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Venice FF: Milo Rau on The New Gospel

Like Pasolini and Mel Gibson before him, Milo Rau journeys to the Italian city of Matera to shoot the tale of Christ’s Passion. But Rau’s Christ is a modern-day anti-slavery activist, his apostles are migrants, and the witnesses to (and…
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BDE interview: The Mole Agent by Maite Alberdi

Documentary meets gumshoe in Maite Alberdi’s The Mole Agent which world premiered at Sundance 2020 and premieres digitally in North America September 1, courtesy of Gravitas Ventures. The director talks to BDE.
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Taking docmakers to the next level

Danish producer and media/training expert Ove Rishøj Jensen talks to Business Doc Europe about the upcoming Dox in Vitro talent development seminar, and about his busy, if somewhat disrupted, year to date.
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Interview: My Octopus Teacher, co-director Pippa Ehrlich

Ahead of its world premiere on July 15 in Thessaloniki, co-director Pippa Ehrlich talks about her film that chronicles the transformative year spent by conservationist and filmmaker Craig Foster in the company of an octopus off the southernmost tip of…

Interview: Do Not Split by Anders Hammer

Anders Hammer’s Do Not Split, which won the Special Jury Prize at AFI Docs, takes on even greater significance in the light of renewed protests in Hong Kong, following the passing of the country’s new security laws.
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Sheffield Doc/Fest: Bank of human kindness

In Carol Salter’s short film Breadline, which world-premieres at Sheffield, we meet the heroic Dave, who dedicates much of his time to helping the poor in a food bank in Fleetwood, in the North-West of England.
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Cannes Marché: Imbach’s room with a view

Thomas Imbach’s latest feature doc Nemesis, like his previous film Day Is Done which premiered at 2011 Berlinale, observes a changing world from his Zurich studio. He talks to Business Doc Europe.
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On standby to commission

As Head of International Current Affairs at the BBC, Sarah Waldron is used to commissioning documentaries at very short notice. Even so, the speed with which the BBC got behind Italy’s Frontline: A Doctor’s Diary was impressive.
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Cannes Docs: The shock of the real

PARISDOC, the industry arm of Cinéma du Réel, presents four new projects at Cannes Marché, three of which are set in the US, one featuring the niece of murdered Minnesota resident George Floyd.
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Cannes Marché: Singing out for Sona

Mumbai-based Deepti Gupta’s Shut Up Sona (sold internationally by Brighton-based Espesso Media) has provoked howls of fury in India, the director tells Business Doc Europe.
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Cannes Marché: Tale of A Black Jesus

A Black Jesus, directed by Luca Lucchesi and produced by Wim Wenders, poses a poignant and pertinent question. How can the residents of a Sicilian village worship a black Jesus but disregard the refugees who pray in the same church?
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Marché: Cinephil partners with Gedeon on Covenant

Tel Aviv-based doc sales outfit Cinephil is partnering with French production giant Gedeon Media Group and ARTE on major new TV project, The Ark Of The Covenant (working title). Cannes label Flee also on the company's Cannes slate.
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Cannes Marché: Shooting on the Covid frontline

One of the first docs made during the pandemic, London-based Sasha Joelle Achilli was not prepared for what she witnessed when she returned to Italy to shoot Italy’s Frontline: A Doctor’s Diary for PBS/BBC in early 2020.
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Krakow FF Doc Comp: Altered States of Consciousness

In Altered States of Consciousness, Polish director Piotr Stasik places kids with autism and Asperger’s syndrome centre stage, and offers a unique glimpse into their, at times, captivating and unconventional minds.
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Krakow market pitch: Siskin

In Oscar-nominated Zofia Kowalewska’s feature-length doc debut, the filmmaker travels with her 92-year-old grandfather to a remote village in Kazakhstan, where he was exiled during WWII, in search of his first love.
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Krakow market pitch: Escape to the Silver Globe

A documentary project about what the filmmakers claim to be the greatest, unfulfilled dream of Polish cinema, the 1970s science fiction epic ‘On the Silver Globe’. Docs to Go! pitch presentation
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Hot Docs/EFP: Changing Face of Europe: Reunited

Mira Jargil’s film title carries neither a question nor an exclamation mark, so we are kept guessing until the end as to whether a Syrian family divided by war can be united once more.
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Hot Docs: Discord in Childhood

Tone Grøttjord-Glenne talks about her documentary All That I Am, a story of pain, strength, resilience and hope, world-premiering in Toronto.
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Thessaloniki Doc Fest: The Fourth Character

In Katerina Patroni’s moving and profound The Fourth Character, selected for International Competition, three Athenians each reflect on the emotional complexities within their seemingly simple lives.
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DOK.fest Munich: Paris Forever

In the 1970s Ulrike Schaz was young, politicised and idealistic. But when she entered the Paris building where, two hours before, Carlos the Jackal had murdered two policemen, her life was to change for ever.
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DOK.fest Munich: What to do…

When Michael Kranz saw footage of a girl forced to work in a Bangladeshi brothel, he decided to do something about it, as evidenced in the Munich selection Was Tun.

Visions du Réel: Over and out

Visions du Réel Artistic Director Emilie Bujès reflects on the leading Swiss doc event, held online in 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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Tribeca: Banksy rules, ok!

'Banksy Most Wanted' grapples with the elusive art phenomenon, genius to some, a Robin Hood-type saviour to others or, to his detractors, a corporate juggernaut who should be unmasked.
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Visions du Réel: Past present

Yeon Park orders a unique present for her father’s birthday, a time travel machine. Her short film describes her fascination for the device, and his subsequent reaction to it.
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Visions du Réel: Past perfect

In Le grand viveur, a film that proves that cinema is first and foremost a visual medium, Perla Sardella delivers a beautiful and elegiac (and ostensibly silent) portrait of a mysterious filmmaker from the past.

Visions du Réel: Brotherly love?

Valentin Merz Tanören’s Brothers – A Family Film is an intimate if ‘autofictional’ account of a relationship between two siblings who seem perennially at odds.
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Visions du Réel: Swiss timing

On the eve of Visions du Réel 2020, Swiss Films Managing Director Catherine Ann Berger talks docs, disruption and the benefits that can be derived from the enforced switch to digital.
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Visions du Réel: 2020 Visions

“The festival is also going to take place in a human way, not just in a click-on-a-link way,” says Emilie Bujès of the online edition of Visions du Réel 2020. “It will still be an exchange among people.”

CPH:DOX. A fractured genius

Self Portrait tells the immensely moving story of anorexia sufferer Lene Marie Fossen, whose photographic portraits, of herself and others, are acclaimed as latter day masterpieces.
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CPH:DOX. Searching for love on the Volga

In his Bitter Love Jurek Sladkowski tells us that while the rest of the world takes to the road to deal their problems, Russians take to the river. In this instance on a Volga cruise ship, full of lonely hearts.
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CPH:DOX. In Memoriam

David Teboul’s Mon Amour is a paean to both love and grief, one which he journeys to Siberia to try and make sense of the death of his lover Frédéric Luzy.
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CPH:DOX. Unresolved trauma

In Songs of Repression, in CPH:DOX Main Competition, the residents of a notorious German settlement in Chile continue to live with the trauma of the past.
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CPH:DOX. Going for gold

In Jozi Gold (F:ACT Competition), eco campaigner Mariette Liefferink has her sights squarely set on South Africa's gold mining industry.
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CPH:DOX. Caught in the Net

Three actresses (who can pass as 12-year-olds) take part in an experiment to investigate the level of child abuse carried out online.
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Docs and monsters

Directed by Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner, the UK/Dutch/German doc A Demonstration, which world-premiered in Berlinale Shorts, is described as a “monster film with no monsters.”


The Finnish short film Akiya lacks humanity, but that’s kind of the point. Director Jonna Kina explains why.
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Teenage resistance

Knoxville/Tennessee filmmaker Douglas McDaniel was at Berlinale DocSalon to raise finance on a number of projects, including Löttken: Rising Nationalism Then and Now about a woman who, as a 15-year-old girl acted a courier for the German Resistance during WW2.
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Sharpening the tools

Selina Murat and Polina Teif spoke at the end of the 4-day pilot DocSalon Toolbox Programme, designed to deliver doc business know-how and connections to creatives from underrepresented groups.

Liberating voices

Andreas Rochholl speaks about his EFM doc The Female Voice of Iran, screening February 26. The film shows the digital methods employed to defy a ban on Iranian women wishing to express themselves via song.

Lisbon in Berlin

When Miguel Ribeiro proclaims the Doclisboa offer to the documentary world, it reads like a manifesto. He explains all to Business Doc Europe.
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Two wheels good

In Dark Rider, currently in advanced post-production, self-confessed petrolhead Eva Küpper follows blind motorbike rider Ben Felton in his pursuit to be the fastest non-sighted person ever on two wheels.

Placed in the Epicentro

Producer Martin Marquet discusses Hubert Sauper’s Epicentro, which won the Grand Jury Prize of Sundance World Cinema Doc Competition, and is sold by Wild Bunch at EFM.

Doc town Biarritz

Managing and artistic director Christine Camdessus explains the raison d’être of French doc fest FIPADOC, which kicks off January 21.

Film Resistance to Oblivion

The Czech director/producer team of Vera Lacková and Jan Bodnár are currently making the feature doc film How I Became a Partisan, about Roma resistance fighters during World War II. The project was selected for the 2019/2020 Ex Oriente Film…
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Smoke gets in your eyes

Chinese/Dutch producer Jia Scheffer talks to BDE about one of IDFA 2019’s audience pleasers, debutante Han Meng’s Smog Town, which illustrates the massive problems inherent within the business of environmental protection.
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Unearthing the treasures of Afghan cinema

The hidden history of Afghan cinema is revealed in Ariel Nasr’s extraordinary feature documentary The Forbidden Reel, which world-premiered in IDFA Frontlight.
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Power fund

The IDFA Bertha Fund has developed into a powerhouse player for new documentary from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe (the so called IBF regions).
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Late blossoming love

Polish filmmakers Małgorzata Goliszewska and Kasia Mateja tell Business Doc Europe about their Lessons of Love, screening at IDFA 2019
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Mother, son, father, daughter

A deeply personal film and testament, Carol Benjamin’s I Owe You a Letter About Brazil tells of three generations of a family living through Brazil’s two-decade military dictatorship (1964-85).
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Hidden genocide

The subject of Somali/Spanish producer Hayat Traspas’ Victims of Impunity is one that she maintains has been kept conveniently hidden for the past two decades.
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Truffle Madness

Jascha de Wilde and Ben Hendriks’ Mad About Truffles, selected for Docs for Sale, illustrates the passions evoked by the most sought-after of culinary delicacies.
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Becoming Black

Becoming Black has one of those jaw dropping storylines that you find from time to time in documentaries about families.
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Mami mia

Laura Herrero Garvin’s impromptu visit to the Cabaret Barba Azul in Mexico City led to her new documentary, La Mami (sold by Dogwoof and a world premiere at IDFA ).

Being Robert Fisk

When director Yung Chang was approached about making a film on journalist and Middle East expert, Robert Fisk, he didn’t hesitate to take the commission.
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Appel on tragedy and tourism

Leading Dutch documentarist John Appel describes his latest feature Once the Dust Settles as a “three-act film with one theme”.
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Moving and grooving at DocLab

This year's DocLab, IDFA’s showcase for innovation, experimentation and a satisfying touch of weird, moves to the Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam North.
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An exile speaks

For a man living in exile, who has spent several years in prison and who is on the wrong side of Vladimir Putin, former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky cuts a surprisingly cheerful figure.