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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Yellow Brick Road
Yellow Brick Road

Yellow Brick Road

director: Eloy D. Serén
original title: Den gula tegelvägen
country: Sweden
year: 2015
running time: 14 min.

synopsis

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.

biography

Eloy Domínguez Serén, originally from Spain, studied documentary filmmaking in Barcelona. He made his first film, The Sons of Samson (2011) in Spain. In 2012, he emigrated to Sweden, where he made his second short film Pettring (2013). In 2014, he began working as a filmmaking instructor in a refugee camp in the Sahara - the inspiration for his film Yellow Brick Road. He is now filming in the Arctic Circle.

more about film

director: Eloy D. Serén
cast: Hamdi Bidi Bugrain, Ali Salem Mohamed Ali
producer: Michael Krotkiewski
photography: Eloy D. Serén
editing: Eloy D. Serén

other films in the section

Calling Ukraine
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.”

Calling Ukraine

Jean Counet
Netherlands / 2015 / 12 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
TRANS
This sensitive portrait of the third sex in its hybrid form combines film and photographic techniques inspired by the motion photographs of Eadweard Muybridge, whose slow, close-up phases of the body in motion go well with the discovery of the unfocused physicality of an uncertain gender. The soul speaks through the narration. Blurry micro-movements of the body during the act of love, washing the hair, or putting on one’s underclothes in the dusk of a room with magenta walls. What is this body of austere vulgarity, discovered in all accepting openness?

TRANS

Mark Chapman
United Kingdom / 2013 / 7 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
The Creation As We Saw It
Three mythical stories as told by the inhabitants of the Melanesian island state of Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean, set against a backdrop of black-and-white footage of the place of the stories' origin. They reveal the mysteries behind the creation of man and woman, the reasons why pigs walk on all fours, and how volcanoes were made. A domesticated wild pig rests on the ground. Nearby, laundry is drying on a woven mat. Children look curiously and distrustfully into the camera. The pig lets itself be nuzzled and grunts contentedly.

The Creation As We Saw It

Ben Rivers
United Kingdom, Vanuatu / 2012 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
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
An Absence of Reciprocity in Vulnerability, Losses and Risks
A documentary study of the eye and its functions. A compilation of images from various places gives the function of the eye new meanings. It is a tool for instilling fear, the soldier uses it to find his target, and looking into the eye of your executioner can cause him to doubt his actions. What happens when the eye stops looking?

An Absence of Reciprocity in Vulnerability, Losses and Risks

Adéla Komrzý
Czech Republic / 2017 / 9 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.

Optimism

Deborah Stratman
United States, Canada / 2018 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
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
Swifts
Swifts spend their entire lives in the air. They sleepwhile flying and are among the fastest birds in the world. The camera captures what their great speed makes impossible to see with the naked eye – the space-time of the swift’s flight in the form of stages of flight, trajectories and curves. Every summer, the birds perform their aerial acrobatics in the sky over the housing estate they call home, as they prepare for the long fl ight south. The swift as an example of joy, in the air as an example ofhome.

Swifts

Andran Abramjan
Czech Republic / 2013 / 3 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Jungle
For the past several months, the infamous refugee camp in Calais has been home for a young Afghani. His daily experiences and his feelings about life in the Jungle are reflected in his letters to his parents, which paint a picture of the inescapable situation of hopelessness. The young man keeps on repeating his mantra: “Soon I will be in England.”

Jungle

Colia Vranici
France / 2016 / 18 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
My God Never Dies
Nearly twenty years ago, a Muslim refugee whose face we don’t get to see crossed the border of Myanmar, a country plagued by ethnic-religious conflict. He has since been unsuccessfully applying for asylum in Japan. Deprived of the opportunity to work and live outside a refugee facility, the now-40-year-old man turns to Allah as his last hope for human dignity.
personal program

My God Never Dies

Daichi Amano
Japan / 2019 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Beyond Marão
This surreal journey through a desolate mountain village, where an unknown danger hangs over the last surviving inhabitants, combines contemplative static shots of nature and animals taken from unusual angles, which are fascinating, yet, at the same time, raise uncertainty as to whether the mysterious landscape can be logically understood.DETAIL:We observe a silent mist-filled forest from whose depths an unrecognisable figure slowly emerges. As it comes nearer, we sense that it is not human, but rather an apparition embodying the incomprehensible magical nature of the location.

Beyond Marão

José Fernandes
Portugal / 2014 / 7 min.
section: Short Joy
East 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.

Pampa del Istmo

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