On 25th January thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, sparking what we call now the Egyptian Revolution. Only a few hundred meters far from the world-famous square, the people from popular neighbourhood Bulaq joined protesters, finding in demonstrations something more than a glimmer of hope. Through their voices, ‘Bulaq’ portrays their collective struggle against eviction and social marginalisation, whose destiny seems to be strictly intertwined with the hesitant fortunes of the Egyptian spring.
Her first documentary, “Youku”, is an example of Ms. Hongyu’s intellectual and spiritual depth. She uses an oral history approach to tell a simple but profound story about 85 year old Yang Bailiang’s life history. Ms. Hongyu’s documentary beautifully sculptures Yang Bailiang visually whose hands and face are remarkable, while revealing the potter’s simple peasant life, a constant struggle to survive using pottery making skills to barter for food, learned from her great, great, great grandmother; a heritage dating back to the Neolithic age, 6000 years ago, among the Li Minority of Hainan Island. The documentary is a kind of visual poetry with a strong filmic sense that gives the viewer a taste of how ancient history translates to surviving in the 21st century. There is also a lovely sense of humor. Winner: Heritage Award, 8th Montpellier Film Festival of Clay and Glass (March, 2012) . Director Tan Hongyu
AFTERMATH is a feature-lenghth documentary which takes us to Bosnia, France, Russia and Vietnam to meet a series of unique people. A Frenchman picks up unexploded bombs from the First World War; a Russian tries to identify bones from the Second World War; a Vietnamese struggles with the lingering effects of Agent Orange from the Vietnam War; and Bosnians live in an environment studded with mine-fields. Their stories flow from one to the next, providing portraits of man’s inhumanity to man but also our ability to heal old wounds. With a mix of never before seen footage, stock images, narration and original score, AFTERMATH is a reminder that we will continue to pay for the last century’s legacy of war for years to come, and that future generations will pay for contemporary events which are occurring even now. Aftermath is based on the Lionel Gelber Prize winning book by American author Donovan Webster. Directed by Daniel Sekulich.
BLAST ‘EM offers a comical, bold and disrespectful view of the world of paperazzi and their famous prey. They steal up on and photograph their subjects, sometimes with their consent, usually without. The main character of this film is Victor Malafronte, a young professional photographer from New York, who is well-known as the most aggressive and talented of the new generation of ‘photography-killers’. He and his pals take the viewer on a ‘ride on the wild side’, hunting for Madonna (jogging), Michael J. Fox (also jogging), John F. Kennedy jr., Willem Dafoe, Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, and others (who are doing things celebrities do). Besides images of these photographers who are trying to sell their pictures to the highest bidder, the film explores the seemingly endless obsession of the audience with the rich and famous. BLAST ‘EM forces us to ponder on popular-cultural values that we find self-evident. Directed by Joseph Blasioli, Egidio Coccimiglio.
In these days, the stereotyped image of all strippers as drugs addicts, whores and brainless ‘bimbos’ is over…These new-age strippers break the mould – they are multi graduates, law students or successful businesswomen. Through interviews and filmed scenes of their bared bodies, the film explores the lives of these strippers. Not only have these exotic dancers overcome personal hurdles, they have to deal with the daily scrutiny of their profession as well as fighting for their safety. Some girls are constantly faced with the possibility of meeting someone they know or being recognized by parents, boyfriends or colleagues. Both riveting and insightful, this half an hour documentary delves into the fascinating world of adult entertainment.