17. Free Zone Film Festival / 7.11.2021. / 10.30

07.11.2021, 10:30

10.30 First 54 Years: An Abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation (doc.)
Director: Avi Mograbi
Country: Israel, France, Finland, Germany
Year: 2021.
Runtime: 110’
Jezik: Hebrew, English
Cast: Zvi Barel, Shomo Gazit, Avi Mograbi
Production: Les Films d’Ici, Arte France, 24images, Citizen Jane Prods., Avi Mograbi, ma.ja.de.

EU: ZONE OF CHANGE

SYNOPSIS
The new film by the great Israeli documentary filmmaker Avi Mograbi is a testimony of Israeli soldiers about the occupation of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Critics say that you can hardly see the cold anger due to the topic it is dealing with. It is inconspicuous because Mograbi, who directs and acts as a narrator, uses a clever way to allow historical facts and dozens of interviews with ex-soldiers to shed light on exactly what the half-century occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip has done to both Palestinians and Israelis. The title of the film is the key – Mograbi literally constructs an ironic manual from historical facts on how to occupy someone else’s territory for more than five decades.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY
Avi Mograbi, born in 1956 in Tel Aviv, is a film director whose projects, regularly centered on the conflict between Israel and Palestine, examine how violence impacts the individual. Mograbi frequently appears in his films, taking the position of both director and concerned citizen in seeking to understand what he witnesses. He studied art and philosophy and has made more than twenty films since 1989. Filmography: Between Fences (2016), Once I entered a garden (2012), Z32 (2008), Avenge but One of my Two Eyes (2005), August (2002), Happy Birthday Mr. Mograbi (1999), How I Learned to Overcome My Fear and Love Arik Sharon (1997), The Reconstruction (1994).

FESTIVALS AND AWARDS:
Visions du Réel 2021
Berlin International Film Festival 2021
CPH:DOX 2021
IDFA Forum 2020

13.30 Shpresa (doc.)
Director: Lyra Pozhegu
Country: Kosovo*
Year: 2021.
Runtime: 9’
Language: Albanian
Subtitles: Serbian
Production: DokuFest

THE FUTURE IS HERE

SYNOPSIS:
Her name is Shpresa, which means Hope in the Albanian language. Shpresa, tells a story of hope during war time, as she saves both of her brothers from captivity in enemy camps.
DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY:
Lyra Pozhegu was born on 19.09.2004 in Gjakovë. She finished primary school in “Zekeria Rexha” and attended the high school “Hajdar Dushi”.

Time (doc.)
Director: Endri Maloku
Country: Kosovo*
Year: 2021.
Runtime: 6’
Cast: Sylë Shala (Baba Sylë), Dudie Shala (Nana Dini)
Language: Albanian
Subtitles: Serbian
Production: DokuFest

FUTURE IS HERE

SYNOPSIS:

Saving people from drowning, life and the true perception of the flowing of time like the river Drini, reflected by a 96 year old man.
DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY:
I’m Endri Maloku, a 17-year-old who recently graduated from high school. A true Physics & Math passionate, now with a fire for filmmaking, sparked by my first film “Devolution” and strengthened by “Time.”

Wash before use (doc.)
Director: Lena Trifunović
Country: Srbija
Year: 2021.
Runtime: 12’
Language: Serbian
Subtitles: English
Production: Slobodna zona Junior (Fond B92)

Synopsis
Alyosha holds a kennel where she sells second hand and vintage clothes. Artists, skaters, musicians and young people of free spirit are the ones who rock these clothes. Old school fashion, colourful tracksuits and strange cuts are an expression of the new Belgrade energy. Girls and boys are united by the love for fashion that is affordable, environmentally friendly and stands up against the cliches.

Author’s statement
“Wash before using” is a collage about the subculture. It is about choosing sustainable, affordable, but also bold fashion movement. Inspiration for filming comes from the fact that I am also a part of this subculture on the verge and that I am constantly being inspired by the way of living of people that surround me. Hand-held camera, combined with archive recordings and loud music, evoke their energetic spirit and life on its own discretion.

About the author
Lena Trifunovic is 19 years old and graduated from the Third Belgrade High School. She is a freshmen at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at the Department of Film and Television Production.

The North City (doc.)
Director: Teodora Jovanović
Country: Serbia
Year: 2021.
Runtime: 16’40’’
Language: Serbian
Subtitles: English
Production: Slobodna zona Junior (Fond B92)

Synopsis
Acting students from Kosovska Mitrovica, together with Teodora, gathered after graduation and shared their experience of studying in Kosovo. From their entrance exam till the end of the studies, they lived together, changed apartments, took care of each other and every day, sang new made up songs.
The Northern City is an observation documentary. Camera is either static or moving, depending on the dynamic of individual scenes. The film follows the conversation of students in an apartment, Teodora’s trip to Kosovska Mitrovica and the entrance exam in acting. Through choreography shown at the end, Teodora illustrates how she feels about Kosovska Mitrovica through movement, dancing on the Bridge of Peace with the song of hodja and church bells.

Aithor’s statement
My motivation is very personal, because I am part of the student group from Kosovska Mitrovica. I was inspired by our joy and creativity that followed us during the studies, apart from all of the difficulties that we have faced.

About the author
Teodora Jovanović was born in Leskovac in 1996. She graduated in basic acting studies at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Prishtina. She is a student of master studies of audiovisual arts at the same faculty. She is willing to continue her film studies abroad.

Sparkle in dead end (doc.)
Director: Irena Antin
Country: Serbia
Year: 2021
Runtime: 12’31’’
LanguageSerbian
Subtitles: English
Production: Slobodna zona Junior (Fond B92)

October (doc.)
Director: Vanja Čečen
Country: Serbia
Year: 2021.
Language: Serbian
Subtitles: English
Production: Slobodna zona Junior (Fond B92)

Synopsis
In the cooperative October in Belgrade, an anti-fascist lgbtq social center in the basement of a building in Dorćol, Ilija and cat Sara welcome the team that is coming to the first party of the year, after several-months break due to pandemic. Through a collection of conversations, confessions and scenes of the social center, in the middle of summer, the so-called “drought” of visitors, a door gets opened to the world of this (literally) underground commune, the author’s close relationship with the team and place itself, as well as fight for survival in the middle of pandemic.

Author’s statement
I flew into October more than a year ago and even then, I fell in love with the loyal team and the more time I was spending there and the more I was getting to know friends that I have now earned, the bigger my love was getting. However, I lost contact with my October family during the pandemic and lockdown. I miss them and I feel like I don’t know them as well as before. With this project, in addition to meeting the public with all of the wonderful and strange characters from October, I am willing to connect with them through the filmmaking again.

About the author
Vanja Čečen, born in Belgrade in 1988, has finished the Fifth Belgrade High School, currently studying Concept and Character Design at the Belgrade Polytechnic. She is a lover of stories and visual arts, a whisperer to dogs (and some cats) and a willing host to occasional travellers.

The Sound of Memory (doc.)
Directors: Branka Pavlović, Nikola Polić
Country: Germany
Year: 2020.
Runtime: 29’29’’
Language: German
Production: OHNEGEPÄCK Filmproduktion Zoran Solomun & Lorenz Haarmann GbR

DIFFERENCES ARE OUR STRENGTH II
Special screening

SYNOPSIS
A group of young professional and non-professional actors and musicians is reconstructing the Auschwitz girls’ orchestra in a theatre project based on the original testimonies of the survivors from Auschwitz-Birkenau. Confronted with the cruelty and despair of the camp 75 years later, young people on stage and some of the last survivors come together in a cinematic dialogue between the past and the future.

DIRECTORS’ BIOGRAPHIES
Branka Pavlović
Editor and video artist. She graduated Film and TV Editing at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade and MA Kunst im Kontext at the University of Arts in Berlin. She works as an editor, video artist and art outreach educator for documentary film, theatre and projects dealing with the culture of memory and (video) performance. She currently works as an educator for the use of film and digital media at the Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS) at the Freie Universtät in Berlin, Germany. She has been the co-selector and artistic director of the Free Zone Belgrade Human Rights Film Festival since 2009. She lives and works in Berlin and Belgrade.
Nikola Polić
Director and video artist. He graduated and mastered film and TV directing at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. In his works he explores minorities and sensitive social groups, their virtues and flaws. His films The Invisibles, The Wall, On my own, Unique, Hooked On were shown and awarded at many festivals in Serbia and abroad. He currently works as a freelance film director, editor and video artist and is completing his PhD studies at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts. Nikola lives and works in Belgrade.

FESTIVALS AND AWARDS
Best Short documentary 2nd place, TAKT Film Fest Novi Sad 2021

16.00 Bring Your Own Brigade (doc.)
Director: Lucy Walker
Country: USA
Year: 2021.
Runtime: 127’
Language: English
Cast: Trina Cunningham, Mike Davis, Don Hankins
Production: Artemis Rising Foundation, Rooftop Films, Topic Studios

IN FOCUS: LUCY WALKER

SYNOPSIS
Filmmaker Lucy Walker looks to answer a question humanity can no longer afford to ignore: why are catastrophic wildfires increasing in number and severity around the world, and can anything be done to lessen the staggering death and destruction it causes? Featuring wildfire footage and interviews with survivors, firefighters and scientists.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY
Lucy Walker is an Emmy-winning British film director who has twice been nominated for an Academy Award and is renowned for creating riveting, character-driven nonfiction that delivers emotionally and narratively. Lucy’s films include feature documentaries The Crash Reel (2013), Waste Land (2010), Countdown to Zero (2010), Blindsight (2006), Devil’s Playground (2002) and short films, notably The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (2011) and The Lion’s Mouth Opens (2014), as well as television, including twenty episodes of Nickelodeon Blue’s Clues.

FESTIVALS AND AWARDS
Sundance Film Festival 2021

19.00 We Didn’t Start the Fire (fic.)
Director: Senka Domanović
Country: Serbia
Year0: 2021.
Runtime0: 18’23’’
Language: Serbian
Productio: This and That Production

BALKAN HORIZONS

SYNOPSIS:

Following an accidental meeting, two old acquaintances soon decide to spend a weekend together. Not revealing the real reasons that have led them to such a decision, they indulge in a game of seduction and outwitting. While they gradually enter into each other’s personal space, caution and resistance transform themselves into quiet alliance.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY:

Senka Domanović was born in 1982. in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. She graduated film and TV directing at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade with the omnibus film October. For years she has been working as an independent film professional on film and television projects of various formats. In addition to this experience, her artistic development and personal maturation moved in the direction of an engaged film, whether it was an author’s or a special-purpose film. With her debut documentary Occupied Cinema she won several awards, the film is screened at numerous local and international film festivals. She currently lives and works in Belgrade.

Wait for me (doc.)
Director Damir Markovina
Country: Croatia
Year: 2021.
Runtime: 42’
Language: Croatian
Production: Akademija dramske umjetnosti u Zagrebu, Akademija dramske umjetnosti u Zagrebu

HORIZONTI BALKANA / BALKAN HORIZONS

SYNOPSIS
The film traces the changing dynamics and the reversal of roles in a family that feels obligated to try to afford its eldest member a dignified end, even when she refuses it. Wait for Me is a story about the relationship between a mother and a daughter in their late years, permanently divided by the physical border created in the Yugoslav Wars, and about their feelings towards the inevitability of death.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY
Damir Markovina was born in 1973 in Belgrade. He graduated in acting from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb in 2000 and since 2002 he has been a member of the Drama Ensemble of the Croatian National Theater in Zagreb. Since 2018 he has been attending MA study of Film and TV directing, majoring in documentary film at the Academy of dramatic Arts in Zagreb. He is involved in the creation of several TV series and films as an actor, associate producer and screenwriter.
His short documentary Šihta was screened in the student competition program of Sarajevo Film Festival in 2019. Wait for Me is his first medium-length documentary.

FESTIVALS AND AWARDS
AJB DOC Main award, AJB DOC 2021 (Sarajevo)
Nagrada za režiju, 30. DANI HRVATSKOG FILMA (Zagreb)

21.00 Returning to Reims (fic.)
Director: Jean Gabriele-Periot
Country: France
Year: 2021.
Runtime: 83’
Language: French
Cast: Adèle Haenel (voice)
Production: Les Films de Pierre, Arte France, INA

EU: ZONE OF CHANGE

SYNOPSIS
Return to Reims is a film based on the eponymous novel by Didier Eribon. It tells an intimate and political story about the French working class from the early 1950s to the present day. The backbone of France’s progress were the workers’ backs: the children of the workers in the 1950s were very quickly pushed out of school towards their jobs, while the bourgeois children easily continued their education. It was especially difficult for the working class women who, in addition to all the class inequalities, had to suffer the chauvinistic mentality of the whole society.
At one point, the support and carrier of change was the Communist Party. However, this feeling of belonging did not last long either – it would disappear before the end of the 20th century, when the Communist Party of France began to adhere to anti-immigrant rhetoric and thus contributed to the strengthening of the right wing.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY
Born in France in 1974, Jean-Gabriel Périot has made several short films on the frontier of documentary, experimental, and fiction. He developed his own style of film editing that explores violence and history using film and photography archives. His films, Dies Irae, Even if She had been a Criminal, Nijuman no borei (200,000 Phantoms) and The Devil have received awards from several festivals around the world. His first feature-length film, A German Youth, opened the Panorama section of the 2015 Berlinale before being released in German, French and Swiss movie theatres and receiving multiple awards.
Summer Lights, his first feature-length fiction, premiered at the San Sebastian film festival and was released in France in the summer of 2017. Our Defeat was presented at the Forum for the 2019 Berlinale and Returning to Reims, based on the book by Didier Eribon and narrated by Adèle Haenel, was selected for the Director’s Fortnight at 2021 Cannes film festival.

FESTIVALS AND AWARDS
Cannes Film Festival 2021
Guanajuato International Film Festival 2021
San Sebastián International Film Festival 2021

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