Readers of filmkommentaren.dk will know that I consider the international documentary festival in the capital of Portugal as one of the leading when it comes to quality in selection and side programme policy.
The programme for 2009, the festival takes place October 15-25, advertises a tribute to Jonas Mekas, a section with ”love stories” and a focus on Balkans. The latter being a great idea as this is indeed a region where innovative documentary storytelling reigns in these years.
Talking about innovation – this is what Jonas Mekas has contributed to in his long career. Here is the text from the site of the festival:
Jonas Mekas is known as the mentor of North American avant-garde cinema.
Born in 1922 in a small village of Lithuania, he studied in Vienna and settled himself in the United States after World War II. Two weeks after his arrival in New York, he bought a camera and started a very personal film journey. He had collaborations with Andy Warhol, Alan Ginsberg, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Salvador Dali among other personalities. Titles like Lost, Lost, Lost (1975); Reminiscences of a Voyage to Lithuania (1972) and As I was Moving Ahead, Occasionally I saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2001) were screened at the main film institutes and world Museums. Jonas Mekas it is also a writer and art exhibitions curator. He will give a masterclass at doclisboa and he will discuss some of his films with the audience.