KOSOVO 2.0 @ DokuFest: Snapshots of festival conversations


From Kosovo 2.0

There’s an awful lot of interesting people at DokuFest and we’ve had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with some of them. Yesterday we bumped into jury member Marion Doring and cinematographer Richard Pearce while they were relaxing in one of Prizren’s famous tea houses.

Marion Doring is one of five jury members presiding over the International Dox program. In her native Germany she has established a firm reputation as a journalist and film critic. She is deeply involved in the country’s cinematic life, having worked with the European Film Academy since its inception in 1988 and its producer since 2004.

K2.0: How do you like DokuFest?

It’s my first time here. I like it a lot. I expected a lot too, so that really says something. I love the atmosphere of the city, it’s got a very young, very fresh spirit. It has the feeling of being a family event, there’s no pretension, no red carpet. I like that a lot.

K2.0: As a jury member, what will you be looking out for?

Honesty, telling about real life in an honest way. Of course, the films also have to be well made.

K2.0: What’s been a highlight for you so far?

The opening ceremony. It was so much better than a speech by some politician. Plus, it was great to think we might actually be saving a cinema. Perhaps all of us guests should get up on stage in volunteer t-shirts and do the same thing.

Richard Pearce is an American film director and cinematographer. He has two films screening at this year’s festival. He was cinematographer for Hearts and Minds, a divisive academy award winner that examined the Vietnam War while it was still fresh in America’s collective consciousness. Part of seven-part, Martin Scorsese produced series The Blues, Road to Memphis was directed by Pearce and follows the career of guitarist B.B. King.

K2.0: Tell us a bit about Road to Memphis

The Blues series was financed by Paul Allen, one of the original Microsoft millionaires. He’s got more money than he can think of ways to spend, but one of the ways he chose was to finance feature filmmakers to direct documentaries about blues music. I’m especially fond of the film because it’s the only film I can rewatch and experience only pleasant memories. With every other film I’ve worked on, I always experience some painful memories when I revisit them, but not with this one.

K2.0: How has the film been received so far at DokuFest?

Thanks god for the music. There are no subtitles and most of the characters speak in heavilly accented English, so I’m not sure how much everyone understood. But the music’s great and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

K2.0: What’s Hearts and Minds about?

It was made during the Vietnam War and it created a lot of argument. When it won an academy award the producer read out a message from the leader of the North Vietnamese. Backstage afterwards Frank Sinatra wanted to punch him.

K2.0: And this is your first DokuFest?

It is, and it’s been a pleasure. It’s great to see so many young people involved. This atmosphere is very unique.