Six days, three hundred films, back in cinemas! Ji.hlava celebrates 25th anniversary.
The jubilee 25th documentary Ji.hlava kicks-off in two weeks! Festival visitors can look forward to three hundred films including the latest Czech and international documentary cinema, a unique retrospective of Romanian experimental film, and a section dedicated to the American thinker and essayist Susan Sontag. This year’s Ji.hlava Inspiration Forum will include a discussion with gender studies legend Judith Butler. The 25th Ji.hlava IDFF will take place on October 26–31.
The main Opus Bonum international competition features fifteen titles. Eleven films will be screened in their world premiere, and four will have their international premiere at Ji.hlava.
The 25 short docs in Ji.hlava's Short Joy competition section – all in world or international premiere – are now available online for free at dafilms.com and the jury is audiences across the world. The voting starts today and ends on October 24.
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Preparations for the anniversary 25th edition of the Ji.hlava festival are now in full swing! Its packed programme will include actress Charlotte Gainsbourg’s directorial debut, the story of LSD populariser Timothy Leary, a unique focus on Romanian experimental cinema and a retrospective of Slovak-Czech ethnographer Karol Plicka.
This year's Ji.hlava starts in six weeks, returning to cinemas after a year-long break caused by the pandemic. “We are looking forward to resuming cinema screenings! We also cherish the opportunity to meet again for inspiring discussions. The festival will bring the faces of the film’s audiences to the venues, and an intense shared experience to the viewers,” says Marek Hovorka, Director of Ji.hlava IDFF. One of the festival’s cinemas will therefore offer a selection of films released last year. “The authors were excited by this idea, and they are very much looking forward to Ji.hlava’s audience,” adds Marek Hovorka.
However, Ji.hlava is not giving up the online potential. After the live part of the festival in Ji.hlava’s cinemas, a fortnight-long online part of the festival will follow starting on November 1. “Each space – the physical and the digital one – has its own specifics, and their programme will be differerent. Some films will only run in cinemas, the internet will offer bonus features that you won't see in cinemas,” explains Marek Hovorka. Festival passes, which are now on sale, provide access to both the live and the online part of the festival.
What will be on the programme of the jubilee 25th Ji.hlava IDFF? In line with tradition, the festival will offer classical and experimental creative documentary cinema and themed retrospectives, plus a number of off-competition sections, including Special Events.
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Fresh data from the East West Index 2021, which analyses the representation of different regions at documentary film festivals, was presented today during the debate Back to “Normal”? at Marché du Film / Cannes Docs, co-organised by the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival.
The data collected at 14 European film festivals in 2020 and 2021 have shown that as a result of the pandemic most festivals have decided to cut the number of selected films in their programme. This reduction amounts to 22% in total, with some of the film festivals in focus (such as IDFA, DOK Leipzig and Dokufest Kosovo) having to reduce their programme even more dramatically – to one third or even a half compared with the “regular” year 2019. As a result of the cuts, one in four or five films is missing from festival programmes.
”In terms of regional balance we can see that the programme structure has not changed much, but if we focus on the details, we see how dangerous this trend of cutting down the festival programme can be: The underrepresented regions were even less represented during the Covid year. Of course, the number of films is not the only key criterion when analyzing the impact of film festivals, but losing such a big space for filmmakers might affect the diversity of presented films and change the European film infrastructure“, says Marek Hovorka, director of Ji.hlava IDFF which has been behind the regular East West Index surveys in the past years.
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