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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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The Pit
The Pit
The Pit
The Pit

The Pit

director: Jona Gerlach
original title: The Pit
country: United States
year: 2019
running time: 10 min.

synopsis

Contemporary and archival footage of the Berkeley Pit, an open pit copper mine in Montana – today filled with contaminated water – is chemically altered using poisonous substances from this water containing copper, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and sulfuric acid in order to call attention to the destructive consequences of mining.

“The film shows the destructive consequences of mine waste through a variety of photochemical processes using the same contaminants found in the water of the pit.“ J. Gerlach

biography

Jona Gerlach is an American author and filmmaker. After earning a degree in English, he went on to study media arts. He began making films in 2015, when his debut film 14 Homicides was shown at the Ji.hlava festival. Gerlach combines experimentation with elements of documentary film, with a focus on social issues. Besides video, he also experiments with classic film material.

more about film

director: Jona Gerlach
producer: Jona Gerlach
photography: Jona Gerlach
sound: Jona Gerlach

other films in the section

Mayhem
Minor irregularities are transformed into an elemental disorder of growing, jumping, decaying and reappearing bubbles, only to become focused into a circle of changing colors. Using digital tools, the author depicts the simple process by which water boils and cools again. Japanese experimental filmmaker, producer, and computer artist Yoshiki Nishimura has shown several of his films at previous editions of the Jihlava IDFF. In Fascinating Moments (2014) he followed the choreography of snowflakes, An Observation (2013) is a composition of upside images of the sea, and Orbiting (2015) explored the changing light of the moon as it shines through a visually manipulated digital image.“By using different media, we have great possibilities of expanding our views of reality into various directions.”

Mayhem

Yoshiki Nishimura
Japan / 2016 / 10 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
Exhumation
Desire without its object is like an image made unrecognizable by cutting out its parts; by scratching away part of the visible image, the image becomes a hole sliced into a pained body, fumbling about for what is missing, seeking physical contact and tangible proof of co-existence.  ""Exhumation" is my interpretation of the reports of Dali's death mask recently. I worked to physically peel back layers of representation to reveal disintegrated memories of figures that once were." D. McIntyre  

Exhumation

Daniel McIntyre
Canada / 2018 / 8 min.
section: Fascinations
Central European Premiere
Not Moldova, 1937
A diary witness of the author’s journey to Moldovia, a country which her parents had been forced to leave in the 1930s due to their Jewish origin. Archival footage combined with stories of survivors recalls the exodus, war and totalitarianism, confronting images of local objects with scenes of traditional rituals.  “In my film I witnessed spaces and silently collected painful history that carved pain and suffer.” M. Piller
personal program

Not Moldova, 1937

Madi Piller
Canada, Moldova / 2019 / 13 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Save (My heart from the world)
The movements of the ferry, creating additional disturbances in the waves of the Mediterranean Sea, enable the creation of colorful compositions, unexpectedly degraded algorithmic interventions of digital compression which in inventive surfaces and grids mask and repeatedly renew the authenticity of the record of the voyage, while the horizon becomes an escaping uncertainty. Jacques Perconte (1974) is a leading figure on the French avant garde film scene. He experiments with digital images, codecs, and compression algorithms that he himself creates. Thematically he focuses primarily on the relationships of contemporary culture and technologically advanced civilizations with nature. His work has been screened at past Jihlava IDFFs: L (2014), Les Moutiers (2012), and Ettrick (2015), among others.“The wind blew from the starting of the ferry. Offshore, the swell could make the travel difficult, but that boat would split the sea and project its Mediterranean blue in the golden sky and the fire light of the setting sun in the waves.”

Save (My heart from the world)

Jacques Perconte
France / 2016 / 10 min.
section: Fascinations
East European Premiere
La Mesa
Genre conventions cleverly broken down with animations, breaking through the scenery of rural Mexico, where in the area surrounding the director’s family farm, symbols of stories of physical desire conceal a layer of idyllic childhood memories and come into conflict with the traditional concept of masculinity and identity expression.   "By centering queer desire within the story of my Mexican-American family, I validate my own lived experience as well as challenge popular representation of masculinity, power and vulnerability." A. G. Gomez  

La Mesa

Adrian Garcia Gomez
United States / 2018 / 10 min.
section: Fascinations
International 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
Synthetic-free
Wave follows wave. Real movements of the ocean, redrawn by computer-generated animation, flow into the picture frame in relation to real-time wind speeds, their visibility defined by natural light levels. The monotonous sound further emphasises the endless irregularity of the observed. “3D Computer Graphics have powers for making new images. They are mostly used for entertainment. However, they can surely be applied more to creating new methods and ideas for exploring experimental expressions.” Y. Nishimura

Synthetic-free

Yoshiki Nishimura
Japan / 2017 / 9 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Concrete Cinema
Working with the principle of concrete music, the filmmaker layers and meticulously overlays images into such a mightiness that it creates abstract compositions of memories, thus exploring how they progressively change thanks to the selective nature of memory and the possible resolution of the digital medium. The work of Japanese filmmaker and programmer Makino Takashi (1978) is influenced by London’s Brothers Quay, and is marked by an eclectic approach that makes use of video art and a diverse range of cinematic techniques. Takashi sees the image and musical soundtrack as equal components in his work. His film Generator (2012) won the Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.“The challenge was to start from the concrete, go to the abstract, and then use the abstract to create a concrete abstractness.”

Concrete Cinema

Makino Takashi
Japan, Netherlands / 2015 / 24 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech Premiere
Double 8
Christiana Perschon shot her meeting with the artist Linda Christanell, a representative of Austria’s feminist avant-garde of the 1970s, on double 8mm fi lm without cutting. When shown, the fi lm’s split image shows footage of the two women fi lming one another to create a dialogue on seeing and being seen. “Every interaction with an image searches for its own form.  Approaching someone with my camera is not a one-way encounter but an act of getting to know each other: I see you seeing me instead of looking at you.” C. Perschon

Double 8

Christiana Perschon
Austria / 2016 / 3 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
Filipiniana
An ironic collage offers a reflection on lords and leaders, their gestures, attributes, characteristics, and deeds. The images, which oscillate between the credibility of archival footage and the artificiality of costume dramas on cardboard stage sets, become hyperboles of the typical attributes of power and engage in, are a radically rebellious play with punk expression. Khavn de la Cruz (1973) is a Philippine filmmaker, musician, and writer, a leading figure of the younger generation of Philippine cinema. He has helped produce 47 feature-length and 112 short films, and founded MOV, an international film, music, and literary festival in Quezon City. In addition to a number of feature-length films (Kamias: Memory of Forgetting, 1999, 2006 Jihlava IDFF; Manila in the Fangs of Darkness, 2008, 2008 Jihlava IDFF), a crosssection of his short films were presented at the 2006 Jihlava IDFF in the Translucent Beings section.“To reimage, rewrite, and reread my country’s bastard history, using dismembered icons and scenographies that both affirm and negate remembered mythology.”

Filipiniana

Khavn De La Cruz
Philippines / 2015 / 13 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Becoming American
The barcode from Form N-400 – the application for U.S. citizenship – is “naturalized” (a reference to “naturalization,” the term for becoming a U.S. citizen into the image, which is thus transformed into an abstract portrait of the applicant. At the same time, it is converted into sound by reading the visual code with an optical sound reader. Christina Nguyen (1988) hails from Los Angeles and studied visual art and media and molecular biology at the University of California in San Diego. She also received an MFA in film/video from the California Institute of the Arts. Edgar Jorge Baralt (1988) was born in Venezuela and studied film production at the University of Central Florida and at the California Institute of the Arts near Los Angeles, where he currently lives and works. His films explore the subjects of memory, time, and the changing nature of human identity.“The electronic version of the N-400 application form generates a barcode as personal information is entered. We take this conversion of identity into data further by turning this barcode into an audiovisual experience.”

Becoming American

Christina Nguyen, Edgar Jorge-Baralt
United States / 2016 / 1 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
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