Aslaug Holm´s movie Brothers awarded around the globe.


Aslaug Holm´s movie Brothers awarded around the globe.
Report from Taiwan.
img_8410-2Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival this year chose Aslaug Holm’s film Brothers as the best international film. 

A week earlier the festival Hot Docs in Canada named “Brothers” for best international documentary. Last year the film was  honored in Haugesund, Norway, with Amanda for Best Director. In August Brothers was the opening film at EBS International Documentary Festival in Seoul, South Korea. In September it was shown at the Nordic Panorama Film Festival in Malmo, Sweden, and received “Honorable Mention” which in practice means 2nd place in competition with the 14 best Nordic documentary films in this year’s competition program. In October the film won Le Prix Trajectoires in France.

Aslaug Holm studied Film and Television at Volda District School in the years 1987 – 89. She married her classmate Tore Buvarp. Together with a 3rd classmate they started in 1992 Fenris Film, a name taken from Norse mythology. Fenris means wolf.

Aslaug Holm was photograph for the 2001 film Cool & Crazy (“Heftig og Begeistret” in Norwegian), a documentary about the Berlevaag Male Choir. In 2006 she was both director and photographer for the movie Oljeberget about Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and his journey through a prosperous Norway. Both films had much coverage in media.

Aslaug and Tore got two sons, Markus and Lukas, named as the Biblical two best documentary writers Mark and Luke. Filming of the brothers began in 2007 with Lukas (5) starting primary school together with his brother Markus (8). The recordings were made at home in Sagene in Oslo and on holidays at her childhood house in Smola on the North West coast of Norway. It shows great scenes of different seasons in Oslo and from summers at the coast. Nordic Panorama writes:  – Over the course of eight years Holm has documented their transition from childhood to youth, resulting in a unique film which presents the boys’ dreams and expectations with both tenderness and an adult eye, and follows the brothers all the way into the wildness of their teenage years.

The father gets the oldest son interested in football. Lukas is not as enthusiastic. But Markus lets Lukas make some goals and brag about his skills. Then Lukas starts enjoying football as well.

Over the past two years she had to edit 450 hours of recording down to 106 minutes. So in all, she spent 10 years on the film. The first show in Norway was in March last year and was shown in cinemas until October. Now you get the movie on DVD for Europe.

This year Aslaug Holm was present with her film Brothers at the Taiwan
International Documentary Film Festival, a festival that started in 1998. This year’s festival was the 10th in the series and was held in May with 70 foreign participants from 23 countries including Norway.

img_8616-3Pro China demonstration in Taipei at Film Festival posters shows Taiwan has freedom of speech.

I saw a few products Chinese film students have made in China where they interviewed people who had experienced the great famine from 1959 to 1960 and the Cultural Revolution of 1966. No one dared complain because it could be perceived as criticism of Mao Tse-tung who then reigned. People interviewed ment the victims did´t deserve any memorial, they were no heroes such as those who fought against Japan. True documentary films may be banned in China. People of Taiwan therefor feels it is a disgrace when Norwegian authorities call Taiwan a province of China. Outside next to posters of the film festival, as to show the political freedom in Taiwan and as also a protest against Taiwan’s lack of censorship of documentaries, someone was demonstrating for union with China.

Each film was shown twice. Peter Watkins from England made a film in 1974 about Edvard Munch. It was shown twice to full sets halls, all tickets sold out. The festival has unfortunately contract to show movies only twice even if a film could fill up the showroom several times. Only the winning film was screened a 3rd time.
The film Brothers created at first display great interest. “This wins,” said Morton John Chen when he came out of the cinema. He had bought tickets for ten different movies. The jury said Brothers was made with warmth, humor, good observation and reflection and assigned the film the Grand Prize as best foreign film.

img_8634-2San-San Liu (to the left in the photo) was at the first screening and decided to see the second. When the film won the main prize, she invited family and friends to see the additional performance with her.

While in Taiwan, Aslaug Holm had a sightseeing at the National Parliament, in Taiwan called Legislative Yuan. She found it interesting to visit the office of 
Kuomintang (KMT), the eldest political party in Asia, founded in 1911. Now in 2016 KMT lost its power over this parliament  for the first time since Taiwan was taken over by Republic of China in 1945. 

A cousin  from her neighbour house in Smola has his girlfriend from Tainan in South Taiwan. She told me the United Daily News had an article about Ms. Holm June 29 this year. Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival could have been more documented in the local media.

The Brothers has been shown on NRK1, the Norwegian Broadcasting. In Taiwan Brothers was shown at cinemas on July 1.  It might come on DVD with Chinese subtitles. The Taiwan European Film Festival (TEFF) offers every year since 2005 over 450 screenings in more than 30 locations all around Taiwan (English and Chinese subtitles, free of charge entrance). Infine Art and Culture Exchange (INFINE) is one of the orginisers and hopes to include a Norwegian film at their festival next year.

Mr. Geir Yeh Fotland – Taiwan National Correspondent NORWAY
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