15th European Documentary Film Symposiums
CREATIVE DOCUMENTARY. NOW AND THEN.
Film d'Auteur.
European Documentary Film Symposium. 25 years
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LATFILMA
Bernd-GŁnther Nahm Germany
How to Be Creative in Regional Filmmaking

Before I try to get a few notes on the aspects of creative filmmaking in the region I would like to take the chance to thank the organizers for this 25 years of forum, of discussion. Iíve been here for the opening, I canít be here for the closing, so I take a chance in between to say thank you to all of you and I hope it will go on. My position is quite different from the ones that we have heard here. Iím not coming from theory, Iím not a practical filmmaker at the moment, I would call myself a communicator between these two sides and even more aspects to come. And living in an area XXXX, north of Germany which is not the main media port, which is not a place where they have a lot of money to produce films for television or for cinema. And you have an aim to support creative documentary. Itís a difficult task. And maybe their origin similar to set in another places in Europe and would be interesting to know how they survive and how they develop the idea of creative documentary. To give the sentences I will speak an idea behind would have like to use the Russian film ďForty StepsĒ. This kind of strong concept. But I couldnít even make it in four steps. But the idea is still behind and I really was impressed by this old and still new film. And I will to make it short. The normal situation of documentary or, letís say, documentation documentary, reportage filmmaking in our area is that people are connected strongly to television. So, they are producing news for television, they are producing reportage and now they have a chance to produce what we call documentary. Kind of a film with the different approach, with a different attitude towards a human, towards the way its done. And if you have to work in this condition youíre strongly depending on television. The moment television is turning you down, youíre out. You have no chance because itís such a closed, small region that thereís only like one TV station which will give you bread, and if not- youíre out. What we try to do is we try to open the work in the area in quite many aspects. One must be to produce films which not only the people from that area are interested in, but films that produce an interest over the border, in the neighborhood, in Europe. To do so you need more money, you need more time. One change in the last year was for sure the digitalization of the filmmaking, the new equipment which helps to do filmmaking independently without TV, but still you need to find the market for these products, to refinance the work youíve done. And to use this kind of possibility, this technical possibility is to establish workshop, educational program for running over two years for filmmaking and especially for creative documentary filmmaking. The idea behind this workshop is that you should be able to look across the border, that you should be able to work together with different people, in different cultural regional context, and at least- that is a big aim- you should achieve quality, which is searched for over the region and out of the region. The danger of the technical aspects I only shortly mentioned is that you might get driven away by chanters, the technical chanters youíve got. And Iím not going into the film theory over this time, but I discussed with our college very friendly the different aspects of ďNonstopĒ. There are other examples, Iím not so satisfied and I still have questions, I canít understand how things have happened this way or the other way. One of the films, like Hertz Frankís second film for me is the opposite to ďFlashbackĒ but Iím still not understanding what have happened there to him and to this kind of film. So, to avoid being driven away by technical possibilities, loosing content, just using technology is really to rock together with people who are looking different, who have cultural creative documentary context and that is something we donít have so much in XXXX and what we are trying to create by running small festival- to distribute films, weíve done that for more than ten years now. But in the last three years we open it with a section to international shot documentaries† and we even look for a partner festival from outside of Germany to cooperate in these festivals, to give people living there an idea whatís happening outside, how the things are done. Itís an idea of me behind this symposium we try to cover with our festival and we try to give creative documentary a field where it can grow and develop. I think thatís the main aspect I had in my mind. I would like just to go one idea back. Itís not connected to what Iíve said before, but itís connected to the problem of content and technical possibilities. And I have in my mind always a music clown who is playing in the circus and who is playing bad. But for being able to play this way he had studied music, he had an academic teaching for music and he is normally an artist in music. And then he can turn it down to what he will show us to play in a way bad that is amusing, that is attracting, that is touching people. And I think that chance we have is a modern technology that we have trained ourselves, our heads very well, that we can use this kind of technology for something good, interesting, amusing. Thank you.

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