A  Film Isn't Finished Until It Is Seen

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17th-21st October 2018

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Documentaries

Feature Documentaries

 

 

 

Bounce: How the Ball Taught the World to Play

USA  72mins  Dir:  Jerome Thelia

Bounce: How the Ball Taught the World to Play is a feature documentary that takes us to the far reaches of the globe and the deep recesses of our ancient past to answer the question: Why do we play ball? Based on the book by anthropologist John Fox, 'The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game,' (Harper Perennial, 2012), the film explores the biological and cultural influences that drive the evolution of our ball games. Equal parts science, history, and visual essay, the documentary follows the ball from animal play through professional sports to video games, exploring why we play ball, and how we play says who we are, where we've come from, and where we are going as a civilization.

Nominations

Best Feature Documentary, Directing in a Feature Documentary,

Editing in a Feature Documentary, Photography in a Feature Documentary

 

The Crater

Australia  58mins  Dir: David Bradbury

The Crater, a Vietnam war story, tells the story of the 1968 battles of Coral and Balmoral, a few of the soldiers who fought in them and the psychological scars they have been wearing ever since. The story began when Private Brian Cleaver wandered off the street into a Masterclass in Perth given by director David Bradbury. Brian asked David if he would make a film about his search for forty-two missing North Vietnamese ‘enemy’ bodies he helped kill 45 years ago. Brian’s account of events at the battle of Coral - where he was sidelined the night of the first horrific battle - and then thirteen nights later at the battle for Balmoral provide the central narrative for the story.

Nominations

Best Feature Documentary, Directing in a Feature Documentary,

Editing in a Feature Documentary, Photography in a Feature Documentary

 

Final Traces of the Abstract Expressionists

USA  45mins  Dir: Caro Jost  

Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Peggy Guggenheim et.al.,: what is left of their former studios, galleries, bars, meetings places in New York City today? Filmmaker and artist Caro Jost follows in the footsteps of these artists of an era. In a mixture of walk and detective hunt, she shows what has now become of these once important places, where art history was made and the Abstract Expressionism arised after WW II in NYC. The film is a juxtaposition of the past and the present, annotated with historical footage, interviews of living eye witnesses, like famous artist Alex Katz. It is not a typical documentary; it is more an investigative art film.

Nominations

Best Feature Documentary, Sound in a Feature Documentary, Photography in a Feature Documentary

 

Healing Magdalene

USA  95mins  Dir: Donna Valverde

“Healing Magdalene,” a feature film about female genital mutilation (FGM). Female genital mutilation is predominantly practiced throughout Eastern, Central and Western Africa, and also extends to the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, some occupied Palestinian territories, and certain immigrant communities in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States of America.

Over 130 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.

Nominations

Sound in a Feature Documentary, Editing in a Feature Documentary

 

In Search of a Lost Paradise

France/Germany/Russian Federation  52mins  Dir: Evgeny Tsymbal   Russian Language/English Subtitles

This film tells the story of Russian artist Valentina Kropivnitskaya and her husband, the artist Oskar Rabin. A story about great talent and great love. One that shows what it is like to live in a totalitarian regime, while still trying to retain one's personal and artistic freedom. The story of people who have created the very notion of nonconformist art, later called The Second Russian Avant-garde.

In 1974, the couple organized a prohibited open-air art exhibition, which the KGB smashed using bulldozers. The following day the event was publicized worldwide. Shortly thereafter, the couple was exiled from the USSR and were stripped of their citizenship. However, this historical event forced the Soviets to change their stance regarding art.

The director, Evgeny Tsymbal, one of the most internationally acclaimed contemporary Russian documentary filmmakers (awards from FIPRESSI, British Film Institute etc.), recounts the story of an artist who was true to her talent and one who never gave into the pressures of life.

Nominations

Directing in a Feature Documentary, Editing in a Feature Documentary

 

Jerusalem In Line

Israel  64mins  Dir: Amir Har-Gil  Arabic Language/English Subtitles

Since the 1967 six day war, and the annexing of East Jerusalem to Israel, its Arab population has lived in a sort of limbo, being recognized as Israeli residents but not as Israeli citizens. This film explores this state of perpetual limbo through the lives of three East Jerusalem inhabitants; a sick man in need of medical treatment, a girl seeking recognition by Israel and a man attempting to re-build his demolished home. All are forced to grapple with Kafkaesque bureaucratic reality marked by standing in a single line outside the office of the Israeli Interior Ministry in East Jerusalem. Through its heroes, the film offers an understanding of the impact the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has on regular people striving to lead lives under extraordinary circumstances

Nominations

Directing in a Feature Documentary, Editing in a Feature Documentary

 

Revival

Japan  90mins  Dir: Tetsu Shiratori  Japanese Language/English Subtitles

Japanese film director Tetsu Shiratori's fourth documentary film 'Revival' revels the power of microorganisms who are the oldest living organisms known on earth. The film takes a scientific journey to prove how microorganisms, especially Yeast, Lactic Bacteria and Photosynthetic Bacteria could help restore the environment and the whole ecosystem that have long been polluted by the human activities. Radioactive contamination is not an exception. Will humans ever stop polluting the earth? 'Revival' casts a vital question that would determine the future path of humanity.

Nominations

Best Feature Documentary, Sound in a Feature Documentary, Photography in a Feature Documentary

 

Sarà un Paese

Italy  87mins  Dir: Nicola Campiotti  Italian Language/English Subtitles

Following the path of the Phoenician hero Cadmus, to whom mythology attributes the introduction of the alphabet into Greece, Nicola, a thirtysomething who is uncertain about the future, and his 10-year-old brother Elia, undertake a journey through Italy in search of a new language, to give back to things their proper names and restore meaning to words. In their wanderings, taking in faces and places, painful realities and historic memories, the road becomes a path of learning and, at the same time, an exploration of the imaginary. On the border between documentary and fiction, the film describes the hopes of the country that will be.

Nominations

Best Feature Documentary, Directing in a Feature Documentary,

Sound in a Feature Documentary, Photography in a Feature Documentary

 

Who We Are: Hurricane Katrina

USA  40mins  

As Hurricane Katrina befell New Orleans, these citizens entered New Orleans to observe what damages had occurred and rescue stranded persons.

Nominations

Editing in a Feature Documentary, Photography in a Feature Documentary

 

Will and Testament

UK  95mins  Dir: Skip Kite

'Will and Testament' follows the political icon that was Tony Benn, as he criss crossed the country continuing a long tradition of radical socialism. For the first time his personal and political archive is combined with the most frank and candid interviews he ever gave set against a surrealist backdrop of his life created at Ealing Studios. 'Will and Testament' is a unique portrait a man some hated, many loved but who all of us respected.

Nominations

Best Feature Documentary, Directing in a Feature Documentary

 

Short Documentaries

 

Choi

Hong Kong  9mins  Dir: Tian Ji

Once hands cross, all will be revealed. Michael Yan Choi (Sifu Choi, as he is known to his disciples) sees Wing Chun as a way of life. It has been his passion, his livelihood and his struggle for three decades. His eccentricities, strict approach and sense of humour embody the unpredictable element of Wing Chun fighting -trying to maintain order in a practice, which constantly teeters on the verge of chaos.

Nominations

Sound in a Short Documentary, Editing in a Short Documentary, Photography in a Short Documentary

 

The Eyewitnesses - Why We Speak...

Austria/Israel  22mins  Dir: Herman Weiskopf

Richard Benson lives in London and he is the grandson of a Holocaust victim. On a road trip through Israel Richard is looking for answers to his question - 'Does it still make sense to concern yourself with the Nazi period?'

Nominations

Best Short Documentary, Editing in a Short Documentary

 

hu.mans

USA  10mins  Dir: Chidi Nobi

Kenny Rivera is an aspiring MMA fighter who has been through his share of knocks in life and lets nothing get in his way to his rise to the top.

Nominations

Directing in a Short Documentary, Photography in a Short Documentary

 

My Dad's a Rocker

China/USA  29mins  Dir: Zuxin Hou  Chinese Language/English Subtitles

My father’s name is Hou. He was a part of China’s first rebellious generation of rock and roll musicians in the 80s, a different era when artists of all trades were hungry, anxious, and in search for catharsis and self-expression. My father is now in his 60’s. He suffered a stroke in 2010 and lost his ability to speak for a time. If you were to look at him today and take in this bald man speaking in a drawl, you would never guess that he was once a longhaired, bearded rock star that once sang on stage.

Nominations

Directing in a Short Documentary, Sound in a Short Documentary, Photography in a Short Documentary

 

Ponty Party

UK  23mins  Dir: Nathaniel Collins

In March 2014, Pontypridd FC, an amateur club plying their trade within the lower leagues of Welsh Football surprised the footballing community with the announcement of their first pre-season friendly of the 2014/15 calendar. On July 29th 2014, Pontypridd AFC would travel away to Spain to play two time Champions League Finalists Valencia CF.

Nominations

Best Short Documentary, Sound in a Short Documentary

 

Porters

UK  14mins  Dir: Dan Ridgeon

Porters tells the story of a group of porters who work in one of the most unnoticed and unappreciated sectors of the British National Health Service.

Nominations

Best Short Documentary, Directing in a Short Documentary, Photography in a Short Documentary

 

Reinventing the Reel

Canada/USA  20mins  Dir: Michael Gorlick

Reinventing the Reel gives an overview of the Hollywood treatment of LGBT portrayals in film, how it has changed, and why is important to continue to change. This brief history is followed by an inside look into independent filmmakers in their process of breaking the chain of that negative history on a smaller scale (with the help of tools like crowd funding). They create films, in part, hoping that one day it will be more common in bigger Hollywood films to see more characters that happen to be gay rather than that be their reason for existing in the film's storyline.

Nominations

Best Short Documentary, Directing in a Short Documentary,

Sound in a Short Documentary, Editing in a Short Documentary

 

South Home Town

UK  9mins  Dir: Steve Hawley, Tony Steyger

A portrait of a city and its people on the English south coast. Southampton is known more for the cruise ships that have passed through, the Titanic and the Mayflower, than for those left behind. Using ultra slow motion video the work addresses the question, what is home? Drifting through the city streets, layers of meaning as well as layers of real and imagined places show through the everyday, the medieval glimpsed dimly beneath the skin of the twenty-first century; it is in these liminal spaces of borderline and uncertainty, of shorelines and pavements, that we begin to make out the myth of our own place.

Nominations

Editing in a Short Documentary, Photography in a Short Documentary

 

Tide

UK  12mins  Dir: Thomas Garrett

Here be what lies under the surface. Here be dragons. Four People scared of the sea tell their stories in this short documentary.

Nominations

Best Short Documentary, Directing in a Short Documentary,

Sound in a Short Documentary, Editing in a Short Documentary

 

Winds of Change

UK/Peru  22mins  Dir: Alex Bak

We have reached a point where climate change is visibly damaging the livelihoods of rural Peruvians, who struggle ever more for water and electricity. A tireless farmer, with the help of renewable energy, is the first in his village to bring light to his home.

Nominations

Directing in a Short Documentary, Editing in a Short Documentary

 

Zero Zero

USA  16mins  Dir: Tristan Seniuk

Beginning in a small roadside motor inn, Zero Zero traces the course of a typical day for blind hiker Trevor Thomas as he navigates the challenges of summiting a mountain in the Cascades. Rather than employ the use of voice-over to tell Trevor's story, Zero Zero takes a verité observational approach and lets the audience experience hiking through Trevor's senses and faculties, letting the viewer sink into his world.

Nominations

Best Short Documentary, Sound in a Short Documentary, Photography in a Short Documentary

SIFF 2015 Selection