Wading through the 500-thick pile of submissions is probably one of the least appealing parts of curating a festival. The very good, the patently bad and the seemingly ugly must all be given equal consideration. Having got a good way through the process, DOCNZ announced today the first five films confirmed for the 2010 festival.
The Academy Award long-list nominee Sergio details the life of a Brazilian UN diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello, acclaimed around the world for his efforts in UN sanctioned humanitarian and political programs in some of the most hostile of countries. On the brink of finally settling down with the woman he loves, Sergio becomes the representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq. The date of his assignment? August 19th 2003, at the Canal Hotel…
A controversial documentary with all the hallmarks of an international political thriller, Stolen has been stalked by protests and international politics at each festival it has shown. Filmmakers Violeta Ayala and Daniel Fallshaw started off making a different film in North Africa but as they uncovered modern day slavery suffered by the Black Saharawis in the Polisario governed refugee camps in Western Sahara, they become enmeshed in the most perilous episode of their lives as their lives and those of their subjects become at risk and prey to the most sinister political and cultural forces.
New Zealand also offers its fair share of powerful documentaries; Shirley Horrocks’ Dance of the Instant combines original footage of pioneering 1940’s modern dancers, The New Dance Group, with interviews from surviving members of the group alongside re-enactments of the new forms of dance crafted from minimal resources, while John Di Stefano chronicles the trajectory of living in New Zealand, to his native Canada, through to his ancestral home in Italy with the autobiographical You are Here.
The 2010 DOCNZ Festival will run at Rialto Newmarket from 27 February – 14 March and in Wellington from 13 – 28 March.
Sarah Ziff’s ‘Picture Me’, featured in the original version of this article, may now not screen at the DOCNZ Festival – 1/12/09