Documentary Fortnight 2013

A press release in an edited version: Moma, the Museum of Modern art in New York organizes February 15–March 4 “Documentary Fortnight 2013: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media”, the 12th annual two-week showcase of recent documentary films examining the relationship between contemporary art and nonfiction practices, and reflecting on new areas of documentary filmmaking.

This year’s festival includes an International Selection of 20 feature-length films and several shorts, all of which are U.S. or New York premieres that will be presented by the filmmakers. The festival also features New Cuban Shorts, a spotlight on films by emerging Cuban filmmakers, many of which have never before been seen in the U.S.

The programme also includes a tribute to POV, highlighting award- winning films from the past 25 years of Public Television’s longest-running showcase for independent documentary film—plus a sneak preview of a title in the upcoming season.

The festival opens on February 15 with two daring new approaches in filmmaking: Ilian Metev’s Sofia’s Last Ambulance (Germany/Bulgaria/Croatia, 2012) (photo), which premiered at the 51st International Critics Week at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it was the second documentary ever to compete; and Chico Pereira’s Pablo’s Winter (Spain, 2012), winner of the Competition for Student Documentary at IDFA, the world’s largest documentary festival. Sofia’s Last Ambulance follows a three-member paramedic crew in one of

Bulgaria’s dwindling fleet of emergency ambulances. The camera’s focus is on the intimate emotions and reactions of a doctor, nurse, and driver—not their patients—as they respond to situations both the serious and absurd.

In Pablo’s Winter, Chico Pereira explores the tragic history of an old mining town, inspired by real-life characters playing themselves.

Other highlights include Jose Álvarez’s Canícula (Dog Days, Mexico, 2012), the BestDocumentary Film at the 2013 Cinema Tropical Awards, a sensorial film that follows the daily rituals of the ancient Totonac people of Zapotal Santa Cruz, Mexico, who are known for their daring aerial Voladores (Bird Men).

The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear (Germany/Georgia, 2012), Tinatin Gurachiani’s first feature film, combines the compelling stories of 15- to 23-year-old youths with a look at contemporary Georgia.

New Cuban Shorts comprises four programs of short documentaries by nine emerging directors from Cuba. Highlights include three films by Armando Capo, including Nos quedamos (We Stay, Cuba, 2009), which follows a Cuban family that persists in defending their home from an invasion of bees, and three films by Ariagna Fajarado, including La Vuelta (The Bend, Cuba, 2008), which depicts a community thriving through the collective efforts of its residents, all of whom are brick-makers.

The POV section includes 21 award-winning, outstanding, and controversial films from the 25-year history of POV (Point of View). Highlights include the world premiere of Homegoings (U.S., 2013), Christine Turner’s account of a Harlem funeral director who honors 150-year-old funereal traditions, and the first film ever showcased on the series, American Tongues (U.S., 1988), Louis Alvarez and Andy Kolker’s humorous look at American dialects.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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