North America's most important documentary film festival, Hot Docs in Toronto, has programmed a total of 13 German films and co-productions for its 35th edition (28 April - 8 May, 2016). URMILA: MY MEMORY IS MY POWER by Susan Gluth (gluth film, zero fiction film) will celebrate its world premiere in the World Showcase. GIRLS DON’T FLY by Monika Grassl (DE/AT, INDI Film, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg) will have its international premiere in the sidebar called The Pursuit of Happiness.
Courageous women are at the center of both films: URMILA: MY MEMORY IS MY POWER by Susan Gluth is an intimate portrait of a young woman fighting for freedom and justice in Nepal. At the age of six, she was sold by her parents to work as a domestic slave before being finally set free when she was 17. Now 25 years old, the activist speaks out in her country against the officially abolished system of bonded labour and has since been able to free 13,000 girls from the Kamalari system. Her greatest wish now is to complete the school education she was never able to follow. She would like to become a lawyer and change her country. But the demons of her past are never far away.
GIRLS DON’T FLY by Monika Grassl was made at the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy and won the prize for Best Documentary following its world premiere at the Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival, a very important event for the up-and-coming generation of German-language filmmakers. The director tells the story of young women from Ghana having a common dream: they all want to fly and so attend Ghana's first and only flying school for girls. The protagonists have been born into a tradition which expects them to follow lives as a housewife and mother. Their dream thus also faces plenty of misunderstanding and criticism.
In addition, the festival hits from IDFA Amsterdam, SONITA by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami (DE/IR/CH, Tag/Traum) – also programmed, among others, at Sundance where it won an award - and HOLY COW by Imam Hasanov (DE/AZ/RO, Kloos&Co. Medien), were also invited to Toronto. They are screening in the Special Presentations and World Showcase sidebars.
All of the German films and co-productions at the Hot Docs 2016:
AIDA'S SECRETS by Alon Schwarz, Shaul Schwarz (IL/DE/US, Hupe Film)
HOLY COW by Imam Hasanov (DE/AZ/RO, Kloos&Co. Medien)
THE LAND OF THE ENLIGHTENED by Pieter-Jan de Pue (BE/NL/IE/DE, gebrueder beetz Filmproduktion)
UKRAINIAN SHERIFFS by Roman Bondarchuk (UA/LT/DE, Taskovski Films)
URMILA: MY MEMORY IS MY POWER by Susan Gluth (gluth film, zero fiction film)
WHERE THE EARTH SEEMS TO BE LIGHT by Salome Machaidze, Tamuna Karumidze, David Meskhi (GE/DE, Goslab)
TEMPEST STORM by Nimisha Mukerji (US/CA/DE)
WHERE IS ROCKY 2? by Pierre Bismuth (FR/DE/BE/IT, Vandertastic)
MR. GAGA by Tomer Heymann (IL/SE/DE/NL)
SONITA by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami (DE/IR/CH, Tag/Traum)
The Pursuit of Happiness
GIRLS DON’T FLY by Monika Grassl (DE/AT, INDI Film, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg)
Command + Control
UNDER THE SUN by Vitaly Mansky (RU/DE/CZ/KP, Saxonia Entertainment)
HATTIE GOES CRUISING by Konstantin Bock (US/CA/DE)
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