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DOCSBARCELONA 2021

DocsBarcelona unfurls its 24th edition in hybrid format

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- From 18-30 May, audiences will be able to enjoy the gathering dedicated to the rich array of contemporary documentaries, both physically in Barcelona and on Filmin

DocsBarcelona unfurls its 24th edition in hybrid format
Gunda by Viktor Kossakovsky

The 24th edition of the DocsBarcelona Festival will showcase an extraordinary global selection of the crème de la crème of non-fiction films, with a line-up of 33 features hailing from 33 countries, 11 short films and four titles in the Docs&Teens strand. This year, it will take place in a hybrid format, as it will combine in-person screenings at the Catalonian capital’s CCCB and Aribau Cinema with a programme viewable nationwide on the Filmin platform.

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Over the course of 13 days, the gathering – headed up by Joan González and boasting a fascinating industry section, which we will zoom in on in the next few days – will offer a wide variety of styles and topics: environmental activism, the art world and the lives of Middle Eastern women will be just some of the thematic centrepieces of its programme. Furthermore, the festival will play host to the most recent works by great filmmakers of the likes of Viktor Kossakovsky (Gunda [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Julien Faraut (The Witches of the Orient [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) and Gianfranco Rosi (Notturno [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gianfranco Rosi
film profile
]
).

DocsBarcelona opens today, 18 May, with the Catalonian production Balandrau, infierno helado [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, directed by Guille Cascante, the chronicle of one of the worst tragedies to take place in the Pyrenees, when a storm led to the deaths of nine hikers. On 29 May, there will be a screening of the closing film, High Maintenance - The Life and Work of Dani Karavan [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, about the titular Israeli artist and sculptor, who is famous for transforming public spaces with his monumental installations. Filmmaker Barak Heymann paints a portrait of him brimming with humour, as he takes a look back at his career and accompanies him to Portbou, the home of one of his best-known works, the monument dedicated to philosopher Walter Benjamin.

Nineteen international features will be duking it out in the Panorama Official Section. The festival will include the similarly competitive Latitud Official Section, encompassing eight titles from Latin American film industries. Four features in Special Sessions, the DOC-U strand (focusing on the documentary-making talents of higher-education institutions, featuring 11 short films) and Docs&Teens (devoted to teenage audiences, in virtual format) will flesh out the rest of the 24th edition of the festival.

Thanks to the Catalonian productions in its line-up, the event continues to invest in home-grown talent. In addition to the opening film, the gathering will showcase movies such as Altsasu, helmed by Amets Arzallus and Marc Parramon (which found backers in the industry section of DocsBarcelona 2020), an intimate look at one of the most shocking court cases in recent history, which takes in a bar brawl, accusations of terrorism and various irregularities spanning the entire prosecution process. The director of Commander Arian [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Alba Sotorra, will present The Return: Life After ISIS, which, over two years, follows five Western women who, after joining Islamic State, are seeking to rebuild their lives in the places they originally came from, despite the stigmatisation they face. With a magnificent mastery of the tools of the true-crime genre, Ida Cuéllar attempts to shed light on the key events in the disappearance of Mexican man Jacobo Strinberg in the mid-1990s. The pioneer in telepathy and neurophysiology, and a scholar in shamanism, was considered the “Einstein of consciousness”, as detailed in the gripping thriller with esoteric flourishes The Secret of Doctor Grinberg [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. And, last but not least, in Llum i llibertat by Àngel Leiro, we follow the varied stories of some of the 500 male and female mountaineers who, on 30 September 2019, climbed the 131 peaks of Montserrat to commemorate the presidents that Catalonia has had throughout its history.

The full programme and range of activities organised by DocsBarcelona can be consulted here.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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