STA, March 3, 2018 – The 20th Ljubljana Documentary Film Festival will provide many opportunities for fans of documentaries to get their minds working between 14 and 21 March. Alongside screenings of 18 films and a retrospective on Latvian filmmaker Laila Pakalnina, the festival will feature discussions on films' topics.
Films will be screened in four categories plus the retrospective, including the competition programme focussing on human rights, with the full schedule here.
The Dead Nation by Radu Jude, Atelier de conversation by Bernhard Braunstein, Stranger in Paradise by Guido Hendrikx, Of Fathers and Sons by Talal Derki and West of the Jordan River by Amos Gitai will compete for the award presented by Amnesty International Slovenija, which is celebrating the 30th anniversary.
Simon Popek, the head of the film programme at the Cankarjev Dom arts centre, which organises the festival, said on Thursday that the films in the competition programme were more or less related to human rights, pointing to Atelier de Conversation.
The film - which Popek gave as an example showing "that the world can be beautiful, all that it takes is to turn off TV news shows" - follows people from all over the world are are practising their French in the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
On the other hand, there are the Stranger in Paradise and West of the Jordan River, which take a closer look at the refugee crisis and Israel's attitude towards Palestine, respectively.
Meanwhile, Ex Libris by Frederick Wiseman in the Myths, Icons and Media category and El mar la mar by J.P. Sniadecki and Joshua Bonnetta in the Topical, Socially Critical category jump across the ocean.
The former takes a closer look at the workings of the New York Public Library, while the latter depicts the Sonoran Desert, one of the deadliest routes taken by those crossing from Mexico to the US, as "a place of dramatic beauty and merciless danger".
Other than that, documentary film buffs will get the chance to take a peak into "a hidden shadow industry of digital cleaning, where the internet rids itself of what it doesn't like" in The Cleaners by Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck.
Slovenian documentarists will be represented by sisters Maja and Ida Weiss, the former with the My way 50 video self-portrait and the latter with a portrait of Maja's husband Peter Braatz in Peter vs. Harry.
Laili Pakalnina, the focus of this year's retrospective, will visit the festival, as will several filmmakers from Serbia, including director Mila Turajlić.
Slovenian guests will also debate the topics of several films, including sociologist Srečo Dragoš and musician and activist N'toko.