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     2016 Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China The Golden Kapok Screening List


Masters in Forbidden City


China  82 min   Genre: Art and Culture/Life     Commentary Language: Chinese 

Director(s): Xiao Han    Production Company: LATENT IMAGE

Award (s): 2016 Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival Award Finalist

SYNOPSIS: The three-series documentary, Masters in Forbidden City (2015), went through 5 years ’pre-research and 4 mouths’ uninterrupted record. It uses a young view to scan the old Imperial Palace and uncover the secret of restoration technology in the world’s top antiquities. So far, as the only systematic documentary about the antiquities restoration of the Palace Museum, Masters in Forbidden City not only completely combs the history of Chinese antiquities restoration in the first time. The special editing version will be screened this time.


Cartel Land


U.S.A    100 min  Genre: Gang Film/Crime/Politics   Commentary Language: English

Director(s): Matthew Heineman   Production Company: The Documentary Group; Our Time Projects

Award (s):2016 Academy Award Best Documentary Feature Nominated, 2016 British Academy Film Award Best Documentary Nominated, 2016 Director's Guild of America Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary Winner, 2016 Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Documentary Nominated, 2015 St. Louis Film Critics Association Best Documentary Film Nominated

SYNOPSIS: Cartel Land is a 2015 American documentary film directed by Matthew Heineman about the Mexican Drug War, especially vigilante groups fighting Mexican drug cartels. The film focuses on Tim "Nailer" Foley, the leader of Arizona Border Recon, and Dr José Mireles, a Michoacán-based physician who leads the Auto defensas.


Ren Jian Shi


China  45 min*2 sets Genre: Society & Current Affairs  Commentary Language: Chinese

Director(s): Zhou Quan, Qin Bo, Pan Dexiang, Dong Luxiang, Huang Yihan, Fan Shiguang  Production Company: SMG Tvnews

Awards: 2016 Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival Award Finalist

SYNOPSIS: After two years’ consistent shooting and filming in dozens of hospitals in Shanghai, 4 journalists and 8 camera crews of Shanghai Media Group finally unveiled the true stories “Ren Jian Shi” behind the medical science from various aspects.  With ten episodes in total, this documentary dwells on multiple medical topics, violates lots of taboos in medical communication, truly uncovers the incapability of medical science and illustrates many medical themes including palliative care, organ transplantation, and the death of cancer patients.


The Songs We Sang


Singapore   128 min  Genre: Society/Art   Commentary Language: Chinese

Director(s): Eva Tang  Production Company: Irene Films

Award (s):

SYNOPSIS: In the 1980s, a powerful artistic movement was born in Singapore, flourishing amongst the Mandarin-speaking community throughout the island and beyond our shores, leaving an indelible mark on the culture of a young nation. The Songs We Sang, a documentary by Singapore filmmaker Eva Tang, is a vivid and in-depth look into the journey of xinyao (literally “songs composed by Singapore Youths” in Mandarin) since its birth. Steeped in history and authenticity, this detailed documentary captures the spirit of a Singapore culture that has since become a significant part of a nation’s collective cultural heritage. Xinyao emerged from the hearts of students across campuses in Singapore, and soon found its way into the heartlands, capturing the attention of a nation with its tuneful melodies and elegant and meaningful lyrics about family, friendship and everyday life. Taking its title from a pivotal seminar on xinyao held by the Mandarin student publication Nanyang Students in 1982, The Songs We Sang is infused with the energy, enthusiasm and creative courage of xinyao and its artists, and looks towards future generations of artists who will colour Singapore’s cultural tapestry.


The Closer We Get


U.K.  91 min  Genre: Family ethics   Commentary Language: English

Director(s): Karen Guthrie  Production Company: SOMEWHERE

Award (s): BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE DOCUMENTARY, HOT DOCS 2015, BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY, SMHAFF 2015, BEST UK FEATURE DOCUMENTARY, OPEN CITY DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL, LONDON, 2015

SYNOPSIS: This is a powerful and exquisitely-shot autobiographical portrait of loyalty, broken dreams and redemption told by its director - reluctantly-dutiful daughter Karen, who takes you under the skin of the household she returns to for this long goodbye.Karen's mother Ann suffers a devastating stroke that brings her daughter back home when she least expects it. But Karen isn't the only one who returns to help care for Ann in the crisis: Her prodigal father Ian - endearing and unfathomable - and who's been separated from Ann for years, also reappears. Armed with her camera, Karen seizes this last chance to go under the skin of the family story before it's too late, to come to terms with the aftermath of the secret her father had tried - and failed - to keep from them all, and to find that Ann's stroke has in fact thrown them all a life raft.
With candour, warmth and much unexpected humour, Karen’s role as family confidante, busybody, therapist and spy illuminates this extraordinary story of contemporary family survival.


Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story


U.S.A.   101 min    Genre: Romance/Art/Life     Commentary Language: English

Director(s): Daniel Raim    Production Company: WIDE HOUSE

Award (s): 2015 Festival De Cannes Documentary Nomination

SYNOPSIS: A fascinating and moving account of the romantic and creative partnership of storyboard artist Harold Michelson and film researcher Lillian Michelson: two unsung heroes of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Harold and Lillian worked on hundreds of renowned films including The Ten Commandments, The Apartment, The Birds, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, The Graduate, Rosemary’s Baby, Fiddler On The Roof, Scarface, Full Metal Jacket and many more. Although the couple was responsible for some of Hollywood’s most iconic examples of visual storytelling, their contributions remain largely uncredited. Through an engaging mix of love letters, film clips and candid conversations with Harold and Lillian, Danny De Vito, Mel Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola and others, this deeply engaging documentary from Academy Award®-nominated director Daniel Raim chronicles their remarkable marriage and extraordinary careers through six decades of movie-making history.


The Taste of Youth


Hong Kong, China    77 min   Genre: Youth/Society/Education    Commentary Language: Cantonese

Director(s): Cheung King-Wai    Production Company: Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups M21, Beautiful Productions

Award (s):2016 40th Hong Kong International Film Festival Selected Screening Film, 2016 Macau International Documentary Film Festival Opening Night Film, 2016 HSINCHU Children Film Festival Selected Screening Film

SYNOPSIS:Generation gap always exists. Adults ask teenagers to go to university and then look for a stable job while teenagers reject to follow with the mainstream blindly. The youth would like to know who they are and what they want. The X-generation concerns about material while the Y-generation and Z-generation concerns about spirituality. Such differences and misunderstandings create conflicts. In nowadays chaotic period, instead of judging each other, can we just listen to each other? The Golden-Horse-Awards-winner, Director King Wai CHEUNG (director of KJ: Music and Life), depicts nowadays teenagers in Hong Kong which mirrors the current and betoken the future of Hong Kong. With the music of the Concert of Ten Thousand, the camera captures the daily moments of the youth intimately. Nine music-lovers open their hearts to talk about their sweet and bitter moments. The Taste of Youth is a letter to the youth, to the one who was once young and to the one who cares about the youth.


Living with Giants


Canada   78 min   Genre: Emotions/Humanity/Life  Commentary Language: English, Inuktitut
Director(s): Aude Leroux-Lévesque, Sébastien Rist   Production Company: MC2 Communication Média
Award (s): 2016 HotDocs Film Festival Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award

SYNOPSIS: Living with Giants delves into the imaginative world of Paulusie Kasudluak, a young Inuk facing responsibilities and transitions into adulthood. His thoughts, dreams and beliefs allow for a very intimate immersion into his life. The film follows Paulusie as he tries to make sense of a complex world where fantastic legends and harsh realities coexist. What begins as the story of an innocent and charismatic teenager quickly becomes the struggle of a young man coping with the guilt of having committed a huge mistake.


ClassSeven, Grade Nine of EvergrandeFootball School


 China   56 min     Genre: Youth/Inspirational film   Commentary Language: Chinese
Director(s): Ma Zhidan, Zheng Yaohao, Zhu Lei     
Production Company: Satellite Chanel, Guangdong Radio and Television

Award (s): 

SYNOPSIS: 2014 is the busiest year for Team U15 of Evergrande Football School.Members all share a clear goal of becoming a professional soccer player, which is partly due to the fact that they have to spend a lot of time playing soccer games here and there and therefore it’s hard to keep up with their classmates on study. They have no choices. Aini, captain of the team, specialized in the midfield. His dad used to have a soccer dream likewise. “There are two soccer dreams, so I have to make 200% efforts.” Dili, a forward, was once forbidden to play soccer by his mom when he failed to do well in study I grade 6. “I swear to my parents that I will definitely be a professional soccer player in the future.” Li Ming, also a forward, scores a lot for Team U15 and has won the Best Shooter Award for several times. He dreams of becoming a tier-one player of Evergrande Club and buying his parents a house. Soccer if what brings Han and Uygur teens together. This film records how these young soccer players chase their dreams.


Hip Hop Eration


New Zealand    93 min    Genre: Music/Comedy/Life     Commentary Language: English

Director(s): Bryn Evans    Production Company: INCUBATOR

Award (s): 2014 New Zealand Film Festival Best Documentary Film/ Best Director Documentary, 2014 New Zealand Screen Awards Best Director-documentary /Best Documentar Cinematography/Best Documentary, 2014 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Audience Choice Award

SYNOPSIS: These senior citizens may each be almost a century young, but for Kara, (94) Maynie, (95) and Terri, (93) the journey to Las Vegas and the World Hip Hop Dance Championships is just the beginning of a life's journey.
Along with twenty-four other nonagenarians they defy the odds and hip-hop their way into the hearts and minds of thousands of young fans from around the world.

Led by their exuberant and ‘I must have been mad’, manager Billie Jordan they learn to throw away their wheelchairs and walking sticks and push their bodies and artificial joints to the absolute limits of old age. “You’re all going …even if it’s in an urn,” she tells them. 

But there’s only ‘sixty dollars in the bank’ and it’s not easy when you ‘don’t really like the music’ and all you can do is ‘worry about how to get your socks on.’ But with the help of the self-confessed ‘I’ve never danced in my life’ Billie supported by the young hip hoppers from Street Dance New Zealand, they begin to believe.

Along the way we hear how these extraordinary characters contributed to New Zealand as we know it. Their stories are a reminder of our history as a nation and the joy of living life to the fullest.
As Terri says... ‘Long Live Hip Hop’.

Advanced Style


U.S.A   65 min   Genre: Fashion/Life    Commentary Language: English
Director(s): Lina Plioplyte 

Production Company: Teenage Peanut Video Productions

Award (s): 2015 Hot Docs Film Festival Best Documentary Nomination

SYNOPSIS: Advanced Style examines the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided their approach to aging. Based on Ari Seth Cohen’s famed blog of the same name, this film paints intimate and colourful portraits of independent, stylish women aged 62 to 95 who are challenging conventional ideas about beauty, aging, and Western’s culture’s increasing obsession with youth.


Those Who Feel the Fire Burning


Netherlands    74 min   Genre: Society and Current Affairs    Commentary Language: Arabic, Greek, Italian

Director(s): Morgan Knibbe Production Company: BALDR FILM

Award (s):2015 Camden International Film Festival Emerging Cinematic Vision Award- Special Mention, 2015 Guanajuato International Film Festival 2015 Best Feature Documentary, Milan Film Festival 2015 Special Mention, Nederlands Film Festival 2015 Best Sound Design/Beste Lange Documentaire, Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival 2015 Grand Prize

SYNOPSIS: The night is pitch-black, the sea stormy. Wild waves break on a little boat full of refugees, where a girl laments that she does not want to go to Europe. Suddenly an old man falls overboard. In vain he tries to grab the saving hands. Colored lightning flashes over a busy city seen from above. From that point on, the drowned man sees reality from another dimension. Unconventional and poetic in form, Those Who Feel the Fire Burning documents a serious social problem: the hopeless situation of the refugees who actually manage to make the crossing alive. The seeking soul of the old man hurries along the southern European border and dwells on the many disillusioned people, observing them calmly and up close. They would seem to be in limbo just like him, waiting on the edge of a presumed paradise. He sees people on the street chased away like dogs, follows an illegal worker and a drug-addicted mother and slips inside packed shelters. The voices of all these people blend together with his, creating a patchwork of loving memories, dreams and desires.


Heart of a Tiger


China    35 min   Genre: People/History    Commentary Language: English
Director(s): Malcolm Clarke    Production Company: ARTeFACT Entertainment
 Award (s): 2016 Arizona International Film Festival Awards Finalists, 2016 Beijing International Film Festival, 2016 Reel to Reel International Film Festival

SYNOPSIS: The story of a WWII American Flying Tiger who is shot down in China, hunted by the Japanese and carried by foot on a stretcher for 400 miles by Chinese farmers to safety.


Twenty Two 


China  120 min  Genre: History/Humanity/Life  Commentary Language: Chinese

Director(s): Guo Ke    Production Company: Sichuan Light & Shadow Cultural Communication Co., Ltd. , Shanghai Golden World Movies & Television Culture Corporation

Award (s):20th Busan International Film Festival Best Documentary Nominated, 2016 Chinese Visual Festival in London Special Jury Prize and Audience Favorite Film, 2016 Beijing College Student Film Festival Special Selection, 2016 Moscow International Film Festival Best Documentary Nominated, 2016 Yalta International Film Festival Special Jury Prize, 2016 DMZ Korea International Documentary Film Festival Special Screening

SYNOPSIS: TWENTY TWO is a last gaze at the 22 “comfort women” survivors in China. Through a restrained and careful approach, we take a look at their current situation. We hope those little pieces of history can be picked up again, and those historical facts which may soon be lost can be preserved permanently. We’re wondering if the busy world could stop for a moment and listen quietly to them one more time, because it is time that we pay final tribute to these lovely elderly ladies.

In the Underground


China   93 min   Genre: Society & Current Affairs   Commentary Language: Chinese 

Director(s): Song Zhan tao    Independent: Song Zhantao

Award(s): 2016 Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival Award Finalist, 2nd the Silk Road International Film Festival Best Documentary, 37th festival Cinéma du Réel Special Jury Prize, 51st Chicago International Film Festival Documentary Unit Silver Hugo Prize, 6th Beijing International Film Festival Documentary Special Selection

SYNOPSIS: There is a coal pillar robbing group which is called "underground guerrilla" by people .As a bankrupt and recombinational coal mine, the coal resources is on the verge of depletion. The coal pillar robbing group has no choice but to replace the coal mining site frequently .The women are praying the Kiln God with tears for men on the ground.The men are fighting against the dark.


Koneline: Our Land Beautiful

Canada    96 min     Genre: Society/Humanity     Commentary Language: English

Director(s): Nettie Wild   Production Company: Canada Wild Production

Award (s): 2016 Hot Docs Film Festival Best Canada Documentary

SYNOPSIS: KONELĪNE: our land beautiful is a sensual, cinematic celebration of northwestern British Columbia, and all the dreamers who move across it.
Some hunt on the land. Some mine it. They all love it. Set deep in the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation, KONELĪNE captures beauty and complexity as one of Canada’s vast wildernesses undergoes irrevocable change.
An art film with politics, drama, and humour, KONELĪNE: our land beautiful explores different ways of seeing—and being. A guide outfitter swims her horses across the vast Stikine River. The world’s biggest chopper flies 16,000-pound transmission towers over mountaintops. KONELĪNE‘s characters delight while smashing stereotypes: white hunters carry bows and arrows; members of the Tahltan First Nation hunt out of a pickup with high-powered rifles. There are diamond drillers—both Native and white—and elders who blockade them. There’s a Tahltan son struggling to preserve a dying language, and a white guy who sings “North to Alaska” to his stuffed moose.


The Chinese Recipe: Bold and Smart


Switzerland   120 min     Genre: Economy/Technology    Commentary Language: English, Chinese

Director(s): Jürg Neuenschwander    Production Company: Container TV

Award (s):

SYNOPSIS: Western perceptions of China are usually dominated by images of rapidly growing megacities and of an economy that immediately copies anything being developed anywhere in the world. THE CHINESE RECIPE: bold and smart reveals what these images so often hide: people – optimistic, inquisitive, witty and artful, hard-working individuals. Engineer Xiaohui Zhou builds hi-fi systems that are “better than the originals”. He finds the blueprints online, the high-end components on rubbish dumps, and the customers via an online store. Ruilin Wang, a long-time entrepreneur, also follows the Chinese recipe for copying. He develops machines and works with a Swiss partner who chose to merge with Ruilin’s firm rather than filing patent suits against it. Drone developer Chuan Angelo Yu and his team are dreaming big: they want to be accepted into the global community of high-tech pioneers, and travel to California to seek their fortune. A fascinating, and entertaining look behind the scenes.


Last Day of Freedom


U.S.A   32 min   Genre: Crime/Ethics/Races   Commentary Language: English

Director(s): Dee Hibbert-Jones, Nomi Talisman   Production Company: Living Condition LLC.

Award(s): Nominee, Best Short Documentary Subject, The 88th Academy Awards 2016 Winner, an Emmy Award

SYNOPSIS: When Bill Babbitt realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime he agonizes over his decision- should he call the police? Last Day of Freedom, a richly animated personal narrative, tells the story of Bill’s decision to stand by his brother in the face of war, crime and capital punishment. The film is a portrait of a man at the nexus of the most pressing social issues of our day – veterans’ care, mental health access and criminal justice. 


Frame 394


Canada  30 min     Genre: Crime/Society    Commentary Language: English
Director(s): Rich Williamson    Production Company: COMPY Films

Award(s): 2016 Rhode Island International Film Festival Documentary Short

SYNOPSIS: A young man from Toronto entangles himself into one of America’s most high-profile police shootings.


Radical Grace


Canada  86 min  Genre: Society/Politics Religion & Feminism    Commentary Language: English

Director(s): Rebecca Parrish Production Company: Interchange Productions
Award(s): 2015 Chicago International Film Festival Best Documentary, 2015 Hot Docs Film Festival Audience Choice Award NO.5 

SYNOPSIS: Today, Pope Francis is changing the Vatican's conservative tone. But for decades, U.S. nuns have been bucking the Church hierarchy by living a gospel of love, social justice and inclusion. From confronting U.S. bishops over the Affordable Care Act, to protesting for women's equality at the Vatican, Radical Grace follows three sisters who transform American politics and the Catholic Church.


Our Last Tango

Argentina/Germany   85 min  Genre:Art & Emotion  Commentary Language: spanish

Director(s): German Kral    Production Company: Lailaps Pictures 

SYNOPSIS: The life and love story of Argentina's famous tango dancers Maria Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, who met as teenagers and danced together for nearly fifty years until a painful separation tore them apart.


Affliction

Belgium   52 min   Genre: Society & Current Affairs    Commentary Language: English

Director(s): Peter Casaer    Independent Production: Peter Casaer 

SYNOPSIS: The Ebola outbreak in West Africa seen through the eyes of the local populations, village officials, aid workers, the sick and those who recovered. It is a story of fear and frustration, of stigma and disbelief, of grief but also of immense joy and courage.


The Graduation


France   121 min   Genre: Education / Art / Youth   Commentary Language: English / France
Director(s): Claire Simon  Production Company: WIDE HOUSE

Award (s): 2016 Venice Film Festival Best Documentary, 2016 London Film Festival Best Documentary Nomination

SYNOPSIS: With LE CONCOURS the director will delve into the daily life of the Parisian cinema school, la Fémis, where a specific Republican ideal of excellence is practiced and entry into which can be summed up as follows: "everyone's equal, but only the best get in..." Through the admission process, the hard work all year and the graduation exams, LE CONCOURS will establish a portrait of our relationship to excellence in the Art world and of one of the most prestigious art school in France. A place of culture where generations intermingle. 


The Apology


Canada   104 min  Genre: History& Society  Commentary Language: Korean/Chinese/ Japanese/English/Bisaya
Director(s): Tiffany Hsiung    Production Company: The National Film Board of Canada
Award(s): Busan Cinephile Award for best world documentary 21st Busan International Film Festival, Audience Award at 61st Cork Film Festival Ireland, Special Jury Mention Award for the UNESCO Gandhi Medal at 47th International Film Festival of India, Best of Festival Zonta Film Festival

SYNOPSIS: 'The Apology' follows the personal journey's of three “grandmothers”—Grandma Gil in South Korea, Grandma Cao in China, and Grandma Adela in the Philippines. Some 70 years after their imprisonment in so-called “comfort stations,” the grandmothers face their twilight years in fading health.
As former “comfort women,” they are among the 200,000 girls and young women kidnapped and forced into military sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. After decades of living in silence and shame about their past, they know that time is running out to give a first-hand account of the truth and ensure that this horrific chapter of history is not forgotten.  


Andre Villers: A Lifetime in Images


Czech Republic/ France  70 min   Genre: Biography   Commentary Language:English/ French
Director(s): Marketa Tomanva  Production Company: Procope Picture

Award(s): 

SYNOPSIS: When he was 21, André discovered photography at the sanatorium in Vallauris in the South of France where he was hospitalized for several years, suffering from bone tuberculosis.
Two years later, André befriends Pablo Picasso who will buy the young photographer his very first own camera. André will take many photographs of Picasso and the two will later work together on a poetic cut-out album called Diurnes.
Through Picasso, the young photographer meets some of the greatest artists of the 20th century.
André has photographed Chagall, Dali, Miró, Buñuel, Fellini, Brassaï, Cocteau, Prévert, Gainsbourg, Le Corbusier, Léger, Picasso, of course, and many more but he has never boasted about it.
Throughout his life, André Villers kept a low profile, even if his crisp Black & White portraits are known worldwide.
One of the last great photographer and artist whose work finally deserves to be recognized.


What Would Beethoven Do?


USA/Canada   75 min    Genre: Music    Commentary Language: English
Director(s): Jonathan Keijser   Production Company: Wire Walker Studios

Award (s): 2016 Cleveland Film Festival  Best Musical Film, 2016, 2016 Nashville Film Festival Best Musical Film Nomination

SYNOPSIS:The film questions why we create art by looking at the fracturedstate of the ailing classical music world. Along with a colorful greek chorusof thinkers, three charismatic creators reveal not only why they make music butwhat it stands for beyond the notes on the page.


Wizard Mode


U.S.A. 101 min   Genre: Biography   Commentary Language: English
Director(s): Nathan Drillot & Jeff P

Production Company: Salazar Film

Award (s): 2016 Hot Docs Film Festival Audience Choice Award No. 13

SYNOPSIS: The life of Robert Gagno, an autistic pinball player.


Into the Dark

China  39 min   Genre: Adventure  Commentary Language: Chinese    

Director(s):Huang He, Liu Zinan  Production Company: NACNE, Beijing Zhilinyi CO.LTD, Heilongjiang Broadcasting Station


SYNOPSIS:


Hieronymus Bosch, Touched by the Devil


Netherlands   86 min  Genre: Art & Culture  Commentary Language: Dutch | English | Italian

Director(s): Pieter van Huystee  Production Company: Pieter Van Huystee Film and Television

SYNOPSIS: In 2016, the Noordbrabants Museum in theDutch city of Den Bosch held a special exhibition devoted to the work ofHieronymus Bosch, who died 500 years ago. This late-medieval artist lived hisentire life in the city, causing uproar with his fantastical and utterly uniquepaintings in which hell and the devil always played a prominent role. Inpreparation for the exhibition, a team of Dutch art historians crisscrosses theglobe to unravel the secrets of his art. They use special infrared cameras toexamine the sketches beneath the paint, in the hope of discovering more aboutthe artist's intentions. They also attempt to establish which of the paintingscan be attributed with certainty to Bosch himself, and which to his pupils or followers.The experts shuttle between Den Bosch, Madrid and Venice, cutting their waythrough the art world's tangle of red tape, in a battle against the obstacle ofcountless egos and conflicting interests. Not every museum is prepared to allowaccess to their precious art works.


Young Wrestlers


Turkey | Netherlands  86 min  Genre: Growth  Commentary Language: Turkish
Director(s): Mete Gumurhan   Production Company: Kaliber Film

SYNOPSIS:Twenty-six boys from the Turkish Institute of Physical Education have endured a lot of training to achieve their dream of wrestling, and the director will bring you closer to watch their friendship and competition.


The Queen of Silence


Germany | Poland  80 min  Genre: Society & Music  Commentary Language: Polish/ Romany

Director(s): Agnieszka Zwiefka  Production Company: Ma.Ja.De Film Production

SYNOPSIS:10 year old Denisa is an outcast in many ways. She is an illegal citizen of a gypsy camp in Poland, a woman in a patriarchal gypsy community and most of all - she doesn't speak as no one has ever diagnosed her with severe hearing disabilities. She lives in a world of her own, full of rhythm and dance, imitating the glamorous women from the Bollywood DVDs she found in a nearby garbage. Dancing she can be anyone she wants, even a queen, and express what she can't say - joy, sadness and fear.


Casa Blanca


Polish/Mexico/Cuba  60min  Genre: Drama   Commentary Language: Spanish

Director(s): Aleksandra Maciuszek  Production Company: Polish Film Institute

SYNOPSIS: Casa Blanca is a small fishing village on the Gulf of Havana. Nelsa (76) and her son Vladimir (37), who has Down syndrome, share a tiny room in an overcrowded multi-family building. Vladimir is the only person to watch over Nelsa,Nelsa is the only person to watch over Vladimir.


Call Me Marianna

Poland  75 min  Genre: Biography  Commentary Language: Polish

Director(s): Karolina Bielawska   Production Company: Polish Film Institute

SYNOPSIS:What does it mean to be oneself? What is a price to be paid for achieving such a state? 


Albert Cinema


Poland 50 min  Genre: Humanity & History  Commentary Language: Polish

Director(s): Agnieszka Zwiefka   Production Company: Ma.Ja.De Film Production

SYNOPSIS: Homeless men living in the shelter are shooting fiction films, in which they are the actors, directors and cinematographers. They have named their bizarre film production company Albert Cinema. Now their films have official premieres with red carpets and alcohol-free champagne. For homeless filmmakers these moments are more important than Oscar ceremonies, especially when they see their families for the first time after years. And sometimes miracles happen. We follow Leszek, a very talented actor, as he tries to reunite with his son whom he hadn't seen in 28 years. After years of living on the streets and being an alcohol addict now he wants to make up for the lost years and invites his son to the premiere of Albert Cinema's newest production.


Warsaw Available


Poland  51 min  Genre: Society  Commentary Language: Polish
Director(s): Karolina Bielawska  Production Company: Polish Film Institute

SYNOPSIS: Anna, Maggie, and Ilona are three women all living in rural areas on the outskirts of Poland. Anna wants to be a hair dresser, Maggie dreams of leaving home and seeing the world, and Ilona desperately hopes for a better life for her and her son. Each woman decides to take a trip to Warsaw (a city they've only encountered through their television screens), with the hope of changing their futures. Warsaw Available is a documentary about the dramatic social divisions in modern Poland. It delves into the question of identity, trying to determine how much of a person is simply where they're from and the context they were raised in. A personal account of three lives trying to make sense in a world beyond their understanding.


Previous Scenes

Cuba | Poland 28 min  Genre: Drama | Family  Commentary Language: Spanish
Director(s): Aleksandra Maciuszek   Production Company: Polish Film Institute

SYNOPSIS:In a ramshackle house full of memories, agrandfather cares for his grandson and must care for himself. One week passesand nothing is going to be the same again. With an esthetic inspired by thelitheographs from Ars Moriendi - medieval manuals for a good dying, thisdocumentry proposes disturbing, sometimes grotesque, sometimes harsh, visionof death, which always - and in the most unexpected ways - nurtures life.


Loving in Limbo


New Zealand  83 min Genre: Emotion& Humanity  Commentary Language: English 

Director(s): Maria Teresa Larrain  Production Company: Popgun Films

Award(s):2016 New Zealand Edge Documentary Film Festival Best Documentary

SYNOPSIS:Hap, a kiwi traveler meets Mandy, a USA school teacher and embark on a 4 year world travel journey. When they get married and applied for a green card, they discovered it had been banned from the USA. This is their journey to try and overturn this.


A Boy’s Dream


Netherlands | Japan | USA  55 min  Genre: Humanity & History  Commentary Language: Dutch
Director(s): Walther Grotenhuis, Cinta Forger  Production Company: Walther Grotenhuis

SYNOPSIS: A Boy's Dream As a self appointed The Jansen pursues an impossible dream. Making new life out of PVC tubes, tiewraps and sails. How far will he come with his fairytale? And will his fairytale convince the world?


Seven Women of Different Age


Poland   16 min  Genre:Biography  Commentary Language: Polish 

Director(s): Krzysztof Kieslowski  Production Company: WFD

Award(s): Krakow International Festival of Short Films Golden Hobby Horse 

SYNOPSIS: Each day of the week is represented by aballerina beginning with a young child and ending with an older ballet teacher.


Talking Heads


Poland  16 min  Genre: Society  Commentary Language: Polish

Director(s): Krzysztof Kieslowski   Production Company: WFD

Award(s): 1981 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 

SYNOPSIS:The film interviewed dozens of people of all ages to understand what was most important in their lives and to explore their inner world.


First Love


Poland  52 min  Genre: Society  Commentary Language: Polish

Director(s): Krzysztof Kieslowski   Production Company: WFD

Award(s):1974 Krakow International Festival of Short Films Golden Hobby Horse, Special Jury Prize

SYNOPSIS:Afterthe doctor's refusal to perform abortion on a 17-year old girl, she and herboyfriend have to cope with the new situation. They both need to learn to takeresponsibility for their decisions, in spite of numerous hardships facing them.


I Was a Soldier


Poland 16 min  Genre:Biography   Commentary Language:Polish

Director(s): Krzysztof Kieslowski   Production Company: WFD

SYNOPSIS: Blind war veterans tell stories about loss, war, will to live and their dreams.


A Harsh Transition

China  80 min  Genre: Society & Current Affairs

Commentary Language: Chinese
Director(s): Zhou Fangsheng, Wen He, Li Juan, Cao Chenhui

Production Company: Beijing Yining Media Consulting Co., Ltd

SYNOPSIS:The documentary chronicles the real life of a forbidden nuclear city in Northwest China and a unique story here.This story focuses on the real status of the enterprises in China and concerns about the reform process of this country. The documentary records a landmark event of China capital market; explores how a small industrial city with the deep planning-economy background attempts to reconstruct the relationship among market, enterprises and the government; ponders over the ongoing changes and the embryo of individual consciousness in the China society.


Mr. Xie


China  55 min  Genre: Society & Current Affairs   Commentary Language: Chinese

Director(s): Song Manchao  Production Company: Shaanxi panorama television media Co., Ltd.

SYNOPSIS:Xie Wanqing, a farmer who had been loved on-the-spot photography for more than 40years,is dreaming of an 

photographic exhibition in Town. His wife resolutely opposed his hobby,not to mention about the exhibition. Because they were in need of immediate money in the son's marriage and the wife 's prolonged leg illnesses. Xie's only camera which was depend on each other for survival was broken down because of the old age. Just at the hesitate moment,Xie 's son hurried him up to undergo the operation. Xie refused, the furious wife broken the camera down... The scene of the traditional marriage on this loess land flashed across Xie's mind without the camera. With such disappointment, Xie thrown his useless camera on the floor heavily on the 19th day after the operation... He bought a new camera with a mistake due to a strange combination of circumstances while fixing it. The couple payed a formal ceremony to the new camera. He rushed across Long land like an unbridled horse with the new camera,totally forgot about the wound after the operation. The second day after the Grain Rain, Xie began developing his films with soda and alkali...


Return Wolves


China  98 min  Genre: Ecology & Environment  Commentary Language: Chinese

Director(s): Yi Feng  Production Company: Yifengfeiyang Media (Chengdu) Ltd. Company, Return to the wolves Media sichuan Ltd. Company  

SYNOPSIS: The movie is made by the protagonist of the story.In April 2010, female painter Li Weiyi in China went to zoige plateau to sketch,she saved an orphaned coyote and took him to her home in Chengdu,then named him ‘Green’.Weiyi and Green just like mother and son,gradually Weiyi learned the habits of wild wolves and their longing for freedom.Weiyi and Yifeng after undergoing untold hardships took the four - month - old Green to the grassland.On March 6, 2011,nine - month - old Green was finally accept.


56


Madagascar  28 min  Genre: Humanity & History  Commentary Language: Spanish

Director(s): Marco Huertas  Production Company: Carlos Gómez

SYNOPSIS: Soavinarivo is a small, isolated village in the Madagascar inland. There, three children (Victorine, Ravaka and Menja) struggle to get 56 kg of rice: the demanded cost of goin' to primary school. During their odyssey to achieve it we watch their little world through their innocent eyes.Shot during 16 days, without budget, with a 5 people unit and filmmaker's own material. This is a film about hope and the importance of access to education and water, with the action of Project Willka in the background.


Fair Play


Finland | Tanzania  28 min  Genre: Ecology & Environment/Emotions  Commentary Language: Others

Director(s): Tommi Rajala  Production Company: Wacky Tie Films

SYNOPSIS: In 2012, a Tanzanian girls’ football team arrives in Finland to play football in Helsinki Cup. None of the girls have ever travelled outside their home region before, and they have great expectations on how the international tournament will affect their future. However, when the girls return home, their expectations seem to be left unfulfilled: school isn’t going well, people are jealous, the team is falling apart, and some of their neighbours don’t even believe the girls have been anywhere at all. The documentary tells a story about life, dreams, and fair play: The play may be fair in the pitch, but not so much in life itself.


Diving into the Unknown


Finland | Norway  85 min  Genre: Humanity & History  Commentary Language: Finnish, English, Swedish

Director(s): Juan Reina  Production Company: Monami Agency

SYNOPSIS: Four Finnish cave divers face their worst nightmare when two of their friends drown deep inside an underwater cave in Norway. When the official recovery operation is called off by the Norwegian and British authorities after being deemed too risky, the friends set out on a secret mission to retrieve the bodies themselves.

Diving into the Unknown isn’t just the dramatic story of a life-threatening mission. It is also a story about unconditional friendship that truly runs deep. While each member of the team has years of experience exploring dangerous deep-sea caves, together they are about to face the biggest challenge of their lives. To make it out alive, they will need to be able to rely on each other every second of the way. And the physical demands of this operation will pale in comparison to the psychological toll it will take on everyone involved.

With footage from the actual accident and multiple cameras both above water and deep below the surface, this film follows the breathtaking recovery mission from beginning to end.


No Todo Es Vigilia


Spain | Colombia  90 min  Genre: Society & Current Affairs  Commentary Language: Spanish

Director(s): Hermes Paralluelo Production Company: El Dedo en el Ojo (Spain), Janus Films (Colombia), RTVE, Aragon TV

Award(s):

SYNOPSIS: Antonio and Felisa are a couple of old people who have been together in their quiet and small village all their life. Now that their health is more fragile they are afraid of not being able to take care of each other. Despite that, they oppose the possibility to go to a retirement home and to have to leave their life in someone else’s hands.


Cecilia


India 84min  Genre: Society & Current Affairs  Commentary Language: English, Hindi

Director(s): Pankaj Johar  Production Company: Penny Wise Films Pvt. Ltd.

Award(s):

SYNOPSIS: Cecilia hails from India’s neglected tribal belt and works as a housekeeper in New Delhi. When her 14 year old daughter is trafficked and found dead in a house in Delhi, she decides to fight for justice with the help of her employers Pankaj and Sunaina. But in a country where thousands of tribal children get trafficked every year to cities and many never found, the road to justice seems long and slow. As the three battle corruption at all levels, they soon find themselves navigating a complex network of cops, traffickers, judges, lawyers, villagers and family members. When Cecilia’s husband is kidnapped and her two sons are forced to leave the village, she begins to lose all hope. With the pressure from traffickers mounting, Cecilia eventually ends up taking the money from traffickers and withdraws the case from the court. She goes back to her village hoping to start a new life. But instead, she takes to alcohol and 6 months later succumbs to liver failure.


Deprogrammed


Canada  84 min  Genre: Humanity/History   Commentary Language: English 

Director(s): Mia Donovan Production Company: Eye Steel Film

Award(s):

SYNOPSIS: Deprogrammed is a feature-documentary about the rise of Ted ‘Black Lightning’ Patrick’s deprogramming technique and anti-cult crusade. Deprogramming, as a form of cult intervention, started in 1971 and quickly snowballed into a vast underground movement composed of concerned parents, ex-cultist-turned-deprogrammers and some sympathetic law-enforcers whose mission was to physically and mentally remove individuals from groups referred to as ‘cults’.  Inspired by her stepbrother’s deprogramming by Patrick in 1991, Mia Donovan meets the infamous ‘Father of Deprogramming’ himself and begins to unravel his notorious legacy.


Café Nagler


Israel  59min  Genre: Arts/ Culture  Commentary Language: English, German, Others 

Director(s): Mor Kaplansky  Production Company: Atzmor Productions

Award(s):

SYNOPSIS: During the 1920s, Café Nagler was the hottest place in Berlin. Mor, the film's director embarks on a journey to find out what's left of her family's legendary café. Her grandmother follows the filming with great anticipation. When Mor discovers the true story behind the café, she is unable to break her grandmother's heart and looks for a creative solution. Café Nagler is a film about memory, about our need for family myths and about our longing for a different past.


Aurelia and Pedro


Mexico  16 min  Genre: Humanity/History   Commentary Language: Spanish
Director(s): José Permar, Omar Robles  Production Company: Departamento de Imagen y Sonido

Award(s):

SYNOPSIS: Short episodes of Aurelia and Pedro’s daily life, a mother and her son that live isolated from the modern world in a small hut in the mountains of the Wixarica mountain range. They complement each other through their daily work, while Pedro is growing up and becoming aware of the world moving beyond what he knows so far.


Jennis


Netherlands  26 min  Genre: People/ Society & Current Affairs   Commentary Language: Dutch
Director(s): Marco Huertas   Production Company: Basalt Film

Award(s):

SYNOPSIS:Filmmaker Aisha Roberson follows her brother Jennis on his first uninhibited steps on the path of love. Methodically he searches for the perfect woman, with red lips. Jennis was born with Williams-Beuren syndrome, which manifests itself in him having perfect pitch, being mentally challenged and above-average social skills. In addition Jennis has an overpowering fascination for everything that spins. Will Jennis find a girl that suits him?

Jennis affects the people around him with his lack of judgment and complete reconciliation with the world. Fearless and disarming Jennis searches for a girlfriend. Jennis is not afraid of clichés. He loves red painted lips and on YouTube he studies tutorials about the perfect use of lipstick. He has become an expert in the field. Jennis connects easily with cute girls from the neighborhood, and due to his irresistible charm, he regularly gets dates with attractive girls. Furthermore, Jennis executes his romantic ideas unapologetically, which flatters the girls.

But not everything is going smoothly. Where a Hollywood movie ends with a romantic kiss, Jennis does not know how to deal with the consequential reality. He does not understand that he is different and as a result, the girls' responses seem disappointing to him. Also, sometimes Jennis calls them too often or he wants too much contact in other ways. How will Jennis find his way through adolescence to adulthood? Will Jennis' quest end in frustration, or will he find a modus which suits him?


Dream Maker


China  55 min  Genre: Society & Current Affairs   Commentary Language: Chinese
Director(s): Luo Chong  Production Company: Alibaba Group

Award(s):

SYNOPSIS:Sixteen years ago, an English teacher from China shared his dream for Alibaba with the world. Nobody believed him. Now, the company has become a model for e-commerce—and entrepreneurship—worldwide. How many stories can be told about this journey? How many challenges did Alibaba face before finding success?This documentary uses never-before-seen footage to answer those questions, while the founders and partners bring viewers behind the scenes to give them the definitive history.


Under Ground


Brazil  30min  Genre: Humanity/ History   Commentary Language: Portuguese 

Director(s): Simone Cortezão Independent: Ana Moravi

Award(s):


SYNOPSIS:UNDERGROUND tells the story of a lonely doorkeeper of a mining company who wanders between his duties and the job opportunities within the industry, and a woman who lives on the border with a mining pit. Due to the pit expansion, Rita is the last resident who resists living amid the ruins. Romulo, lost among large entropic and productive landscapes, decides to take the ore towards another continent.


Shadow Girl


Argentina | Canada  80 min  Genre: Art/Emotions  Commentary Language: English, Spanish
Director(s): Maria Teresa Larrain Production Company: Storyline Entertainment, Maremoto Productions

Award(s):

SYNOPSIS: While editing her last film in Toronto, filmmaker Maria Teresa Larraín Suddenly loses her sight. Battling despair and misplaced shame, she closes the doors to her past and decides to face her loss alone. However, when her mother dies in Chile she returns to the country she left thirty years ago. There, walking the streets of Santiago she meets Andrés Albornoz aka Bird Man, and finds herself drawn into a new world: that of the blind street vendors of the Alameda, the main avenue of the city. Inspired by their resilience, challenged by their wisdom, and comforted by their humor, she finally confronts her fears and steps into her new life.



Please remember me 


China  78min   Genre: Art/Emotions Commentary Language: Chinese  Director: Zhao Qing Production Company:Lost & Found Film Studio

SYNOPSIS:

Shufeng and Weifang, an old couple who lived in Shanghai. Ten years agoWeifang went to have a haircut but she haven't got back until dinner time, which makes Shufeng worry about her very much. At last, police got Weifang back and at that time, Shufeng started to realize that Weifeng got Alzheimer's disease. During years after that, Weifang almost forgot everyone in her life as well as affairs with them. However, she can merely be aware of and trust Shufeng who have been with her nearly a half century.