The Punto de Vista Focos focus on trees and the film of Su Friedrich and Joël Akafou

The Punto de Vista Focos focus on trees and the film of Su Friedrich and Joël Akafou

These will be the first retrospectives in Spain on Su Friedrich and the Ivorian director Joël Akafou, together with a series programmed by Miriam Martín that explores the place of trees in documentary film.

This year, the festival publication will be a book of conversations with Friedrich by Scott MacDonald.

Punto de Vista, the international documentary film festival of Navarra, completes the content of its forthcoming edition with the announcement of its retrospective programme, which from this year is to be known as Focos. This year's programme explores the work of the American film-maker Su Friedrich and the Ivorian Joël Akafou, and features the third in its series on the natural environment, by film-maker and programmer Miriam Martín, devoted this year to trees.

Close to the Trees focuses on a community that is still shown rarely and poorly, that of trees. Rarely are they more than a backdrop in films, and the focus seldom falls on them; this series will show some of these rare exceptions.As Miriam puts it, "The axe and the plough changed the face of the earth. They destroyed, we are destroying, the forests. This film programme is devoted to the best-known, increasingly lonely examples. We have taken away community from trees, which are also social beings, just as we have done from ourselves. They remember, they communicate and they look after one another, they encourage their young ones, care for their sick, pool their resources and remain entangled underground through their roots and the mycelium of fungus. If they were only interested in competition they would not survive. We are blind to trees, to their intelligence and even to their beauty." Some of the sessions are made up of several pieces, allowing resonances and dialogues between them and stimulating debate after the screenings, an essential part of this programme, which is an invitation to audiences of all kinds to join in. As in previous years, the five sessions in this focus are to take place at Golem Yamaguchi cinemas, turning them into a place where viewers can discuss the importance of trees in the life of the community.

Ties that Bind will be the title of the focus devoted to Su Friedrich (b. New Haven, Connecticut, 1954), the first retrospective in Spain devoted to this documentary maker who has been active in feminist and LGTBIQ+ groups since the late seventies, and is one of the leading figures in avant-garde American film. Friedrich will be visiting Pamplona to present a series featuring highly diverse artists, taking in experimental film, essays and documentaries in the first person. In the words of the programmer of the series, Gloria Vilches, "With a strong humanist awareness, great sensitivity and a sharp sense of humour, from the late seventies to the present, this film-maker has made more than twenty films based on her personal experiences, emotions, dreams, fears and desires to explore forms of self-awareness and awareness of the world on the basis of a series of processes taking in the intimate (love, sexuality, illness), the family (relations with her father, her mother's life) and the social (gentrification, lesbian activism). Each film provides a further piece in a kind of essay-type self-portrait that confirms the slogan "The personal is political." After featuring in Punto de Vista, this Foco will be travelling to Barcelona (Filmoteca de Catalunya), Madrid (Cineteca), A Coruña (Filmoteca de Galicia) and Valencia (IVAC La Filmoteca). Moreover, this year's festival publication will be a book of conversations with the film-maker published together with Caniche. The book includes an interview with Scott MacDonald that already appeared in the book A Critical Cinema 2 (1992), plus a long, hitherto unpublished interview about her recent work. MacDonald is an eminent American academic whose main fields of research are avant-garde film and documentaries.

As regards the focus on Joël Akafou (b. Bouaké, Ivory Coast, 1986), subtitled The clandestine adventures of the Haute Bourgeoisie Française and programmed by Jade de Cock, this will also be the first European retrospective on this young director whose work has in recent years earned the seal of approval of leading festivals including Cinèma du Réel, Entrevues Belfort and the Berlinale. During the festival, which will be attended by Akafou, his first feature-length film, Vivre riche (2017) will be screened. This shows the phenomenon of the swindling of white French women through dating websites, something that spread among Ivorian youth in the years following the crisis in the country in 2010-2011. There will also be a showing of Traverser (2020), which follows the central character of the first film on their migration to Europe.


Su Friedrich: Ties that Bind

  • Programme 1
    • Gently Down the Stream (1981, 13 min)
    • Hide and Seek (1996, 63 min)
  • Programme 2
    • Sink or Swim (1990, 48 min)
    • Rules of the Road (1993, 31 min)
  • Programme 3
    • The Ties That Bind (1985, 55 min)
    • I Cannot Tell You How I Feel (2016, 42 min)
  • Programme 4
    • The Odds of Recovery (2002, 65 min)
    • Today (2022, 57 min)


Joël Akafou: The clasdentine adventures of the Haute Bourgeoisie Française

  • Programme 1
    • Vivre riche (2017, 53 min)
  • Programme 2
    • Traverser (2020, 77 min)


Close to the Trees

  • Programme 1
    • El texu de Bermiego (Elena Duque, Spain, 2013, 2 min)
    • Ozols (Laila Pakalniņa, Latvia, 1997, 28 min)
    • Usuzumi no sakura (Sumiko Haneda, Japan, 1977, 42 min)
  • Programme 2
    • Jeux arborescents (Émile Malespine, France, 1931, 5 min)
    • Donguri to shiinomi (Hiroshi Shimizu, Japan, 1941, 29 min)
    • I dimenticati (Vittorio de Seta, Italy, 1959, 20 min)
    • Alberi (Michelangelo Frammartino, Switzerland-Germany-Italy, 2013, 26 min)
  • Programme 3
    • The Sky on Location (Babette Mangolte, United States, 1982, 78 min)
  • Programme 4
    • Sapovnela (Otar Iosseliani, USSR, 1959, 16 min)
    • Small Smoke at Blaze Creek (Michael Scott, Canada, 1971, 9 min)
    • Tahtaci Fatma (Süha Arin, Turkey, 1979, 28 min)
    • Mikä mies metsuri (Markku Lehmuskallio, Harri Rumpunen, Finland, 1977, 19 min)
    • Palm Down (Amy Halpern, United States, 2012, 6 min)
  • Programme 5
    • Kummatty (Govindan Aravindan, India, 1979, 90 min)

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Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
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With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes Audiovisuales Acción Cultural Española Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU

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