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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum
Sea Tomorrow
Sea Tomorrow
Sea Tomorrow
Sea Tomorrow

Sea Tomorrow

director: Yekaterina Suvorova
original title: Zavtra more
country: Kazakhstan, Germany
year: 2015
running time: 88 min.

synopsis

This observational documentary examines the disappearance of the Aral Sea and attempts at its restoration. At the location where the majority of maps and atlases show a large, majestic body of water, Katerina Suvorova finds only a largish pond and an arid wasteland, filled with the rusting remnants of wrecks waiting for scrap metal collectors. Shots of the enigmatic landscape, consisting of endless expanses of sand and dust, are alternated with captivating details. Just as fascinating is the strong will and faith of the people who have stayed in this inhospitable environment, such as old gardener, fishermen, and a hydrobiologist. They hope that the sea will return, they are fighting to save it, and they all hope for a better tomorrow.

“I see people of the Aral region as a collective image of the last survivors on Earth. Their stories prove that even when the last shuttle abandons our racked planet, there will be people who stay and prefer correction of errors of the past to uncertainty of the future.” Katerina Suvorova

biography

Katerina Suvorova (1983) is a Kazakh director and screenwriter who also works in Moscow and Stockholm. She likes to combine documentary elements with animation, and also experiments with sound and noises. She has made several short documentaries that have been successfully presented at international festivals. As a screenwriter, she worked on the Mediastan (2014). Sea Tomorrow is her feature-length film debut.

more about film

director: Yekaterina Suvorova
producer: Sain Gadbullin
script: Yekaterina Suvorova
photography: Eugen Schlegel
editing: Azamat Altybasov
sound: Igor Gladkiy

other films in the section

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
My Family Tree
The turbulent history of northern Europe as seen through the story of one regular family. Against the backdrop of actual events, Latvian director Una Celma unfolds an entertaining docudrama combining re-enacted segments with montages of archival and illustrative footage, all with an ironic and lightly educational narration. The film’s dynamic flight into the past highlights significant historical details – for example, each push of the pedal of a rusty old dental drill helps paint a picture of the sorry state of healthcare in the former Soviet Union.

My Family Tree

Una Celma
Latvia / 2013 / 71 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
A last year in 114 minutes
The director captures the final year in the life of the woman who helped raise him, as age slowly gets the best of her. The simple filming style, in which neither the camera nor the protagonist ever leaves her flat, results in an unusually intense and extremely personal record of time passing and the relationship with a loved one. It’s a raw yet formal testament that sensitively manages to avoid any trace of sentimental kitsch, leading the viewer on an emotional journey of the everyday reality of Buni’s days and her mercilessly worsening physical and psychological condition.DETAIL:They put a pencil inside a tea package. I don’t know why someone would put the pencil in there. To keep a journal each time that you are drinking tea? I just don’t get it. In a tea for diabetes...

A last year in 114 minutes

Daniel Nicolae Djamo
Romania / 2014 / 114 min.
section: Between the Seas, First Lights
International Premiere
The Brussels Business
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.  

The Brussels Business

Matthieu Lietaert, Friedrich Moser
Austria, Belgium / 2012 / 85 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
New Life of Family Album
  In 2005, documentary filmmaker Adam Oľha’s father decided to leave his wife and six children in order to start a new life. As the oldest of the siblings and the only remaining man in the family, Adam explores his father’s old photographs, compares them with the present, and tries to discover what led to such a radical decision. He traces his parents’ relationship from its beginnings, reveals problems in communication between husband and wife at a particular time, and observes how they are reflected in the lives of his sisters.  

New Life of Family Album

Adam Oľha
Czech Republic, Slovakia / 2012 / 80 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
Monk of the Sea
Even today, seventy percent of the men in Thailand follow the old custom of spending at least a short part of their life as a Buddhist monk in a monastery. For Ball, the film’s protagonist, his two-week career as a monk is intended to serve as a symbolic steppingstone between his wild student life and more moderate adulthood. However, the reality of things is by far not so simple. Rafał Skalski’s staged documentary uses the example of Ball’s marginal experience to demonstrate the degree to which modern-day Thai society is based on the incompatibility between ascetic and hedonistic lifestyles, which the one-time transformation of the unrestrained young man into a monk cannot really conceal."To me, this is an instant kind of spirituality. We want to get a lot of things done in one go – quickly fall in love, make a career, be successful."

Monk of the Sea

Rafal Skalski
Poland, Germany / 2016 / 68 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
A Distant Echo
What can the landscape tell us about ancient history and how it is shaped? George Clark’s film essay explores this question through seemingly motionless images of the California desert accompanied by a minimalist chorale. This chosen form emphasizes the at first glance subtle shifts in the nature of the landscape, which becomes a stage for negotiations between an Egyptian archeologist and the members of a native tribe regarding the ancient graves hidden beneath the sand. The result is a multilayered tale that uncovers traces of the past, the ecology of the landscape, and cinematic history in locations that were once used to film Hollywood epics. “Existing in the resonance between ecological, cinematic and sonic domains, A Distant Echo explores the mythical continuity of sand as site for history, transformation and preservation. The things we cherish must sometimes be buried.”

A Distant Echo

George Clark
United Kingdom, United States / 2016 / 82 min.
section: First Lights
World Premiere
The Winter Garden's Tale
Valentina Voronina, gardener and tenacious manager of a large conservatory, is fired after forty-five years on the job. Time is winning in its unequal battle with a lack of financing, a decaying building, and the approach of retirement age. The dilapidated conservatory reflects the weakening strength of its distinctive manager and visionary. The conviction that the plants will die if nobody looks after them, is intertwined with the appearance of esoterics and a shaman with a divining rod who discovers a spring of positive energy in front of the building’s entrance. Palm fronds rustle like a silent witness to the melancholic struggle against time and the relentlessness of decay. Another cruel winter is on the horizon. "It is built on its own internal rhythm without the author’s direct speech. Just rethought reality, placed in ironical and a little magic conditions with the main conflict between dreams and reality. " S. Mozgovyi

The Winter Garden's Tale

Simon Mozgovyi
Ukraine / 2018 / 75 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
Landscape Zero
This observational documentary, interwoven with staged scenes, introduces the issues associated with the co-existence of nature, people and industry along the shores of the Adriatic Sea. With purely visual resources and without any commentary or dialogue, the director presents the real story of local inhabitants, who are portrayed for the camera by professional actors. This unsettling environmental appeal against civil passivity is suggestively demonstrated through static shots composed around a central point.  The target of the unspoken yet obvious thoughts consists of the consequences of imprudent interventions in the landscape, which have a direct impact on the daily life of society. Their critical nature is enhanced by the detached ambient sounds and subtle background music. „The title can be interpreted as the landscape of industrial disaster. However, the meaning of the title goes beyond ecology; it could also serve to interpret the anthropological context of the relationship between human beings, nature and culture, industry and activist ecology.” B. PavićYou can watch the director’s introduction HERE Q&A with the director Bruno Pavić:
personal program

Landscape Zero

Bruno Pavić
Croatia / 2020 / 71 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
In Your Eyes
This Italian documentary on the daily lives of five visually impaired people is also an experiment based on an analogy between the movie camera and the human eye. The filmmakers have tried to use film technology to show audiences how people suffering from visual impairments see their surroundings. All of the film’s footage is strongly out of focus in order to show how visually impaired individuals see objects around them.DETAIL:“I see it as something restricted to a problem with my eyes. I am partially sighted and I could turn blind by just bringing a child into the world. I could turn blind by simply breastfeeding.”

In Your Eyes

Pietro Albino Di Pasquale
Italy / 2014 / 78 min.
section: First Lights
World Premiere
Latvian Coyote
The Latvian-Russian border may seem like just an area of endless swampy forests and villages filled with dilapidated buildings and no people. But this inhospitable place also happens to be a destination for refugees from various countries heading through Eastern Europe, as it not only represents the end of their painful journey but also the pathway into the Schengen Zone and open borders. Long-term unemployment and an influx of immigrants have creative a new job opportunity for smugglers known as “coyotes”, who risk their own freedom to help others find freedom for a small reward. This observational documentary shot over the course of three years follows smugglers, refugees, and law enforcement: three sides of a hopeless socio-economic triangle.     “My goal was to show a border portrait of the border. It seems to me that there is a tunnel — a 2-kilometre-wide tunnel called the "border zone." And in that tunnel you can very well see how the world is changing, how globalisation is happening.” I. Zviedris    Q&A with Ivars Zviedris:  
personal program

Latvian Coyote

Ivars Zviedris
Latvia / 2020 / 90 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
noimage
FilmKILLING looks at the violence that is permeating Guatemalan society like a cancer, using interviews with journalists and a social worker who looks after women who have been the victims of attacks. In this country, which spent most of the 20th century as a banana republic, the civil war may have ended long ago, but the population’s tendency towards violence has remained.

Evolution of Violence

Fritz Ofner
Austria / 2011 / 77 min.
section: Between the Seas
East European Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
Respekt