Kako sem preživel filmski festival v Pjongjangu 3D / How I Survived the Pyongyang Film Festival 3D

Kako sem preživel filmski festival v Pjongjangu 3D / How I Survived the Pyongyang Film Festival 3D

Synopsis

The animated documentary describes the personal experiences of the documentary filmmaker Martin Hans Schmitt, who took part in the Pyongyang International Film Festival in 2018. It is a travel film, during the course of which it gradually reveals how the dictatorship of Kim Jong-Un shapes the lives and thoughts of North Koreans right down to the smallest private niche, and also gradually influences the filmmaker too, increasingly creating the impression that we are observing a real-life satire.

How I Survived the Pyongyang Film Festival 3D is an animated documentary in stereoscopic 3D. To this end, real-life video sequences and photos were transformed into cartoons with the help of an AI algorithm. The procedure works without rotoscoping. The image frequency of the film figures is mostly twelve or sixteen images per second, in order to underline the cartoon-like effect. To avoid the juddering which is unavoidable when real video sequences are converted into cartoon sequences, in-betweens are calculated with the help of an image stabilisation algorithm so that the figures in the foreground move across the picture at twelve to sixteen images per second, while the background runs smoothly at 24 images per second.

I was a guest at the Pyongyang International Film Festival. Or, in other words: “I survived North Korea.”
I left the country after a total of eight days in Pyongyang. I was relieved to have escaped the dominant surveillance paranoia and the personality cult of the Kim family, and eventually to step once again onto free European soil. All in all, my visit to the festival was a salutary lesson about dictatorships, state presentation, and constant indoctrination.
- Martin Hans Schmitt

With my film music I processed the retro-futuristic appearance of the capital of North Korea. To do so I worked with sci-fi music elements from the 1960s and North Korean pop and karaoke sounds. I gained inspiration from the eerie musical propaganda alarm that rang out every morning in Pyongyang at 6 am. The same easily recognizable synthesizer melody underlies each propaganda text block which subdivides the film into daily sections. This “musical anchor” demonstrates how sounds can be used to condition political content and emotions, in a manner similar to neuro-linguistic programming or the “Pavlov’s dog” experiment.
- Philipp Fabian Kölmel

Awards and festivals (selection):
- International Documentary Festival Visioni dal Mondo, Milano 2023
- This Human World IFF, Vienna 2023

Film info

Directed by: Martin Hans Schmitt
Production: independent
Festival programme: Animated Feature Films
Year: 2022
Length: 75'
Country: Germany

screening with

Znotraj 3D / In Side 3D

Synopsis

From the world flat like a TV screen, the main character falls into the space of labyrinth, stretching along the horizon in all directions. The protagonist in the film experiences a critical moment. Although he plays with life every day, going over the balcony railing with his morning coffee and thinking about jumping down, it is only the world of the labyrinth that forces him to confront himself, which will become the germ of his new, real life.

Film info

Directed by: Anita Kwiatkowska-Naqvi, Piotr Matysiak
Production: National Polish Film School/ vnLab S3D
Year: 2023
Length: 17’50”
Country: Poland