23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
A comprehensive look at the documentary methods, creative decisions, styles, and cinematic thinking of exceptional documentary filmmakers.
In the films of award-winning Austrian director Andreas Horvath (1968), interesting characters seem to dominate the screen. His latest film Helmut Berger, Actor is no exception. It is an unconventional and controversial portrait of the actor Helmut Berger and his tumultuous relationship to the director. The film itself is an insightful commentary on the documentary medium, revealing the power dynamic and struggle sometimes present between filmmaker and subject. Andreas Horvath will present an extended Q&A session that will be preceded by the screening of the film Helmut Berger, Actor.
Andreas Horvath: Spending Time With Helmut Berger, Actor
Russian filmmaker Dmitrii Kalashnikov’s latest feature documentary The Road Movie paints a portrait of Russia from a unique and unlikely perspective. Composed exclusively of found footage from dashboard cameras filmed by Russians while on the road, the film alternates between being meditative and downright terrifying. Dmitrii Kalashnikov will discuss his process of weaving together these materials to create a greater picture in this extended Q&A session that will be preceded by the screening of The Road Movie.
Dmitrii Kalashnikov: Behind The Road Movie
A sophisticated game of cat and mouse in which the constantly moving camera is the hunter and the young woman wandering the streets of Ljubljana to the sounds of jazz music is the prey. The film spent fifty years hidden under the bed of one of the filmmakers and was first screened at a meeting of Slovenian amateur filmmakers.„All my films have certain message and only important thing for me is and was to catch a spirit of time.“ K. Godina
Jure Pervanje, Karpo Godina
Yugoslavia / 1965 / 6 min.
Gustav Deutsch (1952) is one of Austria’s leading film directors. He’s not only a filmmaker, but he’s also an architect and photographer. On the occasion of the release of his latest film how we live - messages to the family, he leads the audience through an examination of the term "home movie", subjecting it to thorough scrutiny. In this master class he presents analyses of his own as well as found footage on film material, guiding viewers through the entire development of the “home movie” from film to digital technology. Don’t expect dry theory - his lecture is built on visual and sensual gratification.
Gustav Deutsch: Home Movie Now
Helmut Berger, a star in the European acting world, gave brilliant performances in the films made by the Italian director Luchino Visconti. This documentary portrait takes a look at the life of this elderly eccentric man, who lives in a flat overflowing with trinkets from the past. The director used interviews to try and discover who Helmut is – and thanks to him, Helmut could act again.„This film is also about the impossibility of really getting to know somebody, the question of what methods you can use to move towards an individualʼs core. Iʼm not sure that interviews are the best method.“ A. Horvath
Helmut Berger, Actor
Austria / 2015 / 90 min.
An intense portrait of the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, a small Israeli human rights organization focused on an incomparably larger and more difficult task: helping illegal African refugees. The director focuses less on the immigrants and more on the organization’s staff, their personal values and their daily struggles with bureaucracy, all of which she records herself with a handheld camera.“I followed the workers of the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants in their routine: the young women informing asylum seekers about their rights, the lawyers fighting to liberate asylum seekers from prison, the public policy coordinator working at the Parliament's Internal Affairs Committee etc.” S. Landsmann
France, Israel / 2015 / 100 min.
A leading representative of Yugoslavia’s Black Wave, Slovenian cinematographer and director Karpo Godina (1943) began making amateur films in the second half of the 1960s. Their poetic style caught the attention of Želimir Žilnik, and after Žilnik’s Early Works (1969) won a Golden Bear, many other directors began to work with Godina as well, including Lordan Zafranović and Bato Čengić. In his lecture, Godina will focus on his own early works, which are characterised by a fundamental exploration of stylistic tools, meticulous work with space and, in the best tradition of the Yugoslav New Wave, a never-ceasing attempt at capturing the pulse of the era.
Karpo Godina: A Different Approach to Making Documentary Films
Krzysztof Zanussi (1939) is one of the pillars of Polish cinematography. Together with Kieślowski and Wajda, he's a part of the trio of the most internationally respected Polish directors who have achieved success both at home and abroad. In his masterclass, Zanussi will introduce his work with young debuting directors as well as student films which he has participated on as a teacher of several prestigious film schools, and share his experience from, among others, Lodz, New York and Moscow. The audience will get a peek under the drape of mystery which veils Polish cinematography and receive an introduction on how to succeed as a young filmmaker in Poland.
Krzysztof Zanussi: Directorial Debut Films
This originally censored musical film is a satirical depiction of the inhabitants of Vojvodina, a rural region of Serbia characterized by its multi-ethnic population. Although it won two awards in Oberhausen, it was banned in Yugoslavia and Godina was long prevented from making experimental film. „I have always tried to find a new language or a form to implement into the film.” K. Godina
Litany of Happy People
Yugoslavia / 1971 / 14 min.
Romanian producer Ada Solomon (1968), general manager of Hi Film Productions, works with directors such as Radu Jude and Calin Peter Netzer. She takes part in international co-productions, such as the film Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016). She’s a winner of the European Co-Production Award. Her lecture is a discussion with her husband and collaborator, documentary filmmaker Alexandru Solomon, author of the films Kapitalism: Our Secret Recipe (2010) and Tarzan’s Testicles (2017). It will address the benefits and pitfalls arising from the use of a documentary approach when creating fiction films. How does this approach influence the organization of the shoot and the film’s structure? And what are its costs reflected in the budget?
Masterclass Ada Solomon: Documentary in Fiction Film
Alexandru Solomon, Ada Solomon
Czech Republic / 2017 / 106 min.
Islandic composer, experimenter, and creator of the Ji.hlava festival spot for 2017, Jóhann Jóhannsson (1969) writes electro-acoustic, minimalism-influenced film music, for which he has earned numerous awards for its originality and sensitivity to the inner rhythm of the film. He works with Hollywood directing stars as well as with independent filmmakers. He created the fantastic brass accompaniment for the film The Miners’ Hymn, which was screened at the Ji.hlava IDFF in 2016. During his lecture, he will discuss ways of creating film music and his own personal methods.
Masterclass Jóhann Jóhannsson: Music in Documentary Film
Pavel Klusák, Jóhann Jóhannsson
Czech Republic / 2017 / 90 min.
Professor Karel Vachek (1940), the doyen of Czech documentary film and the last active member of the New Wave, is filming his latest cinematic novel, which has the working title Communism. In his film, he argues that revolutions are always followed by the restoration of the old order, and that power and wealth continue to be held by just a select few. Vachek guides the viewer through a collage of his personal memories, framed by scenes from his films, costume designs and news archives. During his lecture, he will show a roughly one-hour excerpt of recently edited scenes and will engage in audience discussion. And perhaps he will reveal whether he has managed to convince actress Jiřina Bohdalová to participate in his project.
Masterclass Karel Vachek: How Vachek films Communism
Czech Republic / 2017 / 30 min.
Master of the interview, subtle observer and creator of multifaceted documentaries Marcel Ophuls (1927) is the son of director Max Ophuls. The German-born Frenchman with US citizenship shot most of his films on commission for television. His documentaries weave together a variety of personal reminiscences on the wartime events of the 20th century. His work is characterised by a sense for the moment and by the sophisticated combination of materials that engage the viewer both morally and intellectually. Ophuls sees documentary film as a narrowly defined genre; during his lecture he will focus on the question of what should be included in a film and what should be left on the cutting room floor.
Masterclass Marcel Ophuls: Joys and Sorrows of Documentary Filmmaking
Czech Republic / 2017 / 77 min.
As The Yes Men, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno's (1960) brand of activism has kept them in the headlines in USA for nearly two decades. They have made several feature films. They also created the Action Switchboard website, which was recently launched as a platform for participatory direct action. By injecting humour into drop-dead serious subjects, they provoke laughter and debate from audiences.
Mike Bonanno: History of Jokes
French producer Pierre-Olivier Bardet (1953) is a co-founder of the Idéale Audience production company. Films that he has co-produced include Frederick Wiseman’s La Danse (2009) and National Gallery (2014), as well as Alexander Sokourov’s Francofonia (2015) or Wang Bing’s Mrs. Fang (2017), this year’s winner of the Golden Leopard in Locarno. The title of Bardet’s lecture is a question formulated by G. W. Leibniz in the late 17th century, which Bardet believes perfectly captures every producer’s starting dilemma. In his lecture, which he will open with a practical example – a description of his own activities while producing the Israeli-French film Hotline (Silvina Landsmann, 2015) – Bardet will ask what the point of “producing” is and what it actually means.
Pierre-Olivier Bardet: Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing ?
Romanian director Radu Jude (1977) is one of the most notable filmmakers of our time. During his master class, the winner of the Silver Bear for best director at the Berlinale will introduce you to his remarkable work in archives, where he carried out thorough investigations that have become the basis for his film works. Today, this approach is nothing unusual, but Jude has perfected it masterfully. His brilliant work with archives can be seen twice at this year’s festival: in the movie The Dead Nation and the short film The Marshal's Two Executions.
Radu Jude: Archive Mysteries
Sean McAllister (1965) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker celebrated as one of the UK’s most exciting talents. Sean will be describing his unique approach to documentary direction and camerawork. We will learn about what it is like to shoot a film in his home country and home town after spending many years on topics and protagonists in other parts of the world and he will tell us about his new film.
Sean McAllister: Coming Back Home
United Kingdom / 120 min.
A session dedicated to recently deceased director Alexander Rastorguev (1971-2018), who was best known for his documentary The Term (2014) about Russia’s anti-Putin opposition. Alexander was recently killed along with other two Russian journalists in the Central African Republic while investigating a Russian private military company with links to the Kremlin, according to top ranked media world agencies.
Susanna Baranzhieva: Tribute to Rastorguev
Videos from Russian roads have become an internet phenomenon. Dash cams record their surroundings without any embellishment. Out of fifty such videos, Dima Kalashnikov has made something much more than just another YouTube compilation. Thanks to music and sophisticated editing, he successfully created a multi-layered portrait of contemporary Russia. “There is as much humor as tragedy witnessed here. The film really depicts the essence of Russian life and the Russian attitude to life. It is a very Russian film.” D. Kalashnikov
The Road Movie
Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Russia, Belarus / 2016 / 67 min.
This Russian filmmaker’s feature documentary Putin’s Witnesses (2018) is a portrait of Russia from a unique and unlikely perspective. It is composed exclusively of archival footage shot by director Vitaly Mansky (1963) at the very beginning of Putin’s presidential era. The director will discuss his process of weaving together these materials to create a greater picture in this extended case study of the film.
Vitaly Mansky: Portrait of Russia