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East European Picks at Visions du Réel

A bunch of East European documentaries have made it into the programme of the 2011 Visions du réel (April 7 - 13, 2011). Some long-awaited films will be presented in Nyon, including Dad Made Dirty Movies and Ramin, while several others (e.g., Abendland, At the Edge of Russia) have become festival must-sees this season.


17th Visions du Réel - Festival International de Cinema

Doc Outlook - International Market
April 7 - 13, 2011
Nyon / Switzerland

The Nyon festival seeks to promote the widest possible spectrum of films: experimental films, essays, personal diaries, family films, films on current affairs and social issues, historical investigations, and films with classic or fragmented narrative approaches. Cinéma du Réel does not confine itself within conventional boundaries, it is open to different genres, integrates stylistic variations and montages, and is inspired by “cinéma direct” as well as fictional-style narratives.

This year, the festival offers retrospectives and thematic programmes dedicated to, among others, Colombian cinema, Jay Rosenblatt (USA), José Luis Guerín (Spain), Marília Rocha (Brazil), and Giovanni Cioni (Italy).

Five years after attending Ex Oriente Film and East European Forum (under the title Journey to Freedom / A. C. Stephen Confidential), Bulgarian filmmaker Jordan Todorov will celebrate the premiere of his Bulgarian-German co-production documentary Dad Made Dirty Movies at Visions du réel. The film is part of the État d'Esprit section and will be screened at: L'Usine a Gaz, 22:30h, 10 April 2011 / Theatre de Marens, 17:00 h, 11 April 2011.

At the Edge of Russia, another film that also started its journey at the 2006 Ex Oriente Film and East European Forum, went on to win the Silver Eye Award 2010 at the East Silver Market. Screenings: Theatre de Marens, 15:00h, 7 April 2011 / Theatre de Marens, 15:00h, 9 April 2011.

Latvian filmmaker Audrius Stonys travels to Nyon with Ramin, participant of Ex Oriente Film 2008, East European Forum 2008 and Doc Launch 2010. The film is included in the International Competition and will be screened at: Salle communale, 18:00 h, 10 April 2011 / Capitole 2, 16:00h, 11 April 2011.

Doc Launch 2010 participant, Abendland by Nikolaus Geyrhalter will also be screened in the International Competition: Salle communale, 20:00h, 10 April 2011 / Capitole 2, 10:00h, 11 April 2011.

 

Abendland

Production company: Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion GmbH

Austria, 2010, 100 min, 35 mm, HD, Creative, Society

Darkness can help us see things more clearly. In Abendland, Nikolaus Geyrhalter undertakes a long associative journey across nighttime Europe. Pulsating service economy and affluent society, the wall of security and exclusion, urban civilization, hedonist Temple of Pleasure, at once inspired and weighed down by history, tradition and high culture. Night work, self-abandon, noise and silence, confusion of tongues, birth, illness, death and desperate attempts to cross the border. Geyrhalter's camera and the congenial editing by Wolfgang Widerhofer create a compelling film essay about one continent and the principle of the West (Abenland).


Doc Launch 2010

 

At the Edge of Russia

Director: Marczak Michał
Production company: Ozumi Films, Aperto Films

Koniec Rosji , Poland, 2010, 72 min, Digi Beta, Society

Alexei is a nineteen year old recruit being flown in to perform his military service on the frontier of northern Russia. The base is one of few such remaining outposts on the Arctic Ocean. There are five other seasoned and long serving soldiers stationed here, each with their own personal story or secret that has caused them to retreat from the real world. Their training and breaking in of the new arrival is sometimes humorous, at times harsh. Gradually, they each reveal something of themselves in their daily interactions and private moments as they continue their absurd duty in this snow covered no man's land, hundreds of miles from the nearest human settlement.


Ex Oriente Film 2006 / East European Forum 2006 / East Silver 2010Silver Eye Award 2010East Silver Caravan 2010 /

 

 

Barzakh

Producer: Kaurismäki Aki, Kvedaravičius Mantas
Production company: Sputnik Oy, Extimacy Films

Finland, Lithuania, 2011, 59 min, HD, Human Rights, Social Issues

In a Chechen city recovering after the war, a man disappears. As daily life goes on, those in search are drawn into a world where encounters with diviners and legal advisors, with the torturers and the tortured, with secret prisons and mythical lakes all become commonplace. When the disappeared do return in dreams, they are said to come from Barzakh – a land between the living and the dead.

 

 

Dad Made Dirty Movies

Director: Todorov Jordan
Production company: Agitprop Ltd., Filmtank GmbH

Bulgaria, Germany, 2011, 58 min, HD, Creative, Entertainment, Portrait

A tribute to the greatest erotic filmmaker in the US: A.C. Stephen. Having fled from communistic Bulgaria, Stephen shot to stardom in the Hollywood of the 60ies with innocent soft porns. Together with his close friend Ed Wood, he became the father of sexploitation cinema - erotic entertainment before the liberalization of pornography. An American dream come true, directed by Hollywood itself.


Ex Oriente Film 2006 / East European Forum 2006



Edmund in Knezevac

Director: Popadić Luka
Producer: Popadić Luka

Edmund u Kneževcu , Serbia, 2010, 22 min, HD, Portrait, Society

Edmund Schönenberger is a Swiss lawyer who fought for the freedom of thought and human rights in Switzerland. He represented clients during the "Opernhaus-riots" in Zurich as well as the members of the R.A.F. (the Baader-Meinhof group). He is a co-founder of the biggest law firm in Switzerland which works pro bono. Through his work he analyses the Western society and decides to move to Kneževac, the most rural part of Serbia in order to start a new life there. In a very charming way he tells us his life story and expresses his views about democracy, the state and its system and we see how he tries to apply his Western-world experiences in the village. The clash of mentalities leads to philosophical and very funny situations and shows us a new perspective of the state, globalization and life itself.

 

 

A Kurdish Woman

Production company: Les Films d'ici, Arte France

Il nous faut du bonheur , France, Russia, 2010, 52 min, HD, Creative, Portrait

Torn apart by history, the Kurdish community comes back to life each year during the Spring festival, an ancient juvenisation rite that predates Islam. At the heart of our tale, we find Senia, an elderly woman at the head of a large family living in the village of Gawilan Botan, in the region of Bardarash, about an hour’s drive from Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. The challenge facing this film, despite the apparent contradiction, is that of describing a Muslim community in the Middle East through the portrait of a woman, a woman who rules her family with an iron hand.

 

 

Midnight


Půlnoc , Czech Republic, 2010, 40 min, HD, Youth Documentary

A cinematic essay on the social and psychological effects of constant brightness on our modern existence. Based on the statements of various experts and persons concerned, as well as the video diary kept by the filmmaker during a darkness therapy, the film threads together – both visually and acoustically – an impressive number of views regarding the numbing of our senses in modern-day urban life.


East Silver 2010

 

 

Olda


Olda , Czech Republic, 2010, 80 min, DV, Creative, Personal View, Youth Documentary

Ms. Oldriska after two brain strokes, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, lives with her dog in a small flat in Brno. She captures several days of her life on a small digital camera – everyday faith with brain and body, son’s and friend’s visit, flat reconstruction. Without any experience, she uses the camera spontaneously, sometimes having problems with technical limitations of the camera, sometimes she simply forgets about the red REC button…


East Silver 2010

Olda is presented as part of the 2011 Doc Alliance selection.

 

 

Phnom Penh Lullaby

Director: Kloc Pawel

Poland, 2010, 98 min, Creative, Portrait, Social Issues

Everyone holds a secret. The secret of the future. Phnom Penh Lullaby is an intimate story of a man looking for love and acceptance. Ilan Schickman left Israel dreaming of a new life. He now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with his Khmer girlfriend Saran and daughters Marie, 2 years old, and Jasmine, 6 months, trying to make ends meet as a street fortune-teller.

 

 

Ramin

Director: Stonys Audrius
Producer: Cekulis Uldis
Production company: Vides Filmu Studija

Ramin , Georgia, Latvia, 2011, 59 min, Anthropology, Creative, Personal View, Portrait, Society

Ramin, aka Fantomas, an old freestyle wrestling champion, drives across Georgia in his car to pay a visit to his mother’s grave. During his trip he testifies to the creeping decadence of a sport that was once one of the most popular in the Caucasus. But this does not torment him at 75 as much as the lack of a constant female presence in his life. An epic and poetic film about the art of living.


Ex Oriente Film 2008 / East European Forum 2008 / Doc Launch 2010

 

Slowly

Director: Wolski Tomasz
Producer: Gawlita Anna
Production company: KIJORA Anna Gawlita

Pomalu , Poland, 2010, 30 min, Digi Beta, Social Issues, Society

The film will show one day of life at a small farm in the Low Beskid. Three generation of men live under the same roof: 48-year-old Jan, who works at log-rolling in the woods, his 78-year-old father, Michał, who used to have the same job as his son, and 8-year-old Mateusz, who plays at the log-rolling. Their everyday, unhurried life contrasts with the massive traffic rolling all day long just a few metres from their farm.


East Silver 2010

 


For more programme details, please visit www.visionsdureel.ch.