OVID’s June Lineup: Magnum photos (x9), French farce, Documentary Diptych, Queer Horror & much more!

This June, OVID presents 23 new films and fourteen 14 exclusives.

We exclusively premiere Mila Turajlić’s documentary diptych Scenes from the Labudović Reels, which takes us on a fascinating archival road trip of Cold War history, assembled from newsreel footage by Yugoslav President Tito’s official cameraman. Other exclusives include Donga—a first-person eyewitness journey through ten years of Libyan struggle. Plus, a documentary on Leila Khaled, a hero to many, and the first female hijacker by order of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. We will also premiere Liz Magic Laser’s psychosomatic encounter with hysteria, Convulsive States, fresh off its mesmerizing exhibition at Pioneer Works, an artist and scientist-led nonprofit cultural center based near our neck of the woods in Brooklyn. To celebrate Pride Month and our new collaboration with The Future of Film is Female, we cap the month off with Stewart Thorndike’s queer psychodrama Lyle, starring Gaby Hoffman. And finally, a new Author Selects segment is coming your way from Laure Astourian, author of the forthcoming book The Ethnographic Optic: Jean Rouch, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, and the Turn Inward in 1960s French Cinema, where she focuses on Rouch’s The Human Pyramid.

Full details on June’s complete lineup are below!

(Image from Lina Makboul's Leila Khaled, Hijacker, premiering on OVID on June 13th)
Ella’s Riot – Rahčan (2022)

Tuesday, June 4

Ella’s Riot – Rahčan
Directed by Anne Marte Blindheim
First Hand Films | Documentary | Norway | 2022

Sámi singer Ella is torn between her strong ties to her hometown in Finnmark and her new life in Oslo with her boyfriend and a successful career with her band ISÁK. But when a mining company threatens Sámi land and water, she decides to leave town to save her home. Ella’s weapon is her voice and her music, and the fact that she dares to stand on the barricades and shout loudly. But then, her music career suffers a serious setback. Will she be able to stand up, gather her strength, and win the battle against the mine?


Directed Anssi Kömi and Suvi West
With Leila Hatami, Ali Mosaffa, Jamileh Sheikhi
First Hand Films | Documentary | Finland | 2023

A personal pilgrimage to reclaim Sámi cultural heritage. The Sámi, Europe’s northernmost Indigenous people, endured the erosion of their sovereign and cultural rights during the 19th and 20th centuries under nation-state suppression. Graves were looted, artifacts and bones plundered, and sacred drums removed from the hands of their last shamans. As Suvi West tours museum vaults across Europe, she unravels layers of history, grappling with questions of representation, exploitation, and the intricate tapestry of her own cultural identity. Recent decades have seen a growing demand for repatriation, with Scandinavian museums finally heeding the call. With West and community members repatriating their ancestral artifacts, they not only reclaim their cultural heritage but also rediscover a profound sense of belonging.

“A moving and illuminating account of why respect for Indigenous cultures matters.” —POV Magazine

“A quiet and thoughtful film with slowly building power… Homecoming will leave you awed by the resilience of its subjects.” —Eye for Film


Wednesday, June 5

OVID: Author Selects

Laure Astourian, author of The Ethnographic Optic: Jean Rouch, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, and the Turn Inward in 1960s French Cinema (Indiana University Press), and Associate Professor in the Modern Languages department at Bentley University, discusses Jean Rouch’s work with a focus on the conceit of his docufiction film The Human Pyramid. This segment is scheduled for the week of the book’s launch. 

Thursday, June 6

The Prison Promise
Directed by Joseph Dégramon Ndjom
With Leila Hatami, Nezam Manouchehri, Mehran Rajabi
Sudu Connexion | Documentary | Cameroon | 2021

Détyr and Adéle were in prison serving time for different crimes when they met and fell in love. Now released and reunited with Détyr’s family in Cameroon’s rural countryside, they are finding their way back into society, working through the challenges that lie in wait. It is important to both Détyr and Adéle to make their union official, and director Joseph Dégramon Ndjom’s quietly effective film follows the couple as they go about negotiating their traditional wedding rites through both extended families. The Prison Promise offers a portrait of love and community as Détyr and Adéle navigate their reintegration into normal society. The film highlights the role of the family and of community in rehabilitating people who have had challenges with the law.

Donga (2023)

Friday, June 7

Directed by Muhannad Lamin
Sudu Connexion | Documentary | Libya | 2023

Donga is a first-person account documenting ten years of Libyan struggle, including moments of beauty, humor and community. This intimate form of journalism also illustrates the collective disillusionment with the outcome of the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s rule, which brought the country no peace. Despite everything, Donga is not despairing: “We believe in change!”

“One of the few features shedding light on a tragic time in Libya’s history, sporting a privileged point of view and being so straightforward with its audience.” 
—The New Arab


One Bullet
Directed by Carol Dysinger
First Hand Films | Documentary | USA | 2023

Having opened at last year’s Slamdance Film Festival, One Bullet tells the story of Bibi Hajji, the mother of an Afghan teenager who was shot in front of his house, dying of his wounds two years later, and the scars left on their family by the experience. Evolving from procedural to excavation of the human experience, the film asks: how might we make peace across vast cultural divisions? One cup of tea at a time. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Carol Dysinger’s film won the Galway Film Festival Best International Feature, and was an official selection at the Doc Edge Film Festival in New Zealand.


Wednesday, June 12

Directed by various directors
First Hand Films | Documentary series | USA | 9 x 26 min episodes | 2014

This series comprises nine stories by nine Magnum photographers that—due to decision or unexpected coincidences—bring to life a snapshot or a posed photo, which turns into a historical icon. Contact sheets are the first overview for the photographer of what he has captured on film, giving a unique and intimate view of the style, methods and thoughts of the artist. Cartier-Bresson himself, founder of the Magnum Photo agency, strongly opposed the disclosure of his contact sheets, and yet the choice of that picture is the point of contact between the photographer’s life, thoughts, philosophy and the subject he portrays. Photographers and subjects:

Muhammad Ali by Thomas Hoepker
The Beatles by David Hurn
Tienanmen Square by Stuart Franklin
Margaret Thatcher by Peter Marlow
Iranian Revolution by Abbas Attar
9/11 by Steve McCurry
Yakuza by Bruce Gilden
Kitchen Debate by Elliot Erwitt
Miles Davis by Guy Le Querrec

Softie (2020)

Thursday, June 13

Directed by Sam Soko
Icarus Films | Documentary | Kenya | 2020

“If you believe in governments for the people, by the people and of the people, this film is for you!” Actor and activist Lupita Nyong’o

Boniface “Softie” Mwangi made his name with a series of harrowing photos of the violence that followed the 2007 Kenyan elections. A decade later, after years of organizing, arrests, and police beatings, he decides to run for office, telling his wife, Njeri, about his decision on camera, with a hesitant laugh. On the campaign trail in his inner-city district, Softie comes up against corruption and the expectation that candidates will hand out money and favors. One woman calls him a “broke idiot” when he refuses to bribe her for her vote. Meanwhile, he and his family receive death threats, forcing Njeri and the children to seek asylum in the US. This portrait of a committed activist is also about politics, family, and what it means to be Kenyan. 

“A marvel of narrative storytelling.” —Filmmaker Magazine

“A compelling act of defiance; powerful and personal. As intimate as it is brave.” —The Film Stage

“A riveting run through Kenya’s bloody political battlefield.” —Variety

Leila Khaled, Hijacker
Directed by Lina Makboul
First Hand Films | Documentary | Sweden | 2006

Leila Khaled became the first female hijacker and hero to Palestinians. Khaled came to public attention for her role in the TWA Flight 840 hijacking in 1969 and one of the four simultaneous Dawson’s Field hijackings the following year as part of the campaign of Black September in Jordan. The first woman to hijack an airplane by order of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, she was later released in a prisoner exchange for civilian hostages kidnapped by other PFLP members. Through the ensuing media bombardment, she put the Palestinian nation on the global map. The then 24-year-old Leila became a hero to many Palestinians, including the Swedish/Palestinian teen Lina Makboul, who visits Leila 35 years later with a camera, and finds a woman who regrets nothing.

“An astonishing testimony on violence and femininity.”  —Le Monde Diplomatique 

“A rare gift… an unflinching and mesmerizing glimpse into the psychology of terror and the price of freedom.” —Sky Sitney, Director of Programming, Silverdocs


Friday, June 14

What’s in a Name?
Directed by Alexandre de La Patellière and Matthieu Delaporte
With Patrick Bruel, Valérie Benguigui, Charles Berling
Under the Milky Way | Feature | France | 2012

Vincent is about to become a father. At a meeting with childhood friends he announces the name for his future son. The scandalous name ignites a discussion which surfaces unpleasant matters from the past of the group. A big box office hit in France and a NYT Critic’s Pick, this film had five nominations at the 38th César Awards.

“An uproarious French farce… Verbal jousting elevated to a blood sport by people who are much more resilient than they let on.”  —Critic’s Pick! The New York Times

Tuesday, June 18

A Way to B
Directed by Jos de Putter and Clara van Gool
First Hand Films | Documentary | The Netherlands | 2023

A portrait of the flamboyant, Catalan dance collective Liant la Troca, led by dancer and choreographer Jordi Cortés Molina, of which some of the performers have a physical disability. Fluently merging documentary and dance into each other, the hybrid film is an ode to zest for life and love. An unusual look at human resilience and love.


Five Days to Dance
Directed by Rafael Molés and José Andreu Ibarra
First Hand Films | Documentary | Spain | 2014

Monday morning, two choreographers show up in a high school in San Sebastián, Spain. They have five days to get a classroom full of teenagers on stage and perform a dance theatre. The dance forces the teenagers to break their social roles right at the moment of their lives when they are being strengthened.

“This is the challenge: five days, a class of teenagers, a microcosm in which occurs a little big bang.” —A.V. Club


Wednesday, June 19

Dance Camera West 2024

Dance Camera West 2024 showcases a short selection of the award-winning and award-nominated films shown at their 22nd edition this year. The recently added top ten films to the DCW streaming collection are:

Offering – directed by Marlene Millar, Sany Silva; Canada. Creates a meaningful and joyful convergence between the Migration Dance Film Project’s body percussion artists and emerging dance artists. (5 mins). Nominated for Best Short Experimental Film.

Maracatu vs Passinho – directed by Rodrigo Pépe, Priscila Paciência; Brazil. A Passinho dancer and a Caboclo de Lança to present some of their expressions in a friendly duel. (3 mins) WINNER Best Short Experimental Film.

GREYHOUND – directed by Lauren Edson; United States. Two friends living in an abandoned bus station get an unexpected call. (6 mins) Nominated for Best Short Experimental Film.

Reconstruction – directed by Pia Andell; Finland. Reconstructs a night in the 80’s when Pia, the protagonist, was 17 and the rules of the world were somewhat different. (17 mins) Nominated for Best Short Experimental Film.

Martyrdom of a Prodigal Child – directed by Isaiah Kim; United States. An art piece that explores the tumultuous thoughts and emotions of a prodigal child. (3 mins) WINNER Best New Filmmaker.

UWD – directed by Myriam Verreault, Brigitte Poupart; Canada. A poetic crossover in a ruined world where each one survives alone in the collective disarray. (19 mins) WINNER Best Short Experimental Film.

Bound By A Thread – directed by James Kinney, Pierre Marais; United States. This docu-dance film explores the fragile beauty of love as seen through the eyes of two exceptional dancers with disabilities. (10 mins) WINNER Best Short Documentary Film.

Films by Javier de Frutos: 2024 Winner Outstanding Achievement Award 

The Burning Building – directed by Javier De Frutos, Dan Lowenstein; United Kingdom. A young couple is trapped in a void negotiating a never-ending cycle of life. (11 mins)

Whoever You Are – directed by Javier De Frutos; United Kingdom. A cinematic adaptation of Walt Whitman’s seminal poem ‘Whoever you Are Holding Me Now in Hand’. (6 mins)

The Sequestered Disc – directed by Javier De Frutos; United Kingdom. On the eve of their retirement, an interviewer meets with two dancers to conduct an interview which gradually morphs into a disquieting interrogation. (14 mins)

“Where the allusiveness of dance meets the intimacy of film to create a new kind of magic!” —The New York Times

“Impressive, playful, haunting, sophisticated, sublime, wonderful!” —Dance Magazine

Still from Liz Magic Laser’s Convulsive States (U.S.A., 2023, 54 mins.), commissioned by Pioneer Works, Brooklyn

Thursday, June 20

Convulsive States
Directed by Liz Magic Laser
Pioneer Works | Documentary | USA | 2023

Performance artist and filmmaker, Liz Magic Laser, explores the shaking body as both a symptom and a cure for psychic distress through the lineage of psychosomatic disorders, from historical concepts of hysteria to contemporary diagnoses of nonepileptic seizures, to spirit possession. Filmed in collaboration with French journalist Laura Geisswiller, Convulsive States features interviews with doctors, historians, and dance therapists. These conversations are interwoven with footage from inside and around the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital—once a stage for Charcot’s clinical and theatrical demonstrations using his patients. His lectures on hysteria formed the foundations of psychoanalysis which Laser takes as a point of departure into sensuous and mimetically embodied realms. Laser links the continued relevance of Charcot’s hysteria studies to recent events, such as outbreaks of TikTok tics spread via social media. Gradually, the film moves from “objective journalism” to personal essay as Laser uncovers her own manifestation of the disorder she set out to study.

Edited by Isaac Goes and Michelle Yoon of Kinet Media

Convulsive States was commissioned by Pioneer Works. Curator: Gabriel Florenz / Associate Curator: Vivian Chui.

Convulsive States was made possible by generous funding from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. It is also supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

“A veritable explosion of archive fever that asks us to contemplate the horrifying, shocking, yet glorious extremities of historical and contemporary bodies.” —Frieze

Two Films by Mila Turaljić

Friday, June 21

Two Films by Mila Turaljić, Scenes from the Labudović Reels

Directed by Mila Turaljić
Icarus Films | Documentary (diptych) | Serbia | 2023

Mila Turaljić’s discovery of newsreel footage shot by Yugoslav President Tito’s official cameraman Stevan Labudović was so vast and rich with fascinating historical material that it became two documentaries instead of one.

Non-Aligned reveals previously untold chapters of the Cold War by documenting the birth of the Non-Aligned Movement, a largely Yugoslav-led bloc including many decolonizing nations that stood apart from East and West.

Ciné-Guerrillas offers a revelatory perspective on the Algerian struggle for independence. The films comprise a diptych, yet stand alone as powerful independent documentary works. 

“A remarkable work of understanding what the world was like in the second half of the 20th century.” —Slate (France)

“A love letter to a country that no longer exists and a tribute to Labudović’s artistry… delicately weaves personal and global histories, creating a nuanced exploration that spans continents and generations.” —Video Librarian


Tuesday, June 25

Six in Paris: New Archival Extras 
Featuring Barbet Schroeder, Patrick Bauchau, Éric Rohmer, and Jean Rouch
Icarus Films | Interviews x 3 | France | 2023

Three new behind-the-scenes interviews from 1965 made for Swiss television, where Barbet Schroeder and his then assistant Patrick Bauchau talk about producing films and importance of Parisian cinematheques, Éric Rohmer talks about the importance of walking in his films, and Jean Rouch talks about how an old master like himself came to be involved with making Six in Paris.

Wednesday, June 26

Four New Films from Wayne Koestenbaum

Callas and Spinoza

The Ex-Lovers
The Group Tickling Experiment

Directed by Wayne Koestenbaum
Short Films | 2023–2024 | USA

In April, we introduced you to “the other Wayne’s World,” and this month we bring four more films by artist-performer-filmmaker-poet-culture critic Wayne Koestenbaum, with lo-fi monologues dripping in spontaneous wit, and spare experiments in cinéma-vérité that offer observational glimpses of private lives both real and imagined. 

“Hilarious, gorgeous, intellectually playful, fairy-light… all in ways I’ve NEVER encountered before. Utterly thrilling!” —Guy Maddin


Thursday, June 27

Narrow Path to Happiness
Directed by Katalin Oláh
First Hand Films | Documentary | Hungary | 2023

Gergo and Lenard are a young gay male couple living in a remote Roma community in the poorest part of Hungary. They live in a community where being gay is considered an unforgivable sin, yet they dream of making a musical film about their lives and becoming famous. In order to make their dream come true, they have to move to Budapest, where LGBTQ+ life is more open and available, and collaborations with musicians and artists are abundant. When the sudden death of Gergo’s mother brings a tragic wrinkle to their story, they return to the family who disowned them for one final reckoning, helping them to accept their gay identities, the key to their own acceptance and their own chance at happiness.

The Student (2016)

Friday, June 28

The Student
Directed by Kirill Serebrennikov
With Pyotr Skvortsov, Viktoriya Isakova, Yuliya Aug
Under the Milky Way | Feature | Russia | 2016

This Cannes Un Certain Regard entry about youth in contemporary Russia has become all the more prescient since its release in regard to the contradictions of present-day life and ideology in Russia. A high school student becomes convinced that the world has been lost to evil, and begins to challenge the morals and beliefs of the adults around him.

“Nobly flies an anti-clerical flag, while also providing a taut, combustible drama… A universally relevant examination of religious zealotry and, at the same time, a damning, satirical look at modern Russia, a country whose major institutions have become increasingly dominated and cowed by medieval-minded reactionaries and bigots.” —The Hollywood Reporter


Presented in collaboration with The Future of Film is Female

Directed by Stewart Thorndike
With Gaby Hoffmann, Ingrid Jungermann and Eleanor Hopkins
Broken Glass Pictures | Feature | USA | 2014

The 10th anniversary of Stewart Thorndike’s auspicious debut feature comes to us marking Pride Month in collaboration with film curator Caryn Coleman from The Future of Film is Female. Expecting queer couple Leah (Gaby Hoffmann) and June (Ingrid Jungermann) move into a Brooklyn brownstone apartment with their toddler daughter Lyle. Despite the strange baby-obsessed landlady downstairs and the group of female models who live above them, the two are happy with their new apartment until a bizarre accident leads to the death of Lyle. Months later, Leah is still grief-stricken, trying to make sense of Lyle’s death, her landlady’s odd behaviors, and her attraction to one of the models upstairs. As Leah prepares for her home birth, she begins to suspect the neighbors are involved in a satanic pact and fears for her unborn baby.

“With a gripping performance by Gaby Hoffmann, the first feature by its writer-director is a winningly unsettling genre exercise whose style and polish belie the constraints of its microbudgeted five-day shoot.” —The Hollywood Reporter

Complete list of films premiering on OVID this month (in alphabetical order):

A Way to B, Jos de Putter & Clara van Gool (2023)
Callas and Spinoza, Wayne Koestenbaum (2023)
Ciné-Guerrillas: Scenes from the Labudović Reels, Mila Turaljić (2023)
Contact, various filmmakers (2014)
Convulsive States, Liz Magic Laser (2023)
Dance Camera West (2024)
Donga, Muhannad Lamin (2023)
Ella’s Riot – Rahčan, Anne Marte Blindheim (2022)
Five Days to Dance, Rafael Molés & José Andreu Ibarra (2014)
Homecoming (Máhccan), Anssi Kömi & Suvi West (2023)
Leila Khaled, Hijacker, Lina Makboul (2006)
Lyle, Stewart Thorndike (2014)
Narrow Path to Happiness, Katalin Oláh (2023)
Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels, Mila Turaljić (2023)
Now, Wayne Koestenbaum (2023)
One Bullet, Carol Dysinger (2023)
Six in Paris: New Extras, various filmmakers (1965)
Softie, Sam Soko (2020)
The Ex-Lovers, Wayne Koestenbaum (2023)
The Group Tickling Experiment, Wayne Koestenbaum (2023)
The Prison Promise, Joseph Dégramon Ndjom (2021)
The Student ((M)uchenik), Kirill Serebrennikov (2016)
What’s in a Name? (Le prénom), Alexandre de La Patellière & Matthieu Delaporte (2012)

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