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Very happy to announce that Rodicas, debut documentary feature by German director Alice Gruia took home the 1st price at SiciliAmbiente Documentary Film Festival last week.

Having premiered earlier this year at Berlinale, Rodicas was not only winning over the audience in a packed outdoor cinema, but also convincing the jury:

Rodicas by Alice Gruia (Germany) for the beauty of the characters, two young eighty year old women with a strength we’d like to have. For the cinematic narrative used to show two lives so intense and the delicacy used to deal important issues such as death, suffering and joy. A debut movie of great sensitivity.

Congratulations, Alice!

Griot, a music documentary film by Volker Goetze, took an even longer path, travelling via New York, where German born director and composer Goetze worked on completion of this emotional piece for many years. – A journey worth to travel, as the fruits of Goetze’s efforts could be harvested all along the way:

It was great fun shooting this film. So I was not surprised, that Volker got massively energized by the impact of the shoot and his deeply moving experiences in the ancient culture of Western Africa. Carried on by this energy, he kept performing on prestigious events such as the Munich International Opera Festival all through out post-production –  besides finishing his debut film, arranging and composing his own work.

Produces by WEITBLICK MEDIA, parts of the movie Griot inspired Volker Goetze to write a breathtaking multimedia symphony, which has successfully premiered in the studios of Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne (WDR Köln) in 2011.

Griot will celebrate its world premiere this Autumn at the 28th Warsaw Film Festival, one of the 14 top listed A festivals on this planet. – Congrats from Europe!

Griot has been  made possible with the help of many people. Volker Goetze wants to thank amongst many others: WEITBLICK MEDIA, Sam Pollard, Victor Kanefsky, Leslie Mulkey a.k.a Holcomb Reed, Joshue Ott, Randy Weston, Ph.D. Mamadou Diouf and last not least the Griot, Ablaye Cissoko.

Official homepage of the musical documentary Griot.
Griot press material and Further Reading.
The duo of the griot Ablaye Cissoko and Volker Goetze on Facebook.
Youtube Channel of the maker of Griot Volker Goetze.
Homepage of head producer, writer and director Volker Goetze.
Facebook page of the trumpeter and composer Volker Goetze.

For further information, other festival appearances, soundtrack and world sales inquiries for Griot please contact the production company WEITBLICK MEDIA  via GRIOTMOVIE@GMAIL.COM.
 Photographs on this page by:  Youri Lenquette, Karl-Heinz Krauskopf.

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This is the trailer for the participatory and essayistic part of the documentary Doing Nothing All Day. It’s a documentary film about democratic education. I am shooting with Munich based artist, producer and director Margarete Hentze. On 3rd of May opens the 3rd exhibition we have for this ever growing super 8 project within Doing Nothing all Day – democraticArts.

It’s screening time. This spring, many of the films I shot in the last years, found their way in to cinemas and/or entered the festival circuit.

Girls Who Smoke has been selected for the United Nations’ Through Women’s Eyes  series at the Sarasota Film Festival, USA. Director Tawnya Foskett mailed me:

It was fabulous on every level.  Would go into more detail but our producer Laurie and I are fried as we had a 13 hr festival day today!  Tomorrow we are going to the beach!

Alice Gruia, director of Rodicas is touring with the Audi Festival of German Films through Australia. After having premiered at Berlinale 2012, this bittersweet documentary finds now its audience in cinemas. Alice Gruia and Leander Haußman, the two German directors traveling with the festival organized by the Goethe Institute, are having a ball. The next screening of Rodicas will be in Melbourne, 22nd of April, @18:00, Kino Cinemas, Collins Street. There’s a Q&A with Alice after the screening. A great interview about the film you can read here: “Best Secrets are Left Untold”

Tomorrow, Saturday the 21st of April, Cheryl Dunye‘s latest film Mommy is Coming will screen on the IFFF in Cologne. Since I’m nominated for the National Award for Women Cinematographers 2012 for Rüdiger Goerlitz’ nicht weit von mir, I am thrilled to be at the IFFF this year for two lovely occasions. Having been sold out four times at Berlinale 2012, Mommy is Coming is touring cinemas in Germany and worldwide currently. – It’ll screen in Munich @Werkstattkino opening the 26th of April. There’s a Q&A after the screening on Monday, the 30th of April. – For screening times near you, please visit the homepage of the film.

It’s kind of sentimental: I love being on set, shooting, telling a story, work with directors, cast&crew. But sometimes it’s oh so much fun when you’re simply hanging out in the cinema, plunge a bit deeper in to your seat in the dark and see the script unfold like  magic on screen. – Movies are amazing!

Here’s trailers of all four films I spoke about above:

Girls Who Smoke trailer

nicht weit von mir trailer

Mommy is Coming trailer
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Rodicas trailer

She first listened to Jennifer Hixson’s true story, whilst cooking. A live recording from The Moth, it played on NPR’s “This American Life”. Hixson’s spunky voice made her put the cooking spoon away, sit down and listen. Eventually, the story touched her so strongly, that New York City based director Tawnya Foskett decided, to turn the story in to a film. – Read where the film took Tawnya here.

As the film hits the festival circuit, we’re glad to announce that it will have its world-premiere in the town we shot the film in. Girls Who Smoke in Asbury Park @ The Garden State Film Festival this Saturday, March 24th. More info and tickets here.

Read a great interview with director Tawnya Foskett about her movie here. Become a Facebook fan of the movie here.

This Friday, 22:15 on the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

Mommy is Coming is a raunchy queer sex-filled romance set in the international melting pot that is Berlin. A take on screwball romantic comedies, director Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Women, The Owls MQFF 2011) adds sexual imagery to her ingenious form of storytelling. Mommy is coming, and boy does she come! Australian Premiere.

… Mommy is Coming in Germany in cinemas and elsewhere on this planet to film festivals…people seemingly are loving it! – Which is wonderful.

Check screening dates in a town near you on the films homepage or simply Facebook-Like us here and stay tuned.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Prefer youtube and wanna share the trailer there? – Go here to find Mommy is Coming on YouTube.

…this is how you imagine a film shoot about free education in schools such as Summerhill, where students decide themselves what they wanna do and when they’d like to do it. For the shoot, before all those team-premieres, I spent a lovely time in Dartmoor, UK, and Freiburg, Germany. We’ve been working for Doing Nothing All Day, a documentary, that takes the idea of participation further by offering each and any one to be part of the movie. How? Check it out here.

Partially crowd-funded, you can support the film here and follow updates on Facebook here.

A film about girls with bad boyfriends and bad habits by Tawnya Foskett. Film stills here.

It’s an American production. No generous public funding in this movie. All budget for this film comes from private and corporate sponsors. Make a difference and post your tax-deductible contribution to post production now on kickstarter.

Before I went to shoot Where there’s Smoke in New Jersey, I posted here a few snippets from the dailies of a film I shot in NY earlier this year.

Now The Biggest Lie by Masood Haque of Eksaki Films, shot on DSLR in Feb 2010 on location in Manhattan, is finished. Watch the trailer, and check the homepage for more information.

I love the mood of this trailer a lot. But the snippets from the dailies are slightly better upload quality. So if you came here to check DSLR footage, compare Canon 7D with Canon 5D etc…check the snippets!

…come visit the Pinakothek der Moderne Munich, where Himmelfilm will screen in the exhibition Documentary Film in the 21st Century till 20.2.2011. Inspired by a song of British band The Orb Himmelfilm has been shot a few weeks after 9/11 in Israel. Having a large bag of collected sounds, universal memories of people such as Dick Ross, Marie Miyayama, Wim Wenders, Byambasuuren Davaa, Hussam Chaddat, Yossi Tzafrir, Mirna Brkanovic, Luigi Falorni and many others in our luggage, we tried hard reflecting on what skies were like when people were young. News blaring every single day news from Iran, Irak and Afghanistan, war in the air, gas-masks beeing handed out, “Der Himmel war ein Feind für mich” – as Mirna Brkanovic states in the movie.

Carrying a small baby of two months with us through the desert, Himmelfilm has been made by Jiska Rickels (dir) and Sanne Kurz (co-dir, cinematographer). Marion Neumann (1st AC) and Yuval Tzafrir (editor) helped in Israel, Gisela Castronari (editor) and creativepictures (prod) in Munich.

Himmelfilm has found its theatrical release in Benelux as supporting film with Wim Wenders Land of Plenty. It screened in Cannes and Rotterdam in 2005 and won in 2004 the Civis Intl. Media Award of the EBU.

To read more insights, see some images of first letters exchanged between the makers and the dungeon where the 35mm work-print rests in peace, check out my blog.

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