dir. Olivia Martin-McGuire/Australia, France/2021/15 min.
cinematography: Agnès Patron
production: Ron Dyens / Sacrebleu Productions
festivals and awards: 2021 - DOC NYC New York
“Freedom Swimmer” documents a mass migration story from the 20th century, which is relatively untold in the Western world – and offers context for a city in turmoil today. A granddaughter asks her grandfather to recount his journey from China, swimming to Hong Kong in the 1970’s.
From the 1950’s to 1980’s Hong Kong was a symbol of freedom to many Chinese, glimpsed across the water. Two million mainland residents tried to swim across the Southern sea border. Many died trying or were captured and sent to labour camps. He was one of the lucky ones. This animated film explores the effect of past cultural trauma, allowing the audience to find a new perspective on the current situation. It reflects the depth of a symbol that is ‘freedom’ – that Hong Kong both represents and holds onto so tightly.
dir. Pavel Mozhar/Germany, Belarus/2021/26 min.
cinematography: Adam Graf, Jonas Römmig
production: Kolja Wolle
festivals and awards: 2021 – IDFA Amsterdam; 2021 – DOK Leipzig
After the presidential election in Belarus in August 2020, numerous protests erupt throughout the country. Special police forces take brutal action against demonstrators. Nearly 7000 people are arrested. Hundreds of victims recount their experiences in interviews, revealing a system of repression, which is reconstructed in the director’s room in Berlin.
dir. Aurora Brachman/USA/2020/6 min.
cinematography: Aurora Brachman
production: Aurora Brachman
festivals and awards: 2021 – HOT DOCS Toronto
A child reveals a secret to their mother: "I'm not a girl." In this breathtakingly honest portrait of growing up gender expansive, filmmaker Aurora Brachman beautifully captures the hesitancy, fear and relief at revealing one's innermost thoughts, as well as the unconditional love of a mother.
dir. Aleksander Szamałek/Poland, France/2022/30 min.
cinematogrphy: Aleksander Szamałek
production: Krystyna Doktorowicz / Szkoła Filmowa im. Krzysztofa Kieślowskiego Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
festivals and awards: 2022 – Millennium Docs Against Gravity FF – world premiere
Aneta left for France with her partner and two kids when she was still a young girl, in search for a better life. After years of struggles and fighting obstacles, Aneta, now a mature woman, gets an opportunity to take over an unusual business which can change her life completely.
Will she take this chance, find a true love and secure a stable future for her children?