film programme

2019 | Australia | 102 min | language: English
Documentary NRW Premiere
When Michael Hutchence took his own life in 1997, the media quickly degraded the formerly highly-praised singer-songwriter to a sensational drug-abuse death. Mystify paints the tragic picture of a sensitive man, torn between the chaos of a custody battle and a brain injury that changed him forever.
Directed by: Richard Lowenstein 

2019 | Japan | 120 min | language: Japanese | subtitles: English
Feature NRW Premiere
After the death of their parents, four orphans meet in the front yard of a crematory. Unified by their startling lack of grief, the four youths begin a wild hunt for emotions through four stages that resemble more the levels of a video game than stages of grief - including, amongst others, the founding of a band and the rise to stardom.

Directed by: Makoto Nagahisa

2019 | Canada | 80 min | language: English | subtitles: German
Documentary German Premiere
A small, inconspicuous shop in Greenwich, New York. Better and lesser known musicians come and go, searching for the ideal instrument with shop owner and guitar maker Rick Kelly. Many stay to play. The confinement of the little shop creates spaces for intimate moments emphasizing the relationship between music and instrument.
Directed by: Ron Mann 

2019 | USA | 85 min | language: English
Documentary European Premiere
The record shop ‚Other Music’ had a longstanding reputation of being a melting pot of the New Yorker culture scene. The shop was the place where music lovers browsed for new sounds and bands were formed, such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Interpol. With the boom of the streaming industry, the shop had to close in 2016. Other Music is a cinematic homage to an iconic shop, immortalized as a place that united people for more than two decades.
Directed by: Puloma Basu, Rob Hatch-Miller 

2019 | Canada | 70 min | language: English | subtitles: English
Competition German Premiere
When the Baha Men released ‚Who Let the Dogs out’ in 2000, it soon became one of the most distinctive songs of the decade. The artist Ben Sisto ponders about the true origins of the track, and the answer proves to be more complicated than one might think. A surprising and comical mosaic of legal disputes, artistic emancipation and the question, where intellectual property truly begins.

Directed by: Brent Hodge

2019 | USA | 87 min | language: English
Competition German Premiere
An enlightening look into the development and concepts behind the creation of hip-hop songs: Word is Bond is a poetic discourse about the lyrical process of songwriting, rooted deeply in the streets of the Bronx. Artists like Nas, Tech9, J Cole, Rapsody and Anderson .Paak describe their creative approach, highlighting the culture of New York’s hip-hop scene as part of a progressive language development within the art of poetry.

Directed by: Sacha Jenkins

2018 | Germany | 90 min | language: German
Feature with live commentary by composer Franziska Henke
Germany, two years after the zombie apocalypse: the cities of Weimar and Jena are the last safe havens for humanity. Between the two cities: zombies, death, and 22-year-old Vivi and 26-year-old Eva. The two women must fight their way to safety, all while struggling with their own demons. 
Directed by: Carolina Hellsgård

Carolina Hellsgård, Franziska Henke

2019 | 90 min | language: English
Music Videos
Music clips are commonly associated primarily with the late capitalist music industries of the 1980s and later. However, music-based short films have a long tradition in many Eastern European countries, developed independently of Western trends and were produced in subversive or avantgarde contexts as well as part of the mainstream media ecology. They fulfilled similar purposes to Western clips – providing media exposure for acts who couldn't always appear live in concert or the TV studio – and were commissioned by comparable entities - record labels, state-owned in this case.
This program will introduce a small selection of music-based shorts produced until 1989. The clips will illustrate particular aesthetic trends and provide insight into the media ecosystems and reception structures in various Eastern European countries.

Including clips by Borghesia, Mama Bubo, Laibach, Marta Kubišová, Moskwa, Marek Bilinski, AE Bizottsag and others.

Talk by Natalie Gravenor

Natalie Gravenor

2019 | 90 min | language: English
Music Videos
Post-1989, the music markets in Eastern European countries strived to catch up with Western counterparts while retaining their individual specific identities. In some countries local music enjoys robust market shares (indie and pop-rock in the Czech Republic, hip hop in Poland) but only recently do acts from the East figure more prominently in concert halls and clubs abroad, and not just winners of the Eurovision Song Contest which is somewhat derisively considered to be East-dominated. Music videos from Eastern European countries are even less represented in relevant international festivals and the „clip canon“ than their corresponding sounds are on the airwaves, playlists and stages. Worldwide dissemination through video platforms like YouTube is changing the game, but do only clips that draw dramatic pictures of society in their countries of origin have a chance to break the language barrier and break out internationally? Or does the music video harness a potential for political commentary and community building which can overcome restrictive media barriers?

Including clips by IC3PEAK, Shortparis, Husky, Lyapis Trubetskoy, Borghesia, Bad Copy, WNTS and others

Talk by Natalie Gravenor

Natalie Gravenor

2019 | USA | 85 min | language: English
Feature NRW Premiere
Misfit Peter Lucian is a ‚house tuner’: he analyzes the acoustic characteristics of houses and flats to identify interfering sources and cure the various moods and malaises of his clients. Then he meets Ellen Chasen, who suffers from a persistent exhaustion, and Lucian reaches the limits of his own scientific field.
Directed by: Michael Tyburski 

2018 | Philippines | 96 min | language: Filipino | subtitles: English
Feature NRW Premiere
Manila: young Hendrix hopes to become a rapper in order to escape his sister and her husband’s abusive and drug-centered life. When he takes part in a rap battle and loses, he decides to break into a book store with his friends. There, he meets Doc, the owner of the bookstore, who soon introduces Hendrix to the world of poetry.
Directed by: Treb Monteras II 

2018 | Thailand | 107 min | language: Thai | subtitles: English
Competition German Premiere
In the summer of 2016, 1357 young girls applied for a spot in the newly founded idol band BNK48. As the girls compete against each other in a strict and laborious selection process, talent and individualism is secondary in a world thriving for profitability and media prominence. A captivating portrait about the exploitation of the hopes and dreams of the current youth.
Directed by: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit 

2018 | USA | 89 min | Sprache: Englisch
Dokumentarfilm, Wettbewerb Deutsche Premiere
Kreativität, Individualismus, künstlerische Entwicklung: Eigenschaften, die in einer von Rentabilitatswahn geprägten Musikbranche nicht zu gebrauchen sind. 
Das muss auch Shootingstar Kate Nash erfahren: erst als aufgehender Popstern gefeiert, dann nach dem Wandel zum Punk von ihrer Plattenfirma fallengelassen. Ein bewegendes Porträt über den Willen, sich selbst treu zu bleiben.

Regie: Amy Goldstein

2019 | Argentina | 83 min | language: Spanish | subtitles: English
Documentary German Premiere
Aggressive and sensual, loud and unconventional - and yet ignored. A Girl’s Band is a musical manifesto following female bands and their fight against inequality in the male-dominated music scene of Buenos Aires.

Directed by: Marilina Gimenez

2019 | 90 min
Short Films
SEE THE SOUND presents a selection of contemporary music short films and music videos, such as the Edinburgh-based short film Instruments in the Architecture: Building the Pianodrome that follows the construction of an amphitheater made from pianos, or singer, producer and art director Maya Lavelle’s video House on a Rocky Road.
Guests include Maya Lavelle.

Maya Lavelle

2019 | 90 min | language: English
Music Videos
If you live in the World of 2019 and somehow come in contact with music, fashion or art scene, you could not help but hear the name of the most controversial Estonian rapper and conceptual artist TOMM¥ €A$H.
His “dazed and confused” persona, cheeky and grotesque lyrics and music videos have become the quintessence of today’s ever-changing world with all its beauty and vices. TOMM¥ €A$H erases the borders between music with the help of manager and director Anna-Lisa Himma.

Interview with director Anna-Lisa Himma.

Alina Gordienco, Anna-Lisa Himma

2019 | USA | 82 min | language: English
Feature German Premiere
Joy (Charlene deGuzman) is addicted to sex. Despite having a boyfriend, she frequently searches for intimacy in an endless string of meaningless flings. When her boyfriend breaks up with her, Joy finally decides to get help by joining a self-help group. Soon she meets the socially inept Jim (John Hawkes), and the unlikely pair begins to make music to escape their difficult day-to-day lives.
Directed by: Suzi Yoonessi 

2018 | United Kingdom | 85 min | language: English
Documentary German Premiere
Following the migration of guest workers in the decades between 1950 and 1970, Caribbean sounds reach British dancefloors for the very first time and spark off a cultural revolution. At the center of the newly discovered reggae and dub stands the iconic label Trojan Records, renowned for artists such as Lee ‚Scratch’ Perry or Jimmy Cliff.
Directed by: Nicolas Jack Davies

2018 | Norway | 70 min | language: English
Competition, Documentary German Premiere
At the age of 16, young Aurora Aksnes leaves her idyllic home in Norway to tour around the world. Always in the foreground: her music, the music that is meant to inspire and delight her fans. Once Aurora accompanies the rise of the shooting star and not only gives insights in the artistic process of the young artist, but also paints the picture of a difficult day-to-day life in an industry resembling more a voracious and exhausting machinery than a creative outlet.

Directed by: Stian Servoss, Benjamin Langeland

2019 | Russia | 72 min
Documentary German Premiere
Anatoly Krupnov was one of the stars of the post-soviet era. With his band, The Black Obilisk, Krupnov highly influenced the rock music of the 1990’s decade. Anatoly Krupnov: He was is an intimate portrait about the rock legend, presenting his persona and his art in a reflection of his generation.
Directed by: Daria Ivankova

Daria Ivankova, Olga Filonova

2019 | Netherlands | 91 min | language: English
Documentary German Premiere
In a modern world characterized by the demise of old music traditions, two artists strive to bring the Chinese opera ‚Si Fan’ to the stage. The Dutch conductor Ed Spanjaard attempts to combine western and Chinese elements with composer Wenjing Guo. Inner Landscape provides a fascinating look into Chinese and western music and their different concepts.
The filmmakers are present.
Directed by: Frank Scheffer 

2019 | 90 min
SEE THE SOUND, the film programme of SoundTrack_Cologne shows the broad array of connecting image and sound and brings extra-ordinary music films, which are otherwise seldom found in cinema to the big screen.

The Best Music Documentary will be honored on the evening of August 31st, 2019 at the festive Award Ceremony. The prize is endowed with 2.500 Euros.

The winner film will be screened on September, 1st, 18:30h in the Filmforum NRW. 

The nominees are: BNK:48: Girls Don’t Cry by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl by Amy Goldstein, Once Aurora by Stian Servoss and Benjamin Langeland, Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records by Nicolas Jack Davies, Saz – The Key of Trust by Stephan Talneau, Who Let The Dogs Out by Brent Hodge, Word is Bond by Sasha Jenkins and The Sound Is Innocent by Johana Ožvold.

2019 | Ireland | 42 min | language: English
Documentary European Premiere
Irish percussionist Ruairi Glasheen departs on a voyage to Iran to learn more about the traditional Persian Tonbak drums. On his journey, he not only learns how to play the instrument, but also meets many special musicians. 

Supporting film for "Sufi, Saint and Swinger". For tickets please > click here.
Directed by: Ruairi Glasheen 

2019 | Colombia, United Kingdom, USA | 71 min | language: English
Feature World Premiere
A synthesis of western and oriental sounds, shortly before the Iranian Revolution: Sufi, Saint & Swinger tells the story of ethno-jazz pioneer Lloyd Miller, who emigrated from the USA to Iran in 1970 to escape an aimless life and the trauma of his childhood. In 1977, Miller had to return due to political tensions, but the disappointment of these events did not extinguish his love for Persian music. 

Including the supporting film "HIDDEN DRUMMERS OF IRAN".
Directed by: Camilla French, Andres Borga 

2018 | Germany | 94 min | language: English
Competition NRW Premiere
Berlin-based musician Petra Nachtmanowa sets out to learn more about the origin of her favorite instrument, the saz. She travels around the world, climbing mountains, crossing deserts, and meeting people who share her love for the stringed instrument. Her only wish to the musicians: a song she can take home with her.
Directed by: Stephan Talneau

2019 | Czech Republic, France, Slovakia | 68 min | language: Other | subtitles: English
Competition NRW Premiere
From the beginnings of the electro acoustic to France’s avantgarde and postmodernism: The Sound is
Innocent is an unconventional and intelligent film about the history of electronic music. The film debut of director Johana Ožvold attracts with disturbingly beautiful aesthetics, accentuating the genesis of digital musical worlds with a striking ease.
Directed by: Johana Ozvold

You can download the German programme flyer >here.