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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum

Each person has a unique set and configuration of values governing their daily decisions and life choices. Life brings challenges that defy our previous experience, values and their rearrangement is not sufficient and steps need to be taken into the unknown. Is this heroism of some kind?

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SCHEDULE

sunday 1. 11.
20.30–21.30 | Inner Compass

tuesday 3. 11.
18.30–19.30 | Vietnam Stories

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GUESTS

Diana Cam Van Nguyen (CZ)

A Czech-Vietnamese director, artist, and animator living in Prague. Her short films The Little One (2017) and Apart (2018) have been screened at many domestic and foreign festivals and have won several awards. Apart, in particular, was awarded Best Czech Experimental Documentary Film at the 2018 Jihlava IDFF and made its world premiere at the Rotterdam IFF.

How would you describe your work and goals in the context of breaking stereotypes?
In my films, I focus mainly on personal topics and pay homage to the different culture and traditions I grew up with, though I don’t fully understand them and they feel foreign to me. So I try to balance these two cultures and connect the dots. My goal is to bring Vietnamese culture closer to the Czech audience, but also to acquaint Vietnamese audiences with non-mainstream work - such as animated documentaries. I would like to see more Vietnamese and Romani actors start appearing in Czech cinema and not be typecast in stereotypical roles (like the owner of a convenience store or a drug dealer, etc.) but rather cast as an "ordinary" friend, parent, or neighbour.

What do you consider to be important in light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
Personally, I’m concerned about the issue of inequality, especially racial inequality. This problem resonates now more than ever thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement. We’ve been struggling with this issue for a long time. Though a lot has changed for the better in Western society, white privilege continues to be a major problem. I think we should all come to realise that simply not being racist is not enough. We must also take an active stance against racism. I still don’t understand how we got to this point where we measure a person’s worth based on the colour of their skin and then make prejudiced assumptions about their behaviour. We are all unique and everyone should have the same opportunities and choices.

What resonated with you the most out of this year’s literature and artistic releases?
Books: Tatitatitati (Tamás Jónás), Ways of Writing about Love (Jan Němec)
TV Series: Euphoria, BoJack Horseman, Mrs. America
Movies: Booksmart, The Farewell. And I'm looking forward to Wes Andreson's new film, The French Dispatch

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Marta Lopatková (CZ)

A researcher at the Institute of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague. She focuses on culture, society and history of colonial Vietnam, paying special attention to gender and issues of modernity. She also studies migration and Vietnamese communities in the Czech Republic of today and in Czechoslovakia of the past. She is a graduate of Vietnamese studies and ethnology at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague. Apart from her academic activities, she has worked with the Vietnamese community as an NGO volunteer.

How would you describe your work and your goals in the area of Vietnamese studies?
Vietnamese Studies fall under the so-called “area studies”. They used to fall under classic Oriental Studies in the past. It means that you need to study history, culture, society and everything else that is somehow relevant. And if you wish to explore these issues, your indispensable tool is language, which is why you need to learn it. My focus is on modern Vietnamese literature, society, dramatic history and migration issues and Vietnamese communities outside Vietnam. Apart from teaching, I do my own research (focused on the birth of modern Vietnamese society in colonial Vietnam) and I also work as a translator (I've recently translated a collection of Vietnamese realistic stories from the early 20th century due to be published this winter).
If we succeeded to enthuse our students to the extent that they would continue their Vietnamese studies and pursue their academic career in this field regardless of different obstacles, it would make me really happy.


What do you consider important in the light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
Lately, I cannot help but think about such qualities as empathy, callousness or selfishness. I believe we should focus on how to encourage the first and suppress the last two.

What resonated with you the most out of this year’s literature and artistic releases?
I've been charmed by the life and work of poet and writer Ocean Vuong, whose eagerly expected novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous was published last year.

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Josef Pazderka (CZ)

A historian, a journalist, the editor-in-chief of on-line daily Aktuálně.cz. He was born in Jihlava and studied history at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague (grad. 1999) and development studies at Oxford Brookes University (grad. 2003). He was a charity worker at People In Need; between 2005-2016, he worked as a reporter for Czech Television, first as a foreign correspondent of Czech Television in Russia, later in Poland and Ukraine. Since 2018, he has been the editor-in-chief of on-line daily Aktuálně.cz. In 2011, he made an acclaimed TV documentary called The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968: The Russian Perspective and co-written a book of the same name published by Torst.

How would you describe your work and your goals in the context of the media?
On-line journalism is stressful; it is a never-ending hustle and bustle and a great responsibility. But also happiness when things move forward thanks to your work. It happens only now and then, but that's what makes it even more special.

What do you consider important in the light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
Climate changes; pension reform; media quality; critical thinking; ability to discuss important issues in an educated, non-aggressive manner. These are the challenges for me and the whole society.

What resonated with you the most out of this year’s literature and artistic releases?
David Attenborough: Life on Earth (documentary film)
David Klimeš: Česko versus budoucnost (Czechia vs Future, book)
Jan Komasa: Corpus Christi (film)
Jeff Orlowski: The Social Dilemma (TV documentary)
Mariusz Szczygiel: Není (Not Here, book).

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Marek Pros (CZ)

Journalist. He leads the lifestyle section of Aktuálně.cz and works as a deputy editor-in-chief. This year, he and his colleagues received a nomination for the Journalist Award (Czecho-Slovak Public Award) for the multimedia project The Damn Generation Z about the problems of young Czechs. He was born in 1984 in Tábor, South Bohemia, where he spent his childhood, enjoyed a sports career as an ice hockey player, and came of age. He later studied journalism and international relations at Masaryk University in Brno, and also spent several months at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland.

How would you describe your work and goals in the media in the context of breaking stereotypes?
Every story, news report, and interview must have a context. Whether it's a transsexual fighting with prejudice in their neighborhood, or young pastors using YouTube as a means to reach out to young people. It's always important to be sensitive and ingenuous when mediating their struggle, endeavours, or plain ordinary human effort to break through the constraints of stereotypes. Aktuálně.cz is, therefore, a venue where this "duel" can play out via sensitively and professionally treated materials.

What do you consider important in light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
The most important thing is not to fool around with a flurry of (pseudo-) information and to be able to navigate your way through a flood of events. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find the exact line between truth, half-truth, and falsehood. Despite it diminishing in strength, the media is still an irreplaceable and necessary key to identifying this fine line between information and manipulation.

What resonated with you the most out of this year’s literature and artistic releases?
The novel HOMO sapienne by Greenlandic writer Niviaq Korneliussen about the everyday problems of five young protagonists who, thanks to Korneliussen's incredibly fresh storytelling style, fight against the prejudices of a small, conservative, Greenlandic town.

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Le Hong Thai (CZ)

His parents come from Vietnam while he grew up in northern Bohemia. He graduated from the 3rd Faculty of Medicine at Charles University and now works as a doctor at the Psychiatric Clinic of the General Hospital. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and playing medieval games.

How would you describe your work and goals in the context of breaking stereotypes?
As a doctor working in the acute psychiatric ward, one thing I’ve been trying to do is to contribute to the ongoing reform of psychiatric care and the destigmatisation of mental illness.

What do you consider to be important in light of the current situation and what issues do you think we, as a society, should take seriously?
In these times, it’s important for me to stay in touch with my loved ones. I believe that we can only face global problems together as a group, whether they be health, economic, or environmental problems. We shouldn’t have to face these things alone.

What resonated with you the most out of this year’s literature and artistic releases?
I was most excited about Taylor Swift's new album Folklore. In terms of professional literature, I would definitely recommend Rosling's Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World -- and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, even though it’s not a new release and came out in 2018. I think this book will bring insight and positivity to the current situation.

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FILM SELECTION

I Walk (Jørgen Leth, Denmark, 2019)
Motherlands (Gabriel Babsi, Hungary, Romania, 2020)
The Jump (Giedrė Žickytė, Lithuania, Latvia, France, 2020)
Refugees Are Welcome Here (Tomáš Rafa, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Austria, Serbia, 2020)
Common language (Volia Chajkouskaya, Estonia, Belasrus, 2019)

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READING LIST

To be announced soon.

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Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
Respekt