On March 15, CPH:DOX in collaboration with DR Koncerthuset, Normann Copenhagen, Roskilde Festival and IMS/Det Arabiske Initiativ, will mark 6-years since the Syrian revolution with the European Premiere of the Grand Jury-Prize winner ’Last Men in Aleppo’ at the festival’s annual Opening Gala at DR Koncerthuset.
When one of the world’s biggest documentary film festivals, CPH:DOX, for the 14th time will launch for 11 days of documentaries, concerts, art & talks across Denmark, it will be with the European Premiere of ’Last Men in Aleppo’. The film will be screened at the concert hall DR Koncerthuset in collaboration with the festival’s main sponsor, Normann Copenhagen, and Roskilde Festival, who are to curate a carefully selected Syrian musical concert for the evening.
The 15th of March marks exactly 6 years since the Syrian revolution started, and ’Last Men in Aleppo’ stands as a ”testimony of what we as a world community have an indisputable responsibility for”, festival director Tine Fischer says. ’Last Men in Aleppo’ is directed by the Syrian director Feras Fayyad. The Co-director and editor is Steen Johannessen. About the choice of opening film, Tine Fischer, says:
”There are films which choose themselves. Films that stand strikingly clear in their absolute inevitability. ‘Last Men in Aleppo’ is one of these films. We’re proud and humble to be able to open this year’s festival with a film that manages to tell an inhuman, violent story from the heart of the Syrian civil war in Aleppo – but succeeds in doing so by such great human presence, that leaves no one untouched”. After the film a carefully selected ensemble of Syrian musicians will play at DR Koncerthuset. The ensemble will be put together by Roskilde Festival’s booker, Peter Hvalkof, specially for this evening.
Life, death and daily battles
’Last Men in Aleppo’ won the Grand Jury Prize in the category for international documentaries at Sundance this Sunday. The film gives an intimate look inside of the daily life of those who chose not to run from the war. The citizens of the Syrian city Aleppo are preparing for a siega and is daily being exposed with bomb attacks from the Assad-regime and the Russians.
Through members of the rescue group ’White Helmets’ we’ll get close to the life, death and the daily battles of the civilians in the city. Every day they have to confront their own doubt: should they run and rescue their families from the bombs, or should they stay and try to save the citizen’s lifes in the ruins?
Søren Steen Jespersen, the films Danish producer, calls it a ”great honor” to be selected as opening film at CPH:DOX:
”The team behind the film has done a remarkable job and together with the participants, especially the Syrian team, has made unimaginable sacrifices to tell this story. This is why it means so much for us, that the film gets to be seen by as many people as possible and will create a focus on the events we have witnessed in Aleppo”.
’Last Men in Aleppo’ will be screened as the opening film as well as several times during CPH:DOX, including the festival’s school program, UNG:DOX. Later the film will be broadcasted on Danish television at DR2 Dokumania.
The film is produced by Søren Steen Jespersen, Larm Film and by Kareem Abeed, Aleppo Media Center, AMC by support from DFI and DR. It’s co-produced with the German company Kloos & Co Median, co-producer Stefan Kloos.