2021 Sundance Docs in Focus: FLEE

Courtesy of Sundance Institute


FLEE
Jonas Poher Rasmussen tells the affecting story of a former refugee who must confront the traumas of his past to move forward with his life.

Festival Section:
World Cinema Documentary Competition (Day One film)

Country:
Denmark/France/Sweden/Norway

Sundance Program Description:

An Afghan refugee agrees to tell a remarkable personal narrative of persecution and escape on the condition that his identity not be revealed. As a means of fulfilling that wish, his filmmaker friend uses striking animation to not only protect this young man but also enhance his tale, bending time and memory to recount a visceral, poetic, and death-defying journey dictated by deception, loneliness, and a relentless will to survive.

The result is FLEE, a film unbound by documentary constraints and swept up in an astonishing array of archive footage, ’80s pop music, and hand-drawn craft that brings audiences directly into the experience of a teen fleeing multiple countries—and the psychological impact on how he loves, trusts, and understands his burgeoning identity. Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s film is a triumph of storytelling and filmmaking ingenuity, but its greatest asset is the empathy and trust Rasmussen forms with the film’s protagonist, whose clarity and vulnerability grant us access to a unique refugee tale.

Some Background:

Director:
Jonas Poher Rasmussen
First Sundance credit. This is Rasmussen’s fourth feature, and was originally slated to premiere at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. His previous work has included documentary features, hybrids, and short fiction films that have won awards at CPH:DOX, Docaviv, Hot Docs, Thessaloniki Doc, and Oslo, among other fests.

Producers:
Monica Hellström
Past Sundance docs:
CONCERNING VIOLENCE (2014)

Producer, Final Cut for Real. Hellström also co-produced Sundance fiction feature alum THE NILE HILTON INCIDENT. She was selected for the European Film Promotion’s 2020 Producer on the Move initiative, which was to have taken place at Cannes.

Signe Byrge Sørensen
Past Sundance docs:
STRONG ISLAND (2017)

CEO/producer, Final Cut for Real. Sørensen also produced fellow 2021 World Cinema Documentary Competition title PRESIDENT. She previously co-produced THE NILE HILTON INCIDENT, and is a two-time Oscar nominee as producer of THE ACT OF KILLING and THE LOOK OF SILENCE, as well as a News & Documentary Emmy winner.

Executive Producers:
Philippa Kowarsky
Past Sundance docs:
COLLECTIVE (2020)
THE CLEANERS (2018)
NOTES ON BLINDNESS (2016)
THE GATEKEEPERS (2013)
TREMBLING BEFORE G-D (2001)

Founder/managing director, Cinephil. Kowarsky is an Oscar-nominated and a News & Documentary Emmy-winning producer and sales agent.

Danny Gabai
Past Sundance docs:
AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY (2016)

EVP/head, VICE Studios. The Emmy-nominated Gabai also executive produced Sundance fiction feature alumni THE REPORT, JUDY & PUNCH, THE MOUNTAIN, and LORDS OF CHAOS.

Natalie Farrey
VP/head of film, VICE Studios. Farrey also executive produced THE REPORT, JUDY & PUNCH, THE MOUNTAIN, and LORDS OF CHAOS.

Jannat Gargi
Past Sundance docs:
THE REASON I JUMP (2020)
STEP (2017)
EARTH DAYS (2009)

VP/head of documentaries, VICE Studios. Former director of feature documentaries and distribution, Vulcan Productions. Gargi is also an executive producer of 2021 Sundance US Documentary Competition title SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED), and a News & Documentary Emmy winner.

Hayley Pappas
Past Sundance docs:
THE BRINK (2019)
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER (2019)
ON HER SHOULDERS (2018)

Partner, SecondNature. Former CEO/head, RYOT Films. The News & Documentary Emmy-winning Pappas also executive produced or produced the Sundance fiction AR experiences A JESTER’S TALE and DINNER PARTY.

Matt Ippolito
Past Sundance docs:
THE BRINK
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER
ON HER SHOULDERS

Partner, SecondNature. Former COO, RYOT Films. Ippolito also co-produced DINNER PARTY and executive produced A JESTER’S TALE and alumni New Frontier installation THE DIAL.

Co-Producers:
Jean-François Le Corre
Founder, Vivement Lundi!. The Oscar-nominated Le Corre previously produced or co-produced Sundance animated shorts Storm hits jacket and Oh Willy…

Mathieu Courtois
Studio director, Vivement Lundi!. Courtois also produced or co-produced STORM HITS JACKET and OH WILLY…

Charlotte Most
Producer, MostFilm. Most also associate produced THE NILE HILTON INCIDENT.

Maria Ekerhovd
CEO, Mer Film. Ekerhovd previously co-produced Sundance feature film alum DIVINE LOVE.

Barbara Truyen
Past Sundance docs:
UNLOCKING THE CAGE (2016)

Commissioning editor/head of documentaries, VPRO. Truyen is also an executive producer for fellow 2021 Sundance World Cinema Documentary Competition title MISHA AND THE WOLVES and a commissioning editor for 2021 Sundance Indie Series SEEDS OF DECEIT. She is a News & Documentary Emmy nominee.

Associate Producers:
Anne Köhncke
Past Sundance docs:
PERVERT PARK (2015)

Producer/co-owner, Final Cut for Real. Köhncke is also an associate producer of this year’s PRESIDENT. Before co-founding the acclaimed Danish production company, she had a background as a commissioning editor and sales agent.

Elisa Fernanda Pirir
Producer, Mer Film. Pirir previously associate produced Sundance fiction feature alum BIRDS OF PASSAGE.

More Info:
Website
Facebook

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.