25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
24th Ji.hlava IDFF: Award winners
Best World Documentary Film 2020
Winner: White on White (dir. Viera Čákanyová / Czech Republic, Slovakia, 2020)
Jury statement (sole juror Hilal Baydarov): For being a very honest, brave and inspirational film. The film shows us how difficult and almost impossible it is to make a film about oneself.
Special mention: A Man Leaning (dir. Olivier Dury, Marie-Violaine Brincard / France, 2020)
Jury statement (sole juror Hilal Baydarov): For its beautiful structure and well-performed editing that gives strong hints about the nature of cinema through beautiful rhythm and poetic signs.
BETWEEN THE SEAS
Best Central and East European Documentary Film 2020
/ 10 000 EUR financial award for the winner /
Winner: Latvian Coyote (Ivars Zviedris / Latvia, 2020)
Jury statement: For a sensitive approach to its well-chosen protagonists the Jury has decided to award the film that shows us a global and a well-known topic from a unique unconventional perspective which still allows the audience to get very close not only to the main protagonist but also to dive into the whole story. And all this is supported by the strong cinematic vision of the director.
Special mention: THE LAST IMAGE (dir. Judith Zdesar / Austria, 2020)
Jury statement: For its poetic aesthetics, in search of a sensory representation of a daily and familiar environment, and for its visual creation of a memory that permanently disappeared by bringing glimpses of light in a world of darkness.
BETWEEN THE SEAS STUDENT FILM COMPETITION
Best Central and East European Student Documentary Film 2020
/ 2 000 USD financial award for the winner, in cooperation with Current Time TV /
Winner: Time Is (Zaur Kourazov / Belgium, Russia, 2020)
Jury statement: For a beautiful and minimalistic narrative approach with which director succeeds, by suspending time in a soothing atmosphere, to open multiple number of topics that unfold in the film and can be relevant not only for the Chechen society.
Best Czech Documentary Film 2020
/ 10 000 EUR financial award for the winner /
Winner: A New Shift (Jindřich Andrš / Czech Republic, 2020)
Jury statement: The Czech Joy main award goes to Jindřích Andrš’ film New Shift portraying the life story of Tomáš Hisem, a laid-off miner from the Paskov Mine, who at 50 is trying to retrain as a computer programmer. As a careful and sensitive observation showing no prejudices or downplaying, the film allows us to get so close to the main protagonist and his environment that it changes not only us but also its author. Using the example of one person, the film expresses in exact terms the generally valid topics of center-periphery relations, existential struggle, work transformation and alienation in a neoliberal economy and individual adaptability in a world without a strong safety net. Tomorrow, anyone of us can be in the shoes of a Paskov Mine miner.
Special mention: Wolves at the Borders (dir. Martin Páv / Czech Republic, 2020)
Jury statement: Wolves at the Borders is a story of our personal boundaries, our shared fear of the unknown and of the possibility of losing our conquered territories where anyone can be the wolf. The strong environmental topic of irreversible ecosystem disruption blends with the unassuming format of a western set in the Broumov region with the author’s unbiased approach unveiling borders being delineated, crossed or shared in a process where even the losing side is a winner.
Student Jury Award: Traces of a Landscape (dir. Petr Záruba, Czech Republic, Italy, 2020)
Jury statement: We selected Petr Záruba’s film Traces of a Landscape: Jan Jedlička for its visual, sound and content integrity. The film leads the viewer in a self-effacing, modest and precise way. It is a sensitive symbiosis via the shared language of observation. It’s therefore sure to have a concentrated, almost intimate impact.
Best Feature-Length Documentary Debut Film 2020
Winner: Ghosts: A Long Way Home (Tiago Siopa / Portugal, 2019 )
Jury statement: For magnificent cinematic style, for the immersiveness of spiritually enriching storytelling. A small-scale epic suggesting an entire mythological world. A fragile essay on a memory, on human roots, and on a moment in which presence is explicitly connected with the future and the past. Film as a free verse. Pure cinema.
Special mention: A House (dir. Judith Auffray / France, Switzerland, 2020)
Jury statement: We, who come to the house with director Judith Auffray, are soon enchanted — yet at the same time brutally deprived of the usual rhythms, automatic motions, and safe steps belonging to the familiar regime of our daily existence. We learn new rules, alternative rhythms, movements, we focus on the world differently. It becomes a dance.
Student Jury Award: A House (dir. Judith Auffray / France, Switzerland, 2020)
Jury statement: A House is a gentle observational documentary bringing us a natural glimpse into the specific world of a group of autistic persons. The jury appreciates the author’s human approach towards the portrayed topic and the trust that she has gained with her protagonist via her camera. The jury also commends the fact that the film is not trying to be an advocate for David, Zoey or Thomas but lets them speak for themselves. The result is a portrait of several exceptional individuals who are seen by the viewer as an integral part of the environment they are actively helping to maintain but also as fully-fledged human beings with their own eccentricities and history. The author’s craftsmanship also stands out with long shots revealing a surprising climax of the portrayed story.
Best Experimental Documentary Film 2020
Winner: We Are Without (SJ. Ramir / Australia, New Zealand, 2020)
Jury statement: The jury has decided to award the shortest film of this section: SJ Ramir’s We Are Without. Despite the author’s signature high level of stylization and the use of conventional cinematic devices, this work unlocks in a simple sequence of several images a vast range of interpretations. The increasing desire to see the context, to materialize fragments of the story, to grasp the inner visual realm gives us a chance to see, in the gaps between archaistic shots, the offscreen-made film as contemporary, unique, precise and topical.
Special mention: Baroque Femina (Nr. 7-11) (dir. Péter Lichter/ Hungary, 2020)
Jury statement: The jury’s special mention goes to Péter Lichter for his video-essay Barokk Femina (Nr. 7-11). The visually adventurous collage about today’s Hungarian collective unconscious sensitively and with admitted prejudices experiments with the politic reality of narrative frameworks.
Best Czech Experimental Documentary Film 2020
Winner: Catastrophe (dir. Zbyněk Baladrán / Czech Republic, 2019)
Jury statement: The main jury award goes to Zbyněk Baladrán for his film Catastrophe. An established figure of Czech contemporary art, his systemic work is characterized by an ability to achieve, using simple and formally and stylistically pure devices, movements of thoughts which, instead of becoming illustrations of theoretical discourses, use visual shortcuts to connect audiences to lived reality and to its reflection in societal and individual memory.
Special mention: Sparkly shiny brightly see, kaleidoscope grows from ears (dir. Tereza Chudáčková, Klára Ondračková / Czech Republic, 2020)
Jury statement: The jury has decided to award a special mention to two Czech experiments: To Sparkly shiny brightly see, kaleidoscope grows from ears by Tereza Chudáčková and Klára Ondráčková for its sensitive work with light, its narration indescribable in words and for its simplicity and non-speculative nature.
Special mention: Nobody needs to know about this, he said (dir. Ester Grohová / Czech Republic, 2020)
Jury statement: The second special mention goes to Nobody needs to know about this, he said by Ester Grohová for a bold approach to a personal topic without inclination to its ironization or untransferable self-experiencing and for the not-so-obvious blending of the therapeutical layer with the artistic one.
Best Short Documentary Film 2020
Winner: First Birthday After the Apocalypse (dir. Farah Hasanbegović / Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, 2020)
This section’s jury was general public, which has voted online for the films in competition.
Best Film Testimony 2020
Winner: Oeconomia (dir. Carmen Losmann / Germany, 2020)
Jury statement: Oeconomia presents a challenging topic for a documentary – the creation of money, profit and debt. The filmmaker managed to zoom in on the issue itself while also pointing at its creators – top bank and business managers who have no idea how the system they have created actually works. The jury also appreciates the cinematic qualities of the film which transforms the sterile rooms of financial institutions and industrial corporations into an impressive esthetic experience reflecting how the elites are cut off from the life of ordinary people.
Special mention: Vivos (dir. Ai Weiwei / Germany, Mexico, 2020)
Jury statement: Vivos captures the intimate testimonies of people whose children and loved-ones were killed or seriously injured during a police massacre in the Mexican city of Iguala. The film gradually moves from a clear explanation of the massacre investigation process and from the affected families’ protest against the official version of events towards the vast context of international war against drugs and the impact of US policies on the ongoing violence against vulnerable communities in different parts of the world. The jury has also concluded that the film is a sensitive portrayal of the culture and daily life of local communities avoiding unnecessary exoticization.
CONTRIBUTION TO WORLD CINEMA AWARD 2020
THE AUDIENCE AWARD
A New Shift (Jindřich Andrš / Czech Republic, 2020)
THE BEST FESTIVAL POSTER AWARD
SILVER EYE AWARDS 2020
(awarded by the Institute of Documentary Film)
Silver Eye Award feature length category 2020
Winner: A New Shift (Jindřich Andrš / Czech Republic, 2020)
Jury statement: We have decided to give the Silver Eye Award 2020 to the film that picked our interest because of its very current and burning issue it depicts. We were also charmed by the sensitive approach to the protagonist and the place it captures. The director spent several years of his life with the story he devoted his short and feature film to. Nevertheless, he kept his perspective and humble approach. In our opinion, this documentary perfectly represents the region of Central and Eastern and has a potential to resonate in the wider international context.
Silver Eye Award for the best short documentary 2020
Winner: Son of the Streets (dir. Mohammed Almughanni / Poland, Lebanon, 2020)
Jury statement: How unwelcome can one be in this world? A very unique connection with characters allows the director to unfold the nature of Khodor's vital dilemna in a vivid and profoundly memorable way. The vigorous cinematic experience engraves in the viewer the complex reality of daily life in a camp.
Special Mention: To Feather, to Wither (Hanna Hovitie / Hungary, 2020)
Jury statement: For outstanding directing skills that have given life to the deceased. The director has created a tender portrait of the poetics of the cycle of life.