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DocWeek opens arms to select bunch of foreigners

Adelaide-based DocWeek’s inaugural Asia Pacific New Documentary Program (APNDP) unveils its competition line-up, featuring one Kiwi entry.

The APNDP aims to select “up and coming filmmakers from Australia, Asia and the Pacific” in a competition strand. Finalists get to attend DocWeek and AIDC. Other filmmakers from the region are also invited to participate in the professional development parts of the programme. Jess Feast, is named a finalist for Gardening With Soul, with the film’s producer Vicky Pope an NZFC-sponsored participant.

It’s perhaps not surprising that Australian titles dominate the competition line-up, taking four of the ten slots. It’s encouraging to see films from New Caledonia and Vanuatu make the list.

However, DocWeek’s naming of the competition as “Asia-Pacific” is a bit of a leap. The competition line-up, with one exception, hails entirely from countries whose funders or festivals have signed on as international partners for APNDP. They represent less than 20% of the countries in the region.

DocWeek runs 4-9 March in Adelaide.

The Asia Pacific New Documentary finalists for 2014 are:

Gracie Otto – The Last Impresario (Australia)
In her full-length directorial debut, Australian filmmaker Gracie Otto profiles perhaps the most famous person you’ve never heard of: Michael White.

Clare Young – From the Bottom of the Lake (Australia)
A portrait of Jane Campion and her collaborators at work; a personal and revealing exploration of how, often against all odds, the creative spirit can sing.

Jakeb Anhvu – Blush of Fruit (Australia)
Tong Phuoc Phuc operates an orphanage in central Vietnam. He persuades expectant mothers from aborting with the promise of care and shelter, but his motives are overshadowed by allegations of profiteering and child neglect.

Sunita Jariwala – Valley Kicks (Australia)
Looking for permanency in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley is CEO of Brisbane Youth Service, and its clients Monkee and Link. But neighbours, natural disasters and a new State Government bring uncertainty.

Jess Feast – Gardening with Soul (New Zealand)
90-year old nun Sister Loyola Galvin shares insights on love, faith and compost during a year in her garden.

Nune Luepack – Imulal, A Land, Roots and Dreams (New Caledonia)
Imulal is about the subtleties and complexities of constructing a social structure, a ‘hut’ in which all of the inhabitants of New Caledonia would enter and find their place.

Zhao Gang – A Folk Troupe (China)
This film tells the moving story of a local traditional Sichuan opera troupe in China. They are trying to find their own unique method of survival while trapped between the pressures of commercialisation and urbanisation.

Beatrice Leong – Tap That! Of Land, Water & Us (Malaysia)
Indigenous communities of Borneo still rely on rainwater for their everyday life. They’re fast losing the battle of losing their natural water catchment areas by rampant agricultural and logging activities in Borneo.

Pavitra Chalam – Indelible (India)
Indelible explores the lives of seven people with Down’s syndrome living in India. The film goes beyond medical complications to reveal human beings with feelings, opinions and unrelenting courage.

Chief Filip Talevu & Soraya Hosni – Lon Marum (Vanuatu)
Lon Marum depicts the relationship between language, culture, place, music, tradition, and magic – in the context of life on an active volcano.