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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. → 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

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.

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.

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.

Into History

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 26 films from current production that will be presented at Horácké divadlo.

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

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