In the Name of Jihlava IDFF

Festival Reflections

The eternal nineteenth edition of the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival again transformed the metropolis on the border between Bohemia and Moravia into a stronghold of documentarians, film professionals and especially festival visitors who joined filmmakers on their journey to explore today’s burning topics.

“The nineteenth Jihlava paid a tribute to those who pose questions in their works, share their worldviews with others and reveal the world in broad context and in detail from various perspectives – the directors. In hindsight, it becomes clear that what has persisted since the time of cave paintings in Altamira is the phenomenon of work of art – and Jihlava has become the place where such works of art come to interact with the audience,” said the festival’s director, Marek Hovorka.

This year for the first time, Jihlava IDFF featured the Conference Fascinations, bringing together ten experimental film distributors from all across the globe. American journalist Daniel Walber of the nonfics portal writes about the Conference’s most discussed issues, latest trends and the points on which the representatives of international distribution companies, such as Canadian V-tape, Austrian sixpack films, UK’s LUX and French Light Cone, agreed.

This year’s Czech Joy’s jury statement shook the documentary world. The jury concluded that they had not found a film that would be worthy of the main prize, and only awarded two Special Mentions. One went to Tears of Steel or Vladimír Stehlík Meets Lubomír Krystlík, and we bring you an interview with the film’s director Tomáš Potočný. The second Special Mention was given to Tomáš Kratochvíl and his film Czechs Against Czechs. The Situational Review of the film will be published on 21 December in the upcoming issue of dok.revue both in the Respekt weekly and on our website.

Another burning topic on the Czech scene is the concept of digitisation of audiovisual works that now works with a corpus of two hundred films that, however, do not include any documentary works. Read about the solutions suggested by panel members from the National Film Archive, the Virtual National Phonotheque, CESNET and the Information Technology Research Centre of the National Institute of Folk Culture in the Sport section.

Ivo Bystřičan recounts the adventure of the making of his latest film Slow Dawn which captures the atmosphere in Iraq’s Erbil which is now witnessing the doom of Christianity.

Concurrently with Jihlava, documentary film fans could also visit the Portuguese Doclisboa documentary film festival hosting Brazilian director Sergio Oksman. He presented his new film, O Futebol, which teeters on the borderline between fiction and documentary film. In an interview with Matěj Nytra, Sergio Oksman unveils his way of (not)controlling the reality before the camera.

In a video recording made during the Inspiration Forum 2014, you can watch a lecture by Chinese professor of political sciences Joseph Cheng who introduced the audience to the so-called Hong Kong umbrella revolution.

The heart of each reader will rejoice over a love letter of a loner who appears in the film Machine Gun or Typewriter in our Poem section.

Enjoy the reading!

02. 12. 2015

from current issue:

New releaseOn Adultery as Mirror of Our Own SelvesBarbora Jíchová Tyson, a visual artist, who has been living in America for seventeen years, has finished her first feature film Talking About Adultery this year. According to the author, the film is an essayistic collage and represents a perspective on humanity, which holds the mirror up to us all.Barbora Jíchová TysonNew releaseFREMWhat is it like to shoot a film in Antarctica? Is it possible to get into the head of artificial intelligence? And what is GAI? All this is described by the documentarist Viera Čákanyová in the text she wrote about her new film FREM in dok.revue.Viera ČákanyováNew releaseHavel Speaking, Can You Hear Me?What were the two last years in the life of former dissident, ex-president Václav Havel like? How did he reflect on the fact that he was gradually leaving this world? Documentarian Petr Jančárek talks about his upcoming documentary film capturing the final stretch of Havel’s, life, the rough cut of which was shown at the Ji.hlava IDFF in the Studio 89 section marking this year’s anniversary of the so-called Velvet Revolution.Petr JančárekThemeEmerging Czech female documentariansIs there a new tide of emerging female documentarians in Czech cinema? What’s fascinating about the work of Czech female filmmakers like Johana Ožvold, Greta Stocklassa or Viera Čákany?Will TizardSportHow to Teach Documentary FilmmakingThis year’s Ji.hlava IDFF offered a panel discussion on how documentary filmmaking is taught in Visegrad countries. Methods used to teach documentary filmmaking in different V4 countries were discussed by lecturers from selected schools. Vít Janeček introduced documentary courses at Prague’s FAMU, Attila Kékesi represented Hungarian University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest, Viera Čákanyová talked about study programmes at Slovak Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava – VSMU, and Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz discussed documentary education at National Film School in Lodz. What emerged from their fruitful discussion? Vít Janeček, Kamila Boháčková, Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz, Attila Kékesi, Peter KerekesPoemThe reanimation of Mr. PuiuKhavn De La CruzReviewA Place to Take a BreathThe film journalist Janis Prášil compares two documentary portraits of this year – Forman vs. Forman and Jiří Suchý: Tackling Life with Ease on his blog.Janis PrášilReview Music as a Lag Between Death and InfinityJanis Prášil ruminates on Solo – this year´s winner of Ji.hlava Czech Joy section – which comes to cinemas. Did the picture succeed in depicting the inner world, so hard to portray, of a mentally ill musician? And what if it is the illness itself which enables people to take a look into the grievous core of being?Janis PrášilReviewOn Sounds by ImageThe film journalist Antonín Tesař writes about the new film The Sound Is Innocent directed by Johana Ožvold.Antonín TesařInterviewGreta Stoklassa: I Read Rather than Preach the RealityAn interview with the director Greta StoklassaKamila BoháčkováInterviewTo Surprise MyselfWhile the main competition at the International Karlovy Vary Film Festival does not feature any Czech title, the festival’s documentary section has one Czech film to offer: A documentary road movie by Martin Mareček entitled Over the Hills exploring the relationship between a father and a son, as well as the distance that separates us from others. Unlike his previous socially engaged films, the latest title provides a personal and intimate insight. But as Martin Mareček put it in his interview for dok.revue – what is intimate is universal. Marek Hovorka, Petr Kubica, Kamila BoháčkováInterviewKarel Vachek: Films Just Have to Make You Laugh!One of the most original Czech filmmakers Karel Vachek made his ninth film novel called Communism and the Net or the End of Representative Democracy. Fifty years after Prague Spring and thirty years after the Velvet Revolution, Karel Vachek “with his inner laughter” looks back on the evolution of our society and predicts a transformation to direct democracy based on the possibilities of the internet that will allow for the engagement of the whole mankind without the need of representatives. His film Communism will be screened at the beginning of next year at the International Film festival Rotterdam.Kamila BoháčkováIntroductionCzech docs of the year 2019Welcome at the English double issue of dok.revue 2019. This winter issue looks back upon the Czech documentary scene in the year 2019 and serves as an annual book of the most (internationally) interesting Czech documentaries and articles about them at dok.revue.Kamila Boháčkovávideo dok.revueMasterclass: Sergej Dvorcevoj23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival