18th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival –
Images of the 21st Century
11-20 March, 2016
18th TDF HIGHLIGHTS
A fascinating kaleidoscope of our world is revealed in the documentaries of the 18th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century. The latest works of prominent documentary filmmakers, Oscar nominated films, as well as the intimate portraits of renowned artists are some of the highlights from this year’s edition:
Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) together with a team of artists and activists ventures into an undercover operation that brings to light never–before seen images about the mass extinction of endangered animal species in his new documentary Racing Extinction. School bullying is the main focus of Arto Halonen’s White Rage, which records a victim’s poignant testimony that goes through childhood traumas and a vicious cycle of rage and violence to demonstrate an in-depth look at this urgent global social phenomenon. In Claire Simon’s The Woods Dreams Are Made of, nature becomes the shelter for outcasts, artists and people who live their own utopia in the peaceful paradise of the Parisian Bois de Vincennes, celebrating diversity, freedom and the right to dream on.
In Transit, the latest film of the late pioneer documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles, co-directed with Lynn True, Nelson Walker, Ben Wu and David Usui, invites us to an engaging journey aboard the Empire Builder, America’s busiest long-distance train route, driven by the intriguing tales of its passengers. Filled with both touching and difficult moments, Chantal Akerman’s swan song No Home Movie is a portrait of her mother Natalia, an Auschwitz survivor who suffered from chronic anxiety and became a major influence on the Belgian auteur’s work.
Two Oscar nominated films (Best Documentary – Short) will be screened during the 18th TDF. Adam Benzine’s Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah is a gripping chronicle narrated by the acclaimed French filmmaker himself about the personal and professional obstacles he experienced during the arduous making of his milestone Holocaust documentary Shoah. On the other hand, Courtney Marsh’s moving Chau, Beyond the Lines introduces us to Chau, a brave teenager who lives in a Vietnamese care center for children born with defects due to Agent Orange and is determined to be a professional artist.
In Uncle Howard, Aaron Brookner pays a respectful and emotional tribute to his uncle, director Howard Brookner (1954-1989), best known for his 1983 film Burroughs: The Movie. The documentary employs rare footage, archival photos, as well as conversations with Brookner’s family and friends -including Jim Jarmusch, Sara Driver and Robert Wilson-, illustrating his life and legacy, as well as the independent art scene of New York in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.
Amy Berg’s Janis: Little Girl Blue paints the portrait of rock legend Janis Joplin. Narrated by the indie musician Cat Power, the documentary centers on Joplin’s life story marked by her personal demons and musical brilliance.
Binnur Karaevli and Fatih Kaymak’s The Eye of Istanbul refers to the nickname of Ara Güler, the Armenian-Turkish master of photography who captured Istanbul and so much more, throughout a career that spanned over sixty years, highlighting his personality and the riveting stories behind his iconic images.