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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Between the Seas: Student Film Competition

The most significant student films from the Eastern and Central Europe.

film database

Boundaries
The idea and story of the film begins on a train: the recording of a message on a cell phone suddenly stops after the crossing of the state border. The real situation initiates a movement to the realm of art: the short message becomes a documentary letter, the director’s poetic meditation on the importance and ubiquity of borders – in geography, history, and cinematography. Listening to the persistent humming sound, we follow the author on her existential journey through four cities consisting of real images and footage taken by the director’s father 25 years ago that always bring us to some visible or invisible border. “In the film school I was assigned to make a video essay on ‚Boundaries in film‘ topic. I started to think of where cinema ‚ends‘ but instead I realized I should first learn where is the end of myself.” Y. Shatun     
personal program

Boundaries

Yuliya Shatun
Belarus / 2019 / 29 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Daily manure
Pigeons are sitting down on the roof of a dilapidated farmhouse; a truck is dumping old bread on a pile; cattle is running around among the cars at the scrapyard; goats are grazing in the vicinity of large shipping containers... The leitmotif of the documentary is the fact that unprocessed foods are used as fertilizers and feed material for livestock, and the film shows one of the forms of agriculture in the 21st century in a series silent prose scenes. The slow pace and cyclic variation of the same stylistic parameters evokes the poetics of decline and decomposition. “In the course of four seasons, I'verecorded a place where our overproduction ends up. A cemetery where leftovers devour the leftovers.  The never ending cycle of crestion and demise.” N. Krutilová
personal program

Daily manure

Nikola Krutilová
Czech Republic / 2019 / 24 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Herding
This student-made documentary from the Kyrgyz Mountains region is a sensational viewing experience thanks to its interplay of form and content. Captured in the cinematographic style of a shaking image from a handheld camera, episodic moments such as milking goat milk and bathing in a healing spring in the middle of a pasture compose an authentic record of the life of local herdsmen, who must lead their herds to graze through the pasture despite the adversity of the elements working against them. In its clarity, the film's unkempt style, shot in the mountains above Lake Issyk-kul, allows it to reflect on nature and naturalism.   „In childhood,I helped my brother drive the horses from the village to the mountains after I had good memories,then when I studied directing at the documentary film courses i chose this topic after.“ E. Omurbekov       
personal program

Herding

Erlan Omurbekov
Kyrgyzstan / 2019 / 19 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
Life could be so beautiful
During the 1940s, Polish writer Andrzej Bobkowski headed from the south of France to occupied Paris, describing everything he saw in diaries in which his hundreds of kilometers of cycling were transformed into a deep reflection on wartime Europe. Decades later, Angelika and Filip retraced his route and filmed everything along the way. During the exploration of Bobkowski’s path through the landscape and in culture, a conflict arises on the interpretation of the author’s diaries, with the pair’s creative debate leading to a reflection on their own relationship. In this documentary video diary and from the literary work, a reflection on modern life, work, and love arises.“Relationship as eternal circle around eternally the same things. No matter how many times you discuss, you will never fully understand each other. But what holds you together?” A. Herta, F. Jacobson
personal program

Life could be so beautiful

Filip Jacobson, Angelika Herta
Poland, German Democratic Republic / 2019 / 62 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Marie
The director’s purely observational camera enters the home of a family living in a village in the Danube Delta, where the birth of another girl arouses more tension stemming from the uneasy life of the extended family. In her short film, the director thematises a conflict between generations of three women reliant on each other, while Maria, a ten-year-old girl who has to take care of her younger sisters, comes into focus. In the timelessness of traditional rural relationships, shown in a slow pace of everyday life, Maria’s childlike innocence is exposed to harsh orders of her grandmother who requires respect and proper conduct.“What drove me to Iordana was curiosity. So I allowed myself to be surprised by their world, in order to be able to deconstruct their reality.” L. Popa
personal program

Marie

Letiția Popa
Romania / 2018 / 32 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
On the Moon, Luna, and Their Reflection
Indigenous religions were still practiced in Slovenia in the second half of the twentieth century. The filmmaker chose nature as the highest entity as the common denominator for their portrayal. Shots of forests and trees in variable weather conditions in different seasons are the dominant visual elements. With words and images, some rituals are presented simultaneously, returning man to places from where he came, and similarly the film also induces the mystical atmosphere of religious ceremonies. “On the Moon, Luna, and Their Reflection proved to be a springboard for me - making me believe that film in general should be much more alike to poetry.” I. Vogrinc Vidali 
personal program

On the Moon, Luna, and Their Reflection

Ivana Vogrinc Vidali
Slovenia / 2018 / 21 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
The Drop
Like other miners, Chyngyz works twenty four hours under difficult conditions of the confined space of a shaft where miners risk a lot all the time. Although they work in fear for their lives, they are grateful for the work in the mine because it allows them to feed their families. The observation camera moves from stylized pictorial compositions of a morning journey to the mine to long sequences following the movement of miners in the shaft and their routine work to show their fate in an intense and immediate composite image.“One of the heroes of this film reenacts the famous pose in film Titanic, he wants to be Jack. He sings as he asks for raindrops when the time of love comes.” E. Tashbaeva
personal program

The Drop

Elnura Tashbaeva
Kyrgyzstan / 2019 / 20 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
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