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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Ji.hlava will change its competitions and awards to pay tribute to the documentary filmmakers

"After several years of preparations, we started revamping the festival’s competition sections, the jury structure as well as the award categories. The aim is to pay tribute to documentary cinema which has been undergoing enormous changes, at the same time being the real drive behind contemporary filmmaking,” said festival director Marek Hovorka introducing a new festival concept during the opening of Ji.hlava's Echoes on March 11. As of this year’s 25th edition, Ji.hlava IDFF will feature a main competition section comprising up to 18 feature films screened in world, international and European premieres. In addition to the new competition concept, there will also be an innovation with regard to the award giving. Aside from the main award, the jurors will also hand out awards for the best cinematography, editing, and sound design. At the same time, outstanding formats, such as the best film essay, will be highlighted. The jury will award a prize to the most significant debut film and film from the region of Central and Eastern Europe but Ji.hlava’s traditional sections First Lights and Between the Seas will become a natural part of the main competition. The main jury will be composed of seven members who will ensure a varied reflection on contemporary cinema. "I've always considered it a pity how many talented and exceptional professionals have not been rewarded for their documentary work. Documentary cinematographers, editors, sound engineers and producers are only rarely recognized, even at the level of national film awards. And also with regard to American or European Academy Awards, it seldom happens that these professionals are nominated alongside feature filmmakers. This isn’t fair and we are determined to encourage the change,“ explains Hovorka. In addition to the main competition section, Ji.hlava will offer three other categories: “Fascinations" for the best experimental films, “Testimonies" for the best films with political, ecological or scientific themes, and the traditional national competition "Czech Joy".

Docu Talents from the East @Sarajevo Film Festival: call open


U.S. DOCS in the Spotlight: Encouraging U.S. – Europe


Pandemic as an opportunity

Live discussion with EMERGING PRODUCERS 2021 While the pandemic has severely hit the entire audiovisual sector and the situation remains critical in many places, we see the post-COVID world also as an opportunity. We invited the eighteen EMERGING PRODUCERS 2021 to brainstorm together and explore how to use pandemic as an accelerator of European cinema. How do we want the film industry to change after the pandemic? And how to restart and shape European cinema in the post-COVID world? Four selected EMERGING PRODUCERS, each representing one geographical part of Europe, will address these questions in a panel discussion moderated by Domenico La Porta, editor-in-chief of Cineuropa. Date: Friday, April 16 at 3PM CET Watch online here and on 

Echoes: Q&A with Ai Weiwei


Echoes: News from the Czech documentary scene


Echoes: live program

Thursday, March 11 12.00 noon ● All of the films included in the programme of the Echoes are available. ► Featured films and other program. 8.00 pm ● Official opening of the Echoes with Radiograph of a Family as an opening film and its Iranian director Firouzeh Khosrovani (in English). 8.00 pm ● Opening film Radiograph of a Family is available for streaming. 9.45 pm ● Q&A with Firouzeh Khosrovani, Iranian director of the film Radiograph of a Family (in English).   Friday, March 13 6.00 pm ● Panel discussion with directors of films included in the selection Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz and moderator Andrea Slováková. ► Live stream HERE (in Czech only).   Monday, March 15 6.30 pm ● REVIVING EUROPEAN CINEMA. Panel discussion which will take place during the East Doc Platform. ► Live stream HERE. (in English) ► event on  Critics say that European film production is losing its spirit and it is a fact that European cinema lags behind America in terms of global box office revenues. A concern arises that Europe will become a colony of powerful streaming platforms. How to revive European cinema and what are the ways to address the viewers? What is it that makes European films different and authentic? Four up-and-coming producers from different parts of Europe – all alumni of the acclaimed EMERGING PRODUCERS programme – will share their experience and take part in the discussion which will take place during the East Doc Platform and streamed as part of Ji.hlava’s Echoes in Brussels, Paris and New York. With Anamaria Antoci (Tangaj Production, RO), Jasmina Sijercic (Bocalupo Films, FR), Radim Procházka (Produkce Radim Procházka, CZ), Pedro Fernandes Duarte (Primeira Idade, PT) and moderator Marek Hovorka (festival director, Ji.hlava IDFF, CZ)   Wednesday, March 17 5.00 pm ● News from the Czech documentary scene. ► Live stream HERE (in English). ► event on What are the specifics of Czech and Belgian filmmaking? Four leading Czech documentarians will discuss their approaches, film education, festival strategies and funding possibilities with Belgian film professionals. Livia Tinca (program manager of the Millennium Festival), Tom Van Herzele (professor of film schools in Brussels RITCS), Alice Tabery (Traces of a Landscape), Filip Remunda (Once Upon a Time in Poland), Adam Ol'ha (Alchemical Furnace), and Jindřich Andrš (A New Shift) discuss Czech and Belgian documentary scene. Moderated by Romanian producer and director living in Brussels Irina Malcea. The debate is organized in cooperation with the Czech Center in Brussels as part of Echoes of Ji.hlava in Belgium.   Thursday, March 18 5.00 pm ● Q&A with Ai Weiwei. ► Live stream HERE. The laureate of the Contribution to World Cinema Award at the 24th of Jihlava, the tireless Chinese dissident-artist Ai Weiwei, will present his most recent film – Cockroach – as part of the Echoes of Ji.hlava. After the Mexican abductions (Vivos), the Wu-han pandemic (Coronation), this time Ai Weiwei focused on the recent mass protests in Hong Kong and uses the footage of demonstrators to narrate the final moments of an independent, democratic Hong Kong. You can discuss Ai Wei-wei 's artistic work, his new film Cockroach, or his stands on politics and society together with the Ji.hlava IDFF director Marek Hovorka during an online discussion.   Thursday, March 25 8.00 pm (3.00 pm EST) ● DISCUSSION: Echoes of European Documentary Film ► Free on Zoom, registration required. Register HERE. ► stream on  Join our discussion with three European filmmakers with different experiences, in different places in their careers, as they discuss their films featured in the Echoes of Jihlava in New York and so much more, with a special focus on American context. What was the reception of their films and their experience with American festivals, distributors, and audiences? Is reaching America a priority for them and what advice do they have for other filmmakers? Do they have any tips for American fans of European documentary cinema? The discussion with Adam Ol’ha of Alchemical Furnace, Hubert Sauper of Epicentro, and Pedro Fernandes Duarte of Ghosts: Long Way Home will be moderated by Summre Garber, a documentary filmmaker and film festival programmer based in Los Angeles.

Echoes in Czech Republic: films

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