27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
The idea to create an event known under its present title – Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival – was conceived in the minds of a group of high school students in the Czech city of Jihlava in 1997. Since then, each autumn the Ji.hlava IDFF brought together dozens and later hundreds and thousands of viewers, directors, producers, film critics, journalists, and friends of documentary cinema to spend several days "thinking through film".
Today, 26 years later, we can proudly claim that this celebration of creative documentary cinema has long been recognized as one of the leading European documentary film festivals and the largest event of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Ji.hlava’s main competition section “Opus Bonum” comprises up to 18 feature films screened in world, international and European premieres. Aside from the main award, the jurors of Opus Bonum 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 awards a prize to the most significant debut film, the best film from Central and Eastern Europe and the best film from the Visegrad region.
In addition to the main competition section, Ji.hlava offers three other categories: “Fascinations" for the best experimental films, “Testimonies" for the best films with political, ecological or scientific themes, „Short Joy“ for the best short docs, and the traditional national competition "Czech Joy".
Ji.hlava IDFF is among the festivals whose winners are eligible for the pre-selection of the Academy Awards® and the European Film Award.
With over 1,000 film professionals attending Ji.hlava IDFF every year, the event is a major meeting place for the world documentary industry, and the most important documentary hub in the region.
The Emerging Producers – Ji.hlava’s flagship industry programme – presents a showcase of the up-and-coming generation of European producers. Festival Identity brings together festival organisers and programmers from all across the globe and the East Silver market organised by the Ji.hlava IDFF in conjunction with the IDF annually provides an overview of the latest documentary works from Central and Eastern Europe. Conference Fascinations further underscores the importance of experimental cinema, discussing its production potential and distribution possibilities across continents. Aside from that, the Ji.hlava IDFF annually brings to the Sarajevo FF filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe to join the Docu Talents from the East presentations. Via Ji.hlava Film Fund we provide in-kind grants for visual and sound post-production, while the Ji.hlava Academy is a creative lab for non-fiction, to list just some of the Ji.hlava industry activities.
The Ji.hlava New Visions Forum & Co-production Market each year features upcoming documentary projects in development and (post)production from Europe and the United States – a popular event among industry professionals attending the festival, which include directors, producers, sales agents, distributors, TV commissioning editors, and festival representatives.
The Inspiration Forum is a unique discussion platform at the Ji.hlava IDFF, which hosts distinctive figures from various walks of life in search for new perspectives of our day and age and for relevant topics of future documentary films.
Each year in spring, the Echoes of Ji.hlava IDFF reverberate various parts of the world, and film fans in Prague and Jihlava tune in to the late summer documentary vibes of the Living Cinema. A critical reflection on documentary filmmaking is also the focus of the printed and online version of our dok.revue journal, complemented with numerous specialised publications the preparation of which was initiated by the festival.
The Ji.hlava IDFF also stood at the cradle of the Center for Documentary Film in Jihlava, a space for concentrated research as well as multifaceted exploration of documentary cinema on several levels – including a book and video library as well as other research sources.
We proudly quote the words of the legend of documentary cinema, Portuguese author Manoel de Oliveira who called Ji.hlava the Mecca of Documentary Film.