27 November, 2008

Austrian Documentarist Nikolaus Geyrhalter At IDFA

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

IDFA has selected Austrian documentary filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter to present the annual Top Ten program at this year's Festival. As part of the program, Geyrhalter will present a few of his own films and other documentaries that have influenced him.

Among those Geyrhalter films being showcased are Pripyat (1999), which won the Diagonale Grand Prize Award at the Diagonale Film Festival, as well as the SCAM Award at France's Cinema du Reel. His best known film, Our Daily Bread (2005), a look at the international business of food farming, was a major documentary hit, winning nominations as Best Documentary at the European Film Awards and winning the Special Jury Award at IDFA. His latest film, 7915km (2008), about the people who live along the route of the Paris-Dakar rally, is competing in the Joris Ivens Competition here.

Among the films that have influenced Geyrhalter's visual style, the program will screen such landmark films as Good News: von Kolporteuren, toten Hunden und anderen Wienern (1990) by his compatriot Ulrich Seidl, Koyaanisqatsi (1982) by Godfrey Reggio and Gambling, Gods and LSD (2002) by Peter Mettler. The sole fiction film in the group is iconoclastic director Terrence Malick’s The New World (2005). On Sunday, 23 November, Geyrhalter gave a master class in which he discussed his Top 10 and his own work.

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