Two old men, 78, 75, are shouting at each other under the tightrope, arguing whose student is the best; ‘I started to walk when I was thirteen, 30 musicians died whilst I was dancing!’ ‘But I won the competition in the fifties; the cultural minister said if there was a science of tightrope I would be a Professor.’ These are the last two tightrope masters in Armenia, who were once treated like gods. With a smile we will show the ‘funeral’ of their art: even though their troupes walk now, they are sure that their students will not continue.
A Story of People in War and Peace
As a journalist, Vardan Hovhannisyan was supposed to spend five days reporting on the trench warfare in Nagorny Karabakh, a highland territory battled over by Armenia and Azerbaijan. Instead, he stayed for four years. When his son asked him several years after the war if he had been a soldier, he did not know what to answer. The complicated nature of the question prompted Hovhannisyan to trace the uncertain whereabouts of the comrades he fought with in order to ask them about their feelings regarding the past. In so doing, he practically ignores the political context, making the film a story about any war where neighbors suddenly become enemies. "All of us were affected by the war," says Hovhannisyan, and his interviews with those whom he was able to track down only serve to confirm this statement. The painful past lives on in people’s present-day lives: in one's altered state of mind, in shattered family relationships, or in the effort to forget what happened.
A humorous documentary about a small island with many donkeys. Lamu, just off the coast of Kenya, is the home of 24,000 people, 6,000 donkeys, just 2 cars and a 14-year-old donkey race champion, Shee Famao, whose fondest dream in life is nothing more than having a donkey of his own. Shee, one of the most well known boys in Lamu, is a three time champion of the famous donkey races on the island, a place where everyone will inevitably get stuck in donkey traffic, where the largest humanitarian organization is a donkey hospital, and where the donkeys are the key to earning a living for the majority of people. But the life of Shee is full of contrasts, he is the most popular, but also the poorest boy of the island, he is a schoolboy trapped with the responsibility of being a “providing father” for his family, he is criminal who is respected by his community and even the police, he is a hero of the island but without his victorious horse - the donkey!
A Danish explorer proudly plants his nation’s flag on deserted Hans Island of the North Pole. Twenty years later, a Canadian expedition does the same thing. A Russian submersible, 4000 meters below the surface of the Arctic Ocean plants a rust-free, titanium flag …At the same time, in South Pole, the Australians are beginning the first regular flights, British are issuing Antarctic postage stamps, Chile and Argentina are sending pregnant women down to produce native Antarcticans and Vladimir Lenin is watching over it all, his statue staring out from the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility, which the Russians first reached in the 1950s.The North and South Poles are two of the world’s last unclaimed territories, potentially holding untapped supplies of scarce natural resources. Nations are now positioning themselves, overtly and covertly, to seize as much as they can as soon as the opportunity presents itself. At the North Pole, that opportunity is rapidly approaching as the polar ice cap dwindles away and five Arctic nations (Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and the United States) are engaged in a mad scramble. At the South Pole the process is slower, since Antarctica is controlled by the Antarctic Treaty, which preserves the continent for peaceful, scientific purposes. Though the battle here is more subtle than that for the North Pole, nevertheless countries are quietly aligning themselves through seemingly innocent actions to be prepared in case the treaty should be removed, relaxed, or renegotiated—preparing to grab everything they can get their hands on! Enter Armenia. This small mountain nation does not want to miss out on its chance to take part in sharing process of the world’s scarce resources. After all, when the polar ice melts and the world floods, Armenia will be one of the few nations left afloat! But how can tiny Armenia realize its claim without submarines and an army of scientists able to survive in the cold arctic weather? Armenians have a secret weapon - two comedians, who will try to visualize and solidify their claim for territory.
8:00 pm: As Max watches 20 dots moving slowly across his computer screen, he notices that one is still. It represents Robinson, a 20-year-old elephant that Max has fitted with a GPS collar. Robinson hasn’t moved for the last 3 hours. 11:00 pm: Robinson still has not moved. Max asks his team to meet him at the office. They prepare to travel across the plains of Kenya to investigate what they hope is just a technical glitch. 1:30 am: As the team approaches the dot on their radar, it quickly becomes obvious that something horrible has happened: an elephant carcass lies in the mud in front of Max’s jeep. 4:00am: In a garage littered with wires, pliers, and spare computer parts, Max meets with Henrik, a GPS chip specialist. They have been planning for this moment for months. 6:30 am: As the sun slowly rises, Max and Henrik are bent over the body of Robinson, drilling holes in the elephant’s tusks to place a tiny GPS chip inside. By the time the sun has cleared the horizon, they are speeding away, disappearing before the poachers come to claim their prize. For the next 6 months, Max and his team will track the movement of the GPS chip they placed in the ivory tusks from its illegal journey over African borders to its final destination in the black markets of China. Max’s mission is to try to stop the illegal trade of ivory and this film will follow his investigation.