How far can words take us in film? From lengthy scripts to funding applications, words are often crucial to convincing others to make a film. Yet the majority of the words that surround a film never appear in the final product, engulfed as they are in images, bodies and faces, movement and sound - all the more so when filmmakers actively resist the pull of plot in favour of an emotional trajectory. This session invites us to consider the delicate balancing act between the written and what's really seen in cinema. With excerpts from their latest film Memory Box (Berlinale Competition 2021), Lebanese director Joana Hadjithomas and the film's cinematographer Josée Deshaies are joined by script editor Franz Rodenkirchen to ask whether cinema is what we know or can tell, and what we can better describe as act of unmediated experience.
Vincenzo Bugno worked as a journalist and film critic; for several years he has been a consultant/curator for film festivals. Since 2002 Vincenzo Bugno has worked at the Berlinale in various capacities, as Selection Committee Member and Festival Delegate. He is the Head of the Berlinale World Cinema Fund, founded 2004 with the objective of supporting film production in regions lacking a structurally strong film industry. He is also Curator of the TFL-TorinoFIlmLab.
Josée Deshaies is a French-Canadian cinematographer. Her first feature, SOMETHING ORGANIC by Bertrand Bonello, was shown at the Berlin Film Festival in 1999. Over the years she has been working on many co-productions including Canada, France, Japan, Georgia, Ethiopia, Brazil. MEMORY BOX by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige was shot between Montréal and Beyrouth.
Co-directors for all their films, both Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige were born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1969. They did not study art or cinema at a formal level but were drawn to both in their youth as a way to respond to the aftermath of the Lebanese civil war. Their work in several media is thematically and formally connected to their research and their lives and explores topics including traces of the invisible, the absent, the construction of the imaginary and the writing of contemporary history. Their feature films A PERFECT DAY, JE VEUX VOIR and THE LEBANESE ROCKET SOCIETY have screened and won awards at international festivals. Their artworks have been exhibited worldwide. In 2017, they received the Marcel Duchamp Prize.
Franz Rodenkirchen is a Berlin-based, internationally active script consultant and tutor. In addition to offering individual script consultations, he works with Berlinale Talents Script Station, SEAFIC (Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab), DFFB Berlin and others. With Françoise von Roy, he runs Script Circle, a bi-monthly script development workshop in Berlin, as well as Six Days of Practice, a script consulting workshop for film professionals.