Unless indicated otherwise, films are screened in original language with English and Hungarian subtitles.
5 Broken Cameras
Emad Burnat & Guy Davidi / The Netherlands & France & Israel & Palestine / 2011 / 90 min / Arabic & Hebrew
A family saga with 4 children, 5 broken cameras, and countless burnt olive trees. A first-person story of non-violent resistance in a West Bank village.
Audience Award, IDFA 2011, Directing Award, Sundance 2012
Emad is a farmer in Bil'in, just west of the city of Ramallah in the West Bank. He bought his first camera in 2005 to document the birth of his fourth son, Gibreel. With it, his passion for recording his family and his village was born. During the following years, Emad filmed the bulldozers ripping the olive trees out of the ground, the steady progress of the construction of the dividing wall, burgeoning Israeli settlements, and the villagers' non-violent protests, as well as their arrests and deaths. Emad keeps on filming even when his cameras are destroyed one after another by the soldiers' bullets and despite pleas from his wife, who fears reprisals. Palestinian Emad Burnat joins forces with Guy Davidi, an Israeli, and — from the wreckage of five broken cameras — the two filmmakers create one extraordinary work of art about one village's struggle.
producer: Christine Camdessus, Serge Gordey, Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi
editor: Veronique Lagoarde-Segot, Guy Davidi
camera: Emad Burnat
sound: Adnan Joubran, Samir Joubran, Wissam Joubran
music: Adnan Joubran, Samir Joubran, Wissam Joubran
18, rue Quincampoix
tel: +33 144 596 353
Maggie Betts / USA / 2011 / 88 min / Tonga
The drama of an HIV-positive pregnant mother from a polygamous Zambian family.
The documentary follows Mutinta, a dutiful and loving 28-year-old mother living in the landlocked African country of Zambia with her polygamous husband. Polygamy is still a legal and common practice in the country. When their humble farming life is infiltrated by the rapidly spreading HIV/AIDS epidemic, the family is shaken by the implications. In Zambia it has been estimated that more than 250 people are infected with the disease every day and fewer than 15 percent of adults know their own HIV status. When Mutinta, now pregnant, learns that she is HIV positive, she sets out to keep the child virus-free and to break the cycle of transmission.
producer: Maggie Betts, Ben Selkow, Joedan Okun, Benjamin Prager
editor: Flàvia de Souza
camera: Kathryn Westergaard
sound: David Hocs
music: Daniel Miller, David Della Santa
Tent Full of Birds Production
tel.: +1 212 352 3007 (245)
Cheonggyecheon Medley: A Dream of Iron
Kelvin Kyung Kun Park / South Korea / 2010 / 79 min / Korean
An arresting experimental documentary on the secret alchemy of heavy industry and modernity in South Korea.
In the Cheonggyecheon district of Seoul, merchants started casting scrap metal salvaged from military hardware after the Japanese occupation. Generations later, iron workers continue their labor by hand in a gentrifying city and in an era where technology has far surpassed their industrial skills. Filmmaker Kelvin Kyung Kun Park locates his fevered experimental dream in this waning world, addressing his deceased grandfather who once ran his own scrap metal business. Drawing clues from fragments of dreams and myths related to metal, the film reveals the secret alchemy of third world modernity in Cheonggyecheon, where this obsolete form of manual labor still survives. The film's stream-of-consciousness narration, haunting archival footage, and palpable aural and visual textures question whether society has progressed or regressed under the specter of technology.
producer: Kyungmi Kim, Hwayoung Lee
editor: Kelvin Kyung Kun Park
camera: Kelvin Kyung Kun Park
sound: Chul-Ho Chang
music: Paulo Vivacqua
tel.: +1 646 925 6149
David Fedele / UK / 2012 / 20 min / English
Ever wondered what happened to your old fridge?
It might have ended up in the largest e-waste dump in Ghana.
Have you ever wondered what happens to your discarded electronics? Almost 50 million tons of electronic waste are generated worldwide every year. Around 200,000 tons of second-hand and condemned electrical goods arrive in Ghana, West Africa, most of them coming from the "developed" world. Many of the unwanted electronic items are exported there as "second hand goods." E-wasteland is set entirely at the Agbogbloshie slum in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Situated on the banks of the highly polluted Korle Lagoon, Agbogbloshie is home to over 30,000 settlers, mainly from the poorer northern regions of Ghana. It is also home to the largest e-waste dump site in Africa. Generally uneducated and with few employable skills, many of the settlers at Agbogbloshie are forced to make a poor living salvaging and recycling e-waste. Without dialogue or narration, this film presents a visual portrait of unregulated e-waste recycling.
producer: David Fedele
editor: David Fedele
camera: David Fedele
Bikpela Bagarap (2011) / PNG Style (2010) / Reflections (2012)
Family Portrait in Black and White
Julia Ivanova / Canada / 2011 / 85 min / Russian, Ukrainian
17 children from broken relationships between Ukrainian women and African students,
raised by a foster mother. Race and racism in Ukraine.
Family Portrait in Black and White follows a passionate supermom, Olga, during three turbulent years that see her brood of 17 foster children grow into rambunctious teenagers. Olga does not see the color or creed of her foster children, 16 of whom are bi-racial, results of amorous relationships between local Ukrainian girls and African students. She is a loving mother but she is no Mother Teresa. Raised under the Soviet regime, she believes in communal responsibility over individual freedom and runs the family with headstrong determination. As a single mother, Olga fights tooth and nail to keep her family together and to give it strength and support - with sometimes overbearing control. "When the kids grow up, at least they will have a mother to blame for all the failures that will happen in their lives." In many ways, Olga's words sum up the immense value of living with a mother, ideal or not, biological or adoptive, versus being raised in the best orphanage where a child calls every caregiver "a mom" without knowing what a mother is.
producer: Boris Ivanov
editor: Julia Ivanova
camera: Julia Ivanova, Stanislav Shakhov
sound: Jamie Mahaffey
music: Boris Sichon
tel.: +1 604 638 8920
Love Translated (2010) / Fatherhood Dreams (2007) / From Russia, For Love (2000)
A Farmer's Desire
Rebecka Rasmusson / Sweden / 2010 / 14 min / Swedish
Born in the wrong body, a transsexual farmer discovers his identity after he turns fifty.
Knut is a farmer from southern Sweden who has lived all his life with the feeling that he was born in the wrong body. He didn't know what transsexualism was until after he turned fifty but now he wants to live fully as the woman he feels he is. The only thing he wants to keep is his name, because he grew fond of it, though the guy named Knut vanished over time. A warm humorous film about the search for gender identity and the courage to stand up for who you are.
producer: Rebecka Rasmusson
editor: Bernhard Winkler
camera: Rebecka Rasmusson
sound: Rebecka Rasmusson
music: Per-Henrik Mäenpää
Tostarödsvägen 3, Kivik
tel: + 46 703 662 386
Framing the Other
Ilja Kok & Willem Timmers / The Netherlands / 2011 / 25 min / English
Exotic photo hunt. The life of an African tribe transformed by modern tourism.
The Mursi tribe lives in the basin of the Omo River in the south of the East African state of Ethiopia. The women are known for placing large plates in their lower lips and wearing enormous, richly decorated earrings. Every year hundreds of Western tourists come to see the unusually adorned natives; posing for camera-toting visitors has become the main source of income for the Mursi. To make more money, they embellish their "costumes" and finery in such a way that little of their authentic, original culture remains. The film contrasts the views of Mursi women and those of Dutch tourists preparing for a meeting. This humorous and at the same time chilling film shows the destructive impact of tourism on traditional communities.
producer: Ilja Kok, Willem Timmers, Keith Bowers
editor: Tracy Pallant, Willem Timmers
camera: Yidnekachew Shumete
sound: Robin Fuller
music: Tewoldebirhan Girmay
I Camera You productions
David Redmon & Asley Sabin / USA / 2011 / 78 min / English & Japanese & Russian
Russian teenagers hunted down by fashion scouts.
The promise of glamour and the exploitative
world of modelling.
Despite the lack of obvious similarities between Siberia and Tokyo, a thriving model industry connects these distant regions. Girl Model follows two protagonists involved in this industry: Ashley, a deeply ambivalent model scout who scours Siberia looking for fresh faces to send to the Japanese market, and one of her discoveries, Nadya, a thirteen year-old plucked from the Siberian countryside and dropped into the center of Tokyo with promises of a profitable career. Yet the ideal way of fleeing poverty turns out to be harder than she had expected. Nadya's model scout Ashley knows all about it. Resigned to the situation, she observes how the Japanese are obsessed with youth and beauty. She looks back on her career and sees how not every girl in a bikini is really earning her money from photo shoots. The filmmakers followed the two women, who speak frankly about their lives and represent two extremes of the tough world of modeling; while Nadya's determination to make it as a model intensifies, so does Ashley's ambivalent and pessimistic view of the modeling world.
producer: David Redmon, Asley Sabin, Marcy and Robert Garriott editor: David Redmon, Asley Sabin, Darius Marder, Alan Canant camera: David Redmon, Asley Sabin sound: Tom Hammond
Unit 211 Hatton Square Business Centre,
16-16a Baldwins Gardens
EC1N 7RJ UK
tel: + 44 020 783 172 52
David Redmon & Ashley Sabin: Kingdom of Animals (2012) / Intimidad (2008) / Kamp Katrina (2007)
David Redmon: Invisible Girlfriend (2009) / Mardi Gras: Made in China (2005)
Give Up Tomorrow
Michael Collins / USA / 2011 / 95 min / English & Filipino & Spanish
A shocking decade-long account of a murder and rape trial with corrupt public officials
and a frenzied legal and media circus in the Philippines.
Audience Award, Tribeca Film Festival 2011; Audience Award, Sheffield Doc Fest 2011
As a tropical storm beats down on the Philippine island of Cebu, two sisters – 21-year old Marijoy and 23-year old Jacqueline – leave work and never reach home. That same night, hundreds of miles away in Manila, on a different island, 19-year old Paco Larrañaga is at a party with his friends and classmates. The missing women are Chinese-Filipinos, belonging to one of the poorest classes in Philippino society. Paco, accused with his friends of rape and murder, is part of a prominent mestizo political clan that includes the former president. There is frenzied media coverage of his arrest and trial, and his eventual sentence to death by lethal injection is widely applauded. Reflecting schisms of race, class, and political power at the core of the Philippines' tumultuous democracy, the film introduces families, institutions, and individuals clashing over Paco's future. Their irreconcilable versions of reality and justice play out in a case that puts a stop to a country's use of capital punishment, yet fails to set the accused free.
producer: Marty Syjuco, Eric Daniel Metzgar, Ramona Díaz, Steve Bennett, Carmen Vicencio
editor: Eric Daniel Metzgar
camera: Joshua Z. Weinstein
sound: Adam Crystal
Thoughtful Robot Productions
Gerthy's Roots (2010) / Caught in an Injustice (2005)
Alfonso Moral & Roser Corella / Spain / 2011 / 15 min / Bengali
Men as machines – millions perform back-breaking manual work
in 21st century Bangladesh. A reflection on modernity and global development.
In Bangladesh thousands of people perform machine-like repetitive manual work. Barefoot women collect coal. Boys produce 18,000 bricks a day. A man weighing fifty kilos moves hundred-kilo sacks. Children sort plastic bottles for twelve hours each day. Men dismantle rusty wrecks in a polluted river. When they speak of the work that destroys their health, which in Europe would be considered inhumane, many say: "I feel like a machine." Despite the proliferation of modern machinery, this film captures people still performing back-breaking and dangerous work by hand.
producer: Alfonso Moral, Roser Corella
editor: Roser Corella
camera: Alfonso Moral
La riquesa maleïda (2011) / Fallou (2010) / Manuscritos en el Libano, un camino para la paz (2010)
Loghman Khaledi / Iran / 2011 / 58 min / Farsi
Garbage collector by day, Shahriyar is an obsessive writer by night. Despite harassment and rejection,
he strives to escape the suffocating realm of the ordinary.
Shahriyar is a Kurdish garbage collector in Kermanshah with an obsessive passion for the written word. He loses himself in reading at the risk of forgetting the world, his family, and the demands of his job. His tastes are eclectic: he reads Jack London, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, and Samuel Beckett; and he also writes – obstinately filling notebooks, journals, pages and scraps of paper with love stories populated by beautiful princesses in brightly-colored costumes. He writes using every moment of peace and quiet, when his two small children are asleep. He has written many novels, but nobody wants to publish them. Like his wife, his colleagues and neighbors do not understand him. The only audience ready to follow his flights of fancy are his pigeons on the terrace; closed behind bars, they, too, are unable to reach the heavens. A manifest ambassador of forbidden hopes struggling against the dampening conformism of a society where everyone is obliged to remain in his place, Shahriyar relentlessly continues to write his stories so that one day he can "move up."
producer: Katayoon Shahabi
editor: Loghman Khaledi
camera: Ashkan Ashkani
sound: Hossein Mahdavi
music: Saba Nedaei
Sheherazad Media International
tel.: +98 212 2863 260
Nessa (2011) / Mobile In Tehran (2010) / And I am a Passenger (2009) / Private (2008) / Without Noise (2007)
My Fancy High Heels
Ho Chao-Ti / Taiwan / 2010 / 55 min / Chinese & English
Luxurious designer shoes - ever wondered where they come from?
Trace their footsteps across the backstage of the fashion industry.
A tale bound together by luxurious high-heel shoes. Brand-name high heels sold for $300 to $1000 – where and how are they made? From procuring the leather, to the assembly line, to the contract manufacturer, to the moment when lily-white feet slip into each pair of high heels, how many people's hands do these shoes pass through? The farming woman who tends the cattle, the worker, the manager of the contract manufacturing firm, the young New York-based fashion designer – they all have their own difficulties and dreams in life. This film centers on their lives, revealing the story behind a pair of luxury high heels, and tracing their footsteps from China to the streets of Manhattan, from an impoverished farm town to the prosperous metropolis.
producer: Ho Chao-Ti
editor: Huang Yi-Ling
camera: Wang Ying-Shun, Tsai Yen-Shan
sound: Chen Kuan-Yu
music: Ke Chih-Hao
tel.: + 886 926 203 418
Wandering Island (2009) / El Salvador Journal (2009) / The Gangster's God (2006)
Juliet Brown / UK / 2011 / 44 min / English
The journey of Noah, a female to male transgender, as he moves from a difficult past into a healing future,
finding his place as a man in a family of his own.
Noah's dream has always been to move back home to the North Woods of Maine, USA, and work with his father, building wooden canoes. But every time he tries to return to his father's canoe shop he is overcome with fear. The mystery of the film unfolds as Noah and his mother talk of the decade when Noah lived with physical illness. Noah's letter to his friends and family tells us about the 10 years he spent in turmoil: "The truth that has been so long hidden from even my own consciousness is that I am transgender… The parts of me that are surfacing have been suffocated and tortured…I will now be going by the name Noah. I have been waiting years for this." The film follows Noah as he finds the courage to go home. There he confronts the ghosts within himself and the constant reflection of Holly, the person he used to be. A healing that he never expected begins as Noah finds his place as a man in a family of his own.
producer: Juliet Brown
editor: Katherine Lee
camera: Juliet Brown
sound: Howard Peryer, Tudor Petre
music: Lennert Busch
National Film and Television School
tel.: +44 1494 731 452
The Fate of our Fields (2010) / Return (2009) / Low Tide (2009)
Celina Murga / Argentina / 2012 / 88 min / Spanish
Student council elections in a school in Paraná, Argentina. Rivalry, intrigues, and manipulation – the "adult" world cast in miniature.
Student council elections are coming up at a school in Paraná, Argentina and the two main parties are putting the finishing touches to their campaigns. As they present their positions to the student body, all the elements of political grandstanding appear: quibbling over slogans, circular rhetoric, the benefits of an attractive candidate, and the final mudslinging. Celina Murga's observational camera is subtly tuned to the traces of the political in the everyday, whether in the flag-raising ceremony, classroom discussions on the constitution, or the workings of the student council. As the teachers question the independence and knowledge of the students, their comments shed light on political generation gaps. An attentive portrait of the ambivalent role of school in preserving the social status quo.
producer: Juan Villegas, Inés Gamarci, Celina Murga
editor: Juan Pablo Docampo
camera: Fernando Lockett
sound: Federico González
tel.: +54 11 4775 1614
A Week Alone (2008) / Ana and the Others (2003) / Interior-Noche (1999)
Nostalgia for the Light
Patricio Guzmán / Chile & France & Germany & Spain / 2010 / 90 min / Spanish
Chilean desert, the starry sky above, and the bones of the opponents of the Pinochet regime below.
Legendary documentarist Patricio Guzmán explores the boundaries of the cosmos and the human microcosm.
Cannes Film Festival, 2010
Patricio Guzmán travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, where atop the mountains astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. The sky is so clear that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe. The Atacama is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact: those of Pre-Columbian mummies; 19th century explorers and miners; and the bodies of political prisoners who were "disappeared" by the Chilean army after the military coup in September 1973. While astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies, at the foot of the mountains, women, surviving relatives of the disappeared whose bodies were dumped here, search, even after twenty-five years, for the remains of their loved ones, to reclaim their families' histories. Melding the celestial quest of the astronomers and the earthly one of the women, Nostalgia for the Light is a moving, and deeply personal odyssey.
producer: Renate Sachse
editor: Patricio Guzmán, Emmanuelle Joly
camera: Katell Djian
sound: Freddy González
music: Miranda y Tobar
8–10, Rue Titon
tel.: + 33 143724766
My Jules Verne (2005) / Salvador Allende (2004) / Madrid (2002) / The Pinochet Case (2001) / Isla de Robinson Crusoe (1999) / Chile, Obstinate Memory (1997) / Pueblo en Vilo (1995) / The Southern Cross (1992) / In the Name of God (1987) / The Battle of Chile I, II, III (1977, 1978, 1980)
Palazzo delle Aquile
Stefano Savona & Ester Sparatore & Alessia Porto / France & Italy / 2011 / 128 min / Italian
The day-by-day chronicle of the month-long occupation of the Palermo City Hall by eighteen homeless families.
Cannes Film Festival 2011, Best Film at Cinéma du Réel, 2011
Palermo, Sicily. A group of homeless people occupy the City Hall and declare that they won't move out until they get a house. The film is the day-by-day chronicle of the month-long occupation by eighteen families. The authorities allow them to stay, and they –advised by some militant legislators – sleep on the benches and in hallways. As time goes by, the internal struggle starts to deteriorate; conviction and ideals start to fight against weariness. A team of filmmakers led by Stefano Savona stayed inside the building throughout the occupation, with unlimited access to both the occupants – who were in permanent assembly – and the increasingly nervous City officials. Palazzo delle Aquile shows the comings and goings of the political negotiations from within; it builds up the suspense as the conclusion approaches, and follows the case to its touching end.
producer: Penelope Bortoluzzi, Stefano Savona
editor: Ilaria Fraioli
camera: Stefano Savona, Alessia Porto, Ester Sparatore
sound: Jean Mallet
tel.: +33 1 7710 4463
Stefano Savona: Cast Lead (2009) / Notes from a Kurdish Rebel (2006)
Alessia Porto: Questa è la mia Terra (2003)
Ester Sparatore: Fuori Luogo (2005) / Asile (2004)
A Pestering Journey
K. R. Manoj / India / 2010 / 66 min / English & Hindi & Punjabi & Tulu & Malayalam
A voyage across India examining the effects of one of the most efficient and damaging pesticides in the world.
A voyage through two pesticide tragedies in India, A Pestering Journey investigates the legitimate forms and technologies of killing available in a culture. The film traces the history of the pesticide endosulfan, from the time when it was first used, twenty years ago, through the turning point in 1999 when the first case was filed, to the 2011 Stockholm convention which negotiated a global ban on the manufacture and use of the product. The film starts in the villages of South Punjab, from which the notorious "cancer train" chugs its way to Bikaner, where the nearest cancer hospital is located. It continues in Kasargod, northern Kerala, also fatally affected by the indiscriminate use of endosulfan. The journey blurs the boundaries of nature and culture, of life and death, and many other comfortable binaries. A heart-wrenching voyage facing and representing human suffering in modern India.
producer: Ranjini Krishnan
editor: Mahesh Narayanan, Ajay Kuyiloor
camera: Shehnad Jalal
sound: Harikumar Madhavan Nair, N Harikumar
music: A.S. Ajithkumar
tel.: + 91 9446217315
16mm – Memories, Movement and a Machine (2007) / Agni (2003)
Phnom Penh Lullaby
Paweł Kloc / Poland / 2011 / 98 min / English & Khmer
The oddest of odd couples – an Israeli fortune-teller
and an alcoholic Cambodian woman, neither of whom speaks
the other's language - share two daughters and a curious
sense of love.
Best Feature Documentary, Krakow Film Festival 2011
Saran and Ilan Schickman are an unlikely couple in Phnom Penh. She is an alcoholic Cambodian, and he an Israeli who moved to Phnom Penh looking for a better life. It quickly becomes clear that their relationship is extremely problematic. They don't speak one another's language, nor do they possess enough money or affection to raise their young daughters Marie and Jasmine properly. She wants to get married and go to Israel, but he wants a new life, love and acceptance. Slowly but surely the parents' heartbreaking quarrels tear the family apart in front of the camera. Saran's parents are worried that the children will be sold to a foreigner, and Ilan also begins to be increasingly suspicious of his partner. Meanwhile, they are forced to survive on the margins of society - Ilan tries to earn some money by reading tarot cards to tourists in the city's red light district. Phnom Penh Lullaby portrays people trapped in their lives, dreaming of happiness but prevented from reaching it by forces they cannot control.
producer: Paweł Kloc
editor: Jacek Tarasiuk
camera: Przemysław Niczyporuk
sound: Mareusz Adamczyk, Wojtek Blaszczyk, Sebastian Witkowski
music: Mark Marder
Krakow Film Foundation
31-143 Krakow, Poland
tel.: + 48 122946945
Pit No. 8
Marianna Kaat / Estonia / 2010 / 95 min / Russian
Cold, hungry, out of work? Dig a hole in your backyard and mine some coal.
Ukrainian know-how for a "post-industrial" society.
Snizhne, once a flourishing Ukrainian mining town, is plagued today by crushing poverty. For years, the town's desperate residents have been illegally mining coal on their own, dangerously excavating abandoned mines, the basements of condemned buildings, the nearby woods, and even their own backyards. Everyone digs to survive – women, pensioners, unemployed miners, even children. After leaving his alcoholic mother's home, 15-year-old Yura has put his schooling and his dream of becoming a cook on hold. He takes it upon himself to provide for his sisters the only way he knows: by working the illegal pits. In the absence of adults, Yura shoulders family responsibilities – parenting, shopping, cooking meals, and making ends meet. A heart-rending story of children forced to grow up too quickly with no role models.
producer: Marianna Kaat, Olena Fetisova
editor: Max Golomidov
camera: Rein Kotov
sound: Ivo Felt
music: Timo Steiner, Dakha Brakha
Baltic Film Production
P.O. Box 4752
13517 Tallinn, Estonia
tel.: + 372 502 7509
The Last Phantoms (2006) / In Your Own Words (1990) / Now Not Only Off-shore (1989)
Planet of Snail
Seung-Jun Yi / South Korea, Japan, Finland / 2011 / 87 min / Korean
A love story like no other - a disabled couple with a unique sense of touch.
IDFA Best Feature Documentary 2011, Best World Feature at Silverdocs 2012
Young-Chan has been deaf and blind since childhood. As he puts it, "In the beginning there was darkness and silence." Young-Chan had no idea how to participate in the world until he meets Soon-Ho, who also has a physical handicap. He marries her and learns to communicate with the outside world through her. By softly tapping each other's finger, they can understand one another; sometimes it is as if they are tenderly playing a piano. This documentary follows the couple in the same gentle tempo as Young-Chan moves through his life. We see them replacing a light bulb together, receiving friends, working on a theater piece, reading a book, and gliding on a sleigh down a mountain. These everyday scenes are accompanied by a poetic voice-over by Young-Chan, in which he reflects on his existence without sight and hearing. He feels like an astronaut, but that doesn't mean he is without a sense of beauty in the world. This becomes palpable when Young-Chan touches the bark of a tree, runs his hand through sand, or brushes raindrops on a window pane with his fingertips. A unique testimony of love and the will to overcome obstacles.
producer: Min-Chul Kim, Gary Kam
editor: Seung-Jun Yi, Simon El Habre
camera: Seung-Jun Yi
sound: Sami Kiiski
music: Min Seongki
Children of God (2008)
Martin Mareček / Czech Republic / 2011 / 83 min / Czech & English
Solar power batteries and two Czech engineers in a Zambian village.
A tragicomic insight into the pitfalls of humanitarian development projects.
Audience Award, Jihlava, 2011
In 2006, two Czech development experts implemented an electrification project that brought power to a school and hospital complex and light to the village of Masuku, Zambia. After four years, they return for the last time to find out about their system's failures, repair it and hand it over at last. The film follows them through both the chaotic days and the pitch black nights and provides a fresh insight into the pitfalls of humanitarian development projects. The film portrays short circuits of all sorts, the blending and dissolving of different worlds, rituals of gratitude and concepts of solutions. Making no attempt to declare or evaluate anything, Solar Eclipse becomes a situation probe examining various forms of light and darkness.
producer: Tereza Horská, Filip Remunda
editor: Martin Mareček
camera: Jiří Málek
sound: Martin Mareček, Ondřej Ježek
tel.: + 420 222 937 341
Auto*Mate (2009) / The Source (2005) / Dust Games (2001) / Egg Methods (1999) / Maple '98 (1998)
Fernand Melgar / Switzerland / 2011 / 103 min / French
Friendships, fears, and a one-way ticket – visit a Swiss detention center for illegal immigrants.
Fernand Melgar's intimate and emotionally charged portrait of the rejected asylum seekers and illegal migrants in Switzerland's Frambois detention centre reveals a world that few know from the inside. There are three possibilities for every resident: to leave free, with asylum granted, to leave the country voluntarily on a regular flight, or to leave under guard on a so-called "special flight" back to their country of origin. As planes come and go in the background, the staff — who are caretakers, counselors, and friends to the men there — have heart-felt conversations about the well-being of the residents. With amazing access to his subjects, Melgar introduces us to a community of men who share friendships, fears, and a similar fate.
producer: Fernand Melgar
editor: Karine Sudan
camera: Denis Jutzeler
sound: Christophe Giovannoni
music: Wandifa Njie
tel.: +41 216 483 561
La Forteresse (2008) / Limites Invisibles (2006) / Exit – le Droit de Mourir (2005)
This is Not a Film
Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb / Iran / 2011 / 75 min / Persian
Forbidden to film and awaiting sentence, Jafar Panahi proves that human creativity cannot be incarcerated.
Official Selection, Cannes
This clandestine documentary, shot on an iPhone and a modest DV camera and smuggled into France in a cake for last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (Offside, The Circle, The White Balloon) under house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his sentence – six years in prison and a 20 year ban from filmmaking for alleged crimes against national security – Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, discussing his plight with his close friend filmmaker Mojtaba Mirtahmasb and reflecting on the meaning of the art of filmmaking. This Is Not a Film is a compelling personal document, a quietly passionate statement of artistic intent, and an uncompromising testament to Panahi's belief in cinema.
producer: Jafar Panahi
editor: Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
camera: Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
Jafar Panahi Film Productions
Offside (2006) / Crimson Gold (2003) / The Circle (2000) / The Mirror (1997) / The White Balloon (1995)
The Tiniest Place
Tatiana Huezo / Mexico / 2011 / 104 min / Spanish
Talking and walking ghosts return to a tiny village annihilated during the civil war in El Salvador.
Grand Prix at Visions du Réel 2011, Best Documentary at Leipzig 2011
To walk into the jungle-shrouded village of Cinquera, El Salvador, is to enter a world where ghosts walk, passing back and forth between the past and present. Even though it happened almost three decades ago, the village is still haunted by memories of the tragedy that occurred there. During the 1980–92 civil war, Cinquera was literally wiped off the map, disappearing temporarily from official charts in a conflict that resulted in 80,000 deaths, with tens of thousands more missing. Years later, survivors return to bury their dead and rebuild the community from the ashes. In an unobtrusive portrait of collective memory, we mingle with villagers as they recall horrifying ordeals, mutilation and torture.
producer: Nicolás Celis
editor: Paulina del Paso, Tatiana Huezo, Lucrecia Gutiérrez
camera: Ernesto Pardo
sound: Federico González
music: Leonardo Heiblum, Jacobo Lieberman
Centro de Capacitacion Cinematografica
tel.: +52 554 155 0090
Retrato de Familia (2008) / El Ombligo del Mundo (2001) / Tiempo Caustico (1998)