directed by: Susana de Sousa Dias
Portuguese contemporary artist, aesthetician and art theorist, Susana de Sousa Dias is the author of this radical documentary experiment. Awarded with the Grand Prix at the “Cinéma du réel” festival in Paris, this exquisitely paced film with profound, layered narration, exceeds the limits of theaters with its scope and style, thereby allowing one to imagine it within different forms of contemporary multimedia artwork presentation. Combining the means of contemporary art, the Portuguese author creates a fascinating and stirring document about torture, human characters and time. Based on the police photographs of political prisoners’ arrest during the dictatorship in Portugal from 1926 to 1974, this documentary strives to expose the mechanisms that enabled this ruthless regime to last for 48 years. Split seconds, which capture human expressions as a unique means of identification, expand into days, months and years through a refined authorial style, while limited police signifiers lend themselves to a thorough analysis of the entire epoch.
Selector's word: Portugal. Salazar. 48 years of dictatorship. Torture, traumas. And you get with this film far more than expected. The filmmaker, the composer and the sound designer, not to forget the researcher, have found a brilliant way to reach us, so we listen to the horror stories told by the survivors. Faces, faces and faces and stories that are conveyed with a delicate sound accompagnement that sometimes make you sense the silence as you have never done before. It is documentation done in an aesthetically totally controlled way, so we care. Order in chaos, or should one say, in terror.
Born in Lisbon in 1962. She studied Fine Arts and Painting at University of Lisbon and her Degree was awarded with additional Degree in Cinema studies from the Higher Institute of Theatre and Cinema. She also attended the National Music Conservatory. Master’s Degree in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. Lecturing at the Faculty of Fine Arts. She’s a PhD researcher in Aesthetics and Art, Science and Technology (University of Paris 8 and the University of Lisbon). She is presently working on a theoretical and practical research in the field of the relationship between Cinema and Contemporary Art with a special focus on archive.
STILL LIFE (Natureza Morta - Visages d’une Dictature), 2005
directed by: Frank Piasecki Poulsen
A dramatic document about an impossible mission of the Danish documentary filmmaker, Frank Piasecki Poulsen, and his search for the carefully hidden dark secrets of the highly civilized Western society. A dynamic documentary style turns this film into a suspenseful thriller whose main character is the author himself. Extremely bravely, exposing himself to drastic risks and dangers, and with a surprising persistence, Frank Piasecki Poulsen follows the roads of the blood minerals that are the essential material for cell phone components. Unmasking hypocrisy of the leading European multinational companies, the author discovers a shocking mechanism of the contemporary society. Commercials, as representations of the ideal beauty, incessantly try to convince us that the modern hi-tech merchandise has been created in completely controlled processes that guarantee both environmental and our own safety. Aiming to awake our conscience and critical thinking, this film directly discovers that the situation is often drastically different. A magnificent example of complete devotion and commitment, this documentary takes us from one part of the world to another, from the most dangerous dark depths of Africa, to the highest pinnacles of the developed Europe.
Selector's word: I think about it every time I take my cell phone. It is a terrible thought. Provoked by this film that is such an achievement by the director. Courageous it is from the side of the director, to be admired, it is far beyond normal investigative journalism, it is made with a heart and a true indignation. Sometimes interviews, sometimes visually and emotionally stunning sequences when he goes down into hell.
Graduated at The National Film School of Denmark in 2001. Before entering the Film School he worked at a local TV network in Copenhagen. After graduation, he have been working as director, photographer and scriptwriter, primarily for DR TV. The themes of his work include youth, politics and third world issues. Therefore he has travelled all around the world – especially to Africa. Works on establishing a departmant for international documentary production in the production company “Koncern Film og TV A/S”.
DISOBEDIENCE.DK (Ulydighed.dk), 2002
EUROPE AT STAKE, 2003
GUERILLA GIRL, 2005
SEDUCER'S FALL (Forforerens Fald), 2008
BLOOD IN THE MOBILE (Blod i Mobilen), 2010
directed by: Nicolas Philibert
The latest film of one of the world’s most significant documentary filmmakers, Nicolas Philibert screened at the Berlin Film Festival as a distinctive, masterfully made, auteur documentary. Nénette is a charming orangutan, an unusual and irresistible being. She is the oldest inhabitant of the oldest zoo in the world, located within Jardin des Plantes in Paris. Throughout her long life in captivity, she has been exposed to gazes and overwhelmed by comments and compliments of curios and exhilarated observers. To them, these are amusing moments in which they bond with a marvelous presence of exotic nature. Nicolas Philibert does not center his film around these short, dazzling moments; he rather focuses on the eternal, unchanging state of the captured star. This time, we do not leave Nénette, and we directly experience the permanence of her confinement. “Nénette is captured twofold—by the cage and by the camera.” Radically focused on the charming star, this documentary is for the author himself a metaphor for the voyeuristic nature of film. “I don’t like telling the audience what to think, I just like to reveal what’s in front of me,” says Philibert. Through the mastery of the exquisite cineaste, Nénette becomes the mirror in which we all see ourselves as spectators.
Selector's word: Is she looking at you or are you looking at her? What do you think when you see her? What does she think? Does she think? Who is behind the bars, you or her? Who is the lonely one, you or her? Philibert, a master in world documentary, invites us to reflect. It seems so simple, it is so deep, sad and entertaining at the same time.
Born 1951 in Nancy, and grew up in the Alpine village of Grenoble. France. His father was a professor of philosophy, but also a big cinema-enthusiast. Thanks to that Nicolas Philibert has been developing his interest for film since his childhood. After studying philosophy he started working as an assistant director for fiction feature films directed by important French directors. He started directing documentaries in 1978. From 1985 to 1988 shot various mountaineering and sports adventure films for television. Since 1990 he has directed seven exceptionally successful feature documentaries and all of them obtained a theatrical release. After winning Prix Luis Delluc at Cannes Film Festival in 2002, his masterpiece “To Be and to Have” (“Etre et avoir”) had a huge success in more then forty countries all over the world.
HIS MASTER'S VOICE (La voix de son maître), 1978
GO FOR IT, LAPERBIE! (Vas-y Lapébie!), 1988
LOUVRE CITY (La ville Louvre), 1990
IN THE LAND OF THE DEAF (Le pays des sourds), 1992
ANIMALS (Un animal, des animaux), 1996
EVERY LITTLE THING (La moindre des choses), 1997
WHO KNOWS? (Qui sait?), 1998
TO BE AND TO HAVE (Etre et avoir), 2002
BACK TO NORMANDY (Retour en Normandie), 2007
NENETTE (Nénette), 2009
Sweden / Great Britain, 2010
directed by: Dylan Williams
Striking, charming, witty and irresistibly amusing film. In Great Britain, the critics have compared it to the cult film, the memorable comedy drawing on typical British humor - Full Monty. This documentary is a personal confession of the author, Dylan Williams, a Welsh who for love moves to Sweden and stays there. Striving to be accepted in the new environment, he joins a group of men who discover the beauty of synchronized swimming in their spare time. Determined to have fun and escape the pressure of everyday life, they unexpectedly begin to encounter challenges, each greater than the other, leading up to the spectacular and almost surreal final. Examining existential angst and synchronized swimming, this film penetrates, in an extremely witty way, deep into the irrational layers of always surprising, almost unimaginable life situations. Using refined and precise film methods characteristic of both English and Scandinavian documentary filmmaking, together with the exquisitely pleasant atmosphere, the film establishes a strange harmony between the harsh reality and sophisticated world that comes into being in the big blue inside the pool.
Selector's word: It is a couple of decades ago I had that age, but I remember the troublesome years of thinking ”it’s over” at the same time as you were living a life full of pleasure in everyday boring life. The director, in his bathing trousers, and his pals in the same outfit... it is an undescridable view, it is fun to watch and not only that. It raises questions on how to make the unbearable bearable!
Born 1968 in Cardiff, Wales, Great Britain. Batchelors degree in Business Administration at University of Glamorgan, South Wales. Masters degree in Social Anthropology at University College, London in 1999. He started making short and TV documentaries as director and cinematographer in 1996. Then he worked succesfully as director, researcher and producer of documentaries for BBC, Channel 4, Discovery Channel, ZDF – Arte and History Channel. He has been living in Stockholm, Sweden since 2002. Advanced Documentary at Dramatiska Institutet in Stockholm in 2005 and 2006. In Sweden he directed and produced documentary films for Swedish national television SVT. Co-founded production house “Amp Film” in 2008. He is currently working on several projects as producer and director.
RESERVED FOR GEORG (Reserverat för Georg), 2005
MADAM AND CAPTAIN NILSSON (Madame och Kapten Nilsson), 2006
MAN WHO SWIM (Män Som Simmar), 2010
Great Britain, 2010
directed by: Mark Cousins
The author of the distinctive BBC series “Scene by Scene” - presenting the most famous film authors and actors of the contemporary film landscape - and the writer of a specific film history, Mark Cousins, embarked on another unique film adventure. Equipped with a camera, projector, and copies of several carefully chosen films, with his eyes and heart wide open, he went to the mountain regions of the former Kurdistan in northern Iraq, in order to once more explore the magic effect of film. This is an inspiring film essay about the encounter of different cultures and different generations, but more importantly, it bears witness to the first, pure, children’s encounter with cinematic dreams. A document about the world endangered by wars and conflicts, within which discover the power of imagination and dreams that are embossed in the stunning landscapes and exotic sights of a vivid mountain town. The presence of children curious to discover the world constantly fills the space among warmly painted houses, and at its heart lies the marvelous cinema in which the film is a miracle and an unforgettable joy. The first experiences of the author, inspired by a vast film knowledge, and the first experiences of the children, enriched by the depths and beauties of the irrational, blend into this unique, dreamlike visual experiment.
Selector's word: It has charm, it is wonderfully non-linear in its narrarive... well, you see the director arrive and leave, in the beginning and at the end, but he makes verbal and visual tours away from the main road and this is what makes the film different, a true original and personal essay.
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Studied media and fine arts. Since 1991 he was working at Edinburgh Film Festival and was its director for five years. During nineties he was a TV presenter for two BBC series on film - cult late night programme "Moviedrome" and famous "Scene by Scene", which he also directed. Among many famous film directors and actors he made interviews with Martin Scorcese, Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, the Coen brothers, Bernardo Bertolucci. In 1997 he co-founded the charity "Scottish Kids Are Making Movies" (SKAMM). The following year he made film company "4Way Pictures" with a group of young British directors. In 2002 he published a book with interviews from Scene by Scene series. Wrote a film history "Strory of Film" that was translated into ten languages including Chinese. He was co-writer of a history of documentary film "Imagining Reality". He also wrote a book on contemporary changes in film arround the world called Widescreen: Watching Real People Elsewhere. He is Doctor of Letters at the University of Edinburgh and Honorary Lecturer at the University of Stirling. Since 2007 he has been making "The Story of Film" into a 12 hour documentary.
THE PSYHOLOGY OF NEO-NAZISM: ANOTHER JOURNEY BY TRAIN TO AUSCHWITZ, 1993
CINEMA IRAN, 2005
THE NEW TEN COMMANDMENTS, 2008
THE FIRST MOVIE, 2010
directed by: Philippe Gasnier and Patrice Nezan
A real treat for the world music lovers. This French documentary, reminiscent of the famous Wenders’ film about Cuba and Cuban music, delves deep into the mystical, erotic, and melancholic world of Zanzibar, the legendary island on the antediluvian Road of Spices. It is a call to explore the culture where the tradition, spanning over almost two millennia, is passed on through music. It is a call to discover the region where music accompanies people in every significant moment of their existence. It is a call to experience the extraordinary adventure that comes into being when music, the unique region and its people come together. Every night, musicians gather in a music club and prepare collaborative performances and new songs. The music of Zanzibar is called Taarab and it is present in everyday affairs as well as in all important rituals. Taarab’s purpose is not solely to entertain; rather, it heals and unites souls, turning every performance into an intense, collective experience. The music that enchants us with its magic blend of Arabic tones, Latin rhythms, Indian melodies and African drums. The film is directed by a musician, Philippe Gasnier, and a cineaste of a lucid film style, Patrice Nezan.
Selector's word: Well, I don’t remember the last time I have felt so good watching a music film like this one, which does not only have great music, beautiful people playing and dancing, but also has the respect for the audience: We, the filmmakers, do not want to teach you through words, images can tell it all, and it does. And we communicate respect for the people in the film. Simply a beautiful approach it has – and then you learn a lot as well, by watching!
A documentary filmmaker and musician. During the eighties he created with two musicians the music band "Un Département". He also played as a member of the minimalistic group “Belcanto Orchestra”. He also colaborated with many music artists. He has been making documentaries for different French TV stations, like “In the Land of Stone Dancers” (“Au pays des danseuses de pierre”) from Cambodia, “Gipsy Town”(“Tzigane city”) or “Che Guevara”.
He is a producer and also, a writer and a director of documentaries and fictions. He worked as an artistic director and producer in “Heure d’Eté Productions“ from 1994 to 2004. In 2004 he co-founded the production company “Lesfilmsduprésent“. He directed a documentary dance film “Entrons dans la danse“ and produced several films and series with the same theme - “Dansedansedanse“, “Les ballets de ci de la“, “Uzes quintet“, “One dance, one song“.
ZANZIBAR MUSICAL CLUB, 2010
directed by: Mila Turajlić
Screened to great success at the largest European documentary film festival, IDFA in Amsterdam, this film emerged after almost five year work of a young Belgrade author, Mila Turajlić.
Created as a dynamic and attractive time machine, this film guides us through the landscapes of the now imaginary, nonexistent country, thorough disintegrated remains of Yugoslavia’s biggest film studio as well as through fireworks of images from the forgotten Yugoslav films. Cinema Komunisto constructs an intricate film composition from a skillful bricolage of exclusive archival materials, feature film shots, present-day footage of important film and historical locations, and testimonies of the prominent individuals from the development and golden age of Yugoslavia after World War II. A critical examination of the dominant war film, fortified by the most fascinating period of Avala film - the time when numerous foreign co-productions, with vast set designs and hundreds of exotically costumed extras, used to bring the most famous movie stars to Belgrade.
Remembering some of the greatest achievements of the Yugoslav cinema with nostalgia and appreciation, this film critically examines ideological contexts and exposes an entire series of extraordinary, hitherto unknown, details of the Yugoslav film history.
Selector's word: One thing is to have made a huge research in archives, visual or written, and to have talked to hundreds of people – but to make that into an enjoyable, informative and sometimes also very touching epic, a FILM, that has a flow, and where you want to know more when it is finished - that is something to have achieved by a young director. Bravo!
Born in Belgrade, in 1979. Graduated at the London School of Economics with a degree in Politics and International Relations. A degree in Film Production at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. She set up an NGO that introduced parliamentary debating at the University of Belgrade, and competed in many debate tournaments, winning Best Speaker Award at the European Universities Debating Championships in 2001. Master studies in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics, and specialised in documentary filmmaking at La Femis in Paris. Interned on invitation with two-time Academy Award winner for Short Documentary Tony Schwartz in New York. In 2004, she worked at Wilton Films in London, as a production assistant and researcher on series for Discovery Europe/Discovery Times and ARTE. Worked on various feature films as assistant director and production co-ordinator (“Apocalypto” - dir. Mel Gibson, “Fade to Black” - dir. Oliver Parker, “Brothers Bloom” - dir. Rian Johnson, “Human Zoo”, prod. Luc Besson). in 2005 she helped the start of “The Magnificent Seven Festival” and since then she has been working as it's producer. “Cinema Komunisto” is her first feature documentary.
CINEMA KOMUNISTO, 2010