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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

Hypnodrome
The simple combination of movements by the camera and the observer creates a hypnotic ride in which, despite a voiceover emphasizing calm and relaxation, rotating objects and lights create an unsettling physical experience and dig the viewer´s imagination deep into grogginess of unsettled look. “Hypnodrome is motion-induced delirium. A cinematographic look through the ‘egocentric camera’ and an homage to cinema as a site of contemplation and trance.” R. Wilhelmer

Hypnodrome

Richard Wilhelmer
Austria / 2017 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
East European Premiere
Pastoral
A rural countryside without people stretches out into patterns of nature that overlap with the detailed tracing of the contours of herbs and trees. This rural peace is disturbed by the nervous camera and the layered traces of clumps of grass, branches, and bushes. The blades of grass leave behind their contours, which are sketched into a fleeting image of a meadow with low grass and, here and there, the shadows of trees.

Pastoral

JB Mabe
United States / 2012 / 2 min.
section: Fascinations
European 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

Derrubada não!

Yann Beauvais
Brazil / 2019 / 23 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Heavy Eyes Remastered
Consistent manipulation of found footage showing people and faces in an urban landscape dissolved their movements into visual echoes. The melancholy remnants of the original film are subjected to the digital poetry of blurriness and the loss of meaning, gestures, and physical movements. “Producing a film includes the process of creating copies. Duplication is built into the medium itself. The change in to new form creates a different experience, though nothing has changed in the content.” S. A. Fruhauf

Heavy Eyes Remastered

Siegfried Alexander Fruhauf
Austria / 2017 / 9 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Shimmer
A collage of fragmented shots of an apartment captured on 16mm film might seem mundane at first glance, but in the urgent density of light, material, and movement, it evokes a special emotional rhythm, which is underscored by David M. Shuh's spherical sound pattern that evaporates from the space but will never be lost.   "The realization of the analog film SHIMMER was driven by my focus on materiality, the play with light and darkness and my passion to observe things that are not noticeable at a first glance." B. Blitz     
personal program

Shimmer

Betty Blitz
Austria / 2019 / 4 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
Impact-9.2
The filmmaker arranges 59,049 personal photographs (out of the long-term project) from 2002 and 2003, all of them created in the post-9/11 atmosphere, into repetitive geometric compositions to form a changeable structure of infinite possibilities for interpreting memories. Set to a musical composition inspired by Thomas Hardy’s poem “The Comet at Yalbury”. German-born filmmaker Thomas Mohr (1954) lives in the Netherlands. In his work, he seeks out new ways of generating images. Originally, he was drawn to abstraction; today it is digital photography. The Jihlava IDFF previously showed his film Gedankenstrich(e) (2014), in which he arranged images into regular grids to evoke a journey and pilgrimage across a landscape of text.“What d o we remember, what d o we forget and what d o we really learn? Based on 531,441 pictures taken in 30 years I’m exploring how our memories transform into experience.”

Impact-9.2

Thomas Mohr
Netherlands / 2016 / 10 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Wanderlust Iteration #1
64 trees in a valley are presented in 3D, becoming both the object and space for every eye – exteriorized on the basis of various principles. The filmmaker continues to explore various possible approaches to spatial representation of creates ingeniously thrilling wanderings among images. "Stereo3D films shall be done of such a kind that they make no - or another - sense than if they where only in mono2D. What we know from flat filmmaking is no help." B. Speidel  

Wanderlust Iteration #1

Björn Speidel
Germany / 2018 / 9 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Requiem
This slow-moving film creates intensive experience of continuously nearly indiscernible - yet in the length of the whole film invariably distinct - changes of shadows, spaces and shapes carved by dark branches into the light mist that besets the statue-like steadiness of the thickening forest just to relinquish it the very next moment. “I wrote poems on the streets, wary of irresponsible parables of nature. The imagination of the street was pain and I loved it. But I still believe that the greatest subverbs are in nature.” M. Yi       

Requiem

Myun Yi
South Korea / 2019 / 11 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Stoned
The algorithmic break-down of images of a stone colonnade creating hallucinatory patterns contrasts with the peaceful dusk among the old hallways and colonnades of Cambodia’s Buddhist temple of Angkor Wat, through which barefoot monks slowly walk, copying their daily rituals.The geometric fragmentation into a flicker composition consisting of mathematically precise cuts and rhythms works well in relation to the architecture and represents a provocative violation of the natural harmony of the place and building.

Stoned

Seoungho Cho
United States / 2013 / 11 min.
section: Fascinations
Central European Premiere
Latency, Contemplation 1
A digitally distorted seascape brings out the horizon, which together with the rolling waves creates a visually hypnotic abstract composition of horizontal surfaces, moving in time to minimalist piano music and electronically manipulated ocean sounds, in a seemingly continuous observation of the shore. “Each line with its own intrinsic ‘intuition’ metamorphoses my perception, exploring how all these personal, inner experiences, both illusionary and tactile, shift and transform into a visual poem.”

Latency, Contemplation 1

Seoungho Cho
United States, South Korea / 2016 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech Premiere
Stay If You Can / Go If You Must
A portrait film of two female contemporary Hong Kong artists shot over ice and smoke, in which these two substances reflect the real-life, turbulent events currently playing out in the ill-fated Special Administrative Region of the PRC. The poetry of words and introspection overlap here in several different layers with the throbbing, relentless prose of documented reality.   "An abstraction on a real event pushes further imagination and emotion in a different time and space for further introspection." E. Wendi
personal program

Stay If You Can / Go If You Must

Elysa Wendi
Hong Kong SAR China / 2019 / 12 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Distance
The filmmaker returns to a Hungarian village for her last visit to her grandmother. The blurring images emphasize the mental distance resulting from physical distance, but also the time that has passed since the childhood memories remembered in her quiet voiceover, which make up for the disappearing memories of the aging body. “The film grew out from a personal life situation when my grandmother got dementia at the age of 85. While she was losing her memories I tried to keep them even stronger than ever.” D. Zurbó

Distance

Dorottya Zurbo
Hungary / 2017 / 8 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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