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…
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.
The Bosnian capital’s first Gay Pride celebration in 2019 provides the dramatic backdrop for Ado Hasanović’s short documentary, selected for Sarajevo FF.
Three further projects were pitched at Sarajevo, on the nature of memory, the legacy of freethinking in the time of Czech Normalisation, and an intimate confession from a woman to her brother.
It may be beautiful but Český Krumlov, the second most visited city in the Czech Republic, is unrecognisable as an urban community. The reason? Over-tourism. Meanwhile, in Elevation, an ageing Ukrainian ski-coach confronts his demons in search of renewed success.
Algerian/Swiss filmmaker Mohammed Soudani talks to Business Doc Europe about his upcoming doc project that argues that the future of Africa belongs to women.
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.
In Domovine, Serb director Jelena Maksimovic goes on an odyssey to discover both her familial and philosophical homelands.
Jean-Pierre Rehm talks to Business Doc Europe of his relief at being able to run a ‘non-virtual’ FID Marseille, which again sets out to blur the lines between documentary, fiction and experimental within its programme.
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.
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.
Gosia Juszczak’s film, world-premiering in Sheffield’s In the World strand, tells a story both of exploitation within, and irregular migration from, the small African country of Gambia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
35% budget cut means fewer films in overall selection but doc levels same as 2019 with 8 films each in Italian/international programmes. At Cannes, Torino FF presents 4 docs-in-progress, together with Festival dei Popoli and the Piemonte/Toscana Film Commissions.
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.
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.
Vienna-based documentary powerhouse Autlook is tweaking its strategy in response to the challenges presented by the Covid pandemic. (Photo by Andre Csillag/REX/Shutterstock)
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.
Italian director Alessandro Cattaneo addresses our all too human relationship with, and attitude to, animals in his feature-length documentary, selected for Hot Docs.
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.
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.
As this is Poland, then there had to be a project about the beautiful game - but producer Maciej Ostatek is looking to make an altogether different kind of football documentary.
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.
Marta Duzbabel’s With A Passion Production, founded in 2019, presents two new documentary projects in development, both strong human interest stories, at KFF Docs to Start.
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.
Polish producer Ania Gawlita (Kijora Film) has a busy festival with two major pitches in KFF Industry and two films in official selection.
Levan is a drunk whose every decision is influenced by its potential effect on his hypochondriac mother, so he generally does nothing at all. He also happens to have been one of Georgia’s most creative musicians…
Icelandic filmmaker Yrsa Roca Fannberg’s feature-length documentary shows life on a remote sheep farm, all set within a wider continuum of birth and rebirth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Epicentro won the big doc prize at Sundance and is now in CPH:DOX Main Competition. Producer Martin Marquet spoke to BDE at Sundance.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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,
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.
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…
Facing deportation, hundreds of refugee children in Sweden have become afflicted with resignation syndrome, in which they withdraw into a coma-like state, trapped in a perpetual sleep lasting months or even years.
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.
Oscar Short Doc nomination interview: Carol Dysinger, Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)
In Kabul's Skateistan, girls learn to read and write… and skate, all the time experiencing a sense of empowerment both from their engagement in the activity and the inspiration of the women who teach them.
Mark Stucke of UK online distributor Journeyman Pictures outlines his approach to the business of attaching eyeballs to high quality docs.
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.
Director Frank Herrebout discusses his feature doc about the only artwork to be placed on the Moon.
Tamara Kotevska, co-director of Honeyland, Oscar-shortlisted for both Doc Feature and Best International Feature, talks to Business Doc Europe.
Kim Longinotto’s new documentary Shooting The Mafia (IDFA Masters) was conceived in unlikely fashion.
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.
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.
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.
In Prison for Profit the Van Velzen twins point the finger at multi-national security firm G4S and its dealings in South Africa.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.