OVID.tv is undoubtedly cool. During the relatively short time, just over two years, the streaming platform has been live, they have managed to gather a viewing catalogue that includes Patricio Guzman, Pablo Larrain, Chantal Akerman and Derek Jarman, among many more. And if Cannes was any indication, streaming platforms are gaining strength and collecting titles that are changing the viewing landscape of modern cinema. MUBI's acquisitions of several coveted films in the Marche was the story of the festival.
This August, OVID will present its first ever Doc Month, with 30 titles including the work of Mirra Bank, Sophie Fiennes, Su Friedrich, Vitaly Mansky, Mila Turajlić and Fronza Woods. Also featured in the line-up are three titles with stories from Algeria, Lebanon and Jerusalem not to be missed.
In Mansourah, You Separated Us is an OVID Exclusive as well as a streaming premiere. The 2019 film is directed by Dorothée-Myriam Kellou and takes the audience along on a journey as the director returns to Algeria with her father Malek to learn about how his village was destroyed during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962) and his family relocated by force. Malek serves as guide and translator for the viewers and his daughter, who does not speak Arabic and is shocked by the silence surrounding the deportations and the film sheds light on a largely silenced, yet essential part of Algerian-French colonial history.
Tadmor also an OVID Exclusive, as well as streaming premiere is a 2018 film directed by Monika Borgmann and Lokman Slim. Tadmor is named after the infamous Syrian prision and tells the story of former Lebanese detainees as they break their long-held silence about the horrific years they spent imprisoned in Tadmor, one of the Assad regime's most dreadful prisons in Syria.
The final title, pictured above, is Tinghir-Jerusalem, another OVID Exclusive and streaming premiere. The 2011 documentary, directed by Kamal Hachkar tells of the filmmaker's own search for the lost community of Berber Jews in Morocco, now relocated in Israel.
Further highlights include two new documentary features by Vitaly Mansky (Sunrise/Sunset, 24 hours in the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Putin's Witnesses, chronicling the origins of the Russian president's regime) as well Mila Turajlić's The Other Side of Everything, which won Best Documentary at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2018. The Independent has hailed this Serbian filmmaker as "one of the most galvanizing voices for political action in contemporary documentary cinema."
There are also two docs on climate change by David Abel (Entangled and Lobster War), and one short fiction film, Killing Time by Fronza Woods along with her short doc Fannie's Film. Stop, by Spencer Wolff, examines the class-action lawsuit that challenged the New York City Police Department's practice of stop & frisk; and Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow by Sophie Fiennes (yes, Ralph's sister!) bears witness to the incredible creative process of German artist Anselm Kiefer.
For the whole line-up check out the Metafilm blog and to watch the films in North America, check out the OVID.tv website.