Balada de um batráquio (Batrachian’s Ballad)
Leonor Teles, Portugal, 2016
“Once upon a time, before people came along, all the creatures were free and able to be with one another,” narrates the voiceover. “All the animals danced together and were immeasurably happy. There was only one who wasn’t invited to the celebration—the frog. In his rage about the injustice, he committed suicide.” Something Romani and frogs have in common is that they will never be unseen, or stay unnoticed. In her film, young director Leonor Teles weaves the life circumstance of Romani in Portugal today with the recollections of a yesterday. Anything but a passive observer, Teles consciously decides to participate and take up position. As a third pillar, she establishes an active applied performance art that becomes integrated in the cinematic narrative. Thereby transforming “once upon a time” into “there is.” “Afterwards, nothing will be as it was and the melody of life will have changed,” explains a voice off-camera.
Born in Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal in 1992, Leonor Teles graduated in directing and cinematography at the National Film School in Lisbon and went on to complete a masters in audiovisual art and multimedia. Her student film Rhoma acans won awards at a number of festivals including Clermont-Ferrand, Munich and IndieLisboa. She currently works chiefly as a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer.
Jin Zhi Xia Mao (Anchorage Prohibited)
Chiang Wei Liang, Taiwan, 2015
Two labour immigrants lacking financial means, try to settle on the island of Taiwan. They always keep their child with them. In calm images and selected situations, the film tells of the lives of these three, who are representative of many. They strive to face their lack of prospects by taking a firm stand. They refuse to be discouraged. They carry on. But how can it go on? The little money they have is enough for one purchase— not more. The familiarity between them is in knowing the other’s each and every step. The life situation of labour immigrants in Taiwan is largely shaped by a legal vacuum that leads to severe dependence and often to enforced labour. In this film, director Chiang Wei Liang fully concentrates on the situation between the three. He has created a chamber piece that is set in a public space.
Born in Singapore in 1987, Chiang Wei Liang studied communications and began pursuing film at university. He is currently studying film directing and is an alumnus of the Golden Horse Film Academy which is mentored by director Hou Hsiao-Hsien.
Réka Bucsi, France/Hungary, 2016
“The English word “love” is not really a word anymore. It’s used for so many different platforms and situations that its shape and the lines of its letters have come to be recognised as a picture in itself,” explains director Réka Bucsi. Beyond all universal notions of love, in this film she depicts situations, moments, and tableaux vivants that with humour and surreal imagery—and along with the constellations of the stars themselves, give space to love. The stars circle round each other, the leaves spin the horses standing on them until they fall. The act of dissolving oneself in another is fulfilled by Narcissus when he lowers himself to the water. In every dark there is light. And every black is saturated with colour. The stars twinkle.
Born in Filderstadt, Germany in 1988, Réka Bucsi studied at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME) in Budapest between 2008 and 2013. In 2011 she participated in the Essemble Digital Training Programme at the Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias in Lisbon and in 2013 she attended Animation sans Frontiéres (ASF) in Viborg, Denmark, where she also participated in the Open Workshop artist in residency programme.
Christoph Girardet and Matthias Müller, Germany, 2016
A broken bottleneck lies on the ground. An analogue telephone with a blank dial plate. The hero of the film, Jean-Louis Trintignant, in younger years—in older years. A man huddled on an elevator floor. Skewered butterflies. He is all alone in the world. The external is sealed off. The internal barricaded. He shifts between times. His focus is always trained on the other. Is he wanted, condemned, persecuted? The man whom we observe from the rear, is only able to see his back in the
mirror. His face cannot be recognised. All the actions and movements, all the seeking and striving, all the alterations and associations revolve around the view and excerpt from La Reproduction interdite, painted by Belgian surrealist René Magritte in 1937. The mirror axis of the film, and yet, and simply for that reason, one becomes the other. The other becomes many. “Personne —that is somebody and nobody and anyone. That is us in the course of time. Persistently, in vain. The self is the need for permanent self-assertion,” write Christoph Girardet and Matthias Müller.
Christoph Girardet was born in Langenhagen, Germany in 1966, he studied at Braunschweig University of Art and has collaborated with Matthias Müller since 1999 in the fields of film, video, installation and photography. He currently lives in Hannover. Matthias Müller was born in Bielefeld, Germany in 1961, he studied at Bielefeld University and Braunschweig University of Art. He currently divides his time between Cologne and Bielefeld. He has worked extensively in the fields of film, video, installation and photography.