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KVIFF 2012: Documentary Competition

World premieres in the documentary competition include Timo Novotny’s Trains of Thoughts [pictured] from Austria.

Barbeiros/ Barbers / Lazebníci
Director: Luiz Ferraz, Guilherme Aguilar
Brazil, 2012, 16 min, International premiere
This skillfully compiled cinematic portrait from a Brazilian filmmaking duo features experienced barbers from São Paulo who initiate us into the mysteries of their traditional craft. Unfortunately, its social dimension and even its very existence are gradually disappearing.

El Bella Vista / The Bella Vista / Bella Vista
Director: Alicia Cano
Uruguay, Germany, 2012, 73 min, World premiere
This playful movie records the transformation of a soccer clubhouse, formerly used by Uruguay’s provincial Bella Vista team, into a transvestite brothel and, finally, into a Catholic chapel. The characters are reminiscent, on the one hand, of the magical realistic microworld of a Marquez novel and, on the other, of the antiheroes of a TV sports drama.

Dur d’etre dieu / Hard To Be God / Je těžké být bohem
Director: Pavel Kostomarov, Antoine Cattin
Switzerland, Russia, 2012, 67 min, International premiere
Kostomarov and Cattin (The Mother at KVIFF 2008) record the ten-year, as yet unfinished, shooting of the new film by Russian director Aleksei German, Sr. based on a novel by the Strugatsky brothers. This is a powerful look at a particular place with its own particular rules, a portrait not only of a renowned and uncompromising creator, but of his country as well.

Dva nula/ Two Nil / Dva nula
Director: Pavel Abrahám
Czech Republic, 2012, 108 min, World premiere
For director Pavel Abrahám and writer Tomáš Bojar, soccer (specifically a game between Prague’s Sparta and Slavia teams) became “an excuse” for shooting a portrait of contemporary Czech society. The main characters of this humorous movie, rather than the players themselves, are a wide variety of fans who are totally ensconced in the football match.

L’ equip petit / The Little Team / Malé mužstvo
Director: Roger Gómez, Dani Resines
Spain, 2011, 10 min
This wittily assembled movie, with music by the likes of Devendra Banhart and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, presents a coed soccer team of seven-year-old enthusiasts whose members, despite constant losses and an inability to shoot a goal, never lose the joy of the game.

För dig naken / For You Naked / Před tebou obnažen
Director: Sara Broos
Sweden, 2012, 74 min, International premiere
An untraditional love story about the relationship between one of Scandinavia’s most highly regarded modern painters and a young Brazilian dancer.

I’m Leaving on Wednesday / I’m Leaving on Wednesday / Odjíždím ve středu
Director: Clara Bodén
Sweden, Norway, 2012, 10 min, International premiere
This poetic Norwegian movie, combining super 8 and HD images, is a nostalgic look at the romantic relationship of two young girls, and an attempt to discover how such a story remains etched in human memory and how profoundly it affects us.

Kichot/ Kichot / Kichot
Director: Jagoda Szelc
Poland, 2011, 14 min, International premiere
A portrait of nonconformist Polish artist Marcin Harlender, who lives with his wife Grażyna and their four young children in a messy apartment full of creative stimuli that he uses, à la Don Quixote, to fight against the world outside.

Nos jours, absolument, doivent etre illuminés / Our Days, Absolutely, Have to Be Enlightened / Ať jsou naše dny prozářené
Director: Jean-Gabriel Périot
France, 2012, 22 min
The latest picture from Jean-Gabriel Périot, one of the most distinctive figures of short documentary filmmaking, takes us to a prison in Orléans, France, to witness a nontraditional concert performed by the local inmates, whose touching songs may be enjoyed (thanks to loudspeakers) by chance passersby.

Polish Illusions / Polish Illusions / Polské iluze
Director: Jacob Dammas, Helge Renner
Poland, 2012, 82 min, European premiere
In their lighthearted movie, Jacob Dammas and Helge Renner give us a peek into the lives of a few characters living in the slowly modernizing Polish seaside town of Darłowo. They make use of numerous magical moments of unintentional humor, while their seemingly serious commentary is, in truth, gently ironic.

Poslednata lineika na Sofia / Sofia’s Last Ambulance / Poslední záchranka v Sofii
Director: Ilian Metev
Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, 2012, 75 min
In his observational documentary, award-winning director Ilian Metev offers us a highly authentic look at the exhausting and often frustrating work of Sofia’s three-member ambulance crews as they rush to save the lives of people in need in the Bulgarian capital.

The Queen of Versailles / The Queen of Versailles / Versailleská královna
Director: Lauren Greenfield
USA, 2012, 100 min
An audience hit at this year’s Sundance festival, the movie captures David Siegel’s attempt to build the most lavish family residence in the United States. The influential American billionaire, who lives with his eight kids and wife Jackie (30 years his junior), was hard hit by the financial crisis, and his dream of an American Versailles began to crumble.

Soukromý vesmír / Private Universe / Soukromý vesmír
Director: Helena Třeštíková
Czech Republic, 2012, 83 min, European premiere
Helena Třeštíková’s latest documentary captures 37 years in the life of the Kettner family. A family diary served as a springboard for the film: husband Petr faithfully jotted down all the joys and tribulations which his “utterly ordinary” Czech family underwent over the course of nearly four decades.

A Story for the Modlins / A Story for the Modlins / Příběh pro Modlinovy
Director: Sergio Oksman
Spain, 2012, 26 min, International premiere
Sergio Oksman’s brilliantly constructed picture, strengthened by a bewitching atmosphere and assured direction, unfolds the mysterious story of Elmer Modlin and his wife: hidden from the eyes of the world for decades, they artistically played out their bizarre apocalyptic vision in a darkened Madrid apartment.

This Ain’t California / This Ain’t California / Tohle není Kalifornie
Director: Marten Persiel
Germany, 2011, 90 min
A wittily edited movie that makes use of black-and-white animation, a lighthearted retro-soundtrack, and countless archive amateur shots as it takes a closer look at the inception of the skateboarding subculture of 1980s East Berlin.

Trains of Thoughts / Trains of Thoughts / Trasy myšlenek
Director: Timo Novotny
Austria, 2012, 85 min, World premiere
The Sofa Surfers’ original soundtrack accompanies the special rhythm of Timo Novotny’s audiovisual essay as it takes us on a journey through the subways of several world cities, discovering what makes them unique. This whimsical movie stands out for its effective interplay of music and image.

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