Inventing a Portrait
DOCUMENTARY Dr. Nakamats is a busy man. Since the father of the floppy disk first appeared on the silver screen at CPH:DOX and IDFA in September, Kaspar Astrup Schröder's documentary of the 82-year-old Japanese inventor has been tightly booked.
30. March 2010
Last week Thessaloniki, this week Moscow, next month Durham, San Francisco and Toronto – to name but a few of the 14 stops on the film's busy schedule so far. Evidently, "The Invention of Dr. Nakamats" is in demand among festival programmers worldwide.
At the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (12-21 March), a ceremony was held in honour of the film's colourful protagonist Dr. Nakamats who received an award for his lifelong contribution to science and society. "We are," said one of the official speakers, "honouring a very great inventor whose life is in essence an invention."
Inventing a Portrait
Expressing warm gratitude to his hosts, Dr. Nakamats added in his thank-you speach a solution to Greece's current predicaments – with a not too unfamiliar sense of self: "In the US 17 cities have instituted and celebrate Dr. Nakamats Day. I don't know if Greece has already done something like this, but it would be a first step in your country's financial recovery."
Dimitri Eipides, Artistic Director of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, and Dr. Nakamats at the award ceremony 14 March.
Indeed, Kasper Astrup Schröder's film is not so much about Dr. Nakamats' inventions as Dr. Nakamats himself. The director read about Dr. Nakamats on a blog and was intrigued by the inventor's eccentric ingenuity.
"Dr. Nakamats is an incredibly fascinating personality, and in a lot of ways he is unlike other Japanese. As an individual, he sticks out in a crowd. In addition to portraying him, I also wanted my film to depict contemporary Japan through his everyday life. (...) Getting the kind of access I did because I was with Dr. Nakamats was outstanding," Schröder comments in FILM#67.
Kaspar Astrup Schröder, who is also an artist and photographer, will be present at the San Francisco Film Festival (22 April – 6 May), where he will be participating in Q&A's and giving classes, and at Toronto Hot Docs (29 April – 9 May).
Dr. Nakamats' business card. The number of Dr. Nakamats Days has since risen to 17.
Full list of festivals:
Amsterdam, IDFA 19.11-29.11
Colombia, True/False Film Festival 25.02-28.02
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 12.03-21.03
kinoteatr.doc moskva 26.03-05.04
Durham, Full Frame 08.04-11.04
San Francisco Int. Film Festival 22.04-06.05
Toronto, Hot Docs Int. Documentary Festival 29.04-09.05
Leuven, Docville 01.05-08.05
Warsawa, Planete Doc Review 08.05-17.05
Shanghai, MIDA Documentary Film Festival 07.06-10.06
SilverDocs AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival 22.06-27.06
Melbourne Film Festival 23.07-08.08