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The Warsaw Voice » World of Movies » April 30, 2014
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Festival Promises World’s Best Documentaries
April 30, 2014   
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More than 150 of the best documentaries from around the world will be screened in Warsaw and Wroc³aw May 9-18 during the 11th Planete+ Doc film festival.

This year’s festival will include debates, meetings with filmmakers, exhibitions, concerts and other music events, workshops and master classes. The festival guests will include over 70 directors, producers, cinematographers and people who appear in the featured documentaries. On the weekend of May 16-18, selected documentaries will also be shown in art-house movie theaters in 10 other Polish cities as part of the “Planete+ Doc Weekend.”

The world’s best documentaries from last year will take part in the festival’s main international competition, competing for the Millennium Prize. Entries include documentaries which premiered at the recent Venice, Locarno, Berlin and Sundance film festivals, such as Michel Gondry’s Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?, in which a cartoon version of the director talks to Noam Chomsky, one of the greatest contemporary thinkers. Audiences will also see Song from the Forest by Michael Obert, a documentary about Louis Sarno, a friend of Jim Jarmusch, who 25 years ago abandoned his life in New York to live in the African bush. One other remarkable entry is The Missing Picture by Rithy Panh, a shocking dramatization of crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge, reenacted using clay figurines. The documentary was nominated for an Academy Award as best foreign language film.

The Planete+ Doc festival’s Canon Cinematography Award is the only such prize given to cinematographers at documentary festivals in Europe. This year’s contenders include Atlas, filmed by Antoine D’Agata, an accomplished photographer who works for the Magnum Photos agency. At this year’s Berlin Film Festival, D’Agata received the Peace Justice Award. Other contenders for the Cinematography Award include Joe Piscatella for #chicagoGirl. The Social Network Takes on a Dictator about 19-year-old Ala’a Basatneh, who uses social media to help organize resistance in Syria from her home in a Chicago suburb. Basatneh will be among the festival guests.

Other contenders for the award include Eliza Kubarska for On the Sea with Badjao and Luc Jacquet for Once Upon a Forest, the latest film from the maker of the famous March of the Penguins.

Music documentaries shown at the Planete+ Doc festival will be competing for the Nose of Chopin award and this year’s entries include Rafael Lewandowski’s Minkowski Saga about world-famous conductor Mark Minkowski and his family, and Journey to Jah by Noel Dernesch and Moritz Springer, who tell the story of German reggae musician Gentleman. Audiences will also see The Punk Singer by Sini Anderson, a documentary about feminist activist Kathleen Hanna, who has made a name for herself as the charismatic vocalist of the bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. One other highlight is Krishna Das by Jeremy Frindel about a rock star who left his career behind to be “born again” as the internationally famous religious leader Krishna Das. Finally, festival audiences will see C.K.O.D.2—Evacuation Plan, part two of a documentary about Polish alternative band Cool Kids of Death.

Special events of this year’s festival include a retrospective of work by French director Michel Gondry. Viewers who mainly know Gondry for such feature films as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will get an opportunity to see his work as the director of documentaries, shorts and videos for the likes of Björk, The Rolling Stones and Radiohead. Gondry will visit Warsaw to conduct a music video workshop at the Kinoteka movie theater May 10.

For further information go to www.planetedocff.pl
Tickets go on sale May 1 at the Kinoteka and Iluzjon movie theaters in Warsaw and the Lower Silesia Film Center in Wroc³aw. Also available at www.kinoteka.pl, www.Iluzjon.fn.org.pl and www.dcf.wroclaw.pl
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