Looking for the 21st Jihlava IDFF

Fifth - and final - issue of festival dok.revue

Along with its 4 and a half thousand visitors, the Jihlava IDFF celebrated its 20th anniversary, engaged in debates outlining the festival’s future prospects and unveiled its history on Jihlava’s main square. Among the most popular events were the screenings of Czech Journal: The Little Mole and Laozi by Filip Remunda and Love Me, If You Can as well as the keenly awaited visit of American psychologist Philip Zimbardo.

“The 20th Jihlava IDFF attracted enormous interest of documentary film fans and I am happy to see that our festival has remained an event that interconnects filmmakers with their audiences just like twenty years ago when it was founded,” says Marek Hovorka, Director of Jihlava IDFF.

The unconventional Closing Ceremony that walked through the streets of Jihlava was hosted by the duo of presenters from the Vosto5 ensemble and the Best Czech Documentary Film Award went to FC Roma and Normal Autistic Film. French Spectres Are Haunting Europe won The Best World Documentary Award. The winner of the Between the Seas section, The Dazzling Light of Sunset, was also acknowledged by the First Lights competition jury as the Best Documentary Debut. The Best Experimental Film Award goes to Canadian Engram of Returning and to the Czech film De Potentia Dei by Ondřej Vavrečka. Drahomíra Vihanová accepted the Contribution to World Cinema Award from the hands of the JIDFF’s Director, Marek Hovorka.

One of the themes of the 20th anniversary edition of the Jihlava IDFF were future documentary prospects: “Will documentary cinema still be around in twenty years? And if so, in what form?” was one of our survey questions. And the answer is: documentary cinema will stay alive and so will the largest celebration of documentary film in Central and Eastern Europe – the 21st annual Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival will take place on Oct 24 – 29, 2017.

October 30, 2016

from current issue:

Situational reviewThe creators of Havel didn’t know that they don’t know. And that’s the worst kind of not knowing!Is director Slávek Horák’s film Havel truly chaos that says nothing at all about the recent history of our Czech nation or its first president? Or are the filmmakers entitled to artistic license and allowed to create whatever they like, despite giving the film and its main character the name Havel? And what does it say about the times we live in that from the legacy of the influential playwright, intellectual, politician, and master of words, the filmmakers chose to focus solely on his slightly sensationalised private life?Kamila BoháčkováNew releaseHeaven over Today’s ChinaWhat is the story behind the feature-length documentary, Heaven, focusing on a Chinese Christian-run orphanage that is also a testimony about today’s China? Director Tomáš Etzler sees the film as a logical ending of his seven years in the Middle Kingdom. The second contribution was written by editor Adéla Špaljová who describes her collaboration with the director on the creation of the final cut of the documentary.Tomáš Etzler, Adéla ŠpaljováNew releaseAs Far As Possible Ukrainian documentarian Ganna Iaroshevych describes how she has been preparing her new film called As Far As Possible. It´s a portray of a man who decided to leave Germany and lives in the Ukrainian mountains fighting against the extinction of water buffaloes. „Our film tells about an alternative way of slow living close to nature and animals, and in harmony with yourself. And it seems to us that now this topic is especially relevant to many people around the globe,“ says Ganna Iaroshevych.Ganna JaroševičNew releaseThe Alchemical FurnaceJan Daňhel describes the concept behind his documentary film Alchemical Furnace that portrays the figure and work of Jan Švankmajer.ThemeIt comes right from the bellyIn this personal essay, a Danish sound designer Peter Albrechtsen remembers one of the world's greatest and most unique modern film composers, Jóhann Jóhannsson. This article was written in 2018, shortly after the Jóhannsson´s death, but has never been published.PoemGramsci’s NotebooksMike HoolboomInterviewKarel Vachek: Films Just Have to Make You Laugh!A doyen of Czech documentary filmmaking Karel Vachek unfortunately passed away on the 21th of December 2020. We publish here the interview he made in 2019 just after releasing his last film, the 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. Kamila BoháčkováNew BookArmy Film and the Avant Garde?American film historian Alice Lovejoy discusses how her book Army Film and the Avant Garde: Cinema and Experiment in the Czechoslovak Military came to be. First published by Indiana University Press in 2015, the book will be published in a Czech translation by Jan Hanzlík in 2021 by the National Film Archive. The idea for the book emerged during the years the author lived in the Czech Republic.Alice LovejoyIntroductionLiving with inner laughterDok.revue 2.20Kamila Boháčková