The International Documentary and Short Film Festival, aka, Dokufest (23 - 31 July) is in the midst of launching its new website, and a new look, to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. But in the meantime, you can read the daily blog by Ardit Bejko for updates and get the latest news about this year's extraordinary program, its largest ever.
Hamburg, Germany's own A Wall Is A Screen returns to the festival for the second year in a row to project fantastic shorts on the walls of lovely Prizren, Kosovo--the bank in the square, the mosque, whatever interesting surface might be available to them, as the audience walks around the town watching the program they put together. The Stravinsky Portrait will play as a tribute to the recently deceased great Richard Leacock, one of the most influential documentary DPs in the history of the genre. Patricio Guzmán's elegiac and deeply moving personal essay, Nostalgia de la luz will open the festival on 23 July. Sheffield Doc / Fest's In The Nursery program will also be returning this year with an outdoor screening of Dziga Vertov's Man With a Movie Camera with live musical accompaniment at the Riverbed cinema. Mohsen Makhmalbaf and James Longley's works will be spotlighted in special programs with both directors in attendance (pictured at top, Makhmalbaf, left, Longley, right). There will also be an extensive Made in Switzerland program which you can read about here.
As well, some powerful musical guests will be joining us, as English singer / songwriter, PJ Harvey (pictured middle), and Irish photographer, Seamus Murphy, present the twelve short films on which they collaborated for Harvey's recent album, Let England Shake. The screening and a Q&A with Harvey and Murphy will follow the closing ceremonies on 30 July. And lastly (at least for right now), The Sofa Surfers, Wolfgang Frisch and Timo Novotny, are creating a musical / visual evening especially for the fest.
I was invited by Dokufest's Artistic Director, Veton Nurkollari, to curate a strand of nonfiction films about artists, and we will be exhibiting eight fantastic films: Pietra Brettkelly's The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins; Gary Tarn's Black Sun (Tarn will be joining us in person); Jeff Malmberg's Marwencol; Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier's The Five Obstructions (thanks, Thomas); Marie Losier's The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye; Wiktoria Szymanska's Themerson & Themerson; Zoran Solomun's Super Art Market; and, Jeff Feuerzeig's The Devil & Daniel Johnston. More info on these and other strands will be on the site soon.
I am very excited and honored to be a part of this fabulous festival again. I had the privilege of serving on the international jury last year, and that week in Prizren was one of the most magical experiences of my life. And many of the same people will be returning to share the magic once again. You can read my SIM blog posts from the fest from last year here and here and here and here.
Viva Dokufest and përgëzime on your ten-year anniversary!