Doc/Fest 2012 programme is live
By Hussain Currimbhoy 25 May, 2012
Its with swelling pride and a pain in my eyeball that I say the Doc/Fest programme is live!
After the press conference to launch last week its been a lot of hi 5s and ticket sales for our 2012 programme which is made up, to be exact, of 82 feature films, 27 shorts, 4 Cross Platform films, 10 outdoor films and 1 rather brilliant art installation.
A recession of economics is persistent, but there ain't no recession of creativity around here. We received 1500 submissions this year and from that the programme was born. A favourite question is what themes I saw in the submissions: its such a tricky question because certain themes just don't disappear – veritae films, docs about matadors, shorts about parents (didn't Herzog say everyone should make a film about their parents?) features about Canada's tar sands, music legends and artists, contemplative, and landscape heavy dreamscapes. They come in droves among many other styles so its hard to say. What did really strike me was despite how digital everyone is going, the films were really much more cinematic then ever. Filmmakers are imagining their films playing in cinemas again.
Docs are playing in cinemas more than ever before in the UK and I hope this year even more doc/fest films get into cinemas after the festival. Last year I was over the moon to see so many titles like 'The Interruprters', 'Calvet', 'Sound it Out', 'Senna' and the like go into distribution after the festival and find their audiences. There is always that strange voodoo that happens when you see a film at a festival and the buzz and energy around it so huge you feel like you are drunk on it. That can play into the hands of a distributor, but not always. What links the above mentioned films are great stories and a good directors aesthetic. I hope the audience sees the same qualities in this year's programme.
Cinephiles will be digging the Dziga Vertov retrospective – four films on 35 (gotta do the Outdoor Screening on dvd but don't hold it against me) direct from archives in Holland and Austria. Mark Cousins' 'The Story of Film' plays in one hit: 15 hours of it, on Sunday June 17th. If you watch the whole thing you not only get a prize, but the opposite sex will find you irresistible. Victor Kossakovsky's newest work is a visual and philosophical poem, tantalising on the big screen.
But I'm really excited to be launching new films like 'Fire in the Blood': an Indian made examination (and expose) of the pharmaceutical companies and their endless, inhuman greed. I hope this starts a movement to balance out the 'system' that can only help save lives. We are also really proud of 'Jaywick Escapes', another beautifully crafted film that feels like this year's 'Bombay Beach'. Hopefully just as many international delegates will see it as well as locals because it shows how easily a portion of a wealthy, healthy nation can go sour. It starts with one town and before you know it: Greece.
A new short film programme comes to life this year in the programme too. We have assembled two 100 minute collections of short films playing on Friday June 15th and Saturday June 16 to fulfil all your short film desires. Many are world premieres too. I've had a lot of feedback from Industry, filmmakers and public on how to present the short films at Doc/Fest and this, I hope at least some of you agree, is the best solution.
Thanks again to all the previewers, friends, Andy Beecroft and Joe Cutts and the whole team for helping bring this baby to the world! Could not have done it without you.
More posts to come with director Q&As, event updates and news about the festival. See you all (very) soon.