The 18th annual Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival takes place 23-28 October 2014. From over 2,800 submissions, the programming
committee has selected over 200 films from 42 countries, including 57 world, international or European premieres. These premieres include 10 Czech
films in competition in the Czech Joy section.
Over the course of its existence, the Jihlava festival has become an indispensable Czech and worldwide documentary event, and an active contributor to the
promotion and distribution of documentary films. The Jihlava festival is a co-founder and member of Doc Alliance, a prestigious union of seven important
European documentary festivals.
PROGRAM – YEAR EIGHTEEN
As in past years, the largest celebration of original documentary film in Central and Eastern Europe will present a diverse range of Czech and foreign
films, with many world, international, European, and Czech premieres.
“This year’s festival is a true tribute to the artistic and independent film scene. This tribute will take place in the presence of such special guests
as Kidlat Tahimik (which translates to “Quiet Lightning”), founder of independent Filipino cinema, whose films from the 1970s were declared by Werner
Herzog to be among the most free to come out during that time, and noted Chinese director Wang Bing, winner of awards at festivals in Venice,
Rotterdam, Yamagata and Marseilles,”
said festival director Marek Hovorka.
THE FACE OF THE FESTIVAL
The central motif of the 18th festival is a stark black-and-white symbol of a factory. It’s not only the dominant visual feature of the festival, but
has also found its way into the films themselves.
The poster was designed by artist, educator and publisher Juraj Horváth. This year’s festival trailer was created by the legend of Czech and world cinematography Jan Němec. This was his very first experience
with this format; the intensity of the final form, however, can be felt in his short statement on the trailer’s filming:
“There are no ‘small’ or ‘big’ films. Twenty seconds expresses concern about the possible demise of film. I sound the alarm myself and the shadow of my
hand is my signature.”
1. ORGANIZATION AND AWARDS
The festival is organized by the JSAF civic association. In 2013, the festival issued more than 2,900 festival passes. Of these, 782 were for film
professionals and festival guests from the Czech Republic and abroad, and 156 were for journalists. The festival screenings were attended by a total of
more than 30,000 viewers.
The following awards will be presented as part of the 2014 Jihlava IDFF:
· 2014 Best International Documentary Film Award (Opus Bonum competition)
· 2014 Best Central and Eastern European Documentary Film Award (Between the Seas competition)
· 2014 Best Czech Documentary Film Award (Czech Joy competition)
· 2014 Best Experimental Documentary Film Award (Fascinations competition)
· 2014 Best Debut Film Award (First Lights competition)
· 2014 Best Short Film Award (Short Joy competition)
· 2014 Contribution to World Cinematography
- 2014 Spectators Prize
- 2014 Respekt Award for the best television or video reportage
· Silver Eye Award in the categories of short, mid-length, and feature documentary
(part of the East Silver market organized by the Institute of Documentary Film)
· 2014 Award for the Most Beautiful Festival Poster
· 2014 Audience Award for the Most Beautiful Festival Poster
2. NEW AT THE 18TH JIHLAVA IDFF
This year’s festival brings two new competitions: the former non-competition section Short Joy, focusing on short films, has received competition status,
and in the new competition First Lights, the jury will choose the best debut film from the Opus Bonum, Between the Seas and Czech Joy sections. And of
course there’s our annual retrospective of distinctive personalities and unique thematic sections.
THE COMPLETE LETTERS
This unique project
is the brainchild of the Centre for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona, in which five pairs of world-renowned directors exchanged audio-visual “letters”.
These letters will be presented at Jihlava in their Eastern European premiere. Filmmakers such as meditative artist Naomi Kawase, legend of the New York avant-garde Jonas Mekas, “lone wolf” Albert Serra and critical
chronicler of contemporary China Wang Bing invite viewers into their private lives and into the secrets of their artistic poetics.
“It’s remarkable to see how much each letter reflects the personal style of each of the directors. Never have two directors with such radically
different styles come together like this,”
commented festival programmer David Čeněk.
FORGOTTEN FILMMAKER JIŘÍ POLÁK
This photographer, director and sensitive individual who escaped to the “place where dreams are made real” – the island of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf
prior to the August occupation of Czechoslovakia –
is one of the forgotten figures of Czech cinema. Jiří Polák was able to film Hospital in Kuks, but did not enjoy any domestic recognition. After
his emigration and short stays in Vienna and Switzerland, he accepted film assignments in Iran.
TRIBUTE: ALAIN RESNAIS
“Renowned French director passed away on 1 March 2014 at the age of 91. In memory of his work, we have prepared two
screenings of his lesser-known or completely unknown films. He himself was instrumental to an unprecedented extent to the development of documentary
filmmaking in France, and showed its new stylistic possibilities,”
says festival programmer David Čeněk about this unique presentation of Resnais’ (mainly) early work.
The majority of Resnais’ works being presented at this year’s Jihlava IDFF have been shown only a few times in France, and are being screened in the
Czech Republic for the first time ever.
RETROSPECTIVE: KIDLAT TAHIMIK
A special guest at this year’s Jihlava festival will be the “father of Filipino independent film” – director, actor, screenwriter and
producer Kidlat Tahimik, the founder of the so-called Filipino New Wave and an influential commentator on post-colonialism and power
imbalances throughout the world, praised in the West by Werner Herzog when he said that [Tahimik’s] films from the 1970s are among some of the most free works on film of their time.
The jury for the competition section Opus Bonum traditionally consists of just one person – a notable personality from world cinema. This
year, this honour has been bestowed on a significant figure from the Yugoslav Black Wave – Želimir Žilnik.
The best film in the Between the Seas section will be chosen by:
· French film theoretician Raymond Bellour
· Spanish director Albert Serra
- American artist Deborah Stratman
- Artist Kateřina Šedá
Czech Joy Jury:
- Poet Petr Hruška
- Former director of Czech Television Ivo Mathé
- Film historian Tereza Czesany Dvořáková
- Documentary filmmaker Bohdan Bláhovec
The winner of the experimental competition Fascination will be determined by the Austrian master of found footage Peter Tscherkassky and his wife, filmmaker Eve Heller.
The historic first judging of the Short Joy section will be conducted by members of the art group Rafani.
4. COMPETITION SECTIONS
Competition for the Best Czech Documentary Film 2014.
A prestigious selection of new Czech documentaries, including 10 world premieres. Films include Daniel’s World (Veronika Lišková), a look at the last taboo of modern society – paedophilia. The delightful film Long Live Hunting! (Jaroslav Kratochvíl) takes aim at Czech hunting. Shadows of the past are revealed in the film Pavel Wonka Commits to Cooperate ( Libuše Rudinská), which examines whether the last Communist prisoner was a dissident and symbol of the revolution – or an StB
collaborator. The section also includes a pair of family portraits: Family Business / from Videodiary (Jakub Wagner), and Marislav Janek’s eagerly awaited new film The Gospel According to Brabenec, about Vratislav Brabenec of the Plastic People of the
Veronika Lišková, Czech Republic 2014, 75 min
The Gospel According to Brabenec
, Miroslav Janek, Czech Republic 2014, 85 min
Long Live Hunting!
, Jaroslav Kratochvíl, Czech Republic 2014, 62 min
Pavel Wonka Commits to Cooperate
, Libuše Rudínská, Czech Republic 2014, 73 min
, Benjamin Tuček, Czech Republic 2014, 91 min
The Czech Way
, Martin Kohout, Czech Republic 2014, 90 min
Family Business / from Videodiary
, Jakub Wagner, Czech Republic 2014, 60 min
František of His Own Kind
, Jan Gogola Jr., Czech Republic 2014, 26 min
, Martina Malinová, Czech Republic 2014, 47 min
My Farm Is My Castle
, Jiří Stejskal, Czech Republic 2014, 87 min
Competition for the 2014 Best World Documentary Film
Opus Bonum selects the best noteworthy documentaries representing diverse trends from around the world. Sixteen films are in the Opus Bonum competition for
best world documentary film, including 5 world premieres, 5 international premieres and 1 European premiere. Films in this section include Rock On Bones, a personal view of the Russian independent music scene, and the film-poem Fovea Centralis, which skirts the fringe of
video art, composed of multiplied images from the Fukushima nuclear power plant’s closed-circuit cameras.20 Cents shows what happens when public transportation fares in São Paulo are increased and the carnival atmosphere is replaced by one of guerrilla warfare.
, Philip Hoffman, Canada 2014, 45 min
Rock on Bones
, Caroline Troubetzkoy, France 2014, 145 min
I Am the People
, Anna Roussillon, France 2014, 110 min
In Your Eyes
, Pietro Albino Di Pasquale, Italy 2014, 78 min
, Philippe Rouy, France 2014, 50 min
Chasing After The Wind
, Juan Camilo Olmos Feris, Colombia 2014, 60 min
Water to Tabato
, Paulo Carneiro, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal 2014, 45 min
, Tiago Tambelli, Brazil 2014, 52 min
Buenos Aires Free Party
, Homero Cirelli, Argentina 2014, 74 min
, Fernand Melgar, Switzerland 2014, 101 min
The Beijing Ants
, Ryuji Otsuka, China 2014, 88 min
BETWEEN THE SEAS
Competition for the 2014 Best Documentary Film from Central and Eastern Europe.
Between the Seas is a competition section for the countries and nations of Central and Eastern Europe. Between the Seas presents 17 films, of which 4 are world premieres, 2 are international premieres, and 2 are European premieres. The Serbian Lawyer is one of the films seeing its world premiere at Jihlava – a film about the man who defended Slobodan Milošević and Radovan
Karadžić, criminals from whom he had fled during the old regime. Another premiere in this section is Zuzana Piussi’s Transference
, which sketches a dark picture of the state social care system for threatened children in Slovakia after the death of an abused child. Also in competition
is the latest film by unsparing Austrian analyst Ulrich Seidl. In the Basement reveals that the basement is a rather important
place for many Austrians, where you’ll find the usual hunting trophies and unusual bars, but also town council members and their swastikas, sadomasochism
and other “hobbies”.
, Zuzana Piussi, Slovakia/Czech Republic 2014, 57 min
The Serbian Lawyer
, Aleksandar Nikolić, Germany/Great Britain/Serbia 2014, 82 min
, Bartosz Staszewski, Poland 2014, 76 min
, Tamara Drakulić, Serbia 2014, 77 min
, Bartosz Dombrowski, Poland 2013, 81 min
A Last Year in 114 Minutes
, Daniel Nicolae Djamo, Romania 2014, 114 min
Euromaidan: Rough Cut
, Roman Bondarchuk et al., Ukraine 2014, 60 min
Nino Kirtadzé, France 2014, 86 min
Competition for the 2014 Best Experimental Documentary Film.
Fascinations is a competition screening of experimental films that offer us unique approaches to the depiction of reality. The section will present 33
films, including 7 world premieres, 6 international premieres, and 4 European premieres.
Premiere films include:
An animated work based on Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philisophicus (Active Image O directed by Becky James);
the unguided choreography of white points in black space (Fascinating Moments by Yoshiki Nishimura); a memorial to one’s father
using old photographs and chemical manipulation of the film itself using salt and seaweed (Dark Matter by Karel Doing); and a
journey through a digitally manipulated landscape (L by Jacques Perconte).
Active Image O
, Becky James, USA 2014, 8 min
, Karel Doing, Netherlands/Great Britain 2014, 20 min
, Yoshiki Nishimura, Japan 2014, 4 min
, Jacques Perconte, France 2014, 15 min
Our Hands Are Empty
, SJ Ramir, Australia/New Zealand 2014, 10 min
, Charlotte Dunker, Belgium 2014, 5 min
Study of Synchromy
, Patrick Bergeron, Canada 2014, 3 min
, Guli Silberstein, Great Britain 2014, 4 min
The Civilization Desire
, Carolina Astudillo, Spain 2014, 7 min
, Vladislav Knežević, Croatia 2014, 13 min
, Sangsok Ko, South Korea 2013, 4 min
, Yi Myun, South Korea 2014, 6 min
, Fernando Dominguez, Argentina/France 2014, 9 min
, Kyungman Kim, South Korea 2014, 10 min
, Youjin Moon, USA 2014, 14 min
, Miko Revereza, Philippines 2013, 7 min
, Hayoung Jeon, South Korea 2014, 6 min
Competition for the Best Short Film 2014
This year, this originally non-competition section devoted to short films has been transformed into a new competition section. The fifteen competition
entries include films from all over the world, dealing with a wide spectrum of topics, and representing many current trends in contemporary documentary
filmmaking. The Czech entry, Arguments by Andran Abramjan (who received an honourable mention in last year’s
Czech Joy competition), considers the possibilities of dialogue on the Ukrainian crisis from both the eastern and western points of view.
The purely observational film The Limits of Europe, underscored by the noise and sounds of protests, explores the spontaneous architecture of
seven Kiev barricades erected in the streets leading to Independence Square. The contemplative and imaginatively filmed The Length enters the
world of jazz legend Ted Curson.
Competition for the Best Debut of 2014
Further evidence of Jihlava’s mission to support the film industry and share in the discovery of new talents is the presentation of a new competition
section that rewards the best first work. Debut films presented as part of the traditional competition sections Opus Bonum, Czech Joy and Between the Seas
have the opportunity to “battle it out” in a space that is not limited by territory.
Comparing Czech and other Eastern European documentaries with their competition from the rest of the world can be a valuable experience, an opportunity
to see commonalities and differences.
It can also provide mutual inspiration not only for the films’ creators, but also for producers and other film professionals.
5. NON-COMPETITION SECTIONS
Experimental films from the Czech lands
This section is a non-competition survey of contemporary trends in Czech experimental film. Screenings will include films by renowned artists as well as
filmmakers who just starting out.The unsettling video art of Zbyňek Baladrán, who focuses primarily on “archaeological” work with found material, can be seen in Dead Reckoning, showing the sterility of modern man’s life in four sequences featuring statistics, psychoanalysis, income and paranoia in the
leading roles. Alice Růžičková’s film Autonomous Calábek takes a look into the plant kingdom. Made from a montage of scientific
and film experiments, her portrait of a pioneer in plant physiology takes on surrealistic qualities.
New world and Czech films, pre-premieres and festival hits
presents Adoption: A Piece of Fortune, a kaleidoscope of stories with the same ending – a longed-for child. This opening film of the Jihlava IDFF
is a documentary exploration of a complex topic. In contrast, American master Errol Morris’ film The Unknown Known is a chilling
look at former US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld. The Last of the Unjust by Claude Lanzmann captures the testimony of
Benjamin Murmelstein, the “puppet king” appointed at the end of the Nazi era to the position of the last “Ältester” of the Judenrat at a model Jewish
ghetto. Also worth mentioning is Regarding Susan Sontag, director Nancy Kates’s portrait of one the most
important intellectuals of the 20th century.
Documentary and fiction are not opposites
Doc-fi expresses the conviction that the boundary between documentary and fiction is permeable. This year, three unusual films will be screened. Requiem for Beauty by Chinese author and Nobel Prize winner Gao Xingjian examines the space between film, poetry
and painting. His multi-language monologues touch on themes that people do not speak about much anymore. In Beyond Icebergland, a man, a woman and
a child occupy an invisible common film space, but not the same reality. It’s an ephemeral chronicle of a frozen time and a collage of images from a
disappearing world, a film on the frontier of documentary, mystification and delightful genre games. Czech filmmaker Ondřej Vavrečka’s Among Us is an experimentally tinged love story that takes place during the time when the country was coming to grips with the death of Václav
6. DOC ALLIANCE
Doc Alliance is the result of a creative partnership of seven key European documentary film festivals: CPH:DOX Copenhagen, Doclisboa, DOK Leipzig, FID Marseille, Jihlava IDFF, Planete Doc Film Festival and Visions du Réel Nyon.
The aim of Doc Alliance is to help documentary films reach as many viewers as possible, and to systematically support their distribution through their
festival markets and through the alliance’s online platform www.DAFilms.com.