dok.incubator… Bravo!

Full house at Inkonst in Malmø Sunday morning at 10. The director of the training program Andrea Prenghyova had no reason to doubt if anyone would come. But she was right in her welcoming speech: No cars, no people in the streets this morning but a full house to get acquainted with 8 films, that will be finished in the coming months. Bravo! It was the sixth season of the Prague based, three session long training that is there – to quote the brochure I got this morning – to sharpen the final cut, increase the film’s international potential, prepare an ingenious marketing strategy, create a sophisticated distribution plan, break into the international market…

The atmosphere was great. Members of the 8 pitching teams for the preview saluted each other. There were applause after the introduction by one of the tutors, applause after the introduction by the producer/director, applause after the clips etc. Too much? Maybe they overdo it, but if you see it as a tribute to the documentary as genre… If you salute that films are made which are important thematically and has a cinematic approach to the topic. Let me put it in another way: It was enjoyable to be there this morning and many could learn from the presentation concept of dok.incubator: Words of course and then a trailer AND two selected scenes. The latter is a scoop. And dangerous of course because a trailer can be seducing but scenes tell you something about, whether a filmmaker stands behind.

That is absolutely the case for ”Over the Limit” by Marta Prus

(previous film ”Talk to Me”, see, produced by Maciej Kubicki. The camerawork (as often with Polish documentaries) is excellent catching the delicate moments with Margarita, Russian top-gymnast, being with her two trainers Amina and Irina, the latter (the one with the hat in the foreground of the PHOTO) a representative for the more than tough, brutal might be the word, Russian training system of young sportswomen. It’s an observational documentary but you feel – she said so in the beginning – that there is a director who learnt to speak Russian to make this film. Commitment!

Let me stay with the art of cinematography to mention the American documentary ”A Machine to Live In” by Yoni Goldstein and Meredith Zielke. Amazing images from Brasilia, a film about architecture in a new way as it was said, ”from modernism to mysticism” with a beautiful voice-off text – thank you for that, let’s have more of that in documentaries, Chris Marker in memoriam. I am not sure I get in details what the film is about, but the presentation made me very curious.

Much more predictable was Norwegian Håvard Bustness ”Golden Dawn Girls”, when it comes to the theme: Greece, the nationalist party, neo-nazi it has been called, but Bustness has managed to access a wife, a mother and a daughter of leaders of the party, the men sitting in jail. The scenes shown are promising, including the director getting permission to film and having a strong discussion with one of the Golden Dawn Girls.

I fell in love with the Swedish ”Giants and the Morning After” by (three directors!) Malla Grapengiesser, Per Bifrost and Alexander Rynéus with an old friend, Finnish Mervi Junkkonen as the editor. It has a tone of humour, it has a universal theme (the depopulation of rural communities) and a nice mayor, who does his best to keep the small Ydre alive as well as some mysterious connections to the surrounding nature.

Georgian Mari Gulbiani did well with her ”Before Father Gets Back” from an area in the country, that is radicalised towards ISIS. As it was said, Gulbiani does not go with those who go or have gone to Syria to fight, she puts the focus on those who stay behind, two sweet girls, who communicate with their fathers via skype. I want to become a filmmaker, one says to her father, may I? Yes, he answers, as long as you don’t wear short dresses…

Brasilian Emilia Mello presented ”No Kings”, impressions from a fishing village in Brasil, character-driven, made me think – as we are in Sweden – of legendary Arne Sucksdorff and his film from Brasil. José Pablo Estrada is finishing his film about his grandmother, ”Mamacita”, in Mexico, a personal story about a family haunted by a traumatic background. First you get from the visuals an impression of a very unsympathetic grandmother, then a scene turns the whole thing upside down, won’t tell you, curious to see the film. Finally ”A Woman Captured” by Bernadett Tuza-Ritter, Hungarian, with a woman as a leading character, who has been ”kept by a family as a domestic slave for 10 years”. She is 52 years old. The director told us that she had paid the family to be allowed to film Marish. Quote from the catalogue: ”… after two years of shooting, she (Marish) gathers her courage and reveals her plan ”I am going to escape”. A film that raises a lot of ethical questions to the film crew.

Which can done in a couple of months with this film and a couple of others presented at the dok.incubator this morning in Malmø, as they have been picked for the upcoming IDFA festival in Amsterdam in November. Martijn de Pas from IDFA was there and told the audience that IDFA will publish their selection beginning of October.

More about the films on:


Share your love
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.

Articles: 3866