Talent awards have rained on 29-year-old director Lea Glob after she graduated from the documentary programme at the National Film School of Denmark last summer. In August, Glob won an award for best pitch at the Odense Film Festival, and in September she took home the Nordic Talent Pitch Award, awarded annually by the Nordisk Film & TV Fund. Now the director's talent is once again celebrated, when she receives a Gold Panda Award for Students for Most Innovative Documentary at the Sichuan TV Festival in China on 10 November.
Glob receives the award for her graduation film, "Meeting My Father Kasper Top Hat", a story with a jumping-off-point in her personal world. Glob's father disappeared when she was two years old, and she never heard from him again. Then, when she was 18, she was notified that he had hanged himself in his prison cell. The director takes the audience on a highly personal detective journey. Trying to reconstruct her father's identity, she goes through his apartment, possessions and letters, visits his prison cell and talks with his friends and acquaintances.
"Reality presented me with such a strange story here. New revelations just kept coming in. It was like finding myself inside an identity mystery," Glob says.
Nordic Talents 2011 jury motivation:
"An especially talented director whose graduation film "Meeting my Father Kasper Top Hat" was touching and beautifully crafted while dealing with a sensitive and difficult personal issue: the re-construction of an unknown father’s real identity after he committed suicide …The pitch was convincing, showing promising material and giving the jury confidence that this can be a unique film about what the director calls 'the best and yet most complicated part of human life'." Source: www.nordiskfilmogtvfond.com
Odense Film Festival jury motivation:
"This year's Pitch Me is given to a super motivated storyteller, who we have chosen to award for her personal and brave approach to the difficult art of pitching. The winner is a pitch that bridges the gap between fiction and documentary, and tells a private story with the opportunity of great common identification." Source: www.filmfestival.dk
Graphic bulletin board
In the highly stylized film, Glob lays out her father's pipe, gloves and photos to the viewer as on a graphic bulletin board. Fictional devices, like reconstructions and a narrator, add some emotional distance to a personal and heavy subject. Meanwhile, the form never lets go of the documentary aspect.
"These things of his are the closest I get to creating a documentary truth. I try to find the person in the spaces between the things and compose a multifaceted, dramatic character from them."
Exploration of female desire
Winning the Nordic Talent Pitch Award, awarded annually by the Nordisk Film & TV Fund, has given the young filmmaker the space she needs to develop her next film, which has the working title "Human Female Sexuality". Glob and co-director Mette Carla Toft Albrechtsen intend to explore their subject in the form of a collage juxtaposing different women's desire.
"The motivation is that I was never that open about sex myself and never talked with my friends about sex. Basically, we are just really curious."
A personal jumping-off point is also found in Glob's other upcoming film, "A Story of Birth", a "Rashomon"-esque family drama seen from three different point of views, centring on the birth of the director's mother. Pitching the film at the Odense Film Festival in August, Glob took home another award for best pitch.
All-female graduation class
Glob graduated from the documentary programme at the National Film School of Denmark 2011 in an all-female graduating class. Her classmate, Mira Jargil, will also be honoured at the Gold Panda Awards with the Grand Prize for Documentary for her graduation film "The time we have". Jargil recently won the Reel Talent award at the Danish documentary festival CPH:DOX.