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Sundance Film Festival 2008: World Cinema Doc Comp Lineup

An impression amount of submissions (620 to be exact) in the World Docu Competition category – and looking back at last year's selection is a good sign for the things to come.

Alone in Four Walls” (Germany), directed and written by Alexandra Westmeier, which focuses on Russian teenage boys whose life confined to a rural home for delinquents might be preferable to freedom.

The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins” (New Zealand), directed and written by Pietra Brettkelly, in which a woman's obsession to adopt Sudanese twin orphans raises many questions about Western attitudes concerning Africa.

A Complete History of My Sexual Failures” (U.K.), directed by Chris Waitt and written by Waitt and Henry Trotter, in which the filmmaker consults the women in his life, past and present, to learn exactly how the opposite sex views him.

Derek” (U.K.), directed by Isaac Julien, an artistic illumination of the life and work of the late British filmmaker Derek Jarman. (See pic above).

Dinner With the President” (Pakistan), directed and written by Sabiha Sumar and Sachithanandam Sathananthan, an interview-driven report on the state of mind of Pakistanis.

Durakovo: The Village of Fools” (France), directed and written by Nino Kirtadze, a look at Russian nationalism through the activities of a right-wing leader training initiates at a castle near Moscow.

In Prison My Whole Life” (U.K.), directed by Marc Evans and written by Evans and William Francome, an investigation of American history and the justice system through the case of death row inmate Mumia Abu Jamal.

Man on Wire” (U.K.), directed by James Marsh, looks back at the 1974 stunt in which a Frenchman danced on a wire suspended between New York's Twin Towers.

Puujee” (Japan), directed and written by Kazuya Yamada, which concerns a Japanese photographer whose subject is a girl who tames wild horses on the Mongolian plains.

Recycle” (Jordan), directed and written by Al Massad, about a man's struggle to support his family in the tense hometown of Muslim leader Al-Zarqawi.

Stranded: I've Come From a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains” (France), directed and written by Gonzalo Arijon, in which survivors of the 1974 Andes plane crash tell their stories first-hand for the first time.

Triage: Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma” (Canada), directed by Patrick Reed, about former Doctors Without Borders head James Orbinski returning to Africa to assess the harsh conditions there and explore the meaning of humanitarian work.

Up the Yangtze” (Canada), directed and written by Yung Chang, a portrait of a changing China through the experiences of young people from the Three Gorges Dam area who take jobs on a cruise ship.

Women of Brukman” (Canada), directed and written by Isaac Isitan, an account of how poor workers who take over a Buenos Aires clothing factory adjust to becoming self-managers.

Yasukuni” (Japan), directed and written by Li Ying, which probes the controversy surrounding Japanese officials paying homage at the Yasukuni shrine, where swords used to kill Chinese were forged.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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