Imagining Emanuel

How do we know who a person is?
Emanuel came to Norway in 2003, and claims to be from Liberia. His identity is unknown. Norwegian Authorities believe he is from Ghana and have sent him there twice, only to be rejected by the Ghanaian Authorities and returned. With no permission to stay in Norway, and no legal possibility to leave, Emanuel’s life is on hold.

Through several different documentary genres, the film attempts to form an image of Emanuel, while exposing the process of observing. It explores questions of how credibility is formed in a documentary. How do we know who a person is? What aspects of a person are documentary films capable of depicting? What is a true image of Emanuel?

International title: Imagining Emanuel
Original title: Imagining Emanuel
Format: Single documentary
Length: 52 min
Language: Norwegian
Released: 2011
Director: Thomas Østbye
Producer: KriStine Ann Skaret in co-production with Plymserafin (NO)
Festivals: Norwegian Film Institute
Sales: Deckert Gmbh

Norwegian Film Institute
The Institution Fritt Ord
Fund for sound and Image
Kaja and Bård’s Fund

Commissioning editor:
Stig Andersen (NFI)

The film is available on DVD from The Norwegian Film Institute. Click here to buy.

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DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival 2012
Göteborg International Film Festival 2012
Documentary Fortnight: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film, New York 2012
Nordisk Panorama Film Festival Belgrade 2012
Panazorean International Film Festival 2012
DOXA Documentary Film Festival 2012
Reykjavik Shorts&Docs Festival 2012
Crocevia di Sguardi 2012
CineMigrante – Festival Internacional de Cine y Formación en Derechos Humanos de las personas migrantes 2012
United Nations Association Film Festival 2012
Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival 2012
Helsinki Refugee Film Festival 2012
TIFF – Tromsø International Film Festival 2011
Eurodok – European Documentary Film Festival 2011
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2011
Nordisk Panorama – 5 Cities Festival, Aarhus 2011
Bergen International Film Festival 2011CPH:DOX 2011
European Film Festival for Documentaries dokumentART 2011
Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival 2011