16 YEARS TILL SUMMER (Schottland 2015, Lou McLoughlan, DOK.international). Starting again. A middle-aged man returns to the Scottish Highlands after 16 years in prison to nurse his father but brings a dangerous mix of troubled past and big ambition with him. Set in a remote, achingly beautiful church-going village, the film follows the redeeming relationships Uisdean builds with his father, Calum and lover, Audrey - both excited by the 'new start' Uisdean promises to share with them.
DARK STAR – HR GIGERS WELT (Schweiz 2014, Belinda Sallin, DOK.panorama). Giger’s art is a symbiosis of dream and trauma. The terrifying worlds that he created were strongly influenced by personal experiences. Belinda Sallin draws a sensitive portrait of the controversial Oscar winner and creates a last manifesto for the man who gave birth to the Alien.
DE SCHNUUF – THE BREATH (Schweiz 2014, Fabian Kaiser, Student Award). Rescue service personnel train for emergency situations. They run through narrow strobe-lit tunnels, they climb up ladders in all their gear - in protective clothes that look like spacesuits. DE SCHNUUFF is documentary science fiction that nonetheless depicts real working conditions.
DESERT HAZE (Belgien 2014, Sofie Benoot, DOK.panorama). Diverse stories of human life in the US desert: Native Americans, pioneers, environmental destruction, tourism… Dramatically refined and visually sophisticated, the film questions man’s intrusion into nature without making judgements.
DIE BUCHT – THE COVE (USA 2009, Louie Psihoyos, DOK.special). A covert investigation, specialist Hollywood cameras and a collective mission: to document the bloody acts in Taiji’s “Dolphin Cove” for the first time. Louie Psihoyos’ alarming mix of nature documentary, action film and political thriller is deeply disturbing: afterwards no one will want to watch “Flipper” again.
FASSBINDER (Deutschland 2015, Annekatrin Hendel, DOK.special). Like no other, the name Fassbinder is synonymous with the New German Cinema of the 1970s. Who was the man whose films and theatre plays polarise opinion to this day? This documentary gained access to previously unseen material from the archive of the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation.
FOR THE LOST – LES TOURMENTÉS (Belgien, Frankreich 2014, Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd, DOK.international). The wild seclusion of the Languedoc countryside. A shepherd (or is it a shepherdess?) drives his herd over the elevated karstic plateaux and touches base with the lost, the forgotten and the insane. FOR THE LOST is a visually powerful meditation on forgetting and memory.
FRAGMENTE – ALTO FRAGILE (Italien 2013, Benjamin Thum, Student Award). An expressive journey composed of individual scenes, fragments, words. Always restless and on the move. A very old woman, a child that cries, travelling with the train, walking through the city. The images drift in and out of focus and back again. There is a prehistoric man on the ice, being photographed with an iPad; Dildos; a summit cross; masturbation; boxing; prayers. Fragments of a completely subjective characterisation of a landscape that will captivate the audience.
HANS IM GLÜCK – DREI VERSUCHE, DAS RAUCHEN LOSZUWERDEN (Schweiz 2003, Peter Liechti, DOK.special). In order to overcome the addiction of smoking, Swiss filmmaker Peter Liechti goes on three pilgrimmages through his country.The initial purpose takes a backseat all too soon as his hikes become ways of cognition. A film about Happiness, Life, and Switzerland. And smoking.
LEBE SCHON LANGE HIER (Deutschland 2014, Sobo Swobodnik, DOK.deutsch). A city, an image, a sound. It all belongs together but at the same time somehow it doesn’t. For over more than a year, LEBE SCHON LANGE HIER looks out of the window and observes the goings on at a Berlin crossroads. In the most beautiful black and white images and with a poetic commentary.
MAN ON WIRE (Großbritannien, USA 2008, James Marsh, DOK.special). “It's impossible, that's sure. So let's start working!” In the early hours of 7th August 1974, Philippe Petit pulled off an enormous coup, putting his life on the line. For 45 minutes he balanced between the towers of the World Trade Center. It is an image that epitomises the last century. James Marsh’s breezy biopic is about a man who reaches for the stars and risks everything for his dreams.
MICHAEL S., VERSAMMELT (Österreich 2014, Steven Swirko, Student Award). Michael collects films: Super 8 versions of feature films to be precise. He has built himself a cinema in his cellar. His wife has left him. “Collecting is just a male domain,” he argues as he peeks out from behind his films.
ON IMAGES – ÜBER BILDER – 10 VIEWS (Deutschland 2014, Heiner Stadler, DOK.special). Our appropriation of the world is increasingly based on worlds of images that then in turn create their own new worlds. This documentary introduces us to different people who work with imaging technology. A sensual film that shows us how things are and, in doing so, incidentally questions our future.
REMAKE, REMIX, RIP-OFF (Türkei, Deutschland 2014, Cem Kaya, DOK.panorama). Making a virtue out of necessity. The golden era of Turkish cinema was a riotous period of copying successful blockbusters such as Star Wars and the Exorcist. With less glamour and more physical demands a box office hit par excellence was complete! An affectionate film with magnificently compiled sequences and a great deal of self-mockery.
THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK (USA 1984, Robert Epstein, DOK.special). "You gotta give ’em hope!” Harvey Milk’s election speech is legendary. He was involved in the US Civil Rights movement as a gay martyr. Robert Epstein’s in depth portrait conjures up the spirit of the 1970s, when the private was also always very political.