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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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From Heigths
From Heigths
From Heigths
From Heigths

From Heigths

director: Pierre Bisson
original title: Venant des hauteurs
country: Switzerland
year: 2018
running time: 15 min.

synopsis

A young filmmaker sets off for the unknown territory of an African enclave to gather true stories of its inhabitants. Motionless scenery carries human imagination to heights where unforgettable moments of human life unfold. The meditative character of the film’s imagery captures the unique atmosphere of Lesotho. 

biography

Pierre Bisson (1996) was born in Toulouse, France. He has been interested in film since secondary school, and enrolled in the Geneva University of Art and Design. His film From Heights is the result of a student trip to Africa. 

more about film

director: Pierre Bisson
cast: Liteboho Molato, Tsebo Makakole
script: Pierre Bisson
photography: Pierre Bisson
editing: Pierre Bisson
sound: Delphine Mouly, Pierre Bisson

other films in the section

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 Holiday Inn-Side
Using simple animation with outline figures and objects against a dark background that evokes nightmares, an anonymous 16-year-old youth, a repeat offender at a correctional facility for juveniles, recounts his criminal past caused by traumatic experiences with domestic abuse within his family.

The Holiday Inn-Side

Charby Ibrahim
Australia / 2018 / 20 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Landline
There’s a helpline just for gay farmers. Through authentic recordings and reconstructed situations, the film offers a glimpse into the issue of British gay men from rural areas. For farmers it’s difficult enough to admit their orientation to themselves, let alone to their not-so-gay-friendly surroundings. 

Landline

Matt Houghton
United Kingdom / 2017 / 12 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Mečiar
The symbol of a divided Czechoslovakia. An authoritarian autocrat whom everyone has forgotten about. The film follows Vladimír Mečiar in his retirement, in villa, alone. His two opponents watch him on film. Where did Slovakia’s schizophrenia start? In his Villa Elektra, Mečiar is building his own little Slovakia: Hlinka, Jesus, and sausages. Privatization, kidnappings, and the night of long knives. What really happened in Slovakia in the 1990s?

Mečiar

Tereza Nvotova
Czechoslovakia / 2013 / 40 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Yellow Brick Road
In the Western Sahara desert, large cars disintegrate into the sand, surrounded by a refugee camp. Against a yellow backdrop of sand, two small boys play in one of the wrecks. A static shot like a moving photograph of time, which flows slowly in the refugee camp.DETAIL:Hamdi and Ali are playing in a rusty car wreck. They take turns in singing songs that sound almost as if they were sang by grown men and not by two kids from a refugee camp.

Yellow Brick Road

Eloy D. Serén
Sweden / 2015 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
What to Do While Trains Pass By
A group of five school-aged youths spend their free time in front of a graffiti-covered wall. In the rough area near the train tracks we observe the process of rap being created. The free way the youths speak and off-the-cuff texts accompanied by music emanating from their mobile phones say a great deal about way they perceive the world.DETAIL:“We’re glad we’ve got each other. We’ll always be together. We are gypsies. We love each other. Bro, you gotta understand, this is no fairy tale. Spit it out. I’m standing here in front of the camera and have no idea what to do.”

What to Do While Trains Pass By

Karl Friis Forchhammer
Denmark / 2015 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Clap Your Hands
Technological innovations of the moving picture in the service of science – in this case, the atom bomb – as we watch preparations for an explosion from various points of view. The film is interesting in its origins: It was put together using solely publicly available footage from the online Prelinger Archives. The clock’s hand goes in a circle as it marks the time. Preparations complete. Cameras ready, the plane takes off, drums roll. A match is struck and burns, the bomb falls. The pressure wave, then close-up footage of flowing microorganisms.

Clap Your Hands

Rita Figueiredo
Portugal / 2013 / 6 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
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
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
Lone Star Statement
A raw statement on the life of a criminal unjustly accused of the murder of the son of a prominent Texas attorney, committed by his accomplice during a robbery. Through footage shot in prison, the film captures the desperation felt by a man a few hours before his scheduled execution.DETAIL:“Where you taking me to? I’ll probably give approval... if you tell me what you're doing. How you expect me to participate in something if you don’t tell me what you’re doing to me.”

Lone Star Statement

Scott Calonico
United Kingdom, United States / 2015 / 4 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
April
The ferry's name was Sewol (which means the passing of time), and it happened in April (which is Sawol in Korean). The tragic death of a larger number of people affected the film’s director to such a degree that she decided to make this contemplative miniature, which brings together reflections about the absurd accident and interpersonal distances with 3D animation of personal living space.DETAIL:“It was not my life. It was someone else’s. It was not my tragedy. It happened to others. There was no particular reason why I survived. Nor was there any reason why they died.”

April

Oh Eun Lee
France / 2015 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
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