2016 Edition of The American Documentary Film Festival and Film Fund (AmDocs) to Feature Seventeen NSDN Films
The 2016 edition of The American Documentary Film Festival and Film Fund (AmDocs) will include seventeen diverse films submitted to the festival by North South Documentary Network partners. The North South Documentary Network (NSDN) is an association of Documentary film festivals from four distinct parts of the world (AmDocs – USA, DokuFest – Republic of Kosovo, DocsDF -Mexico, and EDoc – Ecuador). Its mission is to provide independent documentary filmmakers with greater access to worldwide audiences, and help bridge the gap between the diverse cultures that exist throughout the world.
NSDN films cover a variety of topics ranging from immigration to invasion, but cover them in a way that may surprise American audiences. Immigration, for example, is the subject of Transient Hotel, and may at first seem to be a subject with which many Americans are familiar, as it is about deported Mexican migrants. The twist, though, is that this film tells the story from the perspective of the migrants themselves and the transient hotel that becomes their temporary home after they are deported.
In other films, the subject, and the subjects of the films about immigration, are even less likely to be familiar to American audiences, but their stories are still quite poignant. Among them are Abdul and Hamza, a film about two Somali immigrants hiding out in an abandoned house in the mountains near Serbo-Romanian border, Anija, which documents the massive exodus of Albanians into Southern Italy, and Immigrant Journal, the story of a twenty-three year old Kosovar man’s multiple attempts to get into the European Union illegally.
True to the NSDN mission, many of the films submitted by NSDN partners capture cultures and situations that are quite foreign, but at the same time so familiar in the scheme of human experience. Ana Square, for example, describes a familiar story of competition between retailers. In this case, however, the retailers are two Croatian women who sell religious calendars and rosaries – in sun, in snow, in rain, on Sundays and holidays – from their booths located just outside the village church. Another film, Kang e Defa: A Female Rhapsody in Kosova, explores the tradition of the weeping night – a night of singing and companionship organized by the village women the night before a bride is sent away for an arranged marriage to an unknown man. Yet another tale that may seem strange, but is a testament to human determination, is Kings of Nowhere, the story of three families who continue to try to live their lives and maintain their livelihoods despite the fact that their town in Northwest Mexico is largely abandoned due to the fact that seasonal flooding leaves it partially submerged.
A number of this year’s NSDN films focus on particular people, and the often unusual circumstances they find themselves in. Paulina, for example, submitted by EDoc, is the story of a Peruvian woman asked to leave her home because her neighbors believe she started the fire that destroyed their village. The Call, a Brazilian film, tells the story of 87 year old Lázaro, who gets a phone for the first time in his life – a phone that can allow him to speak to his son, who he has not seen or spoken to for many years. Tobias, from Mexico, tells the story of a barefoot mountain boy and his journey toward professional basketball, and Blomberg’s Secrets, the Swedish explorer Rolf Blomberg, who studied the Galapagos Islands and settled in Quito, as told through his films, photographs and drawings.
There are more. More films, and more stories about real people, and real issues from cultures and countries oll over the world, all screening at AmDocs 2016, thanks to its membership in the NSDN. Check out the entire AmDocs schedule, including the NSDN films, at www.americandocumentaryfilmfestival.com.
Tickets and Passes to the 2016 Edition of The American Documentary Film Festival and Film Fund (AmDocs) are available at: http://www.americandocumentaryfilmfestival.com/ or at the Camelot Theatres Box Office.
The American Documentary Film Festival, powered by Renova Solar, is a Palm Springs Cultural Center program.