Written 30-07-2010 19:27:36 by Tue Steen Müller
A street is Athens is the stage for this warm and very well made documentary. The director has come there for years, and again this confirms the simple sentence: Time is quality. If you are a good filmmaker, know your skills and has an eye for people and situations. Marianna Economou has.
A young Iraqi immigrant talks about an old woman on the other side of the street. She is afraid to go out and she only leaves when she can see him. ”I love her. Like my Mum”. In a cellar a Pakistani immigrant has made the room his home, the tv set plays his local music movies as he talks to wife and child at home. An old woman distributes funeral wheat to the people of the street – this is what is being done on ”All Soul’s Day”. The montage is like that, the director builds up the viewer’s relationship with the characters, who live and/or work there. The baker, the old man at the window, who sings for us at the end of the film, the sisters at the flowerish courtyard, it is all very stimulating to meet these ordinary, fine people. Also those who can not sustain their small businesses and have to give up. It is Life with tears and laughter. The director also visits a quite extraordinary clone of Anita Ekberg, who listens to opera and as a real drama queen imagines herself on the stage.
The key person, however, is the café owner and host of the Alekton theatre. A creative place with poem readings, music and theatre. Costa is his name, known by them all, initiator of activities, and a man who talks to the camera about respecting ”the other”. A message film? Yes, a very nuanced and mature hommage to everyday life as it is being lived all over the world in small streets all over the world.
Greece, 52 mins., 2009
Director cv and stills from the film: http://www.idfa.nl/industry/info/profile.aspx?id=0f8eac84-e6b1-4928-a2a5-433cb44ea6ee
Written 30-07-2010 19:23:20 by Tue Steen Müller
Italian Pippa Bacca, peace activist dressed in a wedding gown, decided to travel to Jerusalem. By hitchhiking. She did not make it. In Turkey she was raped and killed. Bingöl Elmas, Turkish filmmaker, decided to finish the travel of Pippa, wearing a black wedding dress as a sign of sorrow.
What we as viewers get from this journey is a fragmented picture of Turkey today, at least as it can be read through the meetings Bingöl has with truck drivers, men and women and children in villages she passes, old people, young people, farmers and business men. She is constantly being followed by her crew colleagues, they film and she films.
The director is a good talker, she gets easy into discussions with the men, and she makes them talk. Some think that they can get a night with her, others are sceptical to her intentions and several warns her to be alone with men on the highway! Of course the camera to a certain degree excludes the most ”chauvinistic” dialogues to develop but this is luckily not the only target for the journey. The scenes where she talks to women, especially the old ladies and to families are the most interesting and authentic as they unfold in a very light and unstressed manner.
The film is part of the series ”The Other Turkey” made for arte France. On the website below the intention of the series and its context is explained.
Turkey, 60 mins., 2010
Written 30-07-2010 12:03:31 by Tue Steen Müller
Russian countryside village and a family. Mother and father and 4 children. We have seen it many times before, and we will see it again. With pleasure. You smile, you think ”how the hell can they survive under these poor circumstances”, some would say ”in this shit”, but you enjoy and you feel sometimes that this is too much. The latter comes especially in connection with the charismatic entrepreneur, the husband and father, who in the beginning of the film is constantly yelling at his wife, quite unsympathetic actually, but slowly the director (who is also the camerawoman, sound engineer and editor) builds him up as a character, who wants to create good life conditions for his family, and you get some empathy for him. His big project is to build and make work a windmill. But he is also a beekeeper, the family has a couple of pigs, and he has installed hot water and a wc in the house.
In the house where the lovely mother expresses herself to the husband: ”I don’t need your idealism. I see Life. We will lose everything with your idealism, our children before all.” Marina is good piano player and in the cosy sitting room, the children does their homework, one of them fighting with German words. A tough life, indeed, and they go to the city to try to find a job in the house of the Prince of Lichtenstein, as I got it!
For good and worse you can see that the film crew is one woman. Elena Demidova has spent a lot of time with her characters, they talk to her behind the camera, she has their confidence, and she has caught some of those beautiful magical moments that you can’t script – you just have to wait for them to happen. On the other hand the technical quality and the editing of the film suffers a bit when you have to do it all by yourself.... the windmill, the red thread in the storytelling, yes it works at the end of the film. And Marina sings like an angel!
The film won the environmental prize at the Message2Man Festival in St. Petersburg – see below.
Russia, 71 mins., 2010
Written 29-07-2010 09:41:41 by Tue Steen Müller
During the Message2Man International Film Festival (se below) I had the pleasure to run a small doxpro workshop for around 10 young and younger Russian filmmakers. Through three hot mornings (July 17-19) the group discussed four projects that had been selected and all had a written proposal and visual material to present. Several others joined with projects they wanted to bring to the table for sharing and discussion. With the four projects as starting point information was given on the European documentary landscape, that is far too closed for the many Russian talented filmmakers. This is precisely why Ludmila Nazaruk and Viktor Skubey has initiated the website www.miradox.ru and the doxpro international program for documentary professionals. Let me repeat what Nazaruk said when the first edition of doxpro was organised in November 2009:
”Every year in Russia more than 3000 non-fiction films are produced, more than 400 of them have state financial support, but only 5-7 films end up on the international market. For Russia it is disastrously low. Real co-productions, that bring together broadcasters, distributors, sales agents, distributors, cable channels, IT-platforms (Video-on-demand, Pay per view), we do not see.
DOXPRO intends to become a business platform for the interaction of Russian and foreign documentary, to form long-term international cultural and economic ties, and create favorable conditions for realization of joint projects in the field of documentary filmmaking. Analogues of such programs to date in Russia do not exist.”
After these two sessions it is easy for me to say that there is talent and projects with international potential. DoxPro is the right forum and the participants like the openness, and to have their projects focused. Production skills are needed, writing and presentation skills as well, but the most obvious missing link is the language. Too few of the filmmakers speak the international documentary community language: English.
Written 29-07-2010 07:48:15 by Sara Thelle
If you are spending time in Paris in August, here are a few ideas, which might not be in your travel guide.
The Forum des images (recently renovated and situated down in Les Halles, great cinema and great program) organises for the tenth time le Cinéma au clair de lune, open air projections of various classics (Rohmer, Godard, Renoir, Beineix…) who all has Paris as a setting, shown in different places around Paris (Montmartre, Place des Vosges, Parc Montsouris…). It runs from August 4th to 22nd and it’s all for free. Take a look at the program:
In Milly-la-Forêt, 50 km South-East of Paris, lies the house of Jean Cocteau. It has just been opened to the public end of June this year. Cocteau bought the house in 1947 and lived there until his death in 1963. The house and the garden have been carefully restored.
Read more / Læs mere
Written 25-07-2010 22:59:41 by Tue Steen Müller
Two festivals are coming up in Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo:
1) The 16th Sarajevo Film Festival runs from July 23 through July 31, 2010, with eighteen mid-length and feature documentaries from the Balkans, Turkey, Cyprus and Austria competing in the documentary programme. In additon to a wide array of features and shorts, the festival also hosts the CineLink Co-production Market (July 28 - 31).
”The long Road through Balkan History” (photo) by Zeljko Mirkovic is one of the competing documentaries, reviewed on this site. Others are Turkish Doga Kilcioglu’s ”Married to the Camera”, Croatian Nenad Puhovski’s ”Together”, review will follow next week on this site as it will of Greek Marianna Economou’s ”Twelve Neighours”, Romanian ”Paradise Hotel” by Sophia Tzavella and ”The World According to Ion B.” by Alexander Nanau. The two last ones were shown at the Message2Man festival in St. Petersburg.
2) Totally dedicated to documentaries and short films is the festival Dokufest in Prizren, Kosovo that runs from July 31 to August 7, 2010. It includes a wide range of sections. There is an international and a Balkan competition in which the films of Mirkovic, Puhovski, Nanau and Kilcioglu mentioned above in the festival in Saravejo will also compete. Internationally are films like ”Chemo” by Pawel Lozinski, ”The Mouth of the Wolf” by Pietro Marcello, ”The Player” by John Appel and ”Six Weeks” by Maciej Krawczyk to be found. All reviewed on this site. Also in the competent programme selection are two films that have been showed earlier this year at the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade: ”The Living Room of the Nation” (as part of a big Finnish retrospective) and ”Les Arrivants” (”The Arrivals”)
Written 23-07-2010 11:39:49 by Tue Steen Müller
An almost two year old boy running around observing what goes on. And touching the Golden Centaur statuettes lined up to be given to the winners. A conferencier shouting Russian words into the microphone trying to make a festive atmosphere. Next to him a very professional female interpreter who repeat in English. One after one the winners are called to the stage... but not many of them are present. The atmosphere is supposed to be lifted by loud music that is generally tough for the ears. Nothing is really planned in details and people are sweating during the hour it takes before departure to the farewell reception.
A nice atmosphere, some would say chaotic, my fellow jury friend said ”excuse me my French, but this is a complete disaster”, I would call it anarchistic – and yet, politics are being made, the director of the main private sponsor, a Dutch company, is called to receive a medal as was he a filmmaker, and the board of directors give special prizes for filmmakers, who were not on the lists of the juries...
And outside my travel partner and I look at the young women, who fight to walk the high heels, that they all have. If you don’t wear them, you are not a real woman, one of our young smiling guides told us her mother had said. Photo from "Paris Return", winner of Message2Man category Best Documentary, see below.
Written 23-07-2010 09:28:57 by Tue Steen Müller
The 20th edition of the St. Petersburg International Film Festival ended with an award ceremony yesterday night in the Dom Kino. There were a large number of prizes to be given, I will limit this posting to include those in the documentary categories.
The prize for the best long documentary (US$ 2000) was given to the director Yossi Aviran from Israel for the multilayered description of the reflections and lives of an Israeli and an Italian man living together for three decades in Paris. The Israeli man doubts whether to go back to Israel for the rest of his life, the Italian, a bit younger, is the constant optimist, and enjoyer of life. A beautiful film about life and death coming nearer, title ”Paris Return”. The short documentary prize (US$ 2000) was given to the Slovak documentary, ”Arsy versy” (photo), by Miro Remo, original and fresh in its approach to the theme of mother and son, the latter being obsessed with bats. It has rythm and passion.
The Grand Prix (US$ 5000), the jury (that I was chairing) had chosen was ”Draft” by Timofey Zhalnin, young Russian director, who had managed to make a light and yet deep film about the drama of a woman who is recording herself on camera in order to compete for a role in a theatre play. She is, however, constantly being disturbed by the ”intrusion” of reality – family, friends in the small appartment. Documentary and fiction.
The national competition for short documentaries decided not to give a first prize for quality reasons, and the critics chose ”David Wants to Fly” by David Sieveking.
Written 21-07-2010 11:22:48 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Det her er en udstilling, som blandt dokumentarister og dokumentarfilm-interesserede må gøre indtryk, som den gør i museumskredse, hvor Torkil Funder er berømt. Hans museumsudstillinger er minderige: Middelalderen i Ribe, 1972, Nybyggerne ved Gal Oya floden, 1974. Middelalderen i Randers, 1976, Rejse i Oman, 1977, hvor han for alvor brød igennem med sin særlige udstillings-essayistik. Ingen, der så den udstilling, glemte den igen. Senere kom blandt andre Skolen i Ribe, 1995 og nyere tids udstillings-afsnittet på museet i Aars i 1999.
Sideløbende med udstillingerne udviklede Torkil Funder på hundredvis af møder, kurser og i sin daglige undervisning lysbilledforedraget til en kunstform, et personligt essay, som han selv kalder fortælling. Hans fotografi er nøgternt og følsomt, aldrig søgt, aldrig sentimentalt, men næsten altid vemodigt som også udstillingernes tone, som foredragenes og udstillingsteksternes grundstemning.
Med lysbilledforedragene er Funder tæt på dokumentarfilmen, og nu med udstillingen Tiden i Ribe, som er én lang række juxtapositioner af fotografier og tekster, har han på en måde lavet en film på væggen i biblioteket i Esbjerg. En film i lille format, men af overvældende indhold i den store biografisk-topografiske tradition som (ja, sådan ser jeg den) i filmens verden Ruttmann med Berlin, Kestner med København og i bøgernes verden, Seeberg med Viborg, Magris med Trieste, Pamukmed Istanbul. Jeg er meget bevidst om de navne, det er i den række, Funders arbejde for mig at se hører hjemme, der, hans fortælling om byen ved åen og dens tid og hans egen tid med den by har sin plads.
Foto: Ribe Å ved Petersholm, januar 2001.
Read more / Læs mere
Written 20-07-2010 10:35:28 by Tue Steen Müller
The Golden Apricot film festival in Yerevan in Armenia (July 11-18) ended as a triumph for Russian director Pavel Kostomarov, whose fine film ”Together” (reviewed on this site) got the first prize, the Golden Apricot, for the Best Documentary Film in the international section
In the Armenian Panorama Competition the Golden Apricot was given to, as the best Armenian film, was given to ”The Last Tightrope Dancer” by Arman Yeritsyan and Inna Sahakyan, also reviewed and commented upon on this site.
Special prize in the feature film competition was given to the first feature film by well known documentarian Sergey Loznitsa, ”My Joy”.
Written 20-07-2010 07:18:33 by Tue Steen Müller
The international competition included yesterday the film ”17th of August” by Alexander Gutman, reviewed and commented several times in this site. Here is a reprint of the review:
This fine Russian director has, apart from the masterpiece ”Frescoes” from Armenia, made a couple of very strong documentaries shot in prisons, ”Three Days and Never Again” and ”Blatnoi Mir” (directed by Finnish Jouni Hiltunen, Gutman was production manager), and here comes another that I do not hesitate to call masterly done as well.
One day in the life of a prisoner, sentenced to lifetime for murders, a man in a small cell, watched through the small window in the dark cell door, walking from one end to the other, exercising, making a cup of tea, praying with his head towards an icon of the bleading Jesus hanging on the wall, getting some food... and a small walk to a strongly fenced and guarded courtyard, filmed from above to achieve the impression of a man in a cage, A close-up study that works because of the brilliant combination of pictures with the monologue of the prisoner. On Life, on the conditions in the isolated prison, on being alone and away from it all, on being close to guards who are there all the time and in a way sharing his destiny.
Sometimes with some shots from the courtyard outside. A horse stands there, an old man comes and makes it ready for transport, they leave the prison, and the camera stays – later on they come back with a coffin to pick up the corpse that we have seen in a previous scene. Or a window with a cat. Did I say that it was black and white. And slow. And extremely well edited. Not a moment too much. Sympathy for the murderer? No, not really, but respect for a human being, curiosity.
Russia, Poland, 2009, 62 mins.
Written 18-07-2010 06:31:25 by Tue Steen Müller
... but there has been time to visit the Hermitage museum and fight one’s way to study the great collection of Rembrandt works (oh, documentarians, go and study how he caught the magical moments when he did his portraits) and the two ”Madonna with Child” by Leonardo da Vinci – as well as an exhibition of Picasso set up due to the French-Russian cultural year.
I write ”fight one’s way” as the Hermitage – apart from being one of the most wonderful art museums in the world – also is a battlefield where tourist groups from all over, led by sometimes very loud-speaking militant guides, who want their group to have the best views. And the best place to take photographs. Why is it not possible to see, just see, without gazing through a camera?
Film-wise the visit made me want to re-view Alexander Sokurov`s ”Russian Ark” (photo), a one-shot feature length film interpreting the museum magnificently, made to celebrate the 300 years of St. Petersburg. I remember the head-shaking commissioning editors when the film was pitched at the idfa forum. Not possible, and why a one shot, they said, led by BBC's Nick Fraser - they were very much wrong the rating hunting tv executives. The film is available through many dvd outlets.
Written 18-07-2010 06:22:23 by Tue Steen Müller
Don’t say that films are not being made... the selection committee of the festival watched 2853 films from 83 countries. 73 were selected for the international competition (documentaries, animation, short fiction) and 24 for the National Documentary Competition, ”Gateway to Russia”. Looking back at the Grand Prix list of the festival’s 20 years one finds new classics like ”The Belovs” of Viktor Kossakovsky (in 1993) and ”Bread Day” of Sergey Dvortsevoy (in 1998).
The documentary profile of the festival is definitely social as readers of this site will be able to know by reading about ”Victor” (photo) by Andris Gauja from Latvia and ”17 August” by Alexander Gutman from Russia. Finnish director Jukka Kärkkainen introduces his favourite character Tero (the main protagonist in his masterpiece ”The Living Room of a Nation”, reviewed and noticed several times on this site) in ”Do you still remember Hilma Limperi”, and Bulgarian international producer Martichka Bozhilova presented the impressive ”Paradise Hotel” about a gypsy residential area that in socialist times was meant to be ”a paradise”, which it is absolutely not nowadays.
No complaints, watching films is a privilige, 3 two hour programmes per day, that is how it goes in a sauna-like hot hall that yesterday night (saturday) had a good audience, whereas earlier screenings had a limited attendance.
Written 16-07-2010 06:52:01 by Tue Steen Müller
Mikhail Litvyakov is the director of the festival in beautiful St. Petersburg. He has passed the seven decades of age but there was no sign of lack of energy when he was on stage to welcome guests and audience in the Dom Kino, to the 20th edition of a festival that includes an international competition, a national competition plus several side programmes. He and the president of the festival, film director Alexey Uchitel, and the rest of us, were pleasantly suffering the heat of St Petersburg when the opening ceremony took place ending with an honorary prize of the festival given to Agnès Varda, who was there to introduce her fine last film, ”Les Plages d’Agnès”, a film with many layers, young in spirit, and also a fine piece of film history presenting clips from her own films such as ”Cléo from 5 to 7” and ”Le bonheur” with constant references to the love of her life, late Jacques Demy.
I am here to chair the international jury for a programme that includes documentaries, animation and short fiction – and to hold a small project development seminar with Ludmila Nazaruk from DoxPro, a continuation of the November 2009 meeting that has been reported on this site.
Written 14-07-2010 21:22:39 by Tue Steen Müller
Young Palestinian filmmaker Nagham Mohanna, who took part in the mediterranean/middle east documentary training program Storydoc (see below) sends this report on her journey back to her home via Egypt. I have made some small edits and language corrections:
Hello everybody, I hope everything is ok and not so horrible as I am feeling now. Let me tell you about my travelling because it is really amazing. I left Corfu at 7:25 am and arrived in Athens at 8: 20 am on Saturday. Stayed in Athens airport around 5 hours.
Left Athens at 2:30 pm and arrived in Cairo at 4:30 pm.
And here we begin. The opening of a torture journey. When an Egyptian officer saw that I am Palestinian the procedures were started, to know if they can let me enter Egypt or not.
While waiting in the airport and seeing how other people with other nationalities entered Cairo without any problems, they called me to investigate about my job and the workshop that I attended in Corfu. They told
Read more / Læs mere
Written 12-07-2010 14:29:38 by Tue Steen Müller
The Danish documentary “Armadillo”, directed by Janus Metz and filmed by Lars Skree, about Danish soldiers in Afghanistan has been running in Danish cinemas for 6 weeks. More than 100.000 tickets have been sold, and the film is still running. The following are text clips from the Danish press release from the distribution company
ARMADILLO er nu blevet set af over 100.000, og det er sket i løbet af bare seks uger. På trods af hård konkurrence fra bl.a. VM i Fodbold, ”Sex and The City”, ”Twilight: Eclipse” og den danske sommer, har den danske ARMADILLO præsteret over alle forventninger i de danske biografer. Allerede i åbningsweekenden trak filmen 25.000 danskere i biografen til den intense historie om danske soldater udstationeret i Afghanistans urolige Helmand-provins. I den forgangne week-end ramte publikumstallet 100.225.
ARMADILLO kører fortsat i mange biografer landet over
Written 11-07-2010 12:43:47 by Tue Steen Müller
What a wonderful and well deserved piece of news. The Best Documentary film (category: under 30 mins.) at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival was yesterday given to the Lithuanian documentary ”The River” by Lithuanian filmmaking duo Julija Gruodienė and Rimantas Gruodis. Described at the IDF (International Dcoumentary Institute) site in the following way: An introduction to life in a remote village. Via eloquent, visually striking footage and the villagers’ humorous commentary, the directors acquaint us with a local way of life whose rhythm is set by a river. Prize 5000$.
I have just been to Lithuania to view the annual production 2009-2010. Still quality but a very remarkable effect from the financial crisis of the country. So much more great the Gruodiene and Gruodis win, a veteran couple in Lithuanian documentary, I can say, having met Gruodis several times during the Baltic Film & TV Festival on Bornholm 1990-2000. I remember strong works like the perestroika masterpiece ”Ona and Mykolas”, ”The Pain”, ”The Bathhouse” and ”The Territory”.
The Best long documentary was won by Mikael Wiström, Alberto Herskovits for ”Familia”.
Written 09-07-2010 14:56:54 by Tue Steen Müller
The World Cup final on Sunday with Holland and Spain has English Howard Webb as the referee. For doc-foot addicts he is a very well known person as the main character in the brilliant insight to the world of referees in the following film that I saw in Lisbon last year. This is the text that I wrote, and good luck Mr. Webb!:
”Kill the Referee” is a film of Belgian and Swiss nationality, directed by Yves Hiant, a film for football fans like this blog writer – as loyal readers and friends have noticed. And it is amazing because of its unique access to a handful of referees and to the back stage of the Euro08. The film crew follows the referees into the dressing room, at the internal meetings where the selection of the teams take place and through the video evaluation of the matches, and into the hotel rooms, and at the homes where parents and wives follow their heroes in action. And heroes, well this is not what the players consider the referees to be, it is a hell of a job that takes lot of courage. Howard Webb, English referee, was haunted by the whole Polish nation (including death threats againgst him and his family) after his performance in the match Austria against Poland. He gave a penalty to Austria in the last minute of the match – which was absolutely correct and a very brave decision – but had allowed an off side goal to Poland earlier in the match, for which decision he did not go to the knock-out stage of the tournament. Webb is the hero of the film but there are also fine sequences and follow-ups on a Spanish and an Italian referee. What is the most astonishing in the film is actually that you hear the communication that is done between the referee and his linesmen during the match. Wow, for this technology, and bravo UEFA for letting a film like that be made. Good publicity for the job of being a referee – which does not mean that I will not shout the next time I see an unfair decision from one of those in black!
Kill the Referee, 2009, 75 mins., director: Yves Hinant
Written 08-07-2010 18:12:11 by Sara Thelle
While Cannes is still waiting for Godard, we had the great pleasure in Paris to spend the evening of June 18th in his company after a special screening of Film Socialisme in le Cinéma des Cinéastes near Place Clichy. The evening was organized by Mediapart, an important Internet news site founded in 2008 by Edwy Plenel (journalist and former managing editor of Le Monde), who hosted the event.
Film Socialisme (Vega Film, 102 min.), with the subtitle La liberté coûte cher (Freedom comes at a high price), continues in the line of collages of video, documentary archive, text, graphics, music and dialogue that Godard has been making since the late eighties, this time at the lengths of a feature film. It’s political, it’s poetic and radically experimental.
The film is “a symphony in three movements”, a triptych composed of the following three ‘tableaux’:
Des choses comme ça… (Things like that): Set on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean, different personages, including Patti Smith, the philosopher Alain Badiou and an undefined war criminal, strolls in and out of the kitsch decadence onboard the boat. Underneath lies a story of some ‘lost’ gold from the Spanish civil war and the destiny of Europe.
Notre Europe (Our Europe): A garage somewhere in rural France run by a family with two kids and a white lama. The children revolt and hold their parents to an explanation of the concepts of freedom, equality and fraternity, all filmed by a frantic television-crew.
Nos humanités (Our humanities): A visit to six legendary sites: Egypt, Palestine, Odessa, Hellas (“Hell as”), Naples and Barcelona. The film ends with a beautiful sequence borrowed from a film by Agnès Varda (herself present amongst the audience that evening), showing two trapeze artists on a beach. The final words are: No comment…
Read more / Læs mere
Written 08-07-2010 16:37:53 by Tue Steen Müller
Storydoc is an EU supported training programme ”for filmmakers with Mediterranean projects”. The first 2010 session took place July 5-7 in Corfu, where these words are being written the day after a workshop that was full of heat outside and inside AND of passionate filmmakers with film projects at different stages of development. From the following countries: Greece, Germany, Romania, Scotland, Italy, France, Croatia, England, Latvia, Bulgaria, Palestine and Israel. 24 projects were worked upon with tutors (generalists, commissioning editors, directors, editors, distributors and producers) from Denmark, Greece, Israel, Palestine, France, Germany, Scotland, England, Finland and USA.
A workshop de luxe as said Cecilia Lidin from EDN referring to the amount of and quality of the tutors present, as well as the variety of projects.
Three long and intense days full of discussion and watching, everybody at the same hotel (swimming pool and beach to be reached by lift), eating together and the semifinals of the World Cup of football. Storydoc is run by Chara Lampidou and Kostas Spiropoulos helped by producer Rea Apostolides and me as responsible for content. The second session will take place in Athens, December 5-7.
French director Stan Neumann (photo) was one of the invited tutors.
Written 08-07-2010 16:32:08 by Tue Steen Müller
UK based Saeed Taji Farouky came to the workshop with his story about ”The Runner” (photo), the activist athletic who wants, through the running, to raise awareness about the non-recognition of his country Western Sahara, occupied by Morocco. Salah Ameidan is his name and he wins all sympathy as he is presented in the intimate trailer. The director was given an award that includes transport and stay at the Documentary Campus workshop in Leipzig in October where he will be able to pitch his project to around 45 commissioning editors. (See website below)
Also awarded with scholarships and 1000€ were 1) Croatian Dana Budisavljevic, who is developing a film project called ”Diana’s List” about Diana Budisavljevic, who saved thousands of Jewish children during ww2. 2) Greek Marianna Economou who has a wonderful proposal to make a film that deals with Greek mothers who make and get sent food for their sons abroad! ”Flying Food” is the name. Gorgeous idea. In a less humourous style 3) Palestinian filmmaker Mahammed Abu Sido presented his ”Waiting for You”, an unlucky family story told by the director who wants to unite his family in a film, as it is not possible in real life!
Written 08-07-2010 16:28:38 by Tue Steen Müller
There were three inspirational lectures at the workshop in Corfu.
Louise Rosen, American (from her cv) ”media executive in the international television and film business, project development, production and distribution”, talked precisely and inviting about meeting the audience and urged the filmmakers to use promotion tools like YouTube, vimeo, facebook, twitter etc.
Commissioning editor Iikka Vehkalahti, YLE Finland, was asked to give the audience ”five reasons to be optimistic about the future of the documentary”. He started his speech by doing the opposite naming five obstructions: the decline of the relationship between tv and documentaries, the lack of financing (”the golden age of copro is over”), the cinematic quality is worse than ever, the monocultural perspective reigns, as does the predictability of most films. This total deconstruction was then followed by the positive mention of the many current platforms where you can launch your film, from festivals (which he compared to art exhibitions) to webdoc and vod. Vehkalahti, who always has a very special, unconventional take on his listeners, and has many times been credited on this site for his pioneer work with ”Steps for the Future”, ended by showing two exceptional clips, one from a rough cut of a film from Chechnya, and one from the new Finnish documentary hit, ”Steam of Life” (review will follow).
”Who can bear to feel himself forgotten” is a legendary line from ”Night Mail” the documentary classic from 1936, a film that is famous for using poetry – written by W.H. Auden. Peter Symes, filmmaker and editor and teacher, had his lecture focus on this subject, ”Poetry in Documentaries”, himself being the one, who used it in several films, where he worked with the poet Tony Harrison. Symes stated that you can ”say the unsayable” through poetry, which was exactly what he had been doing with Harrison in the films ”Mimmo Perella” (funeral rituals in southern Italy) and ”Hiroshima”. When he was at BBC, Symes set up ”Poets’ News”, which was great to watch clips from, as was (great) the session with Symes on films where ”the poet will come to work as a commentator”.
Photo: "The Box", great Greek documentary, by Eva Stefani, one of the tutors at Storydoc in Corfu.
Written 03-07-2010 15:40:57 by Tue Steen Müller
The festival in Budapest ended with the main award being given to Peter Kerekes for his excellent ”Cooking History”, reviewed and mentioned on this site several times. The jury consisted of Bojána Papp director (Hungary), Adina Bradeanu director and film critic (Romania) and András Müllner aesthete (Hungary). They gave the following motivation and some general remarks on the state of the art of documentary:
„We will start by noting that the international documentary competition at Dialektus has confronted us with a wide range of documentary films which were not only displaying different levels of artistic accomplishment but have also, stylistically, made us reflect on the wide range of possibilities opened to documentary film-makers today – meaning by that what exactly we, as audiences, are ready to accept as ‘documentary film’ today, as opposed to, say, 50 years ago.
Some of the films screened have already been extensively awarded in the past year, subsequently reaching a status of almost ‘canonical’ works within the field of documentary film-making – we refer here to films such as Helena Trestikova’s RENE and Kim Longinotto’s ROUGH AUNTIES. Some others presented themselves as straightforward, at the same time entertaining and
Read more / Læs mere
Written 03-07-2010 15:30:06 by Tue Steen Müller
The yearly documentary gathering in Bardonecchia in Northern Italy starts this coming wednesday. Bardonecchia is a small winter sport resort that has a fine cultural centre that is used for documentary film screenings, case studies, a so-called matchmaking where directors pitch to producers and other colleagues, and the public pitching session. It is a conference but the organisers also show films for the local audience. This year the event, held for its 14th time, and arranged by the association Documentary in Europe (hosted by the production company Stefilm) and EDN (European Documentary Network), deserves a big applause for its screening focus on Eastern Europe. Among the great films are Gyula Nemes Lost World (PHOTO) and Atanas Georgiev Cash and Marry, not to forget the masterpiece Blind Loves by Juraj Lehotsky. All films mentioned on this site.
Also Boris Mitic, wonderful crazy Serbian director, who made Good bye, How are You (see review on this site) will do a masterclass called ”homemade storytelling”. It will not be boring!
Written 01-07-2010 10:50:04 by Tue Steen Müller
Merete Borkers nye film er professionelt lavet, den har en hensigt, er lavet for at blive brugt, må være glimrende i undervisnings-sammenhænge, pigerne er søde og naturlige og repræsenterer forskellige synspunkter og levemåder. Der er et godt flow i filmen, som instruktøren introducerer således:
Med filmen giver jeg ordet til fire unge, muslimske kvinder. Som på smukkeste vis er integreret I Danmark. Og lader dem fortælle en håbefuld historie om kvinder, der har mål I livet. Og viljen til at nå dem. På eres egen måde. Fire forskellige stemmer, fælles om en mangfoldighed.
Filmen har kørt i nogle uger i Vester Vov Vov i København og vil i september være at se i et Politiken Plus arrangement. Hold øje med det eller køb en dvd hos instruktøren.
Danmark, 28 min.
Distribution og salg: email@example.com
Written 01-07-2010 07:56:29 by Allan Berg Nielsen
Et ”tæt og ærligt dokumentarisk portræt” stod der i pressemeddelelsen fra DR Sporten om Jungs film. Og jeg glædede mig. Den sympatiske og kloge Brian Holm og den grundige og sagkyndige Niels Christian jung på opgave sammen, i patløb så at sige, om cykelløb og sygdom. Det spændte forventningerne. DR 2 sendte filmen i aftes, og jeg blev skuffet.
Filmen er bestemt seværdig, men den gør ikke arbejdet færdigt, følger ikke sporene, den lægger ud. Følger dem et stykke af vejen, men opgiver så. Ikke bare et af dem, men alle de fire, jeg fik øje på: Kirurgen, Team HTC-Columbia, Familien og især Brian Holm alene. Så altså, tæt… ok, men slet ikke tæt nok. Ærlig… ja, ja, men slet ikke den ærlighed, det dokumentariske oplæg kræver. Som jeg følgelig havde ventet.
Det med forventningerne er bogens skyld. I en scene i filmen sidder Brian Holm i en hotelseng og skriver. Det er under Tour de France sidste år. Han skriver ikke om løbet, ikke om HTC-Columbias etapesejre. Han skriver på sin bog om kræftsygdommen, om sit liv den række år med den altdominerende realitet at være diagnostiseret, opereret og efterbehandlet for tarmkræft. Den bog kender jeg på den måde, at præsten i min kirke en søndag for nogen tid siden tog den som udgangspunkt i sin prædiken og stillede den op mod dagens tekst. Han sagde, det var en god bog. En ærlig bog, en tæt bog – tror jeg, han mente.
Det med forventningerne er også prisbelønningernes skyld. Niels Christian Jung blev i 2008 af de danske sportsjournalisters forening valgt til årets mand, ”en kompromisløs graver” kaldte formanden Steen Ankerdal ham i sin motivering af valget. Og november sidste år fik han Torsten Tégners mindelegat, som gives til fremragende nordiske sportsjournalister. Nu kunne jeg sådan forberedt møde hans nyeste arbejde, hvor han godt nok ikke skulle afsløre, men gerne selvfølgelig, grave. Skaffe stof frem til en ny og vigtig film, og måske gravede han for meget, fandt for meget og kunne ikke vælge fra. Stof om sygdomsbehandlingen, om arbejdet med HTC-Columbia, om familielivet og om Brian Holm nu og tilbageskuende, biografisk.
Read more / Læs mere
Latest posts / Seneste indlæg
Latest comments / Seneste kommentarer
Paul Pauwels: I hope I'm too pessimistic - and I will find out soon - but I've learned that it's not all gold that glitters... we'll see and in the mean time I'll k...
John Burgan: Sounds like a great initiative - just the sort of exchange that both schools can really benefit from....
Benoit F: J'ai déjà acheté mes places de concert......
matala: Wow, my exact feelings and thoughts could not be articulated this perfectly about Kievan film fest audience; what I saw in Molodist three yrs ago was ...
Tue Steen Müller: The films mentioned in the text of Sevare Pan are available on arteeast.org...