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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

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
Some Clouds Float Distant
A visual illustration of the process of remembering, when the mind associates the image of an object with similar images based on the person’s mental organization. These are more a reflection of his identity than an imprint of real things and events. “I’m interested in creating works that exist as experience themselves. I consider it necessary to implement the sensitive, the sensual, the experiential into the artwork: to appeal to an erotic of artwork.” G. E. Veloso

Some Clouds Float Distant

Gonzalo E. Veloso
Spain / 2017 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Of her Kingdom
Memories of sounds, everyday artefacts, fragments of situations, visual traces of gestures along with fleeting expressions of inner movements bring about in a gentle way the blanks and losses in this diary essay on the paramount importance of space and behaviour, duration of (un)happiness and focus on the present moment as a means of defence against exhaustion. “A film about absence/bereavement; trying to remember "her" gestures and presence through scattered fragments of memories, reminiscences of sounds and a decaying silence.” V. Guilbert     
personal program

Of her Kingdom

Vincent Guilbert
Japan / 2019 / 10 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Different as night and day
A portrait of a Toronto power plant in the genre of dynamic images. The patient poetics of the ordinary puts together three points of view of two buildings at various times of day, evening, and night. The motionless images seem to merge in slow dissolves. The filmmaker was inspired by Claude Monet’s Rouen Cathedral series – a view of the cathedral’s front under different lighting conditions. The way in which the smoke from the chimneys covers the images when we segue from one to another is based on J. M. W. Turner’s paintings of sunsets.

Different as night and day

Peter Dudar
Canada / 2012 / 16 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Dushanbe
Through the use of animation, the backlit photographs blend with the director’s aunt’s memories of the mountains, the local views, and the inside of the home from which she was forced into exile. The fragments of memory offer insight into life in the diaspora through architectural projects by which the aunt has recreated her native Tajikistan in her new home in Darmstadt.   "Film is grounded in found footage through the photographic, constructing an assemblage from fragments of exile. I focused on colour, texture, and materiality in both image and sound, resuturing diasporic time and space through the slowed-down gesture of animation." K. Friesen  

Dushanbe

Kandis Friesen
Canada, United States / 2018 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
European 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
Extrastellar Evaluations III : Entropy : 25800
The melancholic atmosphere of wandering a landscape scarred by kitschy disco rainbows and colorful illustrations opens up the possibility of an extra-planetary consciousness sending a message in which references to the laws of thermodynamics and Mayan symbolism encounter critical interpretations of an expected confrontation between humanity and the cosmos.   "‘IT‘ knows." Yin-Ju Chen

Extrastellar Evaluations III : Entropy : 25800

Yin-Ju Chen
Taiwan / 2018 / 17 min.
section: Fascinations
Central European Premiere
I Was Here
The combination of static photographs taken with various exposure times creates a moving portrait of a place where the stone building has stood for centuries, but the people are just indistinct traces on the sidewalk in front of it. We see only those who stop long enough to leave their imprint on the short-term memory of the place. The flow of time-lapse images also records changes in the solid structure as the light gives shape to the architecture.

I Was Here

Philippe Léonard
Canada / 2012 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations
East European Premiere
When You Awake
A scary yet funny tale about the journey to collective unconsciousness via experiments with hypnosis through a collage of found footage from instructional, documentary, and fictional films, layered with themes of personal experiences and frustrations, reflections on social stereotypes and desires, and images of wild or strange animate and inanimate nature. Jay Rosenblatt (1955), American independent filmmaker and trained psychotherapist, is the creator of over thirty films in which he examines the nature and limits of the human psyche and emotions. He has received over a hundred various awards for his work. In addition to teaching, he also organizes the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. His films I Just Wanted To Be Somebody (2006), Four Questions for a Rabbi (2008), and I Used to Be a Filmmaker (2003) have been screened at the Jihlava IDFF.“When You Awake was a pleasure to create, and hopefully that will come across to the audience. It was a nice departure for me since it is more playful than many of my films.”

When You Awake

Jay Rosenblatt
United States / 2016 / 12 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech Premiere
The Shifting Sands
Philosophical reflections on Israel blend into a personal struggle for identity: The filmmaker’s father came to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1946 as a Jewish refugee. The call for harmonic co-existence is imprinted in the falling grains from one image into another. Some of the scenes come from the documentary film Israel: Land of Destiny (1977, dir. Jacques Madvo).  "By constructing the film entirely with an optical printer, moving images and pictures are drawn to rhythm and meaning. The philosophical words of Martin Buber invokes the reflection upon the reality." M. Piller  

The Shifting Sands

Madi Piller
Canada / 2018 / 9 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Home
A Cuban home as a non-place reflected in artefacts accessed through recollections, materials and textures. A delicate film poem is a collection of aberrations of the utmost intimate memory with scenes and activities referring to building, deconstruction, places and events that create associative reflections on the meaning of the term “home”.  “Starting from the portrait as a support and exploring its expressive possibilities, I enter into the reconstruction of beings and spaces that I have never known or visited.“ A. Alonso Estrella
personal program

Home

Alejandro Alonso Estrella
Cuba / 2019 / 12 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
ONE-1-2
An algorithmic composition of 531,441 photographs taken over the course of three decades since 1985 place personal and societal events into various contexts to create a minimalist study of informational value, comprehensibility and memory of events. “After all: what is the nature of these moments/events : 9/11, Hiroshima, Buchenwald, political/economic conditions, art, family, coffee, tea, being here/there. After 531,441 pictures 1985–2015 a sum.” T. Mohr T. Mohr

ONE-1-2

Thomas Mohr
Netherlands / 2017 / 16 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
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