Traditionally in the end of October there is a documentary film festival in a town in the middle of the Czech Republic… This sleepy town changes to a city full of VIPs from film industry and visitors who love documentaries. The Jihlava IDFF is the largest festival of creative documentary film in Central and Eastern Europe. For last 15 years Jihlava is a meeting place of directors and audience and an important crossroad of the documentary business.
In 2011 the main theme of this festival was dedicated to the world crisis. Empty shopping baskets and reminder of Jafar Panahi (banned Iranian director) on the festival poster, burning bushes and a man on fire in the festival trailer. Of course, the documentary films should work as a mirror of the real world and the visitors of this festival were curious what the directors from whole the world will serve them.
This time the audience had the chance to watch 229 films (from a total of more than 2500 submissions); feature, short, experiments… from 41 countries, and attend various workshops, master classes, discussions, exhibitions, concerts, theatres etc. 56 films had their world premiere in Jihlava, 13 their international and 7 European premiere.
Jihlava IDFF 2011 special guests: the Spanish cinema director Basilio Martin Patino, the famous video artist Woody Vasulka, the legendary figure of avantgarde film Peter Kubelka. The key guests of the Inspiration Forum were: Cuban poet and writer Carlos A. Aquilera, Indian expert in education development Y. A. Padmanabha Rao, members of provocative Russian Art Group Voina Alexei Plutser-Sarno and Yana Sarno.
Competition sections and winning films:
Opus Bonum – Best World Documentary: James T. Hong, the single juror of the section, awarded the film LOST LAND by Belgian director PIERRE-YVES VANDEWEERD.
Between the Seas – Best Central and East European Documentary: the jury, composed of Paolo Benzi, Pavel Jech, Necati Sönmez and Aida Vallejo, awarded the film BAKHMARO by Georgian director SALOME JASHI.
The jury further awarded the Film New Europe Visegrad Prix 2011 to KAREL VACHEK for his film OBSCURANTIST AND HIS LINEAGE OR THE PYRAMIDS’ TEARFUL VALLEY.
Fascinations – Best Experimental Documentary: the jury composed of members of one family awarded the film ENDEAVOUR by Austrian director JOHANN LURF.
Czech Joy – Best Czech Documentary: the Czech jury awarded the film SOLAR ECLIPSE by MARTIN MAREČEK. The members of jury mentioned that they were deeply impressed by the films Obscurantist and His Lineage or the Pyramids‘ Tearful Valleys and A Catapult of Fate. Special Mention for a different approach to film went to the Rafani Art Colective and their film 31 Endings / 31 Beginnings.
The Audience Award went to MARTIN MAREČEK for SOLAR ECLIPSE as well.
Lost Land (Territoire perdu, Belgium, 2011) by Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd.
FilmSAND, with its rough 8mm texture, exists on the boundary between art-house meditation, philosophical-ethical reflection, and social documentary listening to the people of the Western Sahara, whose difficult life on this contested piece of Africa, partially ruled by Morocco and partially controlled by rebels, is marked by struggle, kidnapping, and refugee camps. (synopsis from the Jihlava IDFF 2011 catalogue).
Bakhmaro (Georgia, 2011) by Salome Jashi.
FilmAPATHY uses a restaurant in the western Georgian town of Chokhatauri to symbolize the decline of the southern Caucasus and the people’s weariness from economic failure and political ills. The owners are patient, but there are few guests. Election posters and TV ads promise a better life, but it looks like nothing can change. (synopsis from the Jihlava IDFF 2011 catalog)
Solar Eclipse (Czech Republic, 2011) by Martin Mareček.
FilmAFRICA follows two Central Europeans on an adventure to Zambia to repair village‘s solar panels. They are aware of the value of their work, whose purpose they see in helping the villagers – these, however, are not satisfied with their lives. Black and white mindsets subtly, humorously, and touchingly collide. (synopsis from the Jihlava IDFF 2011 catalog)
Where to watch documentary films legally: www.dafilms.com
- This website offers access to more than 600 documentary and experimental films. Audiences and film professionals from around the world can legally watch all the films; for a small fee, they can view the films directly on their computer or download them. Every month, DAFilms.com expands its catalog with the addition of 20 new titles chosen by the five partner festivals involved in Doc Alliance (CPH:DOX Copenhagen, DOK Leipzig, Jihlava IDFF, Planete Doc Festival Warsaw and Visions du Réel Nyon).
Vladimíra Brávková, Czech Republic
from Libertas 27