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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

Hanawon
A compulsory stay in a Seoul facility known as Hanawon serves to prepare North Korean defectors for life under capitalism. Eight people tell of their experiences from their new lives, highlighting the challenges and prejudices that they must face in the completely different system. Their authentic testimonies are heard against the background of scenes of the bustling megalopolis.
personal program

Hanawon

Romain Champalaune
Netherlands / 2019 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
I Have Sinned a Rapturous Sin
An essay filmed against the backdrop of lyrical images of feather plucking or drawing with chalk presents the clerical orders of Islamic women and how they rein in their impure desires. As a subversive element of Islamic fundamentalism, the director recites a poem by Iranian feminist writer Forough Farrokhzad.

I Have Sinned a Rapturous Sin

Maryam Tafakory
Iran, United Kingdom / 2018 / 8 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
The Wonderful Years
During the Soviet era, Ukraine was a difficult place for members of the LGBT community, and even today the country remains less than welcoming to sexual minorities. Working with archival interviews of women from the past thirteen years, the film brings together two eras and thus contributes to a discussion of today’s situation.

The Wonderful Years

Galina Yarmanova, Svitlana Shymko
Ukraine / 2018 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Butterfly Disaster
Extinction of monarch butterflies in the US became a topic of a film based on manipulation of found footage. The director adjusts archival recordings of butterflies or planes spreading fertilizers through double exposure, scratching, colouring and so don, coming up with a purely visual micro-essay asking who is really the pest and who is the infested in this ecosystem.
personal program

Butterfly Disaster

Caryn Cline
United States / 2019 / 6 min.
section: Short Joy
European 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
Waste no. 2 Wreck
A political visual poem about the current situation on the island of Lampedusa. The sharp contrast between the wrecks of refugee boats and the “most beautiful beach in the world according to Tripadvisor.com” disappears in a foggy mist of associations, melancholy ironic narration, grainy lyrical images, and ambient music.

Waste no. 2 Wreck

Jan Ijäs
Finland, Italy / 2016 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Consumed
This short accompaniment to the intermedia project Serial Narratives reveals the real price of cheap goods from China. The testimony of an anonymous worker harmonized with hypnotic images draws attention to the frighteningly elaborate choreography as all phases of manufacturing process undergo rigorous mechanization.

Consumed

Richard Seymour
United Kingdom, China / 2016 / 19 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Shendy Wu: a Diary
A personal documentary about writing two diaries and finding a lost childhood friend who once moved with her parents back to her native China. Static shots of the streets of a Chinese metropolis and its surrounding natural beauty alternate with retrospective scenes from the Argentine homeland, suggestively drawing the viewer into the girl's loneliness in an unfamiliar environment.
personal program

Shendy Wu: a Diary

Ingrid Pokropek
Argentina / 2019 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Zagreb Confidential - Imaginary Futures
Urbanism versus social entropy – working with this contrast, the film attempts to create an extreme portrait of one city district and one era. This experimental video full of unsettling mental and visual noise uses editing techniques based on computer algorithms to create a suggestive demonstration of the decline of the modernist idea.

Zagreb Confidential - Imaginary Futures

Darko Fritz
Croatia / 2015 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Oh Brother Octopus
Nomads in the seas of Indonesia say that when a women gives birth to a child, she also gives birth to its twin in the form of an octopus. A look at a cultural environment shaped by traditional folk beliefs. The camera follows a man swimming with his face submerged in the sea in a ritual honouring the octopus. Dishonouring your aquatic brother can lead to misfortune.

Oh Brother Octopus

Florian Kunert
Germany / 2017 / 27 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Interiors & Exteriors
The filmmaker tracks one aspect of life in a diverse Muslim community: prayer. This standard daily activity may take place even in the hustle and bustle of a busy street. This single-take short documentary focuses on people as they walk in front of the camera and uses details to classify them into different castes.

Interiors & Exteriors

Ashique Mostafa
Bangladesh / 2017 / 8 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Borders
An immobile camera monitors a path winding through the fields. The movements of the crowd are a harbinger of the interruption of the static image. The procession of refugees, under the watchful eye of military forces, winds in an orderly fashion through the Slovenian countryside. They march on, uninterested in the camera’s eye or in the revelation of their existence.

Borders

Damjan Kozole
Slovenia / 2016 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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