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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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First Feature
First Feature

First Feature

director: Bentley Brown
original title: Awwal Filim
country: Saudi Arabia
year: 2018
running time: 14 min.

synopsis

Saudi Arabian cinema only recently emerged from thirty-five years of being an underground phenomenon. Before it was legalized, Bentley Brown used his childhood home movie camera to record filmmakers working in the town of Jeddah. The film’s melancholy mood is underscored by the voiceover of the women who form most of the film crew.

biography

Bentley Brown’s (1987) films have been shown at festivals such as the Berlinale or Rotterdam. He taught film and interactive media at Saudi Arabia’s first university-level programme for women.

more about film

director: Bentley Brown
producer: Mai Alshaibani
editing: Bentley Brown

other films in the section

Lotus
After a dam flooded a village in northern Iran, one island remained. There’s a grave on it. On a hill above the new lake, an old woman looks out at it. An intimate look at the daily routine of an Iranian woman who has survived modestly for twelve years alone in a house at the base of the mountain.  She waits for permission to visit the island.

Lotus

Mohammadreza Vatandoust
Iran / 2018 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
The Lamp in the Ceiling
Contrary to popular belief, rape most often occurs among those who know each other and those who are close, all in a seemingly safe home environment. This documentary draws attention to the problem and reconstructs the memories of victims of sexual violence whose testimony manages to free a standard furnished apartment of its aura of innocence.
personal program

The Lamp in the Ceiling

Anette Svane
Norway / 2019 / 7 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Capital Cuba
Intercut footage of the camera panning along two sides of Havana Bay. Every few seconds, our act of viewing is disturbed for several seconds as the camera shifts from one side to the other. The rhythm of this panoramic view is determined by the editing. The 12-minute film invites the viewer on an experimentally filmed journey by boat from Old Havana to Casa Blanca.DETAIL:The sound of waves. The camera’s gaze shifts from the dark-blue surface of the water to the shoreline. An abandoned industrial building and lazily floating boats along the shore represent tools for transforming the abandoned bay.

Capital Cuba

Johann Lurf
Cuba, Austria / 2015 / 12 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Dream
A shop by the side of the road. One after another, people enter and exit the small building. The randomness and illogical nature of the action feels unreal. The sense of timelessness and of being in an unnamed place further heightens the dreamlike nature of the scene. The nearly motionless black-and-white camera records a fragment of life in a place torn from the context of the world.

Dream

Laila Pakalnina
Latvia / 2016 / 7 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
In the Frame
During the day, Oxana paints frames as a man; at night, she puts on her female skin. Oxana is a transsexual living in Moldova, where even expressions of tolerance towards sexual minorities can be dangerous. This short film is an intimate look at gender and at the social isolation of people denied to right to their own identity.

In the Frame

Ion Gnatiuc, Artiom Zavadovsky
Moldova, Romania, Germany, France / 2018 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
Central European Premiere
Ten Meter Tower
A humorous conceptual game based on a simple idea – filming amateur swimmers as they get ready to jump from a 10-meter platform. The short scenes are a mixture of slapstick, miniature psychological portraits, and aesthetic studies of physical and verbal expressions and courage.

Ten Meter Tower

Maximilien Van Aertryck, Axel Danielson
Sweden / 2016 / 16 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
The Little One
An unusual animated documentary of the experiences of young Vietnamese who have spent their entire lives in the Czech Republic, living between two cultures. The drawn animation style allows the filmmaker to give the film a natural emotionality, intimacy and poetic stylization.

The Little One

Diana Cam Van Nguyen
Czech Republic / 2017 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Into Thin Air
What happens to women who mysteriously disappear? Are they ever seen again? Do state authorities investigate as they should, or are the only ones truly searching for the women the ones they left behind? A compilation film that reveals several periods in history during which scores of women disappeared without a trace under various circumstances.

Into Thin Air

Cristina Motta
Argentina / 2018 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
The Memory Atlas
The Memory Atlas refers to the unfinished work of Aby Warburg, a mentally ill German art historian. A surrealistic flow of ideas from his authentic writings from his stay in the Bellevue psychiatric hospital in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland commingles with the medical records of his psychotic states, tracing the border between madness and genius in one zoom out.
personal program

The Memory Atlas

Domenico Centrone
Belgium, Italy / 2019 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Clean Hands
A grassy area fills with arriving cars. The passengers are given bread and wine and a programme for the religious service. All they have to do is tune in their radio to the right station, and the Sunday service begins. In Daytona Beach, Florida, the concept of drive-in theatres has been adapted for an unusual purpose. DeFilippo’s observational documentary takes a look at this modern church.

Clean Hands

Lauren DeFilippo
United States / 2016 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
time and love and I
They are happy together, but she gets a job offer in another country and he doesn’t want to go. He tries to sway her decision in his favour by offering to marry her… In its format, the film perhaps most closely resembles a music video, but besides music it also uses poetry and dance to tell its story. Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus. 

time and love and I

J Ashlee
United States / 2017 / 5 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Horse Riders
A pagan custom takes place alongside the traditional Easter Sunday celebrations in the Polish village of Sternalice. Rough-looking men set aside their work tools, saddle wild horses, and set off on a pilgrimage, filled with humility before God. The documentary’s visual and aural cacophony captures the ancient tradition, creating a stunning visual myth.

Horse Riders

Anna Gawlita
Poland / 2018 / 19 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
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