blog

2008 Sundance Wold Documentary Competition

WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

The 16 films selected from 620 submissions represent 8 countries including Pakistan, Jordan, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Canada. The range of human experience is played out in these engaging stories about the artistic process, the cost of conflict, faith and nationalism, and the triumph of personal spirit.

Films screening in World Cinema Documentary Competition are:

ALONE IN FOUR WALLS (ALLEIN IN VIER WANDEN)/ Germany (Director and Screenwriter: Alexandra Westmeier) – Adolescent boys struggle to grow up in a home for delinquents in rural Russia where life behind bars may be better than the release to freedom. North American Premiere

THE ART STAR AND THE SUDANESE TWINS/ New Zealand (Director and Screenwriter: Pietra Brettkelly) – Vanessa Beecroft is obsessively determined to adopt Sudanese twin orphans. Her consuming passion drives her marriage to a breaking point and fuels her controversial art, raising troubling questions about exploitation, culture clash, and the imposition of the West on Africa. World Premiere

BE LIKE OTHERS/ United Kingdom (Director: Tanaz Eshaghian) – An intimate and unflinching look at life in Iran, seen through the lens of those living at its fringes, BE LIKE OTHERS is a provocative look at a generation of young Iranian men choosing to undergo sex change surgery. World Premiere

A COMPLETE HISTORY OF MY SEXUAL FAILURES/ United Kingdom (Director: Chris Waitt; Screenwriters: Chris Waitt and Henry Trotter) – Chris is a useless boyfriend. Determined to find out why, he consults his ex-girlfriends, medical practitioners, producers, and mother to find out how women really see him. Has this journey made him potential boyfriend material or is he staring a life of loneliness square in the face? World Premiere

DEREK/ United Kingdom (Director: Isaac Julien) – A film involving two courageous and innovative artists – one the subject and one the filmmaker – provides a cinematic journey that illuminates the work and enduring importance of the late Derek Jarman. World Premiere

DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT/ Pakistan (Directors and Screenwriters: Sabiha Sumar and Sachithanandam Sathananthan) – From on-the-street interviews to audiences with religious leaders to dinner with the President of Pakistan, the film takes the temperature of a culture on issues from politics to women’s rights. U.S. Premiere

DURAKOVO: THE VILLAGE OF FOOLS (DURAKOVO: LE VILLAGE DES FOUS)/ France (Director and Screenwriter: Nino Kirtadze) – Russian nationalism percolates in a castle outside Moscow, where Mikhail Morozov rules autonomously over young initiates, laying the groundwork for a rapidly growing right-wing movement. North American Premiere

IN PRISON MY WHOLE LIFE/ United Kingdom (Director: Marc Evans; Screenwriters: Marc Evans, William Francome) – A curious young filmmaker attempts to understand the true story behind award-winning journalist Mumia Abu Jamal’s death row sentence, and comes to startling realizations about American history and its justice system. With William Francome, Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Mos Def, Smoof , Snoop Dogg, Angela Davis . North American Premiere

MAN ON WIRE/ United Kingdom (Director and Screenwriter: James Marsh) – In 1974, Philippe Petit, a young Frenchman, dances on a wire suspended between New York’s Twin Towers. Consequently, Philippe is arrested and thrown into jail for what would become known as “the artistic crime of the century.” World Premiere

pUUJEE/ Japan (Director and Screenwriter: Kazuya Yamada) – Against the backdrop of a magnificent but harsh natural landscape, a Japanese photojournalist encounters puujee, a young girl who tames wild horses on the Mongolian plains. North American Premiere

RECYCLE/ Jordan (Director and Screenwriter: Al Massad) – A Jordanian family man living in the hometown of Muslim leader Al-Zarqawi struggles to support his family and define his identity in a tense political climate. World Premiere

STRANDED: I’VE COME FROM A PLANE THAT CRASHED ON THE MOUNTAINS/ France (Director and Screenwriter: Gonzalo Arijon) – For the first time ever, survivors of the famous 1974 Andes plane crash tell in their own words their harrowing story of survival. North American Premiere

TRIAGE: DR. JAMES ORBINSKI’S HUMANITARIAN DILEMMA/ Canada (Director: Patrick Reed) – Acclaimed doctor James Orbinski, former head of Doctors Without Borders, returns to Africa to confront the harsh reality of conditions there and explores what it means to be a humanitarian. North American Premiere

UP THE YANGTZE/ Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Yung Chang) – At the edge of the Yangtze River, not far from the Three Gorges Dam, young men and women take up employment on a cruise ship, where they confront rising waters and a radically changing China. U.S. Premiere

THE WOMEN OF BRUKMAN (LES FEMMES DE LA BRUKMAN)/ Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Isaac Isitan) – Amidst Argentina’s financial collapse, workers take over a Buenos Aires men’s clothing factory and continue producing clothing on a self-management model. As the formerly poor become business managers, their lives are changed forever. U.S. Premiere

YASUKUNI/ Japan (Director and Screenwriter: Li Ying) – Controversy abounds as Japanese officials honor the deceased at the legendary Yasukuni shrine, where swords used to kill Chinese soldiers were famously forged. Few know about the shrine’s eerie past and the mysterious sword inside. Cast: Kariya Naoji, Sugawara Ryuken,Gaojin Sumei. North American Premiere

Continue Reading…

Previous Post…