28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Sergey Dvortsevoy to receive the Award

The Contribution to World Cinema Award will be granted to Kazakhstani director Sergey Dvortsevoy, the author of this year’s Ji.hlava festival spot.

“Exactly twenty years after his film Bread Day won the historically first award of the Ji.hlava IDFF Dvortsevoy will introduce Ji.hlava audiences to his comprehensive retrospective and accept another award,” says Marek Hovorka. “His contribution is undisputable. In the 1990s, Dvortsevoy was the initiator of the trend of merging documentary and scripted films. In his documentary films, he managed to build powerful images in utterly mundane moments, whereas his scripted films feature authentic scenes with non-actors to achieve maximum realness. He is an inconspicuous master who is making what seems to be the same film over and over again, centred on an unprivileged person fighting for his or her life with constantly present dignity, humour and inner beauty,” says Marek Hovorka about the laureate.



Sergey Dvortsevoy (1962) is a Kazakh director and documentarian of Russian origin. He is ften grouped with the Russian New Wave, which was formed at the turn of the millennium as a result of efforts to reflect the state of Russian society and a range of socio-economic issues through the medium of film.

Dvortsevoy was born in Shymkent, Kazakhstan and prior to studying the art of filmmaking, he graduated from flight school in Ukraine and the Radio Engineering Institute in Novosibirsk. For a while he worked as an airline technician, then was admitted to the Higher Courses for Screenwriters and Directors in Moscow, which kicked off his career as the creator of documentary and fictional short films.

In 2008 he made his debut with the feature-length fiction film Tulpan, who garnered him numerous awards at international film festivals – Best Director at the Tokyo IFF, Discovery of the Year at the European Film Awards, and the East of the West Award at the Karlovy Vary IFF. Tulpan contains strong links to Dvortsevoy’s socially critical documentary films and blends together elements of visual lyricism with a naturalistic effort to capture the real life of Kazakh herdsmen.

The peak of critical naturalism in his work to date is the film Ayka (2018), which highlights the deplorable living conditions of migrants in Russian society, explicitly depicting the postpartum difficulties of women, which earned Samal Eslyamová the award for best actress at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

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