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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum
The Brussels Business
The Brussels Business

The Brussels Business

director: Matthieu Lietaert, Friedrich Moser
original title: The Brussels Business
country: Austria, Belgium
year: 2012
running time: 85 min.

synopsis

A focused and thorough look at the lifestyle and way of thinking of lobbyists who make a living promoting their clients’ interests in the European Union. Lobbying is any activity whose goal is to influence decision-making bodies and institutions of political power – it is the flesh and blood of the political process. The filmmakers present something that they themselves have called a “docu-thriller” – a personal dramatic look at the behind-the-scenes functioning of politics in the place where the European consensus is formed.  

more about film

director: Matthieu Lietaert, Friedrich Moser

other films in the section

Abdul & Hamza
The feelings of rootlessness and life concerns that prey on thousands of African and Middle Eastern refugees migrating to Europe resonate in this minimalist documentary about two young Somali emigrants. On the path to a better future, they have found temporary shelter in an abandoned house in the mountains near the Serbian-Romanian border. The camera simulates the perspective of an inconspicuous impartial observer capturing moments that often lack any action, but are still full of internal tension arising from the feelings of uncertainty that the silently waiting men cannot escape.DETAIL:“My friend, everyone who has kids is a lucky man. And what’s the situation with your family? – My three children and my wife are waiting for me. It’s great that they are together.”

Abdul & Hamza

Marko Grba Singh
Serbia / 2015 / 49 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
Dialogue with Joseph
Yosef Yosade, a Lithuanian landscape artist, has worked for many years in Israel. His daughter Elżbieta has set the camera on him to capture the nuances of his creative process. Artfully framed static scenes of the master at work, in contemplation, or absorbed in discussions reveal the painter’s distinctive approach based on searching for the visual structure of a landscape. The director also presents visual depictions of landscapes in mutual conflict with their filmed versions, thereby linking the “abstract” and “concrete” perspectives. The film therefore reflects not only individual creation, but also examines the relationship between two specific media. “The film relates the structure of a landscape to that of a human being. Unstable, arid, peopled by other creatures, by footprints from the past; those are features which Joseph shares with the desert he paints.” Elżbieta Josadė

Dialogue with Joseph

Elžbieta Josadė
Lithuania, France / 2016 / 42 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
Cinema Futures
A multi-genre collage consisting of variations on educational films, interviews with famous people (film theorist David Bordwell, director Christopher Nolan), and free-association poetry, Cinema Futures makes humorous use of a subversive and almost conspiratorial commentary. A meditation on the future of film in a world of digital platforms, this wild cinematic “ride” through a labyrinth of museums and archives to bring life classic cinematic and archival methods and contrast them with today’s ubiquitous virtuality. Does the death of celluloid also mean the death of film? Are we losing our audiovisual memory?"A few years before a digitally presented film was exclusive. I disliked it. Scratches, dust and the noise of the silver belong to my formative movie experiences. But nostalgia is not an option."

Cinema Futures

Michael Palm
Austria / 2016 / 125 min.
section: Between the Seas
East European Premiere
The 727 Days Without Karamo
This film revealing the senseless nature of Austria’s immigration policy towards inhabitants of the Third World is more than a mere critique of the system. Director Anja Salomonowitz uses intimate stories of mixed couples/marriages to show the power of love. The film’s protagonists are composed into long, static shots that all share a unifying element – yellow. The film finds its emotional core in children’s rooms, since it is here that the young protagonists are at the mercy of mothers in love and the authorities; watching a 10-year-old girl pray for her father to return from Africa sends a chill down our spines.

The 727 Days Without Karamo

Anja Salomonowitz
Austria / 2013 / 80 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
THE LAST IMAGE
What’s it like to live with vision loss, knowing that someday soon you’ll never be able to see the faces of those you love again? This film is a survey of the lives of people living with visual impairments who have either already gone completely blind or are slowly losing sight of the world around them, but still do not give up in their pursuit of happiness and a life of positivity. The film’s protagonists share their feelings, fears, and frustrations, but also their most memorable visual sights, their dreams, and their hope of perhaps one day being able to go on living an almost completely normal life. The film’s lyrical storytelling style, melancholically stylised frames, and fragments of personal archives contrast with the harsh realities of the lives of people living with visual impairments.   “It’s mostly moments that I remember. Not even images. A smile is what I can remember... or the sparkle in someone else’s eyes.” from THE LAST IMAGE (00:01:40–00:01:54)   Q&A with Judith Zdesar:  
personal program

THE LAST IMAGE

Judith Zdesar
Austria / 2020 / 70 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
365 days, also known as a Year
Day after day, images of film life in the author's collage glued together from fragments of feature films flow at a frame rate in which the date of the day appears in various forms. The original jigsaw puzzle shows what one year of diverse film footage might look like. The selection of scenes by calendar key is an interesting probe into the history of cinematography in different countries, a showcase of moods and diverse styles of film narration. The link between the selected scenes is a certain urgency connected with the realization of a specific date, whether such a date denotes a historical milestone or a simple act of brushing one’s teeth. „365 Days' can be perceived simply as a recycled fiction story. As a video essay it discovers meaning of calendar dates for cinema and invites to think about life, memory and time.“ D. Bondarchuk 

365 days, also known as a Year

Dmytro Bondarchuk
Ukraine / 2019 / 99 min.
section: Between the Seas
International Premiere
António and Catarina
In one of the gloomy rooms in his flat, seventy-year-old Augusto casts shy glances at the camera behind which stands twenty-five year old Cristina, the film’s director. For three years she repeatedly visited him to record their interviews, during which they used the assumed names of António and Catarina. This game with identity, and mainly with the nature of their mutual relationship, is reflected in small talk, where the topics turn to diverse themes, including masturbation and gender stereotypes. Augusto/António is usually the one talking as well as the one in front of the camera, which records his image in dark details. Cristina/Catarina stands behind the camera and asks questions. “Drawn by the vigour of an old enchanting man, I made this film without knowing where it would take me.” C. Hanes

António and Catarina

Cristina Hanes
Portugal / 2017 / 40 min.
section: Between the Seas
East European Premiere
noimage
FilmHOPELESSNESS uses hand drawings, cutout animation, and pixilation to tell the story of a Romanian citizen who died in a Polish prison as the result of a hunger strike. In this politically engaged documentary, the protagonist describes his absurd tale: although no guilt was proven, he was imprisoned anyway. He decides that a hunger strike is the only way to preserve his humanity.

Crulic - The Path to Beyond

Anca Damian
Poland, Romania / 2011 / 71 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
Euromaidan. Rough Cut
In autumn of 2013, the Ukrainian government suspended meetings regarding accession to the EU. This prompted a period of civil unrest culminating in the resignation of pro-Russian president Yanukovych and open conflict in the eastern part of the country. A group of filmmakers began recording these developments in their country from up close; their collective documentary presents a mosaic of suggestive images and personal stories organized into chapters according to theme and the filmmaker’s approach. The “Rough Cut” in the film’s title is not an indication of the incompleteness of the work but rather a metaphorical description of the situation in which the Ukrainian state currently exists. DETAIL:“So here’s piece of Lenin. Ha ha ha ha!” “Seriously? Is it real?” “Yes. Here’s some history. One of Lenin’s teeth. Yes, a history that’s finished.”

Euromaidan. Rough Cut

Yulia Gontaruk, Volodymyr Tykhyi, Roman Liubyi, Oleksandr Techynskyi, Kateryna Gornostai, Dmitry Stoykov, Andriy Lytvynenko, Andrey Kiselyov, Aleksey Solodunov, Roman Bondarchuk
Ukraine / 2014 / 60 min.
section: Between the Seas
European Premiere
The Circle
They wanted to create an environmentally friendly and socially sustainable community. Twelve adults and six children began to live beyond traditional social order. However, environmentally conscious behavior and embedded physical work do not result in satisfaction from the social aspect of the community ideal. The need to communicate becomes the theme of the film and it is constantly translated visually into shots of circular interviews that show that mastered interpersonal relationships are an indispensable condition for the sustainability of the community and any functional society. The inevitable implosion is preceded by an archetypal story of a love triangle and the struggle for power.“My motivation for making this film lay in the interest in human psychology, behaviour that surfaces in a closed group is a big revelation. In order to save the world, we really need to start within.” M. Lillak

The Circle

Margit Lillak
Estonia / 2019 / 93 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
Lecedra
Lecedra is a small village in Bulgaria. It is also the director’ home, to which he returns after a long absence, camera in hand. A documentary about the impossibility of being an impartial observer in a place to which one is bound by emotions. Into the sometimes highly descriptive observations, there suddenly intrudes the director’s emotionally animated commentary. A small, snow-shrouded village in a post-communist country. The Eisenstein-like conflict between the old and the new (relicts of totalitarianism contrast with the achievements of capitalism) takes on sleepy contours in the wintry timelessness, far from the budding spring.

Lecedra

Jivko Darakchiev
France, Bulgaria / 2012 / 29 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
Not my Land
Allotment gardens near an international airport. Their ownership is unclear. Ethnic Russians living in the Baltic republics. Following in the footsteps of a documentary photographer, the filmmakers reveal the complicated modern history of Estonia as a country with a large Russian minority. They do so on a stage measuring several square kilometres in size. The aging gardeners are like squatters in the house of history. Beneath our feet is soil that is not theirs; over our heads, planes fly to countries they cannot visit; on all sides they are surrounded by a nation that doesn’t want them in their house.

Not my Land

Aljona Surzhikova
Estonia / 2013 / 52 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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