OVID, the curated streaming destination for documentaries and art-house films, has announced the titles coming to the service in December 2020. The OVID December 2020 lineup includes compelling stories of the immigrant and refugee experience, powerful Latin American dramas, restored documentaries in the “Explorations Collection” and much more.
As of November 2020, there are over 1,000 titles available on OVID, and they continue to add 20-35 new titles every month. The films fall roughly into three categories: powerful films addressing urgent political and social issues; in-depth selections of creative documentaries, animation and experimental films by world-famous directors; and the best of global cinema, independent art-house feature and genre films by contemporary filmmakers as well as established masters.
The OVID December 2020 highlights includes Chris Marker’s A Grin Without a Cat, his epic film-essay on the worldwide political wars of the ’60s and ’70s, originally released in France in 1978. OVID will make this historical political cinematic masterpiece available to stream in North America for the first time ever.
Also be on the lookout for the restored version of legendary situationist Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle presented with an alternative English-language soundtrack, courtesy of Paul Chan, Buyong Kim and Light Industry.
Also coming is Raúl O. Paz Pastrana’s Border South, a vivid portrait of the thousands of immigrants who disappear along the trail trying to cross the border from Mexico to the U.S. Lori Miller’s Day One chronicles Middle Eastern and African teen refugees who are guided through a program of healing by devoted educators at a unique St. Louis public school.
OVID also presents Michael Rubbo’s Sad Song of Yellow Skin, a film about the people of Saigon told through the experiences of three young American journalists. And Raúl Santos’ The Rock explores Spanish dictator Francisco Franco’s closing of the entrance to the British territory of Gibraltar in 1969, forcing the separation of thousands of mixed families.
In addition, the OVID December 2020 schedule includes several captivating dramas from Latin America. From Mexico comes Matias Meyer’s Yo starring Raúl Silva as a strong 15-year-old with limited mental skills. From Argentina, Juan Schnitman’s El Incendio stars Pilar Gamboa (Winner, Best Latin American Actress – Málaga FF) and Juan Barberini as a couple who discover the violence within themselves.
From Brazil, Ives Rosenfeld’s award-winning Aspirantes (“Hopefuls”) is the story of Junior, a young player for an amateur football team whose growing jealousy reaches dangerous proportions. Also coming Brazil are Quentin Delaroche’s Camocim, about the calm routine of a small city rocked during a political campaign, and Gabriel Mascaro’s Housemaids, wherein seven adolescents film their families’ housemaids uncovering the complex relationships between the housemaids and their employers. And from Cuba, Aldemar Matias’s La Arrancada (“On the Starting Line”) tells the tale of Jennifer, a young sportswoman questioning her career as a national athlete.
Additions to OVID’s “Exploration Collection,” a series of films that see the world in a new way through journeys, adventures and discovery, include the restored version of André Gide and Marc Allégret’s rare early ethnographic and largely observational 1927 documentary, with a new score by Mauro Coceano, Travels in the Congo revealing a record of time, place and people of that region.
And Gide is the subject of Marc Allégret’s 1951 restored documentary With Andre Gide, a portrait of the Nobel-prize-winning author, social justice crusader, anti-colonialist, adventure traveler, musician and one-time Communist. Rounding out the collection is Grace Winter & Luc Plantier’s The Marquis of Wavrin, which chronicles Robert de Wavrin, a Belgian marquis who spent decades traveling among indigenous people in South America and the first person to capture a Tzantza head-shrinking ceremony on film.
OVID December 2020 Schedule
AVAILABLE DECEMBER 2
Border South (2019)
Directed by Raúl O. Paz Pastrana; Bullfrog Films, Documentary
To stem the immigration tide, Mexico and the US collaborate to crack down on migrants, forcing them into ever more dangerous territory.
Every year hundreds of thousands of migrants make their way along the trail running from southern Mexico to the US border. Gustavo’s gunshot wounds from Mexican police, which received a lot of press attention, might just earn him a ticket out of Nicaragua. Meanwhile anthropologist Jason De León, featured in the hit podcast Radiolab’s “Border Trilogy,” painstakingly collects objects left behind by migrants on the trail, which have their own stories to tell. These remains, from Hondurans crossing through southern Mexico, reveal a vivid portrait of the thousands of immigrants who disappear along the trail.
Day One (2019)
Directed by Lori Miller; Bullfrog Films, Documentary
Traumatized Middle Eastern and African teen refugees are guided through a program of healing by devoted educators at a unique St. Louis public school for refugees only.
AVAILABLE DECEMBER 3
Sad Song of Yellow Skin (1970)
Directed by Michael Rubbo; National Film Board Canada, Documentary
A film about the people of Saigon told through the experiences of 3 young American journalists who, in 1970, explored the consequences of war and of the American presence in Vietnam. It is not a film about the Vietnam War, but about the people who lived on the fringe of battle. The views of the city are arresting, but away from the shrines and the open-air markets lies another city, swollen with refugees and war orphans, where every inch of habitable space is coveted.
AVAILABLE DECEMBER 4
Directed by Matias Meyer; Starring Raúl Silva, Elizabeth Mendoza; FiGa, Feature
Yo is a strong young man, but with limited mental skills. He says he is fifteen years old, although he seems to be older. He lives and works in his mother’s restaurant by a busy freeway. Yo loves his mother but hates her lover. One day he meets Elena, an eleven year old girl, who will change his life forever.
El incendio (The Fire) (2015)
Directed by Juan Schnitman; Starring Pilar Gamboa, Juan Barberini; FiGa, Feature
On the way to closing the contract on their first home, Lucía and Marcelo withdraw a hundred thousand dollars in cash from their bank. The seller can’t make it to the signing and it gets postponed to the next day. Frustrated, they head back to their old place and put the money away. The next 24 hours will unveil the true nature of their love, the crisis they are in, and the violence within themselves.
Best Latin American Actress – Málaga FF
Best Film – Transilvania IFF
Aspirantes (Hopefuls) (2015)
Directed by Ives Rosenfeld; Starring Ariclenes Barroso, Sérgio Malheiros; FiGa, Feature
“Hopefuls” tells the story of Junior, a young player for Bacaxa A.C, an amateur football team from the city of Saquarema, on the coast of Rio de Janeiro state. He has to deal with the unexpected pregnancy of his girlfriend Karine, while his childhood best friend, Bento, signs a contract with a professional team. “Hopefuls” follows Junior’s growing jealousy as it reaches dangerous proportions.
Festival de Cinema Luso-Brasileiro de Santa Maria da Feira – Best Film
Rio de Janeiro IFF – Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Director
São Paulo Association of Art Critics Awards – Best Screenplay
AVAILABLE DECEMBER 9
Directed by Quentin Delaroche; Starring Mayara Gomes, César Lucena; FiGa, Documentary
Every four years, the calm routine of Camocim de São Félix, a small city in Pernambuco is rocked. During the municipal campaign, the city is split in two and lives seem to function only around politics. In the middle of this electoral market, Mayra tries to create a “clean” campaign to elect her candidate and friend, César.
La Arrancada (On the Starting Line) (2019)
Directed by Aldemar Matias; Starring Jenniffer Lamoth Rodrigues, Marbelis Rodriguez Lamoth; FiGa, Feature
Jennifer is a young sportswoman questioning her career as a national athlete in Cuba. Her mother, Marbelis, is the tough boss of a public fumigation center in downtown Havana. As her brother is getting ready to leave the country, Jenniffer struggles to find her place. This intimate family chronicle, seen from the perspective of two women, unfolds the portrait of a generation unsure of what’s next in Cuba.
Directed by Gabriel Mascaro; Icarus Films, Documentary
Housemaids are an integral part of the household in Brazil, and participate in the day-to-day life of the family. The employment of housemaids is almost obligatory among the middle and upper classes of the country. The vast majority of these housemaids are black women, who face high levels of inequality based on their gender, race and social class. Their role in the household raises important questions about public and private space, endurance and choice, and labor and family life.
For HOUSEMAIDS, director Gabriel Mascaro asked seven adolescents to film their family’s housemaids for one week, and hand the footage over to him. Their images uncover the complex relationship that exists between housemaids and their employers, a relationship that confuses intimacy and power in the workplace and provides us with an insight into the echoes of a colonial past that linger in contemporary Brazil.
AVAILABLE DECEMBER 11
The Marquis of Wavrin (2017)
Directed by Grace Winter & Luc Plantier; Icarus Films, Documentary
The man squats by the fire, holding an object slightly larger than his palm. He feels it carefully, pressing and shaping it, then turns it upside down and fills it with hot sand. The man is a member of the Shuar people, and he is practicing the art of tzantza, or head-shrinking—a ritual designed to ensnare the soul of a defeated enemy.
Behind the camera, filming the scene, is Robert de Wavrin, a Belgian marquis who spent decades traveling among indigenous people in South America. From Paraguay, to Venezuela, Ecuador, and Brazil, Wavrin visited areas few, if any, Europeans had ever seen, earning the trust of local indigenous groups, making friends, and filming customs, rituals, and everyday life. The four films he produced (along with shorter works) shaped the nascent art of visual anthropology and are marked by Wavrin’s insistence on seeing indigenous people as fellow human beings—not others, savages, inferior beings, or exotics trotted out for our entertainment.
Travels in the Congo (1927)
A report by André Gide and Marc Allégret; With a new score by Mauro Coceano; Icarus Films, Documentary
In 1925, Marc Allégret accompanied André Gide on a journey to French Equatorial Africa, the Congo, as his secretary, and novice filmmaker. Filming throughout their 11-month travels, and only three years after Nanook of the North, Allégret’s goal was to immerse viewers “as we ourselves had been, in the atmosphere of this mysterious country.”
Unusual for its time Travels in the Congo (Voyage au Congo) is a largely observational documentary (with one dramatized sequence) showing aspects of the lives, culture, and built environments of diverse groups in the region, amongst them the Baya, Sara and Fula peoples, and without trying to shoehorn them into a dramatic narrative.
With Andre Gide (1951)
Directed by Marc Allégret; Icarus Films, Documentary
Nobel-prize-winning author, social justice crusader, anti-colonialist, adventure traveler, musician, and one-time Communist: André Gide was a larger-than-life character who dominated French letters from the turn of the 20th century to his death in 1951.
A highly personal portrait, WITH ANDRÉ GIDE presents a little-seen side of this literary and intellectual giant—a man driven by constant curiosity, and devotion to detail. As the film’s narration says, “The faculty of attention characterized Gide in every moment of his life. An attention that was applied to all things human.”
AVAILABLE DECEMBER 16
The Rock (2011)
Directed by Raúl Santos; PRAGDA, Documentary
In 1969, Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, closed the entrance to the British territory of Gibraltar, isolating 30,000 people without food, water, or telephone lines. In his words, “The Rock will fall like ripe fruit.”
Despite being declared enemies by their countries, people in the Rock of Gibraltar and La Linea depended on each other, got married, and lived with their bilingual children. But Franco’s decision to close entrance to the British territory forced the separation of thousands of mixed families.
AVAILABLE DECEMBER 17
Society of the Spectacle (1973) —New English translation and commentary track!
Directed by Guy Debord; Icarus Films, Documentary
La Société du Spectacle (Society of the Spectacle) is a black-and-white 1973 film by the Situationist Guy Debord, based on his 1967 book of the same name. It was Debord’s first feature-length film. It uses found footage and détournement in a radical Marxist critique of mass marketing and its role in the alienation of modern society.
Presented with an alternative English-language soundtrack, courtesy of Paul Chan, Buyong Kim and Light Industry.
AVAILABLE DECEMBER 18
A Grin Without A Cat (1977) — Exclusive to OVID!
Directed by Chris Marker; Icarus Films, Film Essay
A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT is Chris Marker’s epic film-essay on the worldwide political wars of the 60’s and 70’s: Vietnam, Bolivia, May ’68, Prague, Chile, and the fate of the New Left.
Originally released in France in 1978, we are proud to make this historical political cinematic masterpiece available to stream in North America for the first time ever!