As paradoxical as it may initially seem there are many ways to present the ‘facts’ of any given situation. The 4 Vimeo awards documentary category finalists may all present a factual report on a chosen subject or idea, but each does so in its own unique style.
AQUADETTES BY CALIFORNIA IS A PLACE.
The Stories from the Golden State crafted under the California is a Place banner have been regulars on DN for a couple years now, each one providing a unique insight into the diverse lives of its residents. In Aquadettes Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari follow septuagenarian Margo Bauer, who discusses living with MS and how medical marijuana helps to offset her nausea and enables her to continue doing the things she loves, chief among them her role as a synchronised swimmer in the Aquadettes.
AMAR (ALL GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS REQUIRE TIME) BY PILGRIM FILMS
Andrew Hinton takes the brave step of eschewing all voice over, translation or explanatory text, allowing his images to do all the talking for the ‘day in the life of’ documentary Amar. It’s a decision that pays dividends as we follow his 14-year-old subject through gorgeously crafted images which tell the story of a day that starts early, ends late and is full of hard work. Hopefully Amar will have a little more time to himself after Hinton made good on his promise to split the prize money from the film’s London Indian Film Festival win.
(Watch on the documentary finalists’ page)
ODYSSEUS’ GAMBIT BY ALEX LORA
Chaptered by chess related title cards Saravuth Inn, a homeless Cambodian-American man who’s the focus of Alex Lora’s Odysseus’ Gambit, ruminates about his life as related to the stratagem and situations he finds on the chess board he mans daily – in exchange for a $5 stake you can challenge Inn to a game. It’s the story of a man who has little outside of the kindness of strangers, but hopes for a brighter future for the children he adores from afar.
LIVING ON ICE BY STUDIOCANOE
If DN was in the business of publishing ‘directors to watch’ lists Temujin Doran would feature pretty high in the running. Ever since we interviewed Temujin at EIFF2011 for his charming Nokia Shorts entry The Adventures of a Cardboard Box, we’ve been consistently impressed with his documentary output. Part of his North 3 series of films, Living on Ice documents the weight perfect planning that goes into polar explorer Ben Saunders’ preparation for his north pole speed record attempt. As always Temujin brings elegant typography and subtly composed (by him) music to complement the clean compositions which accompany Saunders’ voice over.
MarBelle has a strange compulsion to watch as many films as he can get his hands on and find jobs that give him a legitimate excuse to drill filmmakers about their work. Directors Notes is the latest incarnation of this disorder and so much cheaper than film school. Twitter: @MarBelle