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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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below

director: Björn Speidel
original title: below
country: Germany
year: 2019
running time: 7 min.

synopsis

A surface rhythmised by reappearing image segments of a forest, gets projects during a walk, brought about also by the sound, into a space in which black-and-white and colour footage reveals monochromatic parts. These build up to create an effect of the third dimension, pulling our view into the depth and turning the ingenious schedule of the whole into a cognitive game using 3D representation.

"Below is not so much about borne suffering or the history of a memorial place. It tells more about the relation of depth-time and space-duration being interwoven in every moment of an image. " B. Spiegel

biography

German visual artist and filmmaker Björn Speidel (1976) often works with stereoscopic images and 3D technologies, using them to explore the relations between the meaning of his works and choice of medium. Using camera filters and masks, he tests the influence on viewersˈ perception and combinations of shapes and colours. He is visiting the Jihlava festival for the fourth time: in 2016, he screened his film Dead End, Rewind Reversal here.

more about film

director: Björn Speidel
producer: Björn Speidel

other films in the section

The End of Time
Delving for a brief moment into an everyday scene, we see various movements at various speeds and experience microstories representing the familiarity of the street. The classical technique of analytical slowing down different parts of the image at different speeds is used to capture an otherwise invisible phenomenon. “Sometimes in a flash you become aware of the fact that time does not matter.” M. Manchevski

The End of Time

Milcho Manchevski
Cuba, United States / 2017 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech 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
Portbou
An exploration of the place, plants, stones, and buildings in a village located in a rocky bay in northeastern Catalonia near the French border, where Walter Benjamin died and is buried. A tactile encounter with a place, made using a prototype haptic camera that records the objects its user touches from unexpected perspectives. Agata Mergler is a postgraduate student of the humanities at Canada’s University of York, where she is involved in developing apparatus that record what their users touch. Cristian Villavicencio Ruiz (1984) is from Ecuador and is studying at the University of the Basque Country in Leioa. His work explores the relationship between tangible and visible perception and how it changes during the digital transfer of stimuli using modern technologies.“In our collaborative work using DIY digital prototype ‘haptic cameras’ provides us with opportunity to question the hegemony of the visual and the role of touch in moving image production.”

Portbou

Agata Mergler, Cristian Villavicencio
Spain, Canada / 2016 / 4 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Soar
A digital miniature in which the form into which the image is deconstructed emphasizes the things we leave in our wake – trajectories of movement, actions, decisions, gestures. This guide of the traces we leave behind dissolves into a depiction of the things that remain; the simple visual approach raises the imperative of understanding the consequences of the movements of mind, body, and things. "Choreography of an imaginary journey 
Color / 7 minutes 40" P. Bokanowski

Soar

Patrick Bokanowski
France / 2018 / 8 min.
section: Fascinations
Central European Premiere
Morphology of a Dream
A visual composition based on a study of the rhythm of sleep cycles during REM sleep. The flowing images melt into overlapping splotches of color to create shapes of fleeting sleep images at various speeds, thus reflecting the impossibility of capturing any concrete motifs.   "Connecting my observation with an intuitive way of filming, I document phenomena in the natural world to reveal evocative visual rhythms through the ecstatic clash of color and form." M. Szlam  

Morphology of a Dream

Malena Szlam
United States, Canada / 2018 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations
World 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
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
Field of Infinity
Inspired by Italian Renaissance art, the filmmaker transforms news reports of protests in the Gaza Strip into a painting of people and the landscape, as if the boundaries of fields and meadows were a place for overcoming political limitations and the ability of an expansive viewpoint presented the ideal of inhabiting the visible.  "The struggle for liberation intertwines with nature rejuvenation, creating an array of reflections." G. Silberstein  

Field of Infinity

Guli Silberstein
United Kingdom / 2018 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Distance
The filmmaker returns to a Hungarian village for her last visit to her grandmother. The blurring images emphasize the mental distance resulting from physical distance, but also the time that has passed since the childhood memories remembered in her quiet voiceover, which make up for the disappearing memories of the aging body. “The film grew out from a personal life situation when my grandmother got dementia at the age of 85. While she was losing her memories I tried to keep them even stronger than ever.” D. Zurbó

Distance

Dorottya Zurbo
Hungary / 2017 / 8 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech 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
Out of Autofocus
An image of the sea that comes close to the boundaries of abstraction, set against a backdrop of fishing nets mounted on stilts. Birds disrupt the peace of the salty air with their unpredictable trajectories of rapid flight during which the camera fights to find a focal point, so that within the limits of its automatic functions it creates an engagingly lyrical scene. In his films, Mikhail Basov (1977) explores the interaction of consumer goods and materials in the landscape and their metaphorical implications. His works have been presented at a number of international festivals and shows such as International Video Art Biennial VIDEOAKT in Barcelona, Experimental Film Festival Portland, and Festival Art Deco de Cinema in São Paulo.“A short story about the unrequited love of a videocamera for a bird.”

Out of Autofocus

Mikhail Basov
Russia / 2016 / 2 min.
section: Fascinations
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
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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