DokuFest (July 7 - 15) has been organized in Prizren, Kosovo, since 2002. Showcasing regional and international documentaries and shorts, the festival also hosts a number of master classes, DokuPhoto exhibitions, workshops and concerts. In 2010 it was voted as one of the 25 best international documentary festivals.
Competitions: Balkan Dox includes twelve short and feature documentaries, e.g., Family Meals by Dana Budisavljević and Ilian Metev's Sofia's Last Ambulance. In Int'l Dox, you'll find Tamar Tal's Life in Stills that's also part of the East Silver catalogue. In Human Rights Dox, Crulic - The Path to Beyond and Mama Illegal both travel international festivals under the East Silver Caravan (read more details in this article), along with the German-Ukranian Leonid's Story that will screen in Green Dox.
DokuFest's Made in Poland introduces a selection of eleven Polish documentaries, including A Piece of Summer, Argentinian Lesson, Decrescendo, Andrzej Wajda: Let's Shoot!, and North from Calabria. In another programme - Ambulante @ DokuFest - Mexican docs make their way to Kosovo, courtesy of the fast-growing Ambulante doc fest. Featuring, for instance, Srdan Keca's A Letter to Dad, Dealing with the Past reopens some of the difficult issues still haunting former Yugoslavia and the Balkans.
Details and trailers of selected films below:
Blokada , Croatia, 2012, 92 min, Social Issues
‘Blockade’ is a creative documentary of the longest, and politically most significant student protest in the region, the blockade of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, in April and May of 2009. The film chronologically follows the preparatory meetings of a group of students who plan to take over their faculty’s building during one week, the action of taking over the building by the students and the process of communication and the attempts of these students to communicate with authorities. The film follows the lives of the participants during the blockade, the conflicts between them and their uncompromising joint struggle, and finally the deliberation on the decision to cease the blockade and continue the campaign through other actions.
Film mobitelom , Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2011, 63 min, Creative
The author is exploring the areas of artistic freedom within the limitations of the mobile phone. He uses the voice recording option and records everyday phone conversations. In this way, he develops a spontaneous, amusing and emotional ‘spy’ story about the daily routine. The film is based on the idea of a pronounced minimal realization, in rudimentary form, neglecting the rules of classical film expression. With respect to the fact that there are five billion active mobile phones on the planet, the author makes a film which sports contemporary ‘youtube’ or ‘mobile’ aesthetics.
Nije ti život pjesma Havaja , Croatia, 2012, 49 min, Digi Beta, HD, Creative, Personal View, Society
Do you remember when was the last time you talked to your parents? What did you talk about? Did you go a step beyond weather forecast and daily politics? Can a conversation about buried family secrets help you eat without cramps in your stomach? Can a failed birthday cake help you embrace the past? A birthday celebration brings together an ordinary four member family five years after their last gathering. They start questioning what made them turn away from each other. Through the ritual of family meals, the film unveils how important it is to feel accepted by our loved ones.
Poslednata lineika na Sofia , Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, 75 min, Beta SP, Digi Beta, DVD, Personal View, Portrait, Social Issues, Society
In a city where 13 ambulances struggle to serve a burgeoning population of several million, 47-year old Krassi Yordanov is our unlikely hero: chain-smoking and saving lives in a non-stop 48-hour shift. Krassi is the emergency doctor on one of Sofia’s last ambulances and today is the worst day of his life. This is a film about the regular working day of Dr. Krassi, nurse Mila and driver Plamen, a team working on an ambulance in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Struggling against an avalanche of absurdities in a crumbling medical system and scarcely earning enough to make a living, these three are simply trying to do what they do best – save lives.
Israel, 2011, 58 min, Beta SP, Digi Beta, Arts and Culture, Creative, Portrait, Social Issues
At the age of 96, Miriam Weissenstein never imagined that she would be facing a new chapter in her life. But when "The Photo House" – her late husband Rudi’s life’s work – was destined for demolition, even this opinionated and uncompromising woman knew she needed help. Under the cloud of a family tragedy, a special relationship is forged between Miriam and her grandson, Ben, as they join forces to save the shop and its nearly one million negatives that document Israel’s defining moments. Despite the generation gap and many conflicts, Ben and Miriam embark on a heart-wrenching journey, comprising many humorous and touching moments – a journey that requires a lot of love, courage, and compassion.
Crulic - Drumul spre dincolo , Poland, Romania, 2011, 69 min, 35 mm, DCP, Digi Beta, HD, Animated, Drama doc, Human Rights, Social Issues
The animated documentary feature "Crulic - The Path to Beyond" tells the story of Crulic, a 33-year-old Romanian who died in a Polish prison while on a hunger strike. The story is told from the point of view of Crulic, in the present tense, after his death. A strong visual style, the result of beautifully blending hand-drawn collage, stop-motion and cut-cut animation techniques, create a striking, surprisingly integrated and memorable film.
Mama Illegal , Austria, 2011, 95 min, HD, Drama doc, Human Rights, Reportage, Social Issues
They gave the smugglers all their money and risk their life on their journey across borders: Three women from a small town in Moldavia, living now in Austria as cleaning women. On top of their hard job they live a life in illegality without documents, far away from their children and family for years.
Istoriya Leonida , Germany, Ukraine, 2011, 19 min, DVD, Animated, Environmental, History, Human Rights
A Soviet family searching for a modest paradise is swept into an immense disaster. Chernobyl 1986. Leonid grew up in the village next to the reactor. The film comprehends the development of this world disaster through the destiny of the protagonist and his family. The small episodes reconstruct the emotional dimension of the tragedy: The children who run to the burning reactor, getting a look at the spectacular drama, the unsuspecting village people in the surrounded area, the animals which remain behind after the evacuation, and the helpless tries of mankind to eliminate the impact of the nuclear disaster, accompanied by the faceless Soviet system. In the end there is a happy ending: The triumph of life over the disaster.
Budjenje , Serbia, 2011, 85 min, DVD, HD, Current Affairs, Personal View, Politics, Social Issues
Ten years after Slobodan Milosevic was overthrown and the democracy officially came to Serbia, the society is still in chaos, burdened with corruption, violence towards minorities, strikes… The movie portrays this transitional chaos from a generational and personal perspective. Three young people keep their video diaries. Vladimir (26) is an art historian, a dandy who occasionally works in a factory in order to help his single mother and younger brother. Marija (20) is a student of Faculty of Dramatic Arts who recently stayed without parents. Branislav (23) - is trying to finish his studies facing the difficulties of life of a guy from Kosovo, living in the capital.
Caravan Documentaries Competing in Kosovo