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Why Jihlava and what (in) Jihlava?


Why Jihlava and what (in) Jihlava?

24. 11. 2012 / AUTHOR: Martin Mareček
Late autumn tones, spiral, perhaps some chestnuts, pouring down, friends, night, confusion, rust – nothing new?

Why Jihlava? First we should ask: What (in) Jihlava? What will be there and in there next time = late autumn tones, spiral, perhaps some chestnuts, pouring down, friends, night, confusion, rust, nothing new?, the videotheque with coffee, the (not) too distant zoo, pouring off, Dukla, the Horváths, maybe, po(u)ring over, rules = right, I just remembered the frequent attacks, criticism, and labelling of Jihlava – and dug up a similar survey from Film and Grime or something like that – question: The so-called Jihlava canon, the norm that began to take shape some fifteen years ago in opposition to the era’s mainstream Czech documentary filmmaking, has gradually achieved a dominant influence on filmmaking, the media and in the schools. What is your position on this canon? Answer: The question is a bit confused. What canon? What dominant influence? In which media? At which schools? What do you base your assessment of the schools on? You know student films from Prague, Zlín, Písek – they meet some kind of norm – and who inspects them? After all, it is obvious that successful festivals help to create something like a “documentary community” – which then goes on to continually redefine the genre over the course of its work. The Jihlava festival tends to have a dramaturgy with a recognizable face. Certain features will always be missing from every face. But there are other possibilities, more prestigious festivals, louder channels. And my position? The whole question made me laugh. I suppose I try to stand straight. Why? = I guess in part for what is there and in there.


Martin Mareček

Documentary filmmaker. His film Solar Eclipse was named Best Czech Documentary Film of 2011 at the Jihlava IDFF.