Film of the Month Winners: January

Posted February 5th, 2016 by Matt Turner

luke moody

BRITDOC‘s Luke Moody has returned with his esteemed opinions on the January Film of the Month finalists.

If you find Luke’s remarks insightful, you might want to check out the site he curates for BRITDOC, Something Real, in which he highlights documentary double bills and where to watch them. Luke will be also presenting a series of documentaries at the ICA soon, dubbed Frames of Representation, so keep an eye out for that too.

Luke noted his pleasure in viewing the top voted entries from a month that was undeniably strong, noting that his decision for a winner ultimately came down to a feeling that “any attention that can be given to humanising refugees in Calais and encouraging artists and filmmakers to think about this crisis” is worthwhile at this particular time.

So first place was Daniel Ali‘s The Journey of Stateless Man, a ruminative, sensitive portrait of a Kuwaiti immigrant’s journey to the UK, shot on site at the Calais refugee camp.

For Luke, “a major challenge of contemporary journalism is finding a narrative perspective that includes the audience and permits their empathy with the subject of the news. The clearly structured dialogue of this documentary portrait and composed imagery offer deeper emotional access to a story we have often encountered at an alienating level of simple facts and figures. If we’re to care more and act upon the societal problems that surround us, then urgent stories like this one, artfully told, will be a vital bridge to change.”

Next for Luke, was Billy Lumby‘s impressive Samuel-613, which was one of this year’s BAFTA nominees (!).

“The intimacy and singular character focus of this portrait give a powerful sense of non-verbal, psychological journey that is so difficult to capture in cinema and particularly in such a short amount of time. That immediate sense of identifying with the character is emboldened by well observed introductory scenes and deceptively efficient editing. An all round accomplished tale of youthful frustration and perhaps regretful escape of familial confines.”

His third choice was the enigmatic, minimalist Kerry from Gemma Addy and Dave Slade.

“Somewhat paradoxically one of film’s most complex skills is simplicity in storytelling. This film’s firm achievement is its minimalism and controlled sense of sharing images to create an emotionally engaging character journey without a single word needing to be uttered.”


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