Eight exceptional films to be developed at dok.incubator 2024

    Eight exceptional films to be developed at dok.incubator 2024 credit: dok.incubator

    The dok.incubator workshop announces its final selection of documentaries for 2024. From circumstances that turn life upside down and clashes of different worlds to one's healing journey – the variety of topics to be unfolded at this year’s workshop creates a powerful and touching mosaic of today.

    The well-established rough-cut training will bring eight project teams from Europe, Asia, and the United States to work together with international editors, producers, and sales representatives. For the upcoming eight months their goal is to sharpen their film’s cut, shape its dramaturgy, and create marketing strategy, preparing each film for festival premiere in 2025. “This year, we have a really strong mix of film projects that are all about what is happening in the world right now. The struggle to provide for one’s family and to survive in a system that offers limited opportunities for a dignified life emerges as a prominent theme, reflecting the spirit of our times,” says Andrea Prenghyová, the CEO of dok.incubator.

    All eight films demonstrate varied filmmaking approaches, cultural backgrounds, and themes. Among them is a story of an exceptionally talented child from a Chinese village, Gong. The protagonist of Always is learning to express his sorrow through poetry while establishing connections with the outer world. Dealing with traumatic childhood is one of the main topics of Love Exposed, in which Blanka struggles to form a healthier and more meaningful relationship with her dad, an aging photographer of nudes.

    These are not the only family themed films you can see among this year’s selection, 9-Month Contract follows a journey of a single mother who is trying to provide a secured life for her almost teenage daughter with a risky job - surrogate motherhood. Sang, the protagonist of Child of Dust, is one of 300.000 unwanted children left after the Vietnam war who desperately wants to meet with his father and find peace. However, just like the surrogacy journey, even his path is full of challenges and obstacles.

    No matter what the narrative is, documentaries help us to better understand what is going on around us and show different conceptions of the world. In Supernatural, alternative healing powers meet conventional medicine and start a journey intertwining science, mysticism, and illusionism. The conflict of objectivity in journalism and geopolitical interests is captured in On the Trail of Madness which follows a German journalist searching for evidence into the causes and consequences of failed Western politics in Middle East and West Africa.

    Far from Maine, another story emerging from the Middle Eastern region shows how harshly a teenage dream of peace can be crushed through a story of two childhood friends who simply wanted a better future for themselves. An unexpected inevitable future also appears in front of the people from Hasankeyf, a Turkish town flooded due to the construction of a dam on the Tigris River. Its inhabitants and protagonists of Hasan’s Joy are now forced to live their lives which were turned upside down and adjust to a new reality that was designed for them.
    dok.incubator 2024 selected projects:

    9-Month Contract /GE, BG, DE/
    director: Ketevan Vashagashvili, editor: Bernadett Tuza-Ritter, producers: Nino Chichua, Anna Khazaradze
    produced by: 1991 Productions

    For orphan Zhana, motherhood has always been priceless. Years later, as she raises a child as a single, homeless mother, she finds a life-changing job – surrogate motherhood. Hoping to provide Elene with a secure life, Zhana returns to surrogacy repeatedly, becoming trapped in the situation. Although she pays a high price for it, this adversity opens a new door in the mother-daughter relationship.

    Always /CN/
    director: Demin Chen, editor: I-Chu Lin, producer: Hansen Lin
    produced by: Guangxi Chunri Film and Television Culture Co., Ltd

    "Always" delves into the lives of children who write poetry in a village in Hunan, China. Gong Youbin, born into a poor family and who has not seen his mom since he was three months old, begins to reveal his inner thoughts from the moment he learns to express himself through poetry. Observing his upbringing in the countryside with lack of resources, the film serves as an allegory for the loss of innocence, when the society of children must inevitably face reality.

    Child of Dust /PL, SE, VN, CZ/
    director: Weronika Mliczewska, editor: Marcin Sucharski, producers: Hanna Drewek, Weronika Mliczewska
    produced by: Ya Man Studio Sp. z o.o.

    Sang is one of 300.000 unwanted, discriminated children left after the Vietnam war. When his life-long dream of finding his father comes true, Sang's only mission is to meet him to break a cycle of war traumas passed on for generations. After countless challenges, he finally meets his dad, but he needs to leave his wife, daughter and most beloved grandson behind. Will Sang and his father find peace?

    Far from Maine /FR, IL, DK, CH/
    director: Roy Cohen, editors: Alex Bakri, Sagi Bornstein, producer: Serge Gordey
    produced by: Temps Noir

    As the Middle East is filled with bloodshed and destruction, Roy, an Israeli man, is compelled to deal with the long-forgotten violent death of his Palestinian childhood friend Aseel, whom he met at a peace camp in Maine.
    The film unfolds as a conversation between old letters by Aseel, who was killed by Israeli police in the beginning of the 2000 Intifada, and Roy, who tells Aseel what has become of Israel and Palestine, which they dreamed to fix when they grow up.

    Hasan’s Joy /PL/
    directors: Natalia Pietsch, Grzegorz Piekarski, editor: Alan Zejer, producer: Katarzyna Kostecka
    produced by: LARMO sp. z o.o.

    Hasankeyf is undergoing a transformation from a rock-carved shepherd town into a modern residential community with single-family houses. The old town has been flooded due to the construction of a dam on the Tigris River. The families of the main protagonists, Kurdish shepherd Rengin and Arab barber Burak, are forced to change their way of life. Is it possible to design happiness for them?

    Love Exposed /CZ, SK/
    director: Filip Remunda, editor: Blanka Kulová, producer: Tereza Horská, production manager: Helena Starcová
    produced by: Hypermarket Film

    Blanka, who grew up with a distant father - a once famous photographer of nudes, finds support in therapy. Forgiving her father helps her heal and understand past pain. Blanka's father continues his journey as an artist, but Blanka emerges from their reconciliation strengthened and determined not to pass on the trauma to her children. With forgiveness in her heart, she departs, ready to forge a new path forward.

    On the Trail of Madness /CH/
    director: Edgar Hagen, editor: Christian Büttiker, producer: Mathias Hefel, impact producer: Gudula Meinzolt
    produced by: VOLLBILD FILM GMBH

    How are the flight of millions of people and the sealing off of Europe related to the West's interference in the Middle East and West Africa?
    The film, together with the German journalist Ulrich Tilgner, goes on a search for evidence into the causes and consequences of failed Western politics.
    After 40 years of reporting, the protagonist is confronted with political reality and questions his role.

    Supernatural /ES, BE, FR/
    director: Ventura Durall, editor: Júlia Rabadan Aymar, producer: Maria Colomer Canyelles
    produced by: Nanouk Films, Harald House, Massala Production

    André Malby is a renowned shaman who allegedly healed many with supernatural powers. One of them is Anna Alarcon, who now seeks to uncover the hidden strength she believes saved her life. On the other hand, Malby’s son, Mathurin, who is a conventional doctor, doesn’t believe in his father’s abilities. Both will start a journey intertwining science, mysticism, and illusionism, centered around the fascinating character of André Malby.