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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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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.

film database

84
In 1984, Álvaro Ulcué Chocué, a Colombian Catholic priest and indigenous rights activist, was shot dead. The incident looms against the backdrop of a collage of two archive images from the same year. Documentary footage and fictional gangsters capture the state of a country dominated by drug cartels and social unrest.     „In the current conjuncture, It is urgent that indifference be shown as the strength of permanent violence, as a gesture that makes us silent accomplices without realizing it.“ D. Santiago Cortés     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
personal program

84

Daniel Santiago Cortés
Colombia / 2020 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Common language
The director, who has always been viewed as the black sheep in her family, sets out to the Belarusian town of Vitebsk to talk with her parents about previous grievances and topics that were considered taboo. The effort to find a common language, which runs into stormy emotions and the inability to voice honest opinions, is captured through both personal moments and detailed shots of the protagonists’ faces.     “I decided to visit my parents in Vitebsk so that I could talk with them about things I didn’t have the courage to speak about before, and to ask them some crucial questions.” V. Chajkouskaya     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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Common language

Volia Chajkouskaya
Estonia, Belarus / 2019 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
DAKHLA: CINEMA AND OBLIVION
The rocky desert in southwestern Algeria is the temporary home of about 150,000 refugees from Western Sahara. Goats grazing or the opening of a beauty salon are among the many scenes of everyday life of people who are eagerly awaiting the beginning of the film festival. The observational documentary captures the unwavering love of film in a place that the world has forgotten.     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
personal program

DAKHLA: CINEMA AND OBLIVION

Arturo Dueñas Herrero
Spain, Western Sahara / 2020 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Dogs of Home
Bosnia was divided by war in the 1990s. The older population stayed while the younger population left. The film’s two mediums, documentary and animation, fluctuate along the border of two worlds, which separated time and historical events but are united by a longing for home and family. People are like dogs: they never forget their way home.   „Motivation to tell this particular story is grounded in love, instinct and urgency. It speaks of family, loss and resilience, with points of access to the culture of Bosnia…“ D. Repas     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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Dogs of Home

Daniela Repas
United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina / 2020 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Eksperiment Katja
Russian-speaking Katja was born in 1992 in the Estonian city of Narva, not far from the Russian border. She represents the entire generation of the 1990s, which sees itself as a house with no address or railway tracks leading nowhere. In the ruins of the Soviet Union, she searches for her national identity and learns to breathe freedom.     “We were officially born in Estonia, but we were actually born in the middle of ruins.” Experiment Katya     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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Eksperiment Katja

Eleonore de Montesquiou
Estonia / 2020 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Field Resistance
A conceptual film, balancing between a documentary and science fiction, explores environmental devastation in Iowa, USA that remains largely overlooked. Through microscopic images of plants, footage from university greenhouses, karst sinkholes with primary flora and fauna, or a dilapidated granary, the director conjures up a dystopic vision, radically restructuring relationships between man, nature and technology.      “The film imagines a future in which the changing climate and environmental conditions are recast as an active resistance to nature’s own devastation. … Plants, earth’s first communicators, are now its last. Humanity is but a blip.” E. Drummer      Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
personal program

Field Resistance

Emily Drummer
United States / 2019 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
First Birthday After the Apocalypse
In her autobiographical documentary, the young director uses cartoon impressions, photographic memories, and the various stages of baking a cake to draw the viewer into her own stream of consciousness, and using images full of kindness, tenderness, and playfulness, she deals with the sadness that began during a children's birthday party many years ago.     „Everything you experience could be a little exercise in storytelling and so the documentary filmmaking seems like a good way to learn how to interact with the world rather than with just the medium.“ F. Hasanbegović     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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First Birthday After the Apocalypse

Farah Hasanbegović
Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina / 2020 / 6 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
For Men Go By
Over the past fifty years, the Mange-Garri chemical plant has drained more than 30 million tons of toxic sludge into the Mediterranean Sea while producing aluminum oxide. The surrounding area has quickly become a major dump, now covered in dark red ooze. The film draws attention to the unstoppable process of human self-destruction through a series of carefully selected shots of the industrial environment and the eyewitness reports of local residents.     “Our project is different from an investigation or a documentary in the strict sense, staying both closer to and further away from its subject. Closer since it is based on the lived part of the story, which comes from the photos and accounts of the residents. Further away to the extent that the places marked by environmental aberrations are symptoms, pathological mirrors of our acts on a large scale.” A. Piqueras, T. Verneret     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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For Men Go By

Thibault Verneret, Assia Piqueras
France / 2019 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Greetings from Myanmar
Unsuspecting tourists enjoy a peaceful holiday in Myanmar's hotel complexes, lazily walking between swimming pools and sun umbrellas, while ten kilometers away, members of the Rohingya ethnic group are being tortured and killed as a result of the largest genocide in Asia since the Vietnam War.     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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Greetings from Myanmar

Sunniva Sundby Riiser, Andreas J. Riiser
Myanmar [Burma], Norway / 2020 / 5 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Guestlist
The guestlist - a symbol of the inviolability of the cream of society. The director alternates surreptitious recordings of the lives of the wealthiest, including meetings on yachts with whirlpools and sipping champagne at luxury parties, with a recording of his own artistic performance, in which a handful of individuals rule the world.   “White. Male. Rich. Have a yacht, luxury custom shoes, and gold cufflinks. Even richer. Have a heliport in the garden of your platinum palace. Don’t fit into these categories? Don't have a gold yacht or cufflinks? Don't have your own pig to look for truffles? You’re part of the 99 percent.” V. Turner   Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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Guestlist

Vladimír Turner
Czech Republic / 2020 / 19 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Heliconia
Fourteen-year-old Maria spends her time in the extensive tropical garden of her family house. When she meets her brother and his friend Adrian on motorcycles during the New Year celebrations, she decides to flee with them to find paradise on earth together. The story, filled with biblical symbols, stands out with its sensual grainy 8mm images reminiscent of heliconia leaves, plants pollinated by birds.     „I like to make the medium and its plasticity visible, to let images live and breathe. I designed several images in Heliconia like tableaux vivants, and in this respect, I am really inspired by frame composition in painting and in photography.“ P. Rodríguez Polanco     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.

Heliconia

Paula Rodríguez Polanco
France / 2020 / 27 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Manifest
An intimate statement about the filmmaker’s need for self-expression through her own nudity and simultaneously an effort to reject the taboo of patriarchal society. Using diary entries, anger-filled personal reflections, and discussions with a mother painting her nude daughter, the film opens the topic of overcoming shame for one’s own physicality and female sexuality.   „Manifest, is a very personal film, getting closer to understanding me, and my mother's czech background. I have always wished for it, to be shown in Moravia, Czechia, where my mother grew up.“ A. Rytter     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
personal program

Manifest

Assa Rytter
Denmark / 2019 / 24 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Midnight Kids
Utquiagvik is the northernmost city in Alaska, located 555 km beyond the Arctic Circle. This meditative documentary follows its young Inuit inhabitants, who explore the desolate snowy landscape under the midnight sun and transform their home into a vast playground full of melting glaciers and abandoned ships.     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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Midnight Kids

Maxence Vassilyevitch
France / 2020 / 23 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Mrs. Happy
A platonic relationship between a young girl employed at a spa hotel and its former client develops through romantic letters full of old-fashioned respect, exchanged between the couple in the mid-50s. Nostalgic images of the Luhačovice colonnade and period photographs underscore the lines permeated with love, belief and disappointment.“Upon seeing the envelope with my initials, you may well wonder who it is that writes to you. Of course, it is just little me...” Mrs. Happy, 1:32 – 1:40   Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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Mrs. Happy

Nikola Klinger
Czech Republic / 2020 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
My Brother's Keeper
The film looks at the unlikely yet strong friendship between Mohamedou Ould Salahi, who was wrongly accused of involvement in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and imprisoned in Guantánamo for fourteen years, and Steve Wood, the warden who first believed in his innocence and pushed for an end to Salahi's isolation and torture.     „As a filmmaker and Guardian journalist, I've always been drawn to stories of human resilience, but it was Mohamedou who showed me how hope and friendship can emerge in the unlikeliest of places.“ L. Topham     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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My Brother's Keeper

Laurence Topham
United Kingdom / 2020 / 21 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Our daily work
A group of men share a small space in a prison metal workshop in Botosani, Romania. When they’re not working, they animatedly discuss religion and hypocrisy, lament during tea that they don’t have onions for sausage, or joke and sing. The method of filming, in which the camera is only an non-intrusive observer, only reinforces the monotony of the actors’ movements and experiences.   Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
personal program

Our daily work

Lucia Chicos
Romania / 2019 / 19 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Red
The film captures an animal being killed out of love and necessity. Rural images shot on 16mm film depict a family of herdsmen, whose entire world revolves around their co-existence with animals. It’s a life of food and death, and the same human hands that feed an animal are the same ones that must also slaughter it.   Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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Red

Maddi Barber
Spain / 2020 / 22 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Red Taxi
An anonymous, authentic video secretly filmed from taxi windows captures fragments of violence right in the middle of clashes between police and protesting Hong Kong residents. In addition to the contact sound of fights, screams, singing, chants of the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our times!”, and the howls of those who've been beaten, we also hear the conflicting comments of taxi drivers from both sides of the border - Hong Kong and the neighboring mainland Shenzhen. “As of July 1, 2020, China has implemented the National Security Protection Act in Hong Kong, which criminalizes every expression of protest as an attempt to become independent, undermining government authority, terrorism, and conspiracy with foreign forces, with draconian sentences of long-term imprisonment. But the protests returned to Hong Kong after the Covid-19 pandemic emergency lockdown was released.” Red Taxi   Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.

Red Taxi

Anonymous N/A
Hong Kong SAR China / 2020 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Solastalgia
Nostalgia refers to the feeling one has of a place they left behind. Solastalgia, on the other hand, refers to the homesickness one has when they are still at home. Ecological philosopher Glenn Albrecht calls it the impact of environmental change on the mental health of the people who live through it. With an impressive visual aspect comprised exclusively of drone landscape shots, Kersten’s film explores this relationship in the stories of people affected by the quarry near Maastrich.     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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Solastalgia

Eline Kersten
Netherlands / 2020 / 18 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
The Falling Star
A disquieting exploration of the chaotic dictatorial thinking of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, who, during the last days of his life battles inner demons and remains firmly convinced of his own immortality.  A montage of contemporary shots, pixilation and cutout animation applied to archive photographs, creates an inhospitable world of shadows in which supporters and opponents of the Communist monster clash in face to face encounters.   “The use of the supernatural, multiple personalities and secondary psychological states become the logical tool for reviving Stalin, whose soul is becoming lost and is confused and pathological. In this collision between the present and the past, the story develops an independent view of the personality of an individual who left a great imprint in our modern-day history.” L. Malo     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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The Falling Star

Loïc Malo
France, Czech Republic / 2020 / 18 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Utuqaq
An Eskimo poem from frozen plains blends with technological prose of a polar expedition. The endless white space, folded by ice, remembers the millions of years of evolution and decades of our negative effect on the planet. Crude and bewitchingly beautiful Arctic as a place of magic blending of languages, traditions, sounds and worlds.    “The landscape is a symbol to be interpreted.” I. Radivojević     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.

Utuqaq

Iva Radivojević
United States / 2020 / 27 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Worlds Apart
In 2012, violent conflicts broke out between the Muslim Rohingya and the Buddhist majority in Rakhine State on the west coast of Myanmar. The government subsequently deported Muslims and imprisoned them in a camp on the outskirts of the city. Shin Thandar looks at the lives of neighbours on both sides.     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
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Worlds Apart

Shin Thandar
Myanmar [Burma], Germany / 2020 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
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