Belgrade, April 2018. – This year’s 11th Beldocs International Documentary Film Festival will presents to the Serbian audience as many as 98 films in 14 programmes at 10 cinemas, with more than 100 guests and a rich programme for film professionals. The Beldocs Festival will be held from 7 to 14 of May at the following venues: Belgrade Youth Centre, Belgrade Cultural Center Yugoslav Film Archive, Uzun Mirkova, Yugoslav Film Archive Museum, Kosovska, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Sava Centre, Kombank Cinema, Cultural Centre Vlada Divljan, Cinema Fontana, Art Cinema Kolarac, Cineplexx Usce.
A WORD FROM THE SELECTOR
Mladen Vušurović, the Festival founder and director said on this occasion:
’Beldocs keeps going strong, led by a great ambition to create a new vision for another forthcoming 10 years. Selectors have worked hard for several months and seen numerous films to choose 98 films to be screened at the Festival in 14 programmes.
The selectors of this year’s Beldocs Marko Grba Singh and Igor Stanojević were in charge of providing stylistic and thematic diversity.
While introducing the programmes of this year’s Festival, Marko Grba Singh said: 'International Competition Programme is characterised by diversity in thematic and stylistic approach, as well as by the perfect balance between great, established authors (Agnes Varda, Abel Ferrara, Claude Lanzmann) and talented, young debutants.
Nine films will compete in the Serbian Competition Programme, five of which are world premieres and one Serbian premiere - the film '4 years in 10 minutes' (Mladen Kovačević), whose international premiere is eagerly awaited next week at the festival Visions du Reel in Nyon.
The programme at old Cinotheque is divided into three selections: Front Page (current political and sociological themes), Planet Earth (nature and anthropology films) and Fireworks (films dedicated to exhilarating or incredible people or events).
The Festival guests in the Retrospective Programme are the Austrian director Ulrich Seidl and the Slovenian director Vlado Skafar. With a view to connecting a common cultural space of former Yugoslav countries, the Festival’s idea is to dedicate one retrospective each year to directors from these countries.
This year, a new selection - entitled ‘Meteors’ - has been introduced, consisting of radical documentaries and hybrid genres, which will be screened at the Video Hall of the Museum of Contemporary Arts and the new Cinotheque. This selection’s special quest will be a great Portuguese director Joao Pedro Rodrigues, known to Belgrade audience for his film 'Ornithologist' screened at FAF in 2016.
Igor Stanojević points out that, in creation of the concept of the entire festival, the selectors were guided by the ambition to present the complete wide array of the world documentary films.
‘The Festival will include global blockbusters such as 'Kedi' about Istanbul cats, arthouse sensations 'L. Cohen', as well as everything that goes between. The main criterion was quality.
Although this year's competition programme is exceptionally intense, a particularly interesting theme, pervading several films, imposed itself: the growing up is present in films 'Of Fathers and Sons' by Talal Derki, Simon Gillard’s 'Boli Bana' and Viktor Jakovleski’s 'Brimstone & Glory' – growing up in a tribal society, growing up in ISIS, growing up in a small place involved in a dangerous profession of making fireworks – growing ups dispersed across the globe that are very different, but in a certain way essentially very similar.
A Festival’s guest and one of the most important female documentary film-makers Ruth Beckermann is bringing with her the film 'The Waldheim Waltz', which sheds a new light on the official history of Europe. In addition to Beckermann's film, the Biographical Documentaries Selection presents films dedicated to people who have already channelled the course of mankind, through films such as Lorna Tucker’s 'Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist', which will have its international premiere at Beldocs, but also to people who are still doing that, like Israeli writer Etgar Keret.
The Planeth Earth Programme, which aims at presenting the diversity of life worldwide, is epitomised in a small film 'Small Planets' by Dirk Manthey, which will have its world premiere at this year's Beldocs and which managed, by exceptionally effective concise vignettes, to convey the colour range of all planet Earth's microcosms.'
Marija Vukić, the programme director of Beldocs' Human Rights points out that with this programme the Festival joins in marking 70 years since the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights.
'In accordance with the programme concept, we have selected the films that address the topics such as genocide, human trafficking and capital punishment. In addition to film screening and talks with authors after the screenings, we will also organise three moderated panel discussions on the above topics. The central aim of this programme is to encourage the general public to reflect and take a critical stance, as well as to increase the readiness of an individual and society to recognise and respond to a crime against humanity.’
Đorđe Marković, the director of the film ‘Who Framed Kaktus Kid?’ which, together with the film ‘In Praise of Nothing’ by Boris Mitić, officially opens the Festival at ‘Sava Centar’ on 7 May, said on this occasion:
‘I am exceptionally pleased that my film ‘Who Framed Kaktus Kid’, together with Boris’ film, will open Beldocs Festival. It is my directorial debut produced by Tuna Fish Studio from Belgrade and made with the support of Media Fund and Film Centre Serbia. The Croatian co-producer is Nukleus Film from Zagreb. The theme of the film is the World War Two and a mysterious fate of a cartoonist from that era. You will be guided through the film narrative by Aleksandar Zograf, one of the most eminent Serbian comic strip authors.’
This year’s Industry Programme will gather, as in previous year, numerous documentary film authors who will exchange their professional experiences at Beldocs. The head of this year’s Industry Programme is M. Đem Uztufekći, who says that ‘Beldocs in Progress’ will be the most important segment of this Programme.
‘Beldocs in Progress (BIP) is a platform for presentation of Serbian development-stage documentary films to film professionals from Serbia and abroad. The aim is to facilitate support to production, post-production, distribution and the share of Serbian documentary films at film festivals, televisions and VOD platforms, both in form of presentation of projects to festival programme directors, sales agents, distributors, TV channel directors and prospective co-producers and in form of financial support. This year’s awards are: EUR 2,000 by the Serbian Film Centre and EUR 4,000 by ‘Living Pictures’ production company.
SERBIAN COMPETITION PROGRAMME
The contemporary Serbian documentary film-making abounds with both original and stylistically diverse, but nevertheless equally provocative works. Films by Serbian authors will compete for three awards: Best Film, Best Camera and Best Editing.
When Pigs ComeBiljana Tutorov, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 72’
Wizard from MutanjBranko Lazić, Srbija, 2017, 56’
Who Framed Kaktus Kid?Đorđe Marković, Serbia, 2018, 65’
4 Years in 10 MinutesMladen Kovačević, Serbia, 2018, 63’
Occupied CinemaSenka Domanović, Srbija, 2018, 87’
Guidance Through the Black HoleZlatko Pranjić, Aleksandar Nikolić, Serbia, 2017, 74’
The Chinese Will ComeTanja Brzaković, Serbia, 2017, 72’
In Praise of NothingBoris Mitić, Serbia, Croatia, France, 2017, 78’
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION PROGRAMME
The programme consisting of 12 exceptional films, a well-balanced selection of works comprising both films by established authors, who are undoubtedly already a part of film history, and stylistically mature young authors.
· Faces Places, Agnès Varda & JR, France, 2017, 89 min
From uprising against the dictatorship in the Democratic Republic of Congo to impact of Brexit – the Front Page Selection presents front pages of the global current political and sociological events, bringing closer to the audience the problems, doubts and dead-ends in which the contemporary society is wandering.
The films in this selection are characterised by both a committed approach to nature and anthropological research of densely populated and virtually unpopulated areas all around the planet.
Multi-coloured film explosions that constitute this programme narrate about rapturing, incredible or dynamic people and events, proving that even seemingly small stories can in its essence be magnificent.
Just as meteor rains illuminate a night sky, so does this selection of radical arthouse documentaries, hybrid genres and documentary-fictional forms represent some sort of lighthouse that provides the viewer with the insight into diversity and freedom that film expression can have.
RETROSPECTIVE: ULRICH SEIDL
In his work, Seidl is predominantly focused on people on the edge of society and through their individual stories he speaks about the many. The retrospective includes six films, while the author himself will honour the programme with his presence.
RETROSPECTIVE: VLADO ŠKAFAR
As one of the most important authors from former Yugoslavia, Škafar with his meditative and subtle non-narrative films shapes the world in which lie is doomed to fail. The director with the deep sense of humanity enters into psychological characterisation and even words become images.
FOCUS: BALTIC STATES
This year Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia mark 100 years of their first declaration of independence. This special programme dedicated to the cinematography of these countries presents 6 films, which represent the finest works of contemporary documentary film-making in Baltic States.
Latvia, Northern Ireland – UK, Ireland, Spain, 2017, 72 min
BELDOCS HUMAN RIGHTS
On the occasion of marking 70 years since the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights, Beldocs presents this programme of films and panel discussions with eminent experts on the topics of genocide, human trafficking and capital punishment.
MUSIC AND DANCE DOCUMENTARIES
· Capoeira, Jorge Itapuã, Brazil 2017, 73 min