26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum

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. → The winners will receive an award of 10.000 USD → The authors of the best Central and East European film will receive an award of 3.000 EUR (in cooperation with Current Time TV)


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.

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 CZK 200.000

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 October 12 and pick the winner of the Audience Award. Voting ends on October 24. 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.


Fascinations is a prestigious section for experimental documentaries from all around the world, with the price for the Best Experimental Documentary Film.

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.

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.

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.

Doc Alliance Selection

Featuring the best films screened at Doc Alliance festivals, including two 2021 Doc Alliance Award winners. Ji.hlava IDFF is part of the alliance, which together consists of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Representatives from each festival nominate both a short and feature film from their program each year, from which European journalists select two Doc Alliance Award winners. Doc Alliance Award 2021 - The Best Documentary The Blunder of Love Doc Alliance Award 2021 - The Best Short Film Bless You!

dok.incubator: 10 years

The international workshop dok.incubator celebrates its 10th anniversary and presents its best films of the past decade. Five films awarded at renowned international festivals will be screened by dok.incubator on Friday 29 October.


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

Ji.hlava 2020

Selection of three awarded documentaries from the 24th edition of Ji.hlava IDFF.

transparent landscapes / retrospectives

Susan Sontag: Filmmaking Is a Privilege

Susan Sontag (1933–2004) was an influential American essayist, publicist, writer, director, human rights defender, and female emancipation activist. Her universal activities remain an impressive characteristic of this Renaissance woman of modern history. She became known in 1964 with her text Notes on 'Camp'. Her essays On Photography, Under the Sign of Saturn and Regarding the Pain of Others, and her novel The Volcano Lover were translated into Czech. Her interest in film is present in her entire work. Her complete film work will be featured in this year's section Susan Sontag: Filmmaking is a Privilege.

Conference Fascinations: Romania

For the seventh year in a row, the Conference Fascinations — a supporting industry program featuring an extensive section for experimental documentaries — has focused on the presentation and distribution of motion pictures – both within a big-screen cinema context (festivals, specialized events, and institutions) and in galleries. This year, this retrospective program focuses on Romania. Since the 1960s, there have been a number of centers of the Romanian experimental scene. The artistic collective kinema ikon was founded in Arad; the Sigma art movement began operating in Timișoara, and another center was formed in Bucharest where several unconventional film personalities appeared (one of the most prominent ones being Ion Grigorescu). One filmmaker who really deviated from the typical avant-garde profile was Mircea Saucan, the director of many live-action, feature-length films who is perhaps best known as the man behind the industrial/lyrical, medium-length fairy play Alert!. The retrospective features 24 experimental films made outside of Romania’s official cinema infrastructure during the communist dictatorship. Romanian Cultural Institute is the partner of the section Conference Fascinations: Romania. An interview with Călin Dan, the director of the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, on Ion Grigorescu's films from the Conference Fascinations: Romania section at the 25th Ji.hlava IDFF.   Ileana Selejan, a Romanian artist and art historian is introducing the films selected in program section Conference Fascinatiosn: Romania. Block 1 Block 2 Block 3  

Fascinations: Roots

This thematic retrospective shows the various forms of the experimental, cinematic representation of roots – a visual motif that represents both their function and symbolic meaning. The thematic retrospective for this year’s Fascination focuses on the theme of “roots” and seeks films from various historical periods that at least in some way incorporate the topic, whether it be as a visual motif, or thematically literal or figurative. “Roots” as a basic support system, but also as the originator of identity and symbolic values, are presented in both material and structural experiments, but also in performative and lyrical films. In many ways, the symbolic level is affected by the recording of the performance Living Room, which is a simple observation of the struggle between man and tree, including its extensive root system in an inhabited household. The roots here are not only a visual object or a part of the plant that gives it its stability, but they’re also an object that has its own weight, significance, and substantial influence on the situation. Among the material films in the series also includes the Czech film Turnip by František Wirth. We are familiar with the depiction of nature through photograms, i.e. the direct light imprint of objects on a film strip, from the depiction of various natural artifacts, including roots. The gesture of pulling roots out of the ground is also semantically strong, which we can read as an iconic image of this program section: man relating to a solid and anchoring network of roots.

Fascinations: Radek Pilař

A second look at Radek Pilař Some works need a significant time distance to be watched, understood and accepted in a proper way. How are we able to watch Radek Pilař’s experimental, abstract, and collage films from the late 1960s today? And what about his subsequent video art works that have undergone a wave of popularity, forgetting, rejection and rediscovery? This retrospective selection of Pilař’s works from the 1960s to the 1990s is based on a critical look at his complete archive of 374 videotapes in various formats. It documents the ongoing efforts to remediate his own work under the influence of new technologies, as well as the ways in which the artist dealt with the changes in the cultural environment of the 1980s. Introductory lecture with film samples – Martin Blažíček and Anna Kryvenko (40 min.) Projection, short film series (50 min.) Prepared by Národní filmový archiv Praha

Translucent Being: Karol Plicka

A large retrospective of films by Karol Plicka — a famous Slovak-Czech photographer, folklorist and violin virtuoso — that presents his acclaimed audiovisual film work, in which he served as director, cinematographer, and screenwriter. The work he left for future generations represents the essence and enduring significance of ethnographic film, and also calls for contemporary discussions on the anthropological concept of folklore in the first half of the twentieth century. Both his short-length and feature-length documentaries are a valuable source of reflection on the way of life of our ancestors, their traditions, the beauty of their costumes, and their determination to work hard in tandem with nature. Karol Plicka's work is still an endless source of inspiration and, through his films, the photographic documentation of society at the time is made complete by his confession of the time and society in which he lived and which he loved.

Tribute: Vitaly Mansky

Vitaly Mansky is a renowned Russian director and the author of a number of films awarded at festivals across many continents. In his Ji.hlava masterclass, he focuses on three recent films he has made in co-production with the Czech Republic. Under the Sun, Putin’s Witnesses and Gorbachev. Heaven are all linked by the theme of the interplay between freedom and tyranny. In spite of this, they are each completely different. As has been his practice, the director has come up with a rather unique approach for each of them, drawing, as always, on his Manifesto, which he called "Real Cinema" in 2005.

Into History

Film-lecture programme sessions led by leading Czech documentary filmmakers. The topics reflect film history across genres and history in film across the world. Each session includes a screening of the film/films or is accompanied by a separate screening. Egon Bondy's Automatic Debate + She Sat in a Glass-house Throwing Stones Pavel Klusák: Gott. A Czechoslovak Story + Invention of Beauty Karlovy Vary by the Documentary Rupture of the Iron Curtain + Long Live the Dockers + The Man We Love the Most + Something Changed in Midday + The Song of the Rivers Jiří Voráč: Why Havel? + Why Havel? Ivo Bystřičan: Industrie + Industrie - Industry of Normalization + Industrie - Factory for Capitalism On the Edge of Diplomacy Pharm'n'Film: Psychadelic Sandoz + Images of the Visionary World + The Burning Ear + Ballet on a Paraphrenic Topic

FAMU Presents

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

Czech Television Documentaries

Czech Television continues with screenings of its documentary films that have proved highly popular at previous editions of the festival, offering not just its co-production films included in competition sections but also 23 films from current production.

My Street Films

During the eight 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.

offscreen program

Game Zone

Serious games, simulations, adventure games, RPG – we explore the ways different genres highlight serious topics: for instance the life in a totalitarian society, the construction of a sustainable environment, the sources and spreading of false news. Game zone will newly be situated on Masaryk Square in the very heart of Jihlava. Open daily.

Virtual Reality

The Ji.hlava IDFF gives viewers the chance to enter into the selection of 360° documentary films and works on the boundary between film and art that make use of virtual spaces to create autonomous worlds whose own rules are determined by visuality. We are interested in works that take advantage of the characteristics of virtuality in an innovative and contemplative manner, that experiment with the audiovisual representation of reality and real stories, or that build an entertaining and instructive world of knowledge and learning. VR ZONE can be found on the Masaryk Square in Jihlava. ENTRY: 60 CZK accredited guests / 120 CZK without accreditation 360° VR documentary films Block I. Schrödinger’s cat is lost in a VR box REEDUCATED Block II. Hominidae 1ST STEP - FROM EARTH TO THE MOON Block III. CONFI'DANSE MEET MORTAZA VR Block IV. Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in Virtual Reality JIOU JIA (HOME) Reservations for screenings of 360° VR documentary films can be made in the festival's mobile application always from 18:00 on the day preceding the screening. See more here. VR Experience installation NIGHTSSS Virtual Cuddle Therapy Once Upon a Sea The Book of Distance Reservations for the VR Experience Installation are only possible at the venue (VR zone, Masaryk Square).

Inspiration Forum

The Inspiration Forum discussion platform is an opportunity for us to discover new perspectives, intensify dialogue and raise new questions about the contemporary world in the public space.
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Kudy z nudy