One of the most anticipated films of DocPoint 2015 is Laura Poitras’s CITIZENFOUR (USA/Germany 2014). In January 2013, Poitras started receiving encrypted e-mails from an anonymous source identified as “citizen four, ” who claimed to have evidence of illegal covert surveillance programs run by the NSA in collaboration with other intelligence agencies worldwide. In June 2013, she, along reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill, flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The resulting film is a real-life thriller, unfolding minute-by-minute before our eyes as Snowden shares his sensitive evidence with Poitras – and the whole world. The film will also be DocPoint festival’s main seminar film screened on Saturday January 31st.
Hanna Polak’s touching film Something Better to Come (Denmark/Poland 2014) is another festival hit. The film follows a girl named Yula for 14 years in her life at an enormous dumpsite near Moscow, where she lives with her family. Something Better to Come impressed the jury of recent International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) so much, that it was awarded a Special Jury Award, which is very exceptional.
Delving into the political situation in Russia, Children 404 (Russia 2014) and Victory Day (Russia, 2014) discuss the anti-gay law, which passed in 2013 in our eastern neighbour. Children 404, directed by Askold Kurov and Pavel Loparev, explores an online project with the same title, through which Russian sexual minority youths share their experiences of anger and discrimination. The film got censored in Russia and it was distributed at a Russian film festival called Delai Film especially with memory sticks. Victory Day, directed by Alina Rudnitskaya, who was a guest at DocPoint 2014, is a short documentary that, likewise, gives a voice to the sexual minorities. In the film couples describe from the comfort of their homes their relationships and the worries that the anti-gay law has caused them.
On the side of politics, the themes in 2015 revolve around nature and the sea in particular. Jos de Putter’s beautiful and intelligent film See No Evil (Netherlands/Belgium 2014) presents three of the world best known apes. In the film Cheetah – the last surviving star of the Tarzan films, Kanzi – one of the most intelligent of his species, and Knuckles – a test monkey of the space age, spend their retirement days. Their life stories introduce the question of human rights for apes.
Representing both the theme of the sea and the category of classics at the festival, legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau’s two documentaries compellingly present the world underwater. Cousteau’s first long film and pioneering work, The Silent World (France), came out in 1956. The film was awarded both the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Cousteau’s other film to be screened at the festival, World Without Sun (France/Italy, 1964), also won the Best Documentary Oscar. It chronicles the month-long habitation of a group of divers on the sea floor, and it is the first ever film to be completely filmed under the sea. The Silent World and World Without Sun will be presented in collaboration with the National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI).
The whole festival programme of DocPoint will be released and the ticket sales will begin January 7th 2015 at www.docpoint.info/en. Additional events, Q&A events and international filmmaker guests will be announced in January.