One of the main trends we noticed was the reflective documentary. The three films in particular along this theme, were: Loving Large directed by Theresa Bonello, Return to Narbutta Street directed by Ottie Lockey, and Gentle Giant directed by Fatan AlFaraj. Loving Large was a short doc that took us through the life of a woman who went through a drastic gastric band surgery, lost 150 lbs., and experienced issues managing her relationships as her appearance changed. The second in this group of films, was Return to Narbutta Street - a reflective, biographical piece which followed Eve Zaremba as she revisited her childhood home in Warsaw for the first time in 75 years. This film touched on what it might be like to have to abandon your home during war, and how bittersweet it would be to return to a changed city. Gentle Giant directed by Fatan AlFaraj was a melancholy, yet hopeful look at a family marking the 9th anniversary of their husband and father's death. This film acted as a video memorial to a much-loved family member, and was especially poignant because of the openness of the three family members, who didn't shy away from discussing the experience.
Overall, we were especially impressed with Satan's Dolls, a 20-minute epic about a con-woman who escapes the police by hiding in a convent. Director Carlo Schefter included many callbacks to other horror films, and injected humour throughout, making this the film with the best audience response. It was also the most stylistically unique and consistent.
In the coming weeks, our team will be visiting more film screenings and seeing what each school has to offer!
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