Welcome to DokuFest 2018!
The time of year has come to welcome you all to this little spot on Earth and to this charming city so dear to our hearts, where the magic of moving images will spread across the city and the joy of the rhythms of the music will fill the hearts of all who come to hear it. For we have spent countless days and nights watching films and listening to music in order to bring our beloved audiences a selection that we’re enormously proud of.
In the pages that follow you’ll find stories so incredible you’ll easily forget that most of them are actually true. There is a story of two families engaged in a feud in the Siberian wilderness; mammoth tusk hunters on an island in the Arctic sea; a story of meteors falling from the sky only to be picked up by villagers; pilots flying solar-powered aircraft around the world; stories about wild social experiments, airports as asylum shelters, and Mad Max-like waste dumps in Accra. There are unforgettable stories on Russian propaganda and fake news extravaganzas; a strange proposal to save an artistic legacy; and a story about Nothing who runs away from home and wanders around the world.
There are a countless number of great films in this year’s program and we are delighted to be able to screen them along with some of the classics of world cinema, such as Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mirror and Ingmar Bergman’s Persona.
Some of the best and the brightest in documentary production from our own backyard appear in the Balkan DOX Competition and we continue to highlight human rights and environmental issues in two respective competitions for long-form storytelling.
As usual, there are a great number of short films in this year’s programme. Our International Competition will, once again, bring both fresh talents and a number of returning filmmakers while several special programmes will highlight the short form, such as a small but notable retrospective of Iranian stories by filmmaking duo Ali Asgari and Farnoosh Samadi.
Add to this the equally impressive roster of films from our National Competition, as well as a brand new batch of shorts from our own Future Is Here film production training program. We have no reason not to be enthusiastic about the future of filmmaking in Kosovo.
We are also delighted to bring to Kosovo for the first time ever a large retrospective of Taiwanese cinema with films from such luminaries as Edward Yang and Hou Hsiao-hsien, as well as a number of other rarely seen gems from this small country with a legacy of outstanding cinema. I’d like to use this occasion to give a very special thanks to Wood Lin from the Taiwan International Documentary Festival for curating this programme and to the wonderful group of people from the Taiwan Film Institute and the Taipei Representative Office in Hungary for their support and tireless efforts in making this all happen.
In a year marked by the #MeToo and #Time’sUp movements, a portion of our programme is dedicated to the power of women and that’s exactly what you’ll find in a beautiful program curated by our associate programmer Pamela Cohn. Plus our own Sezgin Boynik has curated a wonderful program of female-directed experimental cinema.
We are also extremely happy that no less than 87 female directors have their films at the festival this year, a sheer testament to the Future is a Girl slogan that we so proudly launched last year.
If you’ve ever wondered about how reality is used in the fictional cinema of Portugal, our friends from Porto/Post/Doc festival are bringing a fantastic selection around just that. Some exquisite and rarely seen films are sure to be found there.
We’re happy to welcome back our partner festivals from North South Documentary Network, AmDocs, and DocsMX with their respective selections, thus offering a window through which to glimpse new films coming from the USA and Mexico.
Continuing our collaboration with Gjirafa Video, we bring a fresh selection of exciting VR to the festival and our youngest audience members will see the largest DokuKids program to date!
We invite you to experience all of this cinema magic with the hope that by doing so, you will be rewarded in viewing it as much as we were while preparing it all for you.
Our heartfelt gratitude goes to all the extraordinary people that have made this beautiful journey and this dream of ours possible: Our generous sponsors and partners, the dedicated DokuFest core team, and all of our wonderful volunteers. And to the filmmakers who shared their work with us this year, we are very well aware that this festival would not be possible without you!