Bridging the Gap: 'Shift' projects are...
...drum roll please!Read more
I attended the one on Copyright and Fair Use in documentaries. Norwegian producers are starting to test the law with a few cases on the same basis that has been developed and argued in the States. David Van Taylor, director/producer from Lumiere Productions in New York was invited to share his experience and the difficulties in using the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use, a document that clarifies when documentary filmmakers can use copyrighted material into their films without permission. An excellent move.Read more
At the jury deliberation on Thursday which I shared with Doug Block, AJ Schnack, Pamela Cohn, Adriatrik Kelmendi, editor-in-chief from Kosovo national TV, we remarked on what a considered and excellent programme it had been, and how lucky we felt to be part of Dokufest's 9th edition. After a long discussion about the short and feature award for best international documentary, we celebrated (secretly) the decision until the early hours with local raki, peja (beer) and cheese gondolas. When it was getting light (it seems the bars simply remain open until the last person leaves), Pamela and I explored some other areas of Prizren with our stills cameras, among stray dogs and ghostly, battered shop mannequins.
After a stunning flight over the Swiss Alps, Venice and the Croatian coast, the weather turns hazy and I can see numerous farm fields on fire and it starts to rain. At Pristina airport I realise my luggage didn't make it through in London and that I'll have to wait for 2 days for my suitcase. Oh well! I share a lift with filmmaker Rowland Jobson who is here with his Venice-premiered film Girl Like Me. I've been invited to be on the jury for the international competition, and we're screening Peter in Radioland by Johanna Wagner, Unearthing the Pen by Carol Salter and Amy Hardie's The Edge of Dreaming at the festival. It takes us two hours from Pristina airport to Prizren, a beautiful town in the South of Kosovo, in stop and go traffic. The sun is setting and the light is stunning, looking across the mountainous countryside - houses half-built, abandoned cars on the side of the road, a traffic accident... and we pass the German army barracks as we enter Prizren; around 2000 soldiers are still stationed here we're told.Read more
Last year Adrian McDowall and myself were invited to the beautiful holiday island of Brac in Croatia to show our films Ma Bar and Standing Start on an outdoor screen for the very first Supetar Super Film Festival. We found out that Scotland and Brac have something in common apparently - we're both reknowned for being tight! I'm not sure this is true but they thought it would be the perfect idea to invite us back as we have 'so much in common'!
This year I programmed 13 films from the Scottish Documentary Institute's back catalogue including one feature doc, The Edge of Dreaming by Amy Hardie.Read more
"What is your understanding of what happens at death? What have you really understood about life? Where do you stand politically?"
The woman firing these questions at me in the marble lobby of a very stylish Barcelona hotel has an impossibly small waist. I think it’s the first time I have seen anyone whose waist you could, really, span with two hands. I should have admired her questions as well as her tiny middle, and said that of course I have no answers: I had nine years of exploring, 100 hours of film, distilled into 73 minutes to create a journey for an audience that brings them close to death, to grief, to fear, to letting go, and back to hope, to sensuality, to pleasure and to life. A shared experience of the sort that can hold contradictions, and is as rooted in the emotions, images, sounds, as in words.Read more