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It’s March already! Time flies and we haven’t even seen spring yet! In fact, we had a bit of snow a few days ago in and around Paris. This month, we are sending our monthly Bulletin from Thessaloniki’s renowned Documentary festival, a boutique affair with surprising discoveries to make, just before the MipTV rush in Cannes.
Inside the DMZ (52’), our journey inside the no-man’s land that separates the two Koreas has been on the air on ZDF, and will be on the German satellite channel Deutsche Welle, crossing the border in four different languages.
Blank Lands is the name of an outstanding feature, a franco-italian-chinese Coproduction that we are now preparing the TV version of. The film looks at the story of Zhuang Yueben, a chinese photographer who dared to explore Tibet and Shangri-La in the 1930s, leaving an incredible photographic as well as ethnographic legacy. Denied during the Cultural Revolution, his extraordinary work is now being rediscovered. The Feature-length version (85’) premiered to a full house at the Palladium in Rome during the 2015 China Screen Festival.
Meanwhile, The Sacking of Phocaea (52’), a historical piece about events which happened in 1914 in the Middle East, in the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire’s Fall has been winning several awards; among them, the coveted Prix Méditerranee (PriMed). The film reveals for the first time how refugees (already!) from that region got saved, avoiding starvation and death. A film innovatively put together by two acclaimed Greek directors: Agnes Sklavos and Stelios Tatakis.
Our new social issue feature around the Return of the Wolf (52’ and 75’) is now complete and has already been aired by RSI, the Italian speaking service of pubcaster Swiss Television. The controversial predator returned to the Alps in the late 80’s and created a lot of unrest in the mountain areas. It seems that the green lobby protects them while the mountain herders put up with their attacks.
We are still working on another historical program focused on the conflict between Mao Tse-tung and Chiang Kai-chek in the late 40s and early 50s. Lost Army (52’) recounts the incredible story of two armies that Chiang, during his retreat to Taiwan, had ordered to hide in Thailand and Burma, whilst waiting to retake the mainland. As History tells us, the counter attack never happened, but what History doesn’t tell us is that solders, arms and descendants of these armies are still there today!
Hero or Rebel, our next current affairs film, this time dealing with unreported demonstrations in Macau, China is in the middle of editing, and it’s coming along nicely. The former Portuguese enclave was returned to China in 1999 and has become the Queen of Asian Casino cities with a turnover three times that of Las Vegas: But in May 2014, Macau’s youth were in the streets defying the established order: they wanted a future beyond money spinning casinos. Our film will look at what really happened…
See you soon, under the sun of the Côte d’Azur. In the meantime we’re sending you our love and energy from the Aegean.