My wonderful teammates (Laura Hadden , Alex Mallis and Tennessee Watson) won the International Documentary Challenge at HotDocs in Toronto. The way it works is, you receive a theme and genre on a Thursday morning and have 5 days to find a topic, characters, produce and deliver a 4-7min documentary film. It’s fun for many reasons but also because you never know where you will find yourself over the course of the next few days.
So this year, we went back for more and welcomed the brilliant Jay Sterrenberg to our team and found ourselves on a 70 year old oil tanker…We can’t release the film just yet but the still image is a teaser. I love this challenge!
On the film front, I watched a couple of interesting docs that were in a way similar.
The first gives a larger scale portrait of modern day society spanning over 10 countries and the other concentrates on small town Middlefart in Denmark.
Abendland from Austrian filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter, though described as a demonstration of “the empowering, unifying, and alienating nature of technology” to me acts more as a brilliant overview of the European society in 2010s…African immigrants are denied residence, Big brother watches on massive camera arrays in London, annual anti-nuclear activist gathering, Spanish boarder patrol watches for illegal activity, thousands of ravers dance in a techno-liscious stadium…
all very very beautiful filmed.
The other film was The Average of the Average by Dutch filmmaker Michael Madsen (not the actor!). He attempts to define the town through 13 chapters of “average” events, approaching the subject matter as if it was to be exhibited in a museum. And it also happens to be Denmark’s first 3D film.
And to end with here’s what Filmmaker Mag’s Scott Macauley is looking forward to at SXSW.