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14th TDF with “Stories From Lakka Beach” (2011)
Danish director Daan Veldhuizen attended the 14th TDF this year with his stunningly shot film “Stories From Lakka Beach” (2011). The film focuses on today’s Sierra Leone and the struggle of everyday life on the serene edenic Lakka beach village where today all of its people appear to live in harmony alongside each other. But this peace wasn’t always so and perhaps it wont always be. In a land that has seen the ever advancing onslaught of urbanization, rampant poverty, religious friction and the devastations of war, this film focuses on the people of Lakka Beach coming together to share their stories of their scarred past, angst for the present and unshaken hope for the future.
Daan spoke about his film at a press conference in Thessaloniki:
DAAN: I knew I wanted to tell the story about the people there just the way I experienced it. And of course the war and all these things like the pure survival every day to find enough money to get food on their plate. People have to deal with it every day but being poor is not controlling their life whereas in the West it seems to be controlling our life that these people are poor. So I wanted to show what does control their life, so I guess the film came from my experience there. But I knew from the start that I needed to tell basically how life is there in 2010-2011 when I shot the film. And then of course in trying to tell the story I needed to find the right balance of accepting and acknowledging all these other sides of war but at the same time not to focus on it so it would ruin the intention.
QUESTION: Do you keep following your stories and do you go back? And what do you find changing when you do go back?
DAAN: With the stories I'm planning to make a website but it still needs to be developed. I am planning to maybe one day make a sequel since Im going to be there for work probably a lot more years, so I feel like it will be a waste if I don’t film and follow these stories anymore because the stories in the film are simple life questions like a father who tries to stick with his work who works really hard to give his daughter the opportunity to be something else and be educated. You know, of course it would be brilliant to see if he succeeded or not. I was just there in January to show the film in Lakka and I brought all my equipment again to keep filming. I was shocked when I was filming the village and saw the degradation of the forest. It’s pretty intense. It’s a beautiful place but it’s heavily open to urbanization and the city of Freetown is definitely luring in the back of the village so I’m afraid the sequel is going to be more a story about urbanization and degradation of our environment than the stories.
view trailer here:
written by Vanessa McMahon
Danish director Daan Veldhuizen
Vanessa McMahon Covered the 13th and 14th edition.
Through its tributes, it focuses both on discovering filmmakers with a unique cinematic point of view, and on the internationally recognized for their contribution to documentary.
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