Life May Be dir. Mania Akbari, Mark CousinsLife May Be dir. Mania Akbari, Mark Cousins

Films on Art International Competition

FILMS ON ART International Competition – innovative, creative, author driven documentaries and docu-fictions on culture, music, art and artistic practices.

Creative films about art, music, and culture will compete for awards in the Films on Art International Competition. Among other films taking part in the competition is Performer, Maciej Sobieszczański and Łukasz Ronduda's film about Oskar Dawicki, which captured an award at the Berlinale. Performer is the first-ever exhibition of works of art produced in film form, as well as a portrait of a contemporary artist with the sort of panache typical of a biopic.

We will see Crystal Moselle's The Wolfpack, an extraordinary story about children cut off from the world that won the jury award at Sundance. The Angulo brothers used to leave their apartment only a couple of times a year. Their father always had the key to the apartment. He gave the children Indian names, did not allow them to cut their hair or go to school, but they were permitted to watch television. Films by Tarantino, Lynch, and Scorsese were a window to the world for these imprisoned teenagers. Robert Greene's Actress is the inverse of that situation. We enter the private home of Brandy Burre, from The Wire, where, using the language of gossip magazines, she is performing her most difficult role in life: that of wife and mother. The camera records her most private moments, provoking her to play the various roles assigned to the modern woman.Is this a cinéma vérité documentary, a Cassavetesesque deconstruction of a woman in crisis, or an artistic project reminiscent of the work of Cindy Sherman?

Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari played a key role in the creation of the contemporary art scene in Beirut. In 1997, he was one of the founders of the Arab Image Foundation, which documents the region's photographic heritage. In the film Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem, he tells the story of a photography studio called Scheherazade and reflects on the production of images or photographs. In reality, with a story-within-a-story structure similar to that of Tales From a Thousand and One Nights, the film discusses the reproduction of social roles, the cannibalism of pop culture, and collective memory. All the while never forgetting that, in art, form is just as important as content.

Form is also a key part of the work Jeanne de Berg, France's best-known dominatrix, whose life story is told in The Ceremony. De Berg directed, choreographed, and performed in sadomasochistic ceremonies that, in form, went far beyond the ideas in circulation about the BDSM scene. In an emotionally disciplined manner, the dominatrix talks about the expansion of sensual and emotional experiences, a practice whose intellectual roots can be found in the literary works of de Sade, Sacher-Masoch, Bataille, and Catherine's former husband, Alain Robbe-Grillet. B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin has a completely different feel.Surrounded by the Wall, the city attracted artists, hedonists, and squatters because the nightlife there continued long after night had ended, drugs were cheap, and vacant apartments were there for the taking. This film collage assembled from fragments of private recordings, television news clips, and music videos shows West Berlin's music and party scene in the 1980s.

Ewa Szabłowska