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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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The Escape Agents
The Escape Agents

The Escape Agents

director: Scott Calonico
original title: The Escape Agents
country: United Kingdom, German Democratic Republic, Germany
year: 2018
running time: 5 min.

synopsis

A re-construction of the illegal smuggling of a family across the border from East to West Berlin in 1988. Told in photographs, the film shows a chilling story of escape in the trunk of a car and an encounter with agents of the East German secret police. The images’ unknown origin adds a sense of the universal and calls into question the course of events. 

"While researching my first feature, I stumbled across these photos in the Stasi archives and decided to try to make a story around them. I was shocked when I found out the true identity of the people " S. Calonico

 

biography

Scott Calonico (1968) focuses on the history of mediocrity. In addition to documentaries, he makes promotional films that present new challenges to him. As a freelance journalist, he writes articles about technology and culture, for example, for Vice. In 2016, he spent his free time reviewing Mexican nachos in European restaurants. The Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival presented his Final Draft (2014).

more about film

director: Scott Calonico
producer: Jeff Radice
script: Scott Calonico
photography: Ministry of State Security, German Democratic Republic
editing: Nathan Calonico, Nathan McGinty
sound: Ricardo Fratelli

other films in the section

Dead End, rewind reversal
This inventive experiment with a stereo 3D image follows a train track ending at a ruined bridge and then back again through the forest. The focus is on the spatial perception of diverse depictions of the journey laid side by side, captured with a film camera and confusing the eye of the viewer with various overlays and inversions of time levels. “Stereo3D films shall be done such a kind that they make no – or another – sense if they where only in mono2D. What we know from flat filmmaking is no help. So filmmakers have to start from scratch again and spectators too.”

Dead End, rewind reversal

Björn Speidel
Germany / 2016 / 11 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Cry Havoc
A mass of protestors in remediated scenes, a becomes an expression of the strength and passion of the crowd, while dynamic abstractions and visual shifts show changing interpretations of people´s expressions within a crowd and of their reasons and objectives for protesting, all in a lightning-fast onslaught of media images. “Cry Havoc is part of a long-term research project in which video works process images of violence and protest from TV and online news media, studying the complex nature and impact of these images, and looking for new aesthetic forms.” G. Silberstein

Cry Havoc

Guli Silberstein
United Kingdom / 2017 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
African Film School
Found 8mm home movies from safaris in South Africa and Zimbabwe in the 1960s – i.e., during the apartheid era. The filmmaker finds inspiration in Peter Kubelka’s avant-garde work Unsere Afrikareise and uses montage and editing to critically refl ect on the colonial representation of the African landscape. “Having lived in South Africa for almost a decade, I wanted to find an abstract way to reflect on my journey as a filmmaker and highlight my concerns regarding the visual misrepresentations of Southern Africa.” R. Horn

African Film School

Roger Horn
South Africa / 2017 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
Latency Contemplation 2
Natural textures and close-ups of various surfaces of soil, rocks and water are vertically sliced and rhythmically abstracted. Within the stream of images, this tour of the outer world becomes a way of experiencing the landscape and its transformations, in whose regularity we can find stability and inner peace. “Cho´s internal visions and perception of the outer world come together in an abstract meditation on space, place and sound. Natural landscapes are pushed to the edge of abstraction through layering and other forms of manipulation.”

Latency Contemplation 2

Seoungho Cho
United States, South Korea / 2017 / 8 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech Premiere
Phantasma
In rhythmically changing parallel scenes, this visual atlas of the underwater world shows animals and their natural movements, waving plants and growing crystals, but also the rooms, machinery and equipment at the Copenhagen aquarium that has exhibited these living being for more than 70 years. “While filming I was pulled into a melancholic and haunted realm. The collapsing aquarium became an allegory of a shared past and time itself. It represents an enchanted place where both the struggle to remember and to forget intertwine.”

Phantasma

Saara Ekström
Finland / 2016 / 9 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Beyond the Mirror Rim
A collage of reflections on various artificial and natural surfaces forms fleeting, concrete and variable abstract visual compositions, with a voiceover meditation on forms of perception related to the acquisition and deepening of knowledge, from Antiquity to today’s technical and social influences on how we perceive the world. German director, photographer, cinematographer, and university lecturer Thomas Kutschker (1963) experiments with sound, mixing recordings from social networks from around the world with excerpts from old films to explore human fear and the yearning for knowledge. The Jihlava IDFF previously showed his films Shadow Worlds (2008), Me, Myself and I in the Age of Download (2010), and Financial Locations (Global Mash Up) (2015).“Words, sounds and pictures seem to be independent, disconnected as the appearance of light, shadow and reflexion themselves... But they are woven into each other and connected following their own logical construction.”

Beyond the Mirror Rim

Thomas Kutschker
Germany / 2016 / 14 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Derrubada não!
Out of the forests of north-eastern Brazil, an essay on the relationships with nature, location and soil grows out, developing into musings on the configuration of space, proprietary demands and care about landscape. Against the background of biological diversity, which stands for a commentary from the perspective of history and culture, it introduces the issue of ownership of forests, conceivably by those who inhabit them. "Kaleidoscopic and impressionistic views from a site in the in Brasilian 's sertão in which anthe Atikum artist Edson Barrus has preserved a tree: the Imburana which is a specy in danger. " Y. Beauvais
personal program

Derrubada não!

Yann Beauvais
Brazil / 2019 / 23 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Biblion
A visual study of the book as a medium and cultural artefact. Parallel images analyse books from the point of view of appearance and material with the film plunging into the depths of their microscopic fabric while, at the opposite end of the spectrum, the variety of their surfaces, textures, fonts and shapes blossoms into structured volumes ordered on a bookshelf. “Born from observing the phenomena of quietly vanishing old book stores, our work first became an exploration of the medium of the book itself, and then grew in to something more haunting.” E. Tammi, S. Ekström  
personal program

Biblion

Saara Ekström, Eero Tammi
Finland / 2019 / 13 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Morphology of a Dream
A visual composition based on a study of the rhythm of sleep cycles during REM sleep. The flowing images melt into overlapping splotches of color to create shapes of fleeting sleep images at various speeds, thus reflecting the impossibility of capturing any concrete motifs.   "Connecting my observation with an intuitive way of filming, I document phenomena in the natural world to reveal evocative visual rhythms through the ecstatic clash of color and form." M. Szlam  

Morphology of a Dream

Malena Szlam
United States, Canada / 2018 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
1/8
The film’s title refers to the sharpness of human vision when compared to that of a hawk. The deformations and blurriness of the image, dependent on the density of photoreceptors, hide concreteness. The allusion to the myth of Icarus addresses questions of distance and clarity, while the meticulous rhythm of the narrative develops the themes of point of view and falling from great heights.“This film focuses on the world that exists outside of stories. By destroying the main story of man, I wanted to discover all that has been erased from him or that is trapped outside of him.” R. Hayama

1/8

Rei Hayama
Japan / 2017 / 13 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
The Will
A meditative evocation of the South Korean “Candlelight Revolution” in the winter of 2016/17. The hybrid mosaic, in which archival and contemporary footage is altered by visual manipulation and performative moments, shows artifacts, situations, and gestures reflecting the desire for political change.  "The sense of vulnerability facing the unimaginable change made it only possible to borrow the quotations from the past and the future." S. Kim, J. Cho  

The Will

Jenny Cho, Sungeun Kim
South Korea / 2018 / 20 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Displacement
The image’s fragile cohesiveness, disturbed by digital disintegration and overlays to create a visually impressive composition, emphasizes the need to think about remediated messages on the subject of nationalism and militarism, for the filmmaker works with images of Palestinian fields being burnt by Jewish settlers and vows taken by Israeli soldiers at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. “My work tracks patterns in nature, landscape and human form, perceived by camera and mind, struggling to comprehend the vast intensity of the living experience of the world through electronic media.“ G. Silberstein     
personal program

Displacement

Guli Silberstein
United Kingdom / 2019 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
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