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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Looking for Mr. Dice
Looking for Mr. Dice
Looking for Mr. Dice
Looking for Mr. Dice
Looking for Mr. Dice
Looking for Mr. Dice
Looking for Mr. Dice
Looking for Mr. Dice

Looking for Mr. Dice

director: Kaspars Roga
original title: Meklējot Mr. Kauliņu
country: Latvia
year: 2019
running time: 79 min.

synopsis

Many years ago, the film’s director and the man nicknamed Mr. Dice were best friends. In a whirlwind of parties, the famous musician and the influential banker were carried on a wave of the euphoria of wild capitalism after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The bank, however, led by Mr. Dice, went bankrupt and he disappeared without a trace with the money that his friends and clients had entrusted to him. Here begins the documentary search that leads us on an adventure from Latvia to the heat of Africa and far beyond the crime, guilt, and betrayal. It is also a search for the sense of deep friendship and the struggle with common sense and conventional moral categories.

"I hope the film makes the audience to think what it really means "a true friendship” when money gets involved, as well as shows an ordinary man’s struggle through the abstract glory of diamonds." K. Roga

biography

Kaspars Roga (1974) is the drummer and founding member of the popular Latvian band Prāta Vētra. He contributed significantly to the creation of audiovisual materials for musical groups, he filmed clips and concert recordings, and created a stage show. He is the author of the script for the short animated film Singing Hugo and His Incredible Adventures (2017), which premiered at the Berlinale.

more about film

director: Kaspars Roga
producer: Undine Buka, Sandijs Semjonovs
script: Kaspars Roga, Sandijs Semjonovs
editing: Audinga Kucinskaite
music: Aleksis Lurins, Kaspars Roga
sound: Anete Vanaga

other films in the section

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
My Granny from Mars
Babushka Zina is originally Ukrainian, but because of the current political situation she has remained in Russian-occupied Crimea. Separated from her family, she lives in a forgotten seaside town while trying to decide whether to stay or to leave. The sounds of Russian contemporary music and folk songs add to the atmosphere of her exile town, which is seen through a sensitive lens filled with sentimentality. But the consequences of the unsatisfactory political situation are ever-present in this place, which is like a different planet. The way in which the director records Zina’s relationship to her friends and family betrays a deep respect for this old woman, her life wisdom, and her experiences."After the annexation of Crimea my old Ukranian granny Zina had to face the fact of living on a 'new planet'. For many reasons, the time has come for her to make a crucial decision." A. Mihalkovich

My Granny from Mars

Alexander Mihalkovich
Belarus, Ukraine, Estonia / 2018 / 83 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
The Waiting Point
The collective memory of a nation accumulates at a bus stop in Rijeka. Croatians wait aimlessly for a figurative Godot, as the flow of time is illustrated by the decreasing number of cigarettes in boxes along with the departure of the buses. Rijeka is like a crossroads, where the lives of the local community meet those of tourists passing through. The director steps into the black-and-white reality of Croatia with the invisibility of an objective observer. His footage shows people waiting for the bus as a metaphor for Croatians’ endless waiting for change. 

The Waiting Point

Maša Drndić
Croatia / 2013 / 43 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
noimage
FilmORACLE captures the emotionally complicated relationship between a young Israeli and his Cambodian girlfriend. He earns his living reading cards on the nighttime streets of Phnom Penh, while she succumbs to alcohol. Together, they care for their children, although they are incapable of taking care of themselves. Within the protagonists’ everyday existence of love and fighting, the film shows their solitude and their doubts, as well as the difficulty of choosing between cultures.

Phnom Penh Lullaby

Pawel Kloc
Poland / 2011 / 103 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
Blind Cinema
An unusual group sets sail from St. Petersburg to Finland. The crew, which consists of vision-impaired people and people with normal eyesight, learns to work together in order to successfully complete their undertaking. The observational documentary shows the crew’s first contact with the boat, which is done by touch, and then follows their daily routine while at sea. The disinterested camera records a reality that overcomes our prejudices regarding the helplessness of blind people. The problem-free journey gives the sailors space for new sensations. Excerpts from the ship’s log show us aspects of the mission – i.e., the transformation of oneself that can change the world. „What do you see when you cannot see? How do you interact with a world with fewer visual elements to distract you? Blind Cinema explores the realm of sightless people who sail the sea and expand the boundaries of self.” G. Glyants

Blind Cinema

Grigory Glyants
Russia / 2017 / 50 min.
section: Between the Seas
International Premiere
The Circle
They wanted to create an environmentally friendly and socially sustainable community. Twelve adults and six children began to live beyond traditional social order. However, environmentally conscious behavior and embedded physical work do not result in satisfaction from the social aspect of the community ideal. The need to communicate becomes the theme of the film and it is constantly translated visually into shots of circular interviews that show that mastered interpersonal relationships are an indispensable condition for the sustainability of the community and any functional society. The inevitable implosion is preceded by an archetypal story of a love triangle and the struggle for power.“My motivation for making this film lay in the interest in human psychology, behaviour that surfaces in a closed group is a big revelation. In order to save the world, we really need to start within.” M. Lillak

The Circle

Margit Lillak
Estonia / 2019 / 93 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
Earth
In this documentary by Victor Asliuk, the past comes to light as a barren, dead, difficult to comprehend artifact – specifically, as a human skeleton dug out of the earth by a group of volunteers looking for the bodies of missing Russian soldiers from the Second World War. The film intersperses the immediate reactions of the remains’ discoverers with black-and-white archival footage of soldiers that in the end reveal as little as the body.  

Earth

Victor Asliuk
Belarus / 2012 / 30 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
Journey around the home in 60 Days
The sheer range of Romanian films created as a result of this spring's lockdown has shown us how we can cope with the crisis. A lyrical montage of old footage set within the context of isolation alongside a video art compilation from public cameras around the world evokes feelings of melancholia, whilst a puppet fairytale criticises the establishment and the capitalist machine in a time of crisis. The film is comprised of personal archives reminiscent of a deceased grandmother and functions as both an impressible testimony and an excursion into Romanian history. This mix of genres is accompanied with playful animation and a sci-fi film about an alien’s visit to Earth during the coronavirus crisis.   „The deserted streets look alike one evening in Sokhumi, in Abkhazia, and one afternoon in Buchurest, during the lockdown.“ from Journey Around the Home in 60 Days.  
personal program

Journey around the home in 60 Days

David Schwartz, Vlad Petri, Teona Galgotiu, Laura Pop, Andra Tarara, Alina Manolache, Alexandru Solomon
Romania / 2020 / 83 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
I Am In Space
Space travel again becomes the subject of pure amazement in this compilation documentary consisting of footage from international space flights from the past 30 years. We watch snapshots of the everyday life of astronauts, spontaneous fun in zero gravity, and pictures of the spacecraft as they are serviced by people in spacesuits. The footage is interspersed with short quotations in which the employees of space programmes discuss their relationship to life away from the Earth’s surface.  

I Am In Space

Dana Ranga
Germany / 2012 / 98 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
People Pebble
Stones form the landscape, they crunch underfoot as we walk, and children use them in their games. In this experimental film by the directing duo of Darakchiev and Gamot, the fascination with one particular object reaches its peak. The associative images, brought together by the lens of a 16mm camera, create a loosely related series of stream-of-consciousness ideas: Monumental shots of the cliffs of Dover, stone houses, people walking on a stone beach, and a metronome in the shape of a hammer. Ordinary images accompanied by cacophonous sounds and excerpts from unrelated interviews create new associations among familiar aspects of human existence. International Premiere shared with DocLisboa "People Pebble figuratively associates two disparate patrimonial identities, inciting a new dialogue through and beyond the traces of the human hand, all encompassed by the impermanence of nature." J. Darakchiev, P. Gamot

People Pebble

Perrine Gamot, Jivko Darakchiev
United Kingdom, France / 2017 / 18 min.
section: Between the Seas
International Premiere
Dialogue with Joseph
Yosef Yosade, a Lithuanian landscape artist, has worked for many years in Israel. His daughter Elżbieta has set the camera on him to capture the nuances of his creative process. Artfully framed static scenes of the master at work, in contemplation, or absorbed in discussions reveal the painter’s distinctive approach based on searching for the visual structure of a landscape. The director also presents visual depictions of landscapes in mutual conflict with their filmed versions, thereby linking the “abstract” and “concrete” perspectives. The film therefore reflects not only individual creation, but also examines the relationship between two specific media. “The film relates the structure of a landscape to that of a human being. Unstable, arid, peopled by other creatures, by footprints from the past; those are features which Joseph shares with the desert he paints.” Elżbieta Josadė

Dialogue with Joseph

Elžbieta Josadė
Lithuania, France / 2016 / 42 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
When New Year Comes on Shabbat
A cinematic collage about people caught between two worlds. An empathetic look at a physical journey and the melodramas of a journey that is spiritual. Nikita Pavlov emigrated from Russia to Israel because he always wanted to experience life in another country. Street protests, political activism, and his daughter’s first steps are captured without any chronological context, separated only by Pavlov’s thoughts and ideas. A cinematic diary that attempts to piece together a hypothetical picture of the filmmaker’s future.  

When New Year Comes on Shabbat

Nikita Pavlov
Russia / 2012 / 83 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
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