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Bart Weiss Checks in from Poland


by Stephen Becker 18 May 2009

Guest blogger Bart Weiss is director of VideoFest. He sends this report from his trip to Poland to attend the international public television conference INPUT. WARSAW — Arrived in Warsaw on a beautiful day to a scene I wasn’t expecting: blue skies and cool architecture. Last night I went to see Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired at the […]

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Guest blogger Bart Weiss is director of VideoFest. He sends this report from his trip to Poland to attend the international public television conference INPUT.

WARSAW — Arrived in Warsaw on a beautiful day to a scene I wasn’t expecting: blue skies and cool architecture. Last night I went to see Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired at the Planete Doc Review film fest here, which is a very cool and very popular festival. I have a video interview with the fest’s director, which I will post when I figure out how to do that (and when I can edit it). He pulled off a very cool trick over the weekend  – in addition to showing the work in the main theater, he streamed films to 22 cinemas throughout Poland at the same time. Very video fest like. So like I said, I saw Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, about the famous trip of Poland’s favorite film director (well one of the favs). Seeing it here was a bit different from home. For example, when someone in the doc says, “Well, in his culture it may be OK to sleep with a 13-year-old, but not in this one,” the crowd let out an enormous laugh.

The INPUT conference (what I really am here for ) started today, and I saw many great programs from Canada, South Africa, the U.K., America , Norway  and Columbia. My favorite of the day is Landeplage – Can’t Get You Out of My Head, a series that explores why a pop song has staying power.  The episode we saw looks at the No. 1 song in the history of Norway, “Take on Me” by A-Ha. Take my word for it: the show is funny and, well, rocks. There was also a South African animated news parody show called Znews that only got as far as a pilot because it had too much social commentary for the politicians to handle. The pilot got on line and got hot, but still no takes to fund the series.

Then there was a BBC reality show about mental illness. A team put together a group that included five people with real mental disorders. A team of doctors is then challenged to figure out which ones are the mental patients. The really sad part – the docs only picked out two of the five.

Bye from Warsaw,

Bart

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