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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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competition sections

Opus Bonum

Opus Bonum is a competition section for the documentary films from all around the world, with the price for the Best World Documentary Film.

First Lights

First Lights is a competition section for the debut feature lengt documentary film from all around the world, with the price for the Best Documentary Debut Film.

Between the Seas

Between the Seas is a competition section for the countries and nations of Central and Eastern Europe, including their historical, political, and cultural interrelationships. → The winners will receive an award of 10,000 EUR

Between the Seas: Student Film Competition

The most significant student films from the Eastern and Central Europe. → The winners will receive an award of 2,000 USD (in cooperation with Current Time TV)

Czech Joy

Czech Joy is not only a prestigious competition for the best Czech documentary, but also a celebration of the diverse range of new topics and the adventurous spirit of cinematic epxression. → The winners will receive an award of 10,000 EUR


Fascinations is a large factory for experimental filmmaking that takes films based on reality and strips them of all that weighs them down, thus significantly expanding the possibilities of filmic expression.

Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz

Exprmntl.cz is a competition survey of the latest Czech experimental films that touch upon reality and never cease in their search for new ways of expressing reality through classical and digital film.

Short Joy

Short Joy is a selection of documentary shorts, with the price for the Best Short Documentary Film. This time, you’re a part of the jury! Watch all of this year’s nominated films for free on DAFilms from 19 October and pick the winner of the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October. The winning film will receive free online distribution and promotion on DAFilms valued at €3,000 EUR. All those who vote will automatically be entered into a raffle to win a number of cool festival prizes.


Testimonies is a selection of films that capture the current state of the world from various angles: as much as it may seem that there is no common thread running through them, within the context of Czech and international documentary filmmaking these are works that, for many diff erent reasons, cannot be overlooked.

non-competition sections


Section Constellations presents films, that last year shone on world documentary skies. We introduce carefully selected titles from other film festivals.

Special Event

Exceptional cinema events that guide us through a deep and critical reflection of the meanders of lived life in an unparalleled manner.

Fascinations: Garden

Each year Ji.hlava presents an experimental retrospective on a specific theme. Following last year’s theme of erotica, this year we will focus on the phenomenon of gardens. The garden is one of the popular motives, metaphors and visual inspirations in the film avant-garde.

Conference Fascinations: Poland

Each year we focus on mapping experimental and underground film landscapes of some Eastern European country. After Ukraine in 2019, we will turn our attention to Poland. Particularly since the seventies, Poland had a strong and influential experimental cinema, which notably originated at the Łódź Film School. The section was supported by the Polish Institute in Prague.

Siren Test

The section dedicated to music/sound in contemporary progressive cinematography.

Reality TV

Reality TV opens viewers’ eyes to new television formats and presents the full range of current forms of crossover genres such as docudrama, docusoap, reality show, and mockumentary.

FAMU Presents

FAMU presents a selection of the most remarkable documentaries that have been produced over the past year in various academy departments.

My Street Films

During the seven years of its existence, My Street Films has established itself as a major educational project that encourages interested members of the general public to shoot short films on topics that they consider to be personally relevant. The project’s uniqueness lies in its openness – throughout the year it connects people who are actively involved in their communities with professionals in the media industry. In addition to national competitions for the best film, it holds workshops for selected participants devoted to documentary filmmaking, open seminars for the public, intensive practical workshops, and film screenings accompanied by a lecture and discussion. At the Ji.hlava IDFF online edition, we present all the films from the Czech competitions entered in the My Street Films Awards.

Opening Scenes Lab x Visions du Réel

A section dedicated to first short films or student films, presented as world, international or European premieres streamed during the Vision du Réel 2020 Online Edition for the first time. Thanks to the unique partnership among the festivals of DOC Alliance, we present the same selection of the inspirational documentaries of young filmmakers at Ji.hlava IDFF online edition.

Czech Television Documentaries

Like with every year, Czech Television continues its interest in documentary filmmaking from the past year. In addition to their films that will be making an appearance in the festival’s competition segments, Czech Television will also present an additional fourteen films from their current productions.

transparent landscapes / retrospectives

Transparent Landscape: South Korea

100 years of South Korean documentary. While South Korean fiction film is at its height and receiving praise around the world, the country’s documentary landscape has to a big extent remained unexplored. We have therefore taken the challenge to map the history of South Korean documentary cinema. The result is a section Transparent Country: South Korea, which presents a unique overview of both documentary films that reflect the country’s social and political development as well as unique experimental works that embody the freedom of artistic expression. The section was supported by the Korean Film Council.

Black Cinema Matters

The section introduces a radical change in the perspective of the Black American narrative, which has long been dividing not only American public but is also bogged down with a lot of prejudice, ignorance and lack of empathy. The section will comprise exclusively of works by Black American filmmakers attesting to their direct experience with racism and violence. As a paradox, this authentic testimony has been marginalized or presented predominantly by other than Black American filmmakers. The section was supported by the US Embassy in Prague.

Translucent Being: Albert Kahn

This is the story of an unobtrusive, worried man who decided to bequeath us images in order to warn us against a disaster. In 1908, the wealthy Parisian banker Albert Kahn embarks on a months-long round-the-world trip. He wants to get to know foreign countries and nations, to see everything with his own eyes in order to understand something that seems obvious to him: the world he has known so far is on the verge of collapse, it is subject to radical changes – and will soon disappear completely. Upon his return to France in 1912, Kahn launches an immense, unique project: “Archives of the Planet.” Ji.hlava IDFF presents a curated selection of Albert Kahn’s film materials. Text: Albert-Kahn Museum

Fascinations: Jan Jedlička

Jan Jedlička is a Czech photographer, artist, and filmmaker who has been living in Switzerland since 1968. His work is characterised by his interest in the landscape and observation strategies that often form the method for his short experimental films. Several of them have been selected by the National Film Archive to mark the release of a biographical documentary about him entitled Jan Jedlička: Traces of a Landscape, which has been entered into the Czech Joy competition section.

Fascinations: Lumír Hladík

The eight-millimetre films by Czech artist Lumír Hladík capture the creator's body-art and landscape events from the turn of the 1970s and 80s. These are private events with the presence of a camera, which can be viewed as authentic documentaries or as small, experimental film miniatures. It is also one of the few period film recordings within the context of Czech performance, which is historically known mainly for its photography. The screening was put together by the National Film Archive on the basis of Hladík’s newly digitised films.

Tribute: Roberto Minervini

Director Roberto Minervini, originally from Italy, currently lives in the United States, where he explores American rural life and the fringes of southern society. In his work, he attempts to reveal the truth through the dramatization of reality and blurring the boundaries between documentary and feature film, between reality and narrative fiction. Minervini's films function as intimate portraits of individuals, as well as sociological studies in which he often focuses on economic injustice, racism and dysfunctional family relationships. He creates his films out of personal need and at the same time perceives them as a political project that helps him understand life in American society. You can watch Masterclass with Roberto Minervini HERE. The section was supported by the Italian Cultural Institute in Prague and the US Embassy in Prague.

Vachek 80

The film work of Karel Vachek is hard to define or compare; it has to be experienced. The Czech filmmaker and poet of the documentary image has invited viewers to seek the essence of the things around them since the 1960s. With his latest film Communism coming up, we present the complete body of work of the maverick filmmaker.

Into History: Expedition Colony

With the advent of the modern modes of travel thanks to the steam engine, formerly distant Africa drew closer to the borders of Central Europe. The way was opened for exploratory expeditions from the Czech lands, pioneered by the renowned Emil Holub, the first of the Czech professional "adventurers". But 20th-century travelers who proudly volunteered to travel with Holub were given more powerful weapons than their predecessors - the automobile and the movie camera. In their films, they charted expeditions whose rapid progress was made possible by the use of automobiles. Travel films are not only a testament of the desire of their creators to get to know distant places, but also an imprint of their thinking. The films, often exploring the diversity of African cultures, relate in various ways to the ideology of colonialism - either actively endorsing it or taking a definitive stand against it. The Colonial Expedition retrospective presents a selection of pre- and and post-World War 2 films, that demonstrate the active role of Czechoslovakia in the cultural colonization of Africa.


A comprehensive look at the documentary methods, creative decisions, styles, and cinematic thinking of exceptional documentary filmmakers.

Work in Progress

Outstanding films in the stage of development.

offscreen program

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