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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Into the Okavango
Into the Okavango

Into the Okavango

director: Neil Gelinas
original title: Into the Okavango
country: United States, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa
year: 2018
running time: 88 min.

synopsis

This travel documentary chronicles a four-month scientific expedition to study the mysterious Okavango riverscape. This film about a journey that brings together scientists and the local population offers magical shots of unexplored nature as well as its animal inhabitants, and brings an environmental message regarding the situation in the surrounding African countries.

biography

American Neil Gelinas is a producer and director for National Geographic. Into the Okavango is his feature-length debut and, like the other films he has produced, focuses on the last wilderness areas of our planet that remain undisturbed by humans.

more about film

director: Neil Gelinas
producer: Neil Gelinas
script: Neil Gelinas, Brian Newell
photography: Neil Gelinas, Jon Betz, Roger Horrocks
editing: Neil Gelinas, Brian Newell
music: Sven Faulconer

other films in the section

Dusk Chorus - Based on Fragments of Extinction
In his project “Fragments of Extinction”, composer and researcher David Monacchi explores the landscape of the Amazon rainforest using audio recordings. The audiovisual symbiosis of natural still-lifes and three-dimensional audio landscapes makes his calls for preserving local biodiversity all the more believable and urgent.

Dusk Chorus - Based on Fragments of Extinction

Nika Šaravanja, Alessandro D'Emilia
Italy / 2016 / 62 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Czech Premiere
Empty Cages
This short film with a clear moral message looks at the illegal activities of the activist group known as Empty Cages, which liberates animals from inhuman living conditions at large factory farms. The filmmaker compares the activists’ viewpoint with the opinions of the people around them and encourages us to consider what value society places on the lives of animals.

Empty Cages

Teresia Fant
Norway, Sweden / 2017 / 36 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
East European Premiere
History of Disobedience
An alternative history of Czechoslovakia, this five-part TV series explores the evolution of the environmental movement since the 1950s and how it negotiated its position with the communist regime. This unknown story comes alive through protagonists who were direct participants in the events – and co-authors of the revolution, whether consciously or not.A Testimony on Nature - Out of competition

History of Disobedience

Ivo Bystřičan
Czech Republic / 2017 / 56 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
World Premiere
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
The question is not whether we have to change, but whether we are taking the necessary steps quickly enough. Renewable energy or nuclear? Neither the people nor the politicians can make up their minds. The ice is melting. Trump is calling people back to the coal mines. All this is shown against the backdrop of a “green tour” by former Vice President Al Gore of the USA, who calls for a revolution before the deluge comes.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk
United States / 2017 / 99 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Czech Premiere
Becoming Animal
This philosophical film-essay explores the relationship between man and nature through long scenes of the mountainous landscape of the American West. A quiet meditation on the imperfect perception of reality, the search for the meaning of life, and finding harmony in the world around us, accompanied by a voiceover of the filmmakers’ views and philosophical commentary. 

Becoming Animal

Peter Mettler, Emma Davie
Switzerland, United Kingdom / 2018 / 78 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Czech Premiere
The Climate Experiment
In 2017, climate change was the theme of all exhibitions by two Swedish artists. The film, which maps their annual tour around the world, combines educational moments with the observation of the common life of both artists. Shots of their installations and objects act as alienating effect that enhances the relevance of the global theme.

The Climate Experiment

Mats Bigert, Lars Bergström
Sweden, China, France, United States, Norway, Morocco / 2018 / 58 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
World Premiere
Wild Relatives
This observational film essay on our relations with the natural wealth is based on a real event and seed banks storing quantities of seeds of various plants in case of a global catastrophe. The film documents three places with different traditions related to the land – Aleppo, Lebanon, and Svalbard.

Wild Relatives

Jumana Manna
Lebanon, Norway, Germany / 2018 / 66 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Central European Premiere
Earth
Spectacular images show several mining sites in Europe and North America. The relief-like terrain created by heaving machinery shows that man is changing the world like to other species before. Interviewed by the camera, the workers describe the pragmatic reasons for mining and they joy they feel from their work, but also reflect on their negative impacts on life on Earth. The interviews are made more powerful by seemingly neutral static shots of the changing landscape. The fascinating spectacle resembling a work of abstract art lays bare the unparalleled facts of life in this new wasteland and remind us of the consequences our planet suffers because of our modern way of life. “If we regard the Earth as an organism, then the Earth's crust - its skin which is its most delicate organ. I wanted to take a closer look at the wounds we are inflicting upon the Earth.” N. Geyrhalter     
personal program

Earth

Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Austria / 2019 / 115 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Czech Premiere
Acid Forest
The Curonian Spit is a destination for both tourists and cormorants. The camera follows visitors from a bird’s-eye view. Their sensations become part of the place’s biodiversity. The ancient birds are – for now – turning into feared bearers of ruin. This observational document looks upon a spectacular part of the continent, the main attraction of which is its dead forest.

Acid Forest

Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
Lithuania / 2018 / 63 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
East European Premiere
The Dispossessed
The camera’s steadfast gaze carefully follows the toil of small-scale farmers across the globe and records speeches by representatives of food conglomerates and supporters of sustainable development. The documentary essay uncovers the pyramid of an agriculture industry interested only in profit, with no regard for the nutritional needs of man and the soil.

The Dispossessed

Mathieu Roy
Switzerland, Canada / 2017 / 182 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
World Premiere
Wilder than Wilderness
An expedition into the Czech countryside reveals the adventurous stories of plants and animals that take place all around us, and explores fascinating places where nature is returning after being devastated by man. The film, narrated by the filmmaker, captures the true wildness of nature and the course of filming.

Wilder than Wilderness

Marián Polák
Czech Republic / 2017 / 81 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
World Premiere
Nature: All Rights Reserved
The autumn landscape on glass in an office, virtual 3D tropical motifs or static palm trees in a dentist’s waiting room. This original collage of motionless simulations of the outside world, accompanied by an authentic mix of sounds, uses ironic imagery to explore the role of depictions of nature in relaxing the inhabitants of overtechnologised urban centres.

Nature: All Rights Reserved

Sebastian Mulder
Netherlands / 2016 / 21 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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