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The Shadow World

The Sundance Institute Awarded Johan Grimonprez

Source: Arts Flanders - 01/05/12
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The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program awarded a grant to Johan Grimonprez for his new film 'The Shadow World' in which explores the arms industry: a business in which profits are calculated in the tens of millions of dollars, while losses are counted in human lives.

The film reveals how the international trade in conventional weapons - with the complicity of governments and intelligence agencies, investigative and prosecutorial bodies, weapons manufacturers, dealers and agents – fosters corruption, determines foreign and economic policies, undermines democracy, and creates widespread suffering. By revealing how this trade works, we aim to take apart the monolith that has been constructed as inevitable and that has penetrated every layer of our societies- even as far as our psyches and explore how greater transparency and meaningful oversight demanded by ordinary people around the world can change this most secretive and damaging of trades. The project will unfold through a major book release this November 2011, a feature documentary film, an immersive trans media project, and an audience and civil society engagement strategy.

Johan Grimonprez achieved international acclaim with his experimental film, Dial H-I- S-T-O-R-Y. The film tells the story of airplane hijackings since the 1970s and how these changed the course of news reporting. Its premiere at the Centre Pompidou and Documenta X in 1997,eerily foreshadowed the events of September 11th, 2001. The film went on to win the Best Director Award at the San Francisco and Toronto Film Festivals. Don Delillo and Slavoj Zizek were both contributors to the film. In 2009, Grimonprez made Double Take. Casting Alfred Hitchcock as a paranoid history professor unwittingly caught up in a double take on the cold war period, the film targets the global rise of 'fear- as-commodity in a tale of odd couples and double deals. Acclaimed by critics as "wildly entertaining" it premiered at Sundance and Berlin, winning the Black Pearl Award in Abu Dhabi and the New Media Grand Prize in LA. Grimonprez's productions have traveled the main festival circuit from Telluride, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, to Tokyo and Berlin. Curatorial projects were hosted at major exhibitions and museums worldwide such as the Whitney Museum in New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich and the Tate Modern in London. Grimonprez's work is included in numerous collections including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Kanazawa Art Museum, Japan, the National Gallery, Berlin and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. Grimonprez is currently a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts (New York).