DOCUMENTARY FILM 1 – OPENING FILM

Saturday, 9 October, 7 pm

Children of the arctic - Kinder der Arktis

CHILDREN OF THE ARCTIC

Synopsis
Barrow in Alaska is the northernmost inhabited place in the USA. Following his debut, ‘Darwin’, Nick Brandestini’s second documentary is about five teenagers whose lives there are just as torn by dramatic cultural and climatic change as the region itself is. While they want to become – and are expected to be – modern US citizens, they also feel attached to their ancestors’ ways of living and coping with a landscape that, inhospitable as it may seem, has been their home for a thousand years. Is there a way to combine both? The powerful traditions of whale and bear hunting, oil drilling on a massive scale just around the corner, a high youth suicide rate, the family bonds they retain – all these concerns make them grow astonishingly mature at a young age. What is the meaning of life, and how should it be lived? An alert and sympathetic film.

Trailer
Film data
Director: Nick Brandestini
Country: Switzerland
Year: 2014
Duration: 93‘
Producer: Vesna Eckert
Cinematography: Nick Brandestini
Editing: Nick Brandestini, Taylor Segrest, Vesna Eckert
Sound: Guido Keller
Music: Micheal Brook
Original soundtrack: English
Subtitles: German
Director

Nick Brandestini is an independent filmmaker based in Zurich, Switzerland. From 1999 to 2002, he was a Producer and Editor for the Swiss music television channel VIVA. His first documentary, Return to Florence (2006), is a portrait of a small group of American and British artists studying classical painting methods at an unconventional art school in Florence. His documentary H.R. Giger’s Sanctuary (2007) is a portrait of the renowned and reclusive Swiss artist H.R. Giger. His latest film, Darwin (2011), about an isolated community in Death Valley, California, played at international film festivals, winning jury and audience awards. It also had a theatrical run in New York, Los Angeles, and Zurich, as well as in numerous cities in Canada.

Filmography

2011 Darwin

2007 H. R. Giger’s Sanctury

2006 Return to Florence

Contact
Nick Brandestini, nbrand@bluewin.ch, Switzerland

DOCUMENTARY FILM 2

Sunday, 4 October, 6 pm

Abu Haraz

ABU HARAZ

Synopsis
Abu Haraz, a small village located in the north of the Sudanese desert, is threatened by plans to build a dam. What’s at stake is no less than a traditional way of life evolved through centuries. Relocation would mean an end to subsistence and the self-sufficiency of the rural community. For several years the filmmakers have accompanied Abu Haraz’s residents in their attempts to avoid their fate. They’ve managed to develop an understanding of what’s going on that rests entirely on pictures and sounds recorded on the scene.
Trailer
Film data
Director: Maciej J. Drygas
Country: Poland
Year: 2013
Duration: 73‘
Producer: Drygas Production
Screenplay: Maciej J. Drygas
Cinematography: Andrzej Musia
Editing: Rafa Listopad
Music: Pawe Szymaski
Original soundtrack: Polish
Subtitles: English
Director

Maciej J. Drygas (born in 1956 in Lodz, Poland) is a film and radio director, screenwriter, professor and lecturer at the Polish National Film School in Lodz. After having graduated in 1981 from the Film Directing Dept. of the Cinema Institute in Moscow (VGIK), he worked as an assistant director for Krzysztof Zanussi and Krzysztof Kieslowski. He has won awards at numerous international festivals, including: the Prix Italia in 1992 for the radio documentary My Last Will, a Felix in 1991 for the best documentary film in Europe for Hear My Cry, a Grand Prix in 1995 at the Monte Carlo International Television Festival for the documentary film State Of Weightlessness. Maciej J. Drygas’s films and radio documentaries have been broadcasted by television and radio stations in Europe, Canada, Brazil and Australia.

 

Filmographie Filmography:

2011 Violated Letters

2008 Hear us all

2005 A day in People’s Republic of Poland

1994 State of weightlessness

1991 Hear me cry

Contact
Dagmara Marcinek, dagmara@kff.com.pl, Poland

 

DOCUMENTARY FILM 3

Monday, 5 October, 8 pm

A Goat For Vote - Eine Ziege für eine Stimme

A GOAT FOR A VOTE

Synopsis
How do you learn to act democratically when your society faces violence and corruption on a daily basis? At a school located in Kilifi at the Kenian seaside, students came up with the idea of holding their own presidential election. Enter three candidates: Magdalene, who wants to prove that women can find better ways of living together in a society hitherto dominated by men; Harry, who wants to break free from the social position his poverty-stricken family has left him in; and Said, who commands wealth and eloquence. During two weeks of campaign, we witness the deployment of political speeches, posters, sweets and a specially made commercial. Who’s going to come in first? And is there something to be learnt from the answer?
Trailer
Film data
Director: Jeroen van Velzen
Country: Netherlands
Year: 2014
Duration: 51‘
Producer: Hasse van Nunen
Cinematography: Stef Tijdink
Editing: Daan Wijdeveld
Sound: Robil Rahantoeknam
Music: Alex Boy
Original soundtrack: English
Subtitles: English
Director

Born in 1979 in Heerlen, Jeroen van Velzen moved abroad at the age of 2. He lived a.o. in Kenya, India and South Africa. After high school in England and an orientation year at the Brighton College of Technology (Fine Art), he followed the study documentary direction at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy. In his third year there he made the short film DRIE DUIZEND METER BOVEN DE WOLKEN about his autistic brother Erik. In 2009 he graduated with the film BABA, a documentary about an old man in India who together with his younger brother embarks on an exhaustive pilgrimage. WAVUMBA was Jeroen’s first feature documentary that traveled all over the world and won several prizes. Among the prizes, he won the award for Best New Director at Triceba Film Festival.

 

Filmography

2012 Wavumba

2009 Baba. Finding light within

Contact
Renko Douze – Een van de jongens renko@eenvandejongens.nl

DOCUMENTARY FILM 4

Tuesday, 6 October, 6 pm

My Name Is Salt

MY NAME IS SALT

Synopsis
For a period of eight months after the Monsoon, thousands of Indian families come to Gujerat to extract salt from the desert soil by means of a sophisticated technique. Director Farida Pacha and cinematographer Lutz Konermann have spent a mining season with one of the families and followed their every move. Their work looks miraculous, yet when they’ve finished, the water comes back and floods the land as if nothing had happened.
Trailer
Film data
Director: Farida Pacha
Country: Switzerland / India
Year: 2013
Duration: 92’
Producer: Leafbird Films GmbH
Original soundtrack: Gurajati
Subtitles: German
Director
Contact
Magnetfilm GmbH, info@magnetfilm.de, Germany

DOCUMENTARY FILM 5

Wednesday, 7 October, 6 pm

AT(H)OME

AT(H)OME

Synopsis
AT(H)OME takes us on a trip to the Algerian Sahara desert, where a nuclear test wrought havoc in 1962. Residents still suffer from the damage done. The makers of the film, born in then-opposed countries Algeria and France, have set out together to reconstruct this sinister part of their shared colonial history. Bright-coloured photography, moving snapshots of current life and archive recordings from various eras make for a powerful narrative.
Trailer
Film data
Director: Elisabeth Leuvrey
Country: France
Year: 2013
Duration: 53’
Producer: Les Ecrans du Large
Cinematography: Amarni, Katell Djian, Zyriab Meghraoui
Editing: Bénédicte Hadjih
Sound: Mehdi Ahoudig
Original soundtrack: Tamaeq
Subtitles: English
Director

Born in Algiers in 1968, Elisabeth Leuvrey is a graduate from the National Institute of Oriental Languages in Paris. From 1991 to 1998, she worked as Assistant Director to Jean-Luc Léon on films such as The Lapirovs Go West, A Streetcar in Moscow and The Dealers as well as Artists and Collectors.

Filmography

 

2013 Oh, tu tires ou tu pointes?

2013 La Traversee

1998 Matti Ke Lal, Fils de la Terre

Contact
Elisabeth Leuvrey, contact@lesecransdularge.fr, France

DOCUMENTARY FILM 6

Wednesday, 7 October, 8 pm

Georgica

GEORGICA

Synopsis
An intelligent discourse on agriculture and a fascinating discussion between the filmmaker and a couple of Dutch farmers. Two thousand years ago, the Roman poet Vergil wrote his Georgics, an ode to farming life. Can modern farmers, who access the earth on an industrial scale, still relate to this ancient text? What has changed in their work, what do the soil, the water and the sun’s warmth tell them today? A melancholy and surprisingly attractive film that probes into one of the most essential issues of life: the way we produce the food we eat.
Trailer
Film data
Director: Katelijne Schrama
Country: Netherlands
Year: 2014
Duration: 70’
Producer: Digna Sinke
Cinematography: Ben Geraerts
Editing: Katelijne Schrama
Sound: Alex Booy, Pander Roskam
Music: Gert-Jan Blom
Original soundtrack: Dutch
Subtitles: German
Director

Katelijne Schrama was born in Biddinghuizen, The Netherlands (1974). She graduated in the summer of 2000 from the audio-visual department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam with the short film Daydreams and Sandman. Since then she has worked as a freelance filmmaker for several production companies in the Netherlands as well as director, director’s assistant and editor of documentary films. She directed assignment films for museums (Kunsthal, Royal Tropical Institute, Noord-Brabants Museum) and she also directed company films (ING bank). Katelijne Schrama lives and works in Amsterdam and has recently completed the feature documentary Georgica.

Filmography:

2011 1974

2007 360° Horizon, land without a past

2000 Daydreams and Sandman

Contact
Digna Sinke, info@sngfilm.nl, Netherlands

DOCUMENTARY FILM 7

Thursday, 8 October, 8 pm

The forest is like the mountain - Der Wald ist wie die Berge

PĂDUREA E CA MUNTELE, VEZI?

The forest is like the mountain

Synopsis
A friendly relationship between the filmmaker and the residents of a Romanian Gipsy village was the starting point for this film about both the beauty and the hardships of the villagers and their lives. Although their traditional livelihood has been destroyed by and large, they don’t stop trying to live in dignity. At a calm and steady pace, the camera follows their daily routines – collecting wood, working as potato harvesters – and captures their hopes great and small. The film adopts the rhythm of life in the village and makes us sympathise with the concerns and struggles of its protagonists.
Trailer
Film data
Director: Christiane Schmidt, Didier Guillain
Country: Germany
Year: 2014
Duration: 101’
Producer: Ferdinand Freising
Cinematography: Christiane Schmidt
Editing: Lena Hatebur
Sound: Didier Guillain
Original soundtrack: Romanian
Subtitles: German
Director

Christiane Schmidt was born in Lüneburg in 1978 and grew up in Uelzen, Germany.
After residing in different community projects in Ireland and France, she studied Political Science and Science of Art with an emphasis in visual media at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg. She worked as a bicycle courier at die Oldenboten and participated in different art and cultural projects in Brussels. In 2013, she gratuated from the University of Televivion and Film (Munich), where she had studied Documentary Film, majoring in Cinematography. Nowadays she is living in Berlin.

 

Didier Guillain was born in Brussels, Belgium, where he is still living. After working as a physicist, he studied cinema at Insas, Brussels. He works primarily as a cameraman in documentaries and has co-directed two documentaries with Christiane Schmidt. Additionally, he is a Member of Les Renards, a cinema collective.

 

Filmography

Christiane Schmidt

2013 Dynarmorphosen

2010 berlin

2008 Comme tout autr humain

2005 Grenze

 

Didier Guillain

2008 Comme tout autre humain

Contact
Didier Guillain, diguillain@yahoao.fr, France

DOCUMENTARY FILM 8

Friday, 9 October, 4 pm

Aus einem nahen Land - From a nearby country

AUS EINEM NAHEN LAND

From a nearby country

Synopsis
A documentary essay in 24 shots taken in Kritzendorf, a small Danube village north-west from Vienna, and its vicinity. The filmmaker’s neighbours, a family named Vitovec, are wine-growers. Their work is hard, and all their activities revolve around it the whole year round. Manfred Neuwirth is an explorer on familiar terrain, but some of his pictures appear as unreal as if he were telling a science-fiction story.
Trailer
Film data
Director: Manfred Neuwirth
Country: Austria
Year: 2015
Duration: 80’
Producer: Manfred Neuwirth
Cinematography: Manfred Neuwirth
Editing: Manfred Neuwirth
Sound: Tim Oppermann, Darius Kowalski
Music: Christian Fenesz
Original soundtrack: no dialogue
Director

Manfred Neuwirth, born 1954, is a director, producer and media artist working with films, video, sounds and installations. He is also a lecturer at Kunstuniversität Linz and sees himself as a researcher, archivist, hunter for sounds and gatherer of pictures. His snapshots not only capture personal encounters and journeys, they also refer to the sensual components of the medium. Neuwirth’s pictures and sounds are unbiased by prejudice and open to new perceptions. By picking up on topical political issues and describing how attitudes and societal realities change, he also acts as an ethnographer for his own culture.

Filmography

2012 Wachau

2011 scapes and elements

2008 Territorium

2006 Aquarium

2005 Tibet Revisited

Contact
Manfred Neuwirth, manfred.neuwairth@aon.at, Austria

DOCUMENTARY FILM 9

Friday, 9 OCtober, 10 pm

Mashti Esmaeil

MASHTI ESMAEIL

Synopsis
Mashti Esmaeil is a blind paddy farmer who prepares his own tea and meals and says his prayers in gratitude. To him, as he says over and over again, life is a gift. Sometimes he will accept help from friends and neighbours, but he makes it very clear that he leads a rich life. A film about labour and gratitude, the troubles of being handicapped, about humour and happiness.

Trailer
Film data
Director: Mahdi Zamanpour Kiasari
Country: Iran
Year: 2014
Duration: 60’
Producer: Mahdi Zamanpour Kiasari, Somayyeh Zeraatkar
Cinematography: Hassan Seyedi Parishan, Mahdi Moniri, Davood Rahmani
Editing: Mahdi Hosseinivand
Sound: Mostafa Rahmani
Music: Selection
Original soundtrack: Persian
Subtitles: English
Director

Mahdi Zamanpour Kiasari was born in 1975 and holds a MA in TV production from University of IRIB (Film Directing). He started his career as Director, Writer & Producer in 2004 and has made more than 65 documentaries and TV programs.

Contact
Ali Reza, mashtiesmaeil2014@gmail.com, Iran