16 December, 2008

UK Doc MAN ON WIRE Continues Awards Spree

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

The British documentary MAN ON WIRE by James Marsh, the story of French aerialist Phillipe Petit’s legendary tightrope walk between the doomed Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, has become the documentary to beat in all the major award races. The film, which has been in steady release in the United States for the past six months via Magnolia Pictures and has grossed nearly $3 million in the U.S. alone, was named this week as Best Documentary Film by the New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. film critics associations. The film also recently won nods at the International Documentary Association Awards , a Golden Globe nomination and is short listed for an Oscar nod. The film was also cited by the National Board of Review, a national critics association in the U.S., as well as winning a British Independent Film Award last month.

Strong Nod To Europeans With Golden Globe Nominations

Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, UK)

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presents the Golden Globe Awards in mid January, has announced their nominations. International films and non-American talents figured strongly in the award nods. Among the films with international credentials nominated for Best Drama are FROST/NIXON, THE READER and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (in a list that also includes THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD and DOUBT). In the Best Comedy or Musical race, non-Hollywood titles including HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, IN BRUGES and VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA were prominent (in a list that also includes the musical hit MAMMA MIA!, which began life as a UK stage production and the Coen Brothers satire BURN AFTER READING).

In the acting categories, British thespian Kate Winslet scored a double nomination, winning recognition as Best Actress for her unhappy housewife in REVOLUTIONARY ROAD and Best Supporting Actress for her German prison guard in THE READER. British actress Kristin Scott Thomas received a nod for her French language role as a former prisoner attempting to reconnect with her family in the French drama I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG.

Other non-American receiving recognition with Golden Globe nominations include British actress Rebecca Hall, playing an American abroad, Spanish actor Javier Bardem as a seductive painter, and Spanish actress Penelope Cruz, as a mentally unstable artist, in Woody Allen’s VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; British actress Emma Thompson as a frustrated single woman in LAST CHANCE HARVEY; Irish actors Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, who play a team of hit-men in the offbeat IN BRUGES; British actor Ralph Fiennes as the imperious husband in THE DUCHESS; and the late Australian actor Heath Ledger, who scored a Best Supporting Actor nom for his performance as the anarchic Joker in director Chris Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT.

Three British directors received nominations, including Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE), Stephen Daldry (THE READER) and Sam Mendes (REVOLUTIONARY ROAD). The nominees for Best Foreign Language Film are Germany's THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, Sweden/Denmark's EVERLASTING MOMENTS, Italy's GOMORRAH, France's I’VE LOVED YOU FOR SO LONG and Israel's WALTZ WITH BASHIR.

09 December, 2008

Awards Night At The Tallinn Film Festival

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

In what had to be one of the more unusual and visually artistic Awards Ceremonies I've ever attended, the 12th edition of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival came to a dramatic close last evening (although screenings continue through the day on Sunday). The ceremony, a multi-media show that included video, live music by an Estonian rock band and an avant-garde performance presentation involving the Festival's jurors, was greeted by the enthusiastic audience as another sign of the Festival's artistic spirit. The beautiful Russian Theater on the outskirts of Tallinn's Old Town proved an eye-popping venue for the highly original awards event.

The top prize of the evening, the winner of the Grand Prix in the official EurAsia Competition of European and Asian films is the English-Irish prison drama HUNGER. The debut film, by video artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen, was acknowledged by the Jury for its powerful cinematic language and confident and passionate narrative. The dramatization of a hunger strike in a Northern Ireland prison in the 1970s, the film has won major awards at other festival events, notably the Camera d'Or for Best First Film at the Cannes Film Festival. The Award includes a cash prize of 10,000 Euros given by the city of Tallinn.

The Best Director Prize in the EurAsia Competition also went to a fellow British filmmaker. Acclaimed director Michael Winterbottom was honored for his work on the film GENOVA. The Best Actress prize was announced for young Russian actress Aleksandra Tiuftej for her role in MUKHA. The Best Actor prize was split among the three leads of Mika Karusimaki's THREE WISE MEN: Kari Heiskanen, Pertti Sveholm and Timo Torikka. A Special Jury Prize was awarded to the Israeli animated documentary WALTZ WITH BASHIR, another film that figures to win accolades during the end-of-the-year awards season. The Best Cinematography Prize was given to Luca Bigazzi for his work on the Italian political docudrama IL DIVO. The Jury also announced two Special Mentions - THE WORLD IS BIG AND SALVATION LURKS AROUND THE CORNER (Bulgaria) and TWO LEGGED HORSE (Iran). The EurAsia Competition section included 18 films from Europe and Asia, and the Jury was headed by Dutch film director Jos Stelling.

The Jury of the Tridens Baltic Feature Film Competition, held for the first time this year, awarded the Latvian documentary THREE MEN AND A FISH POND the inaugural Tridens Baltic Film Award. The Jury praised Latvian documentarians Laila Pakalnina and Maris Maskalans for creating a humane poetic and affecting portrayal of the parallel ecologies of human friendship and the natural world. The Award for Best Cinematography also went to the same film, with a cash prize scholarship of 1000 Euros from Elokuvakonepaja.The Scottish Leader Estonian Film Award, which a cash prize of 50.000 Estonian kroons (about $4,000) was given by the Jury to the animated film LIFE WITHOUT GABRIELLA FERRI by Priit and Olga Pärn. The jury announced two Special Mentions, for the Estonian documentaries ALYOSHA (Meelis Muhu) and TOOMIK'S MOVIE (Marko Raat).

The FIPRESCI International Film Critics Prize, which was given this year at the Festival for the first time, presented its inaugural award to the Estonian documentary THE KINGS OF TIME by director Mait Laas. The Jury of NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) gave its award to the Chinese film THE SHAFT by director Zhang Chi. The Jury of the International Federation of Film Clubs (FICC) gave its prize to the Bulgarian film THE WORLD IS BIG AND SALVATION LURKS AROUND THE CORNER by director Stephan Komandarev. The Audience Award, voted on by the Tallinn audiences attending all the Festival screenings, was given to the American film THE WRESTLER by Darren Aronofsky.

The Festival presented two Lifetime Achievement Awards. The first was given by the Estonian Society of Cinematographers to acclaimed Estonian cinematographer Harry Rehe for his unique creative contribution to Estonian film culture and for his promotion efforts of the national film art. The award includes a cash prize of 3000 euros.

The Filmmaker Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to the veteran Swedish actor Max Von Sydow, who appearances in many of the films of Ingmar Bergman and his memorable supporting role in THE EXORCIST has made him an international favorite and a true "actor's actor". Van Sydow could not attend but promised Festival Director Tina Lokk that he will try and attend next year's event. His award will be waiting for him.

07 December, 2008

New VOD Services Introduced At Baltic Event

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

One of the most interesting presentations held at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival's Baltic Event was the introduction of 4 new Video On Demand (VOD) services based in Europe and focusing on the alternative distribution of European cinema. The sessions focused on the profiles of the services, what kind of content they currently feature and plan to add in the coming months and how their business plans work vis a vis independent producers.

Moderated by John Dick of the Media Programme, the panel/presentation covered many interesting aspects of these new services, and how they will impact the distribution chain in general and European independent producers in particular. The first presentation was by Belanski Films, a new and innovative world sales and distribution company focused on internet based and digial media platforms. Livis Abus, Head of Film Partnership and Andrea Di Tonto, Marketing and Communications Strategies, described how they acquire rights for arthouse cinema titles and how they market their over 100 titles (including features, documentaries and short films). Alternating between a classic international sales strategy (selling to individual territory distributors) and providing film packages to VOD platforms and mobile technology outlets, the Hungarian company is straddling both the traditional and the innovative worlds of international film distribution. For more information on the company, visit their website:

UniversCine is a French VOD company launched in 2001 and entirely owned by a consortium of 50 French independent producers and distributors. Bruno Atlan, Manager of Marketing and International Development for the Paris-based firm, described how the company aggregates VOD rights on feature films from internatonal independent film producers, distributors and rights holders with a combination of new releases and library titles in the back catalogue. The company distributes VOD rights to the major VOD distributors and operators in France. In addition, the company serves as an editor/publisher of a VOD platform of its own in the French market, specifically of French films. Supported by the Media Programme, UniversCine is in the process of replicating its VOD services in Belgium, with plans to broaden its umbrella and unique model to build a network of VOD platforms across Europe. For more information on the company, visit their website:

Affiliated with Trust Film, the Danish production and distribution banner founded by filmmaker Lars Von Trier and others, Movieurope is a VOD portal for distribution of European films via the Filmmakers' Independent Digital Distribution (FIDD), a filmmaker based cooperative organization. FIDD is building the infrastructure that allows European producers and distributors to reach wider audiences via digital distribution. FIDD was founded in January 2005 and is currently co-owned by more than 160 leading European filmmakers from 14 EU countries. The company is dedicated to optiming the earning potential of European films by cutting out the middle men and allowing a more diverse group of films to reach audiences via the internet. The company also maintains a television channel in Denmark, further expanding its efforts to reach a larger public. The company works on a revenue sharing model that fairly divides profits to great advantage than current international distribution deals (for which filmmakers receive a much smaller percentage with much higher marketing costs deducated from potential profits). For more information on this initiative, visit their website:

Finally, Paul Lilje, Content Services Manager for Estonian telecommunications giant Elion, owned by AS Eesti Telekom, explained how VOD services are expanding on the digital television services it provides over 75,000 household in Estonia. In addition, the company own Estonia most popular internet portals, NETI and The company provides both household and business communications services that includes telephony, internet, data communication and digital television. It is expanding its digital television bundled packages to include a mix of VOD services, games and myTV solutions. The VOD service offers more than 800 Estonian and foreign movies, television series, music videos and free of charge conference lectures. For more information, visit their website:

While the current world economic crisis may slow down the timeframes of expanded services, it is clear that these and other initiatives provide a necessary "shot-in-the-arm" for the international independent film community, providing extensive and less costly means to the distribution stream and allowing for audiences to find, share and enjoy a more diverse menu of offerings than is currently available in the theatrical marketplace and at the home video/dvd retail outlet. The potential for European and other international non-Hollywood films is tremendously exciting.

04 December, 2008

Focus On Turkey At Tallinn Film Festival

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

The Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival is presenting a Focus On Turkey as one of its special highlights. Turkish cinema is as old as cinema itself. Over the years, Turkish cinema has been incredibly well received and diseminated, particularly in the Middle East and Europe, mixed with periods of artistic decline. Since the 1990s, a younger generation of film auteurs have found a receptive critical and audience response around the world, introducing such artists as Dervi Zaim, Bari Pirhasan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Zeki Demirkubuz, Reis Celik, Serdar Akar and others.

Beginning with the film Yol (1984) which won the Palme d'Or in Cannes as well as Golden Globe, Cesar and British Film Critics awards and nominations, the new Turkish cinema was showcased after years of decline. More recently, the film Distant by Nuri Bilge Ceylan was an international arthouse hit and won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes. The New Turkish Cinema is ably represented in the Festival's Turkish program. Of the 10 films, four are modern classics from the past two decades, including Yol (1984) by Serif Goren, Somersault In The Coffin (1996) by Dervis Zaim, Innocence (1997) by Zeki Demirkubuz and Hamam (1997) by Ferzan Ozpetek.

The newer titles show a continued vibrancy in films from the former Ottoman Empire. In Pandora's Box by Yesim Ustaogly, contemporary lives in Istanbul are explored through the complicated relationships between two sisters, a brother and their aged mother who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The film recently won the Golden Seashell as Best Film at the San Sebastian Film Festival, as well as a Silver Shell for Best Actress for its lead Tsilla Chelton. The film will close the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival on Saturday evening.

Other films featured in the section deal with family relations, romantic attachment and ultimate disillusionment. In Bliss, a woman's rape brings on traditional condemnation and a crisis of family honour. The film is adapted from an international best seller by director Abdullah Oguz to illustrate the clash between tribal traditions and modernity in contemporary Turkey. My Marlon And Brando, a Turkish/Netherlands/UK co-production by Huseyin Karabey, tells the story of a Turkish actress who forms a temporary romantic liaison with a Kurdish actor she meets on a movie set. She returns home to her native Istanbul just as the Iraq War begins, which creates a powerful tension as the two lovers send video letters to one another. The film was a major box office hit in its native Turkey, and won Best Actress prizes for its lead Ayca Damgaci at the Istanbul and Jerusalem film festivals.

In the film Autumn, debut director Ozcan Alper offers an existential drama about lost youth and idealism, set in the mountainous area of Turkey's eastern Black Sea region. A young man returns to his native village after ten years of incarceration for his radical political views. He is clearly broken by the experience but ultimately finds a way out of his paralysis when he encounters a younger Georgian prostitute. A film of silence and reverie, Autumn features a star-making performance by actor Onur Saylak, who says much about the human condition through the poignant beauty of his handsome face.

Winner of the FIPRESCI International Film Critics Association Prize at the Istanbul Film Festival, Summer Book by Seyfi Teoman is a film about the bonds and barriers of familial love. an ambitious merchant who is cold and austere towards his family falls into a coma, which releases the love/hate feelings of his immediate family, including his harried wife, wayward teenage sun and his disaffected brother, who attempts to bring the family together. The emotional film has won prizes at the Taormina and Montreal World film festivals.

Probably the best known Turkish director, Nuri Bilge Ceylan won the Best Director prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival for the psychological thriller Three Monkeys. The film is a kind of introspective melodrama, focused on a family which suffers from a major communication breakdown during their struggle to to get through their hardships. The film has a black comic edge and some pulp-thriller elements that offer a look at the mysteries and self-destructive contradictions of the human heart. The film has been selected as Turkey's official representative for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. Turkish cinema is something to sample and savour in Tallinn this year.

02 December, 2008

North American Indies In Tallinn

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

The largest showcase to date in Eastern Europe of independent films from the U.S. and Canada is currently being presented at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival ( in the capital city of Tallinn, Estonia. In a program section titled Crazy Cool: North American Independents, the Festival is presenting 10 films, all Eastern European and Baltic premieres.

The films, which made big impressions at previous film festivals from Sundance to Toronto, include: ADORATION (Canada, Atom Egoyan), THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (Canada, Benoit Pilon), GOOD DICK (US, Marianna Palka), GOODBYE SOLO (US, Ramin Bahrani), FROZEN RIVER (US, Courtney Hunt), HUMBOLDT COUNTY (US, Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs), MOMMA’S MAN (US, Azazel Jacobs), FUGITIVE PIECES (Canada, Jeremy Podeswa), MY WINNIPEG (Canada, Guy Maddin) and WHEN LIFE WAS GOOD (Canada, Terry Miles).

In addition, the Festival will screen several American films in its other program sections, including Woody Allen’s VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA in the 12 Selected Titles section; Kathryn Bigelow’s HURT LOCKER, Tom McCarthy’s THE VISITOR and Kelly Reichardt’s WENDY AND LUCY in the Panorama section; Jonathan Demme’s RACHEL GETTING MARRIED in the Forum section; MANDALA BALA (Jason Kohn) in the Documentary section; THE WRESTLER (Darren Aronofsky) in the Screen International Critics Choice section; PATTI SMITH: DREAM OF LIFE by Steven Sebring in the Culture And Music section; BALLAST by Lance Hammer in the BMW Group Presents section; JAY McCAROLL: 11 MINUTES by Michael Selditch and Rob Tate and VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR by Matt Tyrnauer in the Fashion On Film section; the documentaries DARFUR NOW (Ted Braun) and OPERATION HOMECOMING: Writing On The Wartime Experience (Richard E. Robbins) in the Social Issue section; and the low-budget indie thriller BAGHEAD by Mark and Jay Duplass in the Night Films section of “midnight movies”.

North American indie titles were programmed and coordinated by Sandy Mandelberger of International Media Resources, a marketing, promotion and editorial services devoted to the worldwide promotion of independent and international cinema. Mandelberger also serves as the North American Editor for Cineuropa and the Web Editor for the newly launched International Film Guide website:

International Film Guide Website Introduced In Tallinn

Yoram Allon, publisher, International Film Guide

As part of the Baltic Event professional sidebar of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, the newly launched website of the International Film Guide was presented yesterday to an assembled group of film industry professionals at the Nordic Hotel Forum, the Festival's main hq. Yoram Allon, the publisher of the International Film Guide and editorial director of Wallflower Press ( , the UK's largest independent film book publisher, gave a short presentation, introducing aspects of the 2009 Guide and the recently launched film website.

The International Film Guide, which will publish its 45th edition in January 2009, has an unrivalled reputation as the most authoritative and trusted source of information on contemporary world cinema. The new edition will feature digests of the output of local cinemas in 130 countries, as well as offer news and information from the international film festival circuit and various special feature articles on new trends in technology and distribution. The Guide will first be distributed at the Berlin Film Festival and then at numerous film festivals and trade events in Europe, North America and Asia. It will also be available in retail book shops and via Wallflower Press online (

The publication will name its Five Directors of the Year and will devote a special section to the explosive cinema output of Israel (with the award-winning film WALTZ WITH BASHIR as its cover image). In addition, the 2009 IFG will have a special section devoted to the cinema stories of the nations who joined the European Community in the past five years, including many of the Eastern European and Baltic nations who are present in force at this Festival. The dedicated website will not only reprint the authoritative content of the International Film Guide, but will offer original news from the worlds of international and independent cinema and the film festival circuit.

The site will draw from the more than 80 international contributors around the globe to offer a comprehensive and unduplicated resource for film professionals and film buffs alike. In addition, by mid 2009, the site will have digitized 45 years of data from all the previous International Film Guides since 1963 to provide a searchable database that will be an invaluable resource for filmmakers, distributors, programmers, archivists, academics and film students.

The website, which is hosted by Cineuropa, is open to your suggestions, comments and editorial contributions. Please visit and let us know what you think.

Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

The Baltic Event Brings Together Media Professionals

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

The Baltic Event, the co-production and networking professional event that is at the heart of the professional activities at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, began yesterday with an ambitious agenda of film pitches, professional seminars and special events. Now in its seventh year, the Baltic Event initiative is presenting 12 projects in the Co-Production Market section, offering film producers early contacts with distributors, programmers, film critics and other professionals for their projects, which already have some financing in place. The goal is to find co-production partners who can offer financing or distribution in order to realize the projects. The film projects participating in the Co-Production Market section include:

DIG DEEPER (ZK Studio, Poland)
DON'T LOOK BACK (Filmpartners, Hungary
ILLUMINATED NIGHT (Tandem Pictures, Russia)
MONEY FIRST (Eetriüksus, Estonia)
PRINCESS (Art Films Production, Finland)
RUNDOWN (Európa Film & Communications, Hungary)
THE ENTHUSIAST (Ego Media, Latvia)
THE EXCURSIONIST (СineMark, Lithuania)
THE TENSION (Film Studio TANKA, Latvia)
YOUNG SOPHIE BELL (Breidablick Film, Sweden)

The Baltic Event also presents a program called Coming Soon, which presents works-in-progress of films that are in production or post-production. This "early look" series allows distributors and film festival programmers to set the films on their radars for when they are completed in the coming months. Projects include:

VASHA (Allfilm, Estonia-Finland-Germany)BURATINO (Estinfilm, Estonia-Russia)
BANK ROBBERY (Filmivabrik, Estonia)
THE TEMPTATION OF ST. TONY (Homeless Bob Production, Estonia-Finland-Sweden)
A WISH TREE (Revolver Film, Estonia)DEATH TO YOU (Fa Filma, Latvia)
LITTLE ROBBERS (F.O.R.M.A., Latvia-Austria)
THREE TO DANCE (Kaupo Filma, Latvia)
THIS HAPPENED TO THEM (Studio Tanka, Latvia)
VORTEX (Studija2, Lithuania)
NEITHER BEFORE OR AFTER (Studio Kinema, Lithuania)
ANARCHY IN ZIRMUNAI (Tremora, Lithuania-Hungary)

The Coming Soon program presents a special focus on films from the Ukraine, including:

CASTING (Pattern Film)
ONCE I WILL NOT SLEEP (Ministry of Culture of Ukraine)
AN AWESOME TALE (Interfilm Production Studio)

For more information on The Baltic Event projects and events, visit:

EurAsia Competition At Tallinn Black Nights FF

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

The main competition program at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, which began last Friday evening with the Eastern European premiere of Mike Leigh's popular Happy Go Lucky, is EurAsia, new films from the European and Asian continents. Estonia sits at a great divide between East and West, and has stood as a way-station between those two nexuses for the past thousand years. The Festival encourages a mutually supportive point of view that sees both the differences and connections between European and middle Asian culture. The Festival is presenting 18 films, most making their Eastern European premieres at the event.

Films competing for the Festival's top prize in the EurAsia Competition include:

ASBE DU-PA / TWO LEGGED HORSE (Iran, Samira Makhmalbaf)
GENOVA (United Kingdom, Michael Winterbottom)
GULABI TALKIES (India, Girish Kasavalli)
L’HEURE D’ETE / SUMMER HOURS (France, Olivier Assayas)
HUNGER (United Kingdom/Ireland, Steve McQueen)
IL DIVO (Italy/France, Paolo Sorrentino)
LØNSJ / COLD LUNCH (Norway, Eva Sorhaug)
MAN JEUK / SPARROW (Hong Kong/China, Johnnie To)
MOZART TOWN (South Korea, Jeon Kyu-hwan)
MUHA / MUKHA (Russia, Vladimir Kott)
THE PHOTOGRAPH (Indonesia/France/Netherlands/Switzerland/Sweden, Nan Triveni Achnas)
SNIJEG / SNOW (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany/France/Iran, Aida Begic)
SONBAHAR / AUTUMN (Turkey, Özcan Alper)
WALTZ WITH BASHIR (Israel/France/Germany/USA,Ari Folman)
DIE WELLE / THE WAVE (Germany, Dennis Gänsel)

IDFA Announces Winners In Amsterdam

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

IDFA came to a smashing and glamorous climax last evening at the IDFA Awards Ceremony. Winning the Joris Ivens Competition, the Festival's most prestigious prize, was Burma VJ--Reporting From A Closed Country by Danish director Anders Ostergaard. The film is a gripping chronicle of the 2007 uprising by Burmese monks, which creates a political and religious crisis in a country that is viewed as the most repressive regime on earth. Nearly all the footage in this fascinating and historically significant work was shot by native, covert video journalists, who risked their lives in getting the story out to the rest of the world. A few have since been arrested and are spending time in jail awaiting criminal prosecutions.

The film mixes staged shots with authentic footage and reconstructs telephone coversations, weaving in the dramatizations with the factual set pieces to powerful effect. The filmmakers provide an honest and deliberate portrait of the courage, the struggle and the sacrifice of those who stand up for the rights of the people in a regime that does not tolerate descent of any kind. The film also won the Movies That Matter prize for best social issue documentary. For more information, visit the film's website:

The popular favorite and winner of the IDFA Audience Award was RIP! A Remix Manifesto by Canadian Brett Gaylor. The film displays the artistic virtuosity as practiced by such popular remix artists as Girl Talk, who construct contemporary club music by "mashing up" well-known pop tracks and creating a musical sound all its own. The film explores the many legal and copyright-oriented issues involved in re-using popular music and imagery, while defending the first amendment right to comment and react to an existing work of art. The film includes segments with fellow remix artists, along with a lawyer/lobbyist who speaks at industry forums and college campuses about his strong urging of the U.S. government to loosen its grip on strict copyright law to allow for the popular expression of "mash up" reworkings. What is born is a manifesto that takes on the powers that be and reestablishes the right of the common citizen to interact with popular culture that is part of the public domain (although corporate copyright lawyers would disagree with that assessment. Making it clear that downloading of imagery and audio tracks and the disemination of the remixed works over the internet cannot be fully policed, the film invites viewers to engage in the issue of public versus private and an expansion of rights where consumers are no longer passive but are encouraged to actively engage with the media that surrounds them. The film also recently won a Special Jury Prize at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema Montreal. The public is invited to remix the existing film into their own "mash up" by visiting the website:


Joris Ivens Competition
"Burma VJ - Reporting From a Closed Country," (Denmark/Sweden/Norway/UK, Anders Ostergaard)

Silver Wolf Competition
"Boris Ryzhy," (The Netherlands, Aliona van der Horst)

Silver Cub Competition
"Slaves - An Animated Documentary," (Sweden/Norway/Denmark, Hanna Heilbronn and David Aronowitsch)

First Appearance Award
"Constantin and Elena," (Romania/Spain, Andrei Dascalescu)

IDFA Student Award
"Shakespeare and Victor Hugo's Intimacies," (Mexico, Yulene Olaizola)

Dioraphte Audience Award
"RiP - A Remix Manifesto," (Canada, Brett Gaylor)

Movies that Matter Human Rights Award
"Burma VJ - Reporting From a Closed Country," (Denmark/Sweden/Norway/UK, Anders Ostergaard)

DOC U! Award
"Kassim the Dream," (USA/Germany, Kief Davidson)

The Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund Award for Documentary 2008
"Monsters Under the Bed," (The Netherlands, Sarah Mathilde Domogala)