FNE at KVIFF: Quality and Experience at Doc Project Presentation

By Cathy Meils

    KARLOVY VARY: Docu Talents from the East, the annual presentation of upcoming documentaries from CEE, was notable for a smart selection of nine films from pedigreed directors and producers.

    The presentation, which took place on 5 July 2011, is co-organized by the Jihlava IDFF doc fest (www.dokument-festival.cz) and the Karlovy Vary IFF (www.kviff.com).

    The doyen of CEE doc filmmakers Helena Třeštíková previewed her longest "long-term" documentary study to date, a 37-year look at the life of a family beginning with the birth of their son, Family Diaries. The film is produced by Czech production company Negativ, which produced her European Film Academy award winner, Rene. The film attracted festival and buyer interest.

    From Poland, the Academy Award winning producer Anna Wydra of Otter Films introduced the upcoming film from Rabbit a la Berlin directors Bartek Konopka and Piotr Rosolowski, Art of Disappearing, and the clever concept documentary Six Degrees by director Bartosz Dombrowski -- another film that garnered attention from industry reps.

    Slovakia, which has been a formidable force on the documentary scene in recent years, was represented by two projects. Comeback is a gritty/stylized look at newly released prisoners, directed by Miro Remo (Arsy Versy). The Border director Jaroslav Vojtek offer a wry look at the aspirations of one Slovak Roma (Gypsy) to enter the world of politics in The Gypsy Vote.

    Croatian director Igor Bezinovic looks at a student protest in Zagreb in The Blockade, while Czech FAMU film student Petr Hatle uses mobile phone images of the recent Arab uprising in Digital Prints of a Revolution.

    A lighter approach is taken by the Czech HBO documentary Generation Singles, a study of six 30-something singles by director Jana Poctova, and Serbian director Dragan Nikolic's The Undertaker, a documentary of Europe's "number one repatriator of deceased migrant workers."

    The works-in-progress presentation drew a full house of industry professionals, producers, and programmers.