The end of April will see everything in Toronto focusing once again on the documentary genre since the 36th edition of Hot Docs (27 April – 7 May 2017) is just around the corner. A total of six films and co-productions will be representing documentary filmmaking from Germany at North America's most important festival in this field, including two world premieres and one international premiere.
PRE-CRIME by Matthias Heeder and Monika Hielscher (Kloos & Co. Medien) and PLAYING GOD by Karin Jurschick (DE/NL, Bildersturm Filmproduktion) will both have their world premieres in the Special Presentations section which show high-profile premieres, award-winning films or works by well-known directors. Both films raise questions about our current system of values:
The events in PRE-CRIME sound as if they come from a science fiction novel that becomes alarming reality when forecasting software, algorithms and databases become the new forecasters of future crimes. This leads to the question: how much are we prepared to accept for the sake of security? Ken Feinberg, America's most famous specialist for compensation claims, is at the center of PLAYING GOD. But the documentary shows more than just the story of an occasionally omnipotent, yet always acute and charismatic player: what happens within our Western system of values when economic interests and personal fates interlock through tragedy? A deep insight into the soul of American society and a question about our system of values.
The other sections see the subjects of German documentaries ranging from the world of politics in Germany through music from the Sahel region to the extraction of raw materials and the balance of nature.
MEUTHEN’S PARTY, which was made during Marc Eberhardt's studies of Documentary Direction at the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy, was programmed in the Democrazy sidebar with its international premiere. The film starts in early 2016 before the regional parliament elections in Baden-Württemberg and accompanies Jörg Meuthen, the AfD's top candidate from the provincial election campaign stand in the small City of Backnang through to the first speech in the regional parliament.
The World Showcase sidebar has programmed the experimental short documentary KALTES TAL by Florian Fischer and Johannes Krell (ROSENPICTURES Filmproduktion), which had won the German Short Film Award in Gold in 2016 and was already invited to the Festivals of Rotterdam and Clermont-Ferrand. It describes the working processes in an opencast limestone mine and gives a dialectical treatment of our relationship to nature as a warehouse for materials and a mystical space of possibilities.
STORY OF SAHEL SOUNDS by Neopan Kollektiv (Home Run Pictures) is screening in Artscapes. Filmed on three continents and financed in part by crowd funding, the film gives insights into Christopher Kirkley's "Sahel Sounds" project that he operates as a blog, record label and platform in order to publish art and music from the Sahel region. Neither a classic portrait, nor a straightforward music documentary, the film overcomes cultural and geographical distances, celebrates musical performances by current artists from Niger and questions political structures.
All the German films and co-productions at Hot Docs 2017:
KALTES TAL by Florian Fischer, Johannes Krell (ROSENPICTURES Filmproduktion)
LAST MEN IN ALEPPO by Feras Fayyad & Stehen Johannessen (DK/DE/SY, Kloos & Co. Medien)
MACHINES by Rahul Jain (IN/DE/FI, Jann Pictures)
MUHI – GENERALLY TEMPORARY by Rina Castelnuovo-Hollander & Tamir Elterman (IL/DE, Neue Celluloid Fabrik)
MEUTHEN’S PARTY (DER EINZUG) by Marc Eberhardt (Film Academy Baden-Württemberg)
STORY OF SAHEL SOUNDS by Neopan Kollektiv (Home Run Pictures)
PRE-CRIME by Matthias Heeder, Monika Hielscher (Kloos & Co. Medien)
PLAYING GOD by Karin Jurschick (DE/NL, Bildersturm Filmproduktion)
Fides Schaeffer (Project Coordinator)
Birgit Koch (Press & PR)
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