Brussels welcomes Millenium Festival
On its placard, there are 80 best documentaries from across the planet
Maria Koleva, Brussels
17 March, 2017
You Have No Idea How Much I Love You.
Photo: © Millenium Documentary Film Festival
Singing with Angry Bird
Film lovers in Brussels and beyond are eagerly awaiting the ninth edition of the Millenium International Documentary Film Festival, a truly exciting rendez-vous with scores of people from different places around the globe. These meetings make us think about where we are and where are we heading, to show us the many real faces of suffering, vulnerability, rage, but also of goodness and joy, of valuable things in life and possibly giving us a hint solution to our problems through the narrative of a man in the tundra, for example. The festival was kicked off 9 years ago for highlighting the UN Millennium Development Goals and attracted over the years a large audience with its honest and talented stories.
The festival’s current edition begins on 24 March and in the following 10 days there will be presented 80 films, a selection of the world’s best documentaries. The movies can be seen at five emblematic for the Brussels cultural life places - BOZAR, Cinema Galeries, Aventure, Actor’s Studio and of course CIVA, but the programme also has a master class with Pawel Lozinski on the experiment in documentary and the professional meetings 5 o’clock. This year there are 12 awards, including the Grand Prize of festival - Objectif D’Or.
For the last 9 years, the Millenium Festival has showcased the best in international documentary cinema, focusing on the major issues of our era, Lubomir Gueorguiev, President of the festival stressed. These are films that make us see the world differently, refusing to shy away from its problems but, most of all, showing us its beauty and complexity, he added noting that after all, both the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals concern us all, impacting our lives and our future. On her part, Zlatina Rousseva, Millenium Documentary Film Festival artistic director commented that the festival is composed of three international competitions and one Belgian competition, “allowing the spectator to truly discover contemporary documentary cinema.” She underlined that this is an engaged cinema, which deserves a new place among a society in transition. Behind each film, there is an independent film director, sometimes taking years to realise his or her project. Their work offers us an inestimable chance to better understand the other, to cultivate empathy and to build ties of solidarity, she pointed out.
Opening the festival with Singing with Angry Bird, by Hyewon Jee from South Korea, on the menu this year are 24 Snow by Mikhail Barynin of Russia, Brother Jakob by Eli Roland Sachs of Germany, Arreo by Tato Moreno of Argentina. There are also two vibrant Bulgarian films, The Good Postman (co-production with Finland) by Tonislav Hristov and Village People by Tzvetan Dragnev.
The Colour of the Chameleon by Andres Lubbert of Belgium, It’s Not Yet Dark by Frankie Fenton of Ireland, The Bad Kids by Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe of the United States, You Have No Idea How Much I Love You by Pawel Lozinski from Poland, and Forever Pure by Israely film director Maya Zinshtein, are as well among the movies on the placard.
The festival’s conference programme starts on 24 March at the BOZAR with debate dedicated to the intriguing topic “The difficult job of being a global citizen at the time of global connectivity and global disconnection”. Moderator of the event will be Antonio Vigilante, former Director of the United Nations Office and the UNDP representation Office in Brussels, Senior Advisor of the Millenium Festival, the man who enthusiastically supported this striking cultural phenomenon from its first steps. The conference will reflect on extremely pressing issues such as what is needed to transform the relationship between citizens and institutions; how can be generated public support and pressure concerning the Sustainable Development Goals and what could be the role of the arts in tackling disconnection.
Another conference, also in BOZAR, will focus on a relatively new threat “Are we going to be replaced by robots?” Moreover, the fourth industrial revolution prepares us surprises and as Brussels-based Bruegel estimated - within 20 years, 54% of European jobs will be affected by robotisation.