Running tomorrow, Saturday, August 16 through Sunday, August 24 in the Kosovar city of Prizren, Dokufest turns 13 with its latest curated selection of nonfiction from around the globe. Featuring more than 80 feature docs, the festival holds several competitions, recognizing international work, human rights, environmental, and regional cinema, as well as non-competitive special programs exploring religion, music, technology, experimental cinema, American, and Austrian themes, among others, plus several retrospectives and tributes honoring Barbara Kopple, Steve James, Michael Glawogger, and others. The following shines a spotlight on some of the less-covered films in this year’s lineup:
On the competition side, films from the Balkan Dox section include Roland Sejko’s ANIJA (pictured), a look at the mass exodus of Albanians to Italy in 1991; Matjaž Ivanišin’s KARPOTROTTER, an attempt to recreate a lost Yugoslavian filmmaker’s 1970s travelogue; and Damjan Kozole’s PROJECT CANCER, a portrait of the final days of a Dutch conceptual artist. The International Dox competition includes Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski’s DOMINO EFFECT, following the efforts of a tiny unrecognized country’s sports minister to put his nation on the map even as he deals with personal issues; and Irene Gutiérrez and Javier Labrador’s HOTEL NUEVA ISLA, about the last resident of a crumbling Havana hotel. The environmental work of the Green Dox competition features work such as Edgar Hagen’s JOURNEY TO THE SAFEST PLACE ON EARTH, about the search for a safe way to store nuclear waste; Tom Heinemann’s THE CARBON CROOKS, on the collapse and fallout of the carbon credit system; and Enrico Cerasuolo’s LAST CALL, a re-examination of a seminal book on the myth of unlimited growth.
While the majority of titles screening in the various Special Programmes consist of better-known titles that have been on the circuit over the past several months and which have been covered here already, a number are less familiar, including: Jos de Putter’s SEE NO EVIL (pictured), a portrait of retired primates; Ognjen Glavonic’s ZIVAN MAKES A PUNK FESTIVAL, about a passionate Serbian musician who organizes a summer fest in his native village; and Fabian Kati’s THE HIDDEN DOCUMENTARY, an exhumation of a lost Communist-era Albanian documentary.