The region’s special relationship with the documentary genre reverberates around the Bolzano Film Festival Bozen which will be opening its 31st edition on 5 April in the capital of the South Tyrol region.
“Initially the ‘Competition’ only featured drama films”, remembers the director Helene Christanell, “but over time we felt the need to create a parallel competition for documentaries. If documentaries have grown at our Festival, it is because this genre is growing in terms of creative and production choices, and increasingly satisfying audience tastes”.
In fact, reality cinema does not just stand out in one of the two competition sections, it also dominates in Local Artists, the section dedicated to local filmmakers, it is present in Panorama, in this year’s focus devoted to Luxembourg and, last but not least, it is the protagonist of the 31st Bolzano Film Festival Bozen’s tribute to the activities of the Bolzano- based production house Miramonte Film.
This year the common thread linking documentaries to the region is also intertwined with Final Touch, the initiative launched last year by the IDM Film Commission in collaboration with the Festival to support filmmakers in the post-production phase.
One of the three projects submitted to the experts of Final Touch 2016 by the young filmmaker from South Tyrol, Mike Ramsauer, has been made into a film and will be presented at the festival: the title is “Quellmalz”.
History returns like a wound in “Verzeihen ja, vergessen nie” by Franz Oberkofer, a film about Franz aler, the symbolic figure of the South Tyrolean anti-Nazi resistance movement, and also resurfaces in “Café Waldlu” by Matthias Koßmehl: for around two years the owner of this café in Berchtesgaden, the tourist locality remembered for the Berghof, Hitler’s summer residence, has been hosting middle eastern and African refugees.
Another unusual café built in the shape of a ship amidst the Dolomites, on the border between Italy and Austria, is portrayed with comic tones in “Bar Mario” by Stefano Lisci.
The places are always the protagonists in “Brennero/Brenner” by Julia Gutweniger and Florian Kofler, as well as in “Fahr ma obi am Wasser” by Walter Steffen.
From the packed bill (there are around twenty documentaries) we should also mention “Anita Pichler. Ich will einfach erzählen” by Evi Oberkofer and Edith Eisenstecken, a portrait of the South Tyrolean writer Anita Pichler twenty years a er her death, and “T.Raum. Una concreta utopia”, a documentary about the only company in Italy made up of professional actors and actresses with psychomotor disabilities: “Teatro la Ribalta – Kunst der Vielfalt”.
And finally, the seven documentaries in competition: “Happy” is by Germany’s Carolin Genreith, whilst the director from Liguria, Federica Di Giacomo, is also bringing “Liberami” to Bolzano; again from Germany there is “Peter Handke – Bin im Wald. Kann sein, dass ich mich verspäte” by Corinna Belz, about the life and works of Peter Handke.
The director from Rome, Enrico Maria Artale, presents “Saro”, and “The good intentions” is the work of the young director from Brescia Beatrice Segolini. To conclude we have “Unerhört Jenisch” by Karoline Arn and Martina Rieder and “Unten”, by directors Dordje Čenić and Hermann Peseckas.
Miramonte Film, the production house based in Bolzano, was founded in 2004 by the producer Valerio Moser and the director and filmmaker Andreas Pichler. For the occasion the Bolzano Film Festival will screen a selection of the first and possibly lesser known works by the two founding partners, from shorts to feature- length documentaries for the cinema.
The production house was set up with the intention of mainly producing documentaries, but it also handles, to a lesser extent, projects for cinema and TV.
The latest productions by Miramonte Film also include the cinema documentary “Lampedusa in Winter” by Jakob Brossmann,
“I want to see the manager” by South Tyrol’s Hannes Lang and “Der sechste Kontinent” (in post-production), written and directed by Pichler himself.