The Oscar event is over – and we can be happy that all five documentaries nominated this year were of high quality in cinematic terms, and dealt with important themes of our time.
Let’s leave the glamour and the red carpets, and go back to all the great initiatives that aim at getting the audience to go to the cinema to watch documentaries. This post puts the focus on doc festivals in Stockholm and Copenhagen.
Let me start in the capital of Sweden, where the Tempo Documentary Festival,
founded in 1998, from March 2-8, shows over 100 ”creative documentaries” as they formulate it. And radio, photography and transmedia as well as more experimental forms of expression… and masterclasses. Among them one with Danish director Eva Mulvad, whose new film ”Love Child” travels the world. Colleague Allan Berg has followed her work closely, latest with a review (in Danish) of ”Love Child” – http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4669/
Tempo is an international festival. „A Tunnel” by Georgian Nino Orjonikidze and Vano Arsenisjvili, premiered at IDFA, will be there, it will very soon be reviewed on this site. The Mexican/Spanish “La Mami”, directed by Laura Herrero Garvin, is an insight to the world of an old Mexican woman, who from the toilet and dressing room takes care of the younger hostesses in a night club, where they get ready to go to dance with the guests. And the impressive cinematic “Merry Christmas, Yiwu” by Serbian Mladen Kovacevic, who has filmed in Yiwu, where factories produce christmas decorations. The national Serbian première will take place at the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade in April. Talking about China, S. Leo Chiang and Yang Sun has made the wonderful “Our Time Machine” with the puppet artist Maleonn, whose art reminds me of the Quay Brothers, and whose ambition to impress his father, former very well known theatre director in Shanghai, is one of the themes of the lovely film.
For the Swedish films I am happy to see “Scheme Birds” by Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin in the programme – reviewed here http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4624/ – that I watched at the Nordisk Panorama in Malmö in September. As well as the exciting visit to “Cinema Pameer” in Kabul, in a warm film by Martin von Krogh, who has beeen very close to the people (The manager, the General, The Boss), who fight to keep a cinema alive in a country, where bombs explode every day and where 40 years of war have given scars to all and everything.
In Copenhagen, The Jewish Film Festival starts February 21st and runs until March 1st with a strong emphasis on documentaries. Of course the brilliant “Advocate” by Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaïche is there – http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4553/ – as is the portrait of Golda Meir by Sagi Bornstein, Udi Nir and Shani Rozanes, where I was glad to meet the always critical, late Uri Avnery as one of those who talks about the legendary politician. As a special event “Bird on a Wire” (2011) by Ismaël Ferroukhi on Leonard Cohen will be shown connected to the Cohen exhibitions in Copenhagen for the moment. The festival has its main location in Cinemateket.
The very same place, where lots of festivals take place. Innovative gatherings like the recent Docs&Talks that we have covered intensely on this site – and now follows another pearl, Copenhagen Architecture Festival that takes place April 23rd – May 3rd in Copenhagen, Odense and Aarhus. There are always a lot of films being shown at this festival that includes guided tours, workshops, seminars, exhibitions … The main however, is that Pedro Costa, Portuguese master, comes to Copenhagen: “Meet the director Pedro Costa during a retrospective film series as he talks about his lifelong cinematic collaboration with residents of the now-defunct Fontainhas neighborhood of Lisbon.”