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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlava dok cdf

Short Joy

Short Joy is a selection of documentary shorts, with the price for the Best Short Documentary Film.

Watch all films online at DAFilms.com and pick the Winner!

film database

137 Bullets
The confusion surrounding the situation on the evening of November 29, 2012 forces the public to examine it in detail. This documentary looks back at the events that culminated in the fatal shooting of Melissa Williams and Timothy Russell. Irrationally induced mass hysteria led to their vehicle being following by over 100 policemen.

137 Bullets

Paul Turano
United States / 2017 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
24 Praska St
Lucyna and Krzysztof are a long-time married couple who operate a salvage yard in a socially excluded area of Łódź, Poland. Patrycja Polkowska’s observational documentary captures how the couple transforms the salvage yard every day into an eccentric microcosm where all those who are offended or humiliated can find help.

24 Praska St

Patrycja Polkowska
Poland / 2016 / 16 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
An Absence of Reciprocity in Vulnerability, Losses and Risks
A documentary study of the eye and its functions. A compilation of images from various places gives the function of the eye new meanings. It is a tool for instilling fear, the soldier uses it to find his target, and looking into the eye of your executioner can cause him to doubt his actions. What happens when the eye stops looking?

An Absence of Reciprocity in Vulnerability, Losses and Risks

Adéla Komrzý
Czech Republic / 2017 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Beast
The film assembles images from the daily work of livestock breeders in the unhospitable Hungarian steppe, where the universal laws of time have ceased to apply. The interplay between the panoramic shots of the landscape combined with details of daily farm life create a gloomy vision of a place that dooms all who live there, human and animal alike, to decay.

Beast

Alyx Ayn Arumpac
Hungary, Philippines / 2016 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Becoming
This minimalist six-minute film looks at the creation of animal life through time-lapse footage of an embryo’s development – a process universal to all animals, including people. The film follows, in microscopic detail, the development of an alpine newt in its translucent egg all the way from first cell division to moment of hatching.
personal program

Becoming

Jan van IJken
Netherlands / 2018 / 6 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Beyond the World
At the funeral of her grandmother, Yanlin, a young Chinese girl, learns that the deceased was a medium – and was possessed by a spirit named Gong. The film is Yanlin’s personal confessional – she never believed in the existence of miracles, but is now becoming interested in the world of spiritualism and finding out who Gong was in order to understand her grandmother better.
personal program

Beyond the World

Yanlin Li
United Kingdom / 2018 / 16 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Blue sky from pain
This film gives one of the many refugees who were unjustly imprisoned in detention centers located close to European borders a chance to tell his story. His horrifying experience is reflected in the static, well-composed, deep focus shots, which reveal traces of lingering suffering in the abandoned buildings.

Blue sky from pain

Hyacinthe Pavlides, Stephanos Mangriotis
Greece, France / 2016 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Borders
An immobile camera monitors a path winding through the fields. The movements of the crowd are a harbinger of the interruption of the static image. The procession of refugees, under the watchful eye of military forces, winds in an orderly fashion through the Slovenian countryside. They march on, uninterested in the camera’s eye or in the revelation of their existence.

Borders

Damjan Kozole
Slovenia / 2016 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Clean Hands
A grassy area fills with arriving cars. The passengers are given bread and wine and a programme for the religious service. All they have to do is tune in their radio to the right station, and the Sunday service begins. In Daytona Beach, Florida, the concept of drive-in theatres has been adapted for an unusual purpose. DeFilippo’s observational documentary takes a look at this modern church.

Clean Hands

Lauren DeFilippo
United States / 2016 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Coming Of Age
Two elderly gays spice up their relationship with a series of sex games that include a quirky game of father and son. The protagonists not only talk about their sexual habits, but also even demonstrate them for the dispassionate camera. Depictions of intimacy in film are once again pushed to their limits.

Coming Of Age

Jan Soldat
Germany / 2016 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Commodity City
The Yiwu wholesale market in China is more than eight kilometres long. Short episodes follow buyers and the uncompromising negotiations between vendors. The observational documentary shows stalls so covered in goods they completely hide the vendors – and thus also the market’s other world, where their offspring spend their childhoods.

Commodity City

Jessica Kingdon
China, United States / 2016 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Consumed
This short accompaniment to the intermedia project Serial Narratives reveals the real price of cheap goods from China. The testimony of an anonymous worker harmonized with hypnotic images draws attention to the frighteningly elaborate choreography as all phases of manufacturing process undergo rigorous mechanization.

Consumed

Richard Seymour
United Kingdom, China / 2016 / 19 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Cooling Waters
In a single take lasting several minutes, the film shows the village of Hladivode (whose names means “Cooling Waters”) near Sarajevo. After a slow tracking shot across an orchard, the camera zooms out to show a group of men engaged in conversation. They are filling in the bullet holes on a ruined building – a reminder of the recent events in the Balkan peninsula’s turbulent history.

Cooling Waters

Jonas Scheu
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland / 2015 / 8 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Dream
A shop by the side of the road. One after another, people enter and exit the small building. The randomness and illogical nature of the action feels unreal. The sense of timelessness and of being in an unnamed place further heightens the dreamlike nature of the scene. The nearly motionless black-and-white camera records a fragment of life in a place torn from the context of the world.

Dream

Laila Pakalnina
Latvia / 2016 / 7 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Dvalemodus
A majestic mountain range rises over a Norwegian town engulfed in darkness. The stormy sea laps at its shores. A thick snow is falling. The town’s inhabitants, almost motionless in their existence, are like creatures in hibernation. The camera’s static shots resembling photographs are woven together into an experimental documentary on life in Skaland.

Dvalemodus

Mattias De Craene, Bieke Depoorter
Germany, Norway, Belgium / 2017 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Find Fix Finish
“Have you ever stepped on an anthill and not given it a second thought?” asked a military drone pilot. Intimate stories of professionals about their routine everyday job: monitoring the movement of targets on the ground. Accompanied by almost meditative images from a drone’s perspective, the film poses an ethical dilemma regarding the consequences of pressing a single button.

Find Fix Finish

Sylvain Cruiziat, Mila Zhluktenko
Germany / 2017 / 19 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
First Feature
Saudi Arabian cinema only recently emerged from thirty-five years of being an underground phenomenon. Before it was legalized, Bentley Brown used his childhood home movie camera to record filmmakers working in the town of Jeddah. The film’s melancholy mood is underscored by the voiceover of the women who form most of the film crew.
personal program

First Feature

Bentley Brown
Saudi Arabia / 2018 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
For a Better Life
A woman sells her five-year-old son to a French tourist for 100 dollars, but the dream of a better life turns into years of physical and sexual abuse. This animated film looks at young Fekri’s journey during the most vulnerable years of his life. Can he recover enough to leave his family?
personal program

For a Better Life

Yasmin Mistry
United States / 2018 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
From Heigths
A young filmmaker sets off for the unknown territory of an African enclave to gather true stories of its inhabitants. Motionless scenery carries human imagination to heights where unforgettable moments of human life unfold. The meditative character of the film’s imagery captures the unique atmosphere of Lesotho. 
personal program

From Heigths

Pierre Bisson
Switzerland / 2018 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Girls and Honey
An open conflict plays out in the Kosacks’ backyard between the pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian soldiers. This short documentary follows the life of the couple, who have refused to leave their home, and their new neighbors on the front line. Only Anatoly’s bees can fly freely from one side to the other.

Girls and Honey

Pieter Jan De Pue
Ukraine, Belgium / 2017 / 8 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Horse Riders
A pagan custom takes place alongside the traditional Easter Sunday celebrations in the Polish village of Sternalice. Rough-looking men set aside their work tools, saddle wild horses, and set off on a pilgrimage, filled with humility before God. The documentary’s visual and aural cacophony captures the ancient tradition, creating a stunning visual myth.
personal program

Horse Riders

Anna Gawlita
Poland / 2018 / 19 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
I Have Sinned a Rapturous Sin
An essay filmed against the backdrop of lyrical images of feather plucking or drawing with chalk presents the clerical orders of Islamic women and how they rein in their impure desires. As a subversive element of Islamic fundamentalism, the director recites a poem by Iranian feminist writer Forough Farrokhzad.
personal program

I Have Sinned a Rapturous Sin

Maryam Tafakory
United Kingdom, Iran / 2018 / 8 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
I Was Here
Director Zaina Erhaim has decided to explore her Syrian hometown of Idlib, which is controlled by anti-regime forces. Original footage captures familiar neighborhoods in ruins, where Erhaim leaves what is perhaps the last human footprint. This secretly-filmed documentary presents a visual experience of the loss of home and of meeting loved ones in a new reality.
personal program

I Was Here

Zaina Erhaim
Syria / 2017 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
I Wish
By tradition, the head of state addresses his citizens on state holidays. Over the many decades of his reign, the former King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, gave many such speeches. A political study in the form of a short archival film, Ojalá reveals a persistent consistency in the well-wishes and promises of a monarchy far removed from real life.

I Wish

Antonio Anton
Spain / 2016 / 6 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Idle by the Sea
This experimental film shows natural phenomena in their raw form. Views of the sea are a multifaceted metaphor for birth, loss, madness, and death. Archetypal sequences accompanied by a cacophony of sound blend with the filmmaker’s intimate shots. The mysteries of life are presented in nineteen minutes.

Idle by the Sea

Kinda Hassan
Egypt, Lebanon / 2017 / 19 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
In the Frame
During the day, Oxana paints frames as a man; at night, she puts on her female skin. Oxana is a transsexual living in Moldova, where even expressions of tolerance towards sexual minorities can be dangerous. This short film is an intimate look at gender and at the social isolation of people denied to right to their own identity.
personal program

In the Frame

Ion Gnatiuc, Artiom Zavadovsky
France, Germany, Romania, Moldova / 2018 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
Central European Premiere
Interiors & Exteriors
The filmmaker tracks one aspect of life in a diverse Muslim community: prayer. This standard daily activity may take place even in the hustle and bustle of a busy street. This single-take short documentary focuses on people as they walk in front of the camera and uses details to classify them into different castes.

Interiors & Exteriors

Ashique Mostafa
Bangladesh / 2017 / 8 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Into Thin Air
What happens to women who mysteriously disappear? Are they ever seen again? Do state authorities investigate as they should, or are the only ones truly searching for the women the ones they left behind? A compilation film that reveals several periods in history during which scores of women disappeared without a trace under various circumstances.
personal program

Into Thin Air

Cristina Motta
Argentina / 2018 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Jungle
For the past several months, the infamous refugee camp in Calais has been home for a young Afghani. His daily experiences and his feelings about life in the Jungle are reflected in his letters to his parents, which paint a picture of the inescapable situation of hopelessness. The young man keeps on repeating his mantra: “Soon I will be in England.”

Jungle

Colia Vranici
France / 2016 / 18 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Landline
There’s a helpline just for gay farmers. Through authentic recordings and reconstructed situations, the film offers a glimpse into the issue of British gay men from rural areas. For farmers it’s difficult enough to admit their orientation to themselves, let alone to their not-so-gay-friendly surroundings. 
personal program

Landline

Matt Houghton
United Kingdom / 2017 / 12 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Lotus
After a dam flooded a village in northern Iran, one island remained. There’s a grave on it. On a hill above the new lake, an old woman looks out at it. An intimate look at the daily routine of an Iranian woman who has survived modestly for twelve years alone in a house at the base of the mountain.  She waits for permission to visit the island.
personal program

Lotus

Mohammadreza Vatandoust
Iran / 2018 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Ma
This film is the video diary of a Ukrainian mother from Mariupol, a city close to the turbulent Donetsk Region. A series of several-minute long records of commonplace views from a window, following tracks in the snow, and strolls in the surroundings form a loving visual message for her daughter in Kyiv.

Ma

Maria Stoianova
Ukraine / 2017 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
Central European Premiere
Mon amour, mon ami
A film about one of the many forms of love, shot sensitively and without pathos. Daniela and Fouad met purely by chance. She is alone and he needs a residence permit. Over time, their pragmatically motivated relationship weaves the two protagonists into a fragile web of intimacy. But Fouad’s professions of love start to be a hindrance for Daniela.

Mon amour, mon ami

Adriano Valerio
France, Italy / 2017 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Mum, I'm Sorry
The only things they left behind were their personal belongings. They speak volumes about what kind of people they were. What they liked. Who was close to them. What hobbies they had. A film without words. Footage of objects belonging to people who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the island of Lampedusa in 2013 and 2015 - people whose lives were extinguished for good.
personal program

Mum, I'm Sorry

Martina Melilli
Italy / 2017 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Murmuration ×10
This compilation of archived footage of bird observations and the tracking of migration routes is supplemented not only with murmurations of birds, but also with a modern-day commentary that reevaluates the concept of freedom of movement. The film compares bird banding with passport checks and identifies problematic issues associated with free movement.

Murmuration ×10

Sarah Wood
United Kingdom / 2015 / 22 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Notes on the Shore
This film about the life of Cubans without a roof over their heads shows how they go about their everyday activities: preparing food, discussing politics, singing songs, reading old texts by Fidel Castro, and sleeping off a hangover. Fourteen minutes of detailed observation of people overlooked by others. 
personal program

Notes on the Shore

Luis Alejandro Yero
Cuba / 2018 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Oh Brother Octopus
Nomads in the seas of Indonesia say that when a women gives birth to a child, she also gives birth to its twin in the form of an octopus. A look at a cultural environment shaped by traditional folk beliefs. The camera follows a man swimming with his face submerged in the sea in a ritual honouring the octopus. Dishonouring your aquatic brother can lead to misfortune.

Oh Brother Octopus

Florian Kunert
Germany / 2017 / 27 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Optimism
Dawson City in Canada’s Yukon Territory abounds in goldmines and lack of sunshine. This portrait of the town is an audiovisual collage on the search for the sun and gold, history, and the everyday realities of its inhabitants. The atmosphere of cold, snowy Canada infuses the film with a dark mood reminiscent of Twin Peaks.
personal program

Optimism

Deborah Stratman
Canada, United States / 2018 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Pampa del Istmo
“(Where) do the places we remember exist?” asks Camila Ausente in the opening of her ten-minute documentary search for an answer to this question. The film combines repeating images from Mexico with oral memories of her father's childhood in Argentina.
personal program

Pampa del Istmo

Camila Ausente
Mexico, Argentina / 2018 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Research / Souvenir (Dialogues)
This documentary combines interviews with participants in ethnographic research led by the filmmaker personally with footage of his own personal reflections and insights. The recordings, gathered during the three years prior to the end of the authoritarian regime of Zimbabwean president Mugabe, is accompanied by 8mm footage of Rhodesia.
personal program

Research / Souvenir (Dialogues)

Roger Horn
Zimbabwe, South Africa / 2018 / 18 min.
section: Short Joy
Central European Premiere
Stand-by Office
The camera enters an office. The receptionist answers the telephone, her co-workers drink coffee during their break and talk about their plans. Later, there is a meeting. The stiffness of the situation reveals a hidden story. What exactly took place from June 2015 to September 2016 in the government building in Amsterdam?

Stand-by Office

Randa Maroufi
Romania, Netherlands, France, Lebanon / 2017 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Stop and Go
A look at the Balkans migration route in December 2015. Throngs of refugees make their way to Dobova, Slovenia. They get on the waiting buses in an orderly fashion and enter the system. The Slovenian government has had the journey under control for a month. Confined to a single file line, the migrants go through checks, inspections, and wait for the next step.

Stop and Go

Ralph Kronauer, Giovanni Pannico
Italy, Germany / 2017 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
Central European Premiere
Summer
Juan Medina’s photograph from 2006 shows a man crawling along a Mediterranean beach shortly after being washed ashore. The film further develops the scene, loosely inspired by the moment captured in the picture. Like frozen puppets, the people remain unaware of their callousness towards someone who is taking his first steps towards a better life.

Summer

Ronny Trocker
France, Belgium / 2016 / 7 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Ten Meter Tower
A humorous conceptual game based on a simple idea – filming amateur swimmers as they get ready to jump from a 10-meter platform. The short scenes are a mixture of slapstick, miniature psychological portraits, and aesthetic studies of physical and verbal expressions and courage.

Ten Meter Tower

Maximilien Van Aertryck, Axel Danielson
Sweden / 2016 / 16 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
The Cake
An observational look at the interaction between two elderly women: 100-year-old Ema and her six years younger sister Zosie. The camera sensitively documents how these two once famous hostesses try to bake a cake at their advanced age. In so doing, it offers a perceptive portrait of their personalities and their relationships.  
personal program

The Cake

Małgorzata Goździk
Poland / 2017 / 18 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
The Holiday Inn-Side
Using simple animation with outline figures and objects against a dark background that evokes nightmares, an anonymous 16-year-old youth, a repeat offender at a correctional facility for juveniles, recounts his criminal past caused by traumatic experiences with domestic abuse within his family.
personal program

The Holiday Inn-Side

Charby Ibrahim
Australia / 2018 / 20 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
The Horses of a Cavalry Captain
This politico-aesthetic essay is based on found footage from the filmmaker’s family archive. The horrifying parallel between horse breeding and the Nazi racial ideology takes on sharp contours thanks to the dry commentary and the montages of seemingly meaningless, coldly real images, which do not allow the film to drop down to the level of a mental or emotional exploitation of the topic.

The Horses of a Cavalry Captain

Clements von Wedemeyer
Germany / 2015 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
The Hypothesis
The film’s creator, in the role of an earthling walking the streets of Paris, asks the eternal question: Are we alone in the universe? While attempting to find the truth and therefore quiet the constant musings, the filmmaker holds interviews with astrophysicist Nicolas Prantzos, science historian Florence Raulin Cerceau, and sociologist Pierre Lagrange.
personal program

The Hypothesis

Bruno Saboia
France / 2018 / 20 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
The Little One
An unusual animated documentary of the experiences of young Vietnamese who have spent their entire lives in the Czech Republic, living between two cultures. The drawn animation style allows the filmmaker to give the film a natural emotionality, intimacy and poetic stylization.

The Little One

Diana Cam Van Nguyen
Czech Republic / 2017 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
The Marshal’s Two Executions
The films confronts two different views of the execution of General Ion Antonescu, Romania’s leader during the Second World War. On one side is silent black-and-white footage of the execution as recorded in 1946 by cameraman Ovidiu Gologanl; on the other are scenes from a biographical film shot in 1994 by director Sergiu Nicolaescu.
personal program

The Marshal’s Two Executions

Ada Solomon, Radu Jude
Romania / 2018 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
The Remembered Film
Reality disappears before our eyes – all that remains is what’s preserved in our memories, the retelling of which allows us to bring it back to life. Camera in hand, the experimental filmmaker explores this abstract process in a stylized documentary with young boys in military uniforms and stories of war.
personal program

The Remembered Film

Isabelle Tollenaere
Belgium / 2018 / 18 min.
section: Short Joy
Central European Premiere
The Spacecraft Diaries 2016
The director and his camera dive into the world of small organisms. Insects, clams and mushrooms are shot in macro close-ups to create richly textured video images. The filmmaker’s presence in the footage reflects man’s interference in the natural order of nature. Hirofumi Nakamoto publishes his 2016 Spacecraft Diaries.

The Spacecraft Diaries 2016

Hirofumi Nakamoto
Japan / 2016 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
The Wonderful Years
During the Soviet era, Ukraine was a difficult place for members of the LGBT community, and even today the country remains less than welcoming to sexual minorities. Working with archival interviews of women from the past thirteen years, the film brings together two eras and thus contributes to a discussion of today’s situation.
personal program

The Wonderful Years

Galina Yarmanova, Svitlana Shymko
Ukraine / 2018 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
time and love and I
They are happy together, but she gets a job offer in another country and he doesn’t want to go. He tries to sway her decision in his favour by offering to marry her… In its format, the film perhaps most closely resembles a music video, but besides music it also uses poetry and dance to tell its story. Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus. 
personal program

time and love and I

J Ashlee
United States / 2017 / 5 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Transit
This silent portrait of a multipurpose compound that serves as a storage site, maximum security space, and luxury showroom slowly turns into a bizarre black-and-white science-fiction movie with the building as the main character. Despite its abstract nature, the meticulously composed rhythmic combination of austere, carefully framed shots lacking any other context is a fitting architectural commentary on the spirit of our era.

Transit

Mandy Krebs
Germany, Luxembourg / 2016 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Waste no. 2 Wreck
A political visual poem about the current situation on the island of Lampedusa. The sharp contrast between the wrecks of refugee boats and the “most beautiful beach in the world according to Tripadvisor.com” disappears in a foggy mist of associations, melancholy ironic narration, grainy lyrical images, and ambient music.

Waste no. 2 Wreck

Jan Ijäs
Finland, Italy / 2016 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Zagreb Confidential - Imaginary Futures
Urbanism versus social entropy – working with this contrast, the film attempts to create an extreme portrait of one city district and one era. This experimental video full of unsettling mental and visual noise uses editing techniques based on computer algorithms to create a suggestive demonstration of the decline of the modernist idea.

Zagreb Confidential - Imaginary Futures

Darko Fritz
Croatia / 2015 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
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