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Wenders hails 3D as 'ideal tool' for documentaries

German director Wim Wenders has finished shooting a 3D film about legendary choreographer Pina Bausch and he has hailed the reborn format as "an ideal tool for documentary makers".

"I finished shooting now and I am in the middle of editing. It will be a long process. It is such a new thing to do a documentary in 3D", Wenders told AFP in an interview during the Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF) in the Romanian city of Cluj.

However the film will not be ready before next year, he said.

Wenders, the maker of "Paris, Texas" (1984) and "Buena Vista Social Club" (1999), a tribute to Cuban musicians, had wanted to make a film with Pina Bausch for 20 years.

"The concept of the film was that Pina herself was leading us to her world. It was conceived as a road movie where I would accompany her to Brazil, Turkey and other countries," he added.

But the unexpected death of the grande dame of modern choreography at the age of 68 in June last year tragically ended those plans.

"Pina passed away a month before we were supposed to begin shooting. I did not see the point anymore. Only after a while did we realize together with her ensemble, the Tanztheather in the German town of Wuppertal, that we owed it to Pina to do it anyway," Wenders explained.

The filmmaker then decided to "concentrate on the dancers, her instruments" on and off stage.

"It had to become a film about the work. It is a very very different thing from what we would have done together."

To represent Bausch's art in the best possible way, Wenders saw no other option than to use 3D because it allowed him to deal with the notion of space, crucial to the late choreographer.

But he had to wait for the technology "to be able to deal with real life graciously, to represent it as fluently" as it would do for animated characters, he said.

Shooting a documentary in 3D was not easy: "You have to forget everything you know about filmmaking. Because you have to organize the shots and the whole process in a very different way".

Wenders was assisted by a French camera crew for the job.

He says he sees great future for 3D documentaries.

"3D only appeared for most of us in the form of animation movies and big spectacular movies. In the future, it will be the ideal tool for documentary filmmakers," Wenders said.

He believes that 3D could have the same effect as digital technology had 15 years ago when it breathed new life into the documentary genre.

"I think that 3D will do the same. In the future, every documentary will be shot that way."