INTERVIEWS

Cannes Docs interview: Shamira Raphaëla, Chair of the New Dawn Fund

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The Dutch filmmaker and Chair of the 10-member fund that aims to address inequities in representation across current international funding systems, talks to BDE ahead of her ‘Soapbox’ key-note at Cannes Docs May 21. After a 3-year pilot, Fund members, which include the likes of the Netherlands Film Fund, Screen Ireland, VAF and Telefilm Canada, are set to sign a new 2-year agreement through to 2026.

Cannes Classics: The Scenario Of My Life, François Truffaut by David...

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David Teboul talks to BDE about his new doc that takes on one of the titans of French cinema. “The idea of the film started with this incredible material,” the director says. “I had the trust of [Truffaut’s daughters] Eva and Laura Truffaut so I had access to personal unpublished archives, interviews, letters and photos…I was able to make an intimate portrait…from the point of view of Truffaut. This has never been done before.”

Semaine de la Critique: Las novias del sur (Southern Brides) by...

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In her 40-minute doc, Elena López Riera talks to mature women from Southern Spain, some as old as 103, about their experience of love (or otherwise), marriage and sex. All the time López Riera acknowledges that she will never be one of the numerous brides we see on screen culled from archive, nor will she be part of the “inheritance” process of child-rearing. The film is dedicated to her mother, with whom she has hitherto never been able to talk intimately, and whose image as a young bride herself we see continuously on screen.

Cannes Docs-in-Progress: Palestine Showcase, May 19

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At Marché du Film, BDE spoke to May Odeh of the Palestinian Film Institute (PFI). The body is visiting the Croisette on the occasion of the May 19 Palestine Showcase, where the focus is placed on four new non-fiction projects. “It aims to spotlight the talent, creativity, and diversity within the Palestinian filmmaking community, providing a platform for Palestinian filmmakers to share their stories and perspectives with an international audience,” underlines Odeh of the Cannes event.

Cannes Special Screening: Ernest Cole: Lost and Found by Raoul Peck

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In his latest doc, world-premiering at Cannes 2024, Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck tells the story of Ernest Cole, the brilliant South African photographer who highlighted the horrors of apartheid before his untimely passing at the age of just 49. “Some of those photos that you find in [Cole’s book] House Of Bondage followed me over years of political activism,” Peck explains his strong identification with the late South African’s work.

Cannes Docs-in-Progress: Switzerland Showcase, May 19

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In 2024 Switzerland is the Country of Honour at the Cannes Marché, and celebrated at a series of events organised with Swiss Films in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR. At Cannes Docs May 19 Swiss Films will further present, together with Visions du Réel, four Docs-in-Progress to the Cannes professional audience. BDE spoke to the producers of the new works.

NEWS

Cannes L’Œil d’or awarded to Ernest Cole: Lost and...

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The 2024 L’Œil d’or jury comprising Nicolas Philibert, Dyana Gaye, Elise Jalladeau, Francis Legault and Mina Kavani decided to award two films ex aequo. These were Ernest Cole: Lost and Found by Raoul Peck in Special Screenings and Les Filles du Nil by Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir in Critics Week.

Cannes Docs debate: Raoul Peck and Dominic Asmall Willsdon

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On May 21, Cannes’ Marché du Film hosted a talk titled “Fighting for the Commons in a Time of Critical Destabilisation.” The event saw the participation of director-producer Raoul Peck and Dominic Asmall Willsdon, IDA’s Executive Director. In particular, Peck zoomed in on his Ernest Cole: Lost and Found (showcased in the Special Screenings strand), and on advocacy, capitalism and how doc production has changed over the last 30 years, among other topics.

Sheffield DocFest unveils juries for 31st edition

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The fifteen jury members will assess new works across the International Competition, First Feature Competition, Short Film Competition, The Tim Hetherington Award and International Alternate Realities Competition sections. The festival also announced details of masterclasses and a conversation with revered sound editor Walter Murch. The 31st Sheffield DocFest runs from Wednesday 12 – Monday 17 June.

US director Morgan Spurlock dies aged 53 

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The family of maverick award-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock announced May 24 the director’s death in New York resulting from cancer complications. Spurlock, who passed away May 23, achieved worldwide recognition following his groundbreaking 2004 documentary Super Size Me, for which he received an Oscar® nomination.

Industry news: Varda footage available for student use online

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Film students around the world will have the opportunity to use images from the work of French filmmaker Agnes Varda (1928-2019) thanks to an extraordinary new project that will make Varda’s rushes available on an online platform. They can then be downloaded and edited in any way the students see fit. “The platform is going to be online in June,” explains Varda’s daughter Rosalie Varda whose family production company Ciné-Tamaris has been shepherding the project.

Warm opening for 17th Beldocs, May 22-29

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The 2024 Beldocs program hosts 103 films, among which are 13 world, one European, 59 regional and 24 Serbian premieres. Ten films screen in International Competition while a dozen are selected for Serbian Comp. Twenty-three developing projects at different phases of production are selected for Beldocs Industry. The 17th edition of Beldocs opened May 22 with Dragan Jovićević’s Warm Film.

REVIEWS

Cannes Special Screenings review: Filmlovers! by Arnaud Desplechin

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A glorious celebration of the power of cinema – and almost as importantly, of cinemas themselves – Arnaud Desplechin’s intimate and personal examination of what it means to go to the movies takes a meanderingly thoughtful journey through the history of film, delivering a warm, provocative and often thoughtfully enjoyable ‘cinematic hug’ for film lovers.

Cannes Classics review: Jim Henson Idea Man by Ron Howard

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A lovingly reverential portrait of the most famous puppeteer of all time, Jim Henson, creator of Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and other fantastical worlds, Howard's film offers eye-opening insights into Henson’s background, delivers anecdotes which will be new to many, and all the time propels this reviewer on a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Cannes Special Screening review: La belle de Gaza by Yolande Zauberman

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French director Yolande Zauberman’s documentary La belle de Gaza, which world-premiered May 17 as a Special Screening at Cannes, has an unapologetically straightforward approach to the trans women it portrays - which is both its weakness and its strength. One thing to note: the film isn’t set in, nor is it about, Gaza.

Cannes Special Screening review: The Invasion by Sergei Loznitsa

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For two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, director Sergei Loznitsa filmed life across Ukraine. A companion piece to his remarkable 2014 documentary Maidan, about Ukraine’s civil uprising against political alignment with Russia, The Invasion shows the Ukrainian people to be just as stoic and resilient in times of war.

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