Switzerland | 2013 | Documentary
Run Time: 90 minutes
Film source: Rise and Shine
Sponsor: VT Council on World Affairs
Do you know how to turn ordinary water into a billion-dollar business? In Switzerland there’s a company which has developed the art to perfection – Nestlé. This company dominates the global business in bottled water. Swiss journalist Res Gehringer has investigated this money-making phenomena. Nestlé refused to cooperate, on the pretext that it was “the wrong film at the wrong time”. So Gehringer went on a journey of exploration, researching the story in the USA, Nigeria and Pakistan. His journey into the world of bottled water provides insight into the strategies of the most powerful food and beverage company in the world.
Winner: GreenMe Festival, Berlin
Jen Fleckenstein, Vermont Certified Class II Water Operator, Clear Water Filtration, and Board Member, Pure Water for the World, Inc.
USA | 2013 | Documentary
Run Time: 82 minutes
Film source: Filmmaker
Hot Water tells the story of the contamination that runs through our air, soil and, even more dramatically, our water. Despite messages from older films, such as Fat Man and Little Boy and Duck and Cover, which led us to believe it was safe to eat, drink and breathe in the shadow of the atomic bomb, the reality is that our ground water, air and soil are contaminated with some of the most toxic heavy metals on the planet. The filmmakers begin in South Dakota witnessing communities overwhelmed by cancer from what they described as constant exposure to uranium from local mining interests. They then follow the story to Oklahoma to explain the economic model of the industry. Interviews with leading scientists and environmentalist such as Dennis Kucinich are interspersed with personal insights: “I took this journey because I was pissed off. I felt like an idiot because I believed the lies. I believed we were safe. I made this film because people need to know the truth.” – Lizabeth Rogers
France | 2013 | Fiction | French & Khmer w/ English subtitles
Run Time: 127 minutes
Film source: New Yorker Films
La Folie Almayer (Almayer’s Folly)
As mysterious and dark as the Joseph Conrad novel from which it is freely adapted, acclaimed director Chantal Akerman’s latest film digs into the racial and sexual underpinnings of European colonialism. Told in oblique, introspective vignettes, La Folie Almayer follows the misguided exploits of Kaspar Almayer as he searches in vain for treasure in the Malaysian jungle, and labors ineffectually to safeguard his mixed-race daughter, Nina, the object of fascination of nearly every male character in the film. The film is lush and beautiful, with unforgettably odd and lovely images of decaying jungles, neon-lit karaoke clubs, and bizarre, floating temples. Akerman’s characteristic long takes encourage both contemplation and wonderment. Acclaimed by critics worldwide, La Folie Almayer is a puzzling and rewarding film that plunges into Conrad’s heart of darkness and brings the viewer along for the enigmatic ride.
About the Director: One of the boldest cinematic visionaries of the past quarter century, Akerman takes a profoundly personal and aesthetically idiosyncratic approach to cinema, using it to investigate geography and identity, space and time, sexuality and religion. Influenced by the structural cinema she was exposed to when she came to New York from her native Belgium in 1970, Akerman made her mark in the decade that followed, playing with long takes and formal repetition in her films, which include Hotel Monterey (1972), Je tu il elle (1975), News from Home (1976) and Les rendez-vous d’Anna (1978). Her greatest achievement to date, however, is her epic 1975 experiment Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, a hypnotic study of a middle-aged widow’s stifling routine widely considered one of the great feminist films.
Cambodia/USA | 2013 | Documentary | Cambodian w/English subtitles
Run Time: 83 minutes
Film source: The Film Collaborative
This mesmerizing film, in a refreshing departure from polemical envrionmental films, follows three Cambodian families – one living in a floating hut on the Tonlé Sap river, one dwelling deep in the jungle, and one whose daughter moves to Phnom Penh to work in a garment factory – as their world is transformed by forces beyond their power to control or understand. The cinematography and pacing gently transport us into their lives.
Director’s statement: ”My approach to documentary filmmaking has been to tell the human story rather than the politcal one [...] Filmmaking is about asking the right questions, not finding solutions and for me the best way to do this is to explore the lives of people and allow them to tell their own stories. The experts for me are the people themselves. When people in Cambodia view this film, it’s often their first opportunity to travel to different parts of the country. Those who live on the lake have never seen the jungle before. The people in the jungle have never seen people working in a factory. So this is really their first opportunity to see their country — how beautiful it is, how precious it is, and how important it is to preserve and protect that beauty”. Adapted from an interview in the Huffington Post.
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize-Best Documentary - Sundance 2013
Golden Gate Award-Best Documentary Feature – SFIFF
Austri, France | 2012 | Documentary
Run Time: 92 minutes
Film source: Films Boutique/box]
Over the past two-and-a-half decades, director Michael Haneke has established himself as a towering figure in modern cinema with his uniquely controversial and challenging films that have polarized audiences and critics alike for decades. Such works as Funny Games (1997 and 2007: he remade his own film), The Piano Teacher (2001), the mysterious Caché (2005), and last year’s Oscar-winning Amour explore both the dark and the loving sides of human existence – often at the same time, and almost always in unforgettable ways. Now, Yves Montmayeur, who has made the “making-of” documentaries for most of Haneke’s films, turns his lens on Haneke himself, unravelling a working method that reveals a great deal about the man. As much a meditation on the nature of film as any of Haneke’s works themselves, Michael H: Profession Filmmaker uses interviews with Haneke’s creative collaborators as well as re-contextualized footage from his films. The documentary finds a compelling tension between the warmth of the man and the horrors in his films, and is a fascinating portrait of one of the most important filmmakers of our day.
France | 2013 | Documentary
Run Time: 87 minutes
Film source: Chihuly Workshop
Sponsor: VT Energy Investment Corporation=
A groundbreaking, immersive portrait of the contemporary commercial fishing industry. Filmed off the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts, Leviathan follows a hulking groundfish trawler, into the surrounding murky black waters on a weeks-long fishing expedition. But instead of romanticizing the labor or partaking in the longstanding tradition of turning fisherfolk into images, the filmmakers present a vivid, almost-kaleidoscopic representation of players, both human and marine. Employing an arsenal of cameras that passed freely from film crew to ship crew; that swoop from below sea level to astonishing bird’s-eye views, the film that emerges is unlike anything that has been seen before. Entirely dialogue-free, but mesmerizing and gripping throughout, it is a cosmic portrait of one of mankind’s oldest endeavors..
About the Directors: Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor are filmmakers, artists, and anthropologists, who work at the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University. Their work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (NY) and the British Museum, and has been screened at the AFI, BAFICI, Berlin, CPH:DOX, Locarno, NewYork, Toronto, and Viennale film festivals, and exhibited at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Centre Pompidou, the Berlin Kunsthalle, and elsewhere.
Sevilla International Film Festival – Non-Fiction Eurodoc Award
Belfort International Film Festival – Grand Jury Award
Locarno International Film Festival – Fipresci jury award
Special Food tasting from Guild Fine Meats and Cash bar
Sponsoring the screening of Meat Hooked! at 5PM
France | 2013 | Fiction | French w/English subtitles
Run Time: 105 minutes
Film source: Cohen Media Group
Perhaps the most important and daring modern French filmmaker, François Ozon has created, in In the House, another in a series of provocative explorations of sexuality and desire. Claude (Umhauer, in a cryptic performance), a gifted student, impresses his teacher (Luchini) with uncommonly perceptive essays, thus beginning a surprising series of manipulations that reverberate throughout the lives of reader and writer alike. As Claude’s stories – all of which involve his classmate, Rapha, and his “perfect family” – get darker and stranger, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction, and Ozon revels in this uncertainty, daring us to do the same. Winner of multiple international awards, this is a deceptively simple film that, once unraveled, becomes more and more challenging; in the end, it does nothing less than call into question the very nature of storytelling itself. The film’s jaw-dropping last shot is at once a summary, a question mark, and a challenge to anyone who thinks they understand the way stories “should” be told.
The closing celebration of the festival, handed over to the 5 area colleges – UVM, St Michael’s, Burlington College, Champlain College and Middlebury – who each have 24 hours to make a film.
The results, presented in an American Idol style showcase, puts on display the creativity, imagination, and technical skills of these, our next generation of filmmakers. The evening concludes with the awarding of prizes.
After the screening of the competing films, and while the jury is privately discussing the winners, we will be serving food and drinks in the lobby area outside Film House.
The evening concludes with the announcement and presentation of 4 Awards: Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress and Audience Choice.