Monday, February 7, 2011

2/7/11 L E O N A R D R E T E L H E L M R I C H

“Position Among the Stars”
Leonard Retel Helmrich (Filmmaker will be present!)

One family, three generations, facing globalisation in Indonesia

"Position of the Stars”, the final part of a trilogy, follows the award- winning documentaries “Eye of the Day” and “Shape of the Moon”. Through the eyes of grandmother Rumidjah, we see the economical changing society of Indonesia and the influence of globalization reflected in the life ... of her juvenile granddaughter Tari.

IDFA awards for best Feature-length Film and Best Dutch Documentary

"After 32 years of dictatorship Indonesia became a democracy in 1998. This triggered a lot of changes in a short time span. For a country like Indonesia, which is the fourth largest county in the world, the changes made there have also a global effect. And since human drama is globally recognized by all human beings of all cultures, I focus in my films on the ordinary people of Indonesia. They are the people who have to deal with those changes like globalization, religious fundamentalism and the politics of the county. By seeing the human drama we will understand the effects of those changes on ordinary people."


Leonard Retel Helmrich was born in 1959 in the Netherlands. He finished the Netherlands Film and Television Academy in 1986 and in 1990 he made his first feature film The Phoenix Mystery. Since then Retel Helmrich’s films have screened and won acclaim at film festivals world wide, garnering major awards for both his drama and documentary work. His awards include the inaugural Grand World Documentary Award at Sundance 2005 and the prestigious Joris Ivens Award at IDFA Amsterdam 2004 for his Indonesian feature documentary “Shape Of The Moon” (Stand van de Maan). In 2010 he won for the second time the Grand VPRO/IDFA Award for feature documentary for “Position among the Stars” (Stand van de Sterren) together with the IDFA Award for the best Dutch documentary. It was for the first time in the IDFA history that someone has won an award for the second time.

He has served on the jury of many film festivals, including Shanghai, Warsaw, Seoul, Sibiu Romania and Amsterdam, and has had major retrospectives of his work run at Visions du Réel in Nyon (Switzerland) and Rencontres Internationales Du Documentaire in Montréal and at the ASTRA in Sibiu Romania. He has also lectured and screened his films at numerous educational institutions including the Flaherty Seminar program in New York, and at Harvard University where he was on a Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. During his fellowship he was editing his latest film “Position among the Stars” which is the third film of his trilogy on contemporary Indonesia and he is currently writing a book on “Single Shot Cinema”.

Leonard shoots as well as directs all his own films, and is best known for a philosophy and approach he calls ‘Single Shot Cinema’, which involves long takes with a hand held but smooth camera moving close to the subject, and above all in his films it is the framing and movement of the camera that captures and leads the emotions of the audience. He has run over 20 workshop programs in Single Shot Cinema technique for film festivals, television broadcasters, independent film makers film schools and universities worldwide – in Europe, Asia, North America and in Africa.