In this important social documentary, Palestinian-Lebanese director Mahdi Fleifel uses amateur video footage inherited from his father as well as contemporary shots of life inside Ain al-Hilweh, the Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon where he grew up. With his European exile comes the guilt of having to document what remains of existence when there is nowhere to call home. With a beautiful mix of tenderness and guerilla filmmaking, A World Not Ours is an unprecedented testimony of the Palestinian cause outside of the borders of Palestine. Cinema Akil hopes this film will be the starting point – or the continuation – of conversations and actions of solidarity with the people of Palestine.
– Butheina Kazim, Khalid Al Sabi & Louise Malherbe of Cinema Akil
Behind the Flickering Light: The Archive is dear to me personally. It was in the making when I first got in touch with Forum Lenteng back in 2012. The film itself mirrors the situation and condition of contemporary Indonesian cinema by looking at cinema history; scattered, grand, important, and about to be forgotten. The film is told through a conversation among my colleagues at Forum Lenteng and Misbach Yusa Biran, the founder of Sinematek Indonesia, which is the first and biggest film archive in Southeast Asia. The film is important for us not only as a dialogue about preserving film as a medium, but also for the knowledge of how it can be accessible to the wider public, as a national treasure, or simply as entertainment. In a country where film largely arrives as a commodity and without discourse, Behind the Flickering Light: The Archive aims to trigger awareness, to allow for reflection on why we love cinema, and to engage us to consider what’s next.
– Yuki Aditya of Forum Lenteng
Beyond My Steps is a film that highlights various facets of the arts industry in Angola by focusing on contemporary dance. This documentary reveals the challenges that artists face and the never-ending determination they must have in a country where art is still undervalued. “I like to be in a place where people believe in what I do and I feel like a free citizen once again”, says Daniel Curti, one of the dancers. So too does Beyond My Steps highlight the city of Luanda at large. Seen through different lenses, the viewer gains an insight into a city that is capable of transmitting narrative through film.
–Mirian Vanda & Fradique of Cine Geração
Cinema, Mon Amour follows the story of Victor Purice and his team in their everyday fight to preserve a cinema in Piatra Neamț (Romania). He dreams of restoring the glory days, yet struggles to keep up with the harsh new reality. In a theater that lacks heating and is slowly falling apart but which receives no support from the state who own the place, the fight is almost like Don Quixote’s. In a way, this is also the story of Cinema ARTA in Cluj-Napoca, which was renovated and reactivated without any public support. Both are stories with a happy ending, ones that show the power of a group of dedicated and enthusiastic people who follow their dream and bring about positive change in their communities.
– Monica Sebestyen of Cinema ARTA
Majub’s Journey tells a story of an African man who worked as an extra in the movie industry during the Nazi era in the 1930s. The essayistic documentary directed by Eva Knopf reconstructs his life through historical documents, archival footage and photographs. While the film encourages us to rethink German postcolonial discourse, it creates a different layer of awareness relating to memory and identity thus helping us to reinterpret the present and consider the past in a more critical way.
– Buse Yıldırım of Kundura Cinema
One Hundred Children Waiting for a Train is a portrait of the recent history of Chile, a place under a dictatorship and full of inequality. Guided by Alicia Vega, the film’s young protagonists are given the opportunity to explore and design their own films with drawings. Having never before been in a cinema, they discover cinematography, movements, camera angles, film genres, Chaplin, Disney, Lamorisse’s red balloon and the train of the Lumière Brothers. In this documentary, Ignacio Agüero makes visible what CCC stands for. A place where cinema is the center of dialogue, creation and community, that supports new filmmakers everyday through workshops, screenings and talks, in which we seek to democratize cinema and access to culture.
– Dominga Sotomayor & Ignacio Ocampo of CCC
Berlin is home to a large German-Turkish community which is today an integral part of the city’s cultural life. A vast range of films produced within the Turkish film industry (Yeşilçam), including comedies, action films and melodramas, proved to be highly popular within this community. Screened in movie theaters and played on VHS players at home, Yeşilçam shaped migrant film culture in Germany as well as a generation of renowned German filmmakers. Despite its crucial role in the cultural and social life of the migrant community from Turkey, the phenomenon is often neglected and almost completely absent in cultural discourse. Cem Kaya dedicates his documentary to this highly productive film industry, the strong bond it shares with audiences and the creative strategies it used to bypass copyright issues. Remake, Remix, Ripoff has always been a film that inspired us and fits perfectly to the transnational approach that we take to our work at SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA.
– Malve Lippmann & Can Sungu of SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA
There aren’t many choices available for Thai cinephiles, as most cinemas here are multiplexes which screen lookalike blockbuster films. As a distributor and cinema, we try to create alternatives, especially for documentary films. Our ongoing focus is on the classics. Kazuo Hara’s films have always been of interest because of the way they deal with social issues. His most infamous work, The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On, shows just how controversial and confrontational documentaries can be. The film examines the historical amnesia that continues to plague Japanese society until today. After the screening we always have a discussion and believe this film will spark conversation in the audience about the subject and Hara’s method of making documentaries.
– Thanaphon Accawatanyuof Documentary Club