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The On Photography Online Film Festival will take place for the second time from 19 to 21 September 2014. The Festival is part of the FOTOWEEK in Holland, an initiative of FOAM and the Netherlands Photo Museum. The OP-Festival is organized and curated by Barbera Brakel of Photo Affairs and Erica McDonald of DEVELOP Photo.

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Meeting Sebastião Salgado

Director: Betse de Paula
Production: Aurora Cinematográfica
Brasil, 75 min. EN subs

“Meeting Sebastião Salgado” is the first Brazilian documentary about one of the most important and respected contemporary photographers, recognized by his unique style of photography. Directed by Betse de Paula, who also wrote the script, in collaboration with Juliano Salgado, the documentary, with cinematography by Jacques Cheuiche and score by Naná Vasconcelos, strives to understand and reveal the universe and the personality of photographer Sebastião Salgado, who left a small town in the interior of the state of Minas Gerais and won the world.Trained as an economist, Salgado began his career as a photographer in Paris, in 1973. He worked successively with Sygma, Gamma and Magnum Photos agencies until 1994, when, together with his wife, Lélia Wanick Salgado, he founded the “Amazon Images” agency, exclusively dedicated to his own work.

The underlying theme of this 75-minute film is an interview made on February 2012 in Paris, where the photographer lives. During the conversation, several issues were addressed, such as the beginning of his career as a photographer, the importance of photojournalism – he tells stories about important news breaking, such as the famous photo of the attempt on President Regan – the move to Paris, the use of black and white as a preferential support, the choice of themes, the transition to digital, and, finally, how it feels to be one of the main photographers in the world. In the artist’s studio, several stages of the artist’s creative process were recorded, from the involvement with the people portrayed to the immersion in the universe yet to be revealed.

In the documentary, Sebastião Salgado elaborates on his main projects, among which the most recent one, “Genesis” (2004), in which he portrays the fauna, the flora and the human communities that lives exclusively within their ancestral traditions and cultures.The Brazilian’s photos, published in newspapers and magazines worldwide and shown at exhibits in several countries, were also presented in book form. Upon commenting on the elaboration of these works, the photographer gives the feature film a further confessional tone, and, simultaneously, shows an impressive care with the upkeep of his collection.

The film further reveals the intimacy of “Tião” – as Salgado is affectionately called by those closed to him – at home, among his paintings and books. He recalls aspects of his personal and working routines, as well as family life, with his wife Lélia and his son Rodrigo.

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Berliner Mauer Dunkelheit (or how a press photographer got his mojo back)

Director: Tom Sands
Production: Substantial Films
UK, 30 min.

Frustrated by the emptiness of modern media, press photographer Haydn West tries to recapture the intrinsic art of his profession by going back to street photography. He spends five nights searching the remains of the Berlin Wall for suitable subjects, attempting to reinvent the mystique of this famous city by elevating the mundane on black and white 35mm film.

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Contre Jour

Directors: Val Todorov, Kaloyan Paterkov
Production: Demiurgia
Bulgaria, 27 min. EN subs, NC-17

This is the story of a young photographer, who is obsessed with his beautiful girlfriend, an old camera and Roland Barthes. He insists that his black and white pictures reveal deeper levels of reality. Let's call him "You". The poetry of streets protests, the antique shop, the red light in his photo lab, the nightclub Maze, the mirrors and the sex – this is the canvas of his confession and existential angst... However, why does "You" confess to the man at the bar? Let's call him "I". Is he really madly in love with his girlfriend as he professes? Are his black and white pictures a true representation of reality? Or is it all just an elaborate reconstruction of deceitful montage?

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Leaving Traces

Director: Ivan Weiss
Production: Roch Fish Stew
USA, 74 min.

In 2013, a team of artists converged on the Durham Bulls Athletic Park to document the legendary minor league team’s home season. The project, called Bull City Summer, culminated in a fine art book and two exhibits at the North Carolina Museum of Art and The Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, and now a feature-length documentary film, “Leaving Traces,” by Ivan Weiss.

"Leaving Traces" documents the artists of Bull City Summer as they confront the challenges of finding something new in a baseball park, a scene familiar to countless many. The artists include renowned photographers Alec Soth, Hiroshi Watanabe, Hank Willis Thomas, Kate Joyce, Frank Hunter, Leah Sobsey, and Alex Harris, and writer Adam Sobsey. Through interviews, video footage and still photography, “Leaving Traces” documents encounters by the artists in and around the stadium. Alex Harris, for example, initially stands on a parking decks outside the stadium photographing the post-game fireworks - illuminating a stadium hidden among new urban office buildings - only to shift focus to the transformational “liminal space” outside the stadiums gates will fans milling around, waiting to enter the game. Hiroshi Watanabe explores the intimate worlds out of sight - the team’s locker room, the training room, and the space behind the manually operated scoreboard. Kate Joyce spends countless hours photographing players practicing hitting and pitching over and over and over, where she discovers the artistic and spiritual connections between baseball and dance. Drawn instinctually to the remoteness of the outfield - both on the field and in the stands, Alec Soth engages the distance and alienation inherent to his process of engagement. Then, the ever-changing sky over the stadium becomes Frank Hunter's muse and mystery. Leah Sobsey uses a 19th century wet plate tintype process to document the players, the team’s staff, and the mascot, Wool E. Bull.

While techniques and output vary wildly, these diverse artists are united by baseball’s (and photography’s) unique experience with time. The slow, measured, repeated movements often hide the roiling drama beneath. By interweaving these stories about the process of craft, “Leaving Traces” evokes baseball’s atmosphere and captures the photographers’ struggles to make the unseen visible. “Leaving Traces” is a powerful meditation on time and craft, in art and in baseball.

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Director: Judy Suh
Production: Madison Ginsberg, Shivani Chanillo
USA, 11 min.

A man discovers a mysterious box of undeveloped film rolls at his late friend’s apartment. Curious, he begins to develop these film rolls one by one, discovering a side of his friend once unknown to him.

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544/544 (up/down)

Director: Thomas Mohr
Production: Thomas Mohr
The Netherlands, 10 min.

544/544 (Up /Down) is the second composition in a series reflecting on various aspects of Hanne Darbovens work and music. Darboven (29 April 1941- 9 March 2009) best known for her large scale installations consisting of handwritten tables of numbers was a composer as well. Darboven’s Requiem itself is based on the conversion of calendar dates into numbers and numbers into musical notes. Eight out of eleven CD Volumes of the Requiem of Hanne Darboven have been recorded in St. Petri, the oldest existing church in the city of Hamburg. 1528 photographs – taken one day after a concert to remind of Darbovens 70th birthday – explore the church building and its context. Out of these, 1088 document the staircase in the tower. For each step two photos were taken: one up, one down.

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Disfarmer: A Portrait of America

Director: Martin Lavut
Production: Public Pictures
Canada, 52 min.

In the small mountain town of Heber Springs, the eccentric Arkansas portrait photographer known as Mike Disfarmer captured the lives and emotions of the people of rural America during the two World Wars and the Great Depression. Critics have hailed Disfarmer's remarkable black and white portraits as 'a work of artistic genius' and 'a classical episode in the history of American photography.' This documentary discovers an American master, his influence on the modern Manhattan art world, and the legacy he left behind in his hometown of Heber Springs.

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Director: Riley Hooper
Production: Riley Hooper
USA, 10 min.

With gritty style and a witty sense of humor, New York photographer Flo Fox has been documenting the streets of New York City since the 1970s. Now in her 60s and battling Multiple Sclerosis, lung cancer, and visual impairment, Flo continues to pursue photography and maintain her adventurous, feisty spirit and dirty sense of humor.

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Everybody Street

Director: Cheryl Dunn
Production: Lucy Cooper
USA, 10 min. (excerpt)

"Everybody Street" illuminates the lives and work of New York's iconic street photographers and the incomparable city that has inspired them for decades. The documentary pays tribute to the spirit of street photography through a cinematic exploration of New York City, and captures the visceral rush, singular perseverance and at times immediate danger customary to these artists.

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Still Looking

Director: Kate Lain
Production: The Huntington Library
USA, 16 min.

Bruce Davidson and Paul Caponigro have been making photographs for over 60 years. Davidson is a member of the Magnum Agency, a prestigious corps of photojournalists, and lives in New York City. Caponigro works in a formalist black-and-white landscape and still life tradition, and makes his home in a small coastal town in Maine. “Still Looking” is a series of moments with these two master photographers in their homes. Echoing their distinct yet parallel lives and careers, the film is split in two: Davidson's stories and personal objects occupying the left side of the frame, Caponigro's residing on the right.

“Still Looking” was made in conjunction with the exhibition “Bruce Davidson/Paul Caponigro: Two American Photographers in Britain and Ireland,” co-organized by the Yale Center for British Art (where it is on view June 26–Sept. 14, 2014) and The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens (on view Nov. 8, 2014–March 9, 2015).

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