DOCUMENTAMADRID 2017’s international competition section is committed to the future of auteur filmmaking.
DOCUMENTAMADRID, the International Documentary Film Festival organised by the Madrid City Council, will be held from 4 to 14 May in Cineteca. Its International Competition section will feature 11 feature films and 9 short films.
This edition will feature the Spanish premiere of the Swiss film Calabria by Pierre-François Sauter, a road movie that allows us to share the space of friendship and respect that is the hearse which is present in almost the entire film. The film took home the Award for Best International Competition Film at the Doclisboa Festival and garnered a Special Mention by the Jury at the Visions du Réel Festival. Other films never released in Spain which will be screened at the festival include the French film We Are Humanity by Alexandre Dereims, an invaluable ethnographic record, and the Czech film Strnadovi by Helena Trestíková –a key filmmaker at DOCUMENTAMADRID whose work was the subject of a comprehensive retrospective in 2011–, which tells the story of a married couple whom she followed with a camera from 1980 to present day.
DOCUMENTAMADRID 2017 will also feature the Spanish premiere of feature films by three Latin American filmmakers: Solar by Manuel Abramovich, Los Niños by Maite Alberdi –a director whose film La Once was nominated for the Goya for Best Ibero-American Film–, which documents the struggle for emancipation of a group of friends with Down Syndrome, and El Pacto de Adriana by Gabriela Sandoval, who bravely and in the form of a confession tells the life story of her aunt, who in her youth worked for the dictator Pinochet’s secret police.
Filmmaker Susana de Sousa, for her part, contributes to the festival with Luz Obscura, in which photography once again recurs as a mode of examining and recovering political, collective and family memory. Michael Glawogger, who died during the filming of Untitled, which he directed alongside Monika Willi, presents us with a sensory voyage in which chance and constant motion are the key building blocks of this fascinating posthumous work.
Of particular note due to the relevance of the topics they address and their shared geographic setting are Radio Kobani, directed by Reber Dosky, which tells the story of a 20-year old Kurdish young woman who creates a radio station in the devastated city of Kobane (Syria) during the fight for freedom against Islamic State, and the short film Greetings from Aleppo by Thomas Vroege, Floow van der Meulen and Issa Touma, which shows how very little news pieces about a tragic and absurd war have to do with everyday experiences of life in the Syrian city.
In the short film section, DOCUMENTAMADRID will feature Vieille femme à l’Alguille,directed by French filmmaker Elodie Ferré, which shows the passage of time and the approach of death through the eyes of an old woman who fills the screen with wise words, gestures and unerring insight. Finally, also in the short film section, are the premieres of A gis by Thiago Carvalhaes, which tells the story of a transsexual woman who was murdered in Portugal 10 years ago, and Batería by Damian Sáinz Eduardo, which is set in the ruins of a military fort on the outskirts of Havana –a clandestine gay cruising spot and a refuge for gay men looking to socialise and exercise resistance.
Films acclaimed at prestigious international festivals
In addition to screening unreleased films, in its International Competition section DOCUMENTAMADRID 2017 will screen films that have garnered awards at prestigious international competitions, such as the feature film Machines by Rahul Jian, which won the Special Jury Award for Excellence in Cinematography at the Sundance Festival. For their part, the feature films Mzis Qalaqi by Rati Oneli and Untitled by Michael Glawogger and Monika Willi took part in the last edition of Berlinale.
Radio Kobani, by Dutchman Rober Dosky, filmed over three years during the Syrian War, won the IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary. Argentine feature film Solar by Manuel Abramovich won the ACCA (Argentine Film Critics Association) Award for Best Film at BAFICI as well as the Award for Best Ibero-American Film Now (2016) at the Lima Independiente Film Festival.
The films to be screened in the short film category, meanwhile, include A Gis by Thiago Carvalhaes, which won the Audience Award and an Honourable Mention by the Jury at the MixBrasil International Festival, and En La Boca by Matteo Gariglio, which received a Special Mention at the Winterthur International Short Film Festival. Some of the other films that will participate in the International Competition are: Dream Box by Jeroen Van der Stock, following a run at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and Batería, a new documentary by Cuban filmmaker Damián Sainz Eduardo which participated in the Havana International Festival of New Latin American Cinema. Finally, DOCUMENTAMADRID will also feature the films La Saison du Silence by Tizian Büchi, which will take part in the upcoming Visions du Rèel Festival, Eclisse Senza Cielo by Carlo Michele Schirinzi, which took part in the Torino Festival, and Manodopera by Loukianos Moshonas, which was screened at the Locarno Film Festival and the Valdivia International Film Festival in Chile.
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION SECTION: