directed by: Juraj Lehotský
Lyrical mosaic composed of four different stories about four characters and four different ways of loving. This film specialty is that the characters are as blind as their loves. Being shot in a period of almost five years, the film takes us in hard to reach, intimate worlds of persons who substitute sight with increased sensitivity of other senses. And in these worlds unusual dreams, perceptions and ideas are revealed. In order to present visually the fine weaving behind dark glances the author upgraded his documentary style with modern and attractive film elements animation, digital and sound effects. It's a film about power of love and also about power of human need to be loved. The film premiere was at Cannes Film Festival and that was as a very special honour to values of new Slovak documentary film. This is the first Juraj Lehotský's feature documentary, but he has already created his author's profile in several awarded short films.
SELECTOR'S WORD: Maybe the most astonishingly beautiful documentary I have seen in 2008. Beautiful in its film language, all is so well thought of and performed camera, light, sound, the stories. It's full of love towards its characters, daring to be funny as well, a take only possible because Juraj Lehotsky has spent years with the blind people before he started the shooting. And now the film goes all over the world, not only for festivals but also as a cinema release!
Born in 1975 in Bratislava, Slovakia. Between 1990 and 1994 studied at the Higher Arts and Crafts School in Bratislava (SUP), specialised in photography. From 1995 till 2000 studied documentary film directing at the Academy of Music Arts in Bratislava (VMU). He has been working as documentary film director, director of music videos, advertising spots and spots for charity director.
WITH SOME EFFORT WE'LL HAVE DIPLOMAS (Budeme mat výkony, budeme mat diplomy), 1996
UNWANTED CHILDREN (Nechcené deti), 1998
I WOULDN'T TELL I WOULD LOVE YOU SO MUCH Nevedel som e ta budem mat tak rád), 2000
CHACHEPEN=TRUTH (Cacipen = Pravda) colective work, 2002
BLIND LOVES (Slepé lásky), 2008.
directed by: Antoine Cattin and Pavel Kostomarov
This is the story that resembles novels by Dostoevsky. The main character is called Lyubov that means Love in Russian. When she was a girl, her mother sold her for a bottle of vodka. At the moment, many years later, she is raising on her own her own children, nine of them and she wants to adopt the tenth one. Over the three-year period filmmakers have been recording the life of Lyuba and her children, presented in the spirit of cinéma vérité. They have made unusually strong, raw yet also poetic portrait of a woman who, despite her ill fortune, manages to express her love for her children and live a dignified existence. It's a story about an ordinary woman with strength of a super hero. This remarkable record of the dramatic and intimate moments in Lyubas life at the same time offers a highly authentic look at the bleak reality of todays Russia. The film has given new perspectives even to the Russian audience. Equally successful in the West and in the East, the film has gained big and important awards all over Europe and it has been winning at all leading festivals in Russia.
SELECTOR'S WORD: Liouba escaped from her violent husband with all her 9 children./prethodni_festivali/pages/2009. One more sad Russian story, you think and then you watch a universal story about Love, simply, it is tough, life is tough for her but nevertheless the film leaves you with optimism on behalf of humanity: If she can make ends meet, then there is hope. Respect and love and cinematographic skills make this a unique experience from start till end. What a character!
Born in 1975 in Switzerland. Finished his studies at the University of Lausanne (History, Cinema and Russian) in 2001. Worked as a redactor and editor of the film journal Hors-Champ. Currently working on a film project about the Russian director Alexei German. Has been living between Switzerland and Russia for the past six years.
Born in 1975 in Russia. Finished his studies at the State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in 2003 (cameraman). Worked on many films as a cameraman and director of photography. Currently working on a film project about the Russian director Alexei German. Lives between Moscow and St. Petersburg.
THE TRANSFORMER (Трансформатор), 2003
LIFE IN PEACE (Мирная жизнь), 2004
THE MOTHER (La mere), 2007
directed by: Peter Entell
It is six months after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans. People have lost their families, homes, and work. And now, when everybody at St. Augustine Church was preoccupied with offering help and comfort, the archdiocese has decided to close the parish and send the old, beloved priest away. The people from the neighbourhood considered that a new catastrophe. St. Augustine Church is an important symbol. Here, for the first time, slaves, free black people and whites sat side by side. Many say this is where jazz was born. And at this spot where legends live, the unusual fight begins. The parishioners join forces with local musicians to resist. But God sometimes works in mysterious ways. This is the film of unexpected twists, wonderful music and vivid rhythm. Author Peter Entell discretely follows events letting the camera to become finally the unseen participant in order to reveal all true reasons for making unacceptable decisions. Colourful and dramatic scenes form the image of America that we couldn't see before.
SELECTOR'S WORD: A sermon has to be like a woman´s dress. It should long enough to cover the subject but short enough to be interesting. These wise words (by the way try to change sermon with film) come from the mouth of Father LeDoux, the 76 year old charismatic main character of this important and wonderful and humanistic and warm film about a small New Orleans community, that fights to keep their parish and their Father half a year after the hurricane Katrina put everything into chaos.
Peter Entell was born in New York in 1952. With a degree in anthropology, he chose the path of documentary filmmaking, starting as a sound engineer and editor. He has lived in Switzerland since 1975. He has directed films in Europe, Africa and Asia, focusing on social, political and environmental subjects. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.
MOVING ON: THE HUNGER FOR LAND IN ZIMBABWE 1983
DEPENDING ON HEAVEN 1987
THE TESTIMONY OF FOUR SOUTH AFRICAN WORKERS 1988
WAITING FOR THE CARIBOU 1991
SKATERS HIT THE TOWN 1994
THE TUBE 2001
JOSH'S TREES 2005
SHAKE THE DEVIL OFF 2007
directed by: Michael Noer
When Noer gave a digital video camera to his 20-year-old neighbours, simply briefing them to film the dramatic events of their daily lives, he hardly imagined what he had set in motion. Like many their age, Julie and Martin are impulsive, wild, and constantly on the lookout for stimulation. The camera acts as a faithful companion through their constant ups and downs. 'Vesterbro' is their story, and exactly because it is seen through their eyes. Subsequently told through Michael Noer's film interpretation this story goes straight to the bone of the transition from youth to adulthood with a rarely seen degree of honesty, intimacy and accuracy. This is the story about love, but also the story about young Danes who fight for their independence. Their start is connected with hiring an apartment in more and more popular Copenhagen area called Vesterbro. This is the path for their entire generation. The way this film is shot overcomes radically limits of the contemporary documentary and that is why Vesterbro has continued in a series of short documentaries for Internet project Doxwise.
SELECTORS WORD: This is a translation of what my filmkommentaren.dk colleague, Allan Berg, wrote about the film: An excellent home movie, courageous, funny, serious, honest. And clever, sophistically organised and narrated from the editing table in the cinematic films tradition with a content of a biographical drama. Made as a direct cinema diary with dialogues and monologues and a clear artistic attitude.
Born in 1978. Graduated from the Danish Film School in 2003 with the prize-winning short documentary Underneath the Skin (En rem af huden).
UNDERNEATH THE SKIN (En rem af huden), 2003
MOST OF THE TIME (Mimis sidste valg), 2005
EARTH BENEATH MY FEET (Jorden under mine fodder), 2006
VESTERBRO (Vesterbro), 2007
DOXWISE DIARY (Doxwise dagbog), Documentary Tv-series for Myspace TV, 2008
WILD HEARTS (De vilde hjerter), 2008
directed by: Heddi Honigmann
Oblivion is the story about Lima, the capital of Peru; about it's colourful area around the Presidential Palace and about people that you meet there. As we wander through the streets, we visit old restaurants and some small shops, we enter a few smart bars and we sit down in various plazas to watch and observe. We meet some moving characters who use poetry, real or mental juggling, dreams and creativity to resist being consigned to oblivion and against those who have sworn for centuries that they love their people, but who in reality they despise. The characters of the film look at history with a sense of humour and irony and give a twist to reality. In the big street circus we'll find metaphors for much bigger circus that gives shows for decades on political scene and that shakes Peru and lives of people like devastating earthquakes. All that is mixed into an exotic cocktail, by a firm hand of the very witty film character, and the audience drinks it with big pleasure, but with bitter under-taste. A film about poverty and poetry in a country plundered by the powerful.
SELECTORS WORD: The director has a long and admirable oeuvre as one of the most remarkable documentarians of today. She will not disappoint you with this melancholic, yet beautiful and well-documented essayistic story full of anger on behalf of the people you meet who struggle every day to survive. It is a film about people but also a strong political statement made by the people who are given a voice by Miss Heddy, as she is called in the film.
Born in Lima, Peru in 1951. She studied biology and literature at the University of Lima. Studied film at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome. And she has lived and worked in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands since 1978. Heddy Honigmann is considered one of worlds best documentary filmmakers. Her films, short and long (both fiction and documentaries) have traveled all around the world receiving major awards and important retrospectives as in Toronto, the Museum of Modern Art in NY, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid, Utrecht, Grasz, Chicago and Berkeley between others. She has also received many important awards for her entire work, as from the Dutch National Fund for Cultural Films for Television in 2003 and the Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award in Toronto, Canada in 2007.
METAL AND MELANCOLY, 1992
GOOD BY (Au revoir), 1995
O AMOR NATURAL (O Amor Natural), 1996
THE UNDERGROUND ORCHESTRA, 1997
2 MINUTES OF SILENCE, PLEASE, 1998.
GOOD HUSBAND, DEAR SON, 2001
GIVE ME YOUR HAND (Dame la Mano), 2003
OBLIVION (El olvido), 2008
Great Britain, 2007
directed by: Marc Isaacs
Filmmaker, Marc Isaacs, examines modern attitudes towards race in Barking, a white working class town to the East of London. Through the lives of five key characters from different ethnic backgrounds, film author, a prominent but unseen presence, questions prejudices, and pries at preconceptions with remarkable results. The film at times plays like a Mike Leigh comedy, mostly in scenes of directly suggested, unexpected meetings between people of different ethnic background. The racial composition of Barking is in rapid flux, with immigrants from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Balkans arriving and many longtime white residents leaving. Through revealing interviews, alternately shocking and humorous, this documentary profile of a white working-class community east of London offers a timely snapshot of an increasingly multicultural Britain. "Skillfully illuminates the absurdity of racism./prethodni_festivali/pages/2009. it is often not racism at all but rather bewilderment, ignorance and frustration."
SELECTORS WORD: Multiculturalism and its problems./prethodni_festivali/pages/2009. how do you treat this theme in a documentary One answer you can find in this film of Marc Isaacs, who has a big respect for all his characters, which does not make him refrain from arguing with them from behind the camera. It is thematically a very important film, charming and funny as it is and about people, neighbours, the ones we never meet. Yes, it is very universal this debate raising documentary that searches the nuances and goes for solutions, otherwise not present in the media.
He was born near the location of his first film, Lift, in London's East End. He began working on documentary films for Channel 4 and BBC as an Assistant Producer on some of the most praized strands. Soon he started directing for same channels and his films were awarded and screened at important British and European festivals. He is a visiting tutor at London Film School, National Film & Television School and the Royal Holloway University, as well as a mentor on The Greenhouse Project.
CALAIS: THE LAST BORDER, 2003
SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME, 2005
PHILIP AND HIS SEVEN WIFES, 2006
ALL WHITE IN BARKING, 2007
Great Britain, 2007
directed by: Gideon Koppel
Destroying many of usual concepts of dramaturgy and film, Gideon Koppel spent months filming simple, lyrical, enchanting sights of small Wales community of Trefeurig. I wanted to make a film in which moments of intimacy and human gesture became juxtaposed with the infinite space and time of the landscape./prethodni_festivali/pages/2009. Almost without dialogue, this film is plunging into the world in which the time is measured with seasons, with greenery of the grass, with yellow van that carries stories, with sheep jumps. But also the world that is fast disappearing. After long conversations with Peter Handke, Koppel found himself in a scenery of his childhood, also in the space of the famous lyrical play by Dylan Thomas Under Milk Wood with an intention to make, as he said, a film for Thomas if not a contemporary translation. It's life transformed into pure cineastic form accompanied with the film score of the cult composer of electronic music, Aphex Twin. The film title is taken from the famous sentence of Noam Chomsky: Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. It's absurdity and poetry have provoked many different artists from 1957 until today.
SELECTOR'S WORD: This is one of these very few films where you are invited to experience a rhythm of Life that is disappearing. It is Wales but it could be other places: Many, many banal daily life scenes, but in the film lifted up to something different, a confirmation of the value of Life. It is season after season, it is gorgeous when you see a whole image full of a scenery with sheep going down slooowly, absolutely outstanding, episodical, a hymn to nature, with a precise sound design and music.
Studied mathematics. A postgraduate student at the Slade School of Fine Art. His prolific work as a film maker is exhibited in a wide variety of formats: from Jones a Welsh language drama based on the correspondence between Ernest Jones and Freud to the film installation for fashion label Comme des Garcons seen at the Florence Biennale./prethodni_festivali/pages/2009. and the controversial and never-broadcast BBC film Ooh la la and the art of dressing up which explores the psychopathology of celebrity. He is an award-winning director of film commercials. A lecturer at the University of London. Teaches with Theodore Zeldin at lÉcole des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC), Paris.