Most Interesting Items in the 19th annual Jihlava IDFF Program According to Festival Guests

What do filmmakers and festival guests look forward to the most and what are the things you definitely should not miss.

Vít Janeček
documentary filmmaker and playwright

I believe in the festival dramaturgy, so I am looking forward to a number of premieres at Jihlava IDFF. If I had to pick two films, I’d choose two foreign and one from here. The first has already "proven" itself at festivals and it’s (T) ERROR, by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliff. Eras when the question, "Who will monitor the ones who monitor?" was not asked, did not last long for the most part. In a society of fear, in which we begin to live again, these films are especially needed. I also look forward to seeing, Under the Sun, by Vitaly Mansky, a film made in North Korea.

My domestic recommendation is the fruit of many years of labour made by Martin Kohout. The Czech Way, deeply analyses the grounds for the current matrix and its background- it deals with the privatization of state property. A heavyweight and friend of Václav Klaus, Milan Knížák, is part of the jury for the Czech Joy section, so I doubt The Czech Way, will succeed. But I consider it to be one of the most important contemporary films made in the Czech Republic.


Kristýna Bartošová
documentary filmmaker

Personally, I look forward to the installation of 17 000 islands in the Laboratory and the screening of films made by my friend Thomas A. Østbye from Norway who combines documentary film and art in an interesting way.  I also would like to attend the masterclass given by Artavazd Peleshyan, for he simply is a genius, or the film, No Home Movie, by recently deceased director Chantal Akerman (R.I.P.).


Marek Hovorka
director of Jihlava IDFF

Sadly, I cannot name any film in the competition because that would be unfair. I suggest that you carefully go through the competition section, because there are exceptional achievements among the listed. From the non-competitive section, I definitely would like to watch the latest and, unfortunately, last film directed by Chantal Akerman, No Home Movie. It is characteristic that all her films are very personal and cinematically sophisticated. The mentioned piece, No Home Movie, just confirms this. The director, among other things, is known for her highly original approach to editing, which she characterizes using the following words: "films, which pass without you noticing, are stealing your life. I want you to know about the two hours you spend in the company of my film.”

If this year's festival offers a perspective on our everyday life, from the standpoint of eternity, we have to mention a piece that observes the globe through the eyes of extra-terrestrial civilizations and is dedicated to finding out whether we are prepared for such a meeting. At first glance, it is certainly surprising that an international organization like the UN or the US Pentagon have special departments preparing and debating different scenarios that could occur in the case of such encounters with extra-terrestrial civilizations. Director, Michael Madsen, takes things even further using brilliant cinematic stylization and explores issues related to encounters with something unknown and unimaginable.

Not only cinephiles shouldn’t let the opportunity of seeing the films of Eugène Deslaw, Joris Ivens, Chris Marker and Artavazd Peleshyan on screen slip through their fingers. Those who are just beginning to get acquainted with documentary film and are discreetly exploring its nature should visit the travel diaries of Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl. The vast majority of films from theses named directors will be shown using a copy of the film, which is a real adventure in the age of electronic media and the internet.


Apolena Rychlíková
documentary filmmaker

Jihlava annually makes up for "everything that I wasn’t capable of attending throughout the year and want to catch up on in five days." It's a festival filled with encounters. Encounters with movies, their authors, neglected friends, with real contours of legends and with surprises. This year, I do not want to miss the discussion with Julian Assange, the premiere of the film RINO, but also the masterclass with Serbian director, Lordan Zafranović, and the Armenian living legend Artavazd Peleshyan. I also want to embark on the journey in The Czech Way and deal with coupon privatization, honor Joris Ivens, compare forms of Terrorism and push the Buttons of Consciousness and attend a few funerals ... Even now, I know that I want it all - or more - and that once again I will leave disappointed because it did not work out.


Helena Třeštíková
documentary filmmaker

The thing I look forward to the most is the premier of the film by Jan Gogola Jr., Excursion or History of the Present. I consider Jan Gogola to be the most original filmmaker of the so-called "Jihlava generation". He is great not only as a director but also a script writer, who can partake in a variety of documentary film projects. His dramaturgical supervision influence, figuratively speaking, the entire Czech documentary scene. I think that perhaps nobody here is such a knowledgeable filmmaker - theorist and practitioner - as he is. Every piece of his work is a surprise of some kind.


Andrea Slováková
script editor and curator

The most interesting part of the program, in my opinion has to be the world premiere of the film by Jacques Perconte, the pioneer of net-art and master in developing various compression methods, which he uses to manipulate shots taken in a documentary style. In the case of the film, Ettrick, he filmed in an area with endless pastures and a traditional textile industry – he creates a stunning visual poem. Furthermore, let’s mention The Translucent Being Eugène Deslaw, a little forgotten innovator of film image, who’s retrospective will be featured by Lubomir Hosejko, an expert on his work. No Home Movie, by director Chantal Ackerman, who knows  how to brilliantly and uniquely combine an intimate look with great themes, as well as how to discuss serious social issues and explore inner worlds in a manner lacking any pathos.


Pavol Korec

On the festival website, I learned that Jihlava IDFF will feature a section on terrorism and Syria. It is this section that has caught my attention. My interest in Syria is very personal because I have an excellent friend and former classmate that is originally from this country and I closely monitor what is happening there by communicating with him. I hope to discover other points of view regarding the issue and development of the situation in this region. I am very curious to find out more.


Milan Knížák
multimedia artist, a member of the jury for the Czech Joy section

The idea that I have a favourite or am playing favourites even before the beginning of the festival, would be in conflict with my understanding of the independence of the jury. I take issue with current feature film, especially Czech. I find it unconvincing, unoriginal and derives from previous films. Documentary films are, in essence, more appealing to me. On the other hand, I am well aware of the infiltration of un-documentary practices, a sort of subjective fiction the filmmakers apply in documentary films. If I find a simple, unmanipulated documentary film, I will be pleased.


Miloš Doležal
poet and member of the jury for the Czech Joy section

So far, I have usually only stayed half a day at the Jihlava IDFF, choose something from the program, said hello to a few friends and left. This time, I can afford to stay the week – abundance has replaced cherry picking.

Besides watching films from the Czech Joy section, I would love to see the presentation of Artavazd Peleshyan, "to experience" his masterful work with rhythm, music and sound on the big screen. Out of all the pieces dealing with the urgency of today, I maybe will see the award-winning film on the "gateways" of immigrants, Lampedusa in Winter, and from movies dealing with the 20th century, BBC’s The Eichmann Show.

And I would hate to miss, Dispatch his Corpse from the Earth, in the category of Czech Television Documentary, in which director Roman Vavra captured our detective quest for finding the burial and exhumation site of priest Josef Toufar.

Is it possible to make it to some of the theatre performances or the musicians 'sandwich' Králíček a Květy (Rabbit and Flowers) in addition to all I plan?


Kamil Fila
film publicist

Given what most movies are about, I look forward to almost none, but I'm curious to watch many of them. Although, perhaps I am looking forward to seeing how the ex-Monty Python, Terry Jones, discussed the financial crises in the film Boom Bust Boom. Otherwise, I'll be witnessing the horrors in Syria, attend almost the entire new Czech presentation (maybe some of it will be a source of Czech Joy) and from up close I will try to find out, whether that is  Julian Assange’s natural hair colour, or he soaks it in a tub of peroxide.


Jan Gogola
script editor and documentary filmmaker

I mostly look forward to films, thanks to which my sense of perception will be altered. This is the premise of changing the world, and in consequence oneself. I cannot yet give a concrete answer, as it is not possible to have one in advance. Perhaps, it will be a case of: "Today we surprise you with something familiar," as said by the lead singer of Elan, Jožo Ráž.


Petr Szczepanik
film historian and theorist

I look forward to seeing the documentary, Under the Sun, about a family from Pyongyang. It seems that this could finally be a proper study of the local totalitarianism from a perspective of day to day life. Movies and TV shows on North Korea, which I have seen, were always disappointing because they could not grasp the tension between ritualized public life and everyday life. It's understandable given the censorship, but it is as if the filmmakers were losing the ability to understand and numbly stared at the incredible choreography of the masses. Or, contrariwise, they used a hidden camera or amateur footage, without the possibility of a well thought out structure. In this case, it appears that the ones who censor were cunningly drawn into the game. I'm interested also in the production background - Czech production companies and Czech Television rarely enter co-productions with Russia.


Iva Honsová
script editor, translator, and member of the jury for the Czech Joy section

There is a lot of everything and all the many film "bests", just like wild geese flying over our region now, have been in the papers. Even Jihlava "the wintering spot" for documentary film is slowly pulling flocks of viewers, and the city comes alive because of film migration. Spurred by the discovery that one of the jurors of the Czech Joy section is Miloš Doležal, I opened, as if I were a native of the Highlands, the book titled How We Should Die Today (Jako bychom dnes zemřít měli). The drama of life, priesthood and martyrdom of the priest Josef Toufar from the village Číhošť. That was the reason I was all the more pleased when I found out that a theatre performance, Report of a Miracle (Jozef Toufar), performed by the DOK.TRIN theatre was part of the accompanying program. Are we willing to believe in a miracle?


Tereza Bernátková
documentary filmmaker

At the Jihlava IDFF, I for sure will not miss the opportunity to see films of Mosco Levi Boucault and Chris Marker in the section Terrorism. It will feature portraits of Marxist revolutionaries and directors who offer an engaged analyses of the world. I also look forward to the documentary film of Alex Gibney about Steve Jobs. I am interested in seeing his approach to the relationship between man and technology. Finally, I am also looking forward to seeing the films of my classmates, Jan Rendel and Greta Stocklassy, Thursday afternoon. And then there also is the film of Jan Kačena and Nikola Krutilová about Peter Lébl that interests me. Its title, The Perpetrator and the Bystander, sounds enticing.


Viera Čákanyová
documentary filmmaker

I look forward to seeing the retrospective of the Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl. According to some he is an experimental anthropologist and sailor. Others view him as a daredevil and adventurer with suicidal tendencies. This is due to the fact that he travels the ocean on primitive wooden rafts, only using sea currents. He said that he wanted to confirm a theory called diffusive spreading of cultures, but in my opinion he did so to show that it can be done (and survive) and it can be romantic all at the same time. It follows: People are hardy and some are terribly stubborn. That is why we are where we are, regarding all levels of interpretation that this claim has generated.


more articles from a section:  Survey

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F3.16Will documentary still be around in twenty years? And if so, in what form? Part 1On the occasion of 20th anniversary of the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival we have invited our guests to join us in contemplating the future of documentary cinema.
F2.16Will documentary still be around in twenty years? And if so, in what form? The director of Jihlava IDFF answers the visionary questionMarek Hovorka
F1.16The Future of Documentary Film Through the Eyes of Mike HoolboomMike Hoolboom on images and the future of documentary filmMike Hoolboom
6.15Annual Survey: Film & Book / part 3Which documentary and book influenced Czech filmmakers, producers, theorists, historians, pedagogues the most in the previous year, and why?
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starší články

27. 10. 2015

from current issue:

New releaseShooting About KunderaDocumentarian Miloslav Šmídmajer describes the process of making a documentary about Milan Kundera with the working title “Milan Kundera: From the Joke to Insignificance.” Miloslav ŠmídmajerThemeNest in the bedroomPeter Hames, well-known British film historian and author of the book The Czechoslovak New Wave sent his remembrance to Karel Vachek to our magazine.Peter HamesThemeNever stop laughingPaolo Benzi, the Italian film producer and founder of the independent film production company Okta Film, describes for dok.revue how he met famous Czech documentary filmmaker Karel Vachek, who passed away last year. Paolo Benzi is also the main tutor of the Emerging producers in Ji.hlava IDFF.Paolo BenziThemeBehold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightenedIn this English issue of dok.revue we have collected some remembrances to Karel Vachek, the respected Czech documentarist who died in December 2020 at the age of 80. One of the contributors is Olaf Möller, a well-known film theorist and critic collaborating with many renowned film magazines (Film Comment or Sight & Sound), film museums and festivals (e.g. Il Cinema Ritrovato or International Film Festival Rotterdam).Olaf MöllerThemeEvery human being should get to wear comfy shoesThe Czech documentarist Karel Vachek was a chairperson of the jury at Yamagata international documentary film festival (YIDFF) in 2009. The board member of YIDFF and the former director of this festival, Asako Fujioka, has a remembrance of him smoking his pipe and going to the mountains with Japanese poet and filmmaker Yoshimasu Gozo to recite poetry to the skies.Asako FujiokaThemeLike the dog on the beach...American film historian Alice Lovejoy writes her remembrance of Karel Vachek, the remarkable Czech documentarist to whom we dedicate this English issue of dok.revue.Alice LovejoyInterviewThe times of lifelong careers are overAn interview with documentarian Jindřich Andrš, whose film A New Shift won the Czech competition section Czech Joy at Ji.hlava IDFF2020.Vojtěch KočárníkInterviewGoing to the Polish Turf with Our Own TeamInterview with documentary filmmakers Filip Remunda and Vít Klusák about their latest joint film project Once Upon a Time in Poland that shows how religion and faith are misused in contemporary Poland for mass manipulation and political purposes. The film‘s Czech premiere was held as part of the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival 2020.Kamila BoháčkováIntroductionDok.revue 1.21This issue is dedicated to the doyen of Czech documentary filmmaking Karel VachekKamila Boháčková