The creative network Doc Alliance aims to support the diversity and quality of documentaries in Europe, while also offering online streaming possiblities to their subscribers.

Bianca-Olivia Nita
Bianca-Olivia Nita
Bianca is a freelance journalist and documentary critic. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: October 20, 2018

1.You collaborate with different autumn festivals. What is this collaboration about? What is DAFilms – is it a cooperative or a support mechanism for the film community?

«The online platform DAFilms (Doc Alliance Films) is powered by the so called Doc Alliance, a creative network of 7 key European film festivals: CPH:DOX, Doclisboa, Millennium Docs Against Gravity, DOK Leipzig, FIDMarseille, Ji.hlava IDFF and Visions du Réel.»

«Our main aim is to bridge the gap between curation and distribution. Together with the festivals, we aim to support the diversity of documentary film and its promotion. In practice we present regular curated programs focused on films from the Doc Alliance festival selections, which we promote to our audiences across the globe. Our Alliance festivals, on the other hand, offer the DAFilms subscription to their local audiences, giving them the possibility to watch festival films anytime and anywhere.»

2.How do you select films for the catalogue?

«The online catalogue of DAFilms presents more than 1800 documentary and experimental films handpicked throughout the 13 years of our existence. We created film collections based on topics or genres, curated programs focusing on retrospectives of leading world filmmakers or new premiere formats such as day-and-date releases.»

«All the films DAFilms selects are available worldwide for streaming and download.»

«The acquisition of films is therefore driven by the curatorial plan of weekly events promoted on our homepage. Besides that, any film that has been premiered at a Doc Alliance festival is automatically selected to our platform. In other words, it does not have to go through the selection process of our platform. We also travel to other film festivals searching for strong films. I think the most powerful asset of our platform is the diversity of our catalogue. All these selected films are available worldwide for streaming and download.»

3.What does the term «movies that matter» mean to you?

«To be honest, I never really use this term. A film stays memorable once directed by an author with a strong vision, combining personal and political, finding its own poetics and authenticity in film. Sometimes a film is a ‘piece of art’, which might never be dicovered, still it matters. Sometimes it may seem as the meaning of a film grows with time – after decades it creates an irreplaceable memory of our epoch.»

«It should be added, because our memory doesn’t work as a film reel but rather as fragments of it, it is always an image that stays in my mind.»

4.How did the documentary landscape change in the last decade? 

«I wish I could say that I am too young to respond to this! It is funny because we are currently showing a curated program on DAFilms called ‘The Vibrant Landscape of Documentary Film’. Watching this selection will probably answer this question. From Harun Farocki, Mike Hoolboom across Peter Mettler, Deborah Stratman all the way to Gianfranco Rosi, Erik Gandini or Helena Trestikova, what is representative for the last decade is this diversity of approaches that keeps fascinating me and that is something that especially film festivals as an environment help nurture.»

Tabakov is the Head of acquisitions at the international VOD platform Doc Alliance Films and documentary programmer for the largest art-house cinema in Prague, Kino Svetozor.

See also the prize-winner fra Doc Alliance, reviewed here.

Modern Times Review