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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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The Bit Player
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The Bit Player
The Bit Player
The Bit Player
The Bit Player

The Bit Player

director: Mark Levinson
original title: The Bit Player
country: United States
year: 2019
running time: 90 min.

synopsis

A mixture of documentary and live action film, The Bit Player is a multilayered portrait of Claude Shannon, the man who invented the word “bit” to describe a unit of information and whose scientific work laid the foundations for IT and artificial intelligence. Through interviews with members of the scientific community, archival footage, and reenactments, the film presents the life and professional story of this forgotten genius who, in addition to his groundbreaking discoveries, also produced numerous strange and useless inventions and enjoyed juggling and cheating at games of chance. The film shows Shannon’s theories and technical ideas using animations easily understood by everyone.

"Claude Shannon should be a model for everyone in any creative field. He never lost his child-like curiosity. Sometimes it revolutionized the world; sometimes it made a flaming trumpet." M. Levinson

biography

American director and producer Mark Levinson hold a Ph.D. in particle physics from the University of California in Berkeley. He is an expert in the post-production dubbing technique known as ADR (automated dialog replacement), which led him to work with such filmmakers as with Miloš Forman, David Fincher, and Francis Ford Coppola. His earlier films include a documentary about Soviet dissidents, Prisoner of Time (1993) and about the discovery of the Higgs boson Particle Fever (2013).

more about film

director: Mark Levinson
cast: Judith Ivey, John Hutton, Kaliswa Brewster
producer: Mark Levinson
script: Mark Levinson
photography: Claudia Raschke
editing: Tim Sternberg
music: Robert Miller

other films in the section

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A look at the integration of machines into daily life. On the one hand, robots are very useful; on the other, they replace people’s jobs and can even threaten their lives. The film is a montage of interviews with workers and various specialists, and shows footage from places where robots are used on a regular basis. 

The Truth about Killer Robots

Maxim Pozdorovkin
United States / 2018 / 82 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
East European Premiere
I Am Not Your Negro
Samuel L. Jackson narrates this audiovisual presentation of a never-finished manuscript by the eminent American writer and activist James Baldwin. This stirring history of the struggle of African-Americans against white supremacy is presented from the perspective of disbelieving amazement that such a thing could have ever happened and is actually still ongoing.

I Am Not Your Negro

Raoul Peck
United States, France, Belgium / 2016 / 93 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
Czech Premiere
Tell Me about the Stars
A group of fifteen scientists head for Antarctica where they’ll spend 13 months, during which time they’ll study the skies from the best place on the planet. The film diary of one of the team members reveals glittering plains of snow, black nights full of stars, as well as isolation, frustration, and the longing to escape back to civilization.

Tell Me about the Stars

Jonathan Millet
France / 2017 / 56 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
World Premiere
Badiou
Alain Badiou, born in 1937 in Morocco, demonstrated his exceptional skills in many fields of science, but became famous as a philosopher. The directorial duo the Kaylan brothers made their first feature film about Badiou, in which the philosopher himself talks about his work and personal life and presents his thoughts.

Badiou

Rohan Kalyan, Gorav Kalyan
United States, France / 2018 / 81 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
World Premiere
Near and Elsewhere
In fictional sequences inserted into this documentary about economic, social and political perspectives on possible upcoming developments, the filmmakers portray a utopian future as a foreign territory. Six public figures from various cultural and social circles reflect on the future as a matter of time, people and the world.

Near and Elsewhere

Sue-Alice Okukubo, Eduard Zorzenoni
Austria, Germany / 2018 / 84 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
World Premiere
In the Realm of Perfection
An essay study on the possibilities of combining sports and film. Using traditional French film theory and philosophy, the director analyzes the sports performances of American tennis legend John McEnroe captured on 16mm film. The film offers a contemplation on the relationship between duration (durée), the passage of time, and motion.  

In the Realm of Perfection

Julien Faraut
France / 2018 / 95 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
Czech Premiere
Almost Nothing
The film Almost Nothing presents a behind-the-scenes look at CERN, the Center for Nuclear Research. Through interviews with theoretical physicists, technicians and other employees, the everyday operations of the organization and its cafeteria are revealed while discussing the most important questions about the universe that science is currently engaged in. 

Almost Nothing

ZimmerFrei, Anna de Manincor
Italy, France, Belgium / 2018 / 77 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
East European Premiere
Panic  Attack
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Panic Attack

Ernesto Ardito
Argentina / 2017 / 76 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
European Premiere
Cinecitta Babilonia
Cinecittà, the “city of film” on the Tiber River, produced over 300 films for Mussolini and gave the people a galaxy of film stars. This documentary combines historical facts with fictional testimony by acting icons to conjure up an image of the Italian factory of dreams as a product of propaganda and capital, as well as reveals the relationship between fascism and Hollywood.

Cinecitta Babilonia

Marco Spagnoli
Italy / 2017 / 73 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
East European Premiere
...When You Look Away
During Young’s interference experiment, electrons behave differently when they are being observed. Working with this axiom of quantum physics, the filmmaker set out to explore aspects of the human consciousness that cannot be described by science. Along the way, the question arose: Does water communicate when people don’t see it?

...When You Look Away

Phie Ambo
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section: A Testimony on Knowledge
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Slav Epic Complex
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Slav Epic Complex

Jan Strejcovský
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section: A Testimony on Knowledge
World Premiere
Bazin's Film
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Bazin's Film

Pierre Hébert
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section: A Testimony on Knowledge
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