Angry Buddha (dir. Stefan Ludwig, Hungary)
János Orsós is of Romani descent, a teacher, and a Buddhist. Inspired by the history of the Dalits or “untouchables” in India, birthplace of both Romani culture and Buddhism, he founded a school in a small Hungarian village with the goal of enabling teenagers from the poorest Romani ghettos to attend universities. The Angry Buddha documents János’ resolute battle against the difficulties he faces over three years, while simultaneously painting affectionate yet honest portraits of the Romani youth who use humour and their own vitality to survive in a world of poverty and prejudice.
Golden Genes (dir. Ursula Hansbauer/Wolfgang Konrad/Clemens Stachel, Austria)
The frozen, bodiless genes of millions of plants, animals and humans are stored in biobanks around the world. They rekindle dreams of old: re–creating extinct species, ending world hunger, human life without illness or disease. But biobanks do more than that. They pose a fundamental question to our contemporary beliefs: What does it mean to be part of nature in the age of the genome?
Saving the DNA of all life on Earth will be one of the greatest international research projects of coming decades. Golden Genes — part nature film, part political documentary — demonstrates the extent to which biodiversity research is not only challenging human society but also our very conception of humankind.
Paradise Threatened (dir. Markus Heltschl, Austria)
This documentary gives an insight into the work of Heinrich Kühn, a pioneer and one of the most important representatives of art photography. With his artistic and technical achievements Kühn (1866-1944) has developed unimagined possibilities in pictorial design and colour design. His work still has a strong influence to present artists and photographers. Famous artists and curators as Jeff Wall, Peter Weibel, Monika Faber, Peter Weiermair, Uwe Schögl, Ulrich Pohlmann, Florian Ebner and the grandchildren of Heinrich Kühn speak about Kühns work and influence.
Varvilla (dir. Valerio Gnesini, Italy)
At the gates of the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, in the Val d’Enza, more precisely in Succiso of Ramiseto in the province of Reggio Emilia, the inhabitants of a small village have managed to save the country from abandonment by creating a cooperative community.
The Valley of the Knights, the name of the cooperative, now runs a bar, a farm, a grocery store and is active in the tourism, farming of sheep, the maintenance of the territory and in the management of the national park’s visitor center . A unique example of co-operative community in Italy, which is useful to prevent the depopulation of the smaller countries. Economics professor Naori Tsuda Osaka University who is conducting a study of cooperative communities spread throughout the world, says that a similar pattern exists only in Australia.