Lemesos International Documentary Festival returns on the big screen of Theatro Ena, in the heart of Limassol, now in its eighth edition, from the 1st until the 8th August 2013. The Festival will screen for the first time in Cyprus, 23 of the most awarded and talked about documentaries of the year and is about to bring us face to face with… reality!
In difficult times, cultural events face particular hardships in their implementation. However, under these discouraging economic circumstances the Lemesos International Documentary Festival happens yet again this year, presenting a world that concerns us more than ever. Societies in crisis, humans in crisis, lives in crisis. Location: an ambulance in Sofia, the remote Ikaria island or a village in Cambodia. An ‘invisible war’ is about to take place on the big screen of Theatro Ena! Financial crisis, the arts, environmental issues, decentralization, the inner search, the emancipation of women, musical documentaries, globalization and the struggle of man to preserve traditional values and habits, while leading a life of dignity, are only some of the topics of the 23 documentary films to be showcased this year within the multidimensional programme of the festival. Ever since its first edition, the festival constitutes the main platform for showcasing contemporary, creative documentary in Cyprus.
The festival is co-organised by Brave New Culture and Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, while it is being funded and supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus and Media Desk Cyprus. CYBC is the official communication sponsor.
Parallel to the main screenings at the main festival area, the second Municipal Market of Limassol (Theatro Ena), some repetitive screenings will also take place at Sousami bar, just a few metres away from the main festival space in the heart of the old city of Limassol. This year, the Festival will screen exclusively at Sousami, a number of musical documentaries from different countries and cultures, in the framework of a partnership with the Cyprus Music Information Center.
The festival will host directors and producers of films to be screened throughout the nine days, and the viewers will have the chance to initiate a creative dialogue with the filmmakers.
A taste of the films
The Festival premiers with the outstanding documentary by twice Academy Award nominee Lucy Walker, The Crash Reel, on August 1st. The film captures the rise and violent fall of a young snowboard champion. From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, The House I Live in, last year’s winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, takes a penetrating look inside America’s criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy. Shot in an ambulance in Bulgaria, Sofia’s Last Ambulance deals with Bulgaria’s health system, in a city where 13 ambulances struggle to serve 2 million people. Nicos Dayandas’s film Little Land, from Greece, narrates the story of two young people who decide to radically change their lives by moving permanently to the remote island of Ikaria, and redefine the basic principles of survival.
Antonis Boskoitis’s documentary Katerina Gogou: Reinstating the Dark Side is a portrait of eccentric actress and poet Katerina Gogou, through the eyes of those whose paths crossed her own. Rain is a poetic documentary about searching, looking and hesitating within the walls of the opera, which at times can be claustrophobic. A film director’s search for the ideal protagonist paints a picture of a modern Georgia still living with the echoes of the Soviet era in The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear. “Make Love! Save the World!” Berlin’s F*ck for forest is one of the world’s most bizarre charities. Based on the idea that sex can save the world, the NGO raises money for their environmental cause by selling home-made erotic films on the internet.
The perpetrators of purges in 1960s Indonesia eagerly re‑enact their atrocities for this extraordinary documentary under the title The Act of Killing. Sundance Grand Jury Prize 2013 and Audience Award Winner Blood Brother is the story of a group of children infected with HIV and a disenchanted young American drifting through India. Black Out is a poignant documentary that shows how children reconcile their daily lives in one of the world’s poorest countries with their desire to learn. My Child, is a feature documentary from Turkey, about parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans individuals in Turkey, intimately recounting their personal experiences.
Google and the World’s Brain is a documentary about Google’s plan to scan all of the world’s books, which triggered an ongoing lawsuit. The hair-raising film sees Google import millions of copyrighted works, get sued, lose, but almost get a literature monopoly in the process. Using the 2011 Norwegian island shootings as a starting point, Wrong Time Wrong Place, shows the role of (sometimes absurd) coincidence in tragedy.
The Festival will conclude with the screening of the film Marley, a tribute to the music phenomenon Bob Marley, through the eyes of those who were close to him.
In the framework of the 8th edition of the “Lemesos International Documentary Festival”, a documentary professional event is organized entitled DocsTalk. The initiative is directed to professional directors / producers and to anyone who is interested in learning more about the various aspects of creating a documentary film, such as storytelling and script writing, producing and developing, filming techniques and festival distribution.
Seminar: Producing the Documentary
Acclaimed producer Signe Byrge (The Act of Killing) from Denmark will talk about contemporary production methods and she will address key issues in constructing documentary narratives and creating strong visual stories. In addition, using case studies of films from her own company, will explore how different kinds of stories and subjects travel internationally.
EDN Masterclass – How to construct your opening sequence?
Ove Rishøj Jensen from the European Documentary Network (EDN) will try and answer this even important question: how do you grab the viewers’ attention from the very beginning of your documentary film? Whether targeting a wide audience or screening to professionals, the very first minutes of a documentary are the most important ones. If you do not grab the attention of your viewers within the very first minutes, they will most likely not watch the remaining part of your film. During the Masterclass, Ove will address this essential problem by showing a number of great documentary openings and identifying key issues to make sure your next opening does not become the end.
Presentation: Richard Wagner’s Life and Work as a Transmedia Event
Producer Hannah Kappes of Gebruender Beetz Filmproduktion, a company which produced more than 100 documentary films, will present The Wagner File cross media project. The project is a film, which will be screened at the Festival, a graphic novel and an App designed for iPad and iPhone and features archive documents and pictures, interviews and audio recording, all of which provide a more immerse exploration of Wagner’s world. During the presentation, more general issues concerning interactive documentary will be touched upon, such as how can the web be used to offer new opportunities to speak about the real? How can documentary use digital interactivity to transform the audience into an active force? How does the production process work, and what are the challenges?
Masterclass: Directing from the Caucasus The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear
Director Tinatin Gurchiani from Georgia who has won the Directing Award with her debut film The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear at this year’s prestigious Sundance Film Festival will discuss in detail her film and her working process, from finding their concept and characters and developing their story to assembling and working with her team. In addition, she will talk about how a film from a small country with limited resources can go global and attract the attention of international distributors.
DocsTalk is organized in collaboration with Media Desk Cyprus.
Entrance to the Festival and DocsTalk, Cyprus is free of charge.
All the films will be screened in their original dialogues with Greek and English subtitles.