Participants & Projects 2011
Wife and Baggage to Follow - Lost Stories of Diplomatic Etiquette
by Angela Buckingham & Yvonne Collins, Marina Films
This is a historical documentary about global Cold War politics, culture clashes and rigid social expectations; brought to life by personal stories of struggle and adventures – told by women who were married to the job. These are tales from a time when married women could not work in the American, Australian or British Foreign Service. These wives of diplomats in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s were hostesses par excellence, often negotiators and sometimes spies but were judged first and foremost in their role as “wife”.
Snow on the Brink
by Haipei Li & Arthero Lim
Born in the remote Chinese border town of Shi Wei , the 27 year-old Snow (Xue Han) of Russian-Chinese descent is facing a dilemma in her life. Her thriving family-run guest-house which she invested her family life savings and labour has been forced into bankruptcy by the recent influx of hoteliers cashing on the tourist boom in her otherwise quiet picturesque village. Many of her neighbors facing the same plight are even contemplating to relocate their homes and business to another locale.But Snow is reluctant to leave her beloved hometown which has been passed down three generations ago by her Russian-Chinese great grandparents.Her other option is to find a pure Chinese husband like her younger sister Ice (Bin Han).
Around the World in 80 Orgasms
by Emma George & Andrew Brown, De Facto Films Ltd., UK
This is the story of the most complex and misunderstood human behaviour of them all – the female orgasm. This film takes us on a journey around the world talking to women from Norway to Nigeria about their experiences. Interwoven with stories from modern science and our distant past we discover why scientific truths are far from constant, and how your culture controls not only your mind, but your body too. Ultimately we learn why the female orgasm really matters. Join us on this epic adventure, the first cross cultural research about the female orgasm – ever. With great stories, great characters, archive and visuals woven together, this is the science, history and culture of the female orgasm, to surprise, shock and enighten both sexes. This journey will change the way you think about the orgasm.
Mumbai Slum Diary
by Andre Hörmann & Max Milhahn, Telekult Film- und Medienproduktion, Germany
Due to the overwhelming success of the Oscar-winning blockbuster „Slumdog Millionaire“, the child stars, Rubina and Azhar, suddenly get a chance at a better life. But what happens when the world of two slumkids goes haywire? When the poverty they were born into suddenly turns into wealth and prosperity? Will they succeed or will they stay „Slumdogs forever?“ In addition to the linear documentary film focussing on the two kids struggle to find a way out of poverty, the Web Documentary goes beyond that and allows the possibility to experience life in the microcosm slum in an interactive way.
by Anna-Karin Grönroos & Venla Hellstedt, Finland
New eco cities are springing up in China with great speed and they are boosted by huge economical investments. A controversial Finnish engineer launches a new project that is to be built amongst cherry farmers‘ valley near Beijing. Tensions between the western idealists and local financiers sends the space age city plans into unexpected directions.
Humanitarian Wars - Confessions of a Humanitarian Pioneer
by Thomas Johnson & Isi Harder, Mway Films, France
Over the past fifty years, humanitarian donations have grown to eleven billion dollars, turning Non Governmental Organizations into key geopolitical actors. But do the messages they send us through their glossy advertising really represent the full truth? Going back fifty years in time using his diaries filled with paintings, drawings, photos and documents, we will follow the footsteps of Dr Pascal Grellety Bosviel, one of the thirteen founders of Doctors Without Borders, an NGO that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999, and undertake a journey that covers half a century of humanitarian missions and finally brings us to the contemporary war fronts. This film will discover the humanitarian paradox: how the dream to “humanize war” has given birth to so-called «humanitarian wars», conducted in the name of good and democracy but killing thousands.
by Shawn Convey, Convey, Bosnia-Herzegovina
During the 1990’s war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a 20 year old paramilitary commander gave up his own meal ration to feed wild horses wandering on the front line. A teenage farm boy in the same unit, tortured in a prison behind enemy lines, had spent his whole childhood with those same horses. They lost their young adulthoods to war, but rediscovered their humanity in tending a herd of wild horses that survived the war, only to be threatened by poachers and urbanisation. WILD takes us to the breathtaking high plains where Lija and Zeljko continue to fight, this time for the horses.
Threads of Tradition
by Soniya Kirpalani, Sprocket Science Films
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and UAE, nations fuelling global retail but none of them have a ‘local label’! People producing these garments aren’t allowed to wear what they produce! The national infrastructure is busy servicing ‘exports’, whilst their rich crafts and arts traditions is systematically decimated, their creative talent is used as faceless fodder to deliver the cheapest options for the world’s high streets. Refusing this servitude, a few local icons are reviving their 10000 year old culture building their first national brands…
Beyond the Wave
by Kyoko Miyake & Gregor Streiber, Inselfilm Produktion
In the aftermath of the nuclear catastrophe, director Kyoko Miyake revisits Fukushima to find out the fate of her mother’s hometown as it risks disappearing off the map. But Miyake has another question. Why aren’t people angry? Is her puzzlement a sign of Westernisation? Are the Western media right in depicting Japanese as obedient? Through speaking to Miyake’s family and neighbours, the film unearths the uncomfortable past that prevents things from being so clearcut.As the film chronicles the town’s battle to overcome the present dichotomy - hope for returning home and need for rebuilding life elsewhere, anotherconflict that the town has to face emerges - its past with failed nuclearambitions. Miyake starts to recollect her childhood ...conversations sheoverheard about the unpopular anti-nuclear protester and people at hergrandmother’s boarding house...
The (Un)Making of The Betrayal
by Dain Iskandar Said & Nandita Solomon, Apparat
The (Un)Making of the Betrayal is a creative documentary that tells the stories of every day people whose lives were scarred by ‘The Betrayal’, the propaganda film commissioned by a dictator. These survivors, led by main character Lestari, will come together on a road trip to tell their stories and in so doing “un-make” ‘The Betrayal’ and exorcise the past. By unraveling memories of violence in an Indonesian history and the complicity of film in shaping a nation’s consciousness, this documentary will add to contemporary dialogues on the intolerance of difference in our global community.
Red Light District Prayers
by Justin Ong & Aminda Faradilla Omar, Dos Fellas
In a 21st century modern Muslim city, in a hidden place that people have forgotten, comes the amazing story of the struggle for survival in the Red Light district. Through the intertwined lives of an activist in the Red Light District and the children of sex workers and drug addicts, we will get an inside look into the complexities and contradictions of a Muslim nation grappling with the role of religion in the face of utter hopelessness.
Beauty Queen Confessions
by Lina Teoh, Running Water Sdn Bhd
Beauty Queen Confessions follows filmmaker and former Miss World runner up Lina Teoh on her search to find the meaning of being a beauty queen in the modern world. Over a decade since she wore the crown, Lina has spent many years conflicted with her own feelings of being a part of one of the most watched, sensational and controversial events on the planet. Is it really exploitative and objectifying? Or a platform for a better life for the young women who dream of world peace? To find the truth, Lina reconnects with her beauty queen peers for the first time since the 1998 Miss World finals, to hear their confessions of what life has truly been like for them after the all the glitz and glamour has faded. With unique access into this secret sisterhood, these beauty queens share with her, their honest stories of life behind the perfect bodies, well rehearsed waves, gowns, sashes and crowns - sometimes tragic, funny and inspiring.
Why Europe Can't Conquer Asia – The Secret Culture of Asian Scissorhands
by Siang Ching Tang & Shun Ming, Image Farm
Asian Scissorshands follows two hairdressers at the top of their games but each living in very different worlds - a high fashion hair celebrity, and a traditional Indian, community barber. Each faces life-changing challenges. As we follow them through their challenge, we come to understand the forces and complex cultural values that shape their world ... and their hair ... and that have kept the booming Asian hair market out of reach of the giants of Europe.
Swimming With Dragons
by Chew Han Tah & Wong Ai Nie
Good luck, Prosperity and Happiness. Welcome to the world of Dragons, Myths and FISH?! The legendary Arowana fish is prized and valued amongst enthusiasts for its colour and beauty! Once common and plentiful, eaten for meals instead of traded for high prices, today this species is raised, nurtured and loved to the point of obsession by its fans. In some cases fetching over 50-thousand U.S. dollars for a single specimen! Follow the journey of one Arowana devotee as he travels throughout Malaysia to as far away as Japan, where they perform a type of “fish” plastic surgery, all to create the perfect fish! Go behind the scenes, with Chew Han Tah, film-maker and Arowana expert, in this compelling documentary. Follow his quest to save the wild Arowana, have the species dubbed the National Fish of Malaysia and finally, display his own prized fish in the ultimate arena, Aquafair Malaysia!
FROM SOUTH KOREA
Mr. Taylor’s House
by Mi-Jin Lee & Se Mee Kim, Bassim Media
In the center of Seoul, an old fashioned, western type house stands on, densely surrounded by small buildings and is about to fall down. 88 years ago, the first owner of this house named it ‘Dilkusha (heart’s delight)’. After the first owner disappeared, neighbors called this house ‘Mr. Taylor’s House’. We will follow some of the current residents through the story, at the same time uncovering the fascinating history of the house which was built by an American family who we have now made contact with.
The documentary ‘Mr. Taylor’s House’ is the story of a country followed through the personal memory of very special characters.