“When you’re fighting people ... who really don’t care whether they live or die ...when you reduce someone like that to tears, you have created a generational problem and we’re seeing that now in Syria.” —Sebastian Junger, Hell on Earth
In National Geographic Documentary Films’ Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS, Academy Award - nominated filmmaker and best-selling author Sebastian Junger and his Emmy-winning filmmaking partner, Nick Quested, chronicle Syria’s descent into the unbridled chaos that allowed the rise of the Islamic State, better known as ISIS. Pulling from nearly 1000 hours of stunningly visceral footage —from that of a family living under ISIS control that finally fled to Turkey, to Kurdish fighters in Sinjar and Shia militias in Iraq and even to al-Qaida affiliated fighters in and around Aleppo and Raqqa —Junger and Quested cover the ISIS catastrophe from multiple angles and feature interviews with top experts from around the world. Consequently, the filmmakers, who previously collaborated on a trio of films about war (Restrepo, The Last Patrol and Korengal), capture the Syrian war’s harrowing carnage, political and social consequences, and, most importantly, its human toll, while painting an alarming picture of the West’s role in the creation of ISIS.
Spectres Are Haunting Europe
Documentary • 99’ • Greece/France • 2016
Director: Maria Kourkouta, NikiGiannari Language: Arabic/Greek/English Subtitles: English,Greek
The daily life of refugees (Syrian, Kurdish, Pakistani, Afghani, and other) in the camp of Idomeni.People waiting in queues for food, tea and doctors; waiting to cross the border between Greece and Macedonia. One day, Europe closes its borders for them once and for all. The "residents" of Idomeni decide, in their turn, to occupy the train tracks, blocking the trains that carry goods across the border.
For the first time Fashion Designer Dries Van Noten allows a filmmaker to accompany him in his creative process and rich home life. For an entire year Reiner Holzemer documented the precise steps that Dries takes to conceive of four collections, the rich fabrics, embroidery and prints exclusive to his designs, as well as the emblematic fashion shows that bring his collections to the world and have become cult “must sees” at the Parisian Fashion week.
The film offers an insight into the life, mind and creative heart of Master Fashion Designer who, for more than 25 years, has remained independent in a landscape of fashion consolidation and globalisation.
Mohammed is 18. Having fled from the war inLebanonto Germany, he is now trying to find his way in a world of men: there is the gruff boss of the motorbike garage where he helps out; the co- worker who tells stories of his experiences in the Foreign Legion; and above all Lakhdar (27), his eccentric and reckless brother. The two live without their parents in the dilapidated former family home in Berlin Tegel. Planes constantly thunder overhead. Between a precarious work situation and the hope for an apprenticeship, between heroic stories about comradeship from his co-workers and his own memories of war, between the good and increasingly mad ravings and words of advice from his brother, the young Palestinian has to ask himself the question: what does it actually mean to be a man?
The semi-documentary film was developed under close contact with the two main characters and takes us into the experience world of a young man, who is amazed, believes and will be disappointed, he hopes and sobers again until he can no longer stand it.
In 2014, the Yezidi city of Shingal in northern Iraq was conquered and destroyed by IS. The terror group murdered thousands of men and kidnapped 3000 women and girls, who are still being kept as slaves. In a deserted coal mine on the Turkish border, thousands of Yezidi refugees wait for a safe return. Through the eyes of an older man, a teenage boy and a family, Shingal Where Are You?illustrates the burdens and dilemmas of this persecuted religious minority. Hanging around ruins and fishing pools, children discuss shockingly adult topics, such as the chances of another genocide taking place, and how much better life would be in Europe. In the meantime, the Havind family desperately tries to understand what has happened to them. Inconsolable, they talk on the phone with their daughter who reports from the slave camp. They try to buy her freedom through a chain of intermediaries and get close to the IS lines. The suffering is made all the more palpable when the family visits their city of Shingal, which has been reduced to rubble.
Into the Centre of the Wheel
Documentary • 78’ • Greece • 2016
Director: OrfeasPeretzis Language: Greek Subtitles: English
Into the Centre of the Wheel is an eyewitness account of the spiritual journey of RODA’s non professional actors through the art of theatre. We see the daily routine of a statistics teacher in class, a roof builder, a mother, and a delivery man. They share the unusual experiences that they had in the past whilst performing as actors. 24 hours before a performance, all the painful process of the preparation unfolds step by step until all members of RODA storm out on stage. From that point on, the experience becomes a personal quest for truth into the darkness of the theatre’s backstage.
Documentary • 75’ • India/Germany/Finland• 2016
Director: Rahul Jain Language: Hindi Subtitles: English/Greek
Moving through the corridors and bowels of an enormous and disorientating structure, the camera takes the viewer on a descent down to a dehumanized place of physical labor and intense hardship. This gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India might just as well be the decorum for a 21st century Dante’s Inferno. In his mind-provoking yet intimate portrayal, director Rahul Jain observes the life of the workers, the suffering and the environment they can hardly escape from. With strong visual language, memorable images and carefully selected interviews of the workers themselves, Jain tells a story of inequality, oppression and the huge divide between rich, poor and the perspectives of both.
It’s Not Yet Dark
Documentary • 77’ • Ireland • 2016
Director: Frankie Fenton Language: English Subtitles: Greek
It’s Not Yet Dark is a feature length documentary telling the story of Simon Fitzmaurice, a talented Irish Filmmaker who is living with Motor Neurone Disease. He was diagnosed at the age of 34, after his short film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His wife was expecting their third child and they were left shocked and reeling.
Simon refused to give up and started to work on the script for a feature film - My Name is Emily. Now, five years later, the father of five children, he is completely physically incapacitated.
Narrated by Colin Farrell, and using extracts from Simon’s best selling memoir, we follow Simon as he embarks on the direction of his first feature film through the use of the last physical attribute he has control over - his eyes.
ECHOES - FREE ADMISSION
An echo is a sound or an idea that reverberates back into our ears. Just before we wake up, it is the voice in our minds, the many different aspects of a reality, the memory of our dreams. The Aegean Film Festival is presenting Echoes, a collection of films, stories, voices and thoughts, reflecting the most pressing issues of our times. Since the first edition, the festival has presented documentaries, panels and programs concerning human rights and social inequalities. 2017 Echoes will reflect upon environmental issues, marine biology and the preservation of the oceans.
The tribute “Echoes - Revelations of the Ocean” is implemented through the Operational Program "Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning" and is co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek national funds. Its co-funded projects deal mostly with the improvement of education and employment in Greece. Its main targets relate to the development and promotion of human resources skills, activities against unemployment, strengthen social cohesion and social inclusion of vulnerable social groups, improvement of the quality of education & lifelong learning, awareness on environmental education, linking education with the labor market. The tribute “Echoes - Revelations of the Ocean” is implemented as part of the anniversary events for the 60 years of the European Social Fund
The tribute will include five documentaries, three of which will be Greek premieres with free admission and easy access for people with disabilities.
Around the globe, there is a massive commercial rush for farmland – the new green gold. One of the most profitable new spots for farming is Ethiopia.
Hoping for export revenues, the Ethiopian government leases millions of hectares of allegedly unused land to foreign investors. But the dream of prosperity has a dark side - the most massive forced evictions in modern history, lost livelihoods of small farmers, harsh repression and a vicious spiral of violence. Contributing to this disaster are the EU, the World Bank and DFID, providing billions of dollars in development money.
Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas investigates these foreign land-investments and exposes their impact on people’s lives. In the pursuit of truth, we meet investors, development bureaucrats, persecuted journalists, struggling environmentalists and small farmers deprived of their land.
Environmental Documentary • 83’ • Germany • 2015
Director: Dennis Rätzel Language: German Subtitles: English/Greek
Undune is a documentary about Terra Preta, Feces & Mars.
Terra Preta: a way to create a fertile, black soil out of our feces. Yes, feces, turds, poop, number 2, whatever you want to call them, they're inevitable and – strangely enough – valuable.
In a mixture of fiction and documentary, the Berlin filmmakers GregorPieplow and Dennis Rätzeltackle this everyday taboo – and dare to ask: are we wasting our waste when we flush?
Undune tells the story of Gregor, a young physicist who wants to help colonize Mars.
Through interviews with Terra-Preta pioneers, Gregor begins to construct a method for making human excrement usable on the red planet. His interviewees believe in Terra Preta's potential to save our planet, but Gregor seems to be more interested in cloaking his surroundings in daydreams, including brief episodes that follow the discoveries of a space explorer who's been stranded on Earth. With the skewed perspective of a true outsider, the explorer comments on mankind's peculiarities including our fascination with wasting our waste.
Undune will make you ask yourself: Is there such a thing as useless waste?
This documentary depicts the 5 years odyssey of filmmaker OmirosEvangelinoswhile sailing on board a former fishing caique «the Odyssey» through the islands of the Cyclades , looking on the matter of overfishing and the struggle of artisanal fishing communities throughout the Aegean Sea. This voyage takes place in the enchanting but rather chaotic archipelago of the Aegean Sea, where a state of anarchy and disobedience towards any existing legislation has led to illegal “pirate” methods being the norm in these waters.
Along the way the news of a conservation project coming to life from Pierre Yves Cousteau takes us to Santorini island where we are witnessing his efforts in uniting the local fishermen together with scientists and local politicians for the making of a Marine Protected Area , one of the few bottom up conservation initiatives world wide…
Documentary • 50’ • Greece • 2015-16
Director: Triantafyllia Dimopoulou Language: English/Greek Subtitles: English
The sea from the antiquity has been a symbol of freedom for man and at the same time a broad field that no one ever sowed but everyone seeks to harvest. An independent group of biology students decide to take action and bring the matter to the public.
The Islands and the Whales
Documentary • 82’ • United Kingdom/Scotland • 2016
Director: Mike Day Language: Faroese/English/Danish Subtitles: Greek
In their remote home in the North Atlantic the Faroe Islanders have always eaten what nature could provide, proud to put local food on the table. The land yields little, so they have always relied on harvesting their seas. Hunting whales and seabirds kept them alive for generations, and gave them the way of life they love; a life they would pass on to their children. But today they face a grave threat to this tradition.
It is not the controversy surrounding whaling that threatens the Faroese way of life; the danger is coming from the whales themselves.
The Faroese are among the first to feel the affects of our ever more polluted oceans. They have discovered that their beloved whales are toxic, contaminated by the outside world. What once secured their survival now endangers their children and the Faroe Islanders must make a choice between health and tradition.
COSMOTE TV DAY
Dear Aunt Lena
Documentary • 80’ • Greece • 2016
Director: Maria Ilou Language: Greek Subtitles: English
A documentary on Antigone Metaxa, the much-loved Aunt Lena of children in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. A legendary figure and the most important educator in Greece who gave the country and Greek country and children the “Children’s Theatre”, the first permanent theatre organization for children in Athens, writing and staging performances for children from 1933 to 1942. From 1939 to 1966 she also presented 4500 radio shows for children broadcast by the National Broadcasting Corporation, the most popular of which were “Aunt Lena to Little Children” and “Good Morning Children”. She also wrote 53 books (including the well-known children’s encyclopaedia and the mythology encyclopaedia) and was the first to present a series of vinyl records with fairytales and songs as well as the first television programs for children. In 1965 she received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Athens.
Paul is born between 5-15 A.D in Tarsus, Cilicia. After completing his studies, he departs for Jerusalem and returns after the Resurrection of Christ. In Damascus he is visited by Ananias. He travels to Arabia, where he remains for two years. During that period he is devoted to prayer and has divine visions. On his return to Jerusalem for the first time after his conversion, Barnabas takes him to the Disciples. He begins his missionary journeys. He returns to Jerusalem, where he is trialled. In order to achieve a fair trial, he is using his right to be trialled by the emperor himself. His voyage to Rome begins, but his ship sinks off the coast of Melite. Paul and the crew are miraculously saved and three months later they continue their trip to Rome. Paul stays in Rome for two years. During that period he continues his missionary work and according to tradition, he travels to Spain where he gets arrested, in AD 67, during the persecutions of Nero. He is tried as a roman citizen and condemned to death by beheading.
Bar Engage is the story of ten french mixologists in central Greece, Thessaly and mostly in the city of Larissa. It’s a journey of discovery as they uncover local monuments, the local culture, spirits and wines of the area as well as local foods and products. They interact with the people and exchange ideas and stories. This is their travelogue.
IrineosGalanakis - A Peaceful Revolutionary
Documentary • 50’ • Greece • 2016
Directors: GiorgosKoukourakis, Theo Papadoulakis Language: Greek Subtitles: English
IrineosGalanakis: priest, bishop, metropolitan - a spiritual leader with groundbreaking social initiatives. His life was a century full of faith, struggle and giving. A Cretan ascetic whose peaceful revolution surpassed the narrow boundaries of his island. Believing deeply in the ideals of peace, democracy and freedom, he resisted political extremes like the Nazis and the Junta. The documentary unfolds known and unknown aspects of his life.