Kenneth Anders
Kenneth Anders
Udo Muszynski
Udo Muszynski
Sven Wallrath
Sven Wallrath

Long Documentary Programme Advisory Board

Living in places where things collide
The Programme Advisory Board’s manifesto for the 2018 competition

In past times, province was often understood as a secluded spot where time ran more slowly and life went at a leisurely pace. Has that stereotype ever held true? In any case, it doesn’t anymore. The further you move away from the urban centres, the more inexorably you will get caught up in the conflicts of our present time.
The long documentaries in this year’s competition show people thrown back on themselves while trying to juggle different worlds, or the past and the future. A couple of young people from Berlin arrive on a Polish farm just to see their ideas of peace and positive energies taxed to the limit. Tradition, conservation and the tough fates of immigrants from other parts of the world collide almost without mediation in a post-mining region of East Germany. In French Guyana, people have to dream up reassurance to make it through their lives between a spaceport and the tropical rainforest. In Vietnam’s Halong Bay, conservation and tourism go along with the annihilation of long-established villages. And in Ecuador, nature is falling silent while a researcher tries to record its sounds in order to preserve them for posterity.
The films we look for are not investigative in the sense of reporting – that would be a different genre. We settle on documentaries whose protagonists and directors work together to describe a part of the difficult world we live in – in order to understand better and create something to reflect on. The quality of their collaboration shows through in the precision, calm and empathy of their films. It is hard to act sensibly amidst a world of contradictions and lesser evils. The people we see in the films are having this experience, and so are we when we join them.

Long Documentary Programme Advisory Board
Kenneth Anders / Udo Muszynski / Sven Wallrath

Tim Altrichter
Tim Altrichter
Tobias Hartmann
Tobias Hartmann
Thomas Winkelkotte
Thomas Winkelkotte

Short Documentary Programme Advisory Board

The short documentary Programme Advisory Board’s manifesto for the 2018 competition

Short and long documentaries differ in more than just length. Funding issues may present themselves differently. As no large crew is needed, the filmmakers’ approaches to their themes can be more direct. This year, we have noticed that the works we are going to present have mostly been produced by one person alone. The short form does not need to light the entire scene; a spotlight may be enough. This makes it possible to create strong, uncompromising films that leave us full of questions, or even sceptical. We appreciate works that question the convictions daily headlines want to make us believe.
Due to their selective perspectives, the films convey a multi-faceted picture of the world’s fringes, dealing with themes like migration and flight but also with people’s clinging to places they cannot afford to abandon. Other topical issues crowding in on us from the media headlines, such as structural and climate change, are broken down into pieces of sober contemplation and observation, giving them a very personal note.
Our goal is to establish a dialogue on the theme of province between the short documentaries that enter into the competition. Those varied films shown one after another should yield a bigger picture indeed. By giving insight into places and ways of life which might otherwise fall into oblivion, they can give the province a screen to project its very own issues and concerns.

Short Documentary Programme Advisory Board
Tobias Hartmann / Thomas Winkelkotte / Tim Altrichter

Sascha Leeske
Sascha Leeske
Katja Ziebarth
Katja Ziebarth
Lars Fischer
Lars Fischer

Short Feature Film Programme Advisory Board

People and places, bound to each other
About short feature films in the PROVINZIALE competition

Over the past few years, we’ve been writing here about our skimming through some 500 submissions to the PROVINZIALE’s annual competitions and how we search for films that allow the environment, the landscapes where people live, work, dream, hope and love… to have an impact on characters and plots. We have explained how we see landscapes not as a mere backdrop but as important members of the cast, and we have justified our attitude. We, as human beings, are tied to the places we live in. Our lives depend on how we take possession of our environments in a practical way. The things and places that surround us are products and expressions of our lives. They inscribe themselves into people’s mentalities and sensual capabilities. It makes a difference whether someone grew up in a village, small town, hermitage, in the melting pot of a metropolis, feeling at home or being a stranger, with or without a roof over their head. We want these differences in the places life depends on to be part of the play and receive attention.
We have been confident to find more and more submissions that pass the test this attitude of ours imposes.
Our confidence has been proved right. This year, we were able to compile a programme of short feature films related to places and environments which really make the interplay of human lives and landscapes visible and tangible. It’s not a straightforward play. Its paths are winding and intricate, with crossroads, blind alleys, one-way streets, dirt tracks, tunnels, and different ages intertwined. Landscapes have a history and bear the marks of human activity then and now. Landscapes are not self-sufficient. The entire world leaves its traces on them: wars, flight and displacement, promises of consumerism, religious ideas, movement of capital – all these are present in many places, affecting people’s actions who, in their turn, alter and shape the landscapes they live in.
These are the themes of this year’s programme of short but dense feature films about people and places. They tell stories of disappointed homecoming, people forced to flee, lonely yearning for peace, daily rites and desires, work, love of one’s country, threatened neighbourship, families, death. There’s a story in each of the films, and a multi-faceted look upon life in the whole of them. In any case, they offer 14 invitations to talk.
We are looking forward to hearing about your perspectives.

Short Feature Film Programme Advisory Board
Katja Ziebarth / Sascha Leeske / Lars Fischer

Nele-Fischer
Almut-Undisz
Steffen-Neumann

Animation Film Programme Advisory Board

Of skin, flesh and stone – fruitful animations.

There are a multitude of ways to create animated films, making for a diversity we don’t want to restrict, for it brings colour. Yet techniques should be chosen for a reason, not at random. A film’s animation technique is like a skin enclosing and supporting the fruit of its contents. As such, it should be soft. We place value on personal, creative and lovingly made visualisations that take characteristic effect.

The flesh creates structure. It is the narrative the stone is embedded into. Some are sweet, some bitter, some hot, some juicy – there are many ways for animated films to tell a story. We look for films capable of bearing the tension between stone and skin: films that use their own specific techniques to deliver a capturing, surprising and consistent narrative.

But most of all we value the stone, that is, the content at the core of the story. And at the core we want solid matter: things that provoke thought, that rouse to action and untie communication. The stone should have weight enough to delve deep and provide a lasting impetus when the film is over. We look for small-scale and personal stories exemplifying the bigger picture.

At the end of the day, skin, flesh and stone have to become a fruit.

Animation Film Programme Advisory Board
Nele Fischer / Almut Undisz / Steffen Neumann