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25th 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 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.

film database

A Bloody Taboo
Despite forming a natural part of the life of half the world’s population, menstruation is still a taboo in many countries. The film A Bloody Taboo shows just how stigmatized it is in Japan. The intimate testimonies of a large sample of women reveal that the unwillingness of the patriarchal society to lead an open dialogue about the monthly menstruation is just a symptom of a bigger problem that is gender discrimination.
personal program

A Bloody Taboo

Sybilla Patrizia
Japan, Austria / 2021 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
A Year in Exile
The superfast longitudinal documentary is composed of short takes / impressions filmed over the course of one year, forming a kind of a cycle of audio-visual poems: image is accompanied by the director’s poetic comments and fragments of conversations. The film as a whole reflects the effort to capture the ephemeral experience of an uprooted, forcibly displaced person in their new environment. "I took videos each and every day for a whole year. I edited them into a sort of video diary, and from them, I was able to make my first short film."  
personal program

A Year in Exile

Malaz Usta
Turkey, Syria / 2020 / 19 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Dear Mom
An empathic observational documentary unveils the everyday life of a terminally ill woman. Despite the paralyzing pain and the unfavourable prognosis, she keeps learning new things and builds a relationship with the woman who lovingly cares for her day and night. The trauma of the impending final farewell transforms into a strong bond between the two women. The fear of death intertwines with the feelings of closeness and gratitude.   „I will never be able to show her my gratitude. But I am extremely grateful.“ (Faizan Ali)
personal program

Dear Mom

Faizan Ali
Hungary / 2020 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Enchantment
The soundtrack of the meditative experimental film combines the narrations of five women whose life revolves around death in one way or another: a tarot card reader, a sexual assault and homicide survivor, a woman charged with four counts of murder, a religious woman looking for answers in the spiritual, a woman who sees the dead. The footage of their testimonies is slightly stylised to evoke home videos.   „These voices deal, in different ways, with the relationship to life through the discourse of death.“
personal program

Enchantment

Chiara Caterina
Italy / 2021 / 20 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Everyday is like Sunday
Alberto is browsing the pictures from his first communion. They have been damaged – the face of the boy wearing his best clothes has been torn out of every picture. Upsetting memories and obsessive thoughts are not as easy to get rid of. But there are other ways to take control over pictures – the evidence supporting a particular version of the past – and reconstruct their meaning. For Alberto, the way to do this is the creative process.
personal program

Everyday is like Sunday

Alberto Dexeus
Spain / 2021 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Fragments to Céline
Between the first and second waves of COVID-19, Nikolas Candido "wrote" an audiovisual letter to his friend. In a series of obscured fragments, he captures the changing mood of Rio de Janeiro with a digital 8mm camera. Although on the surface, life goes on as normal, the city is slowly sinking into darkness. Just like the whole country, where up to 4,000 people died every day during the most critical stage of the fight against the virus.
personal program

Fragments to Céline

Nikolas Candido
Brazil / 2021 / 6 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
How I Like It
In Pakistan, the public space is dominated by men. The confidence with which they walk the streets or weight train quickly disappears once they are confronted with female sexuality. Off-screen, several anonymous women talk about their sexuality. The images of the conventional partiarchal society are in sharp contrast to the liberating explicitness of the accounts of clit stimulation, sex with multiple partners, pissing, abortions, and rape.
personal program

How I Like It

Nida Mehboob
Pakistan / 2021 / 18 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Hypermigrations
This black and white video essay creates a parallel between the sedimentation and transformation of inorganic substances and the migration of civilization throughout history. Using the example of social arrangements created by the interconnection of different peoples in the past, the filmmaker proposes an alternative reframing of the current discourse on migration. The essay, narrated by a male voice with a distinct Balkan accent, is complemented by visually captivating shots of the movement of grains of sand.„Migrations are not a cause of wars, cultural collapse or misery, the cause is the idea of living from someone else’s work, retaining control over people and resources, and imposing that principle onto others.“
personal program

Hypermigrations

Mladen Bundalo
Belgium / 2021 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Cheating is good for you
This intimate film combining photography and animated drawing puts on screen the confessions of a middle-class woman, whose family life – with the always absent truck driver husband and children growing more and more distant – consists of moments of solitude and attempts to overcome them via an extramarital affair. The leading role is played by the famous Finnish actress Kati Outinen. "A wife who has cheated on her husband for 40 years reflects on her behaviour and the benefits she has reaped."
personal program

Cheating is good for you

Catarina Diehl
Finland / 2021 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Interference
The film deals with the circumstances of a mysterious crime that took place in 1973. Just before the Pinochet‘s coup, an antenna for the right-wing Channel 5 was installed in Concepción but was subsequently destroyed under unclear circumstances. A few days later the body of an artist was found murdered in an unusual way. The investigation of the decades-old case, however, was interrupted by the coronavirus epidemic...This investigative film shows the current pandemic and the isolation that results from it as drivers for overactive imagination, speculation, and the unravelling of forgotten mysteries.
personal program

Interference

Juan Carlos Soto Martínez
Chile / 2020 / 12 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Like You Know It All
In the 45 years that Kwang-Ja has been an lifeline operator, she has heard innumerable stories of desperate people, many of whom were determined to take their lives. How can we help someone whose pain we have never felt ourselves? The short film offers no solution to the problem of suicides; but its evocative imagery segments enable the viewer to emotionally connect to the people who have been a breath away from death.„Interview was conducted only through audio, as counsellors in ‘Lifeline Korea’ have conversations via phone. After repetitively listening to these interviews, I filmed images that went along with the stories... It was all part of making intangible things observable.“ (Ji-Yoon Park)
personal program

Like You Know It All

Ji-Yoon Park
South Korea, United Kingdom / 2021 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Mandatory Training
A short socially-critical mosaic shot on 16mm film explores how much the way of thinking has changed in Western society in the past few decades, wondering whether equality and diversity are a matter of course, or whether they are still just meaningless words. Patrick Tarrant’s films juxtapose excerpts from white magazines from the past century and machine voice-over segments of an online learning module on equality, inclusion and diversity for present-day employees.   "Mandatory Training is a slightly ornery reaction to being forced to complete computer-based training and tests on matters that range from the banal to the ideological. For better or worse, if you answer wrongly on a question relating to race or gender, for example, you can, as the module explains, keep repeating the test until you pass."
personal program

Mandatory Training

Patrick Tarrant
United Kingdom / 2021 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Message from Mukalap
A unique recording from 1936 in South Africa captures the voice of a man named Mukalap, who invites the Europeans to listen to him and hear his native language, !Ora. The film is a response to Mukalap’s message, which the director understands not only as a valuable historical artifact, but, above all, as an invitation to communicate across time and space, in languages living and dead. “Constructed as a dialogue, I reply to Mukalap speaking in the Dutch, English and Afrikaans language, as well as fragments of !ora.” … “Playing back Mukalap’s message on a grand E.M.G. gramophone became a way of resounding his voice again, now in the present time. The giant horn of the gramophone, at once voice and void, personified Mukalap to me, he is at once present and absent as I listen and answer.”
personal program

Message from Mukalap

Judith Westerveld
Netherlands, South Africa / 2021 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Mother's Land
On the penultimate day of 2020, a police action took place on the Philippine island of Panay, during which nine members of the local indigenous Tumandok community were murdered. The reason was their protests against the construction of the dam. The documentary reconstructs the incident itself and its historical background with the help of wooden puppets and testimonies of women still living in fear and waiting in vain for justice."I am unable to shed a tear but my heart still whimpers every day. I keep thinking how I can reset my mind." (From the film.)
personal program

Mother's Land

Jane Mariane Biyo, Katya Marie Corazon Puertollano, Myra Angeline Soriaso
Philippines / 2021 / 19 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Nullo
THE FILM IS NOT SUITABLE FOR AUDIENCES UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGEThe term “nullo” is derived from „genital nullification“, removal of one’s sex organs. The term refers to the mostly male members of a specific sub-culture, who have decided to have their penis and testicles removed. Norbert, the protagonist, reveals his body and soul to the camera to a level of detail which challenges the viewer’s perception of the physical in its diverse forms.   „I see my subjects living in the same society I do. They practice other things I don’t, and maybe things I do in my life are not that extreme, but it’s just a different layer to an existence.“ (Jan Soldat)
personal program

Nullo

Jan Soldat
Austria, Germany / 2021 / 16 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Open mountain
In July 1929, a group of shoemakers from a small Colombian village triggered a one-day revolution to improve the living and working conditions in the country. Despite the fact that almost all the traces of the event and of the revolutionaries, who called themselves The Bolsheviks of Libano, Tolima, have disappeared in the past few decades, Aura, a living contemporary and anarchist, believes their fight goes on. The evocative hybrid 16mm documentary combining archival materials and personal memories takes the viewer to a place where history runds deep and where time has stopped. "I see the uncovered roads, the slaughter of chickens for the sancochos in the river and the brush of the mountain that makes its way towards the footprints of the first guerrilla in Latin America. The characters in this story find themselves in the feeling that their rebellion is still going on."
personal program

Open mountain

Maria Rojas Arias
Colombia, Portugal / 2021 / 25 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Pagirnis
In her film, the director juxtaposes Lithuanian mythology on household deities and the current situation in the Netherlands, where the housing crisis has pushed people to live in camping vans. The stories of the inhabitants of the camping village about their destinies and life philosophies, contrasting with the footage of their vans, are a testimony of the effects of late capitalism on everyday life, from which the old deities have been disappearing.   "One of the biggest illusions we live with is that we are going to make it." (From the film.)
personal program

Pagirnis

Anastasija Piroženko
Netherlands, Lithuania / 2021 / 21 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Papanin
The Papanin district in Baku, Azerbaian, was to be demolished several years ago. While its inhabitants keep waiting in vain for the demolition and for the relevant compensation, the life in the district moves in its own, slow pace. The black-and-white meditative film recounts, against the backdrop of the empty streets, personal microstories about the loss of illusions, the joys of everyday life, encounters of love and death. Together, the fragments of the locals’ lives form a mosaic image of a place soon to be wiped from the face of the Earth.
personal program

Papanin

Turkan Huseynova
Azerbaijan / 2021 / 21 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Planktonium
Nature’s wonders not visible to the naked eye are revealed in a documentary shot through a microscope lens. It shows to the viewer various kinds of plankton, a ubiquitous form of life, without which life on Earth wouldn’t exist. The vivacious movements of the water microorganisms are accompanied by the music of Jana Winderen, a Norweigan artist, composed using the sounds of water organisms, waves and icebergs.   "Ever since I discovered plankton, I’ve become addicted to it. Every time I go out with my plankton net, I am curious about what I will find and I am always amazed by my finds." (Jan van Ijken)
personal program

Planktonium

Jan van IJken
Netherlands / 2021 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Remember to Kiss Me When You Wake Up
A grandmother, a mother, daughters. Despite living in one house, they exchanged letters. The first one was written in 1994, the last one 15 years later. In these letters, the women share their deepest feelings and insecurities. This autobiographical essay also takes the form of a letter. Its author revives the lively letter exchange through videos recorded on her mobile phone and her own animations. It is not only a dialogue of the women in the family, but also of the past and the present, of people and their images.   „It all started as a game. I would select videos that I recorded with my phone; I would print them and paint silhouettes over the real image of my grandmother, my mother, or my sisters. It was motivating to explore the contrast between those two images.“ (Estefania Clotti)
personal program

Remember to Kiss Me When You Wake Up

Estefanía Clotti
Argentina / 2021 / 23 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Social Murder
This short observational film by the Averklub Collective follows everyday life of Romani inhabitants of the poverty-stricken Slovak settlement of Rudňany. The images of their lives are accompanied by the readings from a text by the German philosopher Friedrich Engels, especially his 1845 description of the poor conditions of Irish workers in England by using the term social murder. Combining these two components, it arrives at a highly up-to-date study of poverty, which is often accompanied by racism and stigmatization.   "A class for which no one cares in terms of its education, which is left exposed to various odds, knowing no existential certainties, what reasons and interest it might have in anticipating to lead a “solid” life, and instead of using the favour of a moment, of thinking about outlying pleasures, which remain for it itself and its eternally staggering and changeable status largely insecure? A class which is made to carry all disadvantages of social order without receiving anything out of its benefits. A class for which this social order seems only hostile. And of this class, a demand to respect this social order is expected?" Extract from from Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England.
personal program

Social Murder

Averklub kol.
Czech Republic / 2021 / 6 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
The Stonebreakers
In 1908, Argentinian stonebreakers went on what was to become the longest strike in the country’s history. Only a few testimonies and no pictorial documents have been preserved. Sixty years later, a feature film was shot about the incident, which, however, ignored the presence of women among the strikers. Azul Aizenberg set out on an exciting search for fragments of a history long-forgotten to emphasise the importance of this event for the persisting fight for the rights of exploited social groups.   „In the words of Jonas Mekas, the history of cinema is an invisible history: history of friends getting together to do what they love. And, in that case, the history of comrades that fought for revolution.“ (Azul Aizenberg)
personal program

The Stonebreakers

Azul Aizenberg
Argentina / 2021 / 16 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
un/Hook
A group of jazz musicians come to a recording studio to play a jam session together. Their improvisation is matched to the rhythm of a tape of freely available footage from security cameras around the world. People and animals, city and nature, joys and tragedies. In conjunction with music, the videos are stripped of their original surveillance function and become vague, abstract, liberated images.  „All the images are taken from the public webcams-live available online, from all over the world."
personal program

un/Hook

Antonio Di Biase, Davide Perego
Italy / 2021 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Vaivén (nape of the nape)
A peaceful reflection on arrivals and departures consisting of fragments of the everyday life of a boy living in the Cuban countryside, whose biggest passion are trains. Every day, the protagonist goes to the train station to watch trains come and go, knowing them better than the railway staff. The naturalist sound and image of the film faithfully imitate the sensory impressions and the vibe of a train station. „They [trains] bring me comfort and sense of connection to the wider world, to travelers and seekers.“ (Nisha Platzer)
personal program

Vaivén (nape of the nape)

Nisha Platzer
Cuba, Canada / 2020 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Water,Wind,Dust,Bread
The poetic mid-length documentary by Iranian director Mahdi Kiasari depicts scenes from the everyday life of Abolfazl, a young boy who is missing both hands. Despite his disability, Abolfazl lives a full life with his family and friend Setayesh in a palm orchard near the Afghan-Iranian border, where foreign visitors often head for eco-tourism. Both belong to a group of children who live stateless in Iran, which poses another major disadvantage for their future.
personal program

Water,Wind,Dust,Bread

Mahdi Zamanpour Kiasari
Iran / 2021 / 25 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
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