So, here we are, ready to plunge into the second edition of the DOK Leipzig Lake Festival! Celebrate the documentary and documentarians between April 17 to 21, 2014 at The Lake Resort, Naukuchiatal, District Nainital, Uttarakhand.
It is still a non-competitive one, essentially dedicated to an abandoned intellectual and cultural space in a stress-free environment totally suited to rumination and debate.
Things have moved ahead from the first edition. Thanks to Robin Mallick, Max Mueller Bhavan / Goethe Institut took the pioneering decision to come on board and that is really great news. The Embassy of Switzerland is also on board. We have additional support from: Soniya Kriplani through ‘An Artist Within’, whose film ’17 Not Required Indians’ is making waves. We also have great partners: Singapore based Asia Europe Foundation through their culture wing, film.culture360; Taskovoski Films, a London-based company with a “passion for new worldwide talent’; Autlook Films, a full-service sales agency dealing with feature & television documentaries and series.
There will be film-maker evenings with Fernand Melgar, Swiss director of ‘Special Flight’ and Aija Berzina, Latvian Producer of ‘Documentarian’.
The other big highlight is to initiate conversations around the documentary. The emphasis will be more on the form than the content. On the struggles and choices documentarians make and the why of it. On the issues of ethics and confidentiality and how it affects the form – and can lead to even greater creativity if a film-maker strives for it. Based on ‘Documentarian’, we plan a great evening of informal debate around the constraints in documentary film-making as it was, is and may be.
We made a great effort to build a special cultural day with a commissioning editor. And offer an equally great opportunity for the guest to get a pulse of India! It was meant to pioneer direct, in-depth conversations between commissioning editors and documentary film-makers / culture enthusiasts at the DOK Leipzig Lake Festival. A learning process for all – including the CE! We had the perfect person in mind to start this. Unfortunately, though we had the individual’s passionate acceptance, we hit into an institutional administrative wall – even though Goethe Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan was all set to host the guest. Better luck next time!
Additionally, we have some treats in store in this space that is so full of cosmic energy. Sneha Chakradhar, well-known Bharatnatyam dancer has offered to give a solo performance. She is also collaborating with Sufi singer, Dhruv Sangari to create a special fusion performance. We are thrilled Dhruv Sangari has engaged himself. It can’t get better!
And of course, you can bring your film to share with others. A special space will be set aside for this to be used outside the regular programme schedule. Don’t worry, there will be time! At this festival, there is time for everything!
And now, two important announcements.
Max Mueller Bhavan has kindly offered their premises for an information-sharing pre-event. It will be held on March 26, 2014 at 10 am at Max Mueller Bhavan, 3, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi. We will screen trailers of the films and will be available for a chat. For those who really make up their mind, accreditation forms will be available on site. A representative of our associate, The Lake Resort, will also be available for accommodation and travel details / bookings. PLEASE register for the pre-event here: http://formedia.org.in/lake-festival-2014/pre-event-form.html
Thanks to Deepti DCunha, a member of the Primary Support Group we formed after the first edition, we have been introduced to India’s primary crowd funding site, www.catapooolt.com. Please watch out for alerts on social media and forward to friends, colleagues, relatives, anyone! Those who cannot come to the festival but believe it is a worthwhile, honest effort, can support us through crowd funding. Believe me, we need the support and there cannot be a more democratic way of getting it!
Now to the core of the festival, the films! – 13 films representing 15 countries, mostly European. The non-European countries are Bangladesh, India, Israel and USA. Different styles, different approaches to film-making, different points-of-view. Do have a look at the synopses at www.formedia.org.in/lake-festival-2014/list-of-films.html
Once again, it is a fine curation by DOK Leipzig. Thank you DOK Leipzig team, including Claas Danielsen, Dr. Grit Lemke and Lina Dinkla.