This year’s program presents some of the strongest documentary work that has come out of the United States in recent years. Divided in three parts, Focus America is a comprehensive look at American documentary landscape and will bring to Kosovo some of the finest examples of non-fiction cinema, both past and present.
30 films, a series of workshops and master classes and a dozen of filmmakers present at the festival make for this unique program.
In an exciting collaboration between DokuFest, US Embassy in Kosovo and Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, American Film Showcase, a major touring film program will travel to Kosovo, bringing 15 films and accompanied by two envoys, Claire Aguilar and David France, who will also serve on DokuFest juries. This is second time that American Film Showcase is being presented at DokuFest. Some of films screening as part of American Film Showcase include Oscar winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, Sundance and Cannes winning narrative feature Fruitvale Station and Full Frame and Miami winner Gideon’s Army, among others.
A small number of recent outstanding American documentaries have also been handpicked for Focus America, including Errol Morris’s film about Donald Rumsfeld, The Unknown Known, Jesse Moss’s recent Sundance winner The Overnighters, Johanna Hamilton’s Tribeca entry 1971 and Deborah Stratman’s superbly choreographed single-shot Hacked Circuit. Hacked Circuit will also appear in Doku:Tech strand, alongside two other American documentaries.
Add to this a section called Spotlight that features selected works of three master American nonfiction storytellers, Barbara Kopple, Steve James and Richard Pierce and you’ll have a full Focus America strand. Landmarks films like Harlan County USA, Hoop Dreams and Hearts and Minds will be screened within Spotlight section and thematic workshops will also be held.
Thanks to support from QKK, Kosovo’s Cinematography Center, several American filmmakers will also travel to Kosovo. Lynzee Klingman, an Oscar winning editor of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest will join Richard Pierce, DoP of Oscar winning documentary Hearts and Minds as well as award winning filmmaker Brendan N.Ward for screenings, Q&A’s and workshops, including a workshop with emerging Balkan documentary filmmakers that will be lead by Mr.Pearce.
More American films appear across other DokuFest sections, including recent Tribeca winner and DokuFest feature competition entry Point and Shoot by Marshall Curry, Robert Redford’s contribution to Cathedrals of Culture, a pioneering 3D documentary project, with his film about iconic Salk Institute in San Diego, Brian Knappenberger’s look at Internet prodigy Aaron Swartz in The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz and Lucy Walker’s double competition entry with films about brave woman with Huntington’s disease (The Lion’s Mouth Opens) or celebrated artist David Hockney.
The American Film Showcase is a major touring film program bringing American documentaries, feature films and animated shorts to audiences worldwide. AFS is a partnership between the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
The Embassy of U.S. in Kosovo has generously supported Focus America program at DokuFest.
Check out the full list of films within the Focus America programme and trailer.
PHOTO: Still from Everybody Street by Cheryl Dunn