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Three Picks from MoMA's Documentary Fortnight

Abendland, Argentinian Lesson and Marija's Own are part of MoMA's Documentary Fortnight (February 16 - 28, 2012, NYC), a prestigious showcase of some of the best international documentaries. All three films are included in East Silver's 2011 catalogue. Abendland was presented at the 2010 Doc Launch.

 

MoMA's Documentary Fortnight
February 16 - 28, 2012
NYC, USA

Documentary Fortnight: MoMA's International Festival of Nonfiction Film highlights the art of the documentary. Established in 2001, MoMA's annual two-week showcase of recent nonfiction film and video takes place each February. This selection of international feature-length and short documentaries from around the world represents the wide range of creative categories that extend the idea of the documentary form and reflect on new areas of nonfiction practice. This year's program includes a selection of over 40 films, performances, and music events, and many of the filmmakers will be present throughout the festival. Discussions follow each film.

Nikolaus Geyrhalter's Abendland attended the 2010 Doc Launch, received a Silver Eye Award nomination, and over the following months went on to collect awards at Diagonale or Planete Doc Film Festival. It was screened at, among others, Hot Docs and Visions du réel. Missed our insightful text on this and other films by Geyrhalter? It's definitely worth a read!

Argentinian Lesson is surely among the most successful East European docs of the past festival season. Wojciech Staroń - participant of the 2010 Ex Oriente Film and East European Forum - won several awards at the Krakow Film Festival, the Silver Dove Award at the DOK Leipzig, Best Director Award at Festival dei Popoli, and the Grand Prize at the Guangzhou IDFF in China. How did Wojciech navigate the sensitive film terrain that involved his own family? Read here in our interview. 

Marija's Own by Željka Sukova started its festival journey at the 2011 Hot Docs, and in summer 2011 picked up one of the awards at the Karlovy Vary IFF. Željka Sukova and Aleš Suk's new documentary project The End of Light will be attending the 2012 East European Forum, March 5-11, in Prague. 

 

Abendland

 
 
Production company: Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion GmbH

Austria, 2011, 90 min, HD, Creative, Society

Western standard of living, civilization, and the urge to exclude others from it are the core of Geyrhalter's latest cinematic documentary essay. Entirely shot at night, Geyrhalter takes us on a very personal journey through the Western world and the structures that guarantee our "civilized" world. Sometimes darkness can help us to see things more clearly.
 

 

Argentinian Lesson

Production company: Staron Film

Argentyńska lekcja , Poland, 2011, 56 min, Digi Beta, Creative, Personal View, Society, Travel

In 1998 Wojciech Staroń made the documentary film "The Siberian Lesson". The film told the story of a young teacher who emigrated to the vicinity of Lake Baikal in order to teach Polish deportees’ descendants their native language. Many years later, as a married couple with two children, the director and his wife are leaving for Argentina. For their little son, this trip will not only be an encounter with an unknown language. Influenced by their Argentinian friend, Janek enters the fascinating world of imagination, and is introduced to the bitterness of childhood prematurely contaminated by the problems of grown-ups.
East Silver 2011 / Silver Eye Award nominee 2011
 

 

Marija's Own

 
 
Director: Suková Željka
Producer: Suková Željka
Production company: Udruga Ukus

Marijine , Croatia, 2011, 62 min, Digi Beta, HD, Creative, Drama doc, Entertainment, Music

A typical cross-section of bigoted neighbours in an ordinary apartment building are invited to an intimate party to honor the memory of the late Marija Violić, a fellow tenant, friend and grandmother. Instead of descending into sentimental cliché, the party soon evolves into a reality show, complete with all-singing, all-dancing interludes. The venue for this unique gathering is Marija's apartment and the music is provided by the hired musicians - a bunch of complete unknowns as far as the guests are concerned but in real life, the hugely popular Czech dance electro-trash band Midi lidi. And the purpose of this unique get-together? To finally fulfill a long overdue family obligation to the late, great, dearly departed Marija.
East Silver 2011
 

 

MoMA's Documentary Fortnight runs February 16/28 in NYC. More details here.