Director: Andrey Gryazev; Release: 2008; Length: 61 minutes
The film is an episode in the lives of two workers from the stone crusher. It happened so that the two guys – Sanya (37) and Sparrow (19), who move to Moscow, got acquainted in unusual circumstances. The first problems appeared when their salary was suspended. Now Sparrow can’t return home without documents and money, and Sanya is not able to leave Sparrow alone here at the plant. How long will they have to wait for money? How can two people on the edge of despair support each other? Behind huge problems and conflicts are normal human thoughts and emotions, as well as unbelievable dreams of the future.
Was born in Moscow 1982. He was a professional sportsman, a figure skater who competed at the World and European Championships. He graduated from the Russian State University of Physical Culture as director of theatrical performances (2004) and worked as ballet dancer at the Igor Bobrin Theatre of Miniatures on Ice. Andrey has also graduated from the First National TV School as an editor (2006) and worked as director of photography and editor at Yu Lyubimov Theatre in Taganka square. He graduated from the Higher Courses of Film Writers and Directors (2008, workshop by Andrey Gerasimov and Andrey Dobrovolsky).
Director: Ivana Todorovic; Release: 2008; Length: 30 minutes
Bojan was born in Split, Croatia. When he was three, he lost his father in the civil war and escaped with his mother and sister to Serbia. At the age of 11 his mother died and his sister left him. After that he lived partly in the home for abandoned children and partly on the streets. At 18, according to Serbian law, he lost the right to accommodation in the home and having no house or family, became homeless. Ivana Todorovic follows Bojan as he re-visits old sleeping dens, scours the bins for birthday cake and relates his love for street art and hip-hop. This film was made in Spring 2008. Bojan ended his life on June 11th 2009 at the age of 21.
Ivana Todorovic graduated from Belgrade University with a diploma in Anthropology. In 2007, after studying at the New Policy School, an NGO Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Belgrade, Ivana started to shoot Rapresent. The film premiered at the London International Film Festival LIDF and received Best National Award at XVIII International Festival of Ethnological Film in Belgrade, Serbia.
Director: Ramesh Khadka, Release: 2009, Length: 36 minutes
Chhaupadi sheds are common in mid- and far-western villages in Nepal. During their menstrual periods, women stay in these sheds, which are unhygienic and unsafe, putting their their health and lives at risk. People believe that women are impure during chhau and will make everything they touch impure. The film is the story of women who have suffered due to unjustifiable traditions and practices. There is an urgent need to bring about a change in their hard and challenging lives.
Ramesh Khadka was born in 1971 in Nepal. He has MA degrees in Mass Communication and Journalism, and Sociology and Anthropology. He has over a decade’s experience in journalism and development communication. He has worked in publishing, writing and editing books related to photography, development, etc. As a filmmaker he has directed more than 90 short and long films in the development sector. He is a Vice- President, Nepal Forum of Environment Journalists and a member of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists.
Directors: Jean Crousillac, Jean-Marc Sainclair; Release: 2009; Length: 52 minutes
From 1970 to 2003 about 1600 women said they have been raped by British soldiers in Northern Kenya. Husbands felt dishonoured and rejected their wives after beating them. A few women gathered and created Umoja, a village forbidden to men. Jealous men frequently attack Umoja and create many problems to Rebecca, founder of the village.
An entrepreneur specialised in event organising, Jean Crousillac is involved in the local development of emerging nations. When he heard about Umoja from the Washington Post, he decided to invite the founder of this women-only village to shed light on her fight. With Jean-Marc Sainclair, he created an audiovisual association called Manta Productions and realised a documentary about Rebecca Lolosoli’s struggle: Umoja, the village where men are forbidden.
After studying economics and finance (1996–2000), Jean-Marc studied audiovisual media in Paris and became a journalist. In 2006 he founded Manta Productions with Jean Crousillac to create and promote documentaries. The first film, Umoja, the village where men are forbidden, was co-realised with Jean Crousillac and shot at the end of 2006. Among his other works are Una labor de hormiga (‘An aunt’s work’), an institutional documentary about the work of an Equatorian NGO with local communities, and Piedra y Miel (‘Stone and Honey’), a documentary about the work of 8-year-old Juan Carlos in the trash dump fields of Chone, a small town in Equador.
Director: Valentina Bonifacio; Release: 2008; Length: 50 minutes
For 100 years Maskoy people worked in Carlos Casado's tannin factory, in Paraguay. The factory, which had been founded on their land, based its production on the exploitation of local natural resources. After exploiting the territory, in 2001 the company closed the factory and sold the land. For the Maskoy people – who fought against the company to repossess their former territory – Casado's legacy is a land without food. Three stories take place in parallel during the film: an old Maskoy chief wanders around the abandoned factory, an initiation ritual is performed after a gap of many years, and a group of Maskoy leaders visit some politicians in the capital city. While coming to terms with their past, and with the Whites, the Maskoy imagine their future. Developing in constant dialogue with non-indigenous people, the story of this indigenous group calls into question our own way of building and imagining the future. The film was shot over a period of more than one year, during which the filmmaker lived with the Maskoy people.
Valentina Bonifacio is an anthropologist and filmmaker. In 2009 she concluded her PhD in Visual Anthropology at the University of Manchester, UK. Author of several articles about indigenous people in Latin America, she is now engaged in an ongoing collaborative film project with the Maskoy people of Paraguay. Her previous films are: Colon and the trick of the dry bread, 11 min, 2005, and Baile Kunha, 25 min, 2008.
Director: Jérémie Reichenbach; Release: 2008; Length: 45 minutes
In the North of Niger, somewhere in the Saharan borderland, men are ready for war. Under the threat of an invisible enemy, isolated by the world, they live looking forward to the fight.
Born in Paris in 1975. Master of Cinema at the Paris University 8 supervised by J.L. Comolli. Jérémie has produced several documentaries: Abou and the Stars of Mande (52 min); Niamey, How’s Work? (26 min); Teshumara, the Guitars of the Tuareg Rebellion (50 min); A Cleaner World (30 min).
Directors: Sophie Haarhaus, Kullar Viimne, Release: 2009, Length: 53 minutes
They have been stolen from their villages and forced to become soldiers: 30 000 children in northern Uganda have been abducted by the rebel army within the last 20 years to become child soldiers. They are fighters, carriers, slaves in a war that they could never understand. But their desire to get home was stronger than their fear of escaping. In this film we meet four of them. Returned from the bush – yet willing to face their future. They dream about peace and still remember the war. Journalist Sophie Haarhaus and filmmaker and cameraman Kullar Viimne stay for a month in a northern Ugandan refugee camps. Over time returned child soldiers build trust in the “journalists from Europe” and start telling their stories. They talk about their memories, their fears and their dreams – the good ones and the bad ones. Each of them has found his own way of dealing with the past. Twenty year old Patrick has nightmares every night that make him remember the past again and again. He questions his whole life – finding the answers himself. Simon, now 17, is the youngest in the group of four. He ran away from the bush to be with his mother again. He takes us to the place of his abduction and dreams about going back to his village one day. David keeps quiet. He cannot talk about his time in the bush, like many returnees. He returned to be a child again – but soon he had to stand on his own feet: the nineteen year old has a son. Michael has been with the rebels for more than six years. When they told him his parents were dead he became rude – a violent youngster used to the power of the gun. Now, eight years later, he understands why and meets the challenge to use his power in a constructive way.
Sophie Haarhaus was born in 1984 in Mölln, Germany. She studies political science with a focus on peace and conflict and development cooperation, in Hamburg. Since 2006 she has worked as a freelance journalist, and since 2008 as a conflict mediatoras well. In 2007/2008 she spent six months in Uganda, among other things working with Kullar Viimne on the documentary Innocent, about the reintegration of former child soldiers.
Kullar Viimne was born in 1980 in Võru, Estonia. After finishing his studies in social work he went on to study film at the Baltic Film and Media School. In 2006 and 2007 he studied at the FAMU International Filmschool in Prague, in the Czech Republic. In the same year he spent three months in Uganda shooting the documentary film Innocent together with Sophie Haarhaus. He has worked as a cinematographer and director in several Estonian and international film projects.
Director: Ruben Guzman, Release: 2009, Length: 38 minutes
A shepherdess, clouds and a volcano. Second part of a diptych on shepherds of the Andean plateau.
Born in 1959 in the city of Buenos Aires (Argentinean Canadian). Media Arts curator, programmer, professor and independent film and video artist. His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions, retrospectives and festivals around the world.
Director: George Walker Torres; Release: 2009; Length: 57 minutes
In the Caribbean mountains of Venezuela, stands Colonia Tovar, a Bavarian town in the heart of the tropics. Built in the XIX century by German peasants, today it has become a prosperous German theme park for tourists. Maria, a Venezuelan woman in her late thirties, lives in Colonia’s Tovar garbage dump. Separated from her daughter, Joana, Maria survives collecting cans and bottles surrounded by hordes of abandoned dogs. This film is her story, her struggle for survival and to get Joana back. A story of neglect and innocence: Maria’s, Joana’s, but also that of the first German settlers who dreamt of a paradise in this New World.
George Walker Torres was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He studied Film Directing in LA FEMIS, Paris. In 2000 he participated in The American Film Institute (Los Angeles) Masters program in screenwriting. He has written and directed several short films that premiered at various international film festivals. As a screenwriter his last work produced was the feature film The Leap Years (Singapore, 2008). Maria and the New World (2009) is his first feature documentary.
Director: David MacDougall; Release: 2008; Length: 185 minutes
A shelter for children on the outskirts of Delhi provides food and accommodation for 350 boys. Some are orphans, others have been abandoned, still others have run away from home. About half are held under a court order, having been picked up from the streets for petty crimes. Living at the institution for several months, the filmmaker, David MacDougall, explores its routines and the varied experiences of several boys. Despite the harshness of their lives, many show remarkable strength of character, knowledge, and resilience. One day 181 child labourers arrive, placing additional strain on the building’s deteriorating facilities. The institution does what it can, but is it enough?
David MacDougall is a documentary filmmaker and writer on cinema. He was educated at Harvard University and the University of California at Los Angeles. His first feature-length film, To Live With Herds, filmed in Uganda, won the Grand Prix Venezia Genti at the Venice Film Festival in 1972. Soon after this, he and his wife Judith MacDougall produced the Turkana Conversations trilogy of films on semi-nomadic camel herders of northwestern Kenya. With Judith MacDougall, he then co-directed a number of films on indigenous communities in Australia and, in 1991, a film on photographic practices in an Indian hill town, Photo Wallahs. In 1993 he made Tempus de Baristas, on goat herders in the mountains of Sardinia, winner of the 1995 Earthwatch Film Award. In 1997 he began conducting a film study of the Doon School in northern India. This resulted in a series of five films. His recent filming has been at a progressive, co-educational boarding school in South India and in a shelter for homeless children in New Delhi. His previous film, the experimental SchoolScapes (2007), won the Basil Wright Film Prize at the 2007 RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film. MacDougall writes regularly on documentary and ethnographic cinema and is the author of Transcultural Cinema (1998) and The Corporeal Image: Film, Ethnography, and the Senses (2006). He lives in Australia and is presently Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University, Canberra.