BELGRADE – The 9th Beldocs festival will commence with a screening of a domestic movie – ‘Chasing a dream’ by Mladen Mitrović, on May 12th in the Grand hall of Sava center. This festival shows the best documentaries from all over the world, which will present some rather intriguing accomplishments by May 18th.
The story of the movie that was given the honor of opening ‘Beldocs’, with which the audience laughs and cries in the same time, asks the following question: ‘How far would any of us go to chase a dream?’. The movie was realized by the production company ‘Fabrika snova’ (Dream factory) from Belgrade, in co-operation with co-producers from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, ‘Balkan Art Center’ from Sarajevo and ‘Facum’ from Zagreb, with the support of the Movie center of Serbia and the Ministry of culture of the Republic of Serbia, and UNESCO supported it, having recognized it as one of its millennium projects. ‘Chasing a dream’ was filmed in 12 countries.
Beldocs closes with the latest Michael Moore movie – ‘Where to invade next?’ on May 18th, which reaches the audience in Belgrade after the premiere in Toronto, shows in Canada, New York, Chicago, Berlin, Luxembourg, Philadelphia and New Zealand. The controversial Oscar-winning director is provocative as always, in a hilarious comedy where he does not shy away from anything in order to disclose what needs to be done for America to be great again!
In the ninth year of its existence, the Beldocs festival has some novelties. Firstly, the location is expanded to several halls. After the opening, which will traditionally be held in ‘Sava center’, the festival continues in the Youth Center of Belgrade, the Culture center hall in Belgrade, Yugoslavian Cinema, the Fountain cinema, and the first time in Budva (Montenegro) in a renovated Cadmus Cineplex cinema, where Beldocs pushes the boundaries of its work this year.
The movies are divided into several categories, where two held their competitive spirit: International and Serbian competition program. And for the first time this year, in the local selection, in addition to the Grand Prix for the best picture, two awards have been given – for best editing and best cinematography in a documentary.
The selector of the International program, as well as a tribute of the program to the famous documentarian Robert Flaherty is Greg De Cuir, a movie theoretic and author, while the film director Darko Lungulov is in charge of the domestic selection.
The International program is full of documentary ‘treats’. Movie buffs will really enjoy the movies that provoke and talk about the effects of the past on the present society.
From Russia we have ‘The Russian woodpecker’, a movie about a radioactive man, the victim of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, who decides to expose a dark secret.
Bolshoi Babylon (Great Britain), is a story about the chaotic state of one of the largest ballet companies, after the brutal attack on their director.
Oscar nominee ‘Cartel land’ (USA, Mexico) takes us to a border where it’s never boring – the border between USA and Mexico.
There is also the Sundance winner – ‘Sonita’ (Iran, Germany, Switzerland). An illegal immigrant in Tehran, fighting to become an artist even though her family already set a price to sell her.
‘Motley’s law’ (Denmark, Afghanistan, USA): 38-year old Kimberley Motley has left her husband and her three kids in USA, to work as a defense lawyer in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is the only foreign lawyer, with a license to work in Afghan courts, not to mention, the only woman.
An eleven-year-old is trying to overcome hardship set by the steppe as a natural habitat, but also his traditional family in the movie ‘Zud’ (Poland, Germany).
A story about a techno DJ in Tehran made by a Swiss production in the movie ‘Raving Iran’, and the sixties are discussed in a Croatian movie ‘Generation 68’.
The rest of the international program is consisted of equally exciting stories: a Czech movie ‘America’ where hundreds of people live by the code of the Wild West, the Argentinean ‘Sala Alberdi’ about a rebellion that turns into a protest in one of the culture centers and a Dutch movie ‘A strange love affair with ego’, a special research of a narcissistic culture.
In domestic movies, authors are clearly trying to get closer to world standards. This is proven by the program where all three movies are, which are already a part of the festival programs of the highest categories – ‘Depth two’ by Ognjen Glavonić, acquiring huge success in Berlinale, ‘Wall of death and all that’ by Mladen Kovačević which is yet to have a premiere in the official Visions du Réel festival program and the movie ‘Four passports’ by Mihajlo Jevtić, about four passports and a country, which was in the Trieste film festival program.
Glavonić’s movie deals with a difficult topic about the biggest mass grave in Batajnica, which is also the topic of ‘The unidentified’ with a domestic premiere also in Beldocs. World premieres will have another five movies competing for awards – ‘Yours truly, Sexymaja’ by Ivan Mandić about a blogger that turned to the path of prostitution. ‘The most important boy in the world’ by Tea Lukač, about a Justin Bieber fan trying to make his dream come true in show business, ‘The Tramway Hotel’ by Marko Mamuzić about homeless people and the most elite trolley in Belgrade, ‘The Other Line’ by Nenad Milošević, about a marginalized neo avant-garde culture and the artists from the late 60s and during the 70s in Novi Sad, ‘Controindicazione’ by Tamara von Steiner and ‘Jadranka’ by Branko Lazić about the famous singer-songwriter Jadranka Stojaković.
This category also includes ‘Masks’ by Brankica Drašković, about the artistic masks of Slobodan Tišma, and ‘The children’ by Denis Bojić, about parents who lost up to three children in the war in Bosnia.
Apart from ‘The unidentified’ accompanying program of the Serbian movies that will not compete will be ‘Abdul and Hamza’ by Marko Grba Singh, ‘Drop’ in the production of ‘Za medije’ nominated for an annual award for investigative journalism and ‘Tapavica’ by Ognjen Rakčević (world premiere).
Two special programs this year are ‘Biographic documentaries’ and ‘Bulgarian documentary movies’. The program of biographic movies will be documentaries about Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Hannah Arendt, Zlatan Ibrahimović, and so on, while the domestic movies will be represented by a movie about Miloš Crnjanski.
A special homage of the Beldocs program is dedicated to the famous documentarian Robert Flaherty, whereby the largest retrospective of his work will be held and the first integral retrospective on a 35mm strip in Europe, therefore the program will be held in the Yugoslavian cinema. On that occasion, for the first time, a digitally restored movie ‘Moana’ will be shown, as well as other works of this unique filmmaker.
Beldocs will host the Industry program intended for movie professionals in this field. On this occasion, the president of the European Documentary Network Paul Pauwels is coming from Copenhagen, who will discuss with the participants of the program, authors and producers, in two separate sessions – how to present their projects to the board of committee in Europe – and about the possibilities of European co-productions for Serbian producers of documentaries.
Like so far, numerous guests, movie professionals from the field of documentaries will visit Beldocs. So far, the hosting of the protagonist of the Russian woodpecker Fedir Alexandrovich has been confirmed as well as the author Martha Minorovich (Zud), Sussanne Regine Moyers (Raving Iran), Jan Foukal (America), Nenad Puhovski (Generation 68) and Ada Ušpic (Hannah Ardent’s ghosts).
The Beldocs festival is supported by the Ministry of culture and information of the Republic of Serbia, the Secretariat for the culture of the city of Belgrade, Movie center of Serbia, Swiss embassy, Goethe institute Belgrade, Israeli embassy in Belgrade and the Ukraine embassy in Belgrade.
And for this ninth time, Beldocs promises a plethora of intriguing documentaries from all over the world.