Tag Archives: documentary festival

Winner at Prix Europa Iris!

Strong women and humour is the recipe for the winner in the 2015 IRIS Doc category (intercultural docs)


And the winner is Patience, Patience You'll Go To Paradise! by
Hadja Lahbib (Belgium, 2014, 85 min.)
After watching the film we had a group discussion (as we always do every day after screenings at Prix Europa)
Here is an interesting insight about reactions to the film.
First of all, the women in the group reacted and said:

I loved it - I wanted to shout/clap my hands while watching it, a lot of humor, it's the first time I saw this kind of story.
The whole day I am about to cry, but this film! I enjoyed the power and the humour!
Women empowerment, multi-culture, diversity, all in! Bravo!
Everybody was laughing, it was a good-mood film!
Thank you for all the mothers, a film with a lot of love!
This film was a brilliant film about diversity.
At first I will say something very unusual - it was not too long! (87 min.)
It showed us that nothing is impossible.
I hope the Swedish television shows it.
It was such a relief - that these women dare to open the door and go!
The story is universal; my mum could also identify, and she is Swedish.
These women do something for the youngsters.
This film made my day!
It's challenging to treat serious films with humour!
We loved it!
This film was so rich - had so many layers, it was light but talked about heavy things (topics). There are scenes you carry for a long time.
You took us to a place (these women's world) where we would never be able to go!
Great humour and power in the film.
I wanted to go deeper into the individual life of them and we stayed most of the time in their group.
That's what I liked: that everything came out of a group discussion. The scene with the scarf was very strong!
This programme speaks to all the audiences. It was so authentic. And even disability was a part of the normal life. This is an extra point for the film.

And then Hadja Lahbib from Belgium (journalist, director, author, producer) responded to the comments. It was a very difficult film. It took three years of her life. In the beginning she produced it alone. She had a bigger group of women of different nationalities, and a lot of them stepped out, and then she made the film we saw.

"I had no support from the commissioners (they said the script is not good, they wanted women with veil etc.); only RTBF, the broadcaster where I work, was positive from the beginning."

Hadja Lahbib, not only a good documentary director but also a very successful journalist and anchorwoman in Belgium

About the film:
In the 1960s, thousands of North Africans came to work in Belgium. Among them were women who had left everything behind to follow their men to an unknown country. “Patience, patience—you’ll get to heaven” was what these women were repeatedly told to encourage them to put up with their lives without complaining. Fifty years on, some of them are savouring emancipation. They turn out to be incredibly fun, loving, and capable of uninhibited self-mockery. This film follows them as they make new discoveries, through the simplicity of their excursions, their warm femininity, and sense of humour.

Watch the trailer (in French)

Production / Diffusion : Les Passeurs de Lumière, Clair-Obscur Productions, RTBF Bruxelles, ARTE France

Be at the Pitching 2014 in Thessaloniki !

A must place to be during the Festival are the Open Pitching Sessions in Pavlos Zannas, Olympion cinema, on Saturday 22 March from 10:00-15:00 and on Sunday 23 March 10:00-13:00.
The pitching Forum is the place to see the latest developments in the documentary sector, learn about changes in the market and watch the presentation of 21 fresh projects ready for co-production. It is like always organized by the EDN.news-thessaloniki-documentary-festival

The Pitching Projects this year are:
After the Dream director: Loraine Blumenthal, produced by Rob Mitchell, Firstborn Studios, UK
Andreas Papandreou – The Making of a Political Maverick directors: Yianni Drakos and Stan Draenos, produced by Magnus Briem, Schadenfreude Films, Greece.
Carbon Trade/Off director: David Soto-Karlin, produced by Aaron Soto-Karlin, NoMoha Media, Mexico and USA
Digitalcurry director: Francesca Scalisi & Mark Olexa, produced by Mark Olexa, Italy
Falc/Harm director: Dénes Nagy, produced by Sara Laszlo and Marcell Gerö, Campfilm Production, Hungary
Five Times a Stranger director: Vangelis Efthymiou. Producer: Maria P. Koufopoulou, Land Art Productions, Greece
The Forgotten Army director: Signe Astrup, produced by Jesper Jack, House of Real, Denmark
The Fragments director: Rojda Akbayır, produced by Zeynep Köprülü, Periferi Film, Turkey
The Honorable Generation director: Nima Sarvestani, produced by Maryam Ebrahimi, Nimafilm AB, Sweden
Il non detto director: Tim De Keersmaecker, produced by Emmy Oost, Cassette for timescales, Belgium
In Dependence director: Henriikka Hemmi, produced by Sami Jahnukainen, Mouka Filmi, Finland
Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life director: Tomer Heymann, produced by Barak Heyman, Heymann Brothers Films, Israel
Leaves of the Horn directors: Davide Morandini, David Chierchini, Matteo Keffer, produced by Lucio Mollica, GA&A Productions, Italy
Life and Death of Max Linder director: Edward Porembny, produced by Monika Bednarek, AMP Polska, Poland
The Most Boring Thing in the World directors: Christina Pitouli, Carlos Muñoz Gomez-Quintero, produced by Joan Soler, Cinefilms Productions, Spain
Next Stop: Utopia directors: Apostolos Karakasis, produced by Marco Gastine, Minimal Films, Greece & Carl Ludwig Rettinger, Lichtblick Film, Germany
The Promise director: Zeljko Mirkovic, produced by Zeljko Mirkovic, Optimistic Film, Serbi & Dusan Gajic, SEETV, Belgium
Samuel en las nubes director: Pieter Van Eecke, produced by Hanne Phlypo, Clin d’oeil films, Belgium
Three Lives director: Yan Ting Yuen, produced by Reinette van de Stadt, Trueworks, Netherlands
Transit Havana director: Daniel Abma, produced by Iris Lammertsma, JvdW Film, Netherlands
Violence director: Åsa Ekman, produced by Oscar Hedin, Film and Tell, Sweden

The following financiers have confirmed their participation in the open pitching session:
Hanka Kastelicova, HBO Europe, Slovenia/Hungary / Kerime Senyücel, TRT, Turkey / Wim Van Rompaey, Lichtpunt, Belgium / Jenny Westergård, YLE, Finland / Jan Rofekamp, Films Transit, Canada / Kathrin Brinkmann, ZDF/ARTE, Germany / Lars Säfström, SVT, Sweden / Flora Gregory, Αl-Jazeera English, UK / Ivana Pauerová, CT, Czech Republic / Anne Grolleron, ARTE France, France / Claudia Neuhauser, ORF, Austria

Interview with Gudrun Sommer, doxs!

Dimitra Kouzi talked with Gudrun Sommer, the director of the unique festival Doxs!, which just took place in Duisburg, Germany (November 4-10). Watch the interview.(video in German with Greek subtitles)

doxs! is the oldest German film festival exclusively presenting documentaries for children and adolescents. The international film programme is part of the well-known documentary festival Duisburger Filmwoche. Each screening is accompanied by a moderated Q&A. The entry to all screenings is free for accredited festival guests and pupils.

doxs! works in various fields of media education and constantly develops new pilot-projects that set pace and break new ground.
doxs! jointly produced with the Goethe Institut a unique European Documentary film package, Young Heroes, in 2006.

Are you looking for a festival?

Check out filmfestivallife.com! They have 800 festivals listed and counting. And they do a great job helping directors not only to find the right festival, but also to apply easily.

See also my post Festivalitis.

And the winner of Prix Europa 2013 is…

PRIX EUROPA - Best European TV Documentary of the Year 2013

THE PUNK SYNDROME - A FILM ABOUT PERTTI KURIKAN NIMIPÄIVÄT / Kovasikajuttu Directed by Jukka kärkkäinen, J-P Passi

entered by Yle, Finland, produced by Mouka Filmi, co-produced by Indie Film, Auto Images, Film I Skåne

This film is about Finland’s most kick-ass punk rock band, Pertti kurikan Nimipäivät. The band members, Pertti, kari, Toni and Sami, are mentally
handicapped and they play their music with a lot of attitude and pride. We follow these professional musicians on their journey from obscurity
to popularity. We watch them fight, fall in love and experience strong emotions. We witness long days in the recording studio and on tour.
They laugh, cry, drink and fight over who gets to sit in the front on the tour bus. Then it is time to make up and go talk to people in the audience
and tell them how great their band is. Their songs are about the problems in society as well as about things that
they face in their everyday life: how going to the pedicurist sucks and the misery of living in a group home. The guys give a piece of their minds
to both politicians and people whose attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities need improvement.
This film is about the essence of punk. It is a story of handicapped people rebelling against the mainstream. This time you are allowed to stare and
wonder why they act the way they do. And you will fall in love with them as you watch how the most kick-ass punk band in Finland conquers the

trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM58kP_JHkQ

and at the category of
TV IRIS - Under the Patronage of the Dutch Public Broadcaster NTR

PRIX EUROPA Best Intercultural TV Programme of the Year 2013

the documentary

DISPLACED PERSSONS / Familjen Persson I främmande land, Directed by åsa Blanck and Johan Palmgren

Per Persson left Sweden 40 years ago in search of adventures. He drove eastward in his Land Rover and ended up in Pakistan where he
fell in love with Shamim. They married, settled down in Lahore and had two daughters, Zahra and Maria. Per raised his daughters to be free and
strong women which wasn’t very popular with neighbours and relatives. As Zahra and Maria grew older the family felt more and more threatened
by the surrounding society. At last, when the girls are in their mid-twenties, the family takes the difficult decision to move to southern Sweden, back to Per’s roots. Shamim, Zahra and Maria have great hope for their lives in the new country but once in Sweden nothing turns out as expected. The family have to live in a small caravan while being stuck in the Swedish bureaucracy, with endless meetings and paperwork. Money is scarce and their dreams slowly fades away.
After a while Zahra falls in love with Aun, a fellow Pakistani also trying to find a new life in Sweden. When Aun’s Swedish visa expires he moves
back to Pakistan and from there he proposes to Zahra, which she accepts. After a tearful goodbye Zahra leaves for Pakistan but promises she will be
back in Sweden, in a year or so. In the meantime Per, Shamim and Maria slowly begin to build a decent life in Sweden and especially Maria likes
her new country more and more. And finally, after years of longing, the family is reunited when Zahra and
Aun comes back to Sweden.With them they bring their son Lille-Pelle, Per’s first grandson. The whole family celebrate and rejoice, but will they live happily ever after?
Well, as Per says: ‘Right now things are pretty good, but how the future will be? Inshallah!’

entered by SVT, Sweden, produced by Strix, co-produced by The Swedish Filminstitute, NRK, Yle

More about Prix Europa here.

Meet in Bogota!

The 30th Bogota Film Festival (October 16th – 24th) opens its registration for the 2013 season.
These are the categories:
Register your movie now at

Greek productions at idfa (Amsterdam)

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the greatest European documentary festival,idfa, is taking place until November 25 2012 in Amsterdam.
Follow the proceedings at idfa's well-laid-out website.
To premiere and compete in Amsterdam is Dimitris Athiridis' film One step ahead on Yannis Boutaris, mayor of Thessaloniki. In Greece, the film will be screened in the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in March. It will also be aired during the ARTE special day-long feature on Greece, in May 2013.
Also participating in the EBU pitching: Agora (Εxandas), The New Plastic Road (Myrto Papadopoulos and Angelos Tsaoussis) and Little Land (Nikos Dayandas, Anemon Productions-Rea Apostolides). Based on my idea and research, Little Land is taking place on the island of Icaria. It will be aired as part of the day-long television tribute to Greece by ARTE in May 2013. Also in idfa's main pitch on Monday November 19 2012 in Amsterdam, the Greek-produced and -directed documentary Kismet (Nina-Maria Paschalidou, Anemon Productions-Rea Apostolides) on Turkish TV soap-operas.