Filmkommentaren

Sarajevo Film Festival/1

Written 14-08-2022 10:42:14 by Tue Steen Mller

After two years I feel privileged to be back to a festival that has given me so many fine moments. The atmosphere in the city of course, a city that celebrates cinema with its many genres, a festival that greets talents, have loads of workshops, gives out awards to well known figures in world cinema, this year from Ari Folman who is here with his new film on Anne Frank to Danish Mads Mikkelsen, who is also on house walls with his saying that a Danish beer is “probably the best in the world” – I am not so sure!

The first days for me have been occupied by being part of a small “Dealing With the Past” tutor team that works with four projects, which are to be presented to an audience today, an audience of filmmakers, who hopefully are seduced by the power of the stories pitched in words and images on the small stage in Hotel Europe. Filmmaker and journalist Robert Zuber will be leading the pitch, online from den Haag the amazing editor Natasa Damnjanovic has put the visuals together, online from Paris is film director Mila Turajlic and I have mainly given advice on how to structure the presentation. “Dealing With the Past” this year have as contributors filmmaker Mladen Ivanovic, film producer Jovana Blanuša, and two journalists from BIRN Aida Trepanic and Enes Hodzic. BIRN stands for Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. Will get back to you after the presentation with info on the content of the four stories presented. For me, the only one in the team who does not speak the language, these sessions have introduced me to war history through personal stories – information and emotion like documentaries should give.

The “Dealing With the Part” also includes film screenings. I will be moderating a couple of them, new films, high quality. More will follow.

 


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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Film Talks

Written 08-08-2022 21:28:44 by Tue Steen Mller

On August 10, 17 and 24, you can enjoy three pre-recorded IDF Industry Sessions which we have prepared in collaboration with CinéDoc-Tbilisi. Watch them on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!

August 10 at 6 pm (CEST)
Protagonists in Fragile Situations - Extended Q&As about I'll Stand by You


Virginija Vareikytė and Maximilien Dejoie talk about their journey of being co-directors and how they found the story of the film I'll Stand by You and its protagonists - two women on a challenging mission. They discuss challenges that are connected with difficult topics and how to keep their artistic vision during the whole production. Moderated by Tue Steen Müller.

August 17 at 6 pm (CEST)

Benefits and Challenges in Co-productions - A Case Study of The Last Shelter 


Estelle Robin You in conversation with Tue Steen Müller about her experience with co-production between Mali, South Africa and France. She was in a position of a lead-producer of The Last Shelter and could watch closely the artistic side of the project. Estelle stresses the importance of good and strong relationships between director and protagonists and strong partnerships with other productions and/or training programs.

In cooperation with the French Institute in Georgia.

August 24 at 6 pm (CEST)

How to Prepare Film Material for Editing - A Case Study of Nelly & Nadine


A conversation between Phil Jandaly and Tue Steen Müller. Phil Jandaly discusses his role as an editor during production of Nelly & Nadine. He shares his experience with creating a structure of the film, working with different archive material and editing them with newly-filmed scenes. He stresses how they wanted to keep the mystery during the whole film while keeping the whole aesthetics of the film and overall intimate story.

In cooperation with the French Institute in Georgia.

The Film Mentoring Program of CinéDOC-Tbilisi and these sessions are supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

The IDF Industry Sessions series is supported by Creative Europe MEDIA, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Czech Film Fund, Prague City Hall and APA - Audiovisual Producers' Association.


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Niewiera & Rosolowski: The Hamlet Syndrome

Written 05-08-2022 09:30:55 by Tue Steen Mller

… first names Elwira and Piotr, Polish directors, awarded for previous works “The Domino Effect” and “The Prince and the Dybbuk”, both praised on this site for their originality and professional skills. The same goes for this new film that demonstrates how literature, theatre and cinema can be welded together to create a tension that for this viewer has been sitting in mind and stomach for days the two times I have watched it on my MacBook Pro – the third time will be in a cinema. A promise to the filmmakers.

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, I asked the 11 year old grandchild this morning if he had heard about him. Indeed he had, “it is him with “to be or not to be”, the everlasting sentence, that is the core of the theatre play five Ukrainians perform with Roza Sarkisian, theatre director as the observant and often provoking master on the stage – together with the film directors who came with the script after having casted the protagonists.

One by one, following their monologue or dialogue rehearsals on stage, the film takes the viewer out in “the reality”. Katya who is meeting witnesses to document the war in the country – she was in Maidan and she was volunteering in the horrors in the Eastern part of the country. She sits with a microphone in a quiet garden with a woman, who tells how she was tortured by the occupiers. In a very emotional scene with Katya and her mother the latter expresses her anxiety not knowing what Katya was doing as a soldier.

These combined scenes are extraordinary: Slawik and his father, on stage in a phone call, where Roman, actor, “plays” his father, followed by Slawik meeting his father playing table tennis and having their conversation. ”You took ten years of my life”, the father says. And Rodion who has suffered because of his sexuality – with his mother in rainy weather who talks about how difficult it has been for her to accept that his son is “different”. Rodion performs a magnificent monologue on stage. “To be a LGBT in Donetsk”, where he comes from.

Why am I Hamlet is a question the five have a quick answer to. Oksana, feminist, who plays a central role in the last scene of the theatre play. No spoiling. 

The five have all been going through therapy. A quote from an interview with Elwira Niewiera in Business Doc Europe June 2022: “All five characters underwent therapy after their experiences of war, which was a core consideration in their participation both within the stage play and the film. “We made the decision that they are the right protagonists to go through this process…because all of them made therapy before. This was very important for us,” says co-director Elwira Niewiera, adding how once the actors immersed themselves into the play, it then became “an artistic process.”

Yes, the reason for the film to be so strong, so intense, so extraordinary in conveying the traumas, is that the filmmakers and their protagonists have made an artistic interpretation, what they have experienced before February 24 this year – the play was performed October 2020.

And after February 24, after the brutal invasion from the Russian barbarians… reading the text at the end credits, unbearable at the same time as you more than respect their courage: Katya, Slawik and Roman are in the army, Rodion sews military uniforms in Lviv, Oksana acts at a theatre in Poland and is involved in humanitarian aid.

Poland/Germany, 2022, 85 mins.


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Docu Talents from the East 2022

Written 29-07-2022 20:44:32 by Tue Steen Mller

This is a copy paste of a text from the Sarajevo FF site, an event organised by the Jihlava FF. High quality projects, know some of them and know talents like Goran Devic, Vlad Petri, Diana Fabiánová and Lesia Diak. The latter is part of the CinéDoc Tbilisi Mentoring Program. As for Diana Fabiánová she was a star at Ex Oriente with the film "The Moon inside You" that reached an audience all over the world. If time allows I will be at the presentation. Here is the copy-paste:    

Nine new creative documentary projects, in production or post-production, will be presented as part CineLink Industry Day on August 15, in order to stimulate their further conversion and enhance their market exposure. The Open presentation will take place at Hotel Europe – Atrium from 14.30 – 15.45.

The most promising project receives the Docu Talent Award in co-operation with Current Time TV. The award is accompanied by a prize in the amount of 5,000 USD. DAFilms Distribution Award 2022 will be awarded to a project selected by the jury in the amount of €3000 as an in-kind Doc Alliance distribution award. It covers release on DAFilms (including Americas,  Europe,  Asia) for two years. The jury consists of Natalia Arshavskaya (Current Time TV), Martichka Bozilova (Agitprop), Ben Dalton (Screen International), Nina Numankadić (DAFilms), Jarmila Outratová (Ji.hlava IDFF).

„The selection of films included in Docu Talents from the East that are being completed by the emerging generation of Eastern European filmmakers is formally very diverse and explores social, political and purely personal topics. It is surprising that a region often associated primarily with rural films from poor regions can geographically encompass literally the entire world: from Tokyo and Iran to Europe, New York and Salvador.

Our selection pays special attention to two Ukrainian women filmmakers. While Olha Tsybulska started filming YOU KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE ABOUT WAR spontaneously at the outset of the war, the very personal DAD’S LULLABY by Lesia Diak looks back on the war after several years and shows how it can destroy even an exceptional human personality.

All of the selected films do not only explore the phenomena of our day-and-age, but also ask questions about how our choices shape our own future – whether as an individual, a particular social group or an entire society.”  says Marek Hovorka, director of the Ji.hlava IDFF.

Projects were selected by representatives of the Ji.hlava IDFF. 

The complete list can be found below.

WHAT’S TO BE DONE?
Croatia | 75’
Director: Goran Dević
Producer: Hrvoje Osvadić
Production Company: Petnaesta umjetnost

Is it possible to be a worker and revolt against the capitalism? Is the outcome of every possible riot known in advance?

SO FAR FROM MIKULOV
Czech Republic | Slovakia | 75’
Director: Marie Dvořáková
Producer: Pavel Berčík
Production Company: Evolution Films, s.r.o.

A small-town photographer from Europe takes New York by storm. But at what price?

YOYOGI
Estonia | Japan | 74’
Director: Max Golomidov
Producer: Volia Chajkouskaya
Production Company: Allfilm

A witty and sensitive observation of people visiting Central Park of Tokyo – Yoyogi.

STREET POETS
Poland | 60’
Director: Edyta Adamczak and Michał Mądracki
Producer: Edyta Adamczak
Production Company: MML studio

Young, urban poets of the Brazilian favela in the city of Salvador. Jeopardised youth. A film about non-material wealth, which becomes a source of unusual human power and lets us believe that we all have this power within us.

BETWEEN REVOLUTIONS
Romania | Iran | Croatia | Qatar | 71’
Director: Vlad Petri
Producer: Elena Martín
Production Company: Activ Docs

Two women, former classmates and friends, one Romanian and one Iranian are writing letters to each other, reflecting on their lives, between two revolutions that changed their lives and societies forever.

THE BOUNDARIES OF FIDELITY
Slovakia | Czech Republic | 80’
Director: Diana Fabiánová
Producer: Silvia Panáková
Production Company: Dayhey, s.r.o.

A married couple’s search for a way how to preserve a long-term, honest relationship in environment, where infidelity is normal practice.

DAD’S LULLABY
Ukraine | 72’
Director: Lesia Diak
Producer: Lesia Diak
Production Company: /

He fought for his country, now he is fighting for his family.

YOU KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE ABOUT WAR (WORKING TITLE)
Ukraine | 33’
Director: Olha Tsybulska
Producer: John Emil Richardsen
Production Company: Montevideo Tromsø AS

A reflection about survivor’s guilt, traumas and how war is the new normality for young creative people in Ukraine.

TOMORROW
Hungary | Portugal | Belgium | Iran | 50’
Director: Khosro Khosravi
Producer: Khosro Khosravi
Production Company: DocNomads

A middle-aged divorced Budapesti man who eagerly deals with organizing his life after separation in his big house, on the other hand, finds it hardly possible to avoid loneliness.

 

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Baltic Sea Docs 22

Written 26-07-2022 15:06:13 by Tue Steen Mller

The projects to be presented in the yearly documentary gathering, number 26, since 2005 held in Riga Latvia, have been selected with Latvian Zane Balcus as the head of the Forum, she rightfully describes in the following way:

“This international event for professional documentary filmmakers is the only one of its kind in the Baltics and is held in high regard throughout Eastern Europe. Every year, the BSD gathers over 100 professional filmmakers from the Baltic Sea region, as well as from Eastern and Central Europe. Participating in the forum is an invaluable way for filmmakers to find funding for the production of their projects and to further ensure that their films reach a wide audience across Europe.

The forum is held in English and participation is free of charge.

In addition to the public pitching session, the forum holds preparatory workshop and seminars that is open to not just BSD participants, but also to students and representatives of the Latvian film scene. Apart from the professional activities, a programme of the highest quality documentaries is offered to the general public in Riga and the largest Latvian cities.”

The latter – the film program – has not been published yet, the same goes for the so-called decision makers BUT 18 projects from Lithuania (2), Estonia (2), Georgia (3), Latvia (3), Finland (1), Poland (3), Germany (1) and Ukraine (3). Projects from Russia and Belarus have not been invited.

For the workshops leading to the pitching session the Baltic Sea Docs have invited the following to be tutors: 

Roman Bondarchuk | film director, cinematographer | Ukraine
Emma Davie | film director | Scotland
Phil Jandaly | film editor | Sweden
Tue Steen Müller | documentary consultant | Denmark
Mikael Opstrup | documentary developer | Denmark
Laila Pakalniņa | film director, producer | Latvia
Dagne Vildunaite | film producer | Lithuania

Brief annotations to the selected projects you can find here:

https://dokforums.gov.lv/industry/selected-projects-2022/


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Turkan Huseynova: Papanin

Written 23-07-2022 13:55:14 by Tue Steen Mller

Turkan Huseynova is a young filmmaker from Baku. Last year she took part in the Jihlava FF with her documentary “Papanin”,

Which appeared in the “Joyful Section”. Well placed even if the film refers to a district in Baku that is to be demolished. Huseynova visited with her camera, made the film in beautiful black and white, you sense that she is a photographer, who knows how to compose images in a fine framing. Another proof of quality is that she as a true documentarian can get close to people, gain their trust and have them talk. The 19 minutes include a love story told by an old man, who lost his wife. Beautiful.

Huseynova is now participating in the Mentoring Program of CinédocTbilisi.

Proud to be her mentor, new film will come from her. As with "Papanin" with love as a central theme.

Azerbaijan, 2021, 19 mins.


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Sarajevo FF Documentary Competition

Written 22-07-2022 14:00:58 by Tue Steen Mller

1. DIARY OF A BRIDE OF CHRIST / TSCHODENNYK NARECHENOI CHRISTA, Marta Smerechynska (Ukraine, 2021, 90 min.) – World premiere

2. LIGHTS OF SARAJEVO / SVJETLA SARAJEVA, Srđan Perkić (Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2022, 68 min.) – World premiere

3. LITURGY OF ANTI-TANK OBSTACLES, Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk (Ukraine, USA, 2022, 12 min.) – World premiere

4. PAYING A VISIT TO FORTUNA / FORTUNA VENDÉGEI, Mátyás Kálmán (Hungary, Croatia, 2022, 74 min.) – World premiere

5. SHADOWED BY THE PLANE TREE / ÇINAR AĞACININ KÖLGƏSINDƏ, Aynur Elgunesh (Azerbaijan, 2022, 18 min.) – World premiere

6. THE CHALICE. OF SONS AND DAUGHTERS / O TAHTAI. SAVENDAR TAI SEIANDAR, Cătălina Tesăr, Dana Bunescu (Romania, 2022, 83 min.) – World premiere

7. THE FILM FACTORY / TVORNICA FILMOVA, Silvestar Kolbas (Croatia, 2022, 15 min.) – World premiere

8. TOO CLOSE, Botond Püsök (Romania, Hungary, 2022, 85 min.) – World premiere

9. BABAJANJA, Ante Zlatko Stolica (Croatia, 2022, 14 min.) – International premiere

10. RETREAT, Anabela Angelovska (North Macedonia, Germany, 2022, 30 min.) – International premiere

11. WE, ... COMPOSITION / WIR, ... KOMPOSITION, Visar Jusufi (Kosovo, Germany, 2022, 15 min.) – International premiere

12. BIGGER THAN TRAUMA / VEĆE OD TRAUME, Vedrana Pribačić (Croatia, 2022, 91 min.) – European premiere

13. ANOTHER SPRING / JOŠ JEDNO PROLEĆE, Mladen Kovačević (Serbia, France, Qatar, 2022, 90 min.) – Regional premiere

14. A PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL / EDNA PROVINTSIALNA BOLNITSA, Ilian Metev, Ivan Chertov, Zlatina Teneva (Bulgaria, Germany, 2022, 107 min.) – Regional premiere

15. ATONAL GLOW / ATONALURI GABRZKINEBA, Alexander Koridze (Georgia, 2022, 67 min.) – Regional premiere

16. BEAUTY OF THE BEAST, Anna Eszter Nemes (Hungary, Serbia, 2022, 47 min.) – Regional premiere

17. FRAGILE MEMORY, Igor Ivanjko (Ukraine, 2022, 85 min.) – Regional premiere

18. LIVING TOGETHER / ZUSAMMENLEBEN, Thomas Fürhapter (Austria, 2022, 90 min.) – Regional premiere

19. MICROBIOME, Stavros Petropoulos (Greece, 2021, 27 min.) – Regional premiere

20. NO PLACE FOR YOU IN OUR TOWN / NIAMASH MIASTO V NASHIA GRAD, Nikolay Stefanov (Bulgaria, 2022, 81 min.) – Regional premiere

21. RIBS / REBRA, Farah Hasanbegović (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Belgium, Portugal, 2022, 9 min.) – Regional premiere

22. MUSEUM OF THE REVOLUTION / MUZEJ REVOLUCIJE, Srđan Keča (Serbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, 2021, 91 min.) - B&H premiere


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Robert Kirchhoff: Dubcek

Written 09-07-2022 15:07:04 by Tue Steen Mller

This is a copy paste of an article at FNE from yesterday:

Slovak director Robert Kirchhoff is currently in postproduction with his creative documentary All Men Become Brothers / Všetci ľudia budú bratia. The film is produced by Kirchhoff´s atelier.doc and coproduced by the Radio and Television Slovakiaendorfilm (Czech Republic) and the Czech Television.

The production took place from 2018 to 2021 on locations in Kyrgyzstan, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Turkey and Slovakia. Personalities of domestic and foreign politics and culture, such as Romano Prodi, Umberto Eco, Pavel Kohout, Karel Vachek, Jáchym Topol, Petr Pithart, Eugen Gindl, and many orhers will appear in the film.

The figure of the Slovak politician Alexander Dubcek (1921-1992) is followed throughout the 20th century in situational circumstances revealing the internal conflicts of the personality of the politician, as well as of the society.

„The filming and organisation of the film were extremely demanding. They concerned an extensive collection of material including work with archival sources and protagonists from different parts of the world, where Dubcek left his mark. It also involved hundreds of hours of material in the range of 60 terabytes,“ director and producer Robert Kirchhoff told FNE.

The estimated budget of 372,864 EUR is supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, Creative Europe and the Czech Film Fund.

The international release is planned for November 2022, while the domestic premiere in Slovakia and the Czech Republic is scheduled for the spring of 2023.


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DANISH DOC FILM HERITAGE

Written 07-07-2022 20:29:32 by Tue Steen Mller

The Danish Film Institute is launching another large-scale effort to make the Danish film heritage widely available, this time focusing on the key period of documentaries from 1960-1990. 

Danish documentaries are on a roll, both at home and abroad. Real life told in film is compelling.

But while Danes in their twenties and thirties have an abundance of images of their lives right at hand, most of the population is cut off from watching documentaries from the time they came of age. Most Danish documentaries from 1960-1990 currently exist only as hard-to-access analogue material.

That’s about to change. Over the next four years, 700 of the best works from the period will be digitised and disseminated in Denmark and the Nordic region. This extraordinary effort will ensure the distribution of film narratives from a watershed era in the history of Danish documentaries that would otherwise be lost and forgotten.

'Denmark on Film' in a Nordic perspective

Since the establishment in 2015 of the Danish Film Institute’s streaming site for historical documentaries, 'Denmark on Film', more than 2000 films have been made available online, drawing a steadily growing number of viewers.

Greenland and Iceland are already on board. Now, the new project will help turn the site into a 'Nordic Nations on Film', where Swedish and Norwegian film archives can also make their documentary film heritage available, contributing to a stronger shared understanding of Nordic culture. 

Danish Film Institute CEO Claus Ladegaard says, 

"As sources of diverse, easily communicated experiences and understanding of how society has developed over the last half century, documentaries are unrivalled. Documentaries provide a vivid introduction to who we were, what moved people in the past, how we built our society and what shapes us today. This project is uniquely relevant as a platform for the Danish Film Institute's ambitions in film dissemination. It’s about raising awareness of history, stimulating dialogue and debate, and creating a shared horizon of interpretation.”

Explore the historical streaming site Denmark on Film, which includes a section of English-language films, Welcome to Denmark.

About the project

The project is made possible by grants from the Aage and Johanne Louis-Hansen Foundation and the Augustinus Foundation, which are each contributing 5 million kroner (approx. 675,000 euros) to the digitisation and dissemination of the selected films. 

In addition, the A.P. Møller Foundation is donating 3.5 million kroner (approx. 470,000 euros) to the establishment of a new Nordic web portal for Danish, Swedish and Norwegian documentaries to promote cohesion in the Nordic Nations and bring international exposure. The Danish Film Institute itself is putting 6.1 million kroner (approx. 820,000 euros) into the project.

The project, which will begin in January 2023, will be operated in partnership with the National Library of Norway in Oslo and the Swedish Film Archive in Stockholm.


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Rue du Premier Film

Written 20-06-2022 15:37:09 by Tue Steen Mller

Rue du Premier Film

Lyon. June 2022. Rue du Premier Film... a visit I had been looking fwd. to, the museum of the Lumière Brothers in the villa of their family, the Cinema on the same side of the street, the café on the other side and the library. Lovely to be there with the museum as the highlight with the possibility of watching the film again at the right place, the place where the workers were leaving the factory in 1895. Three versions. A documentary, yes, but also a fiction as the employees of the Lumière factories were directed to leave the factory, which is no longer there but the museum includes a model of how the usines looked like and where exactly was the exit of the film. Documentary? Fiction? How stupid of us that we still have this discussion with current films. Yes, FILMS they were, made the brothers Louis and Auguste all over the world and fantastic to be reminded of the audience reaction, when The Arrival of a Train at la Ciotat was shown. The train was "targeting" the spectators, who fled the cinema in fear!

The museum is very well organised in the rich villa with chandeliers, paintings by the father Antoine, his bedroom is shown, and there is a video library where you can study loads of the one minute films shot on 35mm by photographers working for the brothers. And for those who are interested in cameras and the development of them, it's all there. I am sure Danish documentary father Jørgen Roos has visited the museum and enjoyed the camera collection.

It was first of all a pleasant stay in this holy place for the cinema, you get the impression of how entertaining it must have been to discover he possibilities of Cinema. A treasure it is, well kept and welcoming at the same time as it is non-commercial. 


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