IDFA Opening film

The artistic director of IDFA Orwa Nyrabia announced yesterday what will be the opening film of the 2023 festival: A Picture to Remember. Here are the words about the film from IDFA’s website:

Olga Chernykh spent her childhood in Donetsk in the 1990s, before moving with her parents to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Her grandma stayed in the Donbas region, large parts of which were occupied by pro-Russian rebels in 2014. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and the ensuing war, only increased the sense of distance between Chernykh and her grandmother.

A Picture to Remember is an essay-style account of the war from the perspective of three generations of women. There are frequent video calls between Chernykh, her mother (a pathologist working above a morgue, where it feels surprisingly safe during bomb attacks) and her grandmother. Recordings of their conversations are interspersed with photos and videos from the family archive, and news reports, as well as images of the parasites Chernykh’s mother observes with a microscope.

The result is a kaleidoscopic and personal film. Traveling fluidly through time, it connects the current violence in Donbas with the destruction there during the Second World War—as related by Chernykh’s grandmother. A sense of absence and loss prevails throughout.

And take a look at the photo (still?) from the film. Reminds me of Latvian Herz Frank. and the opening of “Bridges of Time” by Kristine Briede and Audrius Stonys

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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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