Interviews with the directors of the completed films will be posted in the following weeks.
The Belarusian premiere of Ada's Gallery took place in May 2008 under semi-legal conditions. It was then broadcast on Belsat TV - the only independent broadcaster in Belarus, run by Latvian and Polish television. Thanks to the TV reruns, the film has reached yet more local viewers on pirate copies, i.e., alternative distribution channels Belarus-style. Screenings in Poland will be launched June 13, 2008, 19:30 at Kino Lab and Centrum Sztuki Wspólczesnej, Zamek Ujazdowski, ul Jazdów 2. The film was produced by Miroslaw Dembinski, a renown director and producer of the Polish documentaries A Lesson of Belarusian and Music Partisans, one of the few contemporary documentary filmmakers to draw the attention of European audiences to the political situation in a country outside EU's political concern. In 2007, the project was presented at the Ex Oriente Film workshop.
Director: Uladzimir Kolas
Producer: Miroslaw Dembinski
Co-production: Al Jazeera, YLE Finnish Broadcasting
Ada Raichonak and her husband Aleh are an ageing farming couple. Most of their neighbors are still forced to work in kolkhoz. But the life of farmers in Belarus is not much easier. Working hard at the farm, Ada founded an art gallery in her village and organizes summer art workshops for painters who come from all over the country. The film will tell about collisions between the artists who hate authoritarian regime which makes Belarus the "last dictatorship in Europe", the peasants who are influenced by populist propaganda of the authorities and Ada who tries to reconcile all of them with the help of the 'magic power of art…'
Bahrtalo! Good Luck!
Robert Lakatos's film was developed from the shorter version Bahrtalo!, made as part of Across the Border, Nikolus Geyrhalter's international project involving five countries. The film will have its international premiere at this year's Karlovy Vary IFF. In 2005, the film attended the East European Forum; in 2006, it was presented at the Karlovy Vary panel of upcoming documentary films, Docu Talents from the East.
Bahrtalo! Good Luck!
Director: Róbert Lakatos
Producer: András Muhi
Co-production: Sandor Söth (Intuit Pictures, Berlin) / Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion)
Cinematographer: Győrgy Réder
Countries: Hungary, Germany, Austria
The film is a documentary road movie comedy. Its two main characters are Lali, an ethnic Gábor gipsy from Transylvania (Romania) and his friend Lóri, an ethnic Transylvanian Hungarian. Always pressed by financial problems, they are trying to find money-making opportunities in Hungary, Austria and even Egypt, using the new travel possibilities that have opened up for Romanian citizens.
Bye Bye Shanghai
Jana Boková's multilayered portrait of cities and people that are hard to return to is based on the experience shared by many Czech emigrants who left Prague in the years following the 1968 occupation. Just as Bahrtalo! Good Luck!, the film will celebrate its international premiere in the documentary competition of the Karlovy Vary IFF. In 2006, Jana Boková presented her project Waiting in Buenos Aires, a portrait of the city of her exile, at the East European Forum. In the meantime, she made Bye Bye Shanghai that was featured at the 2007 Docu Talents from the East under the working title Exotic Home Prague. Photo: Jana Boková and Petr Král
Bye Bye Shanghai
Director: Jana Boková
Producer: Jiří Konečný, Luboš Konečný
Production Company: Endorfilm
Script: Jana Boková
Cinematography: Jiří Zykmund
Editor: Jan Daňhel
Sound: Michal Gábor, Václav vlétl, Juraj Mravec
Music: Péťa Korman Novák
Country: Česká republika
Support: Státní fornd pro podporu a rozvoj české kinematografie, Morocha Films, I/O Post
In Paris Věra Linhartová once wrote an essay about the irresolvable nature of emigration. Once you're uprooted you can never take root again. That's true for me too. In recent years, something has been changing though. It's a different generation, people who didn't have to make tough decisions in 1968. The prejudice is disappearing and I decided to come back to Prague through film. Moreover, Prague is impenetrable and exotic to me because I was very young when I left. But the Prague part of the trilogy is not about me. I'm interested in people like Petr Král, people who return after years in emigration. Prague will be viewed from a greater distance, from somewhere halfway to a return.
Deconstruction of an Artist
On May 6, the Latvian capital of Riga hosted the premiere of Peteris Krilovs' remarkable documentary film about one of the most controversial figures in Latvia's 20th century art. Klucis went from being an avantgarde pioneer of Constructivism and a prominent of the Soviet regime, to becoming one of the authors of the Lenin cult's public image and a victim of the Stalinist purges. Klucis and his collages are not only the film's subject but also inform its structure. The Deconstruction of an Artist constructs the Soviet Union using archive footage, reconstructs scenes from Klucis' life and deconstructs his avantgarde collages, the Stalin cult and ultimately also Klucis himself. Director Peteris Krilovs and producer Uldis Cekulis developed the project at the 2005 Ex Oriente Film workshop; in 2006 it was presented at Docu Talents from the East. This year the filmmakers travel the international festival and market circuit.
Deconstruction of an Artist
Director: Peteris Krilovs
Producer: Uldis Cekulis / Jean Francois Le Corre
Production Company: Vides Filmu Studija
Co-production: Vivement Lundi (France) / ERT (Greece)
Script: Pauls Bankovskis
Cinematography: Andris Prieditis
Editor: Julia Vinten
Format: Digi Beta Cam
A documentary film about Gustav Klucis, a Latvian farmer who moved to Russia where he became a prominent Constructivist and eventually one of the victims of the Stalinist regime. Questions surrounding his life and career are far from being resolved...
Juraj Lehotský's first documentary feature attended this year's Cannes IFF competition programme, as the first Slovak film after almost 40 years. In Cannes, the film received the Art Cinema Award handed out by arthouse cinemas. Blind Loves, one of the most successful films developed at Ex Oriente Film, was selected into the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs / Director´s Fortnight section that focuses on young talents. Oscillating between observation, potrayals of imaginary worlds generated by the blind protagonists and staged everyday situations, Lehotský's documentary was made over the course of 5 years with the Slovak production company Artileria and is distributed by Austria's Autlook Film Sales. After Cannes, Blind Loves is going to be screened at the Karlovy Vary IFF. Under the working title Searching, Juraj Lehotský and Marko Škop developed the project at the 2006 Ex Oriente Film; it was also presented at Docu Talents from the East in Karlovy Vary.
35 mm, Dolby SR, 77 min
Director: Juraj Lehotský
Script: Marek Leščák, Juraj Lehotský
Cinematography: Juraj Chlpík
Editor: František Krähenbiel
Producers: Marko Škop, Ján Meliš, František Krähenbiel, Juraj Chlpík, Juraj Lehotský (www.artileria.sk)
Cast: Peter Kolesár, Iveta Koprdová, Miro Daniel, Monika Brabcová, Zuzana Pohánková,
Manželia Elena a Laco s dcerou Gabikou
Distributor: Asociácia slovenských filmových klubov
World Sales: Peter Jäger, Autlook Film Sales, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.autlookfilms.com
Blind Loves is a film about love between blind people. Love can be soft, love can be silly, love can be blind at times... To find one´s place in this world is not an easy thing to do for people with good sight, but how much more difficult it can get for somobedy who is blind? The „view“ of blind persons is often pure and essential, and very often witty. It uncovers new dimensions of meaning of happiness.