students' film forum 2017
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
The students’ film forum is back!
After its introduction in 2015, we are pleased to host the second students’ film forum as a fully integrated part of this year’s freiburger film forum. Instead of showing all films at a stretch, this year’s selection of 22 debut films from over 15 different countries is spread over the whole festival week. The new structure enables young filmmakers and visual anthropologists to exchange with established professionals and the audience to get a glimpse at the students’ section each day of the festival.
Unlike the long-standing film forum, the students’ section is still coming of age. Making use of this potential, we open a space for controversial approaches, daring methods and unusual ideas addressing cultural and sociopolitical issues. We are not interested in competition or technical perfection, but originality of content and form. The selection covers a wide range of oeuvres in the field of visual anthropology, graduation projects and independent filmmaking. Our aim to invite all filmmakers in person led to intense discussions and sustaining synergies during the last festival, and we hope for the same productive interactions this year.
We are especially delighted to host YANGON FILM SCHOOL, a Berlin-based NGO considered as a ‘milestone in capacity building’, that provides Burmese students from diverse backgrounds with film and media training by professional tutors. Based on a sample of four short films - TYRES, MY LEG, SWEETIE PIE, MY GRANDFATHER’S HOUSE - we want to discuss the challenges and chances of an ambitious film school in a country full of restrictions towards critical documentary.
In personal filmmaking, the filmmakers themselves come into focus. MAY 9TH, HOLY GOD, HOME IS NOT A PLACE and (SELF)EXHIBITIONS reflect on sensitive topics, such as family history and identity struggles. On the boundary between reflection and revelation, private life is made public. In many cases, telling your own story also implies telling the story of others. But what if memory and narrative no longer exist in a continuum of space and time? SCORCHED WATER uses the ambiguity of myth and daily life to trace the roots of the Axolotl, a Mexican walking fish, that is always in transition. WHO’S YOUR GRANDFATHER, depicts how memories of myths remain in the sound of drums; experiences are blurred into a feverish dream sequence in LETTER FROM KORLAI and THESE OBJECTS, THOSE MEMORIES traces memories of migration in daily objects. In an extended Q&A on this triple feature, we will discuss the depiction of memory and narrative within different visual and acoustic approaches.
In the lecture program on SAYDNAYA, editor Simone Rowat will elaborate on the methods of the research group Forensic Architecture. Reconstructing the notorious Syrian torture prison, the web-documentary reveals human rights violation in an ongoing war through a virtual 3-D environment.
Regardless of country and nationality, place and condition of residence are crucial to the vital spirit. We accompany the daily life of elder residents at different parts of the world in the double feature of ONE BUILDING AND FOURTY PEOPLE DANCING and SILVER HOLIDAY. Humorous moments indicate a life full of ups and downs. And sometimes, the narrative does not rely on a human subject in order to tell something. SERIOUS APPARITIONS and KALTES TAL sense the atmosphere of two places between the poles of nature and industry. In combination with THE ROCK (p. 65), this triple feature broadens the perception of labor by three different rhythmic approaches, each convincing through its own vigorous visual language. Another worthwhile pairing with AN INJURY TO ONE (p. 20), will be LIMPIADORES. Though the historical settings of both films differ, they depict an equally determined fight for labor rights by those who are often treated as invisible by society.
“America the Beautiful” – a focus on the US, afar from the weary discussion on current politics, is also reflected in young filmmakers’ works. I’M NOT LEAVING ELDON approaches cultural identity in the Mid-West, whereas RATTLE THEM BARS outlines a self-established communication infrastructure by prisoners on the margins of society. Accompanying this year’s themed series of the main program, John Gianvito will give a MASTERCLASS ON COMMITTED FILMMAKING, sharing his experiences as curator as well as his achievements as a filmmaker (p. 63).
In our late-night screenings of TEHRAN DERBY and LIVES OF MECCA, we take all nocturnal cineastes onto a journey into two very different, but equally preserved, communities of men facing their struggles with state, sports and emotional burdens. CITIES OF SLEEP offers an anthropological, but similarly thrilling, portrait of a community in Delhi, where nighttime divides society in terms of privilege and safe sleep appears to be the biggest privilege after all.
Join us to establish the students’ film forum once again, as a tradition in transition. We cordially invite you to attend our discussions and look forward to an exciting second edition.
Hannes Bürkel / Eva Hoffmann / Miki Feller.
With the kind support of Innovationsfonds Kunst Baden-Württemberg; Goethe Institut Myanmar; Rosa-Luxemburg- Stiftung; iz3W; SEZ – Stiftung Entwicklungs-Zusammenarbeit Baden Württemberg.
Tue, May 23rd
THE ROCK (freiburger film forum)
Swathed from head to toe in black, a woman is breaking stones out of a rock wall using a crowbar and her bare hands. For several minutes we watch her prying, pushing, bashing, awkwardly wrestling in her flapping robes, until the block she is after finally comes crashing down, right next to the lens of the low camera and her bare feet. (…) In a stone cave dwelling they built themselves, she tends to her elderly husband before returning the next day to the never-ending work. Her daily routine resembles the torment of Sisyphus – a dusty chore she is doomed to repeat forever. The stony, reddish moonlike landscape of southern Iran and the traditional way of life lend an almost biblical atmosphere to this serene, aesthetically filmed visual poem. (idfa)
Iran 2015 | 25 min | .mp4 H.264 | OV with English subtitles
Director, Production: Hamid Jafari; Cinematography: Arastoo Givi; Sound: Alireza Daryadel; Editor: Esmaeel Monsef; Distribution: Hamid Jafari email@example.com
Machines move slowly across the landscape, smoke stacks gradually change their shape, trains roll smoothly through the image. Not much is happening in SERIOUS APPARITIONS and still something is taking place. The photographic images and their minimal alteration generate a sense of time in contrast to the industrial rhythm of the machines. At the same time the landscape is visible as technologically textured and spatially fragmented and is presented to the viewer as an aesthetic, sculptural object.
Germany 2017 | 22 min | DCP | no dialogue
Director, Script, Cinematography, Editor, Sound, Production: Viktor Brim; Contact: www.khm.de
KALTES TAL experiments with different spaces and the transitions in between them. Aesthetic and documentary forms are merged to take the viewer into a real but mythic world of a limestone factory. The white limestone is processed and returned to the forest in order to protect it from acid rain. The film deals with this circle of resource exploitation and the attempt of reinstating an ecological equilibrium. Explosions of rocks in slow motion, white chalk dust covering everything and the camera floating through the forest create a transcendental world that blurs the dichotomy of nature and human action.
Germany 2016 | 12 min | DCP | no dialogue
Director, Script, Cinematography, Editing: Johannes Krell, Florian Fischer; Production: Stephan Helmut Beier, Ray Peter Maletzki, ROSENPICTURES Filmproduktion GbR; Contact: www.kaltes-tal-film.de
Tue, May 23rd
SCORCHED WATER – ATL TLACHINOLLI
The Axolotl is a fascinating creature for a number of reasons, including its grotesque appearance, its ability to regenerate and primarily the fact that it exhibits the phenomenon known as neoteny, meaning that it retains characters of the larval stage all through its adult life. It lives in the lakes surrounding Mexico City and is believed to be immortal. In the film, the Axolotl a.k.a. Mexican walking fish, becomes a metaphor for Mexico City itself, in an essayistic inquiry into survival and adaptation. Alexander Hick: “Beginning with a collection of impressions and quotes about the Axolotl, it´s the film itself that goes through metamorphosis: The places, the people, the protagonists, the atmosphere, everything goes through gradual change. I am interested in documentary filmmaking as a process, where the outcome is at first unpredictable, undefined." (Astra Film Festival)
Mexico, Germany 2015 | 76 min | DCP | OV with English subtitles
Director, Cinematography: Alexander Hick; Script: Alexander Hick, Ileana Villareal; Editor: Julian Sarmiento; Sound: Anna Lozano, Luis Palomino; Music: Juan Pablo Villa; Production: Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München, Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica, A.C.; Contact: www.flippingthecoin.de
Wed, May 24th
There are many reasons to visit the village of Bama in Guangxi, a region in south-eastern China. The magnetic fields might take the poison out of your body, the air appears to be the cleanest in the world and gymnastics in the lush green will bring you sheer happiness. At least that’s what Chen Guo and his wife, both in their 80’s, came for. They hope to become one of the dozens of centenarians, whose remarkable wealth gives proof of their expectations. While following them around in their new home, filmmaker Deepti Rao gives a humorous and yet sensitive insight into their daily life.
China, India 2016 | 12 min | HD Videofile | OV with English subtitles
Director, Script, Cinematography: Deepti Rao; Editor: Robert Gottman; Sound: Spacebot Entertainment; Production: Michael Mellemløkken, Qing Chun Tang; Contact: www.deeptirao.com
ONE BUILDING AND FOURTY PEOPLE DANCING
In the Israeli city of Bat-Yam, at a small square opposite the concert hall, there is a deteriorating public-housing building. Most of the time the square is deserted, only a few people sit outside between the palms, and sometimes a passer-by looks over to the house. In there, every now and then, someone walks up and down the stairs or smokes a cigarette in the corridor. On sabbat, we visit six of the elder inhabitants in their cramped flats. Silently, we observe how each of them handles the decay in his or her own way. Fascinated by this place the director, Miki Polonski, shot his thesis film about the relationship between these individuals, whose lives have happened to coincide here. Screening as a double feature with: SILVER HOLIDAY.
Israel 2015 | 48 min | DCP | OV with English subtitles
Director, Script: Miki Polonski; Cinematography: Naday Ben Zur; Editor: Katia Shepeliavaya; Production: Miki Polonski, Minshar For Art; Sound: Rotem Dror
Thu, May 25th
COMMITTED FILMMAKING - Masterclass with John Gianvito
Each year the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar nominates a new curator who has the unique chance to select and present a comprehensive week-long film program. John Gianvito curated an explicit political selection in 2003 with the inconspicuous title “Witnessing the World”. „As the disparity between rich and poor exponentially widens, and the leveraging of concentrated power is placed in the hands of fewer and fewer people, the planet confronts a laundry list of perils the scale of which is apt to leave the most stalwart activist awestruck and mute. And, more parochially, the question arises – what is a filmmaker to do? (…) If John Dewey’s assessment was correct that ‚Politics is the shadow cast on society by big business‘, then these are films seeking to pierce the murk, sparking and splaying all kinds of interesting new light.” (Flaherty Seminar catalogue) Gianvito’s own films exemplify this activist approach combined with the awareness of a true cineaste. The cinematic form of his films is extracted from the thematic subject and not just a conventional envelope. In his masterclass, Gianvito presents several excerpts and his part of the collective project, FAR FROM AFGHANISTAN, and will fold up and discuss a spectrum of film aesthetics, which traces the history and spirit of committed filmmaking into the present.
John Gianvito is a filmmaker, curator and film critic. He studied at CalArts and MIT Boston and taught film production and history at various universities. In 2001, he was made a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. For five years he was the programmer at the Harvard Film Archive. 2009 - 13 he served on the board of the Flaherty Seminar and, up to now, on the advisory board. At present, he is a professor of film at Emerson College, Boston. He made his first feature film in 1983 (THE FLOWER OF PAIN), but soon turned to essay and documentary works. THE MAD SONGS OF FERNANDA HUSSEIN (2001) is an essayistic feature about America during the time period of the Persian Gulf War. In his shortest film, PROFIT MOTIVE AND THE WHISPERING WIND (2007, 58 min), he puts the audience face to face with numerous memorial plaques about historic revolts (and massacres) that stand against the loss of national memory. Then he worked for years on two expansive projects about the environmental and health damage that was caused by the US bases in the Philippines: VAPOR TRAIL (CLARK) (2010) and WAKE: SUBIC (2016). FAR FROM AFGHANISTAN (2012) is a collective work, in which Jon Jost, Soon-Mi Yoo, Minda Martin, Travis Wilkerson and Gianvito each realized their very own take on the war in Afghanistan and its meaning for the American people.
Thu, May 25th
WHO IS YOUR GRANDFATHER?
During an annual Mossi people ritual, which takes place in Oueguedo in Burkina Faso, stories of the ancestors are told in drum language. “Who is your grandfather?” cries the master of the ceremony to the chief of the tribe and to all those present, after the ritual sacrifice of a beast. “Who is your grandfather?” In response, the ‘benda’ gives the names of ancestors and tells the anecdotes that relate to them, in rhythm. This is how the oral history is transmitted from generation to generation. Although the idea for the film was inspired by the writings and field studies of the Japanese anthropologist Junzo Kawada, the result is, surprisingly, scarcely academic. Playing with the image editing to find a shared form between the cinematographic gesture and the rite, here it is the sensorial experience that takes precedence over knowledge in a fusion of rhythm and words. We will not understand everything that happens on screen, and, how could we? WHO IS YOUR GRANDFATHER? thus sounds like an anthropological film saying its goodbyes to scientific knowledge through the medium of cinema itself. (Visions du Réel)
Germany 2016 | 24 min | DCP | OV with English subtitles
Director: Sunjah Kim, Rikisaburo Sato; Script, Editor: Sunjha Kim; Cinematography: Rikisaburo Sato; Sound: Judith Nordbrock; Production: Erwin Michelberger
THESE OBJECTS, THOSE MEMORIES
How can you keep your most precious memories, when everything is left behind? Working in Cape Town, South Africa, three migrant women from Zimbabwe found a keeper of their past in material culture, they brought with them: The baby blanket, a son back in Zimbabwe used to sleep on. The stove that was a present from father and brother back home. The first camera in the family. In a split screen, Roger Horn arranges the women's narrations of key moments in their lives with objects they connect with these memories. His unusual technique opens a space for associations and contemplation as well as a feeling of the past and an omnipresent longing for a return to Zimbabwe. THESE OBJECTS, THOSE MEMORIES is the center of Horn’s PhD research in Visual Anthropology at the University of Cape Town.
South Africa 2017 | 29 min | HD Videofile | OV with English subtitles
Director, Script, Cinematographer, Editor, Producer: Roger Horn; Sound: Dylan Ford; Contact: www.roger-horn.com
LETTER FROM KORLAI
Grainy 16mm images and a voice reading a fictional letter unfold a phantasmagoric, indeterminate space. The images of the village of Korlai on India’s Konkan coast present themselves as a surface that is haptic rather than visual while the elegiac voiceover maps out an inner world of remembrance and associations. LETTER FROM KORLAI ultimately creates a subjective vision and personal memory of Korlai in which the viewer can insert herself, can fade-in and out again, and let her own memories and visions surface.
India 2016 | 22 min | DCP | OV
Director, Script: Aman Wadhan; Cinematography: Niraj Samad; Editor: Nachiket Waikar; Sound: Bhanu Dhande; Production: Aman Wadhan, Film and Television Institute of India
Short film program - Yangon Film School
Fri, May 26th
Shot in observational style in one room, the short portrait tells us about the interactions between a little grandson and his old grandfather, who takes care of the young one. It is an intimate relationship of joy, love and humor, which sometimes can be stressful for the old. The director, Sai Kong Kham, is a student of the Yangon Film School and SWEETIE PIE was his first film as director.
Myanmar 2011 | 7 min | DCP | OV with English subtitles
Director: Sai Kong Kham, Cinematography: Seng Mai, Editor: Hnin Ei Hlaing, Sound: Isaac, Production: Yangon Film School; Contact: www.yangonfilmschool.org
What makes a tyre a tyre, and what is crafted out of the many worn out truck tyres? The film delves into the art of recycling tyres in Myanmar’s former capital. The dismantling, reordering and transformation of tyre materials into new products offers beautiful insights into the flow of work, the skills of craftsmen and women, socio-material interactions and creativity. Captured with a close observational camera and the aesthetic look of black and white images, the film closely follows the daily rhythm of work of tyre recyclers. Each of them is specialized in a certain product made out of tyres. Kyaw Myo Lwin joined the Yangon Film School in 2007 where he has since worked as sound recordist and editor on several films. TYRES was his directorial debut.
Myanmar 2013 | 30 min | DCP | OV with English subtitles
Director: Kyaw Myo Lwin; Cinematography: Aung Ko Ko; Editor: Myo Min khin; Sound: Hnin Ei Hlaing, Zaw Win Htwe, Thaiddhi; Production: Yangon Film School; Contact: www.yangonfilmschool.org
The long lasting, continuous civil war in Myanmar has left its traces and injuries on the human body and soul, as well as on society. Since 2007, almost 700 to 800 prosthetic legs have been produced in a workshop run by disabled veterans. Injured ex-soldiers of the Burmese Army and ex-liberation fighters work together to help amputees. The film does not only portray the work of the disabled craftsmen, which gives them hope and strength to deal with their situation, it tells the story of solidarity in a space where ethnic boundaries and former rivalries are left behind and appear senseless - like the war itself. The director, Khon Soe Moe Aung, is a human rights activist and young filmmaker, who was introduced to filmmaking during a Yangon Film School course. “My leg” is his first documentary film. Currently, he is working on a feature-length documentary.
Myanmar 2015 | 16 min | DCP | OV with English subtitles
Director: Khon Soe Moe Aung, Cinematography: Naw Eh Shee Paw, Editor: Zin Mar Oo, Sound: Bawk Seng, Production: Yangon Film School; Contact: www.yangonfilmschool.org
MY GRANDFATHER’S HOUSE
“This house is much more than just a roof over our heads”, reflects an adult woman about her old wooden house. It was once a meeting place for some of the architects of Burma’s independence movement, in which her grandfather played a pivotal role. His traces, thoughts and his spirit are still present in the house in which she lives with her family. The film captures the important remembrances imbued in socio-spatial and material relationships that are passed on to next generations. The director, Shunn Lei Swe Yee, is a young filmmaker and she is active in women movements in Myanmar.
In cooperation with Goethe Institut Myanmar and SEZ – Stiftung Entwicklungs-Zusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg
Myanmar 2013 | 14 min | HD Videofile | OV with English subtitles
Director: Shunn Lei Swe Yee, Cinematography: David Kyaw Thet Aung, Editor: Zaw Win Htwe, Sound: Linn Hnin Aye, Production: Yangon Film School; Contact: www.yangonfilmschool.org
Fri, May 26th
Red or blue? Esteghlal and Perspolis are rivaling football clubs in Iran. Millions of fans come to Tehran to support their team at the derby. Both sides have their lead fans, Abbas Esmailbeggi and Mohammad Ghasemi, who are responsible for the fan support as well as their actions: “We come nfrom the fan block. We weren’t born as leaders.” For them it is a great honor to serve their team, and football is an essential part of their lives. This being a male domain, Abbas keeps one wish though: to take his daughter with him to the arena one day.
Germany, Iran 2016 | 20 min | DCP | OV with English subtitles
Director, Script: Simon Ostermann; Cinematography: Johannes Greisle; Editor: Martin Wunschick; Sound: Karl Gerhardt; Production: Marie-Luise Scharf, Josephine Weyreuther, Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF; Contact: Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, www.filmuniversitaet.de
THE LIVES OF MECCA
“This is therapy. This is the Mecca.” On Coney Island there is a court where a group of men comes together every single day: American Handball is their sport and passion. Others just come for watching, betting and crossword puzzles. At first glance they are social outcasts gathering here. Filmmaker Stefano Etter found ex-prisoner Tom, drifter Patrick and Crazy Johnny among them. Alternately they tell their stories about living in problematic areas, where violence, drugs and solidarity play a major role in everyday life. For them, handball doesn’t just mean leisure time. The court becomes the center of their lives and the support they need to cope with their problems.
Switzerland, Italy 2015 | 54 min | DCP | OV with German subtitles
Director, Script: Stefano Etter; Cinematography: Mariangela Marletta; Editor: Amos Pellegrinelli; Sound: Nick Bedo; Production: Nicola Genni, Domenico Lucchini, Enrica Viola
Fri, May 26th
RATTLE THEM BARS
Based on the production of a revolutionary East Texas prison radio show run by ex-convicts, RATTLE THEM BARS is an experimental documentary film creating a multi-vocal counter-conversation about the prison system and the prison experience. For over 40 years, the radio show has connected prisoners to people on the outside through voices, providing bits of lives, stories and relationships. The film is an audiovisual montage of field footage, voices of families speaking to prisoners and letters from prisoners in solitary confinement.
USA 2015 | 27 min | HD Videofile | OV with English subtitles
Director, Script, Editor, Photography, Sound, Production: Nena Hedrick
I'M NOT LEAVING ELDON
The people in Eldon, Iowa, carry many names, none of them too flattering: Rednecks, Hillbillies, White Trash. Still, the struggle they share with vanishing jobs in agriculture and rising social insecurity unites them within these labels as a self-chosen affiliation. In Eldon, doors don’t have locks, but there is a gun under each bed. Jessica Bollag, a visual anthropologist from Bern, was accidentally invited to a wedding in the village of Eldon where she met her first protagonist. Four years later, she came back to create this film for her master’s thesis.
USA, Switzerland 2015 | 49 min | HD Videofile | OV with English subtitles
Director, Cinematography, Editor: Jessica Bollag; Script: Susanne Steffen; Music: Jeff Jackson; Production: Institute of Social Anthropology University Bern
Sat, May 27th
SAYDNAYA - Insights into a Syrian Torture Prison with editor Simone Rowat
Apart from a vague satellite photo on Google Earth, there are no pictures of the notorious Syrian prison Saydnaya, around 30 kilometers north of Damascus. Visits are forbidden, and organizations such as Amnesty International and the Red Cross are denied access. To the outside world, the prison is an impenetrable black hole, and the recollections of former prisoners are the only source of information. Amnesty International, in coproduction with Forensic Architecture, has used their testimony to create a virtual 3-D reconstruction of the torture prison. (idfa) Forensic Architecture interviewed five survivors from Saydnaya prison and worked with their recollections. With next to no daylight, in particular in the solitary cells underground, the prisoners develop an acute experience of sound. Detainees were made to cover their eyes with their hands whenever a guard entered the room and speaking was prohibited, so prisoners became attuned to the smallest noises. […] “Echo profiling” helped to determine the size of spaces such as cells, stairwells and corridors […] while “sound artefacts” simulated the noise of doors, locks and footsteps, helping generate further acoustic memories. (saydnaya.amnesty.org)
Forensic Architecture is an interdisciplinary research group led by architect Eyal Weizman at Goldsmiths, University of London. Specialized on developing architectural evidence, they support NGOs, human rights organizations and public prosecutions. Sound artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Beirut) designed the reproduction of the acoustic experiences. With interview quotes as inserts and the virtual 3-D space combined with sounds, the SAYDNAYA project creates a journey through a place of sheer horror. Editor Simone Rowat will guide the audience through the interactive documentary and elaborate on the working process of the research group.
In cooperation with informationszentrum 3. welt and kindly supported by Aktion Selbstbesteuerung e.V.
UK 2016 | web
Director: Eyal Weizman; Project Coordination: Christina Varvia; Acoustic Investigation: Lawrence Abu Hamdan; Video editors: Simone Rowat, George Clipp; Contact: www.saydnaya.amnesty.org
Sat, May 27th
CITIES OF SLEEP
The film takes us into a heady world of insurgent sleepers’ communities as well as the infamous ‘sleep mafia’ in Delhi where just securing a safe sleeping spot often becomes a question of life and death for a large number of people. The film trails the lives of two individuals, Shakeel and Ranjeet. Shakeel, a renegade homeless sleeper has for the last 7 years slept in a diverse range of improvised places like subways, under park benches, parking lots, abandoned cars and lately, at areas controlled by the sleep mafia. The film follows his attempts to secure a safe sleeping space just around the time the infamous winter rains of Delhi are due. Ranjeet runs the ‘sleep-cinema’ community in Loha Pul in Delhi, a huge double-story iron bridge straddling the banks of the river Yamuna. A thin strip of land houses shanty cinemas, where over 400 odd homeless come and sleep through the day for a nominal price. The flooding of the river Yamuna poses a threat to the people sleeping there every monsoon. The film looks at not only the tremendous social and political pressure that sleep exerts on the homeless in the city, but is also a philosophical exploration of sleep at large.
In cooperation with Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung
India 2015 | 74 min | HD Videofile | OV with English subtitles
Director: Shaunak Sen; Cinematography: Salim Khan, Shaunak Sen; Editors: Sreya Chatterjee, Shaunak Sen; Sound: Aman Mann, Sahil Dhingra; Music: Ritwik De; Production: Virender Kundu; Contact: www.citiesofsleep.com
Short Film Program
Sun, May 28th
Trumpets and accordion music play solemnly at a family gathering at a graveyard. May 9th is Victory Day in the Ukraine – and Mariia’s birthday. Every year her family takes her to her grandfather’s grave, who worked for the KGB (the security agency of the Soviet Union). While she recalls her unburdened childhood memories, she airs her grievance about being forced to obey her family’s expectations. The filmmaker approaches the national memorial day, from which she could only escape as a grown-up, from the perspective of a young generation.
Ukraine, Netherlands 2015 | 8 min | HD Videofile | OV with English subtitles
Director, Script: Mariia Ponomarova; Cinematography: Oleksii Kuchma, Mikko Keskiivari, Mariia Ponomarova; Editor: Pedro Collantes; Sound: Sergio Gonzalez Cuervo; Production: Perfectionist Media Production; Nederlandse Filmacademie; Contact: www.ponomarova.com
HOLY GOD - SVYATYJ BOZHE
„Self-portrait. In 1998 our family came under armed attack. We were able to escape and we fled from Grozny. We have been silent about it since.“ Vladlena Sandu tells an incisive and dignified story about herself, her mother and grandmother, the physical and psychological trauma and the ordinary existence of a refugee. (IFFR)
Russia 2017 | 25 min | HD Videofile | OV with English subtitles
Director, Script, Cinematography: Vladlena Sandu; Editor: Victoria Levitova, Alexandra Bezhenar; Sound: Dmitry Boyarintsev; Production: Alexei Uchitel, Kira Saksaganskaya, Rock Films LLC
HOME IS NOT A PLACE - ZUHAUSE IST KEIN ORT
"But there was a choice: my parents or my children." Through personal film recordings and narrated pieces of memory, the film tells the story of a forced migratory voyage of a Czechoslovakian family to India, Kenya and Austria. The combination of 8mm film fragments and oral recollections of family members not only show a piece of political history through a personal story; the fragile images of a lifetime condensed into a few minutes also tell a story about the act of looking back, about the passing of time and about life itself: home is not a place but a passage.
Germany, Austria 2015 | 14 min | DCP | OV with English subtitles
Director: Clara Trischler; Script: Clara Trischler, Sarah-Christin Peter; Cinematography: Anton Hrabovec, Clara Trischler; Editor: Sarah-Christin Peter; Production: Clara Trischler, Norman Dickfeld, Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF; Contact: Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, www.filmuniversitaet.de
(SELF)EXHIBITIONS – (AUTO)EXPOSICIONES
“Am I pretty?” When asked online, this banal question opens up a loop of found footage videos uploaded by teenagers all over the world on the internet. Though the identical dramaturgy of dozens of these videos put together seems amusing at first sight, it intensifies the impression of a deeply alienated mode of self-exposition defined by the specific aesthetics of tutorials, online diaries and confessional videos. While repetitive in genre codes, this mash-up is no longer the representation of individual stories, but gives a condensed picture of current practices of self-exposition, juvenile insecurity and the need for permanent recognition in the Web 2.0.
Spain 2015 | 14 min | DCP | OV
Director, Script, Editing, Production: Florencia Aliberti; Contact: www.floraliberti.tk
At five in the morning, before any professor or student enters the building of the well-established SAOS University in London, a lot of work needs to be done: Cleaning toilets, corridors, desks and even the streets outside. But those who prepare the working places of thousands of Londoners, mostly stay invisible earning 2£ less than the minimum wage of 7.20£ in London. They come from different Latin American countries, but their determination to fight labor exploitation derives from the common experience of discrimination within a country that needs their work, but does not want to value it. When an empowering resistance grows, the prestigious university, well known for championing in human rights, must take sides. But instead of showing solidarity with the workers, the university impairs the conflict. After moving from Cuba to London seven years ago, Fernando Mitjáns studied postcolonial culture and global policy. He felt the need to portray the huge gap between expectations and reality of migration from Latin-American countries and found himself in the middle of this worker’s struggle.
United Kingdom 2015 | 39 min | Blu-Ray | OV
Director, Script, Editor, Production: Fernando Mitjáns; Cinematography: Fernando Mitjáns, Grant Allen; Sound: Pet Grotesque; Contact: www.limpiadoresdoc.com
INSTALLATION - Phone booth in front of the cinema
ZEKI MÜREN HOTLINE
The Turkish variety artist Zeki Müren was a national phenomenon. Born in 1931, he began his career as a respectable singer on the radio, before shifting direction and becoming a flamboyant nightclub idol. He would dress effeminately, with lots of makeup and jewelry, and while he was never explicit about it, his homosexuality was a public secret. A talented singer, he attracted a broad audience and became a symbol for Turkish unity. After his sudden death in 1996 – a heart attack during a TV appearance – he received a state funeral. Just how deeply Müren affected the lives of different people becomes clear with this interactive telephone hotline. Over 800 people have called in to leave a message for the deceased singer. (idfa)
Explore a selection of those calls in the phone booth in front of the cinema.
US, Turkey 2016 | web
Directors: Beyza Boyacıoğlu, Jeff Soyk; Producer: Beyza Boyacıoğlu; Web Design: Jeff Soyk; Web Developer: Can Usta; Contact: www.beyzaboyacioglu.com