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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Calling Ukraine
Calling Ukraine
Calling Ukraine
Calling Ukraine
Calling Ukraine

Calling Ukraine

director: Jean Counet
original title: Calling Ukraine
country: Netherlands
year: 2015
running time: 12 min.

synopsis

An older woman living in Latvia regularly Skypes with her sister and daughter, who are stranded in the war zone in Eastern Ukraine, helplessly listening to their woes. Close-ups of her troubled face alternating with photographs from her family archives testify to the impact of armed conflict on specific human fates.

DETAIL:
“In some neighbourhoods people have been hiding in basements since August 3rd. Without water. Without electricity. We had electricity for 24 hours. And then the Ukrainian army blew it up again.”

biography

Dutch director, cameraman, and producer Jean Counet has already filmed and directed in many different countries, from his home in the Netherlands to Latvia to Taiwan. He is known for his minimalistic style and precise camera work. To date he has directed only short-length films, such as his documentary look inside a Latvian hospital Inhale Exhale (2011).

more about film

director: Jean Counet
producer: Natalija Gnezdova, Jos de Putter
photography: Jean Counet
editing: Jean Counet
sound: Jean Counet

other films in the section

Benghazi Stories
Three micro-stories from contemporary Libya – specifically the town of Benghazi, stigmatised by the terrorist attack on the American consulate and the death of the American ambassador – present the city during a time of change and offer a look at the life of a used-car salesman, a fisherman on the sea, and a young doctor as she learns to drive a car. Seen from the air, the cars covered in a fine layer of dust and sand look like toy cars lined up on a shelf. In the words of the jovial salesman, "you can still smell the factory."

Benghazi Stories

Omar Bushiha, Farag Akwedir, Ibrahim Algouri
United Kingdom, Libya / 2012 / 12 min.
section: Short Joy
Central European Premiere
We are Mutants
The reform of the Austrian postal service opened up the burning issue of employees who cannot be fired before retirement. The presented data forces us to think about the dangerous but socially acceptable measures taken by large companies that result in employees with nothing to do, apathy, surfing the web, and contempt for human dignity. The working rhythm is determined by the rapid movement of the sorting equipment. Package after package. In the office on the table is an abandoned computer mouse wrapped in an electrical cord. A man takes off a postal uniform; he has one artificial leg.

We are Mutants

Konrad Wakolbinger
Austria / 2013 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Heliconia
Fourteen-year-old Maria spends her time in the extensive tropical garden of her family house. When she meets her brother and his friend Adrian on motorcycles during the New Year celebrations, she decides to flee with them to find paradise on earth together. The story, filled with biblical symbols, stands out with its sensual grainy 8mm images reminiscent of heliconia leaves, plants pollinated by birds.     „I like to make the medium and its plasticity visible, to let images live and breathe. I designed several images in Heliconia like tableaux vivants, and in this respect, I am really inspired by frame composition in painting and in photography.“ P. Rodríguez Polanco     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.

Heliconia

Paula Rodríguez Polanco
France / 2020 / 27 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Pillow and Blanket
This conceptual work reconstructs the memories of a hotel room in the so-called red-light district in the city of Makati in the Philippines. The objects which dominate the author's perspective are pillows and blankets. However, extreme close-ups reveal other objects in the room and what is behind them.

Pillow and Blanket

Jan Philippe Carpio
Philippines / 2019 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Mud road
A three-hundred-kilometer unmaintained dirt road is the only way to reach the nearest hospital from a remote African village. Through naturalistic observational camerawork, the film captures the journey of an ambulance driver in southern Ethiopia struggling to overcome all possible obstacles in order to safely deliver a laboring woman to the doctors.

Mud road

Francesco De Giorgi
Ethiopia, Italy / 2019 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
The Marshal’s Two Executions
The films confronts two different views of the execution of General Ion Antonescu, Romania’s leader during the Second World War. On one side is silent black-and-white footage of the execution as recorded in 1946 by cameraman Ovidiu Gologanl; on the other are scenes from a biographical film shot in 1994 by director Sergiu Nicolaescu.

The Marshal’s Two Executions

Radu Jude
Romania / 2018 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Stand-by Office
The camera enters an office. The receptionist answers the telephone, her co-workers drink coffee during their break and talk about their plans. Later, there is a meeting. The stiffness of the situation reveals a hidden story. What exactly took place from June 2015 to September 2016 in the government building in Amsterdam?

Stand-by Office

Randa Maroufi
Lebanon, France, Netherlands, Romania / 2017 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Becoming
This minimalist six-minute film looks at the creation of animal life through time-lapse footage of an embryo’s development – a process universal to all animals, including people. The film follows, in microscopic detail, the development of an alpine newt in its translucent egg all the way from first cell division to moment of hatching.

Becoming

Jan van IJken
Netherlands / 2018 / 6 min.
section: Short Joy
World 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
On Guard
The film is a skit on the parallels between a caretaker and a security guard embodied by the character of a young man who keeps watching over everything all the time. Repetitive and automated everyday tasks are accentuated by monotonous aesthetics of the camera and a slow-moving pace, introducing the audience into the world of Korean pragmatic mentality and sense of responsibility. 

On Guard

Jeamin Cha
South Korea / 2018 / 18 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
First Birthday After the Apocalypse
In her autobiographical documentary, the young director uses cartoon impressions, photographic memories, and the various stages of baking a cake to draw the viewer into her own stream of consciousness, and using images full of kindness, tenderness, and playfulness, she deals with the sadness that began during a children's birthday party many years ago.     „Everything you experience could be a little exercise in storytelling and so the documentary filmmaking seems like a good way to learn how to interact with the world rather than with just the medium.“ F. Hasanbegović     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
personal program

First Birthday After the Apocalypse

Farah Hasanbegović
Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina / 2020 / 6 min.
section: Short Joy
World 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
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