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FESTIVALS / AWARDS France

Biarritz's FIPADOC kicks off tomorrow

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- The festival opens its new, exclusively documentarian identity in this rich edition boasting 172 titles, which is set to unspool 21 - 26 January in the French city, with a focus on Sweden

Biarritz's FIPADOC kicks off tomorrow
Scheme Birds by Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin

Tomorrow, 21 January, will see the opening of the second edition of FIPADOC, a festival which successfully decided, as of last year, to focus exclusively on documentaries (after 31 editions dedicated to audiovisual production more generally) and which is now taking things up a notch with no less than 172 titles, all set to be showcased between 21 - 26 January in Biarritz. The programme notably consists of seven competitive sections, four of which offering a Grand Prize.

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Amongst the 12 works battling it out in FIPADOC’s International Competition and as yet unseen in France, there are two stand-out films which are also in the running for the 2020 Best Documentary Oscar: Honeyland [+see also:
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interview: Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara K…
interview: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir S…
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by the Macedonia duo Ljubomir Stefanov - Tamara Kotevska (which is also up for a Best International Film Oscar) and The Cave [+see also:
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by Syria’s Feras Fayyad (produced by Denmark, alongside Germany, the US, Qatar and France). Jostling alongside them are Cold Case Hammarskjöld [+see also:
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interview: Mads Brügger
interview: Mads Brügger
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by Denmark’s Mads Brügger (named Best Director at Sundance), Love Child [+see also:
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by his compatriot Eva Mulvad (discovered at TIFF Docs), the Swedish-British production Scheme Birds [+see also:
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by Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin (presented at Tribeca) and The Wind. A Documentary Thriller [+see also:
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interview: Michał Bielawski
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by Michał Bielawski (produced by Poland alongside Slovakia and unveiled at the Visions du Réel Festival). Likewise on the agenda are They Call Me Babu [+see also:
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by the Netherlands’ Sandra Beerends (discovered at IDFA), Tales from the Prison Cell by Àbel Visky (co-produced by Hungary, Croatia and the UK), La maleta de madame Colette by Spanish director Joan Bonet and the medium-length film Ervin by Norway’s Karoline Grindaker. And that’s without forgetting the British production The Human Factor by Israeli Dror Moreh and Queen Lear [+see also:
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by Turkey’s Pelin Esmer (presented in Sarajevo).

Twelve titles will participate in the National Competition, including Les lycéens, le traître et les nazis by David André, Les Belles Dames by Marion Lippmann and Sébastien Daguerressar, Danser sa peine by Valérie Müller and The Tie [+see also:
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 by Etienne Chaillou and Mathias Théry. Also selected are Vie et destin du livre noir, la destruction des Juifs d’URSS by Guillaume Ribot, Les mots de la cité by Laurent Chevallier, L’Affaire Caravage by Frédéric Biamonti and Le blob, un génie sans cerveau by Jacques Mitsch. Rounding off the French competition are the medium-length films Pays basque et liberté, un long chemin vers la paix by Thomas Lacoste and Abbas by Abbas by Kamy Pakdel, alongside the miniseries (3x52mn) Goulag, une histoire soviétique by Patrick Rotman.

Twelve films will also be duking it out for the Musical Documentary Grand Prize, including Brassens par Brassens by French director Philippe Kohly, The Heart is a Dream by Sweden’s Jacob Frössén, Once Aurora [+see also:
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interview: Benjamin Langeland
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by Norwegian directors Stian Servoss and Benjamin Langeland, Solo [+see also:
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interview: Artemio Benki
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by Artemio Benki (unveiled in Cannes’ ACID line-up) and three British productions: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love [+see also:
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by Nick Broomfield, Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things by Leslie Woodhead, and Janet Baker in Her Own Words by John Bridcut.

Finally, ten titles are in the running for the Impact Grand Prize, including the French-Belgian co-production L’homme a mangé la Terre, by Jean-Robert Viallet, the Swiss productions Le goût de l’espoir by Laura Coppens and Silence radio [+see also:
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interview: Juliana Fanjul
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by Mexico’s Juliana Fanjul, Overseas [+see also:
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interview: Yoon Sung-A
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by Sung-a Yoon (discovered in Locarno’s Filmmakers of the Present segment), Advocate [+see also:
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interview: Rachel Leah Jones, Lea Tsemel
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by Rachel Leah-Jones and Philippe Bellaïche, Numéro 387 disparu en Méditerranée by French director Madeleine Leroyer and Zero Impunity [+see also:
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by Nicolas Blies, Stéphane Hueber-Blies and Denis Lambert.

In addition to a further three competitive sections (Smart, for digital filmmaking experiences, Short Films and student films), FIPADOC will repeat its Panorama of French-Speaking Creation programme (9 titles, including Lords of Water by Jérôme Fritel), as well as introducing two new sections (European Stories, featuring 10 films, and Family Films, featuring 9 titles), without forgetting the raft of Special Screenings likewise on offer (including Sergueï Loznitsa’s State Funeral [+see also:
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, among others). The festival will also be dedicating a Focus session to Sweden, as well as paying tribute to the French-Chilean director Carmen Castillo and once again organising its Industry Days event, consisting of international pitching sessions and a great number of debates (in which Arte, France Télévisions, Europe Creative, the CNC and HBO Europe are set to feature prominently).

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(Translated from French)

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