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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Becoming
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Becoming
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Becoming

Becoming

director: Jan van IJken
original title: Becoming
country: Netherlands
year: 2018
running time: 6 min.

synopsis

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.

biography

Dutch documentary filmmaker and photographer Jan van IJken (1965) focuses on nature and the world of animals, as for instance in his early film Facing Animals (2012) or in his look at the motion of a flock of birds, The Art of Flying (2015), which was shown in Jihlava as well.

more about film

director: Jan van IJken
producer: Jan van IJken
photography: Jan van IJken

other films in the section

The Neighbours
This animated documentary revives the story of Rudolf Bělohoubek in the form of moving “comic” drawings with commentary. After the Second World War, the son of a Czech father and German mother witnessed the execution of his parents by the Revolutionary Guards, who even had some of the family’s neighbors amongst their ranks. 
personal program

The Neighbours

Martin Búřil
Czech Republic / 2019 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Commodity City
The Yiwu wholesale market in China is more than eight kilometres long. Short episodes follow buyers and the uncompromising negotiations between vendors. The observational documentary shows stalls so covered in goods they completely hide the vendors – and thus also the market’s other world, where their offspring spend their childhoods.

Commodity City

Jessica Kingdon
United States, China / 2016 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
East European 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
24 Praska St
Lucyna and Krzysztof are a long-time married couple who operate a salvage yard in a socially excluded area of Łódź, Poland. Patrycja Polkowska’s observational documentary captures how the couple transforms the salvage yard every day into an eccentric microcosm where all those who are offended or humiliated can find help.

24 Praska St

Patrycja Polkowska
Poland / 2016 / 16 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
The Still Life of Vera
The lost magic of postcards is explored on film in this FAMU student exercise. A mosaic composed of seasonal motifs and short messages illustrates the relationship of several people to Věra. The passage of time is shown only by the change in the heads of state on the postage stamps. Will the mysterious recipient be found?DETAIL:“My dear Mrs. Bechyňová, I found a box with 254 postcards in an antique bookshop on Spálená Street. They were all addressed to you and were being sold for one crown each. P.S. Is anything wrong with you?”

The Still Life of Vera

Greta Stocklassa
Czech Republic / 2015 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Document: Hoyerswerda | Frontex
Four migrants from Mozambique provide eyewitness testimony about the racially motivated attacks that took place in Hoyerswerda, Saxony, in 1991. Their report is read to accompany archive shots, obtained directly in the streets of German city, which are shown in one half of the frame. The other half contains drone surveillance footage obtained by Frontex, the agency responsible for protecting the European Union’s borders.DETAIL:“They shouted ‘Blacks out of this country’. They threw stones at the windows. On this day there were three of us seriously injured. Two came from the fair, one was beaten up at the intersection.”

Document: Hoyerswerda | Frontex

Thomas Kaske
Germany / 2014 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
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
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. 

Notes on the Shore

Luis Alejandro Yero
Cuba / 2018 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
European 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
Into Thin Air
What happens to women who mysteriously disappear? Are they ever seen again? Do state authorities investigate as they should, or are the only ones truly searching for the women the ones they left behind? A compilation film that reveals several periods in history during which scores of women disappeared without a trace under various circumstances.

Into Thin Air

Cristina Motta
Argentina / 2018 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Poem and stone
A film skirting the edge of performance, documentary, and poetry, explores the question of human memory through the combination of a variety of abstract and symbolic motifs. It refers to Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and the principles of “involuntary memory” based on the unconscious storing of memories connected with concrete emotions.DETAIL:“I sit here, yearning for the smell of wet soil and gasoline, my fingers stained with the absent. I unself here. Distance and nearness are attributes of bodies. The journey of the soul involves not time and place.”

Poem and stone

Maryam Tafakory
Iran, United Kingdom / 2015 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
137 Bullets
The confusion surrounding the situation on the evening of November 29, 2012 forces the public to examine it in detail. This documentary looks back at the events that culminated in the fatal shooting of Melissa Williams and Timothy Russell. Irrationally induced mass hysteria led to their vehicle being following by over 100 policemen.

137 Bullets

Paul Turano
United States / 2017 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
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