller

Simon Lereng Wilmont: The Distant Barking of Dogs

Festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic write about the film:

"The Distant Barking of Dogs" started its impressive festival and award quest at the largest documentary film festival IDFA in Amsterdam where it won the First Appearance Award.

This is a film that follows a wonderful author's thread initiated in the unforgettable poetic achievement "Ivan's Childhood" about a boy and a war, made by one of the greatest film art masters Andrei Tarkovski. The space is close to Tarkovsky's, now Ukraine, but this time it happens today and the hero of the story is called Oleg. He has ten years and does what all the boys in the world do - he plays, goes to school, and most of all, he likes to wander and discover the world around him. And the world begins from his yard and the street and spreads endlessly through meadows, forests, along riverbanks. And in this world of beauty and secrets the most important places have his brother, friend and grandmother with a big heart. But the dark outline of the invisible, yet dramatically present, and dangerous war noise becomes equally important and fills a little, almost empty village. Moments in which everything turns into fear, while the film becomes even more a moving poetic antiwar story about the small and unprotected in the whirlwind of big events.

Simon Lereng Wilmont discreetly, boldly and devotedly follows the little hero in various everyday situations, creating extremely convincing collisions of carefree childhood and cruel threats of war. The camera is not merely a distant observer, but always an accomplice in permitted and secret boyish endeavors. A truly great feat of a young documentarist who breaks linguistic and cultural barriers to create a work of universal value using the language of film images.

Denmark, Sweden, Finland, 2017, 90 mins.

http://www.finalcutforreal.dk/distant-barking-of-dogs


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Thomas Riedelsheimer: Leaning into the Wind

Written 10-06-2018 09:26:22 by Tue Steen Mller

Thomas Riedelsheimer: Leaning into the Wind

Two great artists - a sculptor who shapes nature and creates surreal scenes of reality, Andy Goldsworthy, and filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer, meet again sixteen years later. Again, as in the big film "Rivers and tides - Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time" they poetisize nature and create a fascinating work on the true sense of art.

From the urban landscapes of Edinburgh and London to the south of France and New England, we are exposed to street and nature sights that the sculptor Goldsworthy converts into incomparable works of land art, and the camera captures them as outstanding, highly aestheticised film images. The "Leaning into the Wind" conveys thoughts and ideas about art, artistic creation and process, and even more, tells a story of the relationship between man and nature. And this is where the true primeval saga of the great love of a passionate fighter for nature begins - environmental activist Goldsworthy touches every stone, every grass, petal, branch, every drop of water as a precious being and within it recognizes the internal pulsation that permeates the planet. And these touches, followed by the explosion of colors and unexpected shapes, create a nature in which man and space become one.

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.

UK, Germany, 2018, 93 mins.

http://www.leaningintothewind.com/

www.magnificent7.org  


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Magnificent7: Thomas Riedelsheimer

Written 10-06-2018 09:08:17 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7: Thomas Riedelsheimer

I still remember that day in 2005 when the very first screening of a European feature length documentary took place here in Belgrade – and the Magnificent7 festival started. We had no real idea of how many spectators, who would come to the Sava Centre. It was around 1000! Who had a wonderful experience watching Thomas Riedelsheimer’s “Touch the Sound”. Now he is back with “Leaning into the Wind”, again a film about an artist, actually the second one about Andy Goldsworthy, the first one was “Rivers and Tides”. “Leaning into the Wind” is the title.

Here are some words from the director’s website:

"In 2011, during a shoot in Scotland, I met Andy Goldsworthy again. It had been ten years since we released Rivers and Tides and we had not seen each other in the interim. From the very first moment I felt like no time has passed at all – it felt as though we had just waved farewell a few days before. It felt intimate immediately and I became aware of my never-ending interest in this man and his work. People who know "Rivers and Tides" think they know Andy Goldsworthy. And so we both felt that adding a new perspective to him and his work would be fascinating.

"It has been a great time, an unforgettable experience. LEANING INTO THE WIND offers a different angle, a different perspective, another perception on many levels. It is not only an expansion of the former film but stands by itself. Another moment in time, of Andy´s life - and of my life."

http://www.leaningintothewind.com/


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Petra & P. Lataster: Miss Kiets Children

Written 09-06-2018 09:49:09 by Tue Steen Mller

Petra & P. Lataster: Miss Kiets Children

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

This touching film story, without any interview or narrator, introduces us to the turbulent world of small, irresistible, charismatic heroes who have just arrived to a small place in The Netherlands and entered the classroom of an ordinary elementary school. For them, this is all new and confusing, they don’t fit in, they are too sensitive and scared. But like all children, they are also restless, naughty and unsubdued, and from the very first moment their brilliant teacher, Miss Kit, begins a great battle using all her skills of an excellent pedagogue. A battle in which, apart from discipline, learning and knowledge, mutual respect and dignity are top objectives.

Discreetly shot at the child's eyes level over a period of one year, this film is a story of joy and experiences that change children and shape their world. Experienced pair of documentarists Petra Lataster-Czisch and Peter Lataster with their perfectly selected participants, through masterly captured moments and true empathy with little heroes in front of their warm and penetrating camera lens, unfold moving sequences of school days and discreetly build a course of one school year. They create a brilliant visual study of learning and maturing, emphasizing at the same time the importance of those who are preparing the society of the future.

Holland, 2016, 115 minutes

http://dekinderenvanjufkiet.nl/en/


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Magnificent7 Speech by Elwira Niewiera

Written 09-06-2018 09:17:03 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Speech by Elwira Niewiera

Elwira Niewiera, co-director with Piotr Rosolowski of ”The Prince and the Dybbuk”, the opening film at the 14th edition of the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade, had to cancel her presence because of illness. From Berlin the Polish co-director sent this text as a sound bite. It was played before the screening:

"I am very, very sad that I can't be there with you today. This is an exceptional festival, created by some very special people.

I would like to say a big thank you to Svetlana and Zoran Popovic, and also to Tue Steen Müller.

When we started to work on this movie, one of the Polish filmmakers told us, that even if you are making a film about someone who passed away, remember that it’s still very important for that person what kind of film you are going to make.

It was a big challenge to make a film about someone, who constantly erased/or had to erased his own traces, changing names, religion, titles or countries.

This mechanism became a way of life for him, and also a means of survival, as it allowed him to outsmart the spirit of intolerance.

Over the next few weeks, we will all be excited about the football World Cup taking place in Russia. But when we will be supporting our teams in front of the TVs, please let us at the same time remember the Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, who is imprisoned in a labour camp, is on a hunger strike and is slowly dying in the very same country - in solidarity with other unlawfully convicted people.

Thank you and I wish you a nice screening and a nice opening of the festival“.

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


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Anita Reher Back in Denmark

Written 08-06-2018 12:28:34 by Tue Steen Mller

Anita Reher Back in Denmark

I worked with Anita for the 9 years, I was at EDN. It was pioneer times building up the organisation. It was fun and exciting, when we at the start stood at the fax machine waiting for filmmakers to sign up - and when we were touring the South of Europe to find venues for the workshops, we had got EU support to arrange with local filmmakers... Anita stayed at EDN for some years more but then she moved to America and got an important position at Flaherty, which she now leaves to come back to Denmark to give her skills and competence to Nordisk Panorama. They are getting the Best! Here is the press release from Nordisk Panorama:



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Niewiera/Rosolowski: The Prince and The Dybbuk

Written 08-06-2018 09:38:57 by Tue Steen Mller

Niewiera/Rosolowski: The Prince and The Dybbuk

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

Poland, Germany 2017.
82 minutes
directed by: Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski

The best documentary on cinema of The Venice Film Festival 2017. The story of a stunning mystery that is becoming more complex and unexpected as it unfolds before us.

Who was the director and Hollywood producer Michal Waszynski who worked with the biggest movie stars of his time, such as Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Orson Wells? Directors Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski are taking us to an exciting film journey through the life of a man who was known to many, but whose secrets were so deeply hidden that no one really knew him. Prince Waszynski, through the turbulent and dramatic years of his personal and world history, wrote his life story as if he directed the most fantastic film.

A superb modern documentary with an extremely complex structure in which fascinating archival footage is interwoven with shots and scenes of search, witnesses and spaces. Directorial couple Niewiera Rosolowski creates an exciting thriller, but at the same time an equally unusual history of the 20th century in Europe, from the dark times of the rise of Nazism to glamorous Hollywood spectacles. In these turbulent times, behind the curtain of dramatic events, they magically depict the hidden figure of Prince Waszynski, penetrating deeply into imaginary and irrational layers of time.

http://prince-dybbuk.com/

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4052/


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Magnificent7 Arrival

Written 07-06-2018 21:42:46 by Tue Steen Mller

Magnificent7 Arrival

There we are, my wife and I, back in Belgrade to take part in the 14th European Feature Documentary Film Festival, Magnificent7 – seven films, one per night, starting tomorrow on the 8th with the Polish masterpiece, “The Prince and the Dybbuk” by Piotr Rosolowski and Elvira Niewiera, who will be present at the screening that is said to be sold out – there is space for 1300 spectators!

From heatwave in Copenhagen to the same in Belgrade with a warm welcome in the airport by Nevena Donlic, program coordinator and Nebosja, driver for the festival through many many years. In to our home for the next week, the Belgrade Excelsior Hotel on Kneza Miloša close to the Parliament and the new venue of the festival Kombank Dvorana. Mr and Mrs. Festival, Zoran and Svetlana Popovic were waiting for us, we got the room and we carried luggage and survival kits up the stairs. Survival kits… for years one of the many jobs at the festival that is carried out by brilliant camerawoman Jelena Stankovic… she buys snacks, chocolate, water, juice, wet wipes, tissues, much needed and one of many specialities of the hospitality, we have enjoyed during all the years. It is an understatement that guests are taken well care of at this festival!

Off to lunch outside in the restaurant Jovac, me starting with my classic rakija, the Losa, it’s from Montenegro, the Serbian waiter said – and followed by salad and schnitzel. From there to a fabulous coffee place ZRNO, means the grain, in the part of the city called Vracar, cafés and restaurants on each corner. Nevena Donlic takes her coffee there - understandable!

14th edition… thinking back on the many films and directors, whose films (91 films) and company we have enjoyed through the years, let me just mention some of them – I go to the facebook page of the festival and look at photos: Audrius Stonys, Miroslav Janek, Nicolas Philibert, Sergei Loznitsa, Sylvain Biegeleisen, Helena Trestikova, Pernille Grønkjær, Wojciech Staron, Jerzy Sladkowski, German Kral, Frank Piasecki Poulsen, Gianfranco Rosi, Marie-Clémence and César Paës, Mika Ronkainen… and late Michael Glawogger (PHOTO). In the coming week Magnificent7 welcomes European documentary cinema makers to Belgrade.

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


Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Alisa Kovalenko: Home Games

Written 06-06-2018 14:40:21 by Tue Steen Mller

Alisa Kovalenko: Home Games

Alina, 20 year old, Ukrainian, likes football. She plays herself and she is good. In the beginning of the film she is making a collage to hang on the wall, from pictures of famous football players. She cuts off the head of Messi, says sorry to him, and puts her own head on the body of the best football player in the world. At the end of the film Alina is on the football pitch, she is knocked down, gets a free kick, which she kicks herself into the goal just like Messi has done so many times!

A perfect dramaturgical circle (!) for a film, where football is important but that is first of all a warm, heartbreaking social documentary, where Alina is in focus from start till end.

The family includes the granny, the mother, the father, Alina and her two siblings, Renat and Regina, 6 and 7 years old. Plus Alina’s helping girlfriend Nadya. The mother dies, the father is a useless drunkard, the granny is old and not so mobile – so the responsibility for bringing up the two kids lies with Alina, who has games on the football pitch but first and foremost has Home Games to fight. She takes the kids along for a summer training camp, she has to prepare them for the school, she is short of money – the father gets the public support for the kids, he never helps the children – so she and Nadya goes to the street to sell shoes, cell phones, whatever to get some money. She goes with granny and Nadya to have the legal right for the children transferred from the father to her. They are positively received – without this being really followed up in the film except for a text at the end, where it is being said that the father is out of the flat – and you see the two young girls starting a new life refurnishing the apartment. “We want to live like normal people now”.

The film lives from its ability to create a feeling of presence in the situations with Alina and the kids. Here there are fine, often poetic moments in the claustrophobia of the small flat. On the football pitch, it is not poetry that reigns, when the coach states to the girls that they have “to die on the pitch”, a sentence which will probably be used many times the next month in a neighbouring country.

Ukraine/ France/ Poland, 2018, 86 mins.

https://sheffdocfest.com/films/6545


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Alina Gorvola: No Obvious Signs

Written 04-06-2018 20:56:10 by Tue Steen Mller

Alina Gorvola: No Obvious Signs

Oksana Yakobava, major in the Ukrainian army, was at war from 2014-17. Her job was to report on the dead soldiers: identity, how death occurred, how many bullets in the body, was there any torture, any obvious signs, contact and information to family. Tough task, to say it with an understatement.

We viewers meet her, when she is trying to recover from the war experiences. She has had a breakdown, she is being treated for a couple of months with physical training and by a psychotherapist. She is wounded, she is trying to wash away images that stay in her head. As she has been close to atrocities. Warm baths, massage, conversations, will it go away?

The film team has been with her and they go with her, when she returns to the war zone to resign from her position, and they follow her on a tour in the metro one month later. She still suffers, she listens to prayers from her cell phone, it seems like hell for her to be in the street as well.

It is a hard story, it is well made, the film team has the confidence of the protagonist, it makes an impression, it is truthful in all its sadness.

Ukraine, 2017, 64 mins.


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Krakow Film Festival: The Winners

Written 03-06-2018 10:32:03 by Tue Steen Mller

Krakow Film Festival: The Winners

Sometimes it´s jackpot! I had voted for – in my post yesterday – four films and they were all awarded: Talal Derki for his “Of Fathers and Sons” (The Golden Horn and the Fipresci), Marta Prus for her “Over the Limit” (The Silver Horn, The Silver Hobby-Horse (National Competition), The Audience Award – and awards to her editor Adam Suzin, and to her producers Anna Kepinska and Maciej Kubicki), Pablo Aparo and Martin Benchimol for “El Espanto” (The Silver Horn for Best Medium Length Documentary) and Stephen Nomura Schible for “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda” (Best film in the DocFilmMusic Competition and Student Jury’s Award).

On top of that a well deserved special mention to Belarussian Anastasiya Miroshnichenko for her “Debut”, a fine film, that I knew from watching a rough cut in autumn 2017, a touching portrait of women in prison and their kids.

It was more than 30 awards – list, click below -  that were handed out in the big Kijew Centrum cinema last night. Always a pleasure to be at Krakow Film Festival with a badge saying “media”, which means I was there to watch films. I did!

Photo: Happy winners from "Over the Limit", producer Maciej Kubicki and director Marta Prus.

www.krakowfilmfestival.pl

http://www.krakowfilmfestival.pl/en/full-list-of-winners-of-the-58th-kff/


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Martin Benchimol, Pablo Aparo: El Espanto

Written 03-06-2018 09:47:23 by Tue Steen Mller

Martin Benchimol, Pablo Aparo: El Espanto

It’s slow, it has no music if I remember correctly, the images are amazing, from countryside of Argentina, the characters are wonderful, full of humour and originality – and mystery because in El Dorado the inhabitants tell good stories and when it comes to illnesses, they can cure them themselves, they don’t need doctors to come around. The filmmakers mostly place the people in front of the camera, they talk, very much about the only disease they can´t cure by themselves but there is one, who can, Jorge (PHOTO), who lives on the other side of the bridge, el espanto is the name of the illness, whatever that is, it is said that it is something that especially women get, but what it is…

The filmmakers give us a glimpse of Jorge, who confirms that he can heal, also citizens from El Dorado come to me, he says, even if they – on camera – deny it. As they deny that there should be any homosexuality in the small society. Jorge refuses to have one more visit by the filmmakers and focus shifts to an accident on the bridge, did someone die, apparently, but many theories come up, they ARE storytellers. And the filmmakers listen and go with them, also to create an atmosphere of comedy like when a wedding takes place, where the groom looks absent and far from happy, while the bride in her wedding dress dances for herself. Yes, love is a theme in this film, you listen to the couples and their comments on this theme, they have a good time – but Jorge does not take part, there is light in his house, but he turns it off and the film, a lovely one, is over.

Argentina, 2017, 65 mins.


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Marcin Sauter: I Grew Up as You Slept

Written 02-06-2018 16:45:38 by Tue Steen Mller

Marcin Sauter: I Grew Up as You Slept

An ordinary story told in an extraordinary way. Because Marcin Sauter is not “only” a skilled director, he is a cinematographer who knows about composition and framing of images. This film has no boring moments, it is intense and full of emotions and beauty. And the music reflects the atmosphere of melancholy surrounding the granny and the granddaughter, when they meet in the countryside of Belarus, the country Karalina (who, according to credits at the end of the film, bears the same surname as the director) has chosen to leave to have more opportunities to develop her music career. In a scene with two friends, also from the music school, it is obvious that she is not the only one, who has left or wants to leave their home country… an ordinary story.

The film operates in present and past. Black and white images constitute the childhood, when berries were picked in the garden, cut to today, where the same action in colour takes place with wonderful granny and red-dressed granddaughter in the picture. The director has made his aesthetic choice. Scene after scene, situation after situation are a pleasure to watch.

An award for this poetic film tonight at the Krakow Film Festival closure?  

For me no objections!

Poland, 2018, 50 mins.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Music!

Written 02-06-2018 08:36:39 by Tue Steen Mller

Music!

He was a musician, he says, Ryūichi Sakamoto, in the portrait film “Coda” about him. He talks about Andrey Tarkovsky and in the film a clip from “Solaris” is shown, a close-up on drops of water bringing nature’s sounds to the screen. It’s a wonderful film that again makes me think that music is the most interesting art form, where film is so much more concrete, concluding and interpreting. With music you can create your own images – and yet Sakamoto, the master of film music (Oshima’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” (1983), “The Last Emperor” (1987) and “The Sheltering Sky” (1990), “The Revenant” (2015) by Alejandro G. Iñárritu…) states that he tries to think “cinematically”, when he in his studio in New York and on his journeys to the North Pole and Africa collects sounds to be used in his composing. The film by Stephen Nomura Schible gets very close to the composer, who reveals that he is fighting against a cancer illness; it is in itself a piece of film history with clips from the films mentioned above plus archive material that shows Sakamoto in his psychedelic period and as an activist against nuclear plants to be rebuilt after the Fukushima catastrophe. To be linked to his “Opera” from 1999, where he summarizes the state of our civilization with continuing quotes from the man who “invented” the atom bomb, Oppenheimer.

After having seen all films in the documentary competition, I “took the day off” to let me be



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Over the Limit

Written 02-06-2018 08:32:20 by Tue Steen Mller

Over the Limit

In November last year I wrote this on filmkommentaren.dk about Marta Prus “Over the Limit”: An (almost) perfect film. Plays with the classical dramaturgical rules in terms of characters and rythm – positive mood and development, crisis, winning, losing, crisis as a gymnast, crisis because of her father’s illness, music that fits, brilliant camerawork, it’s like an opera or a ballet, great pleasure to look at this film with its universal appeal: Trust yourself, find yourself, the tough and direct coach is (maybe) right in much of what she is saying… Another masterly done Polish documentary!

The festival referred to above was IDFA in Amsterdam and now – after numerous festivals – the film has its national premiere! As an invited journalist I am giving it top points as you can see on the rating scheme. I do so after having recently seen the film two times more, in Tbilisi Georgia and in Barcelona. I have put parenthesis around the word almost as I have no objections to the film, none at all. It fills so well the big screen. And happy to say that the audience at both festivals reacted with enthusiasm.

Apart from that let me express a lot of admiration for Marta Prus after three



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