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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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For a Better Life

director: Yasmin Mistry
original title: For a Better Life
country: United States
year: 2018
running time: 10 min.

synopsis

A woman sells her five-year-old son to a French tourist for 100 dollars, but the dream of a better life turns into years of physical and sexual abuse. This animated film looks at young Fekri’s journey during the most vulnerable years of his life. Can he recover enough to leave his family?

biography

Yasmin Mistry (1978) is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and animator. Pervious works include the documentary shorts Feeling Wanted (2015) and My Identity (2016), which have earned her more than 20 awards. 

more about film

director: Yasmin Mistry
hrají: Fekri Kram
producer: Yasmin Mistry, Kimberly Dipersia
editing: Maxine Trump
sound: Erich Rettermayer

other films in the section

First Feature
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.
personal program

First Feature

Bentley Brown
Saudi Arabia / 2018 / 14 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. 
personal program

Landline

Matt Houghton
United Kingdom / 2017 / 12 min.
section: Short Joy
East European 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.
personal program

In the Frame

Ion Gnatiuc, Artiom Zavadovsky
France, Germany, Romania, Moldova / 2018 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
Central European Premiere
Research / Souvenir (Dialogues)
This documentary combines interviews with participants in ethnographic research led by the filmmaker personally with footage of his own personal reflections and insights. The recordings, gathered during the three years prior to the end of the authoritarian regime of Zimbabwean president Mugabe, is accompanied by 8mm footage of Rhodesia.
personal program

Research / Souvenir (Dialogues)

Roger Horn
Zimbabwe, South Africa / 2018 / 18 min.
section: Short Joy
Central European 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.
personal program

The Wonderful Years

Galina Yarmanova, Svitlana Shymko
Ukraine / 2018 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Notes on the Shore
This film about the life of Cubans without a roof over their heads shows how they go about their everyday activities: preparing food, discussing politics, singing songs, reading old texts by Fidel Castro, and sleeping off a hangover. Fourteen minutes of detailed observation of people overlooked by others. 
personal program

Notes on the Shore

Luis Alejandro Yero
Cuba / 2018 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Pampa del Istmo
“(Where) do the places we remember exist?” asks Camila Ausente in the opening of her ten-minute documentary search for an answer to this question. The film combines repeating images from Mexico with oral memories of her father's childhood in Argentina.
personal program

Pampa del Istmo

Camila Ausente
Mexico, Argentina / 2018 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
From Heigths
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. 
personal program

From Heigths

Pierre Bisson
Switzerland / 2018 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Optimism
Dawson City in Canada’s Yukon Territory abounds in goldmines and lack of sunshine. This portrait of the town is an audiovisual collage on the search for the sun and gold, history, and the everyday realities of its inhabitants. The atmosphere of cold, snowy Canada infuses the film with a dark mood reminiscent of Twin Peaks.
personal program

Optimism

Deborah Stratman
Canada, United States / 2018 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
I Was Here
Director Zaina Erhaim has decided to explore her Syrian hometown of Idlib, which is controlled by anti-regime forces. Original footage captures familiar neighborhoods in ruins, where Erhaim leaves what is perhaps the last human footprint. This secretly-filmed documentary presents a visual experience of the loss of home and of meeting loved ones in a new reality.
personal program

I Was Here

Zaina Erhaim
Syria / 2017 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
The Remembered Film
Reality disappears before our eyes – all that remains is what’s preserved in our memories, the retelling of which allows us to bring it back to life. Camera in hand, the experimental filmmaker explores this abstract process in a stylized documentary with young boys in military uniforms and stories of war.
personal program

The Remembered Film

Isabelle Tollenaere
Belgium / 2018 / 18 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.
personal program

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
Respekt
UPP
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