Kaurismäki brothers all over Panorama docs
by Annika Pham
The Kaurismäki brothers are making their mark on this year’s Panorama Dokumente sidebar at the Berlinale, Aki as producer of Barzakh, directed by Lithuanian-born Mantas Kvedaravicius, and Mika as director-producer of Mama Africa [+see also:
Barzakh will open Panorama Dokumente on February 11. Kvedaravicius’s feature debut follows families of missing Chechens and captures the devastating effects of post-war Chechnya on their everyday life. The director, who holds a Master's Degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford, is currently preparing a PhD on the situation in Chechnya. Barzakh is co-produced by Kaurismäki’s Sputnik Oy and Kvedaravicius’ Extimacy Films, with co-financing from broadcaster YLE and support from the Finnish Film Foundation. The Match Factory handles world sales.
Mama Africa is a tribute to the life and work of late iconic South African singer Miriam Makeba. Mika Kaurismäki’s Marianna Films is producing with South Africa’s Millennium Films and Germany’s Starhaus Filmproduktion. Fortissimo Film Sales handles world sales.
Two other Scandinavian documentaries will screen in Panorama Dokumente, one of which, Göran Olsson’s The Black Power Mixtapes 1967-1975, just won the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Using footage that was hidden in Swedish broadcaster SVT’s basement for over 30 years, the film looks at the evolution of the African-American movement, from 1967 to 1975. The film was produced by Sweden’s STORY AB in co-production with Joslyn Barnes and Danny Glover’s Louverture Films in the US. World sales are handled by Cinetic Media.
Danish documentary How Are You by Jannik Splidsboel features the collaboration between the artistic duo Elmgreen and Dragset, well known for their happenings and installations that question issues such as sex, identity and power relations. The film was produced by Radiator Film.
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