"Landshaft" to open Regional Panorama Competition

English Daily #1
German director and audiovisual artist Daniel Kötter has filmed extensively in eastern Armenia for his latest documentary project Landshaft, a formally composed meditation on the relationship between geographical and geopolitical clashes. With a rigorous, widescreen gaze, his film probes the Armenian landscape following the outbreak of the Second Karabakh War in 2020, revealing issues of extractivism, war and displacement, besides noting the human resilience that still inhabits the area. As such, it’s a fitting and poignant opener for this years’ Regional Panorama Competition, that through its ten films provides a cinematic examination of the many critical junctures underlying the regions in and surrounding Armenia. While it may be a grim reminder that themes of war, trauma, exploitation and exile are so universally shared across many borders, this selection of films also provides a cinematic gesture of comfort by portraying strong-willed individuals, touching stories and shimmers of hope. Taken together, they show the many ways that cinema can respond to the cascade of conflicts and crises ravaging through the world: with curiosity, empathy and activism.

Hugo Emmerzael