Documentaries in International Competition you simply can't miss.
The 13th ZagrebDox international competition includes 21 documentary films. Each year, several titles arriving to Zagreb have already garnered prestigious awards or nominations. Next to films long-listed for the Oscars, Zero Days by Alex Gibney, Cameraperson by Kirsten Johnson and Hooligan Sparrow by Nanfu Wang, the finalists for the prestigious Academy Award include Life, Animated by Roger Ross Williams.
Another title competing for the Big Stamp is the extraordinary Danish documentary The War Show, directed by Andreas Dalsgaard and Obaidah Zytoon, arriving with the already bagged prestigious jury award in the Venice Film Festival's Venice Days section (Giornate degli autori). Made as the director's video diary recording intimate meetings of a group of friends, young activists, before and during the Arab Spring, the film testifies to the tragic destiny of Syria. The American documentary The Eagle Huntress by Otto Bell is a story about a 13-year-old girl named Aisholpan, who is to become the first female eagle hunter in 12 generations of her family, nomads from the mountainous regions of Mongolia. The film has won a host of awards and honours, including Cinema Eye Award and the best documentary at the Hamptons Film Festival.
Aside from the USA, dominant in the number of titles (seven), an interesting bit is that this year's international competition includes as many as six documentaries from Poland, a country with a long and rich documentary tradition. The Polish invasion of ZagrebDox is led by 21 x New York, a hypnotic cinematic portrayal of New York City and New Yorkers, directed by Piotr Stasik. An interesting and fresh poetics comes from the Polish hybrid of documentary and fiction, All These Sleepless Nights, a film about 'youth in full bloom' on the streets of Warsaw, by the Polish author Michał Marczak, a Sundance best director award winner.
Two international competition films focus on children deprived of childhood and youth: the protagonist of the Polish-Hungarian film Communion by Anna Zamecka is a primary schoolgirl who becomes the head of her dysfunctional family after her mother's departure, and the Belgian documentary The Land of the Enlightened by Pieter-Jan De Pue is a story about an armed gang of boys from the Afghan Kuchi tribe, who sell dug up Soviet mines to children working in the nearby jewel mine. The Chilean-Dutch-French film The Grown-Ups, directed by Maite Alberdi, is a story about a group of people with Down syndrome, taking lessons at the same school for 40 years, and the society preventing them from growing up.
International competition includes more titles: When You Awake, A Way Out, Holy God, Gogita's New Life, You Have No Idea How Much I Love You, Three Coversations on Life, Close Ties, The Dazzling Light of Sunset, God Knows Where I Am, The Challenge.
List of all films to be screened at 13th ZagrebDox is availabe for download HERE.
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