BLOCK 2 / Eröffnungsabend II
Saturday, 14. October, 20pm
Germany, Quatar / 2021 / Documentary / 90 min
OT Arabic / UT German
Life in Beirut is determined by political and economic crises. Some people breed pigeons and let them soar into the sky with eager anticipation. Some love the birds for their beauty, others are fascinated by the century-old tradition of pigeon tournaments, where the goal is to have your birds down your opponent's ones and and take them over. But in view of economic crisis and high inflation, pigeon breeding is an expensive pastime. Are girls even allowed? A film about self-affirmation through tradition and skills, about gender roles and a spot of clear sky in an era of depression.
Director: Lea Najjar, Producer: Matthias Drescher, Max Brunner, Julian Haisch, Jinane Dagher,
Script: Lea Najjar, Alia Haju, DoP: Jonas Schneider,
Editor: Tobias Wilhelmer, Sound: Frederik Hellmann, Music: Samah Boulmona & Farah Kaddour
Lea Najjar was born in Vienna in 1994 and grew up in Lebanon. While at school, she worked as a press photographer and then earned a freshman degree at American University of Beirut (A.U.B). In 2014, she took up studies at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, where she graduated in 2021 with her first feature-length film, "Kash Kash". It premiered at CPH:DOX 2022 in Copenhagen, winning the NEXT:Wave competition for best debut film from international young authors, and went on to be decorated with the 2022 First Steps Award and the Golden Frog at Camerimage.
Sunday, 15. October, 18pm
Urlau(b) / Welcome to Urlau /
Germany / 2023 / Documentary / 90 min
OT German / UT English
For a long time, the small village of Urlau at the foot of the Allgäu Alps was known only for its ammunition assembly and storage facility. Where highly toxic warfare agents were once piled up, a gigantic holiday village is to spring up now, and civic creativity turns an old factory building into a craft food shop. Many anticipate a tourism boom, build accommodations and tinker with websites. But then, amidst elated activity, everybody is suddenly told to stay home. When the situation finally normalises, long-forgotten accounts of war loom up again. A film about growth, crisis and the difficulty of finding one's own measure when taking the next steps in life.
Director: Eva Hartmann, Producer: Barbara Groben,
Script: Barbara Groben & Eva Hartmann, DoP: Boris Burghardt, Eva Hartmann, Benedikt Schulte,
Editor: Eva Hartmann, Sound: Claudia Leder, Cornelia "Nelly" Böhm, Music: Rainer Hartmann
Eva Hartmann studied media arts under Andrei Ujica at HfG Karlsruhe. A DAAD scholarship brought her to York University Toronto for one year. Since 2009, she has been contributing to numerous documentaries which were screened worldwide on TV, in the cinema and at festivals. She is also a teacher for film editing and dramaturgy at HFF Munich and HfG Karlsruhe.
Monday, 16. October, 18pm
Germany, Italien / 2022 / Documentary / 86 min
OT Italian / UT English
The River Tara runs next to the Apulian port town of Taranto. For some it is a place of meditation and healing, while from an official standpoint, it is intolerably fraught with pollutants from nearby industrial plants, above all from a disused steel mill. The film explores people's different perpectives and shows how they find hope for a new beginning after the steel plant has been shut down.
Director: Volker Sattel, Francesca Bertin, Producer: Volker Sattel,
Script: Volker Sattel, DoP: Volker Sattel,
Editor: Bettina Blickwede, Sound: Filipp Forberg, Music: Tim Elzer
Volker Sattel, born in Speyer in 1970, studied film direction and photography at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg from 1993 to 1999. Since then, he has been living and working in Berlin as an art film author, photographer and producer, mainly in the documentary genre. He was a visiting lecturer at Hamburg Media School in 2014 and a member of NRW Film Foundation's film subsidies jury in 2015. Together with fellow filmmaker Stefanie Gaus, he curated the monthly CINEMA+ film series at Zwingli, Berlin from 2017-19. Francesca Bertin, born in Veneto, Italy in 1985, is a filmmaker whose work extends to interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. She lives and works in Hamburg as a fellow of the Vorwerk Stift artists' residence. She graduated as a filmmaker from Hamburg University of the Fine Arts, preceded by law studies at Trient university. In 2014, she took part in the Professional Media Master Class in Halle (Saale). She is also a member of Dokumentarfilmwoche Hamburg's film selection committee.
Monday, 16. October, 20pm
PaathKatha / The Golden Thread / Der goldene Faden
India / 2022 / Documentary / 86 min
OT Hindi / UT English
Outside of Kolkata, there is a factory powered by steam and sweat that used to employ 20,000 people in three shifts to produce jute for the global market. Today there are only 3,000, but their working conditions are reminiscent of the early 20th century. The film pictures this unexplored and complex working environment and its inhabitants with sweeping poetic energy. Now that the old English machinery of 1915 is going to be replaced by more efficient Chinese technology, what will become of them?
Director: Nishtha Jain, Producer: Nishtha Jain, Irena Taskovski, Morana Komljenovic Ikic,
Script: Nishtha Jain, DoP: Rakesh Haridas,
Editor: Alex Goekjian, Nishtha Jain, Sound: Niraj Gera, Music: Kenneth Ishak
Nishtha Jain is an internationally-acclaimed filmmaker from Mumbai best known for her films Gulabi Gang (2012), Lakshmi and Me (2007) and City of Photos (2004). Her films interrogate lived experience at the intersection of gender, caste and class. They explore the political in the personal and uncover the mechanisms of privilege.
Tuesday, 17. October, 18pm
Adieu sauvage / Farewell, Savage / Leb wohl, Wilder
Belgium, France / 2022 / Documentary / 90 min
OT Spanish / UT English
Newspaper reports about recurring cases of suicide among Colombian natives of the Cácua tribe caused the maker of this film, who also has an indigenous family background, to visit the region and investigate. He meets a local from the forests who invites him to his village. For several months, he is given the opportunity to explore what roots they have in common and their limitations when it comes to surviving in the primeval forest. We see how losing one's cultural ties affects people but also how important it is to pay attention to each other and talk about one's emotions in order to make it through together. A debut film with remarkable insights transcending entrenched perspectives and a deeply human display of self-interrogation.
Director: Sergio Guataquira, Producer: Fox the Fox,
Script: Sergio Quataquira, DoP: David Garcia,
Editor: Noé Bries Silva, Sound: Nicolas Pommier, Music: x
Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento was born in Bogota on April 5, 1987. Nothing predestined him for the cinema and yet, at the age of 19, he left his country for Europe and enrolled at the Fine Arts School in Poitiers with a student visa. It was during his studies that he got closer to cinema and successfully passed the entrance exam to the IAD film school in Belgium. Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento currently lives in Brussels, awaiting regularization.
Wednesday, 18. October, 20pm
Armenia, Deutschland / 2023 / Documentary / 96 min
OT Armenian / UT English
"Landshaft" is a psycho-geographical portrait of a geopolitically strained region and its inhabitants in eastern Armenia - a panorama of resource extraction, war and displacement. Conceived as a journey, the film traces the difficult movements of its local protagonists in the region from Lake Sewan to the Sotk gold mine, which was annexed by Azerbajdzhan in the Karabakh war. People's aspirations to an ordinary life and their accounts of the war, language, pictures and movement blend into the complexity of a territorial conflict with little chance to escape.
Director: Daniel Kötter, Producer: Daniel Kötter,
Script: Daniel Kötter, DoP: Daniel Kötter,
Editor: Daniel Kötter, Sound: Luka Barajevic, Armen Papyan, Music: Gusam Sheram
Daniel Kötter ist international als Filmemacher und Musiktheaterregisseur tätig. Seine Arbeiten sind in verschiedenen medialen und institutionellen Landschaften angesiedelt, kombinieren experimentelle Filmtechniken mit performativen und dokumentarischen Elementen und wurden weltweit auf zahlreichen Film- und Videokunstfestivals, in Ausstellungen, Theatern und Konzertsälen aufgeführt. Seine visuellen Erkundungen führen ihn regelmäßig auf den afrikanischen Kontinent und in den Mittleren Osten. Von 2017-2020 schuf er die Dokumentarfilm-Trilogie "Hashti Tehran" (2017, 60 ’), "Desert View" (2018, 84’) und "Rift Finfinnee" (2020, 80 ’) über die städtischen Peripherien von Teheran, Kairo und Addis Abeba. Zur Zeit arbeitet Daniel Kötter an einer Reihe von räumlichen Performances und 360°-Filmen über die landschaftlichen und sozialen Folgen der Rohstoffausbeutung in Deutschland, West-Papue, der DR Kongo und Estland mit dem Titel "Landscapes and Bodies".
Thursday, 19. October, 18pm
FITNESS CALIFORNIA - Wie man die extra Meile geht / FITNESS CALIFORNIA - How to Walk the Extra Mile /
Germany / 2023 / Documentary / 103 min
OT German / UT English
"Fitness California", the nostalgic weight room with its indestructible courses, is one of the few relics of the Californian fitness boom of the 1980s. It's also the dream factory of three champions who come here to exercise every day: wrestling legends Adolf Seger, Bernd Fleig and Mario Sabatini have brought home countless titles. Now in their mid-seventies, they are always eager to give help and advice to their gym's chequered crowd of customers, and when they are not needed, they like to sit at the bar and reminisce about the good old days: the fascinating history of wrestling in the sixties and seventies, the wondrous events they witnessed during the eighties' Californian fitness movement and, of course, their own personal stories and fates. The film tells of a period when there was such a thing as competitive sports in the province and asks what role sports can play for people and in their societies.
Director: Nadine Zacharias, Producer: Ingo Behring, Mark Klotz,
Script: Nadine Zacharias, DoP: Nicu Mihailescu,
Editor: Petra Hölge, Nadine Zacharias, Elisa Purfürst, Sound: Bastian Schweibert, Music: Sebastian Scheipers für Frische Luft
During her master studies in ethnology, history and archaeology in Freiburg (Breisgau), Seattle and Canterbury, Nadine Zacharias conducted photographic field research in indigenous and marginalised communities in the US and Canada. In 2009, she graduated in visual anthropology with an MA degree and took up postgraduate studies as a director of educational and scientific films at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Since 2014, she has been a freelance film director and producer under her own label of Moving Ideas, focusing on socio-political and cultural topics.
Friday, 20. October, 20pm
Portugal, Senegal, Mauritania, Marrocos, Spain / 2021 / Documentary / 84 min
OT Wolof / UT English
Mbaye Sow and his old Peugeot 504 Break are on a 4000-kilometre journey from Portugal through many places across North Africa to Senegal. Once in Maroc, the vehicle he used to ardously hammer into shape in the beginning has to undergo a complete overhaul to make it fit for the road. On his way, Mbaye makes phone calls and stops to pick up and deliver goods without ever being distracted from his goal: to get home to his wife and children. He has only little time to spend with them before refilling his stock and heading back to Europe. A film about tenacity, communicative skills and the unconditional striving of a man for a bit of wealth.
Director: Pedro Figueiredo Neto and Ricardo Falcão, Producer: Joana Ferreira - Sopro Filmes,
Script: Pedro Figueiredo Neto and Ricardo Falcão, DoP: Pedro Figueiredo NETO,
Editor: Francisco Moreira, Sound: Roland Vajs, Music: Filipe Palha and
Pedro Figueiredo Neto (1984) is a Portuguese filmmaker, anthropologist, and architect. His professional and creative work focuses, among other things, on borders, forced displacement, social and spatial segregation. Ricardo Falcão (1980) is a filmmaker and anthropologist. Since 2007 he has been focusing his work on Senegal, a country where he conducted long-term ethnography. This ethnography is at the heart of several of his professional and creative activities. His first experience with film was the ethnographic documentary Walo Walo in 2009.