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San Sebastian interview: Antonio Mendez Esparza on Courtroom 3H

Courtroom 3H is Spanish director Antonio Mendez Esparza’s first doc and follows on, in essence, from his fictional Life and Nothing More (2017) which depicted the inherent lyricism within the lives of a black teenager and his minimum-wage mother in one…
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Impression of an accidental piano

Pripyat Piano, a short creative documentary by noted Czech composer and filmmaker Eliška Cílková, reveals a hidden memory of ghost town, Pripyat, home to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The film is part of the IDF East Silver Caravan.
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Locarno Pardi di Domani: The De Facto Martyr Suite

French director Justine de Gasquet, currently studying cinema at HEAD Geneva, discusses her archive-based short film about African-American culture, as told through the testimony of Prisoner no. 74A3701.

FIDLab pitch: Cinema beyond confinement

Sharon Lockhart’s project Baumettes seeks to create a different kind of cinema for (and about) an environment where the cinematic experience is not possible – prisons.
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FIDLab pitch: Making a big noise

The Krakatoa explosion is considered to be the loudest noise in recorded history, and forms the basis of Carlos Casas’ multiplatform and immersive doc/fiction project of the same name.
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Cannes Docs: Definite Article

For Emi Ueyama of Japanese Article Films, who has signed up as one of Cannes Docs’ featured exhibitors in 2020, business under corona has hardly been affected, she tells BDE.
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Cannes Marché: Broken system, root cause slavery

In the summer in which George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, Bernard Attal’s new feature documentary Restless is a film with an obvious, added topical resonance, dealing with an unexplained act of police brutality.
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Cannes Docs: Geo-diversity assessed during Marché panel

During its Cannes Doc panel on June 24, Ji.hlava IDFF presented updated findings about geo-representation across international film festivals, prompting festival directors and programmers to discuss their selection rationale and modus operandi.
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Cannes Marché: Home sweet home

Marc Isaacs’ new feature The Filmmakers’ House is labelled as “documentary.” Some doc purists, though, may be startled by the director’s freewheeling approach toward a project which was indeed shot in his own house.
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Cannes Docs goes full CIRCLE

The CIRCLE Women Doc Accelerator training initiative presents four docs-in-progress during Cannes Docs, each from a CIRCLE alumnus. Founder and program director Biljana Tutorov tells BDE about each, in a round-about way.
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CANNES DOCS: Time to Rise and Shine

Leading Berlin-based doc sales specialist Rise and Shine presents a slate of recent festival successes, as well as Scars, the new film by Agnieszka Zwiefka, featuring in German Films Previews.
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Marché: Metrafilms in from the cold

Leading Russian outfit Metrafilms is getting back into the documentary groove with an espionage thriller as embroiled and complex as anything found in dramatised spy movies.
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Cannes Docs: Singing in Ukraine

This was set to be the first Cannes outing for Ukrainian Docudays UA and promo body Ukrainian Institute. Instead, the showcase of new Ukrainian doc projects in post-production goes ahead online during Cannes Docs 2020.
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Krakow FF pitch: Until the Wedding (Docs to Go!)

Polish Daniel Stopa conducts a very personal investigation into the business of love and matrimony in his latest documentary project, currently in post-production and produced by Staroń Film.
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Krakow market pitch: Boylesque (CEDOC)

Bogna Kowalczyk’s Boylesque tells of 80-year old drag queen Lula who, after the suicide of his best friend, picks himself up, dusts himself down and goes in search of new love.
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The future of cinema is happening now!

Following its successful online roll-out in May 2020, DOK.fest Munich director Daniel Sponsel offers nine arguments, and draws nine conclusions, concerning the future of theatrical documentary film.
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Krakow market pitch: The Plague (CEDOC)

Polish director Monika Kotecka discusses her project The Plague - which draws parallels between the current coronavirus and the 1963 smallpox outbreak in Wroclaw - ahead of its pitch during the CEDOC market.

Hot Docs/EFP: Changing Face of Europe: Two Roads

The road they take may be ‘one less travelled by’, but Czech disabled band The Tap Tap pack as much energy and vitality into their performances (and their lives in general) as any Mick, Jimi or Slash combo.
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Thessaloniki Doc Fest: The Prophet and the Space Aliens

The premise may seem ludicrous, a modern-day prophet guided by aliens, but Yoav Shamir takes his subject seriously, and even questions whether the back stories of more famous prophets (Jesus/Moses et al) aren’t just as fanciful.
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For June, read Sheffield

Patrick Hurley, Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Director of Marketplace & Talent, talks to Business Doc Europe about the festival’s online industry offer for June 2020.
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Swiss docs to Munich

Documentaries from Switzerland feature at DOK.fest Munich, both in the festival line-up and within the Marketplace presentations. Swiss Docs Catherine Ann Berger also reflects on the recent online Visions du Réel.
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Visions du Réel: Peter Mettler Masterclass

At Visions du Réel, Canadian/Swiss filmmaker Peter Mettler discussed films, time and flying (and all of its inherent contradictions), during a fascinating and entertaining 2-hour online address.

Visions du Réel: Swiss Previews 2020

On May 4 Swiss Films presents an overview of five promising Swiss docs in production, which are about to be launched onto the festival circuit and for worldwide distribution.

Visions du Réel: The Edge of Trauma

Oscar-nominated Petra Costa delivered a highly entertaining and provocative masterclass at VdR during which she discussed her feature films and motivations, specifically the ‘black hole’ of personal trauma.
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Visions du Réel: Ethnographic odyssey

Shot over four decades, Anerca, Breath of Life (Markku Lehmuskallio, Johannes Lehmuskallio, Anastasia Lapsui) is an ethnographic odyssey through the indigenous cultures of northern Europe and North America.

Broomfield on lockdown

Self-isolating with his son Charlie over in California, UK doc maestro Nick Broomfield talks corona, Trump and editing on Zoom, as well as his return to the world of gangsta rap.
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Visions du Réel: Sound and vision

Daniel Kemény’s Sòne is a visual and aural treat for the viewer, and a film which, for the director, marks an emotional return to the Italian village of his childhood.
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Visions du Réel: Three’s Company

In Trio, selected for Medium/Short Competition we are reminded of what long school trips were really like, as well as the tough business of being an adolescent.
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Visions du Réel: Laughing in the face of adversity

In times of global meltdown/lockdown (delete as appropriate), it’s a relief to watch a LOL doc, even if the subject is not a laughing matter. Rodrigo Muñoz discusses his short doc Le prix du bonheur.
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Visions du Réel: Under the Tuscan Sun

Czech producer Alice Tabery discusses her Traces of a Landscape (Int’l Medium and Short Comp), about an artist and the place he returns to again and again for inspiration.
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A Dutch movie that matters

A winner at Movies that Matter, Dutch doc Stop Filming Us concerns the stereotypical (some may say lazy) depiction of Africa and Africans by docmakers.
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CPH:DOX. Colorado to Copenhagen

In Eva Marie Rødbro’s feature debut I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die, which screened in Danish:Dox, Betty is a mother of two living on the breadline in Colorado Springs.
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CPH:DOX. Standing Accused

Former CPH:DOX winner Mohammed Ali Naqvi returns to Copenhagen (at least in spirit) with The Accused, a film about the febrile debate raging in Pakistan over its blasphemy laws.
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CPH:DOX. Money talks (but not very sensibly)

Going back to basics in order to understand economic mechanisms is a laudable intention, and one that director Carmen Losmann tackles with vigour, humour and a genuine sense of curiosity in her feature-length doc Oeconomia.  But when the axiomatic principles on…
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CPH:DOX. Island haunted by the past

Lotta Petronella’s Själö – Island of Souls, world-premiering in NORDIC:DOX seeks to re-interpret the history of a former leper asylum off the Finnish coast, now a centre for scientific research.
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CPH:DOX. The beauty of bones

In her debut feature documentary Ecstasy Moara Passoni tells the story of her teenage anorexia, her joyous immersion into delirium and the supreme sense of power and control it gave her.
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CPH:DOX. Where elephants go to die

Cemetery, available for viewing on the CPH:DOX public platform, comprises both a lyrical and trippy sojourn to the mythical last resting place of the magnificent jungle beast.
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CPH:DOX. Cuba to Copenhagen

Epicentro won the big doc prize at Sundance and is now in CPH:DOX Main Competition. Producer Martin Marquet spoke to BDE at Sundance.
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CPH:DOX. It’s all in the edit

Editing consultancy Rough Cut Service, founded by leading Finnish producer Iikka Vehkalahti and the late (and renowned) Dutch editor Menno Boerema, can boast of work on six films selected for CPH:DOX 2020, including Bitter Love by Jerzy Sladkowski in Main Competition.

The future is Archive

EFM and DocSalon organised an inaugural Archive Day during Berlinale 2020, with the aim of uniting filmmakers with archive libraries to augment, improve or indeed form the basis of their future audiovisual works.

A Tale of Wonders

From the idyllic German lake of Walchansee to Mexico, the Greek islands and San Francisco for the Summer of Love, Janna Ji Wonders tells the complex and at times tragic story of her family.

City of Sand

In Berlinale Forum selection Victoria, directed by Flemish filmmakers Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer and Isabelle Tollenaere, we encounter a latter-day pioneer, Lashay, who has left behind a grim past in LA in favour of a new life in the desert…
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Opening the Toolbox

DocSalon manager Nadja Tennstedt and Themba Bhebhe, EFM Diversity & Inclusion, talk to Business Doc Europe about the new initiative designed to deliver doc business know-how and connections to creatives from underrepresented groups,
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Taskovski busy but mindful

With four films in Berlinale Forum as well as her recent pick-up of ecodoc Sanctuary, starring the Bardem brothers, doc doyenne Irena Taskovski has even greater plans to save stressed out film execs from themselves.
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IFFR interview: Paolo Pisanelli, Two Forgotten Boxes

When Italian director Paolo Pisanelli decided to organise an exhibition of photographic works by legendary filmmaker Cecilia Mangini, little did he know that he would help unearth a forgotten treasure trove of photos she had taken in Vietnam in 1965, during…
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Analogue odyssey

Director/producer Jens Meurer on his new documentary An Impossible Project, about the rebirth of the Polaroid camera and the man who made it possible.

To boldly go…

Mark Stucke of UK online distributor Journeyman Pictures outlines his approach to the business of attaching eyeballs to high quality docs.

Support grows for new European doc body DAE

Brigid O’Shea spoke to Business Doc Europe about DAE (Documentary Association of Europe), the new pan-European body designed to look after the interests of European doc professionals, which will launch at EFM 2020.

Tale of a Fallen Astronaut

Director Frank Herrebout discusses his feature doc about the only artwork to be placed on the Moon.

Sweet smell of success

Tamara Kotevska, co-director of Honeyland, Oscar-shortlisted for both Doc Feature and Best International Feature, talks to Business Doc Europe.
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Recounting the horror

Renowned filmmaker Jørgen Leth talks about the devastating earthquake in Haiti and his redemptive journey into the jungles of Laos, as detailed in his IDFA competition title I Walk.
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Face to Faith

If you don’t know about the warrior monks living in seclusion in Italy, you would never believe they could have ever existed. Business Docs Europe talks to Valentina Pedicini, director of Faith.
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A Dane in Colorado

Eva Marie Rødbro’s debut doc I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die is a seering study of poverty in the US, and a sensitiveportrait of a friend.

Crusading twins

In Prison for Profit the Van Velzen twins point the finger at multi-national security firm G4S and its dealings in South Africa.
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Norway do docs do business

Ask most professionals active within the European marketplace where the current epicentre of documentary activity is to be found, and the answer will invariably be Norway.

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.

Don Quixote with a camera

A ubiquitous presence at documentary festivals around the world, much loved Canadian documentary guru Peter Wintonick (1953-2013) is the subject of a feature doc himself.
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Fat Front in Amsterdam

It’s big and it’s bold, it’s fat, fun and fearless. And to any detractors out there, including fat-shaming YouTuber Nicole Arbour, it’s 'get a life'.
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iHuman – the shape of things to come?

Tonje Hessen Schei’s iHuman offers a sobering, some may argue terrifying, assessment of AI and its seemingly inevitable trajectory towards a state of self-sufficiency.