ONCE UPON A TIME, CONGO MIRADOR /VE, UK, BR/
Congo Mirador is a small village built on stilts in the middle of Lake Maracaibo (Venezuela), Latin
America’s largest oil field. “Once Upon a Time, Congo Mirador” tells the story how several of its
inhabitants are dealing with the gradual disappearance of their village as the lake – literally swimming in oil – is slowly turning into a swamp. Black oily mud and pollution become part of every day life and neglect and corruption not only lead to the decay of the village but of people’s moral values. Yoaini, a girl on her lonely journey to womanhood; Natalie, opposition supporter and only teacher in town fighting for her job; and her rival Tamara, the political leader of the Chavist party trying to save the village and thus her position – all on their way into an unknown future. And then there is Camarillo, the oldest man in the village, talking to ghosts and birds – he is the one who discovers the “Venezuela”, a lost steamship that had been “eaten” by the jungle decades ago, rotting away, neglected and forgotten like the village itself.
Director: Radu Ciorniciuc
Producer: Monica Lazurean-Gorgan
Editor: Andrei Gorgan
Living in the wilderness of an abandoned communist reservoir for two decades, the Enache family members are the rulers of one of the most spectacular urban natural ecosystems in the world: The Bucharest’s Delta. Surrounded by hundreds of species of animals, fish and plants, the vast green place provides everything that they need to live a peaceful life.
The family have nine children that are raised isolated from the society, but in complete harmony with nature. Their playgrounds are in the lakes and thicket, and their playing mates are the snakes, turtles, birds and fish. They don’t have running water or electricity, but they are masters at fishing with their bare hands and hunting with traps made out of sticks and stones. Their golden survival rule is that they always stay and work together, united against all dangers. Then, one day, the state declares the Delta a natural reservation and the Enache family is castout of its paradise and forced to live in the city. Acasă is following the dramatic change in the life of the Enache family for three years: from wildlife to city life.
Produced by: Manifest Film, RO
Co-production partners: Fango (SE), PolarFox (NO)
CUBAN DANCER /IT, CA, CL/
Director: Roberto Salinas
Producer: Michele Fornasero
Editor: Piero Lassandro
The son of a taxi driver and a nurse, Alexis, is a promising student at the National Ballet School of Cuba with two more years left to study before becoming a professional dancer. But political changes on the horizon compel his parents to migrate to Miami where they will reunite with his half-sister. After leaving Havana, Alexis has to confront the education system in the elite and rarefied atmosphere of dance in the United States. After some refusals, his special talent is recognized by the prestigious HARID Conservatory, which accepts him and grants him a full scholarship. Now, Alexis can continue to study to become a professional but he finds himself facing the need to compromise between two cultures, and to strike a balance that will allow him to redefine his own identity while remaining faithful to his roots.
Produced by: Indyca (IT)
Co-produced by: Valdivia (CL), Megafun (CA)
SJÄLÖ: ISLAND OF SOULS /FI/
Director: Lotta Petronella
Producer: Johanna Tarvainen
Editor: Matti Näränen
Själö – Island of Souls is a creative documentary of an island as a memory bank or a living history book of the development of science and of the history of those whose stories were not worth writing down. The director researches the past of the island and meets its passed away inhabitants; islands’ first priest and doctor from the seventeenth century and a woman who was there as a patient two hundred years later. In the present time the history is interpreted to the filmmaker by the scientists who are researching the condition of the Baltic sea and the nature of the island.
The island is called Själö- Själö means the island of souls. It is a film about memory, of science and the history of women, which was never written.
Produced by: MADE (FI)
THE CAMP /HU, FR/
Director: Judit Oláh
Producer: Sára László
Editor: Péter Sass
The Camp is a feature-length documentary about reconstructing an identity-forming childhood experience, an extraordinary summer camp, which took place in the ’80-s, the last years of the oppressing socialist system in Hungary. The three week long theme-based camp provided life in an imaginary democratic country called Epipo, that was meant to be the antithesis of the outside reality. Pál Sipos, the leader of this onetime camp, around who the whole story is swirling, is a man who had a huge effect on the children entrusted to his care, and eventually ended up fleeing abroad to escape the consequences of his crimes. The director and a former Epipo citizen, joined by one-time Epipoeans, trying to figure out how Epipo, this closed and mystic world, used to work.
Made With the support of the Creative Europe Programme – Media of the European Union.
LESSONS OF LOVE /PL/
Directors: Małgorzata Goliszewska, Katarzyna Mateja
Producer: Anna Stylińska
Editor: Alan Zejer
Jola looks like a Hollywood diva, but her colorful clothes and vivid make-up cover a tragic story – 50 years with an abusive husband, who drank, beat her, cheated and never helped her with their six kids. All of sudden Jola realizes she has little time left and decides to use the last days to the fullest. “This part of life belongs to me!” says Jola and runs away from the marital nightmare to her hometown Szczecin, to take control of her life. Finally, she can do what she has always dreamt of: she meets up with her best friends, dances, writes poems and songs. In Jola’s eyes, the world is always romantic, colorful, dramatic, grotesque even. Such are her costumes, make-up, decorations in her house, as well as her songs. Many of Jola’s songs often speak of love – something that Jola strongly believes in, yet never truly experienced. She has no faith in men, but to her surprise, a strong feeling appears between her and Wojtek, an older man from the dancing club. The problem is, that in Italy, there is still her husband, Bogdan to whom she promised lifelong fidelity in front of God. “A vow is a vow” believes Jola. Will she leave her past behind and accept new love? And what’s stopping her? Is it religion? Is it fear?
AS I WANT /DK, FR, EG, PS/
Director: Samaher Alqadi
Producer: Karim El Hakim
Editors: Thomas Papapetros, Ahmed Aboosaada
After the brutal gang rape of Samaher’s best friend, and waves of attacks against women, a rebellion of women ignites on the streets of Cairo during the short-lived Morsi regime. Samaher enters the fray, her camera is her weapon of self-empowerment. But her journey is not only an immersive, first-hand view on historical events, but it is an intimate documentation of her own inner-awakening that confronts the painful childhood traumas that shaped her. Through her evolution and poetic documentation of self, we witness a cinematic transformation as Samaher finds her voice and her personal power to be on her own terms, as she wants.
Produced by: Prophecy Films
Supported by: Hot Docs Blue Ice Group (CA), IMS (DK), IDFA Bertha (NL)
THE EARTH IS BLUE AS AN ORANGE /UA, LT/
Director: Iryna Tsilyk
Producer: Anna Kapustina, Giedre Zickyte
Editor: Ivan Bannikov
Military actions have been ongoing in the East of Ukraine for the fifth year. The title of the film is the quote from the poem of surrealist Paul Eluard. The being of civil people in a front-line zone seems quite surreal too. Especially, the life of children and teenagers. The documentary “The Earth Is Blue As an Orange” is based on the observation of the family, who lives in a small city in the ‘red zone’ of Donbas. 2014-2015 years were very difficult for this family. They had slept every night in the cellar of their house. The house of their closest neighbours was destroyed by mine. Children’s school was ruined too. Despite all these circumstances, the protagonists remain positive and even try to shoot films about the war by themselves.
The war in Ukraine is still going on. But the life in the war zone still goes on too.
Produced by: Albatrós Communicós (UA)
Co-produced by: Moonmakers (LT)
ON YOUR MARKS /SK, CZ/
Director: Mária Pinčíková
Producers: Zuzana Mistríková, Ľubica Orechovská, Alice Tabery
Editor: Marek Šulík
6th and 7th of July 2018. It’s the peak of the 16th AllSokol Slet which takes place at Prague’s Eden Stadium. Thousands of people gather in one place to perform together mass gymnastics performances. Who are those individuals in the crowd and what is their motivation to exercise the whole year? Is it just to perform for live and TV audience? From the slet’s very beginning to its stressful peak our audience is accompanied by the reporter from local television, who remarks humorous and exaggerated events he witnesses. The film is a reflection of the actual situation of the Sokol Movement and its importance in history. Throughout the collective character of exercisers we will be mostly focused on 5 characters – young exerciser Radek, trainer of “Borci” mass gymnastics performance Miroslav Vrana, lifetime active trainer Vera Bicanova, author of collaborative Czech and Slovak mass gymnastics performance Emilia Fialova and the current head of Sokol Movement Petr Svoboda, those are the people who are taking part in the Slet for various reasons and motivations and help to its successful climax.
Director: Maia Martiniak
Producer: Silvia Panáková
Editor: Mária Hirgelová
Stella is just one of the women who have experienced disrespect, manipulation, and violence at giving birth. The birthing experience left a feeling of rape in her and affected her further life. Three years have passed, and Stella is still unable to find inner peace. She decided to sue the hospital in the Czech town of Neratovice in order for similar things not to repeat. Her lawyer Zuzana Candigliota works for the Human Rights League in the Czech Republic. She has her own experience with the violation of women’s rights when giving birth. She encounters the ignorance of hospital staff, the police, and judges. On the other side, there are women with a traumatic experience from hospitals. No communication with mothers, a lack of information, the distortion of provided information, and manipulative behaviour lead to a traumatic experience that can grow into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Produced by: ARINA film production (SK)
HAPPILY (UN)FAITHFUL /SK, UK/
Director: Diana Fabiánová
Producer: Mike Chamberlain
Editors: Michal Baránek, Fero Krähenbiel, Mária Hirgelová
Diana, the movie director has a husband and two kids. Having recently been married, they find themselves in the midst of their friends’ marriages going through crisis. The dominant cause of infidelity is present everywhere. Why do many people cheat even in seemingly healthy relationships? How to deal with the aftermath of infidelity so that it doesn’t destroy the lives of everyone in the family? Can we work with our tormented emotions? Diana lives in a perfect marriage. Then, out of the blue, she falls for another man. Unexpectedly, irrationally. In the midst of her own internal chaos and scepticism caused by the people around her, Diana travels to explore the cultures that look at (in)fidelity in many different ways. She looks for answers among friends as well as experts and wonders about human sexuality. She tries to find out why it is so attractive to become unfaithful yet so hard to accept it from her partner. She explores the world of polyamory and embarks on a journey that turns her family life upside down. The movie Happily (un)Faithful talks about the ego of an individual as well as about our society, its double morality, and the old unfunctional patterns that we’ve been blindly following for ages. The movie uncovers the phenomenon of infidelity and monogamy versus (many times hidden) other types of intimate relationships across human history. Through archival footage we explore how understanding of infidelity changed depending on social structure and religion. The strongest emotions, however, are presented through human stories, their sincerity, authenticity and power. The movie is a probe to human psyche as well as hypocrisy of the society we live in.
Produced by: Tearaway Films Limited (UK)
YOURS SINCERELY, SOCIAL SYSTEM /SK/
Director: Martin Tokár
Producer: Jakub Viktorin
Editor: Peter Morávek
“Yours sincerely, Social System” is an absurd comedy and social documentary film about Yves Nicolas Ogou, who originally comes from Benin in Africa, but he has been living and working in eastern Slovakia for almost 25 years now. Although he is a foreigner in this country, it is he who helps the local people understand the social system, which is many times being very unhelpful to them. Nicolas is trying to do his job the best he knows, though his clients and the state do not help him much. The mayor has built a preselection campaign that his crisis center is a problem for the village. When he won the election, he closed the crisis center. Nicolas is now trying to influence the new elections to win his candidate and manage to reopen his crisis center. During this, we follow the lines of his clients Gejza and Jana.
Produced by: Nutprodukcia (SK)