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Nobody can hide anymore!

Last day at Prix Europa, with the On Line category. Projects are getting better and better every year!

Do not Track is a seven-episode cross-media project, an international, personalised web doc series about privacy and the web economy. It explores how information is collected and used, and how data broking works. The project is a co-production between Upian BR ARTE and ONF NFB (Canada).

You will be surprised to find out how much information you give up for free, while others earn a lot of money out of it! The impact of the project on the viewers since they used it:

  • 27% are more aware of privacy
  • 21% changed their behaviour online

The topic is the worldwide trade of personal data. People think that its very abstract but it is happening. Companies track your data and then sell it to other companies which create personalised ads.


Where do you get your news from?

Everything you do on the web provides clues as to your needs. It is customised based on your habits. What does it mean that they “know” where I am, what I like, where I spend my time?

It’s scary to see how much of your personal info you give up by just liking a page on Facebook. Your likes give away more about you than your husband or wife knows!

This info can be used to produce a character analysis for you, or to assess your bank credit!

The episode about mobile phones talks about the spy in your pocket and about the terms on tracking that you agree to when you download an app. It had  860,000 visits, 4,700,000 page views, most of them in Germany, and it attracted a 25-34-year-old audience.


The project will continue, working with schools.

Check it out:

Is there a recipe for an ideal family? Be inspired at IDFA 2014!

25 years ago, Petr used to be an urban man studying computer science. Then he met Simona, and they decided to pursue their dream of freedom together. Choosing a traditional lifestyle of self-sufficiency, love and togetherness, the couple live in a self-made house in a meadow in the Bohemian Forest, with the bare essentials – and their nine children. Can fatherly love become suffocating for the children? Petr’s frugal, bohemian life choices mean sacrifices for the whole family. Will they be able to fit into modern society. Watch a clip of the movie here 

I talked about that with the Czech director Eva Tomanová, whose feature-length documentary Always Together, selected for IDFA 2014 Competition for First Appearance.

What are you looking for in that story?

The truth! And I’m very aware of the kids, of course. Ten years ago, that’s when we met.  The kids were much younger. And to me it looked like a little paradise in a way.  Getting to know them made me realise how far from paradise their life really is.

The man has built his own kingdom in the middle of nowhere. Both parents are university educated. They have nine children that they don’t send to school. In the beginning you might feel this is like paradise, but then it starts to crack. The eldest daughter gets pregnant by a local farmer. The eldest boy ran away once. The other children can hardly speak. And there were even worse times. For example, for years they were forbidden to use any paper, even toilet paper. To learn the alphabet they used wooden sticks.  I felt almost like a missionary because I brought them some stuff. I care about these children. I wanted to know them better. They have had such a different kind of education that I wonder how they fit into society.

Then there is the question of freedom. They are free from school and schedules, but confined to just one meadow. It’s also about him: how can a well-educated person become what he is. How can he make life so hard for his children? He believes the harder, the better. How come his wife is so obedient to him? Is it a crazy social experiment, or has he found some deep family values?

 Did you get your answers?

I’m quite satisfied. I could not get more at the moment. But it’s not just about getting answers – it’s also about posing new ones. Which I hope I have done.


 How do you feel about their bohemian lifestyle in the Bohemian Forest?

It is a very hard life. They gave up all the comfort we are used to. I have been to many places. I lived with rats in South America. I have visited the poorest parts of Africa doing a documentary about child labour and child trafficking. But then I always felt happy for simple things, such as having a bed of my own or a hot shower. They have never had this.


Is it a problem to lead a different kind of life than the majority, to rely on your own resources, rather than sacrificing your freedom to civilization?

You must be very strong and very convinced to do that. It is not easy. They are in a permanent struggle with authorities. The authorities wanted to take their children and put them into an orphanage. They have conflicts with the police; even Interpol was after them once!

A lot of people dream about choosing a traditional lifestyle of self-sufficiency, love and togetherness in order to live a frugal, bohemian life. How do we know whose lifestyle is the right one?

The countryside is a perfect place to live. It has a different pace, a different sense of time. But Petr decided to go many centuries back.

Follow this blog to read more.

Four DOK.Incubator Films at Competition in IDFA!

Four DOK Incubator Films are at idfa in Competition this year! Congratulations!

Always Together by Eva Tomanova, Drifter by Gabor Hörcher, Something Better to Come (Yula's Dream) by Oscar-nominated Director Hanna Polak and The Queen of Silence by Agnieska Zwiefka!

If you are interested in applying to DOK.Incubator, meet their team at the round table sessions on Saturday and Sunday afternoon at IDFAcademy, or send them an email and meet the team at idfa between Friday 21st and Wednesday 26th.

Check out all the

screenings DOK.Incubator IDFA 2014


A workshop for docs in a rough cut stage?

PODCAST: DocStories με τον Μάρκο Γκαστίν

Καλεσμένος στη ραδιοφωνική εκπομπή με θέμα το ντοκιμαντέρ DocStories στον KOSMOS 93,6 (1.12.2012 επί ΕΡΤ) ο Μάρκος Γκαστίν. Θέμα μας για 60 λεπτά η δουλειά του στην Ελλάδα με αφορμή το ντοκιμαντέρ Δημοκρατία ο δρόμος του σταυρού.

Marco Gastine
Director Marco Gastine

Απολαύστε την σε PODCAST:

Sigrid Dyekjær gives Greek Producers practical tips!

Sigrid Dyekjær is one of the most experienced producers in Denmark when it comes to national documentary production and international cooperation. In financing, producing and creative consulting Dyekjær has an extraordinary ability to knock in doors and break down boundaries in the film-industry.

Young Greek producers are struggling. Could you give them some practical tips?

Go international. Always think of how you can bring your film up for an international audience, how you can finance it internationally, and how you can move your film language in a direction where it is understandable, and emotional engaging to an international audience. In Denmark we accepted a long time ago, that nobody speaks danish in the world. We only have 5 million people in our country. If we should live by making films, we simply had to get our films out to the world. Nothing is happening in Denmark, we have the most boring, safe country in the world. But we were all brought up with Hans Christian Andersen, and the way he tells a story. So telling a story, no-matter weather it is from Denmark or where ever it is, can be done in a way, where other people, from other countries can understand it. To us it is not so important whether it is a good story, but it is important HOW you tell the story. Hans Christian Andersen is running in our blood, no doubt about that, his trademark was how the story was told, what was the outer story, the story your thought you were listening to, but underneath that, there was more to it, a deeper lawyer that went right into your bones and reminded you of something in your own life. I am sure the Greeks can do this; I am sure they can tell Greek stories in an international way. And there is so much more money to get hold of internationally than in Greece.

What makes for a good story? Sigrid Dyekjær knows the secrets

Sigrid Dyekjaer
Photo credit: Marcin Kułakowski, PISF

Sigrid Dyekjær is one of the most experienced producers in Denmark when it comes to national documentary production and international cooperation. In financing, producing and creative consulting Dyekjær has an extraordinary ability to knock in doors and break down boundaries in the film-industry. Her latest documentary FREE THE MIND has so far sold 13.000 tickets in Danish cinemas and proved that there is indeed an audience for feature length documentaries.
Besides her work at Danish Documentary Sigrid teaches at the National Film School of Denmark, as well as doing master classes and lectures at film schools around the world, eg. her lecture 'Bridging the Gab' on documentary filmmaking and international pitching-sessions.

Sigrid is educated in dramaturgy from the University in Aarhus, and has been a part-owner of the production company Tju –Bang Film before she became part-owner of Danish Documentary Production.

What makes for a good story?

In my world there is no great story, there are only great Directors!

What is the connecting line between The monastery, Mechanical Love, The Good Life, Ai Weiwei, and all the other successful docs you have produced? (Ballroom Dancer...)

They all have really great directors. They are great storytellers, they invest themselves. and have a vision. The films are not perfect films, but they are personal films. I feel there is a director behind them, with a clear vision of what they want to tell, and they take care of telling it in an entertaining way, emotional way, so I get engaged as an audience.

You tell stories on the ground, on line and up in the air. You obviously are a hard-worker. How do you manage your work and private life?

I guess there never is a real answer to this, but my best answer is, I meditate, I do yoga 2-3 times a week - that helps me. AND I LOVE MY WORK.

Slots and strands in television are shrinking; the young audience does not watch TV anymore. Productions receive less and less funding. Yet, thousands of documentaries are produced every year and are screened in hundreds of festivals. Where can all this go? What is the future of docs?

I think we are in a time of change. Where a film previously was produced and distributed liniear, we now have the film in the center, circulated by a lot of possibilities around us. It forces us to think differently about our film, to be with our film in the center of it all, and look at all the possibilities we have around us. It has never been more fun to distribute your film, there are so many possibilities, ways of doing it, so much audience around the world you can get in contact with. Now you just have to learn tools, ways, social traffic in order to get in contact with them, but boy it is so much more fun! As long as we make great films, there is always an audience for them, you just have to find it.

Did you see any good films lately?
Tons - the new selection of films we will work with at this years Dok Incubator where I teach. Just wait until autumn, you will see 8 new wonderful films coming out of this program.

Stay on the blog ! there is more coming...

Talking about successful producing with Sigrid Dyekjær

May I introduce you (if you do not know her already) to the Queen of Danish documentary film, Sigrid Dyekjær, who runs Danish Documentary Production. I have always wanted to interview her, to try to discover why her wand is magic!

You are regarded as the queen of production! What makes you and your team so successful?

Ha ha ha... I never said I was the queen of Danish documentary film; thank god there are a lot of queens in my country doing this. But I think what is special about us, is we never sacrifice the film in order to deliver. We rather want to spend 1-2 more years in developing the film, if we feel it is not there yet or even produce it for 2-3 years more, if it is not at the level where we feel we can get it, than finish it. It is a priveledge, but we will do it. We don´t think of ourselves in this, we only think about our film, and our audience. we don´t want to disappoint them.

Denmark is a small country with a big film industry ­­- why is that?
We have quite good State funding. They have decided, even in financial crises, that giving money to culture and films is good; it makes people happy to see good films, and they get inspired, it gives a better mood and wellbeing to the people. The state has decided that you should be able to watch danish films in both cinema and on TV, so they have even given TV money to spent on films - only.
We also have a very professional industry now in Denmark, due to more money, a better film school.

Stay tunded! The article is going to be continued...

The best doc fest!

This is the letter Navina Khadib director of producer wrote after her visit to the Thessaloniki Documentary film festival. navina
Navinas film (first feature film) a wonderful documentary CASA LUZ about an children's home in Peru was part of the official selection.
Here is what she wrote to the festival after returning to Berlin.

Dear Thessaloniki Festival Team,
I can‘t tell you enough, how thankful I am for the invitation to your wonderful festival. I am still overwhelmed by your organization skills, helpfulness, good humor, the city and your passion for film. Your communication and hospitality were amazing, I even would say unique in this field.
I have attended quite a lot of festivals so far and none of them felt as perfect as yours. As I also worked for film festivals, I know how hard it is to organize and to hold a festival. All those tiny and big challenges which you simply can‘t prepare for and have to be flexible and persistent. You did such a great job on this.
In times of political instability it is even more important to overcome those tensions and borders by art and culture. Documentary films let us dive into the worlds of people and makes us empathize with them. I believe in this world empathy is the key and the answer. Your festival is a great contribution to it and it shows what can arise under the impulse of passion.
I really would like you to know that your work is special and important. Keep on this fantastic work. Thank you for everything.
Many regards,
Navina Khatib - Director and Producer / House of Light (Casa Luz)

Arte Focus on Greece, by Tue Steen Müller

What I mostly like in Tue Steen Müllers Filmkommentaren is his relaxed way to write so nice and his profound knowledge about documentaries. He is my inspiration to start my own blog about documentaries!
Here is what he just wrote about the ARTE Greek Day !

if you need to know more about the day download this: