WATCH DOCS daily schedule: the first Sunday of the festival (Dec 6)
Talks with directors, a debate on the situation in Belarus and the Marek Nowicki Award winner's masterclass - join us on Sunday and watch the events live on our Facebook page.
Kazuhiro Soda, this year's laureate of the Marek Nowicki Prize awarded by the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, is one of the greatest Japanese filmmakers and one of the world's most eminent creators of contemporary observation documentaries.
About the film: "The Viewing Booth" is an experimental meeting between a documentary filmmaker and a viewer - it goes to the very heart of the fundamental questions such as how is communication possible in times of polarization, what is the truly persuasive power of audiovisual testimony and, therefore, does engaged documentary change the world even a little.
Maciej Nowicki, festival director, about the film: "Impeccable manners, distinctive pronunciation, high heels, extravagant outfits, makeup and jewelry. The protagonist of the film by Sylvia Vollenhoven and Fredrik Gertten is a very stylish star, although she does not shine in the firmaments of business or fashion. At first, business giants seem to even dismiss her with a benevolent smile. They are making a mistake as they are facing a formidable human rights defender. Mariette Lefferink wears fake gold ornaments because she considers real gold to be dirty. Almost literally - the uranium used to mine it is carried by the wind and deposited on everything around like a sinister memento of Johannesburg's golden past. Neither the owners of large mines nor the state feel responsible for the tragic consequences incurred by the poor neighborhoods of the city adjacent to the mines."
What is the situation in Belarus today from the perspective of Belarusian and Polish civil society activists? Find out during a meeting with reference to the films "What Will We Do Tomorrow?" by Maksim Shved, "How Can I Help You," by Yekaterina Markaviec and "Forced Retirement," by Andrei Kutsila.
- Tatsiana Gacura-Jaworskaja, Zvyano, WATCH DOCS Belarus
- Olga Salomatova, Helsinski Foundation for Human Rights
The meeting will be led by Piotr Pogorzelski.
The conversation will be held in Russian and translated into Polish.
Anabel Rodríguez Ríos was awarded the WATCH DOCS prize at the 20th edition of the festival for “Once Upon a Time in Venezuela.” The film tells a story of Congo Mirador - a floating village on Lake Maracaibo. As the programming director writes about the film: “Although the views are breathtaking, life is not easy here. The lake is overgrown, the water polluted by waste from a nearby refinery. It is a microcosm for many of Venezuela's problems. A system marked by years of neglect and inefficiency is greased only by pervasive and blatant corruption. Blustering propaganda attempts to mask chronic shortages of goods. Although Hugo Chavez posters still adorn the walls, hardly anyone here believes in revolutionary ideals anymore. The village is threadbare – just like the entire country.”