Films and Filmmakers

 

NEUKÖLLN UNLIMITED

(Agostino Imondi and Dietmar Rasch; Doc.; 96 min; English Subtitles; Germany, 2010)

Film Description:

The siblings Hassan (18), Lial (19) and Maradona (14) are talented musicians and breakdancers growing up in Berlin's notorious Neukolln district. HipHop and streetdance are their language and their passion.

Their family is from Lebanon and lives in constant danger of being deported from Germany. To prevent this from happening, and to secure a residency permit for the whole family, Hassan and Lial have a plan: to use their artistic talents to provide the necessary financial support for their family. When the two teenagers have trouble coping with the pressure, a rivalry arises over who should be the family1s primary breadwinner.

Meanwhile, Maradona gets himself into more and more trouble, and is suspended from school. He is at a crossroads, torn between motivation and resignation, between his siblings' ambitious lifestyle and the street credibility of his crew.

However, his surprising qualification for a TV casting show could prove to be the turning point. If he wins the 100,000 euro cash prize, he could be the one who saves his family.

Website: http://www.neukoelln-unlimited.de/

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBoZrAlVhxk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NEUK%C3%96LLN-UNLIMITED-der-Film-451364050155/

Filmmaker: Agostino Imondi

Born in Basel, Switzerland in 1975. He begang in 2000 as a volunteer in community TV station in Melbourne, Australia, and later studied film directing in Rome. His debut short film "Waking up the Nation" was shown at international festivals. In 2010 he won awards at the Berlin International Film Festival "Berlinale" and other film festivals for his feature documentary "Neukölln Unlimited". Beside working on his own films he is also works as a freelance video editor, and some of his short documentaries and current affairs stories have been broadcast on AlJazeera, arte, C31 and RBB, among others.

 


PLASTIC CHINA

(Wang Jiuliang; Doc.; 82min.; Eng. subtitles; China, 2016)

Film Description:

Yi-Jie, an 11-year-old girl, works alongside her parents in a recycling facility while dreaming of attending school. Kun, the facility’s ambitious boss, dreams of a better life. Through the story of these two families, this poignant film explores issues of wastes recycling, social inequality, as well as global consumption and culture.

Website: https://www.idfa.nl/industry/tags/project.aspx?id=621dcd4f-7025-4983-82a4-0838469f4b3e

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0Kif9cugQ0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/plasticchina/?fref=ts

Filmmaker: Wang Jiuliang

Born in 1976, Wang Jiuliang graduated from the Communication University of China, and works as a freelance filmmaker based in Beijing.

Works:
2008-2011, Beijing besieged by waste (photography and documentary)
2011-2016, Plastic China (documentary)
 
 


H2Omx

(José Cohen; Doc.; 82 min.; English subtitles; Mexico, 2014)

Film Description:

A driver who was kidnapped for the contents of his water truck. A man filling dozens of fifty-gallon drums with water, in an urban neighborhood whose residents have spent more than three decades fighting for running water. Large drifts of industrial foam billowing through the air from a drainage canal, and contaminating crops with heavy metals and coliforms. These are just some of the striking moments in H2OMX, a masterful, award-winning documentary about getting water to and from the 22 million people of Mexico City.

Built on a basin surrounded by mountains and with little drainage, the city is facing a water crisis driven by geography, population, and history. With a growing population, a depleted aquifer, and 40 percent of the water being brought in by aqueduct from another drainage area being lost to leaky pipes, the challenges are huge. H20 MX captures the scope of the problem by taking us to a wide range of locations in and near the municipality, and introducing us to people dealing with a wide range of water-related issues. On the fringes of the city, we meet residents who can only access water by filling large jugs and hauling them back home with donkeys. We visit what will one day be the largest wastewater treatment plant in the country, only to learn that it is already five years behind schedule, and won't deal with many of the contaminants that make crops irrigated with the water dangerous to eat.

Meanwhile, as residents struggle to get access to fresh water, periodic floods—caused by storm sewers overwhelmed with torrential rains and sewage—overflow on a regular basis. There are solutions: a pair of enthusiastic young industrial designers are helping rural communities install rainwater harvesting systems that, together, are collecting millions of gallons of water a year; fixing leaky pipes could mean not having to go as far afield for water; and proper treatment can allow purified water to go back into the aquifer. But none of this will be easy—and time is running out.

From stunning shots millions of gallons of water on the move to Mexico City and aerial views of a drainage canal choked with miles of garbage, to interviews with those trying to solve the water problem and those who must live with it every day, H2OMX captures the complexities of trying to provide one of the most basic of human rights—access to clean water—to one of the world's megalopolises.

Website: http://www.icarusfilms.com/new2014/h2.html

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/92025454

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/h2omxmovie/?fref=ts

Filmmaker: José Cohen Ovadia

José Cohen is the director of Cactus Film & Video, the production company he founded in 1996. He has produced documentary feature films, TV documentaries, and TV news reports for a variety of international media in Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. He has been ABC News’ producer in Mexico and Latin America for over 15 years, and is in charge of all their transmissions and event coverage, ranging from natural disasters to presidential summits.

H20mx, his latest documentary film as a producer and director, was awarded Best Documentary Feature Film by the Mexican Academy of Cinematography in 2015 and has been presented in over 20 festivals around the world. In 2014 the film won the Margaret Mead documentary festival in New York.

Filmography:

2015 – Producer – Rush Hour. Documentary

            Directed by Luciana Kaplan (shooting)

2015 – Associate Producer – El patio de mi casa. Documentary.

            Directed by Carlos Hagerman

2015 – Coproducer – La tempestad. Fiction.

            Directed by Tatiana Huezo (Post production)

2013 – Producer – H20mx. Documentary.

            Directed by José Cohen & Lorenzo Hagerman

2012 – Line Producer – 5 de mayo: un día de Gloria. Documentary.

            Directed by Gerardo Tort & Andrea Martínez

2011 – Line Producer – 0.56% ¿Qué le pasó a México?. Documentary.

            Directed by Lorenzo Hagerman

2008 – Producer – La vida en la línea. Short.

            Directed by José Cohen

2005 – Producer – Papalotzin. El vuelo de la mariposa monarca. Documentary.

            Directed by Gregory Allen


DEMAIN

(Cyril Dion; Doc.; 118 min.; English Subtitles; France; 2015)

Film Description:

Shortly after having her first child, French actress and director Mélanie Laurent, a star of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, read a report by several leading scientists stating that man’s environmental impact on the planet had reached a critical stage that could threaten human life as we know it. Wondering what kind of world her young son would grow up in, Laurent gathered a group of friends to make Demain, a documentary about our environmental challenges. The film’s triumph lies in the choice not to frighten—though the facts are sobering—but to inspire; to go beyond the disaster scenarios to share real-life solutions. Traveling to ten countries, from the urban farms of Detroit to an English town that strikes its own David Bowie currency to encourage local spending, from a completely sustainable model village in southern India to the progressive schools of Finland, Laurent and her colleagues introduce viewers to people making a difference in the fields of food, energy, finance, democracy, and education. Their ideas make this one of the most essential and unexpectedly inspirational viewing experiences of our time. To tell this story, the team went to 10 countries : France and Reunion Island, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, India, Great-Britain, United States, Switzerland, Sweden and Iceland… Unusually for a documentary film, Demain exceeded a million entries in France. It was nominated at the Lumiere Awards, and won the 2016 César Award and the COLCOA French Film Festival for Best Documentary Film and was distributed in 27 countries.

Website (English version): https://www.demain-lefilm.com/en/film

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUN0QxRB7e0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/demain.lefilm

Filmmaker: Cyril Dion

Cyril Dion (born 23 July 1978) is a French writer, film director, poet, and activist.

After studying at the École d'art dramatique Jean-Périmony (drama school) and a very short carrier as an actor, Cyril became Project Manager for the Hommes de Paroles foundation. He took part in organizing the Israeli-Palestinian congress in Caux in 2003, then the 1st and 2nd Imams and Rabis World Congress in Bruxelles and Sevilla in 2005 and 2006.

In 2007, with Pierre Rabhi and some friends, he founded the Colibris movement which he ran until July 2013. Up to this day, he is still its spokesman and a member of the board council. Meanwhile, he is co-founder of the Kaizen magazine and the Domaine du Possible series for Actes Sud (a French publisher). In 2010, he was a producer executive with Colibris, for Think global act Local (“Local solutions for a global disorder”) by Colline Serreau.

He wrote and co-produced with Mélanie Laurent the documentary film Tomorrow, released in movie theaters in France on 2 December 2015; as well as two books with the Actes Sud Editor. Tomorrow won the Cesar award for Best Documentary (Oscar equivalent in France) in 2016 and over one million people went to see it in movie theatres in France. It is now released in over 30 countries.

In September 2016, he was President of the jury of the Documentary Film Festival in Biarritz.