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VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS! (2011) –(LONG LIVE THE ANTIPODES!)

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            Victor Kossakovsky’s VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS! (2011) –(LONG LIVE THE ANTIPODES!) premiered this year at the 68th Venice Film Festival and most recently screened to audiences at the 14th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival. It is for me one of the most memorable documentaries since Ron Fricke’s BARAKA (1992), similar in form as a type of guided meditation which takes us ar...

VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS! (2011) –(LONG LIVE THE ANTIPODES!)

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            Victor Kossakovsky’s VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS! (2011) –(LONG LIVE THE ANTIPODES!) premiered this year at the 68th Venice Film Festival and most recently screened to audiences at the 14th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival. It is for me one of the most memorable documentaries since Ron Fricke’s BARAKA (1992), similar in form as a type of guided meditation which takes us a...

RAW MATERIAL at RIFF 2011

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photo still from filmRAW MATERIAL... Screening at the 8th annual Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF), 2011.   RAW MATERIAL (Greece, 2011) by director Christos Karakepelis. This documentary left me with chills, not only because of its raw subject about the declining Greek economy but the worsening of the situation of immigrants to Greece and the inhumane lives they lead. When we follow the lives of three Roma from Albania, two Indians, a Turk and a Greek who subsist on the collec...

RAW MATERIAL, interview with Christos Karakepelis

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  photo still from film One of the documentaries highest on my list at this year’s 13th TDF was the film, RAW MATERIAL (Greece, 2011) by director Christos Karakepelis. This documentary left me with chills, not only because of its raw subject about the declining Greek economy but the worsening of the situation of immigrants to Greece and the inhumane lives they lead. When we follow the lives of three Roma from Albania, two Indians, a Turk and a Greek who subsist on the collecting...

RAW MATERIAL, interview with Christos Karakepelis

user
photo stills from film One of the documentaries highest on my list at this year’s 13th TDF was the film, RAW MATERIAL (Greece, 2011) by director Christos Karakepelis. This documentary left me with chills, not only because of its raw subject about the declining Greek economy but the worsening of the situation of immigrants to Greece and the inhumane lives they lead. When we follow the lives of three Roma from Albania, two Indians, a Turk and a Greek who subsist on the collectin...

Interview with Amir Bar-Lev, THE TILLMAN STORY

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Interview with director Amir of THE TILLMAN STORY (USA, 2010). First, read more about the film here: http://www.fest21.com/en/blog/vanessa_mcmahon/the_tillman_story_q_and_a   ME: First of all I want to congratulate you on your film which to me is very thought-provoking in terms of the questioning of what makes a myth. AMIR: Well, thank you. ME: So, how did you start to make this film and when? AMIR: Well, we started in 2007 which was right around w...

Interview with Amir Bar-Lev, THE TILLMAN STORY

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Interview with director Amir of THE TILLMAN STORY (USA, 2010). First, read more about the film here:  http://www.fest21.com/en/blog/vanessa_mcmahon/the_tillman_story_q_and_a   ME: First of all I want to congratulate you on your film which to me is very thought-provoking in terms of the questioning of what makes a myth. AMIR: Well, thank you. ME: So, how did you start to make this film and when? AMIR: Well, we started in 2007 which was right around ...

THE TILLMAN STORY- Q and A.

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THE TILLMAN STORY- Q and A.   THE TILLMAN STORY (USA, 2010) by director Amir Bar-Lev is a documentary about the football player Pat Tillman who gave up a multimillion dollar career in professional American football to go to war with the Army Rangers in 2002. He sacrificed personal success to fight alongside his brothers in war, a decision which for him was deeply personal. While in Iraq, Pat was tragically killed by ‘friendly fire’ (his own men). After his death he b...

THE TILLMAN STORY- Q and A.

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THE TILLMAN STORY- Q and A.   THE TILLMAN STORY (USA, 2010) by director Amir Bar-Lev is a documentary about the football player Pat Tillman who gave up a multimillion dollar career in professional American football to go to war with the Army Rangers in 2002. He sacrificed personal success to fight alongside his brothers in war, a decision which for him was deeply personal. While in Iraq, Pat was tragically killed by ‘friendly fire’ (his own men). After his death he b...

MY SWEET CANARY, Q and A

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  MY SWEET CANARY (Israel, Turkey, Greece, 2011) opened the 13th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival to a full enthusiastic audience and standing ovations. Director Roy Sher and two singers featured in the film, Mehtap Demir and Martha D. Lewis, attended a Q and A after both screenings of the film.   In response to a question from the audience of how his fascination with Roza began, Roy explains: ‘My first interaction with Roza was through hearing her and her Jewish...

MY SWEET CANARY, Q and A

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  MY SWEET CANARY (Israel, Turkey, Greece, 2011) opened the 13th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival to a full enthusiastic audience and standing ovations. Director Roy Sher and two singers featured in the film, Mehtap Demir and Martha D. Lewis, attended a Q and A after both screenings of the film.   In response to a question from the audience of how his fascination with Roza began, Roy explains: ‘My first interaction with Roza was through hearing her and her Jewish...

PORTRAIT OF A MAN, a review

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  PORTRAIT OF A MAN (Finland, 2010) by director Visa Koiso-Kanttila screened in competition at this year’s Thessaloniki Doc Fest to international audiences. It is a beautifully filmed story about the truth of one man’s search for new meaning in his life. While a true story, this has the feeling of a fiction film as it follows one main character and his personal search for truth. A Finnish man, Kalle Rissanen, is in now in his 40s. His father killed himself at the same age and r...

IF NOT US, WHO?

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IF NOT US, WHO? (Greece, 2010) is a documentary film by Greek filmmaker Nikoletta Papathanassiou about highschool students in Athens in 2006 who occupy their highschool in protest of the worsening education system in Greece which they feel is turning them into robots to serve an Americanized capitalist system rather than to create thinking individuals who serve a collective democratic society. The students sleep in and live in the school in form of a strike making it impossible fo...

IF NOT US, WHO?

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IF NOT US, WHO? (Greece, 2010) is a documentary film by Greek filmmaker Nikoletta Papathanassiou about highschool students in Athens in 2006 who occupy their highschool in protest of the worsening education system in Greece which they feel is turning them into robots to serve an Americanized capitalist system rather than to create thinking individuals who serve a collective democratic society. The students sleep in and live in the school in form of a strike making it impossible fo...

THUNDER SOUL, a review

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THUNDER SOUL screened at the 13th Thessaloniki Film Festival last week at the Olympian Theater to an international audience. Winner of the Pan-African Film festival of Los Angeles 2011, is the documentary film THUNDER SOUL (USA, 2010) about inspiration, heroism, music, the vibrant 70’s and last but not least Thunder Soul… This is the story about a funk/soul band in the 1970s (my favorite decade) that began in the all-American Kashmere highschool, Houston, Texas. This was a tim...

THUNDER SOUL, a review

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THUNDER SOUL screened at the 13th Thessaloniki Film Festival last week at the Olympian Theater to an international audience. Winner of the Pan-African Film festival of Los Angeles 2011, is the documentary film THUNDER SOUL (USA, 2010) about inspiration, heroism, music, the vibrant 70’s and last but not least Thunder Soul… This is the story about a funk/soul band in the 1970s (my favorite decade) that began in the all-American Kashmere highschool, Houston, Texas. This was a time...

GUANAPE SUR, a review

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photo still from Guanape Sur Guanape Sur (Italy, 2010. 24’) is a short documentary film about the small island of the same name off the coast of Peru. Humanly uninhabitable, the island is home to hundreds of thousands of birds, resembling something like a Hitchcock film come to life. Despite being an island comprised of rock and bird excrement, two guards live on the island and in the film, two of these guards usher in hundreds of workers to gather excrement in sacks and bring them ba...

Everlasting Sorrow, Life After the Death Penalty, A review...

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photo still from EVERLASTING SORROW, LIFE AFTER THE DEATH PENALTY Everlasting Sorrow, Life After the Death Penalty (France, 2010), by director David Andre won the award for best film dealing with human rights issues by the Amnesty International. After the awards ceremony, it closed the 13th Thessaloniki Film Festival with the screening of Andre’s film to a full theater. EVERLASTING SORROW is about Death Row murderer Sean Sellers who killed three people at age sixteen and w...

GUANAPE SUR, a review

user
photo still from Guanape Sur Guanape Sur (Italy, 2010. 24’) is a short documentary film about the small island of the same name off the coast of Peru. Humanly uninhabitable, the island is home to hundreds of thousands of birds, resembling something like a Hitchcock film come to life. Despite being an island comprised of rock and bird excrement, two guards live on the island and in the film, two of these guards usher in hundreds of workers to gather excrement in sacks and bring them ba...

Everlasting Sorrow, Life After the Death Penalty, A review...

user
photo still from EVERLASTING SORROW, LIFE AFTER THE DEATH PENALTY Everlasting Sorrow, Life After the Death Penalty (France, 2010), by director David Andre won the award for best film dealing with human rights issues by the Amnesty International. After the awards ceremony, it closed the 13th Thessaloniki Film Festival with the screening of Andre’s film to a full theater. EVERLASTING SORROW is about Death Row murderer Sean Sellers who killed three people at age sixteen and w...

Sofia International Film Festival 2011

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    Sofia, Bulgaria hosts its 15th International Film Festival this year on the dates 4-13th March 2011. One of the most important film festivals on the festival map, it features not only top international films but Eastern European and Bulgarian national cinema as well. Various industry professionals from the international cinema world will attend to support and/or present their films in competition at the festival.  The SIFF 2011 festival officially opened o...

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