SPECIAL GUEST: AVI MOGRABI
After studying philosophy and art in Tel Aviv, Avi turned to filmmaking in the late 80s and cast his lens over the conflicts and contradictions of the Israeli-Palestine conflict. This body of work figures as a dispatch from the front lines of a war zone and can hardly be said to be the work of a dispassionate and uninvolved observer.
In a move that reflects a growing use of theatrical techniques in documentary film, the empathic collaboration here is with a shifting group of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers who are caught in a stateless limbo inside the confines of Isreal’s Holot detention centre.
Seen by many as Avi’s quintessential film, Avenge But One of My Two Eyes, distills many of the themes and filmic approaches that Avi has been using consistently over the years.
SPECIAL GUEST: PAWEŁ ŁOZIŃSKI
With a burgeoning filmography behind him Paweł Łoziński, whose early ‘90s films tackle the traumas of Polish history, has become well known as the creator of ‘non-action’, intimate films that do not simply document the lives of so-called ordinary people but seek the complexities and singularities within them.
In many ways Paweł’s films work in a meandering zone in which relationships and conversation take precedence over ‘story’. This movie, a fiction film with actors, is an affecting and intensely sensitive portrayal of the vulnerabilities of a therapeutic encounter.
This strand features a selection of recently made non-fiction films from around the world.
The disjunctures in young Syrian refugee boy's life, his displacement into a Palestinian refugee camp, his refusal of language, his separation from the norms of childhood are patiently depicted by Soudade as she follows his new yet uncertain life and the sincere efforts of family, friends and therapists to reach and heal him.
Ying Ling, a 17-year-old trainee at a funeral parlor in Changsha (the capital of the central Chinese province of Hunan) is far from home and terrified of ghosts, yet she is training to become a mortician in one of China’s largest funeral homes.
A powerful bio-documentary of the much defamed Winnie Mandela: from its opening sequences, that interweave archive footage with shots of contemporary Johannesburg, we sense, with an excited anticipation, that we will be entering an unresolved historical space that tackles the racism, injustice and poverty that marked Apartheid South Africa.
In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower atrocity which exposed the shortcomings and failures of social housing in Britain, we felt, when thinking of Andrea’s work, that it was timely to show her Estate, A Reverie, filmed over a course of seven years on a Haggerston estate
LIGHT OF EXPOSURE
Considering that Otherfield as a team is made of filmmakers rather than curators or programmers, it was thought that this year we would start featuring fellow practitioners who have been working consistently in the field of documentary, but not been getting the exposure that we felt their work merited.
Filmed over four years, Vanessa and Maurice, an African American couple with five kids, leave Alaska for Las Vegas to find their fortunes as the economic downturn looms.
Special guests present screenings of hard-to-find films that have had a strong impact on their work.
In Notre Nazi the fiercely independent Kramer (a member of the Newsreel Network in the ‘60s) films the shooting of Wundkanal by Thomas Harlan in which the latter has hired a recently freed Nazi war criminal to play the role of a kidnappee undergoing an interrogation at the hands of leftist guerillas.
A pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types across the desert in a type of capture the flag game.
This film, produced and directed by Dick along with Pat Hartley, is a highly personal film essay written by James Baldwin about exactly who and what survived the civil rights movement (“everything changes on the surface.”)
ROUGH CUT SCREENINGS
In his first feature length documentary, Monty Wates spent 15 months filming patients with treatment-resistant depression before, during and after a controversial medical trial run by Imperial College, London.
STUDENT AND EMERGING FILMS
Otherfield continues its commitment to the emerging talents of non-fiction filmmaking by again featuring a selection of films made by both first time filmmakers and students of the genre.
BRING YOUR OWN
Over the years the ‘Bring Your Own’ slot has proven to be a popular strand of the Otherfield film festival. We like to think what makes these sessions unique and, perhaps, why they are popular, is that filmmakers only rarely get feedback-from or have access-to experienced professional editors. So, once more, we are glad to invite festival-goers to show 10 minutes of a work-in-progress and receive feedback from industry editors. This year there will be four two hour slots in the company of Jane Hodge (Editor, Channel 4), Bonnie Rae Brickman (Editor/UCL Tutor) and Asher Tlalim (Director & Editor/NFTS Tutor).
In-depth ‘warts and all’ how-to workshops. Focusing on creative process and practical know-how we invite experts in the field to talk frankly about aspects of their work in a relaxed and conversational setting.
This year we are working with Avi Mograbi, Paweł Łoziński, Jason Massot, Mohamed Jabaly, Andrea Luka Zimmerman, Gareth Evans, and Keith Shiri to bring aspects of their working practice to light.
MUSIC & SOUND
Expect wild sounds, soundtracks, sound installations.