When Iikka Vehkalahti and Menno Boerema created Rough Cut Service the aim was to especially give support to the talented film makers who often have to work alone and in countries where support to documentary film making is small. But the service is also for experienced film makers who are missing a fresh, professional eye.
Listed below are the films RCS has supported so far including feedback from the film makers. With some of these films we have done quite a lot of work, with others our contribution has been less or small. But all of them have been great to work with.Houston, We Have A Problem! by Ziga Virc (Slovenia, US 2016)
Incredible story of the Yugoslavian space program or actually about truth and lies, what we believe in and the relation of former Yogoslavia with US. Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2016. The Oscar candidate of Slovenia 2017.
“We met with the Rough Cut Service team in a rough cut stage of our feature-length project. We were really satisfied with the cooperation, helping us to calibrate our compass and giving a fresh perspective and pumping up our little bit drained creative process. We even took two consulting cycles and production-wise it was one of the best investments in the production of the film. And we also like twisted and sometimes bizarre Finnish humor!”
Bostjan Virc, producer.
For The Love Of A Man by Rinku Kalsy (India 2015)
In South India, in Tamil Nadu a film star Rajinikanth is a God to hundreds of thousands of his fans. The film got it´s premiere at Venice Film Festival 2015.
“I am deeply grateful to have had RCS to hand-hold us through this process. Your advice was absolutely super both in structural terms, but also as two people who we felt got the meaning of the film and its cultural nuances.”
Joyojeet Pal, producer.
Cecilia by Pankaj Johar (India, Norway 2015)
One day a middle class, young couple faces the reality of their country: how child trafficking was killing the daughter of their own maid. Premiere at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, IDFA 2015.
Olympic Pride, American Prejudices by Deborah Riley Draper (US 2016)
Everybody knows who is Jesse Owens. But what happen to other black athletes who came in the US team to Olympic Games of Hitler´s Berlin? Premiere at LA Film Festival 2016.
“Having meaningful, productive, valuable access to some of the world’s greatest filmmakers and documentary editors is an incredible opportunity and is what Rough Cut Service delivers. RCS’s engagement with me, was solely focused on my film and my film’s needs around story, structure and the elements to take it from good to amazing. Skyping, chatting and exchanging ideas, notes and solutions with Iikka Vehkalahti and Jean Tsien is extraordinary and not only made the film better but made me better too.”
Deborah Riley Draper, director.
Noma by Pablo Pinedo (South Africa 2016)
A documentary following the tradition of Italian neorealism follows the fight of shack dwellers against the brutal eviction. Premiere at Durban Film Festival 2016.
“For me and the project the RCS was very helpful. It helped to confront already existing doubts and to confirm final decisions towards the closing of the project. Even if in my case it was a low budget film, those few conversations we did helped a lot. Thanks for that!”
Pablo Pinedo, director.
Hospital by Kesang Tseten (Nepal 2016)
High on the mountains of Nepal a hospital is receiving patients, who have been carried for hours or even days before they reach the doctors. Cinema verité-film grows to tell especially about the position of women in Nepal. Completed in autumn 2016.
Lampedusa In Winter by Jakob Brossmann (Austria, Switzerland, Italy 2015)
Very first documentary on Lampadusa, it´s inhabitants and their reactions and actions when refugees have arrived to the island. Premiere at Locarno Film Festival 2015. Österreichischer Filmpreis 2015 – Best documentary film. Boccalino d’oro award for Best Film at Locarno Film Festival 2015.
Zen And Bones by Takayuki Nakamura (Japan 2016)
Kaleidoscopic portrait of an unconventional 93-year-old Japanese-American Zen monk, his dramatic history and turbulent family life. Premiere at Busan Film Festival 2015.
The Girl Who Saved My Life by Hogir Hirori (Sweden 2016)
Because of a girl, a man does not board a flight with a fatal ending. This is not the story of a Hollywood rom com, but an incredibly incisive refugee portrait by the Kurdish-Swedish filmmaker Hogir Hirori. Premiere at Gothenburg Film Festival 2016.
“Before I contacted RCS I was in a very difficult place. I had so much material, a very complicated editing procedure and had a hard time choosing and prioritizing in the vast amount of material. Iikka and Per K. at RCS made me rethink, restructure and tell a story effectively, and shorten the film in a way that felt intuitive and natural.”
Hogir Hirori, director.
Free by Tomislav Zaja (Croatia 2015)
An intimate documentary on people with intellectual disabilities released from institutions to live normal life among other people in Croatia. Premiere at One World Romania Human Rights Film Festival 2016. Liburnia Film Festival 2016 – Best Director. Venice Film Week 2016 – Best Feature Documentary.
“The experience of working with Rough Cut Service helped both me and my editor to see the film from new, fresh perspective and to discover new ways to tell the story – ways that were unimaginable to us before we started to work with experts from RCS. It was very inspirational to see my film from different angles and to analyse each scene and every single shot in detail. It helped me to get the distance from my footage and become more realistic about story structure and my main characters. .”
Tomislav Zaja, director.
Exodus- Where I Come From Is Disappearing by Hank Levine (Brazil, Germany 2017)
In six different countries shot documentary film on refugees, their lives and thoughts. Screened at São Paulo International Film Festival and Reykjavik International Film Festival.
The Beast Is Still Alive by Vesela Kazakova and Mina Mileva (Bulgaria 2016)
In a fictional dialogue with her dead grandfather, a young woman takes a critical look at communist ideology. Premiere at Warsaw Film Festival 2016. Awarded at Aegean Docs, European Independent Film Awards, European Cinematography Awards, and Mexico International Film Festival.
Becoming Who I Was by Chang-Young Moon (South Korea 2017)
Shot during five years the film follows a young Rinpoche, who is living in Ladakh and waiting for the monks to come from Kham, China to take him to the monastery of his previous life. Completed in 2017. Grand Prix in Berlinale Generation. Best Feature Documentary.
My World Is Upside Down by Petra Seliskar (Slovenia 2016)
Singers and musicians from different countries perform the songs of Frane Milčinski, who was an actor, comedian, musician, “Chaplin of the former Yugoslavia”. Premiere at MakeDox 2016. Awarded at South East European Film Festival LA.
“RCS helped our film a lot . The days when I felt trapped with our film only with my editor became much more dynamic, I had to think it all over again and answer all the questions (even the weird ones) and try all the possibilities in editing I did not try until then. And fight for everything I thought was important in the film, but not necessarily important to everyone from the RCS team. It was a gamble of ideas and trying to make them work in the final film. And I must say it was done with respect to authors, I never felt under pressure if certain ideas didn’t work out. I really respect this way of working.”
Petra Seliskar, director.
A State of Exception by Jason O´Hara (Canada 2017)
Five years the filmmaker followed what is happening to the indigenous people and inhabitants of favelas in Rio De Janeiro when World Cup and Olympic Games were changing the city. Premiere at Hot Docs 2017. Magnus Isacsson Award at RIDM – Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal 2017.
“We were lost at sea when we turned to Rough Cut Service – so much footage shot over so many years and a drawn out editing process had muffled and blinkered our ability to see our material objectively as a cinematic experience. Iikka wrangled with us through finding a new structure – suggesting a completely radical approach that we trusted and flew with. And yet, at no point was it an imposition – the few things we wanted to keep, we kept, and otherwise were blown away at how much the new ideas, the new input, not only shaved off all the unnecessary junk and helped clear up confusions, it also gave us tons of fresh insights on how to tell our story, re-energized our own creative approach to the material.
Yael came in next and offered a subtler eye on the rhythms, the pacing, the filmic experience, bringing the scenes from rushed, pedestrian assemblies to living, breathing scenes. Such an incredibly valuable service!“
Katharine Asals, editor.
An Insignificant Man by Khusboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla (India 2016)
The film follows the birth of the newest political party in India, AAP, that got a landslide victory in Delhi and grows to a universal story about how people are tired of the old elite of politics. Premiere at Toronto Film Festival 2016. Further screenings include IDFA, the BFI London Film Festival and Busan International Film Festival.
Machines by Rahul Jain (India 2016)
A cinematic essay on machines and workers in a pre-modern, huge textile factory in Gujarat, India. Premiere at IDFA – International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam, 2016. Winner of the best cinematography at Sundance 2017. Grierson Award for Best Documentary – International, 2017.
Skulls Of My People by Vincent Moloi (South Africa 2016)
A documentary film on the struggle of a smallest tribe in Namibia fighting for the return of the skulls of their people taken by the Germans for racial science profiling after the genocide of 1904. Premiere at IDFA 2016.
Trembling Mountain by Kesang Tseten (Nepal 2016)
A natural calamity of an order unseen this century in Nepal brought destruction of highland villages of mud-and-stone dwellings of Langtang, one of the most scenic trekking spots in the Himalaya. Premiere at IDFA 2016.
“Hiring an editor for several months for a feature length documentary can cost 10,000 to 20,000 euros. Often my budgets cannot sustain this cost. And yet I feel the need for editing help by people who know an international audience, who know documentary, and who are sensitive and understanding of stories faraway from their society, and know how to help bring out the universal elements in them while keeping the integrity and authenticity of the ‘local’.
The Rough Cut Service, which I have used twice now, answers all these needs. Their critique of the film is thorough, detail , and look at both the content (ie a faraway world) as well as the aesthetic and technical. The RCS responded to my rough cuts with a fine, nuanced critique, paying attention to all the seemingly small details that ultimate add or, their mishandling, spoil a film. Its comments are to the point, forceful, yet sympathetic, and leave room for the filmmaker to decide for herself the important decisions.”
Kesang Tseten, director.
Nowhere To Hide by Zaradasht Ahmed (Norway, Iraq 2016)
A disturbing war experience by an Iraqi father and male nurse who is forced to flee when his home city is occupied by ISIS. Winner of the main competition at IDFA 2016. Winner at Prague One World Festival 2017.
“Rough Cut Service is an important documentary film consulting service for film makers that need to lift up her/his project 2 to 3 levels. During our cooperation with RCS with Iikka Vehkalahti and Jean Tsien we were able to improve the quality of the film. We managed to make a more interesting story both dramaturgical and also story wise. As a director I highly recommend the RCS with my full support to them and their vision of developing one of the most important areas outside the European union and USA. “
Zaradasht Ahmed, director.
City of the Sun by Rati Oneli (Georgia, US 2017)
In his documentary debut, director Rati Oneli provides fascinating insights into a living environment in a ghost mining town Chiatura in western Georgia. Premiere at Berlinale Forum 2017 and nominated for the Glasshütte Original Documentary Award. Heart of Sarajevo Best Documentary at Sarajevo Film Festival.
Silas by Hawa Essuman, Anjali Nayar (Liberia, Kenya 2017)
Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman profile the life of Liberian activist Silas Siakor, a tireless crusader against illegal logging and a symbol of resistance for a new generation. Premiere at Toronto Film Festival 2017.
“We worked with Joelle Alexis and Iikka Vehkalahti on the documentary at a very critical stage in the edit. I can say with absolute certainty they contributed significantly to turning the film around. Their proposed solutions, big and small, brought clarity to the storytelling. We had got to a point in the edit where we had run out of ideas on how to improve the film. With their input, the edit gained momentum and the storytelling leaped forward. They are film rescuers! I am a big fan!”
Steven Markovitz, producer.
Up Down & Sideways by Anushka Meenakshi & Iswar Srikumar (India 2017)
A musical portrait of a community of rice cultivators in a village close to the India-Myanmar border. While working in the fields in small cooperative groups, the men and women sing together – songs that follow the seasons. Screened at IDFA and Thessaloniki Documentary Festival. Nominated for Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2018.
“One thing that really worked for us is that both Per and Iikka were acutely aware of what we wanted and they helped us get the best version of that. Having two mentors working on the film is an excellent idea. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but all of this helps create more and more possibilities for us to play with as story tellers. Ideas and suggestions are one thing, but to be able to give them with a sense of humour and with a lot of love is of unbelievable help when one is questioning and doubting everything, which is pretty much what happens while editing. These people love documentaries, and it shows.“
Anushka Meenakshi & Iswar Srikumar, directors.
The Mountain Pact by Manuele Cecconello & Maurizio Pellegrini (Italy 2017)
The Mountain Pact was the first act in Europe through which equal pay between men and women was established. It took place in 1944 in Biella – the oldest textile district in Italy. Now a young fashion designer goes to Biella to trace back the roots of the fabrics he uses to create his own collections. He meets places, outputs and protagonists, such as Nino Cerruti and Argante. The former is the internationally renowned stylist and son to one of the signatories of the pact, the latter is a partisan commander and witness of what took place then.
“I met Joelle Alexis in a training session about how to do good teasers and when she looked at the teaser of the Mountain Pact she simply said: “nothing to say… perfect, professional”. Now I’m back to Rough Cut Service and I hope the film will impact equally good, but I know your full support and help will make the difference!”
Francesca Conti, producer.
Devoti Tutti by Bernadette Wegenstein
The brutally martyred Saint Agatha from Sicily has been confined to her chamber in the Cathedral of Catania for nearly 1800 years. Once a year the people of Catania parade her bust around town during a 3-day long procession. The Festa is entirely in the hands of the men: the Church, the City of Catania, and the mafia men, led by the “Capovara” Claudio who runs the entire parade. in post-production.
“Iikka and Jakob were both amazing in how they worked with us delicately and wisely on carving out the main story-lines of the film. They made me and our team feel super safe and at ease during every review session. I loved how differently they coached us in their writings (straight forward advice) and the personal skype meetings (like a good therapy session with many open ears). I will definitely work with RCS again.”
Bernadette Wegenstein, director.
The Redeemed by Morten Vest (Denmark 2018)
The story of Danish Christian missionaries in countries like Nigeria is not just about the past – on the contrary. A fascinating, historical film in two parallel tracks. Premiere at CPH:DOX 2018.
A Day for Susana by Giovanna Giovanini & Rodrigo Boecker (Brazil 2018)
How much is a woman capable of letting go when she can lose everything in the blink of an eye? Atlanta Film Festival – nominee Grand Jury Award. Screened at Havana Film Festival, São Paulo International Film Festival,
“Rough Cut Service was one of the most important pieces of our puzzle during the editing process. After many years shooting one story, we become kind of “blind” to really see some aspects of it. Iikka and Erez were very sensitive and accurate in terms of defining the boundaries between what we have lived during filming and what is within our images. They were exceptional in understanding our view as auteurs and working from this aspect, exploring the potentials that we had within it.
RCS is an important tool in documentary world that gives the opportunity for young directors to connect with very talented and experienced editors throughout the world .” Giovanna Giovanini & Rodrigo Boecker, directors.
Rush Hour by Luciana Kaplan (Mexico 2017)
Transportation is a burning topic of everyday life nowadays. Rush Hour follows three stories, three cities and three characters in different contexts but similar realities that survive long journeys and time of life lost. Morelia International Film Festival 2017 – Best Mexican Feature-Length Documentary – World Premiere.
Rangoon – the story of the Bogyoke Aung San movie by Frode Skog (Myanmar, Norway)
Norwegian Director Frode Skog returns to his childhood home of Rangoon, Burma to make a film he’s waited 25 years to finish.
To Be Continued by Ivars Seleckis (Latvia 2018)
A master film maker from Latvia follows children, when they start their first schoolyear. The film grows during the year to reflect the different lifestyles and values in the Latvian society today. International premiere at Visions du Réel 2018. Latvia’s Oscar entry for best foreign language film.
Boys Who Like Girls by Inka Achté (India, UK, Finland 2018)
At times like an absurd comedy, at times a heart-breaking drama, Boys Who Like Girls follows the challenges of three men, interconnected through the organization, MAVA (Men Against Violence And Abuse) in Mumbai, India. Premiere Sheffield Doc/fest 2018.
The Cleaners by Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck (Germany 2018)
A look at the shadowy underworld of the Internet where questionable content is removed. Premiere at Sundance 2018. Nominee International Emmy Awards (Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary). Nominee News & Documentary Emmy Award.
Oslo Diaries by Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan (Israel 2018)
1992 Israeli-Palestinian relations are at an all time low. In an attempt to stop the bloodshed, a small group of Israelis & Palestinians meet in Oslo – secretly and against the law. Premiere at Sundance 2018. Nominee – Outstanding Historical Documentary, News and Documentary Emmy Awards.
Turning 18 by HO Chao-ti (Taiwan 2018)
The film follows two indigenous girls in the Taiwanese/Chinese society for more than three years. During that time both of them make decisions and choices for the rest of their lives. CinemAsia Film Festival – Youth Jury Award Best Female Director. Hong Kong IDF – Best Feature-lenght (Chinese Doc Competition).
The Other Side Of Everything by Mila Turajlic (Serbia 2017)
For Serbian filmmaker Mila Turajlic, a locked door in her mother’s apartment in Belgrade provides the gateway to both her remarkable family history and her country’s tumultuous political inheritance. Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival. IDFA 2017 – Best feature-length documentary.
The Deminer by Hogir Hirori and Shinwar Kamal (Sweden 2017)
What difference can a pair of clippers make? In deminer Fakhir’s hands: thousands and thousands of human lives. A portrait of a Kurdish colonel, who disarmed thousands of roadside bombs and mines armed only with his courage and a pair of wire cutters. Special mention at IDFA 2017, feature-length competition. One World International Film Festival – Best Film. Nordisk Panorama – Best Nordic Documentary.
Laila at the Bridge by Elizabeth Mirzaei, Gulistan Mirzaei (Canada, Afganistan 2018)
Laila Haidari survived child marriage and her own traumatic past to battle one of the deadliest problems in Afghanistan: heroin addiction. As the “mother of the addicts,” she must prevail over a crisis of addiction and a corrupt government in a country on the verge of collapse. Premiere at CPH:DOX 2018,Winner of Fact Award. BIFF – Human Rights Award. Santa Barbara IFF – Social Justice Award.
“Joelle and Iikka were immensely helpful. When we sent them the rough cut, we knew that the film was in there but it wasn’t coming through the way we wanted. Their constructive notes and specific suggestions helped us to continue to carve the footage, like a sculpture, to reveal the film. We would absolutely work with Rough Cut Service again.” Elizabeth Mirzaei, director.
Eisenberger by Hercli Bundi (Switzerland 2018)
The film examines the relationship between art and provocation in a world where almost everything is possible and permissible. In dialogue with the aspiring artist Christian Eisenberger who works with waste, animal corpses and swastikas, the director tries to reveal what secret transforms some objects into art, while others are detested and despised. Premiere at DOK Leipzig 2018.
Commander Arian by Alba Sotorra (Spain, Germany, Syria 2018)
On the frontline of the Syrian war, 30 years old commander Arian leads her commando of women as they fight ISIS. For her, war is the only path to emancipation from a deeply patriarchal society. Premiere at Hot Docs 2018, main competition
“I’m happy we had the chance to work with RCS during the final stage of the editing of our feature length documentary Commander Arian. The input from RCS was very concrete and useful and helped us improve a few key scenes in the film, like the beginning. We would like to highlight the personalised treatment we received and the promptness of their feedback and all communications in general.”
Alba Sotorra, director.
Chris The Swiss by Anja Kofmel (Switzerland 2018)
Croatia, 7th of January 1992: In the middle of the war a young journalist’s body is found dressed with a uniform of the international mercenary group. 19 years later, his cousin Anja Kofmel detects his story. Premiere in Cannes Semaine de la Critique 2018. Swiss Film Awards – Best documentary, Best editing, Best music.
Exit by Karen Winther (Norway; Germany, Sweden 2018)
Director Karen Winther puts on a personal journey through her past and up to present time, in search for answers to what has caused a handful of violent extremists to choose violence and hatred. Throughout her journey, Karen meets unpleasant truths linked to her own extremist past. Premiere 2018 at CPH:DOX. DOK Leipzig – the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, the Young Eyes Film Award and the Gedanken-Aufschluss Prize.
“I think the RCS is both fantastic and important.”
Eirin Gjørv, producer.
When the War Comes by Jan Gebert (The Czech Republic 2018)
The plot of the film is set in Slovakia, where a paramilitary group, with the government’s silent approval, recruits hundreds of teenagers. Their goal is simple: to create a totalitarian community based on isolation and life in fear. Premiere at Berlinale Panorama 2018. Nominee – Berlinale Glasshütte Original Documentary Award.
Cinema Morocco by Ricardo Calil (Brazil 2018)
In a huge building occupied by homeless people is the abandoned cinema Morocco. In 1954 it was the center of a Film Festival with US stars and great films of Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini. Today the refugees in the building select their favorite scenes of the old films and make their own representations of them. Premiere at DOK Leipzig 2018. DOK Leipzig – Golden Dove Next Masters Competition.
Reconstructing Utøya by Carl Javer (Sweden 2018)
A feature documentary where four survivors from the Utøya terrorist attack in 2011 reconstruct their memories in a black box studio together with twelve young participants in order to share and remember their experiences. Premiere at Berlinale 2019. Swedish Film Awards – Best documentary, Best directing. Nominee – Nordic Council Film Prize.
“We we were really happy with your service! The film has so far had its international premerie at Berlinale, won two Guldbagge awards and have had cinema distribution in Norway, Sweden and Denmark so far. Would very much like to work with you again!”
Frederik Lange, producer.
I Had A Dream by Claudia Tosi (Italy 2018)
Manuela and Daniela dream of changing their country, Italy, but have to meet the harsh reality. From the feminist fights against Berlusconi to the last elections of 2018, the film explores the last ten years of Italy through the political actions and the everyday life of the two compelling women. Premiere DOK Leipzig 2018. DOK Leipzig – Golden Dove International Competition, FIPRESCI Award, Award of the Interreligious Jury.
” I came to RCS with the idea to do some make up but it turned out that there was much more than a bit of make up to do. By going once again through the footage (10 years of footage!) in order to provide answers made us discover a treasure hidden because of decisions made long ago. The film has incredibly improved, the protagonists have become tridimensional, the storyline is at the service of the protagonists.
Working with Iikka and Menno allowed me and the editor to watch our film from an International perspective and discover weaknesses and strengths. There is no doubt I will ask RCS’ help also in the future.”
Claudia Tosi, director.
Cinema Dadaab by Kati Juurus (Finland 2018)
Cinema Dadaab takes the viewers to one of the world’s largest and oldest refugee camps, Dadaab. A dreamlike place forgotten by the rest of the world. Here Abdikafi Mohamed runs a simple cinema, which offers moments of dreaming and mind travelling for the refugees, who cannot leave the camp. The film premiered at Helsinki International Film Festival Love & Anarcy in 2018.
Privacy Of Wounds by Dalia Kury (Norway 2018)
How do you tell completely authentic stories from Syria? Would former prisoners be able to reveal their deepest feelings to an interviewer? The Jordanian filmmaker Dalia Kury came up with a solution. For Privacy of Wounds, she reconstructed a prison cell in a Norwegian cellar, in which three Syrian immigrants agree to be locked up. With unmanned cameras constantly filming them, they spend three days without daylight on thin mattresses, talking about their time in different Syrian prisons. They tell the most appalling stories: of the deaths of fellow prisoners, torture techniques, and a growing sense of being abandoned. Premiere at IDFA 2018, Mid-length competition.
“RCS was instrumental for the crucial progress we made on the way to our IDFA premiere. The combination of Iikka and Yael gave us both very specific detailed feedback as well as a big picture philosophical angle on our film. Since IDFA the film has been nominated for awards at festivals such as Gothenburg, HUMAN, Tromsø IFF, One World and Haifa IFF.”
Jonathan Borg Lie, producer.
The Wandering Chef by Hye-Ryeong Park (South-Korea 2018)
A deep homage to Mother Nature through a heart-warming culinary journey. Jiho Im, better known as the “Wandering Chef”, travels the Korean peninsula, in search of the most unique ingredients, honouring Mother Nature with whom he has a very strong and personal relationship. For him, Nature is at the core of his life and his creative work. One day, he meets someone very special on the road leading him to the most incredible challenge of a lifetime: conceiving and cooking 108 plates in 24 hours – significant of 108 agonies of life in Buddhism – to pay tribute to his adoptive mother. Premiere at Hot Docs 2019.
About Love by Archana Phadke (India 2019)
Three generations of the Phadke family live and work together in South Mumbai. As they prepare for a family wedding, director Archana Atul Phadke, who is not in any hurry to marry, observes the shifting, often very funny household dynamics, as both her mother and grandmother wonder how they have tolerated their husbands for so long. Premiere at Sheffield DocFest 2019, where the film won the New Talent Award. Best Documentary – Indian Film Festival Stuttgart. DMZ Docs – Best Film Asian Perspective Award.
For Sama by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts (UK 2019)
FOR SAMA is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war, A love letter from a young mother to her daughter.. FOR SAMA was awarded the Prix L’Œil d’Or for Best Documentary at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Further selected awards include at the SXSW Film Festival, at Hot Docs, and the Audience Award at Sheffield Doc/fest.
“I cannot recommend RCS highly enough. They took a look at our film when we thought we’d finished everything. Their notes were brilliant and helped us to see with new eyes where we could really push the emotion and clarity of the cut. Their insights lifted the film to another level.”
Edward Watts, director.
ROBOLOVE by Maria Arlamovsky (Austria 2019)
ROBOLOVE is a film about the future of human interaction with humanoid, android robots.
The feature documentary by Maria Arlamovsky, an Austrian film director, explores how we will bond with robots that resemble human women and men.
Robots will serve us in the future at home, they will teach us, help us, comfort us and perhaps they will be our cuddly partners. Premiere at DOK Leipzig 2019.
Vivos (43) by Ai Weiwei (2019)
Through a documentary film (and a series of portraits made with Lego pieces), the artist explores the personal and social consequences of the disappearance of the 43 students from the Escuela Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa on the night of September 26-27, 2014. This project makes a bid for constructing memory as an invisible tie that binds us to our ancestors and maps out an obligation to the generations that succeed us. World premiere at Sundance 2020.
Space Dogs by Elsa Kremser & Levin Peter (Austria 2019)
How a Moscow street dog was sent into space and returned as a ghost.
Laika, a stray dog, was the first living being to be sent into space and thus to a certain death. According to a legend, she returned to Earth as a ghost and has roamed the streets of Moscow ever since. Premiere at Locarno Film Festival 2019.
“We are really very thankful for the help RCS gave us during our editing process. It really gave us trust into our film, in a time when we where quite critical with ourselves – especially with the more abstract episodes of the storytelling and also with the overall philosophical arch of it. So it helped us to come finally to a version that we love ourselves, that works in terms of dramaturgy, and that is radical, without compromises.”
Elsa Kremser, director.
Contradict by Peter Guyer & Thomas Burkhalter (Switzerland 2019)
Together with artists from Ghana the filmmakers explore questions of global developments, values and visions for the future.
“After almost a year of editing and a lot of test screenings with no tangible result, we were stuck and slightly desperate. The outside, e.g. international, view and the dramaturgical expertise as well as the fresh ideas how things could be told in a different way, helped a lot and opened new fields and thoughts which was liberating indeed! Moreover the feedback, remarks and criticism were direct but always very respectful.”
Madeleine Corbat, producer.
Never Happened by Barbora Berezňáková (Slovakia/Czech Republic 2019)
The director investigates a top level kidnapping case, exploring the chain of events and the emotional impact for the witnesses. Premiere at Warsaw IFF 2019. Cinematik IFF – Cinematik.doc Award.
“The RCS experience was one of the most eye-opening experiences after my studies. The consultants were very sensitive people with a lot of understanding for my film as well as the approach I took to the topic. Even that the story was quite complicated and of a local character, they understood the specifics and gave me sophisticated insight into both the structure of the film and the style I chose.” Barbora Berezňáková, director.
Hana Blaha Šilarová, Czech Producer.
Two Roads by Radovan Síbrt (Czech Republic 2019)
The film follows members of The Tap Tap – a music band of physically disabled. A story full of music, friendship, desires and dreams that can be lived despite an unlucky fate. Premiere at Ji.hlava IDFF 2019.
“We planned to approach RCS as we had a prior experience with them and valued their input. We approached at the right moment, while we were editing but running in circles at the same time. We were even becoming depressed about our own film. Therefore, we needed someone to see with no closer involvement and help us to make a meaningful progress. Jordana Berg and Jakob Kirstein Høgel helped us to renew the strong story line and essential message of the film. It hurt as any editing process does, but totally worth it.”
Radovan Síbrt, director.
Remnants of a Revolution by Cha Escala (the Philippines 2019)
A founding member of the Communist Party of the Philippines is on the final days of his life when his son discovers his role in the dark period of the Party’s history. In the last phone call they would share, father and son tell each other everything that needs to be said.
“It took me 4 years to finish my film and I must say that without the help of RCS, I probably would never have finished it. Deciding on a structure with the materials that I was able to gather within the years I was working, mostly on own, was the most difficult part. I came up with a rough cut but couldn’t move forward from it. It sat there for more than a year until RCS came on board and solved the puzzle.” Cha Escala, director.
Holes by Shirly Berkovitz (Israel)
Following his son’s murder, Danny the father – an Ex-Hitman-Syrian-Muslim who turned Israeli-Jew – realizes the state won’t seek justice and sets on an investigative quest to find the truth.
School of Hope by Mohamed El aboudi (Finland, France, Morocco)
School of Hope tells about a nomad tribe struggling to get education for their children, and a young teacher trying to help them while suffering himself of the Government’s indifference toward rural regions.
Colombia in my Arms by Jenni Kivistö & Jussi Rastas (Finland)
The film examines if a nation can stop the cycle of violence that has lasted for decades, even centuries. Ernesto is one of the FARC guerrillas who after 53 years of armed conflict, are about to hand over their arms in exchange for the social inclusion of the poor.
My Rembrandt by Oeke Hoogendijk (The Netherlands 2019)
My Rembrandt provides fascinating insight into what makes the work of this Dutch master so extraordinary, and why different people are so deeply affected by his oeuvre, or a specific work? Meanwhile, centuries after Rembrandt’s death, his paintings are still a source of drama and gripping plot twists. Premiere at IDFA 2019.
“When in the editroom in Amsterdam we came to a point that we’ve had been editing for so long that we where losing our freshness and didn’t see clearly anymore where and how we could improve our film, I contacted the RCS. My first contact was with Iikka Vehkahlahti. Iikka put me in contact with Erez Laufer. From the moment I’ve shown my film to those two highly skilled proffesionals I felt I was in good hands. I felt they both understood the film and I also felt that working with both of them could bring the film to a higher level.
Showing one’s film in such a vulnerable stage is never easy, but I can not say otherwise than I’m truly amazed on how they worked with me and the film. They didn’t spare me nor the film, but instead put their fingers exactly on the weak spots of the film. Not just critizising, but always coming up with valuable suggestions on how we could try to solve our problems. And by following most of their suggestions the film has indeed inmensly improved.
I feel great gratitude to have had the opportunity to work with the RCS, in fact I cannot imagine how I’ve made films before without consulting them. It’s my sincere hope that this is the beginning of a life long collaboration.”
Oeke Hoogendijk, director.