Elvira Lind: Bobbi Jene

It’s not every day that a documentary takes it all as did ”Bobbi Jene” by Elvira Lind at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Three awards given yesterday to the film produced by Julie Leerskov and Sare Stockmann. The film is right now on an international festival tour, Tribeca being first stop. Danish premiere in autumn. Which makes us do some copy-paste – first the description of the film taken from the website of DFI (Danish Film Institute):

”After a decade of stardom in Israel, American dancer Bobbi Jene takes intensity to a new level when she decides to leave behind her star position at the world-famous Batsheva Dance Company, as well as the love of her life, to return to the US to create her own boundary breaking performances. A love story, the film portrays the dilemmas and inevitable consequences of ambition. It is a film about a woman’s fight for independence and her attempt to succeed with her own art in the extremely competitive world of dance.”

And the well formulated motivations of the jury for the Tribeca 2017 Documentary Competition (R.J. Cutler, Alma Har’el, Barbara Kopple, Anne Thompson and David Wilson) like this:

Best Documentary Feature: “Bobbi Jene,” directed by Elvira Lind “In a diverse field of worthy films, one work captivated our jury with its exquisite blend of emotional depth and rigorous craft. Fulfilling the promise of classic cinema verite, where camera serves as both observer and provocation, this film connected two artists, filmmaker and subject, pushing nonfiction intimacy to bold new places. Our winner documents the deeply personal process of a brilliant woman finding her voice – paired with a director whose own artistic vision dances elegantly with that of her subject. We the jury give the Best Documentary Feature to Elvira Lind’s Bobbi Jene.”

Best Documentary Cinematography: Elvira Lind, “Bobbi Jene”:

“For the film’s extraordinary relationship to an artist who is willing to go bare not only in performance but in stunningly intimate scenes that are poetic, honest and moving, seemingly without barriers between camera and subject, we give Best Cinematography to Elvira Lind for ‘Bobbi Jene.’”

Best Documentary Editing: Adam Nielsen, “Bobbi Jene”: “For a film whose precise economy of construction creates space for the rich sensual palette of a committed artist going through a life change, and whose internal rhythms mirror the art it portrays, we give Best Editing to Adam Nielsen for ‘Bobbi Jene.’”

The film was pitched at the Nordisk Panorama 2015… I wrote the following on this site: …Trailers are the most important in a pitching session, you quickly notice sitting at a Forum like this. Most of them are made trying to be on two legs: to be informative and to convey the visual style of the film to be. Difficult that is, but possible as shown through ”Bobbi Jene”, a project presented by from Danish producers Julie Leerskov and Sara Stockmann with Elvira Lind as director, a fascinating – finally there was one – love story, where the director has followed the protagonist for three years. In Tel Aviv and now in New York, where Bobbi Jene wants ”to create her own boundary breaking and violently personal performances”. A character-driven story and as with the previously mentioned project, the name of the editor, Adam Nielsen, was launched to push for individual meetings to get money. 75% of the financing in place for this character-driven story…

Two months later the director received the Danish Director’s and CPH:DOX Talent award with the following motivation written by me, member of the jury:

The director who is to receive this recognition has a short but impressive filmography that gives hope for future work. She – yes, it is a she – has demonstrated that she is able to get close, to deal with sensitive matters in a gentle and respectful way, to build a story so it comes out as an engaging drama that is much stronger than many feature films. I guess that many of you watched her film at CPH:DOX last year. She is in the process of making a new film that was presented recently on the Nordisk Panorama where it was very well presented and received. Also that film will have an international career. Let me give you the titles – the finished film is “Songs for Alexis”, the one coming up is “Bobby Jene”. So ladies and gentlemen, the winner, a true documentary talent – Elvira Lind.“

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: 3863