A quick post betwixt fests: just coming down from Sheffield Doc/Fest and a very active marketplace--wow! I just filed my report for DOX Magazine; look here for film reviews in the coming weeks. Loved, loved, loved Marwencol (and felt very honored to host the Q&A at Sheff). This was the film's UK premiere and during the Cinema Eye Roller Disco party, it was announced that the film had garnered nominations for Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking (CEH's version of "best film"), as well as nominations for outstanding achievement in direction, editing, and début feature. The film opens this Friday the 12th at the Landmark Nuart in LA, Malmberg's hometown. Don't miss it!
I also saw The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, a 187-minute tour de force from director, Andrei Ujica, and also a nominee for a Cinema Eye Spotlight award. Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop was another film I was lucky enought to host with its producer, Jamie D'Cruz, and editor, Chris King. Exit is nominated for six Cinema Eyes: best film, production (award goes to the producer), editing, international feature, début feature, and the audience award. Quadrangle, an outstanding piece directed by Amy Grappell, was a film I saw at the last SXSW, but I had a chance to see it again at Sheffield where it played with Catfish. (I loved Catfish so much!) Quadrangle is one of the nominees in the CEH best short film category (which is new this year), along with Andreas Koefoed's Albert's Winter, Arsy-Versy by Miro Remo, an amazing student film that has won many awards around the world, James Blagden's Dock Ellis and the LSD No-No, and Vance Malone's The Poodle Trainer. I also got a chance to see the world premiere of Jerry Rothwell's excellent Donor Unknown, a totally ready-for-primetime doc--that's a compliment. Delights out of the Scottish Documentary Institute Focus strand: Calling Home, Surpriseville and Twinset. More coherent thoughts beyond "I loved it!" on all of these outstanding films at some undefined free moment in the future. And to see the rest of the categories and nominees for the Cinema Eyes, taking place at The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens on January 18 (and broadcast on The Documentary Channel), visit the site here.
Early tomorrow morning, I fly to Copenhagen for CPH: DOX to spend a few days taking in their incredible program. I've already seen quite a few pieces out of there which has just whet my growing appetite for more visionary programming. I mentioned to a colleague recently that it's getting harder and harder for me to watch more traditional docs when I see all the innovative ways in which young filmmakers are stretching, mashing and creating new ways in which to storytell. Very exciting stuff, indeed. Look for articles on the New Vision category out of CPH in DOX and on the program that Harmony Korine curated for the fest this year on Senses of Cinema. (Pictured, still from Israeli artist Roee Rosen's staggering film, Out.)
The call for entries is open for the International Women's Film Festival Dortmund | Cologne. The theme for 2011 is NOW WHAT: Films About Getting Out of Here. They are looking for films by women directors that deal with topics on Quest for Meaning, Orientation, Confidence, Antagonism, Rebellion, Utopia. There are no restrictions on genre, running time or year of production. You can find more detailed information here. Entry deadline is 29 November.
There is also an International Fiction Feature Competition endowed with 25,000 Euro; that entry deadline is the 7th of January and the film must have been finished within two years of the festival date in April. As well, there is a National Director of Photography Award endowed with a 5,000 Euro prize for fiction, and a 2,500 Euro prize for documentary. This is an advancement award for an up-and-coming German cinematographer/DP. They also accept films by DPs who either live and work in Germany, or finished their training here. Entry deadline is 31 January. Vist the web site for updates and to download entry forms. The festival will take place in Köln, Germany 12 - 17 April 2011. (Pictured, still from Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir's Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement, 2009.)
In New York, the Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival opens once again at the Museum of Natural History, 11 - 14 November. On Saturday the 13th, the festival will present the New York premiere of Human Terrain with filmmakers David and Michael Udris and their collaborating Watson Institute Research Fellow, James Der Derian, for a post-screening discussion. In a co-presentation with the Goethe-Institut in New York, the festival's opening night will honor Veterans Day with Dustin Grella's Prayers for Peace and the New York premiere of Jens Schanze's Plug & Play, a documentary starring some of science's most famed researchers. In another strand, the fest will celebrate The World's Children with films that address the unwavering hope of children around the globe faced with difficult circumstances. Featured films will be Born Sweet, Shelter in Place, Jean-Pierre Duret and Andrea Santana's exquisite Because We Were Born, and one of the most moving shorts I've seen this year, Carol Salter's Unearthing the Pen. Visit the web site for more info and on how to purchase tickets. (Pictured, still from Unearthing the Pen, 2009.)
Lastly, but far from leastly, our second KINO SATELLITE show happens tomorrow night in Berlin with a selection of work from filmmaker, Ken Jacobs. We're pleased to present a program of recent works by the legendary filmmaker, one of the pioneers of the New York avant-garde. The program includes the German premiere of his most recent film, a loft, which just premiered at the 2010 Viennale (still from film, pictured). The show will be introduced by Ekkehard Knörrer of Die Tageszeitung, Cargo and Perlentaucher. We will show The Day Was a Scorcher (2009), 8 minutes, color, silent; an excerpt from THE SKY SOCIALIST Stratified (2009),19 minutes, color, sound, music by Olivier Messiaen and Michael Schumacher; Capitalism: Slavery (2006), 3 minutes, color, silent; Capitalism: Child Labor (2006), 14 minutes, color, sound; Ron Gonzalez, Sculptor (2009), 20 minutes, color, sound; and, a loft (2010), 16 mintues, color, silent. I will, of course, be in Copenhagen, as mentioned above, but Andrew Grant will be on hand to welcome you to Direktorenhaus--doors and bar will open at 7:30 p.m., and the screening will start at 8:00.