27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum

The fascination with digital technologies leads to a gradual but pervasive change that might not be evident during their pioneering stage. The most earth-shattering developments are usually driven by powerful global corporations that can afford large investments. The multidimensional Internet 3.0 and the related technologies contain the promise of new forms of communication, but also the risk of drawing the human population into an online interface after which there may be no turning back. What are the risks associated with the latest technological developments and how should we approach them from the perspective of the community, the state and transnational political institutions?

back to the main page IF


October 27

10:00–11:00 AM
Screenshots of the future
The inner world of András Cséfalvay

Fossilization is a rare occurrence. Prehistoric events can be mapped with these unique snapshots. Some predictions can also be made about the future. In 5 billion years, the sun will run out of its fuel. In 1032 years, after the half-life of the proton, the universe will change beyond recognition. Can we predict the course of human evolution? What role does our imagination play in our certainty about the future? Speculations about history in both directions.

Guest: András Cséfalvay

up △

12:00–1:30 PM
Moving online
Panel discussion about imminent threats

Due to the evolution of the Internet, human life, including interactions with others, is moving more and more into virtual space. PC games are experiencing the next technological phase, with the hegemonic social network Facebook has been investing in the development of the virtual reality called the Metaverse. Some experts see this as not just an entertainment fad but a growing necessity in our physical world plagued by climate crises, geopolitical conflicts and the pandemic. Who is now influencing the shape of the digital environment and what logic are they following? What can human entertainment, work, politics and everything else look like when it is transferred into the virtual world? And what might be the consequences?

Guests: Daniel Leisegang, Leonhard Müllner, Kateřina Smejkalová
Moderator: Marie Heřmanová

up △

2:30–4:00 PM
The end of the corporate net
Keynote and discussion about the deprivatization of the Internet

Today’s internet is a commercial space dominated by a handful of technology companies profiting from the data generated by our daily online interactions. We haven’t yet seen any fundamental attempt to regulate the internet, although we are on the threshold of Web 3.0: further integration and invasion of the Internet into our daily lives. How to make the internet a place governed by people, not profit? What kind of internet should we strive for and how?

Guests: Tereza Bartoníčková, Ben Tarnoff*
Moderator: Matouš Hrdina

*Ben Tarnoff will join live from the USA.

up △

5:30–7:00 PM
Political economy of digital technology
Panel discussion about sustainable digital economy

Following the digital boom in the past decade, many tech companies have faltered – having failed to establish a truly profitable business model like Uber, their operation is no longer successful like in the case of Netflix, or they have proven to be unreliable like cryptocurrencies including their Bitcoin flagship. At the same time, a number of legislative changes are in the pipeline to channel their often completely unregulated business models. At the same time, however, hopes for digital technologies are running even higher than before. The most prominent example is the investment in Metaverse. What can a sustainable digital economy look like without the dramatic side effects and soon bursting bubbles?

Guests: Aaron Benanav*, Klára Votavová
Moderator: Ondřej Trhoň

*Aaron Benanav will join live from the USA.

up △

7:30–9:00 PM
Behind the game plan
Artist talk about politics in video games

We are used to seeing video games merely as a form of entertainment. The only time we see their political aspects is in debates about the depiction of violence. Total Refusal is an artistic collective that explores the politics that permeate today's most profitable entertainment medium. What effect does the contemporary political economy have on mass media, and thus on the formation and affirmation of social values? And how can these hegemonic worldviews be deconstructed and reused artistically and ideologically? The Austrian "pseudo-Marxist media guerrilla" Total Refusal addresses these questions from many different angles, but always acknowledging that video games can be seen as the embodiment of late capitalist media production, where cultural narratives shaping political consensus are co-produced by marketing apparatuses.

Guests: Total Refusal
Moderator: Václav Jánoščík

up △
Programme block “E-PANOPTIKON / Destined for the online world” is organized with the support of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Czech Republic and Masaryk Democratic Academy.  


Aaron Benanav

Historian of economy and social scientist. His first book, Automation and the Future of Work, was published by Verso in 2020, and his writings were featured in the New Statesman, Nation, Dissent and the Guardian, among many others. Benanav’s research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century global economic history, unemployment and underemployment, economic growth and development, demographic change, and alternative economic systems. He is working on two other book projects. One of these concerns the idea of ‘post-scarcity’ economics, the other examines the global history of unemployment since 1940.

Tereza Bartoníčková

Founder and president of the Internet Institute, which aims to deepen knowledge of the workings and mechanisms of the contemporary Internet and to develop digital skills and literacy. She studied marketing and PR at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University, then at Oxford Internet Institute, where she obtained her MSc. in Social Science of the Internet. Her expertise lies in the ethical and legal implications of AI and technology regulation. She is also currently working on her PhD in this area at Charles University Law School. She gained her work experience through smaller companies or freelancing, but also at giants like Google.

András Cséfalvay

Slovak visual artist and musician. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, where he received the title of Associate Professor of Fine Arts in 2019. In 2009, he was the winner of the Oskar Čepan Award for Slovak visual artists under 35. He works mainly with audiovisual art, typically producing short narrative videos set in digital reality. A prominent theme of his work is the representation of groups that are not heard in our society, which he believes is the task of artists. In his works, he lends a voice to both human and non-human subjects. Cséfalvay’s work also reflects his interest in the history of science and his thoughts on the nature of knowledge or the function of language.

Marie Heřmanová

Anthropologist, sociologist and journalist. She currently works at the Institute of Sociology at the Academy of Sciences and at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University. Her research focuses on social networks, online identities and communities, internet culture, influencers and on how social and gender stereotypes are created and reproduced online. She also focuses on the issue of hate speech and conspiracy theories in the online space and the phenomenon of political radicalisation through social networks.

Matouš Hrdina

A journalist focusing mainly on the topics of digital communication and lifestyle changes. He works as an editor at Seznam Zprávy news portal, where he writes the Pod čarou newsletter and contributes to the podcast Výdech. He also contributes to other Czech media, previously working for Radio Wave and Heroine magazine.

Václav Janoščík

Theorist, curator, philosopher and a lecturer. He works at the Department of Theory and History of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He promotes democratization of contemporary art and thought. He is interested in emotional ecology, politics of reality and philosophy of technology. In 2018, he published a book called Nespavost (Insomnia), which opens up in a personal perspective a number of issues of today – from the psychological and economic pressure on the pace of our lives to the influence of social media on our language and attention.

Daniel Leisegang

German political scientist and co-editor-in-chief of netzpolitik.org, a web magazine focusing on digital rights and freedoms. Previously, he worked as an editor of Blätter für Deutsche und Internationale Politik (Letters for German and International Politics). In 2014, he published Amazon: Das Buch als Beute (Amazon: The Book as Prey), in which he discusses the working conditions of those who rely on the online retail business model, and how Amazon’s growth policy affects booksellers and publishers.

Leonhard Müllner

Austrian visual artist, director and game theorist. He is currently active in the pseudo-Marxist media guerrilla group Total Refusal, a collective of artists who work with, intervene in and appropriate mainstream video games. Müllner’s work is concerned with the boundaries that gameplay establishes in digital space and their ideological background. He is interested in the possibilities of transcending these constraints, defying the rules and goals of the game, and creating a new game reality. He sees disobedience as one of the most important tools of democracy and tests its emancipatory potential within his work.

Total Refusal

A pseudo-Marxist media guerrilla whose members use mainstream video games in a subversive way. They appropriate video games by rejecting their rules – not respecting the goals or paths that are presented as mandatory and self-evident. In doing so, they reinvent the digital space they intervene in and explore how it can be used in ways other than for combat. Through its work, Total Refusal thus points out the political dimension of these games and the ideology embedded in their structure. In their first multi-award winning film, Operation Jane Walk, they take the viewer into the dystopian world of the multiplayer shooter Tom Clancy’s: The Division. However, they reject the role of the Division’s agents and instead of shooting, they go on a tour of post-apocalyptic Manhattan to talk about architecture and urbanism.

Kateřina Smejkalová

Researcher working at the German public think-tank Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and a publicist. She is particularly interested in the social impact of technology, work and its future, and comments on current events in Germany. She studied German and political science at the Ruhr-Universität in Bochum, West Germany.

Ben Tarnoff

A writer and journalist writing about technology and politics. He contributes to the Guardian and the tech magazine Logic, which he co-founded. This year he published a book, Internet for the People: The Fight for Our Digital Future, in which he analyses the current internet crisis and suggests ways out of it. Whether it’s the loss of privacy or the spread of misinformation, Tarnoff says the blame for the dangerous ills of today’s internet lies with its impoverishment. As a solution, he proposes deprivatisation, which he believes could turn the internet into a place governed by people, not profit.

Ondřej Trhoň

A cultural critic and editor of Revue Prostor, he writes regularly for Artzóna ČT and Cinepur, his texts have been published in A2, Deník N and other media. He translates and lectures at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University. He is currently a PhD student at the Academy of Fine Arts, where he explores artificial bodies and video games. He is the author of the programme Otevřené hlavy (Open Heads) on Radio Wave (powered by Czech Radio) and publishes the independent interdisciplinary magazine Dýpt.

Klára Votavová

Reporter and commentator. She has been collaborating with Voxpot, Alarm and Aktuálně magazines. She is interested in the social impact of digital technologies and the social responsibility of large digital platforms, labour market transformations and economic inequalities in Europe. She has been focusing on Amazon’s operations in the Czech Republic. She studies social geography and regional development at Charles University.

up △


Images can speak louder than words. Check out our selection of films from the Ji.hlava IDFF’s festival programme.

ALGORITHMS OF BEATY (Belgium, 2022, Miléna Trivier)
BLOOM (Canada, 2022, Fanie Pelletier)
LEAVING TO REMAIN (Slovakia, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, 2022, Mira Erdevički)
OVER OUR HILLS (Switzerland, 2022, Mateo Ybarra)
SELF-PORTRAIT (Canada, 2022, Joële Walinga)

up △

Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Český rozhlas
Creative Europe Media