Dane Dodds’ “!Aitsa” has its world premiere in the festival’s Science Program.
The film focuses on the spiritual lives of the inhabitants of South Africa’s Great Karoo desert. This is the place where some of the first humans likely lived. Here, in the Blombos cave, an unearthed piece of engraved ochre represents perhaps the earliest ever example of abstract human thinking.
At the other extreme of the Karoo, bordering the Kalahari in the North, the town of Carnarvon is home to one of the biggest science projects in the world, the so-called Square Kilometer Array. Still under construction, the SKA will consist of hundreds of satellite dishes the size of three-story buildings. Its stated objectives are to explore dark matter, dark energy and the beginning of the universe, and search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.
“Combining high end science with ancient spiritual knowledge, with the passionate awareness of the colonial burden of South African society, Dodds takes us on a journey beyond space and time in search of the mysteries of human existence,” Taskovski Films’ chief Irena Taskovski said. “It is a brave and cheerful piece with the powerful voice of the new generation of artists.”
She added: “We always aim to search for new directors and a fresh approach to filmmaking and Dane Dodds’ debut ‘!Aitsa’ is exactly that.”
The producers are Dodds, Clara Sølvsteen and Eno Morten Stabell. The production company is Med Cine.
Jon Haukeland’s docu-drama “Fighters” has its international premiere in CPH:DOX’s Nordic:Dox Competition.
The film follows youth worker Berat, tasked with rescuing the restless youngster Mamo, who’s headed for trouble. The two develop a close relationship that helps Mamo to go in a new direction. When Berat takes Mamo’s side in a police case, the police begin digging into Berat’s background as a youngster in a small town in the mountain area of Hallingdal. There they find information that threatens his position as a youth worker.
Haukeland said: “ ‘Fighters’ is a hybrid film where Berat, a real life social worker, and Mamo, a restless youngster, play themselves and re-enact important scenes from their lives. As a director, when I interviewed Berat and Mamo, I realized early on that they possessed a unique sensibility and self-awareness. I never doubted that the story would contain enough contradictions and internal conflicts to form a real-life drama.”
The film is produced by DOX:AWARD 2022 winner Ingvil Giske whose “The Eclipse” was also represented by Taskovski Films.