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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

ENOLAEMEVAEL
This remake of Man Ray’s celebrated Emak Bakia (1926), which uses a cameraless method of creating hand-processed film images in high-contrast black-and-white, refers to the original film even in its subject matter as well: continuing with the motifs of death, it works with artifacts and documents from US drone attacks on Pakistani territory in 2015. Kathryn Ramey (1967) is an American filmmaker, anthropologist, and teacher at Emerson College in Boston. Through celluloid manipulation and hand developing film stock, she creates new audiovisual forms that search for points of intersection between anthropological studies and experimental film. Her works have received numerous awards at international festivals.“Combining experimental process - es with theoretical premises and anthropolo gy, my films and installations seek to deconsecrate the ‘real’ of conventional documentary and agitate the viewer to seek out subjugated narratives in dominant media culture.”  

ENOLAEMEVAEL

Kathryn Ramey
United States / 2016 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
The Space Shuttle Challenger
Diary collages combine the emotions from important events such the interrogation of prisoners at Guantánamo, the Challenger disaster and the putsch in Chile with personal memories from the same points in time to create an interplay of large and small history. “I used footage of Chile’s Tancazo in my previous film. I later discovered the story behind that footage and was compelled to weave it into this film, originally intended to be a piece only about Omar Khadr.” C. Araneda

The Space Shuttle Challenger

Cecilia Araneda
Canada / 2017 / 9 min.
section: Fascinations
International 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
The Thread
An old seamstress’s recollections are woven into a dreamlike postcard in which the sea carries away a house, God takes in a child, and the burden of life shines through into a blindness in which the most sensitive organs are the hands that meticulously work the loom."The Thread that connects all, from energy to matter, from energy to idea, from idea to symbol, from light to story, from photon to silver halide, from silver grain to moving image, living image. It's a film about dream and reality, about life and dead. Connected through a wool thread." P. Bulgarelli

The Thread

Pietro Bulgarelli, Pablo Polanco
Chile, Costa Rica / 2017 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Phantasma
In rhythmically changing parallel scenes, this visual atlas of the underwater world shows animals and their natural movements, waving plants and growing crystals, but also the rooms, machinery and equipment at the Copenhagen aquarium that has exhibited these living being for more than 70 years. “While filming I was pulled into a melancholic and haunted realm. The collapsing aquarium became an allegory of a shared past and time itself. It represents an enchanted place where both the struggle to remember and to forget intertwine.”

Phantasma

Saara Ekström
Finland / 2016 / 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
#57
A visualization of the workings of the high-frequency oscillators once used to test military sonars and medical ultrasound devices is juxtaposed with abstract illustrations of a Chinese mathematician’s differential equations, and their visualization through analogue computer processes shows the subtle exactness of changing textures.  "Technology is a deforming mirror that shows us what humans think and do. For that reason I make my work in a dialogue with machines that I develop myself, trying to learn from what they tell us." J. Rekveld

#57

Joost Rekveld
Netherlands / 2018 / 14 min.
section: Fascinations
Central 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
The Trembling Giant
A view of the landscape of the American Southwest, where the largest organism on Earth grows – a 60,000-year-old colony of quaking aspens – was filmed with a digital camera through the take-up reel of a 16mm projector in order to emphasize the characteristic effect of projected film material which rhythmically warps the space in front of the projector. Patrick Tarrant (1969) is originally from Melbourne, Australia and teaches at London South Bank University. He is the author of meditative films, that draw on the atmosphere of cities and urban peripheries.“My repurposing of a 16mm film projector warps space in three dimensions in order that we might reflect on our journey from a people who feared the natural world to people who must now fear for the natural world.”

The Trembling Giant

Patrick Tarrant
United Kingdom / 2016 / 19 min.
section: Fascinations
East European Premiere
8th October 2016
The title of the film is the date on which the editorial staff of the Hungary´s largest opposition newspaper, Népszabadság, was fred. The filmmaker tore up copies of that day’s issue, layered them, and then turned them into an urgent collage expressing his yearning for the free expression of opposition viewpoints. The visible edges of the film emphasize the impossibility of presenting information in a complete context. “Our film is a simple political statement. It was made in two days, right after the shut-down of Népszabadság.” B. Máté, P. Lichter

8th October 2016

Péter Lichter, Bori Máté
Hungary / 2016 / 2 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Garden Exercises
A tour of botanical gardens in Bilbao, Toronto and Quito, filmed on a haptic camera as part of a project for developing a camera that will record the things its owner touches. The filmmakers explore the diversity of visual identities at a time dominated by the combination of sight and sound. “The video is a part of the collaborative ‘Haptic/Visual Identities’ project investigating ‘haptic visuality’ through film via a digital DIY prototype. The work presents ‘macro images’ of a garden in a former colonial paradise.” A. Mergler

Garden Exercises

Cristian Villavicencio, Agata Mergler
Ecuador / 2017 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
I Would Leave Everything Here
The patient observation of the four seasons – daytime and nighttime events, manifestations of the natural elements, and the peacefulness of minimalist images – as seen through the window. A dramatic compilation of images into an extraordinary record of the ordinary flow of time. Croatian filmmaker, photographer, and audiovisual artist Ivan Faktor (1953) has been making art since 1975. In 1995, his film At Home was shown at the Venice Biennale, and he also represented his home country at the São Paulo Art Biennial. The Jihlava IDFF previously showed his film Self-Portrait (2006), in which a camera inside the filmmaker’s body records a journey through the human body in the form of abstract images, shadows, and rhythms.“... for here I would leave this earth and these stars, because I would take nothing with me from here, because I’ve lo oked into what‘s coming, and I d on‘t need anything from here.” (László Krasznahorkai)

I Would Leave Everything Here

Ivan Faktor
Croatia / 2016 / 11 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
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