The critically and publicly acclaimed second edition of the DOCUMENTARIES FROM THE EDGE series proved last year that it holds a distinguished place at Fantasia. This section returns this summer with five debut films taking on curious and disturbing social phenomena. A debate over a video game, a modern out-law family, a site dedicated to fetishism, a passion for a lemon, and a mysterious notebook are all subjects that have fascinated the directors and touched them intimately. These captivating documentaries demand that the audience take a stand on what is presented to them on screen.
This year, the line-up will feature five docs that impart the unique and unequivocal points of view of filmmakers on some disturbing social phenomena that will leave no one indifferent and promises to spark a few fascinating and contradictory debates.
Although the premises vary drastically on the surface, from a portrait of a modern day family of outlaws to a study of an offensive fetishist website, the common thread is the deep commitment each director has to the subject. Each filmmaker got to know their subjects intimately, shared with them the events being filmed and in some cases even became the leitmotiv of their own films. By taking such strong impartial positions, and becoming so involved in the project, the directors amplify the subjective nature of what is shown onscreen. It’s up to the audience to draw their own conclusions.
This year’s DOCUMENTARIES FROM THE EDGE line-up are slivers of reality as seen through the eyes of their up-and-coming directors who are all presenting their very first works this year. A monster hit at Slamdance, GRAPHIC SEXUAL HORROR from Barbara Bell and Anna Lorentzon will take you behind the scenes of the now defunct website Insex.com, where once merged all matter of subversive fantasy, perversion and horror.
Hailed at South by Southwest, Michael Paul Stephenson’s touching and hilarious BEST WORST MOVIE explores the arcane world of cult cinema by capturing the incredible but true meeting of a dentist and a veritable army of fans that worship him for his performance many years before in a what could arguably be called the worst movie of all time: TROLL 2. In Klaas Bense’s DIARY OF A TIMES SQUARE THIEF, a medium length film shown together with TERRIBLY HAPPY, a suspense from Henrik Ruben Genz, the discovery of an anonymous diary summons visions of a seedy and dangerous New York underground.
After having created a troubling video game based on the Columbine school shootings, Danny Ledonne now brings us PLAYING COLUMBINE, an important statement on the necessity and limits of freedom of expression.
Finally, the provocative THE WILD AND WONDERFUL WHITES OF WEST VIRGINIA , directed by Julian Nitzberg, documents a year-in-the-life in the White family, a group of outcasts as notorious for having committed every crime imaginable as for having a celebrity in their midst, the clog dancer Jesco White.
Barbara Bell, Michael Paul Stephenson, George Hardy and a few cast members of PLAYING COLUMBINE will be attending the festival to present their respective films.