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10 Years of Discovering the Best Documentaries for You

- 15.6.2015 9:39 -

To the Border of the Sea and Documentary with FID Marseille

FID Marseille

If you have ever doubted the fact that documentary film is an independent means of artistic expression, you have probably never been to the French documentary film festival FID Marseille. The French member of the Doc Alliance platform will welcome the first visitors at the hot French Riviera in less than a month. What will the 26th edition be like?

Falling into the arms of the colourful port city that never goes silent at night is a unique experience as such; let alone if you take a walk along the quays to the modernist glass building of the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations which has been the festival centre of FID Marseille since last year. However, do not be confused by the three simple red letters F I D. What is hiding behind the illusion of simplicity and conciseness is a most demanding film programme paying homage to film as an artistic medium and perceiving documentary as a mere term whose limits have been tirelessly shifted and tested by the festival since 1999. As the festival‘s director, respected French film critic and curator Jean-Pierre Rehm aptly remarks: “Films should be more than just documents.”

During the upcoming 26th edition, the festival programme will stretch across dozens of pages of the festival catalogue covered with dense writing. Attended by more than 23 000 visitors each year, the festival will again offer its three main competition categories: the international competition, the French competition and the film debut competition.

The international competition will welcome 15 films whose filmmakers come from all corners of the world, ranging from Latin America through Europe to the Near East. The predominantly world and international premieres include the poetic road movie PAWEL AND WAWEL by Polish artist Krzysztof Kaczmarek following the unsuccessful tour of a film festival of classic Polish cinema across Island, gradually turning into an intuitive film capturing more or less bizarre encounters. Young Argentinian cinema is represented by Jonathan Perel who brings his film TOPONYMY to the main competition at Marseille. Exploring the present life in cities founded by militias, the film has an untraditional form; all of the observational shots take but fifteen seconds. The theme of current war conflicts has not escaped the competition either. The international selection features the film debut HOME by Syrian director Rafat Alzakout asking the question whether art and creativity can turn a place afflicted by war into a “home”.

French cinema will be represented by 10 films whose stories often take place far beyond the local borders. For instance, the second film by Andrei Schtakleff THE MAGICAL MOUNTAIN sets out to remote Bolivia. With its forceful form, the film captures the environment of Bolivia’s Potosí mines, turning into a journey to wonderland at the very core of mother Earth by means of the director’s imagination. PSAUME by French artist Nicolas Boone, too, sets out to another continent, this time to sub-Saharan Africa. The film presents a disturbing vision of the future, with all African soil turning into a desert and trapping the weakest – children, the ill and the old. How will they survive?

Besides the three main festival categories, the festival further offers the successful coproduction platform FIDLab to the festival visitors, primarily those from the field of film industry. The platform has given birth to several dozen successful feature-length films; a selection of these films will soon be presented at DAFilms.com for free. This year’s selection of 11 upcoming films includes works by famous filmmakers such as Israeli visual artist Avi Mograbi and British film director closely cooperating with French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy Phillip Warnell. The traditional programme dedicated to the support of film students, FIDCampus, will give space to 12 films by film school students primarily from France and North African countries.

Throw off your conservative prejudice against documentary film and put on your sunglasses – the sun and the film programme will shine intensely at the 26th edition of FID Marseille!

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