ZagrebDox, the international documentary film festival, has presented its programme for this year’s event. The festival features twenty films competing for the official award, The Big Stamp, in the international documentary film category, and an equal number of titles in regional competition. The festival aims to offer audiences a wide selection of films that address the totality of the world we live in, with new sections such as Green Dox dedicated to environmental issues, and new awards for short documentaries.
The International Competition features films dealing with global socio-political issues, such as the war in Ukraine, portrayed through the eyes of volunteers in Eastern Front by Vitaly Mansky and Yevhen Titarenko. The Hamlet Syndrome by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski depicts a generation dealing with the trauma of war in Ukraine through the lens of five young people who use the stage to express their sadness and trauma. Ice under His Feet by Kirill Nenashev shows Masha and Ilya, anti-war protest organizers in Russia, who try to change the opinions of their relatives, friends, and ordinary passers-by.
The festival also explores the theme of what it means to be a woman through films like Dream’s Gate by Iranian director Negin Ahmadi and Hidden Letters by Violet Du Feng. Additionally, all the Beauty and the Bloodshed by Laura Poitras depicts the story of artist and activist Nan Goldin, while Apolonia, Apolonia by Danish director Lea Glob portrays a young woman trying to find her place in the art world. Alis by Clara Weiskopf and Nicolás van Hemelryck takes us to a Colombian shelter for teenage girls, where young women are fighting to break the cycle of violence and embrace a brighter future.
The festival also features films from South America, such as Dry Ground Burning by Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós, which takes us to the Brazilian favelas. Calling Cabral by Welket Bungué shows the historical and intergenerational complexity that inhabits Guinea-Bissau, and A Robust Heart by Martín Benchimol takes us to an Argentinean slaughterhouse, where the butchers engage in short conversations about their motivations and deepest fears.
ZagrebDox 2023 promises to be an eventful and insightful festival, offering a range of thought-provoking films that delve into various issues affecting our world today.