Renowned Jewish-Israeli human rights lawyer Lea Tsemel, who spent her 50-year career fighting for the rights of Palestinian political prisoners, is the star of Advocate. Tsemel’s career was oft deemed controversial and subjected the lawyer to criticism from friends and strangers alike. Spearheaded by directorial duo Rachel Leah Jones and Phillipe Bellaiche, this take on Tsamel’s perseverance has received many awards, including Best Documentary at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Tel Aviv’s Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival and the Kraków Film Festival.
UPDATE: ZagrebDox is being postponed and will not be held in March. The new festival dates are to be determined.
Croatia’s leading documentary film festival is back for its 16th edition with over 100 films including Oscar, Sundance and BAFTA winners. Curated categories from Eco Dox to Musical Globus include hard-hitters like docu-thriller Sea of Shadows, and a tender telling of Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen’s tragic love.
Along with such powerhouses, three special themes take the spotlight this year: stories of female fortitude, intimate looks into the lives of cinema’s doyens and new definitions of democracy. The stories of women who fought prejudice and won will be told, like that of the first woman to run a marathon wearing a hijab and an Auschwitz survivor and dancer who sold out an arena at age 90. The famous faces (read: Forman and Tarkovsky) behind the screen will make their way onto it. ZagrebDox will get unorthodox exploring new definitions and different faces of democracy, covering relations between Russia’s oligarchs and government, WikiLeaks whistleblowing and the rise of the Brazilian right. Read on for our overview of the films of passion that will dive into democracy, film masters and female savoir-faire this year.